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Table of contents
- Scientists of the past believed in a Creator
- Part 2. The Educational Issues
- Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism: Primer
- 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense - Scientific American
Plate tectonics not only explained how continents can move, it also opened the door for a greater understanding of how mountain ranges form, how earthquakes are produced, how volcanoes are related to earthquakes, etc. Creationism is not a scientific alternative to natural selection any more than the stork "theory" is an alternative to the sexual reproduction "theory" Hayes Creationism has not led and is unlikely ever to lead to a serious understanding of biological phenomena in the natural world. That theory is quite distinct from the fact of evolution.
Other scientists have different theories of evolution, but only a negligible few deny the fact of evolution.
In the Origin of Species Darwin provided vast amounts of data about the natural world that he and others had collected or observed. Only after providing the data did he demonstrate how his theory accounted for the data much better than the belief in special creation. Gish and other young earth creationists , on the other hand, assume that whatever data there is must be explained by special creation, because, they think, AG said so in the Bible. His approach, and that of many other creation scientists, depends on attacking at every opportunity what they take to be the theory of evolution.
Rather than show the strengths of their own belief, they rely on trying to find and expose weaknesses in evolutionary theory. Creation scientists actually have no interest in scientific facts or theories. For example, creation scientists, mistaking the uncertain in science for the unscientific, see the debate among evolutionists regarding how best to explain evolution as a sign of weakness. Scientists, on the other hand, see uncertainty as an inevitable element of scientific knowledge.
They regard debates on fundamental theoretical issues as healthy and stimulating. Creation science is not science but pseudoscience. It is religious dogma masquerading as scientific theory. Creation science is put forth as being absolutely certain and unchangeable. It assumes that the world must conform to its understanding of the Bible.
Where creation science differs from creationism in general is in its notion that once it has interpreted the Bible to mean something, no evidence can be allowed to change that interpretation. Instead, the evidence must be refuted. Compare this attitude to that of the leading European creationists of the 17th century who had to admit eventually that the Earth is not the center of the universe and that the sun does not revolve around our planet.
They did not have to admit that the Bible was wrong, but they did have to admit that human interpretations of the Bible were in error. Creation scientists are not scientists because they assume that their interpretation of the Bible cannot be in error.
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They put forth their views as irrefutable. Hence, when the evidence contradicts their reading of the Bible, they assume that the evidence is false. The only scientific investigation they do is aimed at proving some evolutionary claim is false. Creation scientists see no need to test their belief, since AG has revealed it.
Infallible certainty is not the hallmark of science. Scientific theories are fallible. Claims of infallibility and the demand for absolute certainty characterize not science but pseudoscience.
For example, any evidence that seems to support the notion that dinosaurs and humans lived together is welcomed by the creationists. And the way creation scientists treat the second law of thermodynamics indicates either gross scientific incompetence or deliberate dishonesty.
Scientists of the past believed in a Creator
Consider simply a black bucket of water initially at the same temperature as the air around it. If the bucket is placed in bright sunlight, it will absorb heat from the sun, as black things do. Now the water becomes warmer than the air around it, and the available energy has increased.
Has entropy decreased? Has energy that was previously unavailable become available, in a closed system? No, this example is only an apparent violation of the second law. Because sunlight was admitted, the local system was not closed; the energy of sunlight was supplied from outside the local system. If we consider the larger system, including the sun, entropy has increased as required Klyce. Creation scientists treat the evolution of species as if it were like the bucket of water in the example above, which, they incorrectly claim, occurs in a closed system.
If we consider the entire system of nature, there is no evidence that the second law of thermodynamics is violated by evolution.
Part 2. The Educational Issues
It also seems undeniable that one profound difference is that the metaphysical belief of creationism is consistent with every conceivable empirical state of affairs, while the scientific theory of evolution is not. Scientific theories allow definite predictions to be made from them; they can, in principle, be refuted. Theories such as the Big Bang theory, the steady state theory, and natural selection can be tested by experiment and observation.
No scientific theory is ever airtight. What makes "scientific creationism" a pseudoscience is that it attempts to pass itself off as science even though it shares none of the essential characteristics of scientific theorizing.
Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism: Primer
Creation science will remain forever unchanged as a belief. It will engender no debate among scientists about fundamental mechanisms of the universe. It generates no empirical predictions that can be used to test it. It is taken to be irrefutable. And it assumes a priori that there can be no evidence that will ever falsify it. Religious creationism could be empirical, however. For example, if it said that the world was created in B. Nothing could refute it; it is airtight. The idea never caught on.
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I wonder why. No I don't. If the age or scientific dating techniques of fossil evidence is disputed, but considered relevant to the truth of the religious hypothesis and is prejudged to be consistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is a metaphysical one. A scientific theory cannot prejudge what its investigative outcomes must be. Otherwise, no reasonable person should consider such an unsupported claim that would require us to believe that the entire scientific community is in error. Gish tried this. The fact that he was unable to convert even a small segment of the scientific community to his way of thinking is a strong indication that his arguments have little merit.
This is not because the majority must be right. The entire scientific community could be deluded. However, since the opposition issues from a religious dogmatist who is not doing scientific investigation but theological apologetics, it seems more probable that it is the creation scientists who are deluded rather than the evolutionary scientists.
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense - Scientific American
There are many believers in a religious cosmology such as that given in Genesis who do not claim that their beliefs are scientific. They do not believe that the Bible is to be taken as a science text. To them, the Bible contains teachings pertinent to their spiritual lives. It expresses spiritual ideas about the nature of AG and the relationship of AG to humans and the rest of the universe. Such people do not believe the Bible should be taken literally when the issue is a matter for scientific discovery. The Bible, they say, should be read for its spiritual messages, not it lessons in biology, physics or chemistry.
This used to be the common view of religious scholars. Allegorical interpretations of the Bible go back at least as far as Philo Judaeus b. Creation scientists have no taste for allegorical interpretations. Advocates of creation science have campaigned to have their Biblical version of creation taught as science in U. One of their successes was in the state of Arkansas, which passed a law requiring the teaching of creationism in public schools.
This accomplishment may seem significant but it must be remembered that until it was illegal to teach evolution in Arkansas!
In , however, the law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge who declared creationism to be religious in nature McLean v. This dishonest ruse was thrown out by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Another tactic was tried by creationist biology teacher John Peloza in It teaches both evolution and creationism in science classes and, school officials say, lets children make up their own minds. Little notice was taken until , when Vardy proposed opening more schools.
A second opened last year in Middlesbrough, and a third will open near Doncaster in September. Last September, Serbia briefly banned the teaching of evolution in schools. It changed its mind days later after scientists and even Serbian Orthodox bishops spoke out. There was also uproar over creationism in the Netherlands. The Dutch have several sects that teach creationism in their own schools.
But in May, Cees Dekker, a physicist at the Delft University of Technology published a book on ID, and persuaded education minister Maria van der Hoeven that discussion of ID might promote dialogue between religious groups. She proposed a conference in autumn, but dropped the plan after an outcry from Dutch scientists. In Turkey there is a strong creationist movement, sparked initially by contact with US creationists. Since , when Turkish professors who taught evolution were harassed and threatened, there is no longer public opposition to creationism, which is all that is presented in school texts.
In another Muslim country, Pakistan, evolution is no longer taught in universities. Fundamentalist Christianity is also sweeping Africa and Latin America. In , John Thomas Scopes was a year-old physical education teacher at the secondary school in Dayton, Tennessee. He was put on trial after confessing to teaching evolution while acting as a substitute biology teacher — something Tennessee had recently made illegal. The reasons are still with us. Natural selection provides an explanation for the origins of living things, including humans, that depends entirely on the workings of natural laws.
It says nothing about the existence, or otherwise, of God. But to many believers in such a God, if humans are just another product of nature with no special status, then there is no need for morality. In short, there is nothing in this notion that allows us to go to nature to test it, to verify or reject it. And there is the key difference, Creationism and it comes in many guises, most of which do not stem from the Judeo-Christian tradition is a belief system involving the supernatural.