Saturday, May 31, 2008

Creationism is Doomed

I have come to realize that creationists' philosophy is fundamentally very inconsistent in a way that I had not before thought of. Take a look at the Answers in Genesis Statement of Faith. It says:

"No apparent, perceived, or claimed interpretation of evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. "

Notice that they said "interpretation of evidence" rather than just "evidence". In science, things can often be explained in a number of different ways. Creating an explanation is what scientists call "formulating a hypothesis". The plan is that, from there, we try to test each explanation to prove it wrong. If an explanation is ever at odds with direct observation, the explanation is thrown out. Once a hypothesis is the last one standing, after passing a number of tests, it is considered true until it is proven false or a better explanation comes along.

Creationists, however, want to side step this. They are making their assertion immune to any tests. Radiometric dating doesn't prove the earth is old, radiometric dating is wrong. Tree ring dating doesn't prove the earth old, tree ring dating is wrong. The fossil record appears to show a progression of life? The flood sorted the fossils so that there appears to be a 'progression'. Amphibians just so happened to make their first appearance in the fossil record after fish but before reptiles.

They will, of course, insist that evolutionists do the same thing by assuming Origin of Species is true as much as they assume the Bible is true. But this defense is blatantly false, as evolutionary theory is open to revision. Darwin's original idea has been amended many times, and all on the basis of new evidence. Darwin once speculated that bears had evolved into whales. This speculation was discarded once it was discovered through biochemistry that bears were so dissimilar to whales that they could not be closely related. The fossil record provided evidence that the ancestors of whales were more like wolves than bears (Look up "Pakicetus" or "Ambulocetus").

Creationism is doomed because it wants to play in the realm of science, but will not allow scientific evidence to enter into the debate about whether their beliefs are correct or not.


BEAJ said...

Creationism is going to become extinct thanks to internet. Anyone smart enough to be able to find AIG, is also smart enough to find all the refutations to their nonsense in non secular sources.

Peg said...

I read your assumption. Where is the beginning in the scientific realm? Is it scientifically proven that nothing or void can in fact create something, a cell? In a vacuum can something be created if nothing enters it? Where would evolution begin? How does nothing evolve into something?
Everything must have a beginning to begin.
With the big bang theory, where did the explosive matter causing the explosion of "evolution" come from?
These are questions I have as of yet to find correct in the complete scientific analysis.
And then there is plank time...but yet Einstein even quoted, "before God, we are all equally wise equally foolish" but then he was just a radical monotheist.? Hmmm

GumbyTheCat said...

Right on with your post. Even now, most Christians see the silliness in what sites like AnswersInGenesis promote. It's only the hardcore fundies that have managed to keep deluding themselves into believing AiG claptrap. It may seem like there are a vast number of these nincompoops but that's simply because they shout so loud. Making a lot of noise is the typical tactic of the extremist, and an extremist by definition is in the small minoroty. As Beaj said in his/her above comment, the internet will play a large role in the eventual extinction of the creationists. There's just too much knowledge, easily and freely accessible, to permit the creationists to get away with their foolishness forever. Creationism, in its attempt to appear rational, has morphed into ID. What can ID morph into now that it has been debunked? The cycle can only be repeated a limited number of times.

Here's my own take on the AiG Statement of Faith:

GumbyTheCat said...

Oops, the URL got truncated. Use this instead:

Peg said...

The works of Stanley Miller was refuted and even Hawkings cannot explain where the beginning began.

Peg said...

Gumbythecat? I am confused, you say you are a Christian in your bio but you then say you do not agree with creationism? Maybe I am just reading this wrong.

Igor said...

That's right peg, believe it or not many religious people, Christian and otherwise, see recognize that to date evolutionary theory (based on insurmountable volume of evidence of fossil record, subsequently supported by genetics, radioactive dating, etc) is the best explanation we have for complexity and diversity of life on earth. Then there are those who cannot separate their literal reading of the one book with interpretations of observable and measurable phenomena. Science rarely claims absolute certainty, because all of its theories and laws are replaceable when disproved or in light of a better explanation. Creationism is based on absolute certainty first (read dogmatic belief).

As to the creation of the universe, life on earth, etc; these are separate questions separate from evolutionary theory. There are some hypothesis and ideas attempting to answer those questions, and in most of those cases the people working to find an answer are not afraid to say "We don't know at this time." Can you say the same? Can ID proponents, creationists, radical fundamentalists acknowledge this very human lack of absolute knowledge, or claim with superhuman absolutism that one book has all the answers in this universe?

Abdul Alhazred said...

I think you're way too optimistic about the triumph of reason. That's just one of the possible outcomes.

Eternal vigilance!