Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What Do We Trust in Most?

What do you find more trustworthy: 1) Scripture or 2) the latest scientific consensus regarding evolution? Well, before you answer #2, I just like you to consider a few things. I won’t bore you with the fact that we all know that this consensus is ever-changing as we acquire new data. Instead, I’d like to focus on another problem that might be more serious than you had previously thought.

In his article entitled “Laboratory Lies,” Daniel James Devine reports:

  • The British Medical Journal reported that 13 percent of UK scientists say they’ve seen colleagues “inappropriately adjusting, excluding, altering or fabricating data,” indicating widespread research fraud. “The BMJ has been told of junior academics being advised to keep concerns to themselves to protect their careers, being bullied into not publishing their findings, or having their contracts terminated when they spoke out,” said BMJ editor. (World, Feb 11, 2012, 64)
Evidently, “13 percent” just represents the tip of the iceberg – just those who were aware of fraud and had the courage to admit it. Also, the very fact that of “contracts terminated” and bullying suggests that fraud might be endemic to this system. In addition to this finding:

  • A survey of U.S. researchers a few years ago found that 9 percent had seen colleagues engage in scientific misconduct.
  • A 2009 meta-analysis of multiple surveys determined about 2 percent of scientists have engaged – by their own admission – in fabricating, falsifying, or modifying data at least once. Up to a third have admitted to practices some would call questionable.”
Although “2 percent” doesn’t sound like much, we might assume that there are many more who understandably are unwilling to jeopardize career and reputation by making such a disclosure. Combine this with the obvious professional systematic bias against any who break with the theory of evolution, and we come up with a reasonable concern about the sermons emanating from the science community.

Our foundational presupposition about who to trust – Scripture or the science community – determines all of our subsequent beliefs. When we start buttoning our shirt with the wrong button, every subsequent button will be misplaced. Our only recourse is to return to the first button.

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