Creation science must be labeled a pseudo science, for the methods utilized by its proponents fall well outside the parameters of the “scientific method of inquiry”, the very standard that governs the practices of the legitimate natural sciences. The guidelines that outline the systematic process of scientific inquiry adequately provide a well-defined criterion of demarcation, one that is, and must continue to be, clearly visible in order to bestow science with any degree of validity. If creation science is allowed to be classified along with the current natural sciences, an umbrella is consequently created that could cover any imaginable discipline, undermining the value of the legitimate natural sciences in the process.
Without question, science has been given an exalted status by society, a heralded position of authority within academia that separates it from countless other intellectual disciplines. The various natural sciences are unified in that they proceed via the scientific method of inquiry. Quite simply, the scientific method of inquiry, with its self-correcting foundation and willingness to explore and scrutinize, is responsible for bestowing science with the status it enjoys. Without making claims of infallibility, the scientific method is nonetheless effective precisely because it is a breathing method of inquiry, meaning that it lends itself to any necessary adjustments and self-corrections when times call for it. Criticisms of the method are often justified, yet can never serve as complete refutations, for any systematic methodology that lends itself to evolution can never be boxed into one fixated point of singularity. Any potential fatal flaws of the scientific method of inquiry are capable of being subverted, and hence resuscitated.
Although various scientific communities subjectively utilize the standard scientific method, several major principles are consistently adhered to, all of which seem to be blatantly ignored by practicing creation scientists. Objective investigations of the practices of creation scientists reveal a stagnant systematic approach with little resemblance to any known scientific model. The methodology of creation science serves as a window, revealing a community of fundamentalists bent on propagating a very narrow ideology, not a creative community of scientists openly investigating the natural world. “ As creation scientists, our purpose is singular, namely to spread the knowledge of God’s awesome powers of creation”.
“No statement or set of statements can be significantly proposed as a scientific hypothesis or theory unless it is amenable to objective empirical test, at least “in principle.” The need for testable hypotheses is perhaps the most straightforward and necessary component of the scientific method of inquiry, for it seems to be a pre-reflective truth that sheer speculation can never give birth to any form of validation. Observation of phenomena must be followed by a hypothesis that can be thoroughly tested and scrutinized in order to corroborate it, eventually resulting in its exaltation to the status of a theory. I want to stress the need for testable and potentially falsifiable hypotheses, for it is clear that creation scientists ignore this elementary necessity of the standard scientific methodological approach. For clarification,“ A hypothesis is testable and potentially falsifiable if there exists a logically possible observation statement or set of observation statements that are inconsistent with it, that is, if established as true, would falsify the hypothesis.” I take it for granted that any knowledge assertion, especially those of a scientific nature, must in principle be subject to some capacity of testing, demonstration, and or falsification. Ad-hoc speculation cannot be legitimately defined as science, for propositions not subject to empirical verification are meaningless tautologies. If there are no rules governing a criterion of demarcation, that is, boundaries separating science from non-science, the poet and the scientist are destined to become indistinguishable.
Rather ironically, leading creation scientists will freely admit that the methods and claims of creation science are not subject to experimentation and falsification. The 1981 trial of Arkansas Act 590, the “Balanced Treatment Act,” which centered around the demands of creation scientists to have their assertions taught in public schools along with evolution, featured many creation scientists admitting in pretrial interviews that what they practice is not in fact scientific. “Creation scientist Ariel Roth of Loma Linda University (a Seventh Day Adventist college), when asked in a court of law if “creation science” was really science, replied quite bluntly, “if you want to define science as testable and predictable, I would say no!” Admitting that your supposed scientific hypothesis is incapable of being tested in any way whatsoever is akin to stating that your hypothesis is not scientific. “Scientific objectivity is safeguarded by the principle that while hypotheses and theories may be freely invented and proposed in science, they can be accepted into the body of scientific knowledge only if they pass critical scrutiny, which includes in particular the checking of suitable test implications by careful observation or experiment”
When one considers the claims of creation scientists, it becomes clear that not only are their assertions incapable of being verified or falsified, but they are incapable of being conceptualized. I wonder, does the following statement refer to anything at all: “God created the universe and all of its components as outlined in the Bible.” In my opinion, until one clarifies whom or what God is, a task that surely leads to ambiguity, one cannot even conceptualize what it is creation scientists are talking about. In addition, a scientific world-view built around one simple concession is not exactly what I would call comprehensive. “ When one looks at the claims of creation scientists, two realizations instantly stand out. Initially, one is struck by the lack of detail expressed by their literature, and then one is struck by the lack of clarity involved in their limited descriptions.” I will return to this point again shortly, but I simply want to clarify my belief that creation scientists do not simply say little, but they in fact say nothing at all.
According to the creation scientists, there is really nothing left to discover in the world, and in fact, inquiry has its sole purpose in providing a visual aid to the truths that have already been presented in scripture. In this regard, one could rightly claim that creation scientists operate in a completely polar manner to communities of legitimate natural scientists. While the natural scientist speculates and then attempts to confirm, the creation scientist confirms and then aimlessly speculates. For example, when “The Institute for Creation Research” was operating out of Christian Heritage College, the faculty was required to subscribe to the following statement: “All things in the universe were created by God in the six days of creation exactly as described in Genesis 1:1-23.” Furthermore, Henry M. Morris, director of the “Institute for Creation Research” presently located in San Diego, proudly asserted, “It is precisely because Biblical revelation is absolutely authoritative and perspicuous that the scientific facts, rightly interpreted, will necessarily give the same testimony as that of Scripture. There is simply not the slightest possibility that the facts of science can contradict the bible”. I think all philosophers and scientists will find the language utilized by Morris to be troubling. It clearly appears that he is committed to rationalizing, and in effect, eliminating any findings that contradict his beliefs. Renowned critic of creation science Scott Anderson writes, “Creation scientists demand that all planetary evidence that coincides with evolutionary theory (the geological table, continental drift, erosion), all biological evidence, (DNA, biochemistry, microbiology, anthropology), and all astronomical evidence (quantum singularities, the age of stars) has been misinterpreted”.
Creation scientists simply refuse to bend, consistently maintaining that all the empirical evidence contradicting their beliefs are either illusory or fraudulent. When presented with troublesome findings such as specimens of Homo erectus, an intermediate species between modern humans and great apes, creation scientists resort to ad hominum attacks, characterizing the specimens as unquestionable fakes. “ It is apparent that many professional biologists who subscribe to the evolutionary theory will resort to any measures to verify their ludicrous assertions, including forgery.” Charles Sanders Peirce, who described such practices as “methods of “tenacity” in his essay titled “The Fixation of Belief”, prophetically outlined these emotional tactics utilized by creationists. In short, it is the creation scientists themselves who freely admit they will retain their theories at all costs, despite the fact that it is not the job of science to support what is preferable, but in fact what is plausible and empirically supportable. “In principle, it would always be possible to retain your hypothesis even in the face of seriously adverse test results – provided that we are willing to make sufficiently radical and perhaps burdensome revisions among our auxiliary hypotheses. But science is not interested in thus protecting its hypotheses or theories at all costs.”
As I previously discussed in passing, out of all the sins committed by creation scientists, the greatest problem for their crusade is not a result of what they have said, but in fact what they have not said. Proponents of this pseudo- scientific movement publish volumes of literature every year consisting of nothing but supposed refutations of the evolutionary theory of biology. The positive claims of creation scientists can be reduced to three simple words; God did it! Creationists have yet to undertake the process of detailing an alternative model to the evolutionary scheme currently accepted by the overwhelming majority of the scientific community. The central strategy of all creationist literature has been to debunk evolution, thereby leaving creationism as the sole survivor according to the skewed logic of its proponents. In a sense, creation scientists are simply critics of the evolutionary theory of biology, nothing more. “In the minds of creation scientists, it makes abundant sense that, if evolution could somehow be shown to be fatally flawed, then their version of the history of the cosmos would be instantly established as the correct one. Unfortunately, their version of the history of the cosmos has been unchanged for two thousand years, and it consists of only one written page of Hebrew. ” As any student of logic is aware of, the strategy utilized by creationists is glaringly fallacious, for they falsely assume that only two potential models of the universe exist, thereby hoping to refute the opposition and win by default. This fallacy is known by many names (ie- “only game in town,” “false dilemma”) but is nonetheless easy to spot. Anyone familiar with the history of science is aware that paradigm shifts inevitably occur, cultivating new world-views in the process. At present, there are perhaps only a few models detailing the construction of the universe, but for creation scientists to discount the possibility of future conceptions is dangerously presumptuous.
The agenda of the creation science movement is far from hidden, for those who subscribe to its practices vocally and proudly propagate their beliefs. After personally surveying much of the current literature produced by creation scientists, I feel confident in asserting that they are not concerned with validating a scientific paradigm, but in fact preaching Biblical Christianity. Therefore, creation science can be characterized under several different headings, though none of them contain the phrase “natural science.”