If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
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26-06-2013, 01:11 AM
If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
I was just reading an article online and happened upon a striking reader comment. Someone from Boston who goes by "gemli" wrote:

"Evolution is not a question that is open to discussion. It's not one of those issues about which people of good faith can simply agree to disagree. We didn't pop into existence fully formed, the earth is not 6,000 years old, and invisible supernatural worlds don't exist--not because I say so, but because, if these things are true, everything we know about cosmology, geology, chemistry, biology and physics is wrong." [Emphasis added]

I've thought about that before: If the YECs are right, how much of what we think we know about science--not just biology, but all the sciences the writer mentioned--can be retained, and how much has to be discarded? For example, if the earth is 6,000 years old, then carbon dating is wrong. If carbon dating is wrong, does that mean we need to revise our whole understanding of atomic physics, that our ideas about it are fundamentally flawed?

Another example: Our present understanding is that the heavier chemical elements were "cooked" inside stars: the iron in our blood came from the explosion of a supernova. (Good YouTube vid here.) That couldn't have happened in a young universe. So under that assumption, our ideas about chemistry and cosmology are fundamentally wrong as well.

So my question for those who know much more about such things than I do is: If the YECs are right, how much of what we now know about science can be retained, and how much needs to be tossed? "gemli" says that all of it would have to be discarded, which I suspect is too strong--but maybe not. How much do you think would have to go? 20 percent? 95 percent?

The reason I find this interesting is that it seems to me it might be the foundation for a convincing argument against young-earth creationism. The broad outline would be something like this:

1. If the universe is 6,000 years old, then virtually everything [?] we know about science is wrong. (Details to be specified.)

2 But science works. (Electricity, computers, mobile phones, landing on the moon, medications that cure diseases, . . . an endless list. Choose the most impressive achievements of science.)

3. Since science works, our understanding of it can't be all (or mostly) wrong.

4. Therefore, what's wrong is the original hypothesis. The universe is not 6,000 years old.

This obviously needs to be fleshed out. But what do you think?

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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26-06-2013, 01:21 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
...

I think you'd have to chuck the scientific method in totality. 'Cos the reason we have these good scientific theories that work is that they *have* been tested. If they're wrong it means experiment and falsification of hypotheses and the whole shebang are not a valid way of finding out truth.

I think Creationists and others of their... ilk (love that word)... have a tacit understanding of this. It's why quite a large proportion of their rants are not only directed at the actual science which contradicts their specific beliefs, but also at scientific method and scientists in general.

As a replacement for the scientific method I propose magic and woo and worship of the Living God. Dodgy
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26-06-2013, 01:56 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
Then I would change my philosophy to that of solipsism. Drinking Beverage

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26-06-2013, 05:13 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
Since scientists clearly have some big conspiracy going on with regards to evolution, they have clearly been corrupted by the evil one. Nothing they say can be trusted, because he is the father of lies. If you listen to them he might get in and corrupt you too.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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26-06-2013, 06:18 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
Optics and the speed of light would be wrong. It means I'm out of a job since you can neither create televisions nor broadcasts based upon what we think is scientifically true.
If the universe was created with the light already en route from distant stars, it technically means a signal is received before its transmission with the distances used by TV satellites, and for much shorter distances, your TV pops on before you even touched the remote.
Works the same for radio waves, telemetry, sonars, scanners, MRI, microwaves and so on. It also means rainbows either can't exist or can't be the color we think they are, changing the whole specter of visible light.
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26-06-2013, 06:34 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
Ya know what they say - ya can't reason yourself out of a position ya didn't reason yourself into. Ya know what I say - inclusion of extraneous variables is without bound.

This is how ya negotiate with creationists:



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26-06-2013, 08:44 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
If the universe is 6000 years old, then it does not change the fact that scientific evidence and predictions are still true (and demonstrable).

The conclusion, then, is that the evidence is false; that the universe was created so that it behaves according to scientific principles, but instead of always having done so it was merely created to appear to have done so - with the only counter-evidence being a musty, contradictory old tome written by (given to?) some desert schmucks a few thousand years ago, which, despite containing the only true account of the actual origins of the universe, is demonstrably incorrect with regards to its account of subsequent history, and indeed anything beyond the barest details of its basic ontology.

What fundamental difference does this make to our attempts at understanding things?

None at all.
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26-06-2013, 08:57 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
(26-06-2013 08:44 AM)cjlr Wrote:  If the universe is 6000 years old, then it does not change the fact that scientific evidence and predictions are still true (and demonstrable).

The conclusion, then, is that the evidence is false; that the universe was created so that it behaves according to scientific principles, but instead of always having done so it was merely created to appear to have done so - with the only counter-evidence being a musty, contradictory old tome written by (given to?) some desert schmucks a few thousand years ago, which, despite containing the only true account of the actual origins of the universe, is demonstrably incorrect with regards to its account of subsequent history, and indeed anything beyond the barest details of its basic ontology.

What fundamental difference does this make to our attempts at understanding things?

None at all.

Hmmm, our understanding would be fundamentally different, but our methods could remain the same. But shouldn't we add prayer, trance, meditation, etc. to our toolkit?Consider

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-06-2013, 09:06 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
(26-06-2013 01:11 AM)cufflink Wrote:  I was just reading an article online and happened upon a striking reader comment. Someone from Boston who goes by "gemli" wrote:

"Evolution is not a question that is open to discussion. It's not one of those issues about which people of good faith can simply agree to disagree. We didn't pop into existence fully formed, the earth is not 6,000 years old, and invisible supernatural worlds don't exist--not because I say so, but because, if these things are true, everything we know about cosmology, geology, chemistry, biology and physics is wrong." [Emphasis added]

I've thought about that before: If the YECs are right, how much of what we think we know about science--not just biology, but all the sciences the writer mentioned--can be retained, and how much has to be discarded? For example, if the earth is 6,000 years old, then carbon dating is wrong. If carbon dating is wrong, does that mean we need to revise our whole understanding of atomic physics, that our ideas about it are fundamentally flawed?

Another example: Our present understanding is that the heavier chemical elements were "cooked" inside stars: the iron in our blood came from the explosion of a supernova. (Good YouTube vid here.) That couldn't have happened in a young universe. So under that assumption, our ideas about chemistry and cosmology are fundamentally wrong as well.

So my question for those who know much more about such things than I do is: If the YECs are right, how much of what we now know about science can be retained, and how much needs to be tossed? "gemli" says that all of it would have to be discarded, which I suspect is too strong--but maybe not. How much do you think would have to go? 20 percent? 95 percent?

The reason I find this interesting is that it seems to me it might be the foundation for a convincing argument against young-earth creationism. The broad outline would be something like this:

1. If the universe is 6,000 years old, then virtually everything [?] we know about science is wrong. (Details to be specified.)

2 But science works. (Electricity, computers, mobile phones, landing on the moon, medications that cure diseases, . . . an endless list. Choose the most impressive achievements of science.)

3. Since science works, our understanding of it can't be all (or mostly) wrong.

4. Therefore, what's wrong is the original hypothesis. The universe is not 6,000 years old.

This obviously needs to be fleshed out. But what do you think?

I don't think your 4 step process there really works. I say that because I think it fails in its first premise.

To say that if the Earth is 6,000 years old then it means that "...virtually everything [?] we know about science is wrong" is incorrect. It means that virtually every conclusion we have drawn is flawed, not that the scientific approach to understanding was wrong.

Let me put it this way, it would necessarily mean that radiometric dating as a whole has been used to draw incorrect conclusions. In light of evidence demonstrating that the Earth is indeed only 6,000 years old, there would be evidence linking why our conclusions we drew from radiometric dating were wrong.

Either that or every advancement in understanding we make and every conclusion we draw, will necessarily have to have an asterisk next to it that reads something like "or it could just be the will of a god and is therefore unknowable at the present time to humans and all conclusions drawn forthwith are incorrect but the potentially incorrect conclusions could still provide some benefit to humanity for unknown reasons."

Science would not have to be tossed if actual evidence of a 6,000 year old Earth were found. Just a lot of conclusions would have to be deemed faulty. And I mean A LOT.

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26-06-2013, 09:06 AM
RE: If the universe is 6,000 years old, what happens to science?
QUICK! GET THOSE SATELLITES OUT OF THE HEAVENS BEFORE GOD CONFUSES OUR LANGUAGE!! AGAIN!

"Now I don't want to be sane either, but I'm just saying there may be other delusions and hallucinations worthy of consideration before jumping to an irrational conclusion, that's all."
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