Creation science: is it really a science?
Creation science: science or pseudo-science?
What is creation science?
Among the religions of the world, there are hundreds of creation stories:
The vast majority of religions have their own account of
the origin of the earth, its life forms, the
stars. etc. Almost all were believed to have been created by supernatural
A few religions, like one of the ancient Celtic religions after which Wicca
is pattered, have no creation story.
The religion of Jainism denies that the universe was created.
Although there are many points of similarity among the creation stories of
some religions, there are also great differences. Most creation stories are
mutually exclusive. For example if the biblical creation story is true, then
almost all of the
hundreds of creation stories of the other religious holy books and oral
traditions are are wrong. And, vice-versa.
Many people believe that their own religion's creation story is an accurate
account of events. They often believe
that all of the creation stories of other religions are myths, legends,
and fables. They are viewed as fantasies devoid of any accuracy -- as legends made up
by humans without any knowledge of the real events. 1,2
A maximum of one
religion can have an accurate portrayal of the creation of the world and its life; perhaps
Various Christian groups promote different creation science theories. Although many deny
that their findings are religiously based, we have never found a statement by any of these
organization which contradicts their interpretation of any Bible passage. All of the
groups that we have studied believe in the inerrancy of the
Bible. They all believe that the universe was created as described in the book of Genesis,
and did not evolve due to natural forces.
However, conservative Christians have not agreed on a single
interpretation of Genesis. This has led to conflicting
theories of creation such as: Biblical creationism, Old earth Creationism, Gap theory
creationism, Day-age creationism, etc. All use Genesis as their starting point, but have
reached conclusions that vary widely in their estimate of the duration of the creation
process, and when in the past that it occurred. Their time intervals vary over
almost a million to one range.
For this essay, we will focus on the most popular form of conservative
Christian creation science. We will use Section 4(a) of Arkansas law #590
as a guide. It states:
" 'Creation-science' means the scientific evidences for
creation and inferences from those scientific evidences.
Creation-science includes the scientific evidences and related
inferences that indicate:
- Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life from
- The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing
about development of all living kinds from a single organism;
- Changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds of
plants and animals;
- Separate ancestry for man and apes;
- Explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophism, including
the occurrence of a worldwide flood; and
A relatively recent inception of the earth and living kinds."
This definition appears to have been adapted from a nearly identical
seven point scientific-creation model written three years earlier by
lawyer Wendell R. Bird. 4,5
Persons familiar with the Bible text will be able to associate many of
these points with specific biblical passages. For example:
||Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3 describes the sudden creation of the
Genesis 1:20-25 describes the creation of all the "kinds" of animals.
Between Genesis 1:11 and Genesis 7:14, there are 17 references in the
King James Version of the Bible to "kinds."
||The separate creation of humans is described in Genesis 1:26-27.
The flood of Noah is described in Genesis 7.
||The concept of a young earth is implied in Bishop Ussher's estimate
of 4004 BCE for the first day of creation -- a commonly held belief
among conservative Christians.
Is creation science a science or a pseudo-science?
Scientists and jurists generally reject creation science as a valid form of
science and consider it pseudo-science. Two main reasons are:
Falsification: Scientists always accept the possibility that
their conclusions may be proven incorrect in the future. A biologist might
base her/his entire life's work on the assumption that the theory of
evolution is accurate. But, if they are true scientists, they must always
consider the remote possibility that some future finding will prove that
species did not evolve. Creation scientists do not accept falsification;
their fundamental belief in the inerrancy of Genesis is fixed,
non-negotiable, and unshakable. The Bible says it; they believe it; case
closed. They refuse to consider that the Bible might be proven false. The
inerrancy of the Bible is one of their
In order to assess the degree of resistance to falsification among
creation scientists, we attempted to dialog
with fifteen creation science webmasters. Each of their web sites
contained a number of "proofs" that the earth is young -- i.e. less than
10,000 years old, not 4.5 billion years of ages as scientists estimate.
One of their proofs was based on the rate of deceleration of the earth's
rotation. In each case, their argument was based on a miscalculation
published in a creation science book. Yet even though the error was
obvious, and was carefully pointed out to them via E-mail, none of the fifteen
webmasters were willing to remove the false proof. In one case, the
webmaster admitted that the proof might be false. But he considered his
essay to be part of an archive of previously published materials. Thus,
accuracy was unimportant. For the remaining 14 webmasters, their minds
closed to the possibility that one of their proofs was false.
Since it lacks the principle of falsification, creation science is not
generally considered a
form of science, except by some conservative Christians.
||Invalid conclusions: Scientists also reject creation science as
a part of science, because they generally regard its basic conclusions to
be wrong, proven false by the available evidence. Based on a literal
interpretation of Genesis, most creation scientists have concluded that:|
||The earth is young, aged less than 10,000 years.
||The world's linguistic groups developed from a miracle at the Tower
||The existing species of animals developed from a smaller number of
"kinds" which first appeared during creation week.
||Humans were part of a separate creation, separate from that of
||A universal flood once covered all of the earth's mountains.
Scientists have generally rejected all of these beliefs.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
D. Leeming & M. Leeming, "A Dictionary of Creation Myths", Oxford
University Press, New York, NY, (1994)
B.C. Sproul, "Primal Myths: Creation Myths Around the World," Harper
Collins, San Francisco, CA, (1979), Page 192 to 194. Quoting W. Theodore de
"Sources of Indian Tradition"
U.S. District Court Judge William R. Overton, "McLean v.
Arkansas Board of Education." A text of the decision is
online at: http://cns-web.bu.edu/
W.R. Bird, article in Acts and Facts, published by the
Institute for Creation Research, 1978-DEC.
Niles Eldredge, "The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of
Creationism," W.H. Freeman, (2000), Pages 92 to 94. Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
Copyright 2001 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Latest update: 2009-OCT-16
Author: B.A. Robinson