Snowflakes and Unprovable Dogmas

By Johnny Stringer

I was a pupil in elementary school when I first heard it. “No two snowflakes are alike,” we were told. I never did fully accept it. I remember sitting puzzled at my classroom desk. How in the world could they possibly know that? It seemed to me that in order to know that no two snowflakes were alike, men would have to examine every snowflake that had ever fallen. I thought of the North Pole with all its snow. My childish mind formed a vague picture of the snow covered Alps. Out of all those snowflakes, how could men know that no two of them were alike? They could not possibly have examined all of them.

But they were so confident when they told us. They spoke as though there was just no question about it. It was a fact and we were supposed to accept it. I never did.

Well, you probably know what has happened. After all these years, my skepticism has finally been vindicated. Not long ago, I picked up my newspaper and read that the “impossible” had happened: a scientist had discovered two snowflakes that were alike. Didn’t surprise me any. Some people, however, including scientists, were shocked.

According to Reader’s Digest (November, 1988), the scientist who discovered those two snowflakes is Nancy C. Knight of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. When she showed the two flakes to her husband and co-researcher, Charles Knight, his initial response was, “That’s impossible.” But there they were, right before his eyes: two virtually identical .009-inch long snowflakes which looked like columns with vase-shaped hollow centers.

When I was a child, I was extremely puzzled because men dogmatically pronounced something to be a fact even though they could not possibly know it. As I grew older I learned that such unverifiable pronouncements are not at all uncommon. Men are all too apt to tell far more than they know. As we listen to the pronouncements of men, we must not credulously swallow every dogma they feed us. We must consider whether the matter is a thing which men can know or not.

Consider, for example, the dogma of evolution. In explaining that all living things came into being through the process of evolution, they speak with dogmatic certainty. But is this a thing they can know, or are they telling more than they could possibly know – as they did when they instructed us about snowflakes?

Despite the claim that their conclusions are the result of scientific investigation, there is no way that scientific research could prove any theory about the origin of the universe, of life, or of the forms of life that exist. Some scientists have stressed that the matter of origins is beyond the realm of scientific research. Note the following statements from the biology textbook, Biology- A Search For Order In Complexity:

Discussion of origins is not, strictly speaking, science. This is because origins are not subject to experimental verification. No scientific observers were present when life began or when different kinds of organisms first came into existence, and these events are not taking place in the present world; therefore, the problem of origins is simply incapable of solution by scientific means (preface).

The same textbook affirms,

Scientists who follow the tradition of Bacon, Galileo, and Newton agree to limit themselves to phenomena that can be analyzed by the senses. They have developed scientific methods of investigating the natural world. But it is not possible to prove or to disprove the existence of God by such methods. . . . Both God and the Bible are beyond the proper methods of study by scientists. Also many scientists who claim to support evolution as an explanation of origins by experimental means are inconsistent. Scientists should devote themselves to learning more about the natural world in which we now live and leave the matter of origins to theologians and philosophers (p. 460).

The origin of the universe or of any of the life forms that exist is not subject to scientific proof because it was a onetime event, and one-time events are beyond the realm of science. Doug Burgess states,

Science is based upon observation. No science is more accurate than the observation of the scientists. A onetime event is beyond the realm of science. If an event cannot be repeated it cannot be tested by other scientists. Whenever we consider these one-time events we must deal with them on the basis of speculation, assumption or faith. . . . The positions taken by the evolutionist and the Christian are both positions of faith (The Science of Beginnings, pp. 5,7).

Dr. John Moore, professor of natural science at Michigan State University, agrees:

According to specific characteristics of scientific thinking and writing, niether the Genesis account of creation nor evolution . . . are [sic) scientific . . . modem scientists are in the same position as Job with regard to first origins. Macro- or megaevolution is without any foundation in observational science, and hence is not scientific.

Obviously, the beginning of the universe, the start of life on earth, and the appearance of the first human beings cannot be repeated. Yet repeated observations, made directly or indirectly, are the very basis of scientific work (Questions and Answers On Creation/Evolution, pp. 21-22).

Henry Morris, a scientist who has written extensively on this matter, said,

The question as to which theory of origins is ultimately the true theory of origins can never be resolved scientifically. This is because of the obvious fact that primeval origins are completely beyond the reach of the scientific method, which involves at its very heart observation, experimentation, and repeatability. How can one observe the origin of the first living cell or experiment on the origin of the solar system or repeat the origin of the first man?

Finally, consider the words of E.C. Lucan, an evolutionist and a scientist with the Dyson Perrins Laboratory, Oxford, England:

If one chooses to hypothesize about the origin of things one must become unscientific in that origins are once-for-all happenings that cannot be experimentally verified.

It has been documented that the 19th-century scientists who caused the theory of evolution to be accepted in our educational system did not believe it had been proved (Why Scientists Accept Evolution, Robert T. Clark and James D. Bales). Darwin, Huxley, Spencer, and the others who were most prominent in propagating the theory admitted that it was not proved. They accepted it not because they thought it was proved, but because of a bias against any supernatural explanation. Evolution was the only alternative to special creation.

Since those men popularized the theory, scientists and many others of later generations have accepted it simply because it was handed to them in the classroom. In other words, they have accepted the unprovable dogma of evolution for the same reason many people accepted the unprovable dogma about snowflakes. Yet, there are thousands of highly trained scientists who have not been so gullible but have rejected the evolutionary philosophy.

I have heard that when students were going away to college, brother Luther Blackman used to tell them not to learn too much that isn’t so. That is still sage advice. Students must learn to distinguish between things which are facts and those things which are unproved or unprovable theories and opinions.

Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 3, pp. 74-75
February 2, 1989