An Exercise in Scientism: A Response to BioLogos

Anyone who has read me for very long knows that we have been very critical of BioLogos, a group of professing Christians who attempt to harmonize evolution with the Bible. It’s an impossible task, but BioLogos works very hard at questioning nothing the mainstream narrative says and simply accepting whatever evolutionists say and putting a Christian veneer on it. This has led them to absolutely dismantle Christian theology in the process, at one point posting an article claiming Jesus could make mistakes. While that article has been memory holed, BioLogos tendency to accept anything that mainstream science says has remained. They demonstrated this recently in an article trying to teach people how to spot bad science. In the process, they wandered into borderline scientism. Let’s take a look.

The article, written by one of their forum moderators and curriculum developers, uses the 2020 pandemic to explain how to tell the difference between good and bad science. Some of what they say is good. However some of what is said in the article is hilariously self-unaware. Consider this statement: “There are built-in explanations for cases when the idea fails to explain others’ results. (In other words, it’s hard to disprove the idea.)” Does that sound like any idea BioLogos might be defending? Maybe evolution? You know, the idea that is so elastic it can accommodate any result within its naturalistic framework? Yeah that. BioLogos has the monumental gall to run an article that claims being unable to disprove an idea is a sign of pseudoscience yet makes a living selling an idea that cannot be disproved!

Other aspects of the article are less hilarious, but equally either wrong, or poorly applied. For example, the author makes a blatant appeal to authority when she argues that peer review is a reliable source of authoritative information. As I pointed out previously in numerous articles, peer review serves as a gatekeeper, not an actual source of authority. It keeps out any ideas it dislikes, and shuts up dissenters, not on the basis of science, but on the basis of ideology. To imply something can be trusted simply because it has been peer-reviewed is the height of hubris, as well as a terrible logical error. For those wondering, there is a whole website (Retraction Watch) dedicated to papers being retracted for any number of reasons. Some authors have had over 100 papers retracted. So peer review is not a guarantee something is trustworthy.

There is an even more blatant appeal to authority fallacy in the paragraph above the section on peer-review when the author discusses claims she deems to be incorrect. Read this sentence. “These claims are overwhelmingly rejected by the scientific community.” This is both appeal to authority (the scientific community) and consensus (overwhelmingly rejected). It says nothing about the claims in question. The sentence merely appeals to an established consensus as a way to establish certain claims are untrue. I discussed consensus in my last article and everything I said there is true here as well. Consensus decides nothing. Facts do not change to fit consensus. Just because a small group of people is opposed to consensus does not mean they are wrong.

One final observation before we get into the application. The author of this article says that people who present information in opposition to the narrative often present themselves as persecuted and oppressed by the mainstream. While that is true, and some people do manipulate facts to make themselves seem like victims, some people are victims. Man is not basically good. Sometimes fallen man, including these wonderful deified scientists, will act wickedly to prevent their ideas from being challenged. Dr. Semmelweis from the previous article is a good example but you could ask the dozens of qualified PhDs run out of academia for daring to question Darwinism and you’d find the same response. Establishment science permits no dissent.

Really what this BioLogos article is, when you boil it down, is an appeal to scientism. In other words, science can explain everything we see, therefore we need to look to good science as our guide in difficult times. What I find interesting, and perhaps unintentionally revealing, is the complete lack of reference to the Bible as our authority, or any reference to any Bible verses on wisdom or discernment or other topics which would seem highly relevant to this sort of topic. If BioLogos is interested, here would be a good verse to start with. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7. I hope the author of this article will not despise wisdom and instruction but given this is the same woman who made the below statement.

Note this woman is more ok with her daughter becoming a pagan, get pregnant out of wedlock, become gay, or get addicted to drugs, than she is with her daughter becoming a Republican and rejecting birth control. Note that the things she is ok with her daughter doing are all sinful. The things she is not ok with? Yeah they’re not sinful. That should tell you an awful lot about the priorities of BioLogos.

Do you know what’s going to happen when you die? Are you completely sure? If you aren’t, please read this or listen to this. You can know where you will spend eternity. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to talk to you.

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