Dr. Young Addresses The Big Question
- Chapter 1: Deductive and Inductive Logic
- Chapter 2: The Scientific Method
- Chapter 3: The Forensic Scientific Method and the Inferential Test
- Chapter 4: Application of the Forensic Scientific Method and the Inferential Test, Part 1
- Chapter 5: Application of the Forensic Scientific Method and the Inferential Test, Part 2
- Chapter 6: Inductive Arguments
- Chapter 7: Analysis of Counterarguments
Chapter 6: Inductive Arguments
In Chapter 5, I demonstrated through the Forensic Scientific Method and the Inferential Test that the historical account verifying a six-day creation is sufficient to explain (“consistent with”) physical and other empirical evidence in the present. I did this using deductive inference.
Still, at this point, you may not be persuaded of the truth of this argument beyond a reasonable doubt. To do that, I need to offer several inductive arguments. Once I have done that, I believe that if you are honest with yourself, you will find no reason to doubt the truth of the six-day creation account. You will also eliminate Darwinian or Neo-Darwinian Evolution and the Big Bang theory from any further rational consideration.
Remember that deductive inference means that the truthfulness of a conclusion can be guaranteed as long as the premises are true. I have offered such deduction so far, but at this point you may wonder if the premises I have offered are true. Sure, the present-day circumstances we all can observe are consistent with the account offered in the Torah, but how do we know that the Torah is not some “cunningly devised fable” 34 that just happens coincidentally to explain present-day evidence?
For this, I have to offer inductive inferences, where the truthfulness of the conclusions can be considered as probable but cannot be guaranteed. In the argument for a six-day creation, one should find that the inductive inferences I offer in support of the argument will indicate exceedingly high probability — making the argument exceedingly strong. A weak argument — such as the one offered by Darwinists — is an argument that is improbable — in the case of Darwinism, exceedingly improbable or exceedingly weak.
To understand better the concept of inductive inference, I would like to offer a classic example of the three modes of inference — inductive inference, deductive inference and abductive inference. Abductive inference is another term for hypothesis, “guessing,” “reasoning backwards,” or affirming the consequent. This example was offered originally by scientist, mathematician, and logician Charles Sanders Peirce 35. An inference, once again, is “a conclusion based on evidence and reasoning” 4.
Let us say we have a bag filled with beans. I reach into the bag and pull out a few beans at a time. Those beans are white. If I were to conclude that all the beans in the bag are probably white, I would be inferring inductively. You may wonder, “Why not pour out all of the beans in the bag and look at them?” If I did that, I would then be certain, of course, but there may be varying, practical reasons why every item under any particular consideration might not be counted, including that it might be impossible or too expensive. Sometimes one has to perform random sampling in order to understand the probable nature of all of the beans in the bag. The larger the sample I take, the more probable the conclusion from the sampling. In other words, pulling 1000 white beans from the bag makes for a stronger argument that all the beans in the bag are white than pulling 10 white beans from the bag.
Now, let us say we accept after all of that sampling that all the beans in the bag are white. I then put my hand into the bag and enclose my hand around several of them. What color are the beans? White, of course. That is a deductive inference, based on MP: If beans are from this bag, then they are white. I grabbed beans from this bag. Therefore, the beans I grabbed are white. The truthfulness of the conclusion depends on the truthfulness of the two premises: “All beans from this bag are white,” and “I grabbed beans from this bag.”
If I later come to you with beans in my hand and you see that they are white, you could then speculate that I pulled the beans out of that particular bag of white beans. That would be an abductive inference. It is speculation, of course — affirming the consequent — but science would not progress without scientists being willing to offer hypotheses to be tested. Nevertheless, one cannot guarantee that the beans were taken from that particular bag with any certainty. One point, however, needs to be made clear: abductive inference probably works better when the available choices are few, but it works exceedingly poorly — even not at all — with complex past events, as I demonstrated previously in Chapters 1 and 2 of this treatise. How the universe and life came to be are exceedingly complex past events.
We have already covered deduction and abduction, but now we focus on induction. The “looking at and counting the beans in the bag” example above is one of the forms of induction that I will employ. It is known as induction by enumeration. The items to be enumerated are exceedingly numerous and include both people and events.
But that is not the only form of inductive inference I will offer. I will also offer arguments from analogy. An argument from analogy takes the following form:
A is similar to B A has property P Therefore, B has property P
For example, the Perinatal Biology department at my alma mater, Loma Linda University in Southern California, uses arguments from analogy when they study the physiology of pregnant sheep and unborn ewes. They argue that they can understand the functioning of the human fetus inside the human mother from their studies.
I will also offer inductive arguments on the basis of explanatory power. An argument with great explanatory power is able to explain a large number of known facts. In contrast, an argument with poor explanatory power explains hardly anything at all.
Without further adieu, here are my inductive arguments for a six-day creation.
I have already referred to the nature of past events. They are complex for any one object or individual and they are exceedingly complex for numerous objects or individuals. Past events are unique. They only happen one way at one particular point in time and they are not repeated in exactly the same fashion even at a different time. This is why inferring past events from physical evidence is an exercise in futility. It is like trying to find a single needle in an infinitely large haystack. Imagine for instance, looking at an elderly World War II veteran who participated in the storming of Normandy on D-Day. Could I look at his lined face and describe the precise sequence of events he went through during that attack? Could I look at his hands and feet and tell what he did and where he walked during and after that invasion? Of course I could not! To even say thatI could would be absurd! Scientists who claim they can infer past events from physical evidence commit a similar absurdity.
On the other hand, if I allowed the World War II veteran to tell his story, I could learn from him what I would never have learned otherwise.
Now let us say that we are not only interested in the story of just one World War II veteran but also the collective accounts of every soldier that participated in that war. The stories then become extremely complex and interwoven. The complexity would be so great that the only way we could talk meaningfully about it would be to summarize it. Such a summary is called history. One important point about such a summary is that all who participated in the events would all agree that the summary is true, even if one’s particular participation might vary from another. Such history documented collectively in the form of writings and images — records — would then be preserved from generation to generation.
On occasion, we may encounter what are known as conspiracy theories. Two examples are the theories of “9/11 truthers” who claim that the U.S. government orchestrated the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and the “birthers” who claimed that President Obama lied about being born in the United States in order to be elected President. Such theories arise from a few people who were not eyewitnesses but simply affirmed the consequent and gathered a small following to do the same. Such theories collapse under the application of a little evidence and common sense. There is no plausible reason why the US government would destroy the towers and kill so many people. It does not explain the attack on the Pentagon on the same day and why the government would want to destroy a major portion of itself. It does not explain the crash in Shanksville, PA. It does not explain why President Bush and all his staff would be under such stress both during and long after those events — events that they themselves supposedly planned. Why would the government activate its own F-16 fighters to shoot down commercial aircraft in order to protect itself from itself? Where are the witnesses to support that the theory occurred as speculated?
And regarding the birth of President Obama, all he had to do was produce that long-form birth certificate, and that theory disappeared like dew on a hot day.
“Cunningly devised fables” do not last forever, nor do very many people support them. They are also easily falsified by a few facts. On the other hand, history is supported by innumerable people who maintain records year after year, generation after generation. The writings of Moses are not “cunningly devised fables.” If they were, they would not have withstood the test of time.
“But what about Santa Claus?” you might ask. “Hasn’t he withstood the test of time?” Sure, but no one claims (except for small children, perhaps) that his story is something other than a fable and not even one that was “cunningly devised.” The story of Santa Claus certainly does not credibly or factually explain anything that we observe presently, and there are not millions of adherents who worship Santa Claus and maintain ancient records about him.
None of us doubt for a moment that World War II occurred, even though relatively few of us now were alive when it happened. We accept it intuitively because of the historical argument I offered above. To believe otherwise would be ridiculous. We also believe that the Civil and Revolutionary Wars occurred too, even though none of us were alive when those happened. We even believe “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492” though none of us were alive when that happened. Then there was the Roman Empire. Alexander the Great. Medo-Persia. Babylon. Assyria. Ancient Egypt. Do you doubt that these existed?
Now let us say we decide that World War II never happened. Let us say we came in with a celestial cookie cutter and removed World War II. Would we be able to explain either present or previous events? No. We would no longer have military bases in Europe or in Japan. We would no longer have a memorial at Auschwitz to visit on a trip to Europe. We would not have had a Berlin Wall to tear down. We would not have had the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. I daresay we would not have had a Cold War develop. Consequently, we would not have had any reason to go to war in Vietnam. We would not have had the invention of nuclear warheads, and nuclear bombs would not have been dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Consequently we would not have any current concerns about nuclear capabilities in North Korea or Iran.
One event leads to another which leads to another, ad infinitum. Remove any step in the sequence and everything greatly changes. If we had no Red Sea rescue and no Exodus, who would have been put in Auschwitz? Certainly not Jews because Jews would not exist. If we had no Red Sea rescue and no Exodus, there would be no Moses to write down what happened (he might have continued herding sheep in Midian). We would have no record of a heavens-and-earth creation in six literal days. We would not have had millions of people receiving manna in the desert for 6 days out of 7. And we would not have had innumerably large numbers of people maintain the writings of Moses over centuries to the present day. How is it that so much hinges on a “cunningly devised fable”?
Consider what happened to me last Saturday morning. I awoke when the sun came up. I went with my wife to Sabbath School and church. We drove there in a car fueled by gasoline. As we drove on Interstate 435, I slowed down because I saw a police officer on the shoulder and I was exceeding the speed limit. I took the Antioch Road exit, and while driving north on Antioch, we passed several Jews in yarmulkes, carrying copies of the Torah, walking to a synagogue. We arrived at a church that has on the roof of its sanctuary a cross. At Sabbath School and church, we entered into worship with others of different nationalities, races and languages.
How much of what happened is explained by a six-day creation account? All of it! You saw the 20-item list in Chapter 5. Many of the items in that list explain everything above.
How much is explained by evolution? Well … none of it.
Evolution does not account for a sun rising. It does not account for the measurement and passage of time. It does not account for Sabbath School and church. It does not account for me being married. It does not account for a car fueled by gasoline. It does not account for traffic laws or any other laws. It does not account for my innate tendency to disobey laws. It does not account for a road named Antioch, made famous by the large number of Jewish people who lived in an early Syrian city named Antioch, a city with subsequent importance to Christianity. It does not account for the existence of Jewish people wearing yarmulkes and carrying copies of the Torah to a synagogue. It does not account for the Cross of Christ (Christ was born a Jew, lived among the Jews in a Jewish homeland, and was crucified by the Romans at the insistence of Jewish leaders). It does not account for why people even worship. And it does not account for different nationalities, races and languages because it is natural for humans to congregate together in cities and not to separate from and lose track of each other, forming isolated gene pools and separate languages.
Evolution has poor explanatory power while a six-day creation explains about everything one can think of. So which one is the “cunningly devised fable”?
I told you at the outset that I would prove to you beyond a reasonable doubt that the heavens and the earth were created in six literal days. Did I meet that burden of proof?
The next chapter will be an analysis of why so many brilliant people choose to accept a cunningly devised fable. Stay tuned.