I wrote this some time ago and never published it. It's pretty simple but I hope that it helps to get the point across.
How We Evaluate Claims
When we are presented with a particular claim, regardless of the content, we go through a process to determine whether or not the claim is true.
If we can find nothing with which to justify the claim, we can simply stop there. There is no need to accept a claim which has not been positively justified.
We certainly can go on to search for disconfirming evidence, something which would show that the claim is not true; however by this point it isn’t necessary to do so in order to reject the claim’s truthfulness.
However, time and time again, we see and hear people making the argument that ‘you can’t prove that it’s NOT true’. We don’t have to. It is never reasonable to accept a claim based on the non-existence of disconfirming evidence alone. Bertrand Russell demonstrates why this is so with his teapot analogy.
So let me see if I understand this correctly… Modern Christianity believes that a particular group of bronze-age sheep herders were right about the biggest, most complex, and most important questions that humanity has ever asked. They were right about life, the universe, and everything, right? So why is it that these same people think that that same exact group of bronze-age sheep herders were wrong about pretty much everything else? Why do they trust them implicitly for the big important questions, but not the smaller, day-to-day life questions with real-world consequences? Let’s take a look at just a handful of some of the things that the authors of the Bible believed: They believed that slavery was acceptable and practiced it regularly, including being able to sell your own children (Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:2-6, Exodus 21:7-11, etcetera and ad nauseum). They believed that women should have to marry their rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). They believed that a woman should be comple…
If, for the moment, we accept the Creationist argument that our scientific observations regarding the age of the Earth are off by a scale of about 1:750,000 (6,000 years versus 4.5 billion), then it logically follows that our method should be proportionally ‘off’ by about the same amount. We should be able to recalculate our findings accordingly and, on paper, this should match up our findings to be closer to the Creationist claims. I am basing these calculations on an ending point of 8/1/2014 at 8:00 AM (the date that I originally wrote this article).
So, for instance, the claim is that the Earth was created on or around 4,000 BCE, compared to the scientific view of the Earth forming about 4.5 billion years ago. We will now synchronize our Scientific chronology to this timetable and see what happens. Just for contrast, according to Science, in 4000 BCE the wooden plow is being used in central Europe. Agriculture has spread to what today is Britain and Ireland. Some agricultural h…