Should Reformed Christians support Ken Ham?

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au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
And, alas! That last one locked before I was done. There may be a fourth thread upcoming.
Sweet! :cheers:

(3) Non-Christians share with us facts that science seeks to explain. But we Christians have additional facts we are willing to use in our scientific endeavors: those of special revelation. Wouldn't we make more progress in science and be more likely to explain the facts in the correct and true manner by using all this extra information that we have at our disposal than we would if we merely stuck with the facts outside of special revelation to explain scientific facts?
This puts into words a lingering confusion I've always had when these discussions come up, but which I haven't known how to put into words.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Wouldn't we make more progress in science and be more likely to explain the facts in the correct and true manner by using all this extra information that we have at our disposal than we would if we merely stuck with the facts outside of special revelation to explain scientific facts?
One of the first qualifications on the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture is that it is limited to God's glory, man's salvation, faith and life (WCF 1.6). It does not extend to scientific principles, methods, and facts. The scientist who turns to Scripture for these is essentially putting them into Scripture before he takes them out. He is merely using the Scripture to dye his preconceived ideas with a colour of divinity.

Could you explain a little more how this is so?
Presuppositonalism applies to that which is necessary as a precondition for belief in certain kinds of facts. The facts themselves cannot be turned into a system of belief that is accepted as a presupposition. The self-attesting God of Scripture is a necessary presupposition. This requires us to begin with Scriptural authority; it does not predetermine a certain doctrine is true because it is presupposed to be taught in Scripture. One must still undertake the process of interpreting Scripture.

If he is a scientist let him hypothesise, develop his ideas, bring them to the test, draw his conclusions, and be open to to have them falsified. But if he is a creationist let him stand on the unchanging truth of creation as a fact of special revelation which can never be contradicted. He should not use the facts of revelation to invest his science with the quality of divine, absolute, unchanging truth.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
a fact like, "There was a worldwide flood," or even, "The earth is at rest."
These are derived from the interpretation of Scripture. Scripture itself says nothing about how this might be established on empirical grounds. Hence it is irrelevant to appeal to Scripture as teaching these in support of an empirical investigation. It is merely assumed that a worldwide flood must have left some "trace" of its effect in geological terms, and then when some resemblance to this is found it is merely assumed that this is the "trace" which establishes the wordwide flood actually happened. This is not science, and it is no wonder men of common sense take it less than seriously.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
a fact like, "There was a worldwide flood," or even, "The earth is at rest."
These are derived from the interpretation of Scripture. Scripture itself says nothing about how this might be established on empirical grounds. Hence it is irrelevant to appeal to Scripture as teaching these in support of an empirical investigation. It is merely assumed that a worldwide flood must have left some "trace" of its effect in geological terms, and then when some resemblance to this is found it is merely assumed that this is the "trace" which establishes the wordwide flood actually happened. This is not science, and it is no wonder men of common sense take it less than seriously.
I want to apologize because before I saw your response, I deleted the post you quoted here - a bad habit of mine which I am trying to get rid of, though obviously less than successfully just now. After re-reading my post and thinking about things some more, I realized I could answer my own question by carefully distinguishing things that differ, and thus didn't really need to ask you to spend more time answering. Sorry about that. Nevertheless, your response is helpful, so thank you.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Thank you, Mr. Winzer. That is very helpful. And thank you, Austin for asking your own question. I have two further questions.

armourbearer said:
One of the first qualifications on the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture is that it is limited to God's glory, man's salvation, faith and life (WCF 1.6). It does not extend to scientific principles, methods, and facts. The scientist who turns to Scripture for these is essentially putting them into Scripture before he takes them out. He is merely using the Scripture to dye his preconceived ideas with a colour of divinity.
It seems you are separating "scientific fact" from "truth that corresponds to reality"? When the Scriptures speak on an area that intersects with science, then the facts the Scriptures speak to are things we ought to believe. So either there are scientific facts in the Scriptures, or scientific facts do not have the quality of truth? (Unless you merely distinguish between facts that are absolutely true, and facts that are probably true? But probable truth is where we're left with induction of any sort, and the Scriptures do say some things about facts we could have learned by induction.)

armourbearer said:
These are derived from the interpretation of Scripture. Scripture itself says nothing about how this might be established on empirical grounds. Hence it is irrelevant to appeal to Scripture as teaching these in support of an empirical investigation. It is merely assumed that a worldwide flood must have left some "trace" of its effect in geological terms, and then when some resemblance to this is found it is merely assumed that this is the "trace" which establishes the wordwide flood actually happened. This is not science, and it is no wonder men of common sense take it less than seriously.
Would you say that some miracles and things spoken of in Scripture that affect the physical world might not necessarily leave a "trace" of their effect? Or simply that although a "trace" might necessarily be left, the Scriptures do not give enough information on what kind of "trace" might be left, and so there is no necessity that the "trace" might be understood, found, or confirmed according to the frameworks of our sciences?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It seems you are separating "scientific fact" from "truth that corresponds to reality"? When the Scriptures speak on an area that intersects with science, then the facts the Scriptures speak to are things we ought to believe. So either there are scientific facts in the Scriptures, or scientific facts do not have the quality of truth? (Unless you merely distinguish between facts that are absolutely true, and facts that are probably true? But probable truth is where we're left with induction of any sort, and the Scriptures do say some things about facts we could have learned by induction.)
A scientific fact is a fact of science; it corresponds with the way science verifies its facts. It verifies its facts empirically. It does not verify its facts by an intuitive appeal to an infallible book of scientific record.

There are facts recorded in Scripture which have not been derived by a scientific process but are divinely revealed as facts which are beyond the mind of man to find out. Creation is one of them. It is not a scientific fact because it has not been derived through the scientific process. There is no way of empirically verifying it.

Would you say that some miracles and things spoken of in Scripture that affect the physical world might not necessarily leave a "trace" of their effect? Or simply that although a "trace" might necessarily be left, the Scriptures do not give enough information on what kind of "trace" might be left, and so there is no necessity that the "trace" might be understood, found, or confirmed according to the frameworks of our sciences?
I don't believe the investigation of "traces" is legitimate. The events recorded in Scripture are recorded for the benefit of faith, not to satisfy intellectual curiosity. The moment we begin with the intellectual curiosity we have lost the point of why these things happened and were recorded for us.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Here's a question that's occurred to me while thinking about this conversation this morning. I think we all acknowledge that the heavenly bodies we observe are the same God created on day four. How is identifying something we observe with something described in the creation account substantially different than seeing historical "traces"? It seems that if we completely decouple biblical accounts from the world we observe, we'll end up unable even to identify the remnants of the temple as the same building Jesus walked in, or even the heavenly bodies as those God created. How are those examples different than traces of a global flood, other than being much easier to identify with certainty?

Sent from my XT557 using Tapatalk 2
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
How are those examples different than traces of a global flood, other than being much easier to identify with certainty?
I think you may have answered your own question. We identify these things because they are taught with clarity and certainty. The Scripture obviously intended to speak of them. There is no attempt to enforce on the Scripture a theory the Scripture never intended to teach.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
How are those examples different than traces of a global flood, other than being much easier to identify with certainty?
I think you may have answered your own question. We identify these things because they are taught with clarity and certainty. The Scripture obviously intended to speak of them. There is no attempt to enforce on the Scripture a theory the Scripture never intended to teach.
That makes sense and has cleared a lot of things up for me.
 
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Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
This has been quite helpful.

armourbearer said:
There are facts recorded in Scripture which have not been derived by a scientific process but are divinely revealed as facts which are beyond the mind of man to find out. Creation is one of them. It is not a scientific fact because it has not been derived through the scientific process. There is no way of empirically verifying it.
But of course, there are facts recorded in scripture that can be derived by a scientific process, right? .....Like geocentrism? Or that the sky can be red?

armourbearer said:
I think you may have answered your own question. We identify these things because they are taught with clarity and certainty. The Scripture obviously intended to speak of them. There is no attempt to enforce on the Scripture a theory the Scripture never intended to teach.
Is the main concern with mixing Scripture with science a matter of what Scripture teaches on with clarity? So if it did teach about Noah's Flood leaving traces with clarity and certainty (and also intended to speak of these traces?), would these be facts empirical science would have to take into consideration in order to interpret Creation through the lens of Scripture? Or, like geocentrism, would science still be allowed to go along its own way and still be considered as interpreting Creation by the framework of Scripture?
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Reading through the various comments, many of them extremely erudite, leaves me wondering how many of the critics have actually read much of Ham's stuff or spent significant time on the AiG website. There is a pervasive tendentiousness to much of the critique that rings extremely hollow to me.

Ham is probably not qualified to become a member of the PB; nor would he claim to be a Westminster confessionalist. The bookstore in his Creation Museum does push Pilgrim's Progress and a variety of books by Puritan authors and orthodox writers such as Spurgeon. Ham has rejected evidential apologetics in favor of presuppositional apologetics and does not try to build his case upon what so many "creation" organizations have seen as their stock in trade. When I toured the place a few years ago, one of their top speakers told me that the core staff members were all reading Reformed presuppositional authors. And, while I do not consider AiG a "church" or anything like it, it serves the Christian community well, in my opinion. Christian publishing houses are not churches either, but the orthodox ones do some very good work serving us.

Ham's central point seems to be that Genesis contains the seedplot for most of the doctrine found in the Bible. If we compromise away the truth of it, there will be nothing left when we get to the NT. Yet, when faced with a Bible that teaches one thing and prevailing science that teaches another, people will attempt to find harmony somehow. Generally, they have been willing to modify, temporize, and relativize the Bible in the face of "science." During my college years, professors (none of them creationists) attempted to explain that you could be a theistic evolutionist as long as you maintained belief in an historical Adam and Eve. Now, more "honest" (or at least more consistent) scholars such as Enns are arguing against the need for a historical Adam on the sensible enough grounds that theistic evolutionary presuppositions neither require nor easily allow for Adam. Ham sensed this direction before people like Enns or Biologos put it into print and has devoted his life to warning Christians against making peace with science on the basis of conceding Christian truth.

Most of Ham's own stuff has more to do with presuppositions and the perspectival way in which everyone comes to a body of "facts." Facts are neither bare nor self-attesting. The framework in which we locate them and the narrative we create using them, speaks loudly about our own presuppositions. He mainly focuses on the fact that if you employ atheistic presuppositions, you will interpret facts in an atheistic manner. If you begin with the self revelation of God in the Bible, you will approach the same facts and reach a different conclusion.

He has shown repeatedly that the narratives of the evolutionists are neither neat nor tidy. They contain myriads of self-refuting contrary "facts" that do not support the evolutionary conclusions. Helium diffusion, for instance, mitigates against anything longer than 100,000, it does not comport well with billions of years of history. Yet, zircon crystals have such unexplained Helium contrary to the radiodating methods that would make them ancient indeed. Radioactive C-14 in "ancient" diamonds proves problematic due to the extremely short half life of 5,730 years for the element. These are treated in an exemplary manner by Ham, they are not his mainstay. He uses these examples to demonstrate how assumptions hostile to God can be so strong that the proponents dismiss that which does not fit their interpretations.

Ham devotes most of his time to arguing that the self-revelation of God in the Bible is reasonable and reliable and that the alternatives are self-refuting. He argues that if you tell people that the Bible says A, then they go to college and hear that the truth is Non A, the bright ones will leave the faith entirely. And, if you concede that the Bible isn't really to be believed or taken seriously on its own terms, but science is, you will set people up for a great falling away.

Is this "reformed?" No, he is not setting himself up as an exemplar of being anything other than an apologetics outreach majoring in science issues for the broad evangelical community. But, as one who has been asked to speak as a guest lecturer to several high school classes on issues of science and faith tomorrow, I am extremely grateful for Ken Ham.
 
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DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Why make use of AiG stuff? Probably for the same reason that many reformed people read and cite C.S. Lewis: he is helpful on a number of important points.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Why make use of AiG stuff? Probably for the same reason that many reformed people read and cite C.S. Lewis: he is helpful on a number of important points.
I wouldn't have thought "reading and citing" constitutes "supporting a ministry."
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
But of course, there are facts recorded in scripture that can be derived by a scientific process, right? .....Like geocentrism? Or that the sky can be red?
Raymond, I think we have already established that they are "derived" by different criteria and are "facts" of a different order because of the inductive approach and the openness to being overturned.

Is the main concern with mixing Scripture with science a matter of what Scripture teaches on with clarity?
Mostly. We begin with the divine authority of Scripture, the certainty of the truths it embodies, and the vitality of those truths for salvation and eternal life. With all due respect to the sciences, they pale into insignificance in comparison. The study of Scripture undoubtedly draws on these sciences at a variety of points but it is always as handmaids that they are employed. Such handmids should be kept in their place serving at the queen's table, and not exalted to sit and dine with her.
 

Pilgrim Pastor

Puritan Board Freshman
I have some differences with AiG; the lack of Sabbath-keeping and 2nd Commandment violations at the Creation Museum are certainly to be noted. That being said, I don't recognize the criticism being offered above. Please provide evidence of this purported Pelagianism.
How does AiG break the Second Commandment?
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Why make use of AiG stuff? Probably for the same reason that many reformed people read and cite C.S. Lewis: he is helpful on a number of important points.
I wouldn't have thought "reading and citing" constitutes "supporting a ministry."
Sorry for the lack of clarity. For me "reading and citing" is what I mean when I ask "Why make use of AiG stuff?" When I read and cite something it is the same to me as "making use of" it.
 
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Matthew Willard Lankford

Puritan Board Freshman
Ken Ham has been an encouragement to the church to recognize the importance of the Genesis record as basic to the Christian faith. I have benefited from the material at Answers in Genesis. Sadly, Ham also permits the use of false pictures of Christ that are promoted by his organization. Such pictures undermine the Christian faith.

Westminster Larger Catechism:

"Question 109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment? Answer: [...] the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever; all worshipping of it, or God in it or by it; [...]"
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
I wouldn't have thought "reading and citing" constitutes "supporting a ministry."
It certainly could, if the ministry is supported through the sale of resources (as AiG is). I'm not sure how Lewis' estate is constituted, but if you are buying the book you are "reading and citing," you are supporting (or at least funding) something/body. In this way, I have certainly "supported" AiG and will likely continue to do so.
 
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Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Mr. Ham plays a valuable and important role in Christian apologetics, boldly going where many of us are afraid to go. Though imperfect (I was not aware the Creation museum is open on Sunday, for example), he is being attacked not because of his organization's sundry Ten Commandment violations, but because he stands for the biblical Creation account of the Book of Genesis. From which, many of our foundational principles as Christians flow.

My suggestion is, while approaching Mr. Ham privately, as a brother, about an area he, like many, need to grow in, e.g. the Sabbath, also encourage this brother as he is trying to withstand the onslaught of the enemy, disguised as the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 3:19).

We ought all be thankful for his public stance in that regard.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
I own and have read all of Mr. Ham's Answer Books and other materials. I also regularly review and use content at his organization's web site, finding the content to be well done and informative. I also subscribe to the quarterly magazine. As noted, there are some issues with his walk of faith, e.g., sabbath violations and second commandment violations, both regrettable. Like us all, he is a work in progress and we should pray he come to a greater understanding of these issues. I have contacted the organization with a request to Mr. Ham that he consider these issues. To date, no response received.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I wouldn't have thought "reading and citing" constitutes "supporting a ministry."
It certainly could, if the ministry is supported through the sale of resources (as AiG is). I'm not sure how Lewis' estate is constituted, but if you are buying the book you are "reading and citing," you are supporting (or at least funding) something/body. In this way, I have certainly "supported" AiG and will likely continue to do so.
That would be regarded as patronising a commercial enterprise not supporting a ministry.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
armourbearer said:
Raymond, I think we have already established that they are "derived" by different criteria and are "facts" of a different order because of the inductive approach and the openness to being overturned.
I was thinking along the lines that some truths can be established both by Scripture and by reason. So some truths might be established both by Scripture and science? But I think I may be getting what you are saying. Even the facts of Scripture that intersect with empirical science are not revealed for the purpose of science but for other matters, and those facts are revealed as infallible truths rather than uncertain facts resulting from an inductive method. (This differs from natural revelation because natural revelation is still "revelation.") Or, as you put it, they are "facts" of a different order.

However, isn't all truth God's truth? That is, though they may be facts of a different order, the facts the Scriptures reveal have the quality of truth, and this quality does not vary whether the fact is found in Scripture or derived from science or pure reason. Related to this question: If scientific facts do not have a quality of truth, what quality do they have? Provisional truth? Not truth, but merely useful models, i.e., an instrumentalist view of science rather than realist? And another related to it: Does evidence for a position guarantee its truth, or probable truth? (I seem to recall a note by Van Asselt in his Reformed thought on Freedom mentioning something about Protestants rejecting the belief that evidence for a position means the position is true, or probably true--I don't recall which exactly--because certainty of knowledge is distinct from knowledge itself)

This is sometimes a point brought up by Creation scientists to support their view of mixing Scripture and science, but I think beyond this point, I may be veering off topic, so I'll hear your response and leave the discussion here for this thread.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
I wouldn't have thought "reading and citing" constitutes "supporting a ministry."
It certainly could, if the ministry is supported through the sale of resources (as AiG is). I'm not sure how Lewis' estate is constituted, but if you are buying the book you are "reading and citing," you are supporting (or at least funding) something/body. In this way, I have certainly "supported" AiG and will likely continue to do so.
That would be regarded as patronising a commercial enterprise not supporting a ministry.
Exactly as it most often necessary to purchase a copy of a work for the purposes of refuting it.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
(I seem to recall a note by Van Asselt in his Reformed thought on Freedom mentioning something about Protestants rejecting the belief that evidence for a position means the position is true, or probably true--I don't recall which exactly--because certainty of knowledge is distinct from knowledge itself)
Raymond, I feel I'd just be repeating myself on the other points but this particular line of inquiry might contribute positively if you could enlarge/clarify. It sounds right that there would be an objection to mixing probability and certainty. Do you have a page reference or context, and I will look it up?
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
armourbearer said:
Raymond, I feel I'd just be repeating myself on the other points but this particular line of inquiry might contribute positively if you could enlarge/clarify. It sounds right that there would be an objection to mixing probability and certainty. Do you have a page reference or context, and I will look it up?
I still don't understand how empirical facts are related to truth, but sure. I believe it was in the section on the discussion of de Moor's thought. Edit: May be too late to add this, but it was in a footnote.

I might be somewhat on the wrong track, but I thought of applying that line of inquiry to this matter because it is often said, "How could the science be wrong, since there is so much evidence for it? We must be advancing and getting a better approximation of reality because of all the evidence that supports it!" Creation scientists will then distinguish between historical and operational science when making this sort of claim to qualify what they mean by "true science" when they say, "all truth is God's truth, so the Scriptures and true science do not contradict" (that's why they reject geocentrism). So the question is related to the subject matter. In addition, if all science can do is provide evidence, then it can only provide certainty or uncertainty of a position, rather than truth. That both helps clarify the nature of scientific facts in contrast to the nature of Scriptural facts and speaks to those who wish to say "God's truth" includes scientific facts, because on this view, strictly speaking, scientific facts provide probability, not necessarily truth and possibly (not sure on this last part) not even an approximation to truth.

The only danger here that I can see is that we might no longer be able to say we know our mother is our mother because we only have evidence supporting that belief and so only probability.

Further, though I am less certain on this part (in part because reason is often seen as being more capable of arriving at truth than systematic empirical study), as I've reflected on these matters, I've noticed how the authority of the philosophers is contrasted with the authority of Scriptures within the Scriptures, and I've thought about how tempting a neo-Platonic philosophy must have been for early Christians with some philosophical background. They would have been tempted for the same reason: "There's so much evidence! How could it be false?" But this line of inquiry stops that sort of thinking from being allowed to control the interpretation of the Scriptures. And that would be the case now too, for those who believe things that our latest science has no evidence for and much evidence against. The difference between then and now would be that the nature of the evidence has switched from more philosophical to more empirical.

And finally, as I noted in a previous thread, there may be some assumptions that I am making that are keeping me from understanding what you are probably explaining very clearly. I thought this might be one of the assumptions that I was not consciously or unconsciously making, so I thought I'd ask about it in this context.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Raymond, I will look up the reference to De Moor. He was a good systematiser.

Usually the phrase "all truth is God's truth" or "all truth is of God" relates to the fact that believers do not have a monopoly on the truth but that it may be known and taught by unbelievers also, at least on an empirical level. If anything this is working against the kind of assumption made by creation-scientists, especially since the phrase directly refers to natural and moral truths.

Why are you not sure of the relationship of empirical facts to truth? Isn't it enough to say that the facts are true in an empirical sense, which has its use for the here and now?
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
armourbearer said:
Usually the phrase "all truth is God's truth" or "all truth is of God" relates to the fact that believers do not have a monopoloy on the truth but that it may be known and taught by unbelievers also, at least on an empirical level. If anything this is working against the kind of assumption made by creation-scientists, especially since the phrase directly refers to natural and moral truths.
I did not know that is what the phrase referred to. Very helpful! I had simply taken the phrase to mean that truth cannot contradict itself regardless of how it is derived.

armourbearer said:
Why are you not sure of the relationship of empirical facts to truth? Isn't it enough to say that the facts are true in an empirical sense, which has its use for the here and now?
The part that confuses me is what "true in an empirical sense" means. I can see the use for the here and now. I can also understand that "true in an empirical sense" means facts derived in an empirical manner. But when one speaks of a fact (e.g., Does an electron exist in reality? Does the earth go around the sun? Is this rock X years old? Do objects obey Newton's laws? Are the stars small or are they distant?), it seems to me it is either (a) true (or approximately true), and so corresponds to reality, (b) false, and so does not correspond to reality, or (c) something that does not have a truth value, in which case, how can it be called a fact? I suppose there is also (d) "provisionally true," which means hold the fact to be true or approximately true until proven otherwise.

There are different, standard views of how unobservable empirical facts relate to reality (it is agreed by most that observables directly or approximately correspond to reality). Realists say they directly or approximately correspond to reality. Instrumentalists say they do not necessarily correspond to reality in an ontological manner, but they do correspond in a functional manner (i.e., they allow us to make predictions) and that's all we can know.

When saying something is "true in an empirical sense," it seems like the presupposed view is somewhere between realists and instrumentalists (except applied to both observables and unobservables), but I'm not exactly sure where. On the one hand, we want to say our senses give us knowledge and our reasoning abilities are functional. But on the other hand, "empirical facts" are being treated as less than actually true (or approximately true) because of the facts being probabilistic and open to change. If they are less than actually true (or approximately true), then they cannot be bringing knowledge, which calls into question our sensory and reasoning abilities.

The best I can do to make sense of "true in an empirical sense" is to take an instrumentalist view of the matter that nevertheless acknowledges that our models do describe reality, although there may be another, equally valid way to describe reality (by connecting it to reality in this manner, it seems to me this view can handle the standard realist objection of how models can make successful predictions if what they describe in ontology and equations do not exist in reality). Yet, in our conversations, it sometimes seems like you take empirical facts as being more than just models (and with good reason I think, because if induction cannot bring knowledge, then we know basically nothing and are reduced to opinions), and then I get confused again about how empirical facts relate to truth.

I hope that helps clarify. I'll give it another go at explanation if it does not.


Edit: Perhaps a more succinct way of explaining where I am stuck is that either something is "true in an empirical sense," i.e., aligns with the data, experiment, and critical observations, or it does not. If it does not, then it is false, i.e., does not correspond with reality. If it does, then either it directly or approximately corresponds with reality or it does not. If it does, then it has the qualities of truth, and so however else facts of Scripture and empirical facts differ, they both are equal in having the qualities of truth, and so the objection from the Creation scientist (or OEC or TE, I suppose) stands. However, this seems to make empirical facts too absolute and universal, which is a problem since they are probabilistic, open to change, relative to other empirical facts, and seen from our finite point of view.

So suppose they do not directly or approximately correspond with reality. Then it seems we cannot trust our sensory and reasoning abilities to arrive at knowledge of objects (e.g., whether objects exist) by the scientific method. Furthermore, the reasoning of empirical science (from hypothesis to testing hypothesis) is used in everyday life, so everything we know by induction or abduction (such as that our mother is our mother) is only opinion, not knowledge. This conclusion is problematic because we should be able to trust our senses and reasoning ability to some degree because of basic beliefs. Gordon Clark might say that this skeptical conclusion only applies to empirical science because the aim of science is too precise and indirect for it to be strictly true, but it seems to me this doesn't address the reasons I discussed in this paragraph that the skeptical conclusion would apply everywhere.
 
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