Geoscience Research Institute
IS CREATION SCIENTIFIC?
Ariel A. Roth
Origins 11(2):64-65 (1984).
One of the most common arguments used against the inclusion of
creation in the United States public-school science curriculum is that creation is not
scientific. It is asserted that the biblical account of beginnings is beyond the realm of
scientific investigation because it describes the miraculous. The especially abundant
verbiage against the term "scientific creationism" has included such labels as
semantic fallacy, glorious fake, pseudoscience, the equivalent of medical quackery, and
oxymoron. Creationists have countered by asking whether evolution might not also be a
Actually, the question of whether creation is scientific is trivial
because it is too simplistic. I shall illustrate this with only three points, although
several more could be added.
- Science can be pursued without a knowledge of primary causes. Many extensive scientific
endeavors have flourished even though the investigators remained ignorant of the basic
causes for the observed phenomena. An outstanding contemporary example is the plate
tectonics concept. Though it has generated many thousands of scientific papers, at present
we remain woefully uninformed as to a good mechanism for the movement of plates over the
surface of the earth. Likewise, the scientific study of gravity or the earth's magnetic
field has also proceeded without an understanding of primary causes.
If science can operate without a knowledge of primary causes, it can
also operate whether those primary causes are naturalistic (evolution) or supernatural
(creation), as long as the subject is consistent enough to be analyzed by the methodology
of science. Thus the effects and products of both creation and evolution are subject to
some scientific analysis, and creation does not negate science.
Although present concepts of science tend to exclude the supernatural
(e.g., creation), creation and science were not mutually exclusive concepts when the
foundations of our modern science were established. Many leading pioneers of science
believed in creation and used science to discover the law and order the Creator had placed
There is no question that the current capabilities of science are
unable to analyze the primary causes conceived for either creation or a worldwide flood as
described in Genesis. On the other hand, expected effects of these events such as the
complex nature of life systems or the evidence for catastrophism as seen in the rocks are
very much amenable to scientific analysis. Hence, creation and science are compatible, and
to label creation as unscientific is in disharmony with the scientific practice of not
requiring knowledge of primary causes for scientific study.
- The academic limits of science, like those of most other disciplines, are ill-defined,
and it is difficult to categorically state where science ends and another area begins. For
instance, should the history of science be classified as history or science? Is the
philosophy of science categorized as science or philosophy? The creation concept is
pertinent to both the history and philosophy of science, and the attempt to exclude
creation from the science classroom as being unscientific is intellectually restrictive.
Science which prides itself on openness and revisability finds itself stymied when
evolutionists suggest that anything related to the concept of creation must be rejected.
It causes one to wonder about a hidden agenda. Creationists have been accused of trying to
impose their religion in the public schools under the guise of creation science, but the
evolutionist's argumentation is likewise suspect.
- Both evolutionists and creationists use the scientific method to evaluate creation. A
commonly voiced objection to creation as science is that creation does not meet the
testability requirement stipulated for good science. Although evolutionists state that
creation as a miraculous event cannot be tested by science, some of their recent books
(e.g., Science Confronts Creationism, edited by Laurie R. Godfrey) are prima
facie evidence that they try to test creation with science. The claim that creation is not
testable by science loses credibility when science is used to test it, and methodology
becomes suspect of bias. Both creationists and evolutionists are using present scientific
data to test past events that are difficult to establish, but nevertheless are subject to
some evaluation by science.
As I have stated earlier, the question of whether creation is
science is trivial. It revolves around varied definitions of science and conflicting
scientific practices. By promoting the proposition that creation is not scientific,
evolutionists are directing their energies to a non sequitur that distracts from the more
basic question of origins, C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre! (This
is magnificent, but this is not the war). The real question is whether evolution or
creation is true.
Furthermore when the question of origins is being considered, it would
seem appropriate to consider many approaches. Until science can find more cogent
explanations for the great questions of ultimate origins, purposes, and the duty and
destiny of man, wisdom dictates that we look beyond science for answers. To limit our
inquiry into the question of origins entirely to naturalistic causes and to exclude other
realms such as creation under the guise that they are not science is obscurant and
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