Monday, July 18, 2011

Literal Creation and Mainstream Science

The dismissal of the legitimacy of "Creation Science" occurs not only in the scientific community where positivism reigns supreme, but it also extends to a significant number of Reformed schools and seminaries. Ironically, many of those in such institutions arguing against literal creation and the legitimacy of "creation science" are neither scientists themselves nor do they have any advanced learning or work experience in the scientific field, never mind scientific research.

In a recent feedback to Creation Ministries International, Dr. Carl Wieland addresses the issue of the acceptance (or rather non-acceptance) of literal creation by mainstream scientists. As Dr. Wieland has said, it is not the case that there are no accredited scientists who believe in literal creation. It is however the case that these scientists do not publish in mainstream journals articles from a creationist viewpoint. As Wieland said:

Furthermore, a scientist can be ‘highly respected’ in a particular field, but the minute he starts to publish his conclusions supporting 6-day creation, he loses the respect of his peers, even though nothing has changed. This happened to Robert Gentry, a world authority on radiohalos, who was able to publish his findings in Science and Nature, but when it started becoming obvious that the conclusions were intended to support young-earth, that door slammed shut. He even lost his job at Oakridge National Laboratory. This is not some persecution complex, this is such a clear reality that creationists have been forced to set up their own journals for peer review. But then the argument will be that this is not ‘mainstream’ peer-review. See the Catch-22?

Another argument that is often used is that when such scientists voice an opinion on creation, they are publishing outside of their field. Or else it will be said that the work for which they received acclaim and respect had nothing to do with 6-day creation (ignoring the fact that the work for which most of the ‘mainstream’ scientists obtained respect almost always can be shown to have nothing to do with the truth or otherwise of either evolution or 6-day creation).

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Let me however give you two current examples of scientists who are highly respected in their fields, and who are 6-day creationists. In the US, for instance, there is Dr John Baumgardner, who has spoken several times for CMI. He is a geophysicist who is widely regarded as having developed the world’s leading supercomputer model on plate tectonics, an area in which he is an expert. In the UK, Dr Andy McIntosh is a full Professor at the University of Leeds (Thermodynamics). In Australia, Dr Don Batten works for CMI, and before working for us, made research breakthroughs in the field of plant biology. So, back then he was ‘respected’ by mainstream science, now he would be shunned—yet his scientific expertise has not changed.

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It is sad to see when professors and teachers in conservative schools and seminaries denigrate literal creation and "creation science." Granted, creation science is not perfect and is sure to contain unknown errors in their theories, but then all science functions in the same way.

It would certainly be very helpful if these evidently non-scientifically trained scholars at least refrain from speaking about things they know little if anything about. One can only hope however that those against the idea of having preachers in lab coats will also not in the process be a preacher in lab coat pontificating about the merits or demerits of creation science, as if they have the technical knowledge to made a judgment on the issue. Furthermore, if they are indeed functioning as real scholars and not as preachers in lab coats, they would give creation scientists as much respect as they give mainstream scientists, and creation science as much respect as mainstream evolutionary science.

8 comments:

Brandon said...

great post! thanks

PuritanReformed said...

@Brandon,

you're welcome.

Brandon said...

I received this in an email today. I can't comment on anything, but it's not something I've heard before. http://bylogos.blogspot.com/2011/07/moving-earth.html

PuritanReformed said...

@Brandon:

Dr. Byl's piece is interesting. I think his opinion on the realities facing the Reformed Scholastics is accurate.

As for the Geocentric versus Heliocentric debate, I agree that is meaningless in a post-Einstein world, since we have no concept of "absolute standard of rest." The commenters it sems are focused on whether the earth can be taken to rotate the sun (Copernicanism) but that is irrelevant to Byl's piece. The way I interpret Byl, he is saying that it is possible to take the Copernican system and still believe in "geocentrism."

wakawakwaka said...

no, i do think they have a persecution complex, like for example Michael Behe,one of the biggest champions of intelligent design he is allowed to teach an anti-evolution class at his university, as well Jason Lisle wasn't thrown out of University by evil secular atheists for holding creationist beliefs, even though members of his Thesis Panel were aware of his young Earth beliefs - they simply didn't have a problem with him
but i want to know how old do you think the earth is?

PuritanReformed said...

Why is my view on the age of the earth relevant for this particular topic?

wakawakwaka said...

Well because you seem to write a lot of stuff about evolution bing wrong as well a lot of stuff in support of young earthers and the thing is at least one of those scientists mentioned in the CMI article went out trying to find Noah''s ark....so that might be a reason why they lost respect

PuritanReformed said...

Even if one of those scientist go out to find Noah's ark (which is a foolish task), to tarnish all YEC because of that is Guilt By Association