On this episode of ID the Future, Kirk Durston, a biophysicist focused on identifying high-information-density parts of proteins, completes a three-part series on three categories of science: experimental, inferential, and fantasy science. Fantasy science makes inferential leaps so huge that virtually none of it is testable, either by the standards of experimental science or by those of the historical sciences, which reason to the best explanation by process of elimination. One example of fantasy science, according to Durston, is the multiverse. As he insists, an imaginative story largely untethered from evidence and testing but told using math instead of literary devices is still an imaginative story untethered from evidence and testing. Scientism, “atheism dressed up in a lab coat,” can lead to fantasy science of this kind because it commits itself to materialistic conclusions for philosophical reasons, not scientific ones.
On this episode of ID the Future, biophysicist and philosopher Kirk Durston continue their discussion of three types of science: (1) experimental science, (2) inferential science, and (3) fantasy science. In this second of three episodes, Durston recaps the three types but focuses on inferential science. He explains how it involves, in the historical sciences, abductive reasoning (inference to the best explanation), and he explains how such reasoning can be used as we consider the best explanation for the origin of biological information, and in such a way that it is rooted in observation.
On this episode of ID the Future, biophysicist and philosopher Kirk Durston discusses his recent article series about three types of science — (1) experimental science, which is generally very trustworthy, with some exceptions; (2) inferential science, which can be trustworthy but often takes huge leaps into the doubtable and dodgy; and (3) fantasy science, which is essentially science fiction masquerading as actual science.
In this first of three episodes, Durston focuses on experimental science. Such science is, at its best, reproducible and verifiable. Durston says he has yet to find a true conflict between experimental, reproducible scientific observations and his religious faith. The contradictions he encountered were all between his faith and the inferences that some scientists were drawing from experimental science. Durston and host Andrew McDiarmid then move into a discussion of the reproducibility crisis in experimental science. As Durston explains, without a healthy scientific culture and the right incentives, experimental science can quickly fall into disrepair.