Creationism vs. Science

I wish to discuss today how creation science is not really science, but a rejection of it.  Science is about questioning, hypothesising, observing and testing; it involves empirical inquiry and thrives on evidence.  Science can be (and has been) wrong at times, but it is by its errors that it matures.

Creationism is not the enemy of evolution, but of science as a whole.  I should like to quote an excerpt from the textbook Evolution by Mark Ridley:

However, a beautifully simple and easily understood idea – evolution by natural selection – can be scientifically tested in all these fields. It is one of the most powerful ideas in all areas of science, and is the only theory that can seriously claim to unify biology. It can give meaning to facts from the invisible world in a drop of rain water, or from the many coloured delights of a botanic garden, to thundering herds of big game. The theory is also used to understand such topics as the geochemistry of life’s origins and the gaseous proportions of the modern atmosphere. As Theodosius Dobzhansky, one of the twentieth century’s most eminent evolutionary biologists, remarked in an often-quoted but scarcely-exaggerated phrase: “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”.

The theory of evolution, like any other scientific theories, have been formed on the basis of evidence.  This is not to say that evolution is 100% correct; that would be an appallingly unscientific claim – no real scientist would say it.  It is however the only plausible explanation on the subject of species – very plausible indeed, that all the evidence acquired over the century points unfailingly towards it. 

The evidence for evolution grows by the day, and has never been stronger. At the same time, paradoxically, ill-informed opposition is also stronger than I can remember.” – Richard Dawkins

Evolution’s “ill-informed opposition”, of course, is creation science, which, I must stress again, is not even remotely a science.  To be a creationist, one must completely ignore the evidence of evolution; one must reject the current understanding of biology, geology, physics, anthropology and chemistry, because it is by these disciplines which evolution proves valid.  One thing people fail to understand is that the opposite of evolution is not creationism.  If evolution is falsified, then there is probably a better science – but creationism is not one.  Creationists take it for granted that if evolution fails, then God is the only possible answer.  Wrong.  I reiterate: there is probably a better science, and even if there isn’t and science points towards a creator, why is the Judeo-Christian God the immediate answer? Have we all forgotten the omnipotence of Zeus, Thor or Ra?

The famous cartoon below summarises my whole point.  Creationism is the enemy of science.