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Greater Houston Creation Association

Creation Science 101

WHAT IS CREATION SCIENCE?

Some would claim that creation science is an oxymoron - words that are so mutually contradictory that they should not be used together. Obviously that is not our intent. To be clear, the word science must be explained first. The word science has a wide variety of uses in society today and it is important to understand which one we mean.

Webster gives five ways society uses the word science including not only physical, biological, and natural science but also others which do not use the scientific method as a physical scientist would. These include social, political, and theological 'science' among others. All of these are important contributions to our broad body of knowledge. More about definitions here.

But the foremost thing that comes to most people's mind when they here the word science is the marvelous success of modern medicine and technology. This success is truly amazing. It is this impressive success that comes to most peoples mind when they hear of science. That is the reason that many want to call his or her endeavor science. They want to have their endeavor associated with this success. The success implies that the ideas and philosophies being professed must be right and valid. So it is important to recognize just what brings all of this technological success.

The one thing that is important above all others is the experimental testing of all the available hypotheses. It is often said, "If you can't test, you can't know." When multiple investigators obtain repeatable experimental results one can be confident that we are dealing with something real. When one hypothesis explains more of the observed and measured results than another then it is probably the better hypothesis. Testing leads to further analysis and refinement of hypotheses, then more testing, and more refinement, and so on. It is this testing of hypotheses that produces the success of modern science

Any endeavor that does not focus on experimental testing of hypotheses should be referred to as a philosophy or religion rather than science.

It is with this understanding of science we speak of 'creation science'. Creation science is the testing of hypotheses about the origin processes of the world around us including the action of an intelligent, purposeful, and supernatural creative agent. The criterion for judging a hypothesis to be better than another is that the hypothesis must explain more of the physically observable evidence than another hypothesis. Creation scientists expect to be able to develop a system of hypotheses that will explain the sum total of all experimentally verifiable evidence more accurately than any other system of hypotheses. This is the same goal that conventional scientists have.

Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment

Science and the Past

A big distinction between the conventional scientists and the creation scientists comes when we consider the past. The distant past represents a different kind of problem for any scientist. That is because experiments, observations, and measurements can only be done in the present. One simply cannot measure something that happened a million years ago. The best one can do is consider the recorded experimental results observed in the present and then infer what they must mean about the distant past. This is a very important point! The past is not directly observable, not to mention repeatable! Many possible events and circumstances of the past could affect the physical nature of the things we can observe and measure in the present. Our inferences must have a framework or context to fit into. So we must have an assumed concept of past history before we can make any inferences about the past. So our inferences about the past are dependent on our framework assumptions about the past plus our present experimental results. One should note carefully that the framework assumptions do not change the experiments and measurements in the present and so cannot be tested by them. Experiments are controlled by the actual but unknown history and the present laws of physics not our assumptions about the past. To the extent that any of one's framework assumptions are wrong, his inferences about the past will be wrong also. Thus the framework assumptions are just as important as the presently observable data in formulating one's concept of past history.

It is also important to know that in 1931 a famous mathematician named Gšdel rigorously demonstrated that the set of assumptions or axioms behind every logical system cannot be proved to be either complete or self consistent. We must realize that none of us can be logically sure that our framework assumptions are either complete or self consistent. The best we can do, beyond consulting an eyewitness, is be persistent in exploring all possible questions.

Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment

Interpretive Frameworks Are Key

The interpretive framework is key to the inferences that one will make about the past. When the interpretive framework is different, then different conclusions will be drawn even though the observations in the present are the same.

It is these framework assumptions that distinguish the conventional science approach from several different sorts of creationists you should be aware of as follows.

Conventional scientists: most assume that nothing supernatural has existed. They assume uniformity of process and rate over time. "Uniformitarianism" is the philosophy that at all times in the past the same processes acted and they acted at very much the same rate of action that we see today. This framework is of course the framework of conventional historical geology and evolution. More here.

Intelligent design (ID) scientist have concluded that the complexity of life is so great that it must necessarily have been designed by a purposeful intelligence of some kind. But they stop short of trying to identify who the intelligence is. Many of these are scientists who have been driven to an ID conclusion by their research. Dr. Dean Kenyon of Biochemical Predestination fame is an example. They seem to be happy to let all reach their own conclusions on the obvious question of the identity of the intelligent agent without comment. The ID group is also noncommittal on a historical framework but is very likely to continue the conventional view. The principle organization is the Discovery Institute at www.discovery.org. More here.

Theistic evolutionist (TE) is a category of creationist. These folks conclude that God used evolution as His creative process. They see this as a way to reconcile the Bible and evolutionary science, both of which they greatly respect. In my opinion they do more damage than good on both sides of the issues. Hugh Ross at Reasons to Believe has pushed this approach to its logical extreme and calls it "progressive creation". All of these people fit nearly everything to the conventional historical geology paradigm. More here.

Young earth creationist (YEC) is another category of creationist. These people take the Bible to be the actual word of God, which He has provided and preserved for us to understand our relationship to Him and His creation. Some of this information is a historical narrative about the creation and some major events in time. This framework includes the supernatural creation of the initial state of the universe, the first life on Earth, and sometime later a world scale Flood that completely reworked the surface geology of the earth. Most of the geology above the Cambrian is usually considered to be a result of this world scale Flood and the relaxation process that moved toward the nearly steady state we observe today. They assume that when all is well understood, science and God's Word will agree. They have found that when they diligently use modern research methods within this framework they increasingly find the expected agreement. More here.

Purely Biblical Creationists take the Bible as the only source of truth. They assume that where there is a conflict between the Bible and science, science is mistaken. They assume that science is following false philosophies about the past and might never discover the truth.

The above descriptions are of course very minimal but they do outline the framework behind what different groups are thinking and saying. Given the same observational and experimental facts in the present each group can come to a different conclusion about reality in the past because they have a different interpretive framework of assumptions.

A very import point here is that creation scientists, especially YEC scientists, expect to eventually produce a model of the past that better explains all of the evidence measured and observed in the present than the conventional uniformitarian evolutionary framework can. For this reason we call the endeavor science.

Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment

Is Science Self-Correcting ? A little History is needed:

Yes, it sometimes is self-correcting. But, no, self-correction is not automatic. It can be thwarted and all too often is. The self-correction comes when multiple hypotheses are continually tested and compared. The testing eliminates wrong ideas. The mutual competition urges efforts on and enables open minds. It helps scientist to get out of their habitual 'ruts' and 'think outside the box'. The result is new thinking that would not have been discovered otherwise. Failure of self-correction comes when some line of thought is excluded on the basis of preconceived philosophy or interpretive framework alone. When some line of thought is excluded without continued analysis and testing, then we fail to recognize the significance of new evidence, innovative thinking is suppressed, and the progress of scientific knowledge is slowed. Lets look at some historical examples in context.

In the 1700s it was common for geologists to regard all geologic structures to be a result of Noah's flood. In the late 1700's James Hutton began to introduce the idea that given enough time presently observed processes were capable of slowly producing all of the presently observed geology. During the middle 1800's Charles Lyell popularized strict uniformitarianism, which assumes (or demands) the same processes acting at the same rate over time produced all that we see. In the later 1800's Darwin's ideas of evolution by natural selection melded with Lyell's uniformitarianism and became mutually supporting systems of thought. By the early 1900s evolution and uniformity had become adopted almost exclusively. Of course there had always been a number of contrary facts discovered along the way but there had also been a sense of mission about "freeing the sciences from Moses" as Lyell had put it. This overly zealous insistence on evolutionary uniformity as a matter of fundamental principle continued to be extremely dominant into the 1960s. Anything not slow and gradual was simply taboo.

In the 1920's a geologist named Bretz studied the central Washington "scablands" where deep vertical-walled canyons called coulees were gouged into hard basalt. Bretz' work convinced him that the scablands had been produced by a flood far beyond anything that had been recognized before. But his results were rejected by the uniformitarian establishment. It was only in the 1950s, after the area had been surveyed by aerial photography, that the truth of his ideas was recognized and embraced by others.

In the 1950s and 60s careful study and mapping of the sea floor convinced many geologists that the continents were once joined and had moved apart forming the Atlantic ocean. In the late 1960s the concepts of plate tectonics swept through geology and became universally accepted as one of the most important and basic principles in geology, providing solutions to a wide variety of problems. It is interesting to note that a few geologists had discussed the movement of continents for a very long time. One of the principal reasons tectonics was not embraced earlier is that strict uniformitarianism was ideologically demanded by the scientific establishment in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Since the 1960s many other large-scale "episodic" events have been recognized in the geologic record. In 1993 the British geology professor, Derek Ager, published his book The New Catastrophism, The importance of rare events in geological history which documented what had always been observable but unseen by closed minds. It is now clear that uniformitarianism had been zealously carried much too far and it in fact had become an impediment to the progress of knowledge. We are still not completely free of the uniformitarian excesses even today.

Among biologists of the late 1800s, it became fashionable to attribute everything observable to evolution by natural selection in myriads of small steps leading toward the present forms of life. For example, there were over 100 minor organs in the human body whose function was not apparent. These were classified as 'vestigial organs' because they were assumed to be leftovers from and evolutionary heritage. These vestigial organs were considered to be a major evidence for evolution. Since then we have learned much and the list of vestigial organs in humans has almost been eliminated. Today there are only three or four debatable cases.

Similarly, much of the evidence for evolution that was considered to be well established in the early 1900s has proved to be mistaken by research in the in the latter part of the 1900s. This includes many of the things that we learned in school as evidence for evolution. These included the origin of life experiments, Haeckel's embryo similarities and "gill slits", peppered moths, and many others that have been disqualified or debunked by new knowledge in the last twenty-five years or so. An interesting fact is that few if any of these disqualified evidences have been removed from the textbooks until the last couple of years.

Biologist, Dr. Jonathan Wells, calls these often-repeated items "icons of evolution". In 2001 he wrote a book entitles Icons of Evolution detailing the history and technical problems with the most important of these icons. Icons of Evolution demonstrates that the scientific establishment is often more interested in convincing the public of the uniformitarian evolutionary interpretive framework than they are in following the evidence. Even so, the strong trend of much research evidence is against the established theories of evolution. More on evolution, icons, and the establishment.

Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment

Creation Science Research

There have always been a few individual scientists pointing to the deficiencies of science done with the uniformitarian evolutionary framework. In 1963 ten of these scientists formed the Creation Research Society to promote research and publish peer-reviewed papers. Today the CRS has about 600 voting members, all with advanced degrees in the sciences, and about 1000 sustaining members. The CRS publishes the Creation Research Society Quarterly. The Institute for Creation Research was formed in 1972 to maintain a full time staff of scientists to research, write, educate, and debate other scientists. The principle debater has been biochemist Dr. Duane Gish, who has surprised and frustrated literally hundreds of debaters, mostly science professors, by clearly winning nearly all of these debates.

The successes of the CRS and the ICR enabled many others to venture forth in faith that their efforts in science could produce a significant impact. A good example is found in one of geologists' favorite 'proofs' of long ages, the formation known as Specimen Ridge located in Yellowstone National Park. Specimen Ridge contains a number of layers of mostly upright broken off trees that were interpreted as forests that grew on top of one another in succession. This obviously, in the conventional scientists' view, took much longer than the Biblical timeframe as anyone could clearly see and understand. Dr. Mike Arct went out and took core samples of the petrified trees on a number of levels and demonstrated that they all had a similar pattern of rings and in fact grew at the same time, not in succession. This led to the interpretation that a catastrophic succession of mudflows had washed different parts of the same forest on top of other parts of that forest. Since then we have seen some similar catastrophic processes actually happen at Mt. St. Helens. In fact, Mount St. Helens has produced a variety of catastrophic phenomenon that strongly counters the uniformitarian assumption.

Continued research has also demonstrated some major problems for the uniformitarian interpretive framework. For example, at the presently observed erosion rates, all of the landmass above sea level would be removed in less than 14 million years. If this had been going on for tens of millions of years, there would be no fossil bearing rocks left! Further, at the presently observed erosion rates, all of the mass of the presently observed ocean floor sediments would be delivered in about the same 14 million years. Also at the present accumulation rates, the salt and other minerals in the oceans would be accumulated in tens of millions of years; a very small fraction of the supposed three billion year age of the oceans. But note carefully that all of these age figures assume that the rates observed today have been the same in the past. If there was a world scale flood a few thousand years ago, then these erosion and deposition rates would have been enormously higher during that flood. Then after this world scale flood, the erosion and deposition rates would gradually decrease as the Earth approached a new equilibrium condition. Given such a flood, all of the above age figures would be enormously shorter than those given.

ICR geologists have published two excellent books on these geological issues. First is the Young Earth by geological engineer Dr. John Morris. Dr. Morris provides a survey of the issues that point to a young earth. The Young Earth is a must read for all who wish to understand the YEC position. Second is Grand Canyon, Monument to Catastrophe by geologist Dr. Steve Austin. This book examines in some detail the facts at the Grand Canyon that indicate catastrophic processes at work to lay down the geologic column as well as cut the canyon. The Grand Canyon is important because it is the largest exposure of the geologic column on Earth, and it does not support the uniformitarian assumption.

Ongoing research by geophysicist Dr. John Baumgardner addresses the question of just how a world scale flood might physically occur. He answers with the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT) theory. CPT shows how ocean floor basalt plates can be rapidly subducted into the Earth's mantle in a matter of months. During this process the oceans would be displaced over the continents. Dr. Baumgardner has used supercomputers to simulate the whole Earth's geophysical system during CPT events. One simulation sequence uses a single Pangea like continent as a starting point and shows that the catastrophic subduction pulls it apart into very nearly the continental configuration we see today!

More exciting research is being done under the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) project. The RATE project is the first joint project of the ICR and the CRS. Its principal staff is a team of three physicists, three geologists, and an atmospheric scientist. In the past, creation scientists have documented many important theoretical problems and empirical results that conflict with the standard dating methods. The RATE project intends to go far beyond that to produce an overall theory about radioisotopes in the Earth's rocks that will better account for all of the observed evidence than the conventional theories. The initial problem statement and five year project plan was published in 2000. Some of the intermediate measurement and analytical results were published in 2003 and they point to a young Earth in some very exciting ways.

More about CPT, RATE, other research at the Institute for Creation Research can be found in the ICR web site research department at www.icr.org.

We at the Greater Houston Creation Association look forward to providing additional articles about creation science and current research on our web site. In the mean time please check our event schedule and join us for the presentations at our monthly meetings of the GHCA. In addition to the speaker we also have a large array of creation science books and videos available for your examination and purchase. All are welcome and we would like to meet you and try to answer your questions.

Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment


More on Definitions of Science:

The Webster Dictionary definition of science is:

1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding 2 a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study *the science of theology* b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge *have it down to a science* 3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : NATURAL SCIENCE 4 : a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws *culinary science* 5 capitalized : CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

(emphasis added)

Definitions do not have anything necessary to do with the scientific method although they are legitimate uses of the word science. For example I once saw a university professor of communications define the scientific method as organizing and categorizing hypotheses but made no mention of testing hypotheses. So it would be reasonable to call this endeavor communications philosophy or communications art but not communications science. So it is with political 'science' and social 'science' and with many others.

Definition 3 is the meaning we are most interested in here. Testing through the scientific method is rightly required for this kind of science.

Many scientist of the establishment try to exclude from scientific consideration anything that might be labeled 'supernatural'. One can choose to have confidence and faith that all that exists can be accounted for by physical processes and principles; but if so, one should recognize this as a philosophical or religious position. They are certainly right to demand repeatable experimental results, but that does not necessarily account for all physical reality. There have been and will continue to be real non-repeatable physical events that science needs to deal with in some manner. The origin of every physical thing is non-repeatable. Is science not to deal with these? There is the problem of information stored up in vast quantities in all life forms. So far no one has demonstrated any source of information other than intelligence. Isn't it illogical to simply exclude all of this?

Of course it makes no sense to simply proclaim that God just did it that way every time we have difficulty explaining something. That does not lead to greater knowledge or understanding of reality. Instead, hypotheses should be formulated for every possible case and all of these tested against the evidence.

With these things in mind please return to our main line of presentation here.

Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment

More on Conventional Science:

Conventional science searches for a framework that explains all things by natural processes without involving an intelligent being or anything supernatural. The resulting historical framework of conventional science begins with the Big Bang that brought all of the universe's energy into existence with a complete violation of the conservation of energy. (This really should be considered a supernatural event!) Given some arbitrary assumptions this energy would supposedly, by the laws of physics and the expansion of space, condense into matter and cool to form galaxies, stars, and planets. In rare planets, where the conditions happened to be just right, some simple form of life might occur. Then supposedly, mutation plus natural selection would gradually generate a variety of forms adapted to their environment in more complex ways.

There are many problems with this scheme. A very short list might include the origin of space-time and energy; the arbitrary conditions like cosmic inflation, more than 90% of the universe's mass being invisible; many problems with the collapse of gas clouds into stars and planets; the vast gap between simple organic chemicals like amino acids and the very complex system of chemicals needed for even simple life; the origin of the information content in all life; the dearth of direct evidence for macroevolution, even though microevolution is commonplace; and the comparison of proteins among different life forms that often do not indicate the same connections indicated by the fossils.

But regardless of the problems there should be some dedicated group of scientists pursuing this approach to science, otherwise we would not be able to compare the results of this framework with the results of other frameworks. It is interesting to note that a 1998 survey (Nature vol. 394 p313) indicates that only 7% of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) believes in any sort of personal God. This is the leadership in the conventional scientific community that sets the drumbeat all the rest must follow. This is the leadership that controls the funding, the institutions and the publications. With such a strong dominance of atheism, it is not surprising that this group to pursues a godless approach to science. Unfortunately, many of these scientists claim that it is improper for anyone to pursue any other approach to science. That makes their world view secure, but it also eliminates the competition among ideas needed for open minds and innovation. It leaves science about the past in a rut.

Conventional scientists often claim that all of the success of technology is a result of their purely naturalistic framework or worldview. First of all, this is not true; in fact it was Biblical creationists who established most of the branches of science. Consider Newton, Kepler, Boyle, Kelvin, Faraday, Maxwell, and many others. In fact modern science and technology sprouted and grew only where society was dominated by the Judeo-Christian culture, which assumes an orderly and purposeful creation of a supernatural Creator. Secondly, the success of technology is a result of the experimental testing of hypotheses in the present. It is not a result of any interpretive framework for past history.

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Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment

More on Intelligent Design (ID)

The principal organization advocating the intelligent design position is the Discovery Institute (DI) which counts among their Fellows a number of Ph. D. scientist and professors that have concluded from their own research that the complexity of living organisms demands the involvement of intelligence in their origins and development. The DI makes no attempt to identify the intelligence involved leaving this to each individual to deal with in his own way. Nor does the DI seem to have an official position on the past history. Their advocates seem to assume the conventional uniformitarian view of the past until some part of that is proved wrong. Their focus is on the need to recognize the necessary role of intelligence in the origin of information and organization in the development of life as we observe it around us.

Some of the principal ID scientists are:

Dr. Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. In 1996 Behe published a book entitled Darwin's Black Box, the Biochemical Challenge To Evolution. This important book examines the biochemical problems for evolution and explores the concept of 'irreducible complexity' as a major problem for evolution by mutation and natural selection.

Dr. Jonathan Wells, a biologist, in 2000 published Icons of Evolution, Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong. The 'icons of evolution' are the items that are repeated in textbooks year after year to illustrate and prove the 'fact' of evolution. Wells provides the history and technical details for twelve of the most important icons. He shows that the research of the last two decades has invalidated these icons as either illustrations or proofs of evolution. It was not until after Well's publication that any of these icons began to be removed from the texts. Unfortunately, many are still there even at the college level.

Dr. William Dembski has earned PhDs. in both mathematics and philosophy and a Masters in theology! Dembski has published several books on the rigorous logic of distinguishing the results of an intelligence from that of natural processes and he makes a serious case that this can be done scientifically. He has published several books including Intelligent Design published in 1999 for the non-specialist.

Dr. Michel Denton is another that I want to mention because his 1985 book, Evolution: Theory In Crisis, seems to be one of the catalysts that started off the ID movement although he himself is not associated with the DI. This is an important book covering a broad scope from the perspective of a MD specializing in developmental biology and genetics. It is still well worth the read.

Dr. Philip Johnson, a professor of law at Berkley, also made an important contribution to the start of the ID movement with his book Darwin on Trial. While Johnson is not a scientist, he has great expertise in the logic of arguments and the use of evidence and he is very critical of the arguments and evidence offered by the Darwinists.

There are two important videos from the DI that make an excellent presentation of a substantial segment of the ID position in the space of an hour. Unlocking the Mystery of Life covers the rise of the ID movement and the motivation of the principal scientists in regard to the complexity of life systems and the need for a source of information. Icons of Evolution presents the case against five of the icons and the systematic suppression of the up-to-date facts in American schoolrooms. Both of these make an excellent introduction and overview for both students and faculty.

Since the DI leaves the identity of the intelligent design agent to the individual to work out for himself within the context of his own culture and worldview, their material seem a natural fit for the public schools where it is desirable not to introduce any religious material or to degrade any individual's personal religious views. The Unlocking the Mystery of Life video especially makes a fine supplement to the biased viewpoint of the standard textbooks.

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Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment

More on Theistic Evolutionist (TE)

Theistic creation is the oldest way of reconciling the belief in God with the theories of evolution. It is probably the most common position of the theists in the scientific community that do not want to deal with the issues in detail. It might also be commonly cited by agnostics as an alternative to pure naturalism. It is not a position that pursues answers to problems, but rather a position that allows one to hide from problems.

There is a national organization, Reasons to Believe, which advocates a variant of theistic evolution, called "progressive creationism", and carries it to its logical extreme. Dr. Hugh Ross, an astronomer and theologian, is the leader of this organization and his principal method of resolving the conflicts between the conventional ways of understanding the Bible and conventional science is to reinterpret the Bible as needed. Much of what he has to say seems to tell more about Ross than it does about the Bible. Dr. Ross has the habit of resorting to ridicule of those that are not convinced by his reasoning. Ridicule is based on negative emotions and it is not a proper approach for either a scientist or a Christian.

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More on Young Earth Creationist (YEC)

This is the camp in which the GHCA and its leadership reside. Some national organizations are: Institute for Creation Research (ICR) at www.icr.org, Creation Research Society (CRS) at www.creationresearch.org, and Answers In Genesis (AIG) at www.answersingenesis.org. Some major individual scientists include geophysicist, Dr. John Baumgardner, physicist, Dr. Russell Humphreys, geological engineer Dr. John Morris, and biochemist Dr. Duane Gish

The history and current research will be covered later in the main article.

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More on Evolution, Icons and the Establishment

The icons of evolution that Dr. Wells elaborates are: " The Miller-Urey 'origin of life' experiments " The 'tree of life' concept and illustration " Homology in vertebrate limbs " Haeckel's embryos and 'gill slits' " Archaeopteryx as a 'missing link' " Peppered moths as an example of evolution by natural selection " Darwin's finches as an example of evolution by natural selection " Four-winged fruit flies as an example of beneficial mutation " Fossil horses and directed evolution " The ape to human illustration showing a simple progression Wells argues that what has been learned about these icons in the last few decades essentially invalidates the ideas that they are used to illustrate or prove. To continue to use them in textbooks misinforms and misdirects the student, yet the textbook publishers have continued to do this long after substantial contrary information has been published in the professional science journals. Why don't the publishers follow the new evidence as it comes along?

One of the reasons that the publishers continue to repeat the icons is that it is cheapest and easiest thing to do and that makes more profit, something all businesses must give close attention. Further, these icons are what most scientists, teachers, and the publisher's staffs have been taught. So these icons are what the publisher's market is expecting to see. If the publishers put something different in the texts then they must deal with explaining this to their clients and educating them about the more recent developments.

Ideally, we might expect all scientists and teachers to keep up with all of the new developments, but that has long since become totally impractical. When in school, the course of study keeps one so thoroughly challenged that few can take time to do anything other than just try to keep up with their assignments. When they graduate and find a first position, they find that it is all they can do to establish themselves among their older peers. When they become well established, they are focused on a specialized area of research. As a result very few have time to look at developments very far afield. Further as knowledge continues to proliferate, there is a constantly increasing specialization with the result that everyone has to rely on the scientific establishment to take care of all the other areas of science.

At the top of the scientific establishment is the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This is the group of people who have risen to the top positions throughout the scientific community. These are the people whose approval the rest of the aspirants need. These are the people that control the position appointments, the funding, and the peer-review of articles submitted for publication in scientific journals. In academic professions it is truly a 'publish or perish' world. Publication is the end product of a scientist's work. If one doesn't publish, he must not have done anything worthwhile, so he receives no funding and no advancement. So the NAS represents what the scientific community is and where it is going.

In 1998 the results of a survey of the top scientists in the NAS was published in Nature vol. 394 p313 and it indicates that only 7% of these scientists have any belief in a personal God. Another 21% were agnostic and another 72% have a personal disbelief. This indicates the dominance of atheism in the scientific community. Ultimately this is the market bias to which the textbook publishers must sell. Society would like to think of the scientific community as being unbiased, but it is not so. If the textbooks present things that seem to lead away from classic uniformitarian evolutionary thinking, the decision makers are likely to perceive it as a threat to their interpretive framework. Such a text would not readily become a popular text among professors.

This writer recently participated in the Texas textbook review process considering the newly proposed biology textbooks. These textbooks have had some of the icons removed but many still remain. The Discovery Institute and Texans for Better Science Education were there to press for the full explanation of the weaknesses of the icons of evolution or their removal from the proposed textbooks. It was very interesting to see which organizations showed up to organize opposition. In each case the leadership of these organizations were award-winning advocates of humanism or atheism. They loudly claimed that there are no weaknesses in the icons or with evolution and nothing in the texts should be changed. They lumped their opposition all into one group, Bible thumping fundamentalists that wanted to put religion in the textbooks. They were very aggressive pushing these statements to the press and the state board members both of which know no better and just want a quick answer from an authority figure. Eventually the status quo advocates had to admit that indeed there are weaknesses in the icons and evolution in general. It also became clear that no one, in testimony or written comments, had proposed that anything from the Bible or religion be used in texts. But the facts did not stop the strident claims. It became clear that their prime motivation was not science, truth, or following the evidence, rather; it is maintaining dominance, power, and control of the humanist worldview. The atheist and humanists see the uniformitarian evolutionary interpretive framework as friendly and the possibility of an intelligent designer or Creator as threatening.

With all of these pressures on them the publishers naturally resist all change in the status quo. Those who want change will have to work hard to make it possible.

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Creation Science | Science and the Past | Interpretative frameworks are key | Self-correctivity of science | Creation science research | Definitions of Science | Conventional Science | Intelligent Design | Principal Intelligent Design Scientists | Theistic Evolutionists | Young Earth Creationists (YEC) | Evolution, Icons, & the Establishment