Friday, September 18, 2009

Book Review (4): The Ultimate Proof of Creation

Chapter 5 is called “The Procedure for Defending the Faith.” Lisle begins with a summary of chapters 1-4, noting especially that all people have a network of presuppositions, a worldview, a lens of sorts, through which evidence and all of reality is interpreted, and that only the worldview of the biblical creationist is rational; all other worldviews are irrational, because they rely on the creationist worldview to make their claims. Lisle moves on from this summary to aid believers in their approach to conversations with unbelievers, laying out a framework for critiquing faulty worldviews and presuppositions. He gives his readers a checklist of arbitrariness, inconsistency, and the preconditions of intelligibility, and then Lisle claims again that only the biblical worldview stands as rational against this checklist.

Lisle then expends the checklist, first adding 4 elements to the arbitrariness category: mere opinion, relativism, prejudicial conjecture, and unargued philosophical bias. After explaining these types of faulty arguments, Lisle expands the inconsistency category with 4 types: logical fallacies, reductio ad absurdum (reduction to absurdity), behavioral inconsistency, and presuppositional tensions. Once again, Lisle elaborates on these types of inconsistencies, yielding illustrations and examples to help us recognize them in conversations. Next, he expands the category of preconditions of intelligibility by adding 3 elements – reliability of our senses, reliability of our memory, and personal dignity and freedom – to the first 3 types mentioned earlier (laws of logic – or rationality, uniformity of nature – or science, and morality – or ethics). He concludes by reminding his readers that there are many other preconditions of intelligibility, basically anything we take for granted to help us understand reality.

In chapter 6, the shortest, called “The Place of Evidence,” Lisle explores “rational ways to use scientific evidence.” He details the confirmation of biblical creation, shows how we are to introduce and understand worldviews, and discusses again issues related to inconsistency and arbitrariness. He also reintroduces the ultimate proof, saying “absolutely any piece of scientific information can be used as an illustration of the ultimate proof.” Lisle then applies what he has just stated with a solid example, one worth repeating here:

“For example, an evolutionist might claim, ‘There is no evidence whatsoever for the creationist position.’ We could…say, ‘Actually there are many evidences that confirm biblical creation. Consider the information in DNA…’ and so on. The evolutionist might respond, ‘But these other evidences (fossils, etc.) support evolution, not creation.’ Then we would…say, ‘Actually, creationists interpret those same fossils differently than you do. Here is how we understand the evidence.’ (We then present our interpretation.) ‘So you see, we all have the same facts, but we interpret them differently because we have a different worldview.’

“An evolutionist may then try to argue that his interpretation of the evidence is better than ours. We could then point out that his interpretations are arbitrary and inconsistent… We could…expose the fact that the evolutionist must constantly invoke rescuing devices to explain away contrary evidence – this is totally arbitrary.

“A clever evolutionist will at this point either appeal to his own worldview (as the reason for his rescuing devices), or (more likely) will point out that creationists also have rescuing devices. (If he fails to realize these things, then we should help him out by suggesting them ourselves.) Now the evolutionist has enough education to begin to properly understand the true nature of the origins debate – it’s a debate over worldviews. As such, we…ask, ‘Which worldview can make sense of science anyway? For that matter, which worldview can make sense of any of the things we take for granted – personal dignity and freedom, rationality, morality, and so on?’”

Hopefully, you can see the direction in which that conversation would logically go. Lisle concludes chapter 6 by showing how David and Goliath apply to this discussion. David had 5 stones, but he only needed one. The crucial thing for David was that he knew how to use his weapon very well. We may not all be called to earn PhDs in astrophysics, like the author, but we can all learn a few useful scientific facts and apply them using logic and the ultimate proof of creation in order to defeat the enemy.

1 comment:

wakawakwaka said...

"He gives his readers a checklist of arbitrariness, inconsistency, and the preconditions of intelligibility, and then Lisle claims again that only the biblical worldview stands as rational against this checklist."

fallacy of induction, its impossible for him to claim te bible worldview stands against this checklist