Creationism vs Science – My Current Obsession

bizarro-creationism45% of the people in the United States don’t believe in evolution, and believe that the world is less then 10,000 years old. (1)

99.9% of scientists accept evolution. (2)

To say that I find the former number to be disturbing is a profound understatement, particularly given the latter.

I have spent my spare time over the last several days watching creationist and anti-creationist videos on YouTube, and while I find the support for the anti-creationist videos to be heartening, I still can’t get over the fact that 45 percent of Americans are totally, mind-bogglingly ignorant of one of the most basic tenants of science.

I was introduced to these disturbing numbers after I read a post on another blog site, called Always Tilting, in which the author, whom I otherwise considered to be a reasonably intelligent man, made a rather bald-faced post that proclaimed evolution to be effectively dead as a concept.  It shows the degree of my own naivete that I found the statement to be jaw-dropping and put me into a state best described as apoplectic confusion.  I knew that people held such views, but I considered the percentage of those who prescribed to them to be at best 5% of the population.  I was appalled to find out exactly how wrong I was.

Thus I began my quest to learn the arguments used on both sides of the debate, if it can be characterized as such.  I say this in this way as each side approach the argument from two completely different sides.  Those who believe Darwin and natural selection support their facts through the scientific evidence and through vehement support of the scientific method.  Those on the Creationist/Intelligent Design side of the argument reject outright or do not understand the fundamentals and, more importantly, the REASONS behind the strict methodology of the scientific method.

Many on the Creationist side state that science is merely a faith and a religion in and of itself.  This it most decidedly is not.  Science is merely a rigorous method for abstracting truth, in whatever form that truth may take.  Humans are fallible, very subject to faulty logic, and are prone to out and out lying to obtain desired results.  The methods of science take these factors into account and do their best to counteract these human tendencies.  In bypassing the scientific method, you also bypass these controls, and thus you find creationist literature and argument laced with exactly the kind of errors for which science exists to prevent.

Science does possess one single element of faith (although most scientists fail to realize this), and that is that science relies on the idea that the universe and reality is truly as it presents itself to us, and that no deliberate deception is involved within the nature of the universe itself.  Deliberate deception implies a conscious God.  If God is indeed deliberately deceiving us, it could be for one of two reasons.  One: God is a deliberate liar and wishes us to believe His inerrant holy book despite the scientific evidence to the contrary.  Two, and more generously: God has created a universe which suggests a history deliberately different then that of what really happened because God wants us to believe in the alternate history.

Putting this aside, we are left with the Creationist using arguments that were either rejected by scientists over a century ago, using arguments based on the inerrancy of the Bible (i.e. not really an argument at all), or using arguments that are not submitted for peer review in scientific literature because they reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of what science is all about and are either never submitted or summarily rejected by the literature in question because they are not phrased in a scientific manner.

As the word ‘science’ is so fundamentally vilified and misunderstood by so many, I will use the synonymous phrase, “the accepted truth evaluation methodology” when I refer to it henceforth.

I must thank Mike, the author of Always Tilting, for staying calm and friendly on his side of the argument, and also for ultimately introducing me to the disturbing discrepency between the facts derived from the accepted truth evaluation methodology and the beliefs of 45% of the American people.  I will do my part to try to heal this discrepency.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Creationism vs Science – My Current Obsession

  1. You may be interested in looking at some blogs about theistic evolution that I visit, especially one called undeception. Their linked at my blog, knowinginpart.wordpress.com.

  2. I always smiles when I read about these discussions that are VERY American. I always wonder why evolution is singled out. Believing that the world is less than 10,000 years old does not impact just evolution. It is against the Big Bang and most physics and astronomy. But do these people who follow the literal word of the Bible still believe that the Sun rotate around the Earth ?

  3. Frighteningly, I think these people DO believe that the Sun rotates around the Earth. And that the Earth is flat. And that the entire Moon landing was faked in a television studio, and Man never went into space at all. And why is this an American argument? Do you not discuss evolution in Europe? Does Creationism not have its adherents there as well? Or is it strictly an American phenomena?

  4. It is interesting, Princess, that most of the creationists I’ve seen seem to have no problem believing in a heliocentric solar system, that the earth is spherical, and that man did land on the moon. What’s more, they say that evidence for a spherical earth can be found in the Bible (part of the problem here is that the Hebrew word for circle and sphere were the same.) And Wildstar, those creationists who think about it actually come up with suggestions that that the Universe is far smaller than the accepted truth evaluation methodology has demonstrated it to be (a), or that the laws in the early universe were not the same as the laws in the current universe (b). The Big Bang is simply ignored or summarily dismissed as “scientific” mumbo-jumbo. As a side note, it should be stated that there are more scientists who believe that the earth is flat then who don’t believe in natural selection (I don’t have a reference for this, but I’ve heard it stated in more than one reference.)

  5. 45% isn’t too bad. Years ago when I checked it was 53%. Either we’re making some progess or more people are apathetic. I’ve also looked at a few anti-evolution videos on Youtube. I got bored when I realized I could debate some of thier arguments. I just recently finished reading a book on Intelligent Design because I do book reviews but only on subjects of science and religion.. But lately I’ve also had an obsession with this topic probably because I’m taking a class called Human Evolution. It’s at a Christian college.

  6. my friend, i´m sorry it´s been so long (over a week) since i last visited and commented on your emergence post http://tinyurl.com/avg4uh. i´m glad i didn´t wait longer, or i would have been not-so-blissfully – on hindsight – ignorant of your latest 3 very excellent posts that seem to have stemmed from our previous dialogue.

    my thanks to you, as well, for engaging me on this topic in, according to my experience, uncharacteristic gentlemanliness (is that a word?).

    i´ll make no attempt to dominate your comments section with a wordy defense (i´ll put together some thoughts in a more coherent way and post them). but, i will make a couple of statements by way of clarification.

    i have spent much time over the course of the past 17 years listening to, watching, reading, and otherwise educating myself, with material from both sides of the debate over the pros and cons of the creation/evolution issue.

    i unapologetically place myself in the camp of those believing the creation model is the model best supported by the scientific studies of the physical data available.

    i know little to nothing about the “intelligent design” movement´s origin, methods, goals, credibility or patronage.

    i am quite familiar with the “fundamentals and, more importantly, the REASONS behind the strict methodology of the scientific method.” as a matter of fact, my wife holds a phd in biology and proclaims belief in the evolutionary model.

    i do not now, nor have i ever, held or stated a belief that science is, in and of itself, either a faith or a religion. however, i will say that, in my opinion, it takes as much – or more – faith to believe in the evolutionary model (one distinct species arising from another THROUGH THE VEHICLE OF natural selection and mutations) as it does to believe in the creation model (the world (cosmos) as we observe it today, along with its inhabitants, came into being with full complexity and functionality through the purposeful actions of an outside source).

    i do not believe any deception need be supposed by any scientist on the part of the creator, nor a “deliberately different” apparent history, in order to conclude the observable evidence clearly fits the creation model over the evolution model; and this was the gist of my “bald-faced post.”

    i wish “the accepted truth evaluation methodology” would become a common description of the evolutionary model in the scientific community, as it more clearly illiterates the bubble of bias within which researchers must confine themselves.

    cheers for now, and until soon!

  7. In the betterment of science, why would a “GOD” only create a universe just for man who is of his image and surround this world only with what he felt we needed just so we can “worship” a jealous being. As a parent I am certain that we do not allow our children to grow and mature in this manner because it is socially unacceptable, however if it is written in the “Book” then it is only okay for “GOD” to go against what we know to be humanly wrong. And what of the belief that the planet is no more than 10,000 years old, not likely even if in chance. They say carbon dating is inaccurate, well not all calibrations are perfect, however a thousand year difference really is not a “huge” discrepancy. With all of our technology why is it necessary to still remain so closed minded.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s