Knowledge – By Jesús Zamora

This post is also available in: Spanish

You have intently criticized creationism. What’s the difference between real knowledge and pseudo-knowledge?

There’s a fundamental difference: knowledge has to be subject to some kind of empirical test. If a thesis is put forward such that no possible empirical test could count as an argument against it, it can’t be part of the game of science. It’s something which can be accepted or rejected according to the customer’s taste, to put it some way. Science is characterized, on the other hand, by the attitude scientists have of saying “we will reject this theory if we observe this or that fact” and those facts have to be previously defined, even though they may be so in a relatively vague way. A series of cases we may observe, which would force us to reject the theory, have to be predefined. For example, the kind of things that would lead us to throw away the theory of evolution are absolutely clear. If we found, for example, that decoding the DNA of a certain bug we could assign a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, for example, to each codon and it turned out that, when we put those letters together, we saw an entire chapter of the Genesis -for example- it would be an absolute refutation of the claim that the bug evolved by natural selection. But there’s nothing we could ever observe that could lead us to the conclusion that the world, the living creatures, haven’t had to be created by God. Then, there is no way of knowing whether that hypothesis is true or false. One believes it if one feels like it and, if not, one doesn’t.

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