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Speculation Is Not Science

Speculation Is Not Science

I came across an article with the headline, Scientists Discover Ancient ‘Lost World’ That Rewrites History of Life on Earth. Whenever I see headlines like this (and it is not that uncommon), it makes me chuckle. I immediately know two things: First, that the exaggerated headline was written for the purpose of getting more clicks, and second, that this was written by someone who believes in naturalistic evolution. I also know that when you start digging down into the article, there will be no actual science there to back up the claim, only speculation. Have a look at some key verbiage in this one:

  • may be the oldest known ancestors of the lineage that eventually produced plants and animals
  • these biomarkers seem to taper off in the records about 800 million years ago
  • predicted ... that the oldest eukaryotes might have produced primordial version of these sterols
  • the existence of early microscopic eukaryotes that may have dominated many aquatic ecosystems during Earth’s middle age
  • potentially becoming Earth’s first predators
  • these organisms likely belonged to the “stem group” of eukaryotes
  • the protosterol biota may be the direct ancestors of modern eukaryotes, including humans, or they may have been closely related rivals to our microbial progenitors in the deep past
  • They were probably direct or indirect ancestors (more like cousins) of the eukaryotes alive today and probably competitors of modern groups of eukaryotes
  • Since they probably evolved earlier and likely already occupied most ecological niches, they may be responsible for the late expansion of modern eukaryotes.
  • It may have taken additional evolutionary innovations or changing environmental conditions (such as increased oxygen concentrations) to eventually allow modern eukaryotes to outcompete their primordial relatives
  • Given that the protosterol eukaryotes are only known from their chemical byproducts, it’s difficult to speculate about what they looked like or how they proliferated across our planet.
  • It is possible that these primordal forebears were better suited to environments with lower-oxygen and energy requirements
  • the protosterol biota may have lost this edge some 800 million years ago

Do you get the picture? Where is the science? It is virtually all speculation. Their thinking goes something like this: “If life on earth evolved the way I speculate it has, then naturalistic evolution will be proven to be true.”


And besides all of the fuzzy language, the article makes all kinds of assumptions about the age of the earth and the accuracy of rock dating methods that also cannot be definitively backed up with empirical science. There is a time line that has been proposed by evolutionary scientists about the age of different rocks that is not based on actual proven dating methods, but has been accepted purely because it fits their philosophical presuppositions about how life on earth came to be. Virtually everything written in the article above is pure speculation.

If you have ever talked to a believer in naturalistic philosophy, though, and you suggest that their suppositions are not backed up by actual science, get ready to batten down the hatches. They will come after you with both barrels and blast you for your “ignorance” and “anti-science” point of view. After all, their viewpoint has to be true. For them, since they only accept naturalistic worldview beliefs, there is no other possibility.

But that still does not justify them not using actual science to prove their point of view. They accuse Christians of believing what we believe by blind faith and having “nothing” to back it up, yet their point of view has the exact same problem. All they have is a theory and pure speculation about how it might possibly be true. Their belief is 100% a religious belief.

What they tend to leave out of the conversation is that empirical science is not the only kind of evidence that is viable when evaluating for truth. If it were, they are no closer to finding the truth than anyone else. Other lines of evidence include historical evidence, human experience, and logic. All of these must come into play, as well.

Interestingly, the Naturalists philosophically discount these other lines of evidence when others use them, while at the same time use them themselves to support their point of view – and most of the time they don’t even know they are doing it. They are so blinded by their belief that Naturalism is the only possibility, that they delude themselves into believing that naturalistic philosophy = science. It does not – never has, never will!

So, in the meantime, all they are left with to back up their beliefs is speculation – and speculation is not science.

Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books entitled The Truth MirageRules for Christians RadicalsLiberalism vs. Conservatism, and his latest book Shattering the Truth Mirage and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.

You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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