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Debates About Science

For those hoping to argue science, there is one caution. In my view, science is not up for public debate. Arguments on the internet between non-professionals have absolutely no bearing on how mainstream science progresses. This is just not how science works.

Science is not intuitive. It is very mathematical and technical. Science requires very careful adherence to specific logical rules and standards. There are a multitude of rhetorically strong points (that convince the crowds) that are totally false scientifically. The rules and conclusions of mainstream science, therefore are not up for debate in the public square in any meaningful sense. Therefore, I usually avoid public debates about science.

Do not mistake this as an “appeal to authority.” Science can certainly be wrong. At times it is. Even when it is right, science’s certainty and scope are sharply limited. If you feel the need, go ahead and disagree with science. You might even be right. Let’s just not fantasize that public debate affects scientific opinion at all. It does not.

Instead of debate, my goal here is to offer a clear explanation of how mainstream science understands about our world. In what way, using the rules of mainstream science, is the evidence for common descent so clear? What, exactly, is the scientific definition of evolution, and why do scientists include theistic evolutionists? What are the rules of science? What are the limits and strengths of science?

Perhaps you will disagree strongly with what you learn of mainstream science. My aim is not to change your mind. Rather, I hope that you might understand what you reject, and that, perhaps, I might understand you too.