Paper Abstracts

Man, machine and creation science

S.M. Gollmer

Discipline: Philosophy

Abstract: Historically, physics was the most quantitative of the sciences. Geologists and biologists built their models based on observation, categorization and generalization. This distinction between qualitative and quantitative sciences prompted the quote attributed to Ernest Rutherford that "All science is either physics or stamp collecting." In the intervening 80 years all sciences have exploded in the use of quantitative measures to find patterns and trends in data. A review of a half-century of creationist literature shows that this transition has not been lost to the creationist community.
As this trend continues to accelerate, two areas of caution need to be taken seriously: 1) the use of properly validated techniques and 2) evaluating the role of assumptions in the development of models. In addition, advancements in machine learning tend to blur the lines between human insight and computational power. With a proper understanding of the nature of man, creation scientists are well suited to evaluate the unique role human investigators play in the choice, guidance and interpretation of that which is processed by the machine.