When skeptics are intellectually lazy

I once heard a guy say that creationism is an “intellectually lazy” way of explaining reality. But the same can be said of skeptics as well. Take this claim from the Skeptic’s Dictionary:

Scientific creationists are not impressed that they are in the minority. After all, they note, the entire scientific community has been wrong before. That is true. For example, at one time the geologists were all wrong about the origin of continents. They thought the earth was a solid object. Now they believe that the earth consists of plates. The theory of plate tectonics has replaced the old theory, which is now known to be false.

However, when the entire scientific community has been proved to be wrong in the past it has been proved to be wrong by other scientists, not pseudoscientists. They have been proved wrong by others doing empirical investigation, not by others who begin with faith in a religious dogma and who see no need to do any empirical investigation or prediction to support their beliefs.

That quote ended in a curious way—and it was lazy as well. The dictionary had not done its research; creationists do make predictions from their investigations.

Many Christians are confused on why there are different Flood models. There are also different creationist cosmological models. The reason is that there are so many unknowns and we all see through a glass dimly (1 Corinthians 13:12a) when it comes to interpreting the past. Actually it is a healthy tendency when there are varying models as long as they pass peer review (unlike Dr [Walt] Brown’s model). All the unknowns within earth science in general can be shown just by the huge volume of research published every year attempting to fill in the many blanks…

Brown makes a number of predictions for his model, which are summarized in Part III in Frequently Asked Questions. Some are bold, like a prediction should be, such as:

  • Prediction 6: “A 10-mile-thick granite layer (a hydroplate) will be found a few miles under the Pacific floor and inside the ring of fire and others.”
  • Other predictions seem insignificant, such as prediction 10: “Corings taken anywhere in the bottom of any large lake will not show laminations as thin, parallel, and extensive as the varves of the 42,000-square-mile Green River Formation, perhaps the world’s best known varve region…

He claims to have confirmed four out of 39 predictions: (1) pooled water under mountains, (2) hidden canyon under the Bosporus, (3) salt on Mars, and (4) carbon-14 in ‘old’ bones. I am uncertain how significant these ‘hits’ are, but from a creationist point of view we would predict carbon-14 in a lot of ‘old’ material.

Quote sources

  1. Carroll, R. (ed) (2015). “Creationism andCreation Science” in The Skeptic’s Dictionary. Available http://skepdic.com/creation.html. Last accessed 31 Aug 2015
  2. Oard, M.J. (2013). Analysis of Walt Brown’s Flood Model. Available http://creation.com/hydroplate-theory. Last accessed 31st Aug 2015.
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