It is Science!!!
Well, not really. Vox, however, illustrates a point that I spent no small amount of time making during my tour of duty at Southern Baptist Theological Cemetary::
Clearly, a bright line needs to be delineated between scientific evidence that has been independently replicated by experiment, scientific evidence that could be independently replicated but has not been, and scientific evidence that cannot be independently replicated by experiment. And furthermore, it is necessary to stop giving the latter two types of scientific evidence, or more properly, potential scientific evidence, the same level of credence that is given to actual scientific evidence that has been reliably and independently replicated.
I recall a spat I had with one of the leftists who clamored that anyone contesting the anthropogenic global warming dogma was either ignorant or stupid. I pointed out to him that, when you cut through the B.S., there are basically three types of scientific “information”:
(1) Scientific fact: that which has been demonstrated and replicated experimentally;
(2) Scientific opinion: hypotheses which have not, but potentially (key word there) could be–experimentally verified;
(3) Scientific opinion that gets reported as fact: hypotheses that have not been proven through experimentation, but nonetheless get reported as Holy Writ.
Examples of (1): Newtons Laws of Motion; the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.
Examples of (2): various theories regarding the behavior of subatomic particles. On one hand, there are observational bases for the hypotheses; OTOH some of those hypotheses are yet to be conclusively verified through experimentation.
Examples of (3): anthropogenic global warming; various theories of evolution; premises that embryonic stem cells hold the promise for the cure for everything from jock itch to the deadliest cancers.
When arguing on such matters on this space, I have a simple warning: don’t bother coming over here spewing opinion and then telling me “it is science” if you have no experimental basis to show.
I will call BS every time.
Whether you are arguing for macro-evolution, global warming, or even young earth creationism, we require honesty here:
(1) There is a huge difference between that which has been demonstrated by experimentation versus mere opinions about observations. We will never begrudge you for your opinion, but don’t come over here telling us how “scientific” it is if it is not.
(2) We must be honest about the limits of science. Science is great for understanding natural phenomena that can be duplicated via experimentation. That understanding has driven the development of no small number of technologies. If you can read this, you are enjoying the fruits of science.
OTOH, there are things that science CANNOT do for you.
Science cannot prove there is a God, let alone which model of God–Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc., or even no God–is valid. I can point to science to make a rational case for faith in a higher authority, but it would be less than intellectually honest to give you an article of faith and then tell you it is scientific.
Science cannot establish the veracity of miracle accounts, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. Again, those are articles of faith.
At best, archaeology can help establish facts, but even that has limits: you are limited to what has been discovered to date. 150 years ago, Biblical skeptics touted the lack of archaeological evidence for Biblical accounts. Since then, archaeology has been quite favorable–rather than destructive–to Biblical accounts. In the world of Biblical scholarship, conservatives have made advances that liberals never thought possible 50 years ago.
Even then, archaeology is not science. What you are dealing with is observable data of varying quality, not experimental data that is reproducible.