> BreakPoint with Chuck Colson:
> So, you see, intelligent design theorists are the ones
> who are trying to free science to pursue truth
> wherever it leads, shaking it loose of philosophical
> restraints. This is exactly what Francis Bacon, the
> "father of modern science" and a Christian, did in the
> sixteenth century, when he abandoned
> Aristotle's philosophical presupposition that the
> universe is eternal and decided instead to follow
> science wherever it leads. That, according to
> Professor Harold Poe at Union University, allowed the
> modern scientific revolution to take place.
> And that's exactly what is at stake here. If the
> intelligent design movement succeeds, we would have
> nothing short of a new scientific revolution --
> freeing science to pursue truth wherever it leads. No
> wonder the hidebound traditionalists -- that is, the
> evolutionists -- are desperate.
Christian attempts to use science (not the same as evidence) to
support the Bible reject the most important part of our epistemic
history. The truth is that Western science was historically founded
on Aristotle's first principle. The Bible predicted and identified
this idea as the first principle (arche) of the last days: the
assumption that matter (all things) does not change.
Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626) argued against Aristotle's deductive
methods. Deduction starts with axioms, elementary assumptions. The
structure of knowledge is built up and tested by applying logical
rules. If a statement is logically consistent, it must be true. The
lowest level in this structured system, the simplest statements about
"how the world works", were known as arche, first principles.
Bacon advocated the method of induction that starts with many
observations and tries to find simple powerful statements "of how the
world works" that fit all observations. If an idea or theory
conflicts with an observation of nature, induction says that the idea
must be abandoned. The idea that the scientific system is free from
deduction, reliance upon a first principle, is a myth.
1. Mathematics is itself deductive, built upon axioms in a logically
consistent manner. Modern science is largely mathematical. In fact
mathematics is used as a reasoning tool. If a process can be modeled
with mathematics, then it is assumed that our ideas are consistent
2. The early Christian philosophers, did not abandon Aristotle's
first principle, but rather used it to define new concepts and new
mathematical techniques. Our first principle, and theirs, is the
assumption that Peter predicted, that matter does not change as a
relation, that it does not age in an orderly manner.
a. All the basic definitions of physics, the Western concepts of
time, matter and energy, depend on this assumption. The entire
structure of scientific reasoning was founded upon the Aristotlean
assumption that matter cannot change.
b. Even our experimental system depends on this assumption. If matter
changes as a relation, we could not detect it locally because all of
reality would be affected, even our instruments and units of measurement.
Is science really free from its first principle? Consider the following:
Scientists claim that a cesium clock beats an unchanging rhythm that
we even use to define the unit of distance. Yet no cesium atom in
distant galaxies beats the same tempo as local ones. Scientists
invent undetectable cosmological expansion, where empty space
stretches light, so that we do not have to accept a simple observation
of nature. Does our first principle take away our freedom to think
Scientists claim that orbits are clock-like and follow our
mathematical laws of gravity. Yet no orbit in the arms or disk of
galaxies, even our own, is clock-like or follows our laws of gravity.
Scientists invent undetectable, mathematical dark-matter that
surrounds every galaxy to make the observed orbits fit our assumption
that matter does not change. Does our first principle really free us
to accept observations, or does it force us to fit nature to our most
The most distant views of the heavens, the three Hubble deep images,
show that primordial objects were highly compressed. Clearly these
tiny galaxies are visibly ejecting and expanding their arms and defuse
structure. (Twelve times the Old Testament mentions that a
firmament, a dense place is continually being pounded out and spread
out). The observations clearly show that matter and motions in the
early universe were expansive. Why is it that scientists are not
allowed to accept what is visible? Perhaps a first principle really
takes away our freedom to think apart from science's dogma.
Are scientists really free to pursue truth wherever it leads? Or do
they always force nature to fit our elementary assumption that matter
does not change? Clearly the Bible states with grammar that it does
change. Why do scientists reject what we see in simplicity and invent
a universe that is 99% undetectable?
The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:8. "See to it that no one
takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to
the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles
[stoicheia] of the world [kosmos -orderly system], rather than
according to Christ." The word "see" is blepo and is in the
imperative. Watch out. Be aware. Be on guard. Look - see. We are to
be on guard against the stoicheion, the elementary assumptions, the
first principles of philosophy, that take one captive like military
prisoners. Stoicheion are the first principles for a system of
scientific thinking. Yet Christians embrace these elementary ideas
invented by the pagans philosophers and teach them to our children.
Can God really make foolish the scientific system itself? Can He do
what the Bible says He will, take the wise of this age with their own
wisdom? We should never tailor the Bible to fit our scientific
culture. The simple literal words of the Bible really do free ones
mind. Think about it.