Creationism considered by 99.99% of the scientific

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Creationism is a religious metaphysical theory about the origin of the universe.

It is not a scientific theory. Technically, creationism is not necessarily
connected to any particular religion. It simply requires a belief in a Creator.

Millions of Christians and non-Christians believe there is a Creator of the
universe and that scientific theories such as the the theory of evolution do not
conflict with belief in a Creator. However, fundamentalist Christians such as
Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell, have co-opted the term ‘creationism’ and it is
now difficult to refer to creationism without being understood as referring to
fundamentalist Christians who (a) take the stories in Genesis as accurate
accounts of the origin of the universe and life on Earth, and (b) believe that
Genesis is incompatible with the Big Bang theory and the theory of evolution.

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Thus, it is commonly assumed that creationists are Christians who believe that
the account of the creation of the universe as presented in Genesis is literally
true in its basic claims about Adam and Eve, the six days of creation, and not
an allegory. Creation science is a term used by certain creationists to indicate
that they believe that Genesis is a scientific account of the origin of the
universe. Reading the Bible as if it were a scientific text contradicts the Big
Bang theory and the theory of evolution. “Creation scientists” say
those theories are false and that scientists who advocate such theories are
ignorant of the truth about the origins of the universe and life on Earth. One
of the main leaders of creation science is Duane T. Gish of the Institute for
Creation Research, who puts forth his views in conjunction with attacks on
evolution. Gish is the author of Evolution, the Challenge of the Fossil Record (
San Diego, Calif.: Creation-Life Publishers, 1985) and Evolution, the Fossils
Say No (San Diego, Calif.: Creation-Life Publishers, 1978). Another leader of
this movement is Walt Brown of the Center for Scientific Creationism. Neither
Gish nor Brown seem to understand the difference between a fact and a theory.

They loudly proclaim that evolution is just a theory and that it is false.

Scientific theories are neither true nor false. They are explanations of facts.

That species evolved from other species is considered by 99.99% of the
scientific community to be a scientific fact. How species evolved is what a
theory of evolution is supposed to explain. Darwin’s theory of how evolution
happened is called natural selection. 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. Gish is not doing science when
he argues against the fact of evolution. He has no interest in scientific facts
or theories. His interest is in apologetics: defending the faith against what he
sees as attacks on God’s Truth. All his arguments are defensive; they are
attempts to show that the evidence does not support the scientific fact of
evolution. Creationists, 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 simply an inevitable element of scientific knowledge. They regard debates on
fundamental theoretical issues as healthy and stimulating. Science, says
evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, is “most fun when it plays with
interesting ideas, examines their implications, and recognizes that old
information may be explained in surprisingly new ways.” Thus, through all
the debate over evolutionary mechanisms biologists have not been led to doubt
that evolution has occurred. “We are debating how it happened,” says
Gould (1983, p.256). Creation science, on the other hand, is not science but
pseudoscience and it is connected to a particular group of fundamentalist
Christians. Most Christians, fundamentalist or not, probably never heard of
creation science. Like creationists of all sorts, “creation science”
puts forth its claims as absolutely certain and unchangeable. It assumes that
the world must conform to the Bible. It assumes that the Bible needs no revision
and can contain no error. 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. Today’s
creationists seem incapable of admitting that their interpretation of the Bible
could be wrong. Creation scientists can’t be seen as real scientists because
they assume that their interpretation of the Bible cannot be in error. 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
investigation they seem to do is in an effort to prove some scientific claim is
false. Creation science sees no need to test its theories, since they have been
revealed by God. A theory that is absolutely certain cannot be empirically
tested, but empirical testability is the hallmark of a scientific theory. Claims
of infallibility and the demand for absolute certainty characterize not science
but pseudoscience. What is most revealing about the militant creationists lack
of any true scientific interest is the way they willing and uncritically accept
even the most preposterous of claims, if those claims seem to contradict
traditional scientific beliefs about evolution. In particular, any evidence that
seems to support the notion that dinosaurs and humans lived together is welcomed
by militant creationists. The theory of scientific creationism is a good example
of a non-scientific theory because it cannot be falsified. “I can envision
observations and experiments that would disprove any evolutionary theory I
know,” writes Gould, “but I cannot imagine what potential data could
lead creationists to abandon their beliefs. Unbeatable systems are dogma, not
science” (Gould, 1983). 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. Creation science will
remain forever unchanged as a theory. It will engender no debate among
scientists about fundamental mechanisms of the universe. It generates no
empirical predictions that can be used to test the theory. It is taken to be
irrefutable. It assumes a priority that there can be no evidence that will ever
falsify it. The history of science, however, clearly shows that scientific
theories do not remain forever unchanged. The history of science is not the
history of one absolute truth being built upon other absolute truths. Rather, it
is the history of theorizing, testing, arguing, refining, rejecting, replacing,
more theorizing, more testing, etc. It is the history of theories working well
for a time, anomalies occurring (i.e., new facts being discovered that don’t fit
with established theories), and new theories being proposed and eventually
partially or completely replacing the old ones. Of course, it is possible for
scientists to act unscientifically, to be dogmatic and dishonest. But the fact
that one finds an occasional oddball in the history of science (or a person of
integrity and genius among pseudoscientists) does not imply that there really is
no difference between science and pseudoscience. Because of the public and
empirical nature of scientific debate, the charlatans will be found out, errors
will be corrected and the honest pursuit of the truth is likely to prevail in
the end. This will not be the case with pseudosciences such as creation science,
where there is no method needed for detecting errors (since it can’t err) much
less of correcting them. Some theories, like creationism can’t be refuted, even
in principle, because everything is consistent with them, even apparent
contradictions and contraries. Scientific theories allow definite predictions to
be made from them; they can, in principle, be refuted. Theories such as the Big
Bang theory and the steady state theory can be tested by experience and
observation. Metaphysical theories such as creationism are “airtight”
if they are self-consistent. They contain no self-contradictory elements. No
scientific theory is ever airtight.

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