|Knowledge of Truth versus Opinions|
You’re seeking truth. Bill Nye reasons that assumptions get you to truth. Bill’s reasoning for this is also based on assumptions. Ken Ham says that Jesus Christ is the truth and in Him is hidden all knowledge. And since truth is absolute by definition, both men can't be right, so we ask ourselves whether assumptions get us to truth or Jesus Christ gets us to truth.
You may have heard the saying “Never assume anything.” This is the definition of “assumption” from Google:
as·sump·tion əˈsəm(p)SH(ə)n/ noun
a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.
synonyms: supposition, presumption, belief, expectation, conjecture, speculation, surmise, guess, premise, hypothesis
Rational thought requires premises that are known to be true. Suppose I insist that I know that the Bible is the word of God. My premise is that I assume it. I take my assumption as an axiom.
Me: I assume the Bible is the word of God.
The ungodly thinker insists that the Bible isn’t the word of God. The ungodly thinker’s premise is that he assumes it. The ungodly thinker takes his assumption as an axiom.
Ungodly Thinker: I assume the Bible isn’t the word of God.
Why is my assumption better than that of the ungodly thinker? Assumptions are made up. They aren’t part of reality. How can made-up stuff prove that something else is real?
I insist on the following:
My premise can always be traced back to my original assumption of the authenticity of the Bible.
The ungodly thinker insists on the following:
The ungodly thinker’s premise can always be traced back to his original assumption of the unreliability of the Bible.
The premise is the proof. The premise must be proven true. How do you prove a premise true? You certainly can't use another premise that you can't prove true. What good would that do? You can’t just declare your made-up stuff to be an axiom. How would the label “axiom” make the made-up stuff true? If you can’t prove a premise true, the premise is unknown. You can’t use the unknown to prove anything. Without a true premise, you can’t know anything at all. Yet there’s a way things can be known. There’s only one.
A thinker may say, “Not so fast! I memorized nursery rhymes as a kid. I learned Aesop’s Fables. I studied the Theory of Evolution. I know a lot of things.” When I say, “. . . you can’t know anything at all,” I have to be careful to define the word “know.” I’m defining “knowing” as knowing the truth as opposed to knowing concepts. Ideas, stories, lies, or assumptions are not knowledge. Truth is absolute by nature. Truth is actual reality. Contrary to popular opinion, every person does not have his or her own reality. Each person may have his or her own perception of reality, but we all share the same reality. Knowledge is knowledge because it is certainty about truth. Without that, everything is vapor.
Another thinker may say, “I can observe and experience things. I know that those things are real.” There are many things wrong with this thinker’s thinking. I won’t go into that here, but you’ll see what I mean as you read on.
The apostle Paul wrote prophetically about perilous times. People would love pleasure more than they love God. Paul said they would be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7) It’s possible to learn things that aren’t true. In those cases, the words “education” and “learning” don’t apply to anything real. Students can be educated into ignorance. Memorized lies are called “knowledge.” What are lies good for other than for deceiving self and others?
Irrational thinking won’t help you find truth. When I say “truth,” I mean actual reality. Rational thinking requires a true premise. The premise is the proof for the conclusion. The premise is the reason to believe that the conclusion is true. No made-up stuff can be added between the premise and the conclusion. There can be no hidden assumptions or twisted thinking. In fact, the conclusion cannot contain any information that isn't already in the premise. If it does, the premise doesn’t prove the conclusion. That’s how logic works. Twisted thinking sticks made-up stuff into logic and thinks that's sane. It’s not.
God reveals that Scripture is His word. He speaks through the Bible. He also reveals that Scripture is without error. That's not an axiom. That’s revelation from God. Through Scripture, God keeps telling us to listen to Him. He speaks the same into our innermost being. Yet listening to God and acknowledging God is contrary to the human nature. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me. But how to perform that which is good I don’t find.” (Romans 7:18)
How wonderful to know that when Jesus Christ speaks to you and to me He enables you to understand yourself, to die to that self because of the cross, and brings the real you to birth. ~ Dr. Ravi Zacharias
You need to know how this works and what you can expect. You need to know more about the purpose of hearing His voice. You need to know how you can enter into the experience. It requires action. Just knowing about it doesn’t help. You need to know Jesus.
The central question of the Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate is clear.
What is the real basis for thought?
Thought must have a foundation. Bill claimed that arbitrary assumptions are a good foundation. He had a clever rationalization for this. Ken Ham insisted that revelation from God is a good foundation. The two positions in their most simple form are:
Made-up stuff is the best basis for thought.
Revelation from God is the best basis for thought.
The following quote is the clearest statement on assumptions in the entire debate:
Then, by the way, the fundamental thing that we disagree on, Mr. Ham, is this nature of what you can prove to yourself. This is to say, when people make assumptions based on radiometric dating, when they make assumptions about the expanding universe, when they make assumptions about the rate at which genes change in populations of bacteria in laboratory growth media, they’re making assumptions based on previous experience. They’re not coming out of whole cloth. ~ Bill Nye
The fundamental thing on which Bill and Ken disagree is the basis of thought. Should it be assumptions or revelation from God? Bill is defending the use of assumptions here. He doesn’t quite understand where assumptions come from or what they are. He thinks assumptions come from previous experience. That’s not really true.
This contention isn’t rare. Ungodly thinkers tend to defend the use of assumptions as the basis for reasoning. These thinkers are convinced that assumptions are superior to revelation from God. How do you have rational discussions with someone like this? They insist they can just make things up and whatever they make up magically becomes true. They know you’re wrong because you don’t agree with them.
Bill doesn’t see a difference between observation and assumption. Both observation and assumption have become part of a package deal. That’s why he says there’s no difference between observational science and historical science.
Consider the phrase “make assumptions based on radiometric dating.” The term “radiometric dating” implies an accurate way of measuring dates. You can’t observe the age of the earth. Yet all dating methods confuse assumptions with reality. Bill’s phrase is about assumptions. And those assumptions are based on conclusions that are based on other assumptions. Assumption-based thinking is a house of cards. Yet students are taught to be dogmatic about things like “billions of years.” They know they’re right because they’ve been taught to be dogmatic. They’ve been taught to avoid thinking rationally. They question truth, but they won’t question lies.
Dating methods are based on a fallacy. It’s a fallacy to mistake a concept for reality. The dating methods are used to reason to a conclusion. But the conclusion comes from a concept that’s mistaken for reality. Scientists observe and test. Then they make assumptions. Based on the assumptions, they calculate an age for the earth.
assumptions about the expanding universe
You can’t test assumptions about a supposed expanding universe. You can observe things about the universe. You can then make assumptions about the observations. From this, you can imagine an expanding universe. An expanding universe has not been observed. The concept of the expanding universe is an interpretation of observations. That interpretation is based on assumptions. Yet Bill’s phrase presupposes an expanding universe using assumptive language. Then more assumptions are added to what already is an extrapolation of assumptions. These assumptions are then used to come to conclusions. You end up with irrational conclusions based on assumptions.
assumptions about the rate at which genes change in populations of bacteria in laboratory growth media
Why would we need to assume this rate? You can test and observe the rate at which genes change in populations of bacteria. You can’t test assumptions. You can test and observe growth rates. When Bill makes a statement like this, you can see that he’s confused about the nature of assumptions. He seems to have lost the contrast between assumption and observation.
Let’s go back to Dr. Jason Lisle’s claim:
Only the fear of the Lord leads to knowledge.
I’ve shown several points about assumptions. Assuming is making stuff up and pretending that what you made up is real. Assumptions come out of the worldview. The human fake reality seems real but isn’t real. A chain of thought (line of reasoning) is only as strong as the weakest link.
The basic point of this book is that all knowledge is hidden in Christ. I’ll explain more about why this is true and why you need a personal relationship with Christ. His personal leading and teaching is the only source of any truth. Without that, all that’s left is assumption. Without that, all that’s left is making stuff up and calling it true.
Dr. Lisle is correct. Only the fear of the Lord leads to knowledge. Everything else leads only to opinion. This is obvious. Why isn’t this taught in every school? Every person should know this.
Bill admits that he bases his thoughts on assumptions. He says assumptions are based on experience. Assumptions don’t come from experience directly though. Experiences are interpreted by the existing worldview. They are then added to the worldview as confirmation bias. The worldview seems more real than real reality. Assumptions and made-up stories come out of the worldview. The worldview that seems more real than reality. The assumptions come out what seems more real than reality. That’s why the assumptions seem obvious. Yet assumptions are illusions.
Bill says, “they’re making assumptions based on previous experience.” This gives the false impression that ungodly thinkers pull assumptions from reality. Assumptions are just concepts in the mind. They don’t come out of reality.