Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Triceratopses


When I was in college, one of my professors (an ichthyologist who taught me Herpetology and Animal Behavior) used to joke that dinosaurs never existed. All we really had, he said, was a bunch of strange rock formations that scientists used their imaginations to turn into an entire elaborate made up prehistory. If you think about it—while he was just joking—a lot of what popular paleontology gives us pure fantasy. How does anyone know what color these things were, for instance?

Well, it turns out, science got it wrong again. The Triceratops—that loveable but cool herbivore that is the favorite dinosaur of so many kids—was never a real dinosaur species. At least it did exist, albeit as an immature form of another species. One of the other most popular species, the Brontosaur, never existed at all. It was just made up.

All this is more than just an interesting anecdote. It illustrates an important truth. Science is just a tool that we use to learn truth about reality; it is not the source of all possible knowledge. It is a system built up of a huge amount of “best guesses” and theories awaiting evidence to disprove them.

While the uncertainty of postmodernism is giving way to a new worldview that admits truth is knowable to the extent that science can discover it, there is another option available. Truth is knowable for certain if there is a God who not only made all reality, but has revealed truth about that reality to His creation. The only problem you have if you accept THAT proposal, is that God remains mum on so many cool things like Triceratopses.

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