When I was as young Christian, I was told that evolution was an unproven theory promoted by that godless Charles Darwin and taught by secular humanists as an assault against God and the Bible. The argument against this atheistic theory was very simple: God told us how creation happened in the book of Genesis.
This was good enough for me; but soon after I went to college I learned about a new development among creationists called Creation Science. They challenged evolutionists with ‘science’ and seemed to have a scientific argument for everything.
I read The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, and then I absorbed the writings of Morris, Whitcomb, Duane Gish, and others. I was so inspired that I outlined a novel, with an exciting and dramatic plot, for a story of the flood consistent with their writings.
An interesting aspect of Creation Science was that it embraced young-earth creationism which insists that the age of the Universe is only 6,000-10,000 years—not the billions of years claimed by evolutionists.
Many of the ‘scientific’ approaches depended on a worldwide flood scenario (think Noah) as an alternative to evolutionary explanations of observations. For example, the cataclysmic flood produced geological formations in a short period rather than their being formed gradually. The flood also explained fossilization as well as oil and coal deposits—plants and animals were destroyed in mass suddenly during the flood.
To counter the dating of organisms by carbon testing, Creation Science (without proof) denied that carbon-14 decayed at a constant rate in the past, so organisms were much more recent than claimed by evolutionists.
Creation Science is not Predictive
The ‘science’ of creationists did not develop theories from scientific observation but, by using Genesis stories, only reacted against theories of evolutionary scientists. I don’t know of any creationist theory arising from original research rather than being an alternate explanation to conclusions drawn by evolutionist researchers.
Creation Science provides little evidence for creationists conclusions—only harmonization of scientific discoveries with creationist presuppositions. However, they had one exceptional bit of evidence—the Paluxy River fossilized human and dinosaur footprints, which they claimed proved that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time.
This was a prize exhibit for years, but further research revealed that the ‘human’ footprints were only incomplete dinosaur prints. I recall the dismay in creationists circles when this fact became apparent—indeed, I shared the dismay. One creationist wrote that this was the best piece of real evidence we had!
Creationist John Morris wrote an article describing this reversal. Creationist made other reversals as well. Initial denial of the big bang theory changed to embracing the big bang as God’s creative act. I have no problem with this, but it does not validate the Genesis accounts.
Recently, I saw a creationist film (I don’t recall the title) proposing that the speed of light from the big bang was much faster and reduced in stages to the current speed of light. Therefore, the six literal days of creation, from God’s perspective, were consistent with the billions of years described by scientist from our current perspective of time.
While early creationists denied that one species can produce a different species, more recent creationists no longer define ‘Kind’ (from Genesis) as ‘species’; instead they recognize micro-evolution and reject that one ‘Kind’ can produce a new ‘Kind’. Among other things, this reduces the number of animals needed on the very limited-space ark.
These changes concede selected scientific discoveries while maintaining harmonization with creationism, but creationism does not predict or make scientific discoveries of its own.
Creation Science does not Correct Genuine Evolutionist Errors
Creationist writings put heavy emphasis on a few scientific errors and hoaxes regarding the descent of man from earlier primates. The examples of Nebraska Man, which was formulated from what later was identified as a tooth of an extinct pig, and the Piltdown Man hoax, were used in an attempt to discredit the entire theory of human descent, but these errors and hoaxes were exposed, not by creationists, but by scientists.
Science is self-correcting; proponents of a theory do not stubbornly defend their theory against flaws. A recent article on an exciting scientific theory that was later corrected states:
Everyone wants to be right. Most of us sure hate being wrong. But scientists know that new discoveries often change or even invalidate earlier ideas. Being wrong can mean we have learned something new. This week, a controversy about the Big Bang and the origin of the universe came to light at the American Astronomical Society conference in Boston.
This kind of controversy is completely normal in science. It’s the way science progresses. You put an idea out there and your colleagues — many of them good friends and scientific collaborators — try to shoot it down…But most scientists really don’t care about the “win” — we care about understanding nature.
Science is self-correcting by design, while Creation Science corrects itself only under pressure from scientific discoveries not made by creationists. And Creation Science is also reactive to scientific discoveries instead of producing scientific discoveries.
Next time I will show why conclusions of Creation Science are not observable.
Image credit: Alex Mittelmann, Coldcreation, via Wikimedia Commons
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Have a great day! ~Tim