Trusting Eyewitness Testimony

For ages, eyewitness testimony was considered reliable in a courtroom setting and other ways. Some people began to think eyewitness testimony is not valid, and forensic evidence is more important. Such a claim is ineffable twaddle, and the sidewinders creating doubt were using spurious methods!

There are people who use self-refuting logic to say that forensic evidence is more reliable than eyewitness testimony. This is false and refuted.
Credit: FreeDigitalImages / IndypendenZ (yes, really)

From an evolutionary standpoint, the concept is self-refuting. We are all just evolved pond scum, so the brains of witnesses are unreliable because evolution, so it's better to trust forensic evidence about the past — and interpret the evidence with our faulty brains! Remember, evidence does not "speak for itself".

Biblical creationists and biblical inerrantists trust the eyewitness testimony of the Bible, and I reckon that this is one reason atheists and evolutionists reject eyewitness testimony. Nothing in the Bible, written by eyewitnesses, has been controverted by operational science or archaeology. Atheists reject miracles, divine inspiration, and other factors, preferring instead to rely on the views of humans that they know are fallible.

Witnesses as well as those interpreting evidence have their own perspectives at play. One of the primary rules in law enforcement and courtroom activities is to keep the witnesses separated. Discrepancies are actually a strength!

Someone could witness a traffic accident at an intersection and see two people get out of the red car, and one get out of the black car. Another witness sees three people get out of the red car, not two. Is one lying? In this scenario, the first witness had the wrong view, the wrong perspective, and could not see the third person. No lies here, Luke.

Now, if the witnesses got together to compare notes, their testimonies would be suspicious because there were no significant differences. In the Gospels, there are occasional minor differences in narratives. For example, the Gadarene demoniac. Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8:26-39 mention one man, while Matthew 8:28-34 mentions two men. Is that a contradiction? Not hardly! Clearly, emphasis was placed on the more significant man. Also, there was nothing saying, "One man. Not two, not zero, not three, four is right out".

While doubt was cast on eyewitness testimony by alleged experts using devious methods and who apparently had their own agenda, that has been overturned. We can trust the eyewitness testimony of Scripture, and the account of Creation given at the beginning and affirmed in the New Testament. The Master Engineer created us with reliable brains and the minds to operate in them.

The biggest clash between creationists and evolutionists really has little to do with the evidence we possess. It has to do with how we interpret that evidence. This ultimately leads to a discussion of epistemology: how we know what we (claim to) know. Without getting tangled up in some of the hairsplitting details and in-house debates, what we can say very simply is that creationists base their knowledge and worldview on Scripture first and above all. Evolutionists work within a naturalistic worldview (the presumption that supernatural events can be disregarded or assumed not to occur).

You can witness the full article at "Countering the Assault on Eyewitnesses".

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