While I would love it to be the case that John Morton’s letter to the Grauniad did destroy Biblical fundamentalism, sadly it just isn’t the case.

But it is beautifully written though.

Genetic diversity within human populations decreases as distance fromAfrica increases. This is good evidence that humans arose in a smallregion and later dispersed (Africa cradle of humankind, study shows,July 19). This argument could be applied to biblical fundamentalism.There are people who take the story of Noah’s ark literally. If itreally did happen, every species of animal should show a similar kindof distribution around Mount Ararat. This doesn’t happen. So, biblicalfundamentalism only makes one testable prediction, and it’s wrong.
John L Morton
University of Glamorgan

Biblical counterarguments could include: “God caused the flood (and prompted the construction of the Ark, for that matter) and it just looks to our impoverished non-omnipotent senses that the genetic diversity decreases with distance from Africa. We might measure that, but it doesn’t mean anything”. “God created everything empirical (including us doing the measurements) – how do we know that we can interpret the results of our measurements?”

The problem with any appeal to God as a final mover is that it can never make predictions, only explain everything with a full stop (in an unsatisfying and frankly brain-dead way for me). That is the core difference between science and non-science. A theory that explains but does not predict is not science and can never be.

There are enough contradictory statements in the Bible stories that they can never be used as a source of prediction (unless the numerologists were right all along). Therefore it can’t be science. To compare not-science with science, or try to disprove not-science with science is a bit of a category mistake. Ask a not-scientist to make a prediction about anything based on their theory of the work (and specifically not using scientific  theories like physics, chemistry, biology) and they will regularly fail (unless they are as bland as astrologers). They’ll come back to our science-based technologies before long.