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Does the Scientific Method Have Biblical Origins?

BRIAN BOLTON
Hugh Ross, founder of Reasons to Believe.

Hugh Ross is the founder and charismatic leader of a Christian ministry named Reasons to Believe (RTB) that promotes old-Earth creationism. Although RTB has been active for twenty-five years, it holds the least popular creationist viewpoint among Christian fundamentalists and the least known among Christians of all persuasions. This is most likely because RTB accommodates three major conclusions from mainstream science.

Specifically, RTB creationism stands apart from its creationist competitors (Answers in Genesis, Discovery Institute, and Institute for Creation Research) in adopting the 13.5-billion-year-old universe and the 4.5-billion-year-old Earth and rejecting the biblical worldwide flood. Reasons to Believe maintains that the Noachian Deluge was a regional flood that drowned all humans (except eight), since they all lived in a small area of the planet. Also, while endorsing the Adam and Eve narrative, Reasons to Believe dates the event to about 50,000 years ago. These RTB postulates are anathema to the dominant young-Earth proponents, because they contradict the literal truth of the Bible. Consequently, the other creationist groups consider RTB creationism to be unbiblical.

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Skeptical Inquirer
March April 2016
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Editor’s Letter
Every issue of the SKEPTICAL INQUIRER presents an eclectic mix
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The Center for Inquiry Libraries (www.cfili-braries.org) has received a small
The 2015 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization has gone
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Edzard Ernst has received the 2015 John Maddox Prize for
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FORUM
The Roman Catholic teaching, doctrine, and dogma of Divine Providence
INVESTIGATIVE FILES
Joe Nickell, PhD, is a skeptical cryptozoologist and author of
NOTES ON A STRANGE WORLD
Massimo Polidoro is an investigator of the paranormal, lecturer, and
PSYCHIC VIBRATIONS
Sheaffer’s “Psychic Vibrations” column has appeared in the SKEPTICAL INQUIRER
THE SCIENCE OF SCIENCE COMMUNICATION
Matthew Nisbet is associate professor of communication at Northeastern University
BEHAVIOR & BELIEF
Stuart Vyse is a psychologist and author of Believing in
SKEPTICAL INQUIREE
Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for
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Some would see any notion of “race” recede unceremoniously into
Writers and readers of the Skeptical Inquirer and of the
One of the most consequential Supreme Court actions in recent
Excerpted by the author from A Numerate Life: A Mathematician
REVIEWS
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Fight Like a Physicist: Make Physics Your Advantage in the
NEW AND NOTABLE
CLIMATE CHANGE: What Everyone Needs to Know. Joseph Romm. One
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Many thanks for the article by Larry Kusche (a member
THE LAST LAUGH
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