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What Would Change Your Mind? Evidence or Nothing


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/30

During the popular consumption debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, two prominent popularizers of the theories — one naturalistic and followed by the majority of practicing biologists and another simply a religious proposition — of the development of life, there was a coda statement on the worldviews.

The moderator spoke to the changing of one’s mind. The question: what would change your mind? Nye summarized with “evidence.” Ham summarized with “no one is ever going to convince me.”

In my conversations with Christian creationists and freethinkers, this has been the split, in essence.

Collective empiricist work from first principles in a real philosophy of discovery for Nye, hence evidence, whether religious or secular coming to the convergence of preponderance of evidentiary truth on the reality of evolution by natural selection.

The Christian fundamentalist reading of the Bible to filter or interpret input from the natural world into the narrative of the Bible from Ham, but only applicable to Biblical Literalist readings.

The former relies on discovery from the natural world via first-principles research. The latter relies on faith in a purported holy text to interpret the input from the natural world.

That is to say, we have the telling meaning here: the Nye view as a philosophy of real discovery, construction of a theory from first principles, and the other as a philosophy of faith, or not truly knowing, or ignorance: the philosophical split of discovery and ignorance.

Among the practicing religious and secular biologists, well over 95% of those in the active researcher category, they adhere to evolution by natural selection with a 4.54-billion-year-old Earth. As stated Professor Kenneth Miller: “ Probably 95% or more of all biological scientists accept the board outlines of the theory of evolution.”*

Among a small coterie of religious fundamentalists who lead this, we have adherence to a purported holy text in instantaneous or almost instantaneous creation of the world from a Creator.

Some say 4,004BCE on October 22. Others accept 4.54 billion years. We come to the predictions made by the former model and not truly made by the latter and, therefore, the truly scientific and discovery-oriented model of evolution versus the ignorance or faith-based view of creationism.

I highly recommend seeing the Nye and Ham debate. It was enlightening as to the split between a real epistemology with verifiable truth and predictions with Nye & faux epistemology with Ham, if you get a chance.

*To clarify the discussion prior to further plumbing of the issue’s depth, what proportion of scientists adhere to an evolutionary account of life? What about the ‘elite’ scientists in the National Academy of Sciences?

Probably 95% or more of all biological scientists accept the board outlines of the theory of evolution. In the National Academy, the percentage is probably even higher.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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