Definist Fallacy

“If we continue to eschew science, eschew the process, and try to divide science into observational science and historic science, we aren’t going to move forward.” ~ Bill Nye

This statement implies that certain relationships exist, but those relationships don’t exist. Dividing science into observational science and historical storytelling is discerning the difference between observation and creative stories about the distant past. As we’ve already seen, the term “historical science” is really just historical storytelling even though the storytelling generally begins with observation or divine revelation. Bill claims that knowing the difference between observation and storytelling will stop progress. He claims that knowing the difference between what scientists have observed and what scientists have made up is the same thing as deliberately avoiding science and scientific method.

The Creation-evolution debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye spent too much attention on a definist fallacy and word games with observational and historical science. We don’t want to return to that definist fallacy, so we’ll stick to what those two terms mean. Ken Ham used the term “observational science” to mean science based on observation, and he used the term “historical science” to refer to the practice of extending observations or divine revelation by telling stories about the distant past. While the all-knowing, Almighty, Creator God reveals the past, scientists can’t reveal the past. They can ask God about the past and wait for God to answer. If they do that, they shouldn’t try to put words into God’s mouth. Scientists can’t conjure knowledge of the past by making up stories or making assumptions. They can’t observe the past. Here’s what Bill Nye was really saying in his appeal to consequence fallacy:

“If we know the difference between observation and made-up stuff, we reject science, and we aren’t going to move forward.”
The imagined worldviews, assumptions, and stories of the scientific establishment are all made-up stuff and constitute the ways that some scientists have lost touch with reality. The scientific establishment looks at the world through those imagined worldviews, assumptions, and stories that these scientists feel are real. That means Bill is implying that losing touch with reality equals science. Then Bill extends that claim. He claims anything that conflicts with the imagined worldviews, assumptions, or stories will keep us from moving forward.
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Posted in Uncategorized.

Leave a Reply