Friday, 16 January 2015

The burden of proof for science denialists

Occasionally, I receive comments from science denialists effectively arguing that > 99% of geologists are wrong in their belief that the Earth is 4600 million years old, or that less than 0.5% of biologists are right in denying common descent. Given that these science denialists themselves have zero professional expertise in the subject on which they are commenting, and have made the mistake of privileging an uninformed literal reading of the creation narrative above the scientific evidence, they fall into the same category as those who claim that the Earth is flat or perpetual motion is possible.

Some  however persist in their belief that they are right and the scientific mainstream is incorrect by claiming that they have run their arguments by a friendly 'scientist'. This is unimpressive as it is simply an argument from authority. To all the science denialists out there, if you want to be taken seriously in your claim that the Earth is young, common descent is false, and the flood was global, these are the steps you need to take:
  1. Write a paper making the case for your claim
  2. Get it published
  3. Get it positively cited by experts in the field
  4. Win the scientific community over to your point of view
Until you can manage this, your claims that the universe is young, a global flood covered the Earth 4500 years ago, and all species were created separately 6000 years ago will not be taken seriously as they are based on nothing more substantial than uninformed human interpretation of the creation narratives.