FOSC is a new acronym I have coined. It stands for Field of Study Consensus.
Many times I am asked questions from other that are entirely out my reach. I simply do not know ‘everything’ Fortunately no one does. But if we look at a particular field of study and see what the consensus is in that field, we can assume that the answer they give can be accepted as fact.
As an example, let’s take a look at paleontology – the study of fossils, although this example may be used for any field of study.
There are thousands of paleontologists all over the world working on fossils and fossil evidence. About 95% of paleontologists actually work in the field digging their rare bones up. Certain times during the year many of the scientists in this field get together for their convention(s). They explore what they have dug up, what research has been done with carbon-dating machines, and new evidence of different species and time-lines. They usually do not come to a consensus right away, but in many cases argue about one particular issue for years, sometimes decades. Its only until most of them – a CONSENSUS – agrees that there is enough evidential proof that they finally agree that the particular issue is a fact. We’re not talking a 51/49% here – most meaning a 90-99% of them will agree on an issue.
An example of how science changes is FOSC is plate tectonics. Even though the earth had continents that looked like they were a huge jigsaw puzzle, scientists in the field had no proof or physical mechanism for something powerful enough to move such great land masses. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that a military submarine doing ground-breaking sonar experiments found a tall mountain in the middle of the Atlantic. The evidence of moving plates took decades to become a FOSC.
Since these people in their field of study know much more than I every will, or much more than whomever I am debating, we must agree on the FOSC – Field of Study Consensus. This is where Creationists fail. Their arguments are of the 5% of scientists that do not agree with a consensus. Many faith-related arguments are supported by the opposite of FOSC. Maybe I’ll invent another acronym and call it FOSD for Field of Study Deconsesus,(if it’s even a word) or OFOSC for Opposite of the Field of Study Consensus, or simply MO – for Minority Opinion.
One issue religious apologetics argue is that science is always changing, and religions laws do not. They are correct. Science changes when there is enough EVIDENCE to change the FOSC. Nothing is absolute. All religious laws can be broken morally – even ‘do not kill’ can be broken if your family or loved ones are in danger. There will always be a law than you DO NOT wish to obey . One has to look rationally and objectively to explore if a law is good and moral on a situation by situation basis. This is where science and religious ideologies will never meet.
In any case, if you are to argue for or against something you are not a specialist in, then you must bring up the FOSC argument. We never can know everything, but with the internet we can always know the FOSC.