The Appeal-To-Future-Discoveries Fallacy


Coming to a conclusion does not hinder further scientific research. Just because one concludes intelligent design as the explanation for the assembly of DNA, and the cell doesn't mean further research won't uncover a purely naturalistic explanation in the future. However, just because it's possible that future discoveries might POSSIBLY undermine the current explanation doesn't mean we aren't warranted in accepting X as the current best explanation. Nobody said to Isaac Newton "Hey, a guy named Albert Einstein might come along someday and refute your current conclusions, therefore, you aren't warranted in your conclusion." Actually, the notion that we shouldn't come to a conclusion because future evidence *could* *possibly* undermine the current explanation would shut down science altogether. Because no matter how small, there is always a possibility that the current explanation might be overthrown by new data. So you could never come to ANY scientific conclusion because there's ALWAYS at least the tiniest possibility that scientists could be wrong. The rational thing to do is to follow the evidence where it leads and accept a conclusion if the evidence warrants it. If future evidence overthrows the current explanation, that's fine, we'll adopt the new hypothesis. That’s what science is all about. Creation/Design is certainly testable and falsifiable.

But it seems to me that the more research that’s done, the more powerful the creation hypothesis becomes and more problems Darwinism has. The more advances that are made in science the more good arguments there are for theism. Just in the last century, we’ve discovered that the universe had a beginning to its existence and that it’s incredibly fine tuned for the existence of intelligent life. Also, it used to be that biologists thought that the cell was just a blob of protoplasm instead of the complex molecular factories (and I do not use that term loosely) that they really are.

Anyway, atheists can’t simply appeal to unknown future discoveries to get out of the conclusion that the universe was created and designed by a supreme being. I find that to be fallacious, not only for the reasons I’ve mentioned but also because it could be argued in the other direction. After all, nobody said to Charles Darwin “What if future discoveries disprove evolution? What if we find out that macro evolution didn’t have enough time to work because there was a late heavy bombardment that made the earth inhospitable to molecular life and then complex cellular life appeared almost immediately after the earth became cool enough to sustain it, thus leaving you with little to no time for a single celled organism to develop through purely naturalistic processes? What if some guy named Michael Behe discovers that there are organisms that your hypothesis can’t produce? You’re coming to your conclusions, too early Mr. Darwin. Just give us some time and an Intelligent Designer might show up.”

In fact, this logic if applied consistently would absolutely stop science in it's tracks completely because there's always the tiniest possibility that we're wrong and that future scientific discoveries might provide us with a better explanation than the one we currently have.

In fact, that actually makes Intelligent Design/Creationism testable and falsifiable. If you could prove that the universe had no beginning (that it existed forever), that there's some law of physics that makes all the universally fine tuned constants take the precise value they do, or that it's possible for information to arise without an intelligent source, then I would imagine we'd have to abandon the creation model and accept the naturalistic hypothesis. The testability and falsifiability of creationism was actually very well laid out in Hugh Ross' book "More Than A Theory".