Christian Apologists Must Denigrate Science and Scientists Themselves

That's right. I've said this before. Anything apologists can do to denigrate science is what they'll do to defend their faith. That's why there is the science vs religion debate in the first place. That's why creative science had to fight an uphill battle against church censure and threats of violence. Case in point is Victor Reppert in disputing the results of the social sciences which have confirmed several biases we have as human beings, especially cognitive bias [<---READ THE LINK!] which has conclusively shown us we believe what we prefer to believe and when faced with contrary evidence we actually dig our feet in deeper into what we believe, depending on our vested interests. Now why does he feel the need to dispute these findings without offering any counter-evidence? It's because he has faith, that's why. Faith can be used to trump almost any evidence and if not, then just denigrate science--or scientists themselves. Hey, don't believe me? Then read what he said:
Science is not a monolithic "method" that can be applied across the board to deal with questions all the way from whether there are four bonds on a carbon atom to the question of whether your wife is faithful, or when abortion is justified, or whether it is wrong to inflict pain on little children for your own amusement. There's no magic pill that will make us stop this tendency, except being aware that wishful thinking is possible and considering that when you think.
What? This is filled with assertions and that's it. Where is any evidence for them? I don't see any, do you? He just offers some examples he thinks shows us that science cannot tell us about everything. But trust me. Science can indeed tell us if a spouse has been unfaithful, unless Reppert hasn't a clue what science is. Science looks at the evidence. If there is evidence for an unfaithful spouse then we know he or she has been unfaithful. How else can we know this? Ask criminal detectives and they look at the evidence for crimes just as we might look for the evidence of an unfaithful spouse. [The other examples are ethical ones I'll leave aside for another day after The End of Christianity is published. Hint: He's special pleading here.].

Vic continues:
Some subjects are experimentable, and some are not.
Again, how does he know this? This is a mere assertion. If science cannot help settle whether his god exists what makes him think there is a better method? Faith? Spell out a better method Vic. What is it? If your god exists then he should be detectable. Science operates on that which is detectable. That which is not detectable cannot be known. Get. Point. The. How then is your god detectable, Vic? Science has a built in corrective in that it only deals with objective facts. To answer that Vic knows his god exists subjectively leaves so many questions left unanswered it's hard to know where to start, especially since people all over the world claim the exact same thing for their particular god-belief that contradict Vic's god belief. That's a reliable method, right?

But this isn't good enough. Now he turns to scientists themselves:
Even when they are experimentable, scientists who hold the theory that "loses" the experiment don't just give up on their theories. The adjust their theories to deal with the negative experimental results, using auxiliary hypotheses. In fact, they can go on doing this forever if they feel the need to. They usually quit when they die off. It's a myth that Michelson-Morley caused a complete and immediate abandonment of ether theory. So there is no such thing as a "crucial experiment" in science. That's just basic philosophy of science going back to Pierre Duhem. Link.
In my opinion Vic is not far off the mark here (except the "forever" part, really Vic, "forever"?). After all, if nothing else this is exactly what cognitive bias theory predicts. Science is a human enterprise and as such some scientists have maintained their pet theories for a long time after they had been shown false by others. So in the end, if Vic is correct he merely supports what I had argued for, nothing less.

So let me make three observations, and Vic, listen up 'cause this is important. 1) If cognitive bias can and does inhibit the scientist when facing hard cold evidence counter to what he expected given his pet hypothesis, THEN HOW MUCH MORE WILL COGNITIVE BIAS OPERATE IN THE MIND OF A BELIEVER WHEN THERE ARE NO MUTUALLY AGREED UPON SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS THAT CAN DISCONFIRM ONE'S FAITH.

2) I still think Vic paints a picture of a mad scientist that is utterly divorced from reality even given cognitive bias theory ("forever"?). He has never been a scientist and hasn't a clue what it means to write a peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal. I don't think scientists are determined to undermine religious faith either. For the most part they just want to know. Why is it that whenever a scientist discovers something that goes against religious faith the believer thinks he or she had an agenda to do so? Oh, that's right, that's what Christians do to ANYONE who rejects their faith!

3) Finally, science has progressed despite the personal biases of a few stubborn scientists. It has literally changed our world in so many ways I could fill up a book just mentioning them in every field of scientific learning, results that are rock solid impervious to reasonable doubt. It contains the ONLY method that can break down our biases. Vic, what other method is there?

While philosophers continue to debate the minutia of what makes for science, the results of these rock solid conclusions have already long ago debunked Christianity.

Enough for now. So much to say. So little can be said in just one posting.