In the essays The Giant Asian Hornet and Human Development and Evolution, I contend that the highly sophisticated defense strategy of the Asian honeybee against the giant Asian hornet could not plausibly be explained as being the product of an escalating arms-race of competing features incrementally achieved through small-steps over time.
I also contend that if human development occurred in small, gradually incremental steps beginning roughly four-million years ago, that we should then see milestone examples of intellectual progress to match physical development, leaving signs in history going back in time for hundreds of thousands of years or more.
These arguments are called inferences to the best explanation.
These arguments are conceptual ideas that fall within what I call in this book skeletal explanatory frameworks, otherwise known as theoretical hypotheses.
These are intellectually philosophical ideas that are not themselves amenable to hard, bench-top verification through the research methodologies that produce measurable quantities such as size, length, velocity, or mass.
Skeletal explanatory frameworks cannot be measured using calipers, or weighed on a scale, or placed on a glass slide to be viewed under a microscope.
Ideas cannot be placed in a test tube or a glass beaker, with measured quantities of truth, integrity, and wisdom added to see if this mixture will produce a colored liquid, or generate solid precipitate particles that sink to the bottom of the test tube, or bubble-up to the top of the test tube or glass beaker and spill-out onto the laboratory table-top.
Ideas are not found in the Periodic Table of fundamental elements, and have no atomic structures that can be chemically mixed to produce other ideas as compounds.
Ideas are not researchable through quantum physics.
Inferences to the best explanation are provisional conclusions or theoretical concepts that are not the same thing as the sequential steps in a science research program, or even the raw data this research generates.
The sequential steps in any scientific investigation produces empirical facts that can then be arranged into skeletal explanatory frameworks using inferences to the best explanation.
The part of the scientific investigation that produces empirical facts is the series of sequential steps in the research protocol.
The part of the scientific investigation that produces an interim, provisional conclusion based upon a current understanding of these empirical facts is 100% intellectually philosophical.
The idea that the atheistic, philosophical worldview of scientific materialism is somehow organically connected to the methodology of sequential steps in scientific research programs, has to be one of the biggest misconceptions in human history.
Skeletal explanatory frameworks can be spun into differing narratives using the same set of facts, because this is the intrinsic nature of storytelling, whether in a court of law, in a political campaign, in a historical biography book, or for a teenager trying to come-up with a plausible excuse to their parents for why they stayed-out later than their 10 P.M. curfew.
But storylines that are variable explanations cannot themselves be considered the fixed, empirical data.
Facts based upon empirical data can be interpreted, but cannot easily be spun into alternate facts. Facts are facts, and remain so despite our interpretations of them.
Darwin’s theory of extrapolating microevolution to macroevolution is a spin.
It is based upon empirical facts, but it is not itself an empirical fact.
It is a skeletal explanatory framework, a narrative story that is a spin superimposed over the evidence.
Fiat creation by the God of the Bible is also a skeletal explanatory framework, a narrative story that is a spin, but which today increasingly has more explanatory power than the atheism of naturalistic materialism.
This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.