“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
Creation science is an oxymoron. It is a contradiction in terms because it is impossible for creationism to be science because any intelligent use of the term ‘creation‘ implies the existence of a creator. Creationists believe that the creator is supernatural, thus the fundamental operating force behind creationism is supernatural, which is a polite way of saying ‘magical.‘ Definitively, science is study of natural forces only and ceases being science when it tries to explain phenomenon by means of the supernatural, ergo, our contradiction. Creationism, even under its sneaky other moniker, “Intelligent Design“, is not science. Not even close. It is, in fact, a department of fundamental apologetics.
The sole purpose of creationism is to defend the biblical book of Genesis, which contains the myth that god created all forms of life about six to ten thousand years ago and that the entirety of the human race has descended from one pair of white people, the male of which was formed by the hand of god from dirt and the subservient female fashioned from one of the male’s ribs. Further, the myth also states that every living thing except one boatload of creatures were wiped out in a world-wide flood somewhere near the year 2350 B.C.E.
We Don’t Need No Stinking Science…!
Naturally, those who believe this myth to have any merit of truth consistently attack disciplines which, through the discovery of truth through empirical evidence, expose the absurdity of biblical mythology. In spite of the clever camouflage of scientific terminology, the purpose of creation science remains the front-line defense of the fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis. Creationism exists only for religious purposes.
The problem with creation science is that it abandons anything that even remotely approaches scientific research. Their investigation takes place almost solely using literary references, and not laboratory experimentation. What results is horrifically inaccurate, misinformed and unscientific evidence against evolution. They are attempting to prove the myth by disproving the science – a formula that is put forth in vain because most creationists have not, for reasons of willful ignorance, bothered to study the facts of evolution from scientific sources. They use references from other creationists and/or refuse to study evolution because their religious leaders told them not to, for a variety of superstitious reasons.
The Devil In The Details…
To start off with, the main problem with creation science is that it confuses the question of whether evolution has occurred with the mechanism of evolutionary change. Evolution concerns itself with change through natural discourses such as natural selection, genetic drift, etc. It has nothing to do with theistic evolution, which although accepts the fact of evolutionary change, loses all scientific credibility when it poses that the ‘hand of god‘ is the moving force for this change.
Another problem with creation science is the presumption that either one of the two supernatural creation myths in the book of Genesis are the only possible explanations that account for the origin of the universe and everything in it. That it ignores the glaring contradictions between these two accounts should be noted, as well. It also discounts the validity of other creation myths, of which every primitive culture in the world has produced to account for human origins.
Creationists are obligated to prove their holy book holds the truth behind the beginning of the world and the subsequent evolution of its species by attempting to disprove scientific evolutionary theory. In order to do this, they must provide proof that green plants existed before the sun was created and that the whole of life and nature came into existence in a very short time frame. Then, then must show that their myth is superior to other creation myths, which is usually done by crediting Satan with authorship of competing myths, of which there exist a myriad.
You Keep Using That Word…
As I have discussed in previous entries, creationists consistently and willfully misuse the term ‘theory’. Not only do they misuse it, but their use of it borders on the pejorative, such as incorporating it in statements such as “evolution is only a theory”. On the flip side, though, they will regularly misapply the term to creationism. A double standard has no place in science, but works well in religious discourses because the nature of mythology requires it.
To reiterate, in scientific usage a theory is the highest form of scientific understanding. A theory is an explanatory hypothesis which has passed test after test, and is still the best available explanation of the facts in question. A scientific theory is not a guess, a hunch or a maybe. It is a collection of undisputed facts backed up by empirical evidence, such as the theory of relativity, or gravity, etc.
Defined, scientific theory is,
“As used in science, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning that has been tested and confirmed. It is based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. A theory is an explanation that correlates facts, and a fact is something that is supported by unmistakable evidence.”
The components of creationism that are testable, such as the age of the earth and that it was once completely covered in water, have been tested and found to be demonstrably false. This scientifically disproves creationism as a viable theory because viable theories have to pass tests. The other aspects of creationism involve magic or magical events, which are untestable, removing creationism from being a theory at all.
A Little Fire, Scarecrow…?
Creationists attacks on evolution are little more than straw man arguments and provide no scientific evidence on how species come to be. Natural Selection, however, consists of a tightly interwoven fabric of observations and logical conclusions. All living things tend to reproduce in geometric progression, so that if all offspring survived, the entire earth would be overrun by them. However, the earth is not overrun, so species populations remain approximate in size through the centuries, mainly due to competition for limited environmental resources.
The “struggle for survival” results in mutations, sometimes spontaneous ones, from time to time in all species. The variations that are helpful in the struggle for existence result in the natural selection for survival. The variations that are harmful, result in extinction. These changes occur sometimes through re-sequenced DNA, rearrangement of chromosomes or the addition or subtraction of genes.
Given enough time and change in environmental conditions, any species will gradually change into one or more new species, which will turn into new genera, which will turn into new families, etc. ,etc.
Comparing the vast knowledge base that has been accumulated, tested and proven for evolution, the continuing flow of new information that further adds to the knowledge base and a century and a half of unsuccessful attempts to falsify it by the scientific community, it becomes inconceivable that anyone still believes in the bizarre details of the Genesis creation myth.
Keep It Simple…
Facts are funny things. They keep popping up no matter how many times they are lost or hidden. If creationists somehow eradicated all knowledge of evolution, honest men and women in the future who took to studying the facts of nature would end up rediscovering it because evolution is science, is testable and in accord with the facts of nature. Creationist dogmas are not testable and are contradicted by the testimony of nature. This speaks well to Ockham’s Razor, a principle in logic that basic assumptions should not be multiplied beyond necessity. If natural forces alone are enough to account for evolution, then why add superfluous supernatural forces?
When given the choice between accepting something that is factual and something that is mythical to shape my worldview, I will choose the factual. Living your life according to myths and fairy tales is nothing short of childish. You don’t have to be a scientist to know this.