<quote from Real Faith & Reason, vol 2>
Using the discoveries of Sir Francis Bacon, let’s shed light on a few of the many ways thinkers lose touch with reality and how those ways work together to create extremely deceptive illusions. Sir Francis Bacon categorized all fallacies under four headings: idola tribus, idola theatri, idola fori, and idola specus. We know of only one way to avoid losing touch with reality, and this way is focusing on Jesus Christ, the Truth, the Reality.
. . .
Idola Fori Fallacies
Humans use names to confuse reality with make-believe. Two types of idola fori exist.
Type 1 Idola Fori: Giving names to things that don’t exist.
Examples of names given to things no one has ever observed:
- big bang
- dark matter
- dark energy
- evolution [meaning amoeba morphing into humans through a series of steps]
- claims of a 4.7-billion-year age of the earth
“The spacetime singularities lying at cores of black holes are among the known (or presumed) objects in the Universe about which the most profound mysteries remain and which our present-day theories are powerless to describe” ~ Roger Penrose, The Road To Reality
That quote from Roger Penrose demonstrates the fallacy of giving names to things that don’t exist. No one has ever seen a singularity. Singularities are fictional. This method of giving names to things that don’t exist is very clever and tricky. The way the human mind processes language, naming something that doesn’t exist results in the human mind forming a concept of the non-existent entity just to process the thought. In other words, the mind creates the non-existent entity, so it now exists in the human mind. Idola fori is a hypnotic technique, but we don’t realize that the persuaders are hypnotizing us.
Henry Norman wrote a definition of what scientists have been calling “singularities.” Singularities are examples of idola fori. Here’s what Henry said:
“In the context of cosmology, a ‘singularity’ is a place in an equation where the result is unbounded or undefined. Consider the two cases, (1) The ‘big bang’ and (2) A ‘Black Hole,’ both of which are conjectured to host a point of zero volume at the core (center of gravity), where all (most of?) its mass is concentrated. In the density equation:
density = mass / volume
A ‘singularity’ appears when the ‘volume’ of these ‘objects’ goes to 0 (or by extrapolation ‘backwards in time’ of our apparently expanding Universe, when time comes to zero (at the ‘big bang’)), causing division by zero, a mathematical operation which is not defined in algebra or arithmetic. Media, and popular science, have successfully turned these mathematical abstractions (singularities) into physical objects, by using statements like
‘a singularity resides at the core of all black holes,’
‘a primordial singularity, a zero-volume point of infinite density and temperature and with enormous mass, appeared out of nowhere some 14 billion years ago, and rapidly expanded to become our Universe the Big Bang!’
Thus confusing a mathematical error with a conjectured object: In known physics, it is simply not possible to squeeze any amount of matter into ‘zero volume’ (if nothing else, witness the Pauli Exclusion Principle atoms (baryons) occupy a tiny but measurable volume and cannot be squeezed arbitrarily close together). We also see statements like ‘the big bang singularity is a point of zero volume, but very high mass, which makes the density infinite. This singularity contained all of the matter and energy in the Universe,’ which is amusing. The commonly assumed but incorrect definition ‘m/0 = ∞’ is used only in ‘Real Projective Line’ or ‘Riemann Sphere’ sets in calculus. Nevertheless bowing to ‘the experts’ in the following I use the term ‘singularity’ (always within quotation marks (and under protest!))”
Henry Noman realized that the word “singularity” is something that makes no sense. And yet, it seems almost real since it has a name.
When a persuader makes a name for something, thinkers imagine the named thing exists even if it doesn’t exist. They mistake the named thing for part of reality even if it isn’t.
So we have a non-existent thing. A persuader gives it a name. Let’s use the example of “molecules-to-humanity evolution” as a named thing. The more persuaders define and adorn molecules-to-humanity evolution with fabricated details, the more real it seems. The persuaded people don’t realize it’s just a fabrication that persuaders made up because it must be real if it has a name. And to further enhance the illusion, persuaders often falsely connect these names to words like “science,” “evidence,” or “observation.” However, real science, evidence, and observation don’t prove the existence of nonexistent things. As a result, persuaded people add unreality to their worldviews and unreality begins to seem real.
Type 2 Idola Fori: Names are given to things that exist but are poorly defined.
Examples of poorly defined names:
Persuaders may apply names to things that don’t fit the meaning of the name. For instance, we could define “science” as dogmatic sacred cow beliefs based on assumptions, concepts, ideas, abstractions, and made-up stories. We could define “evidence” as assumption-based interpretations of observations. We could define “reason” as rationalizations based on logical fallacies. We could define “faith” as a conceptual mental exercise. We could define “Christian” as people who don’t know Christ and don’t intend to submit to Him. Ungodly people sometimes call a Christ-follower “a religious person.” They also call a person who does rituals but doesn’t know Christ “a religious person.” They might define “religion” as listening to Christ and yielding to Him. Then they define “religion” as doing activities that have nothing to do with the Spirit of Christ.
Ken Ham mentioned this fallacy [idola fori], and although he didn’t mention it by name, he gave an example.
“And here’s another problem that we’ve got. Not only has the word “science” been hijacked by secularists, I believe the word “evolution” has been hijacked by secularists. The word, ‘evolution,’ has been hijacked using what I call a bait and switch. Let me explain to you. The word ‘evolution’ is being used in public school textbooks, and we often see it in documentaries and so on. It’s used for observable changes which we would agree with, and then used for unobservable changes such as molecules-to-man.” ~ Ken Ham
A word like “science” can be deceptive if it’s defined too broadly because it keeps us from seeing the differences between distinct things. “Science” could mean made-up sacred-cow stories, or it could mean arbitrary assumptions. It could mean traditions, guessing, or a group-held paradigm. It could even mean experimentation, testing, and observation. Bill Nye gave science a broad definition that includes all of these. As a result, we don’t know what Bill means when he uses the word “science,” since “science” could be reality, make-believe, or anything between the two.
Evolutionists commit a similar fallacy when they define “evolution” as change over time, which implies that there’s no difference between observed changes and imagined changes. This definition is too broad because, with this definition, the word “evolution” can mean two different things. Is “evolution” the changes we can observe from generation to generation? Or is “evolution” a fanciful story about gradual changes happening over millions of years? The second definition would require complete coded information systems that create useful functions popping into existence one after another. Coded information has never been observed forming on its own. Coded information systems would include new coded information, but they would also include the mechanisms to execute the code and maintain the code. A story about even one such event is extremely fanciful, but a story about this happening repeatedly over millions of years is insane. Evolutionists use the same word for observation on the one hand and make-believe on the other. Persuaders create the same type of confusion using the word “science.” Is “science” testing and observation? Or is “science” make-believe?
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