Page 119 - MODES of EXPLANATION

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Now, this reasoning shows at most that the thesis that some features of the biosphere are not
due to chance (and likewise the stronger thesis that they have a purpose) is logically
consistent with neo-Darwinism. It could still be that the conditional probability of the thesis
that there are features of the biosphere that are not due to chance is very low, even negligible,
on the neo-Darwinian hypothesis. However, the reasoning does show that if someone wants
to construct an
argument
for the conclusion that neo-Darwinism is in any sense incompatible
with the thesis that some features of the biosphere are not products of chance, he or she will
have to employ some premise in addition to “Darwinism implies that all events of
evolutionary significance are due to chance” (Johnson, 1992).
Creationism is the claim that “some features of the biosphere are not products of
chance.” This claim may be compatible with evolution, but
compatibility with science
is not
the same as
being science
.
Realism offers no obvious answer to the question “Is creationism science?” However,
the preceding discussion suggests that, whether or not we decide to call creationism
“science,” the view is in serious trouble. If creationism is a scientific hypothesis, treated no
differently than other scientific hypotheses, we have good reason to believe that neo-
Darwinian theory provides the better explanation. If we treat creationism as a scientific
hypothesis, then we have good reason to abandon it in favor of neo-Darwinian theory.
Alternatively, we might deny that creationism is a scientific hypothesis. It should not be
judged by the epistemic standards of science. If the creationist takes this stance, it is clear:
creationism is not science.
There is a third option the creationist might take, nevertheless. The creationist might
argue that creationism is a scientific hypothesis; however, she might deny that it ought to be
treated the same as other scientific hypotheses. This appears to be the strategy that Ham
endorses when he attempts to bifurcate science into legitimate observational science and
illegitimate historical science. By making this move, the creationist abandons scientific
methods for theory evaluation while simultaneously attempting to claim that creationism is a
well-confirmed scientific theory. On this route, creationism is surely a pseudoscience.
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