Science’s Anti-Rock Ogre Bias

This comes from commenter Darren Pardee:

BELIEVER: I believe the Earth was created by giant Rock Ogres not too long ago. Since it’s historical science, and not observational, my theory is just as valid as yours. More so, in fact, because I have a Holy Book the Rock Ogres wrote for mankind before leaving the Earth in their spaceship.

SCIENTIST: In order for me to take that theory seriously, you would have to have some sort of evidence for Rock Ogres.

BELIEVER: The Holy Book they wrote mentions them. They call themselves “giants,” though.  They’re mentioned in other religious texts too.  For example, the ancient Hebrews called them “Philistines.”

SCIENTIST: That’s not scientific evidence.  That’s interesting historical evidence, that someone at some point wrote down, but we need real evidence.  Scientific evidence might include something like a fossil record for these rock trolls–

BELIEVER: Rock Ogres.

SCIENTIST: –Rock Ogres, then. Maybe even some fossilized tracks.  More importantly an actual specimen, or living descendant of the original Rock Ogres would be helpful so we could study its morphology.

BELIEVER: They aren’t around anymore. Like I said, they went up in their spaceship.  Besides, they’re eternal, so they didn’t leave fossils behind. You can’t prove they didn’t exist, because all historical science is just conjectures and what-ifs.

SCIENTIST: Did they leave any kind of imprint on the world they created?  A signature perhaps?

BELIEVER: Look at how complex everything is! You think all this stuff came from nothing?  For R.O.’s sake, open your eyes!

SCIENTIST: The research that we’ve done over many centuries has shown that all life shares common heritage, that is, it evolved–

BELIEVER: Oh please, now you’re telling me that humans came from nothing.

SCIENTIST: I didn’t say we came from nothing, I said we evolved from–

BELIEVER: Right, but you follow that line of reasoning, and you have to admit that all life came from nothing.  What did the first cell come from?  And how did it become so complex?  I find it MUCH easier to believe Rock Ogres created this complexity than that it all just happened by random chance.

SCIENTIST: That’s fine if you want to believe that, but in order to make it a valid scientific theory, you have to show some evidence–

BELIEVER: What evidence do YOU have? It all happened in the past, so you can’t prove anything.  It’s not evidence if it can’t be tested in a lab.

SCIENTIST: Well, there’s no way to test if the ancient Roman civilization ever existed by testing it in a lab, but we have plenty of evidence that it did.

BELIEVER: Right, I agree with that kind of evidence.

SCIENTIST: Then why don’t you agree with the scientific evidence for evolution?

BELIEVER: Because you’re interpreting the evidence from the standpoint that there are no such things as Rock Ogres.


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