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Creation science

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The RATE group is a creation science research team focused on the problems with radiometric dating.

Creation science is the systematic study of nature by scientists holding to the creationist worldview, which asserts that the cosmos and life on Earth are the result of a supernatural or intelligent causation. The term (also known as Scientific creationism) is most often used in connection with religious concepts of creation -- specifically, the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic understanding of creation, based on the accounts of Genesis and the Qur'an. It is also frequently applied to describe the defense of creationism on scientific grounds.

Creation science is primarily concerned with two issues:

  • Understanding the discoveries of science within the interpretive framework of creationism;
  • Documenting and demonstrating how the findings of science are consistent with creationism and inconsistent with evolutionary theory;

Most creationist research focuses on issues related to the origin or history of the universe, Earth, and life. Each of these areas of scientific inquiry are analyzed by creation scientists who hold to various postulates regarding the extent to which natural processes were responsible. The most divisive topics are those that address chronology, as there are many who believe the cosmos to be billions of years old, while others hold it to be much younger than modern science asserts.

In contrast to religious creationism, intelligent design (ID) posits that certain aspects of the physical universe (particularly life) are designed, but makes no specific claims regarding the identity of the designer. Although typically considered a subset of creation science, ID is distinguished by the absence of presuppositions regarding a creation. ID has instead developed as a field of inquiry to study the empirical scientific evidence of design that has been discovered in nature.

Contents

Premises

Main Page: Philosophy of science

Creation science is premised on several ideas:

  • Science is by definition a human effort to understand the universe.
  • There is nothing "unscientific" about believing that life was deliberately created. Just as it is scientific to study the Pyramids and Parthenon as having been created at a particular time by a particular creator, it is scientific to study life as having been designed at a particular time by a particular creator.
  • The historical book of Genesis provides a verifiable, falsifiable record of events which can be evidenced and understood scientifically. In particular, the Great Flood had an extraordinary effect on the Earth's geology which can be evidenced and studied.

Much of the creation vs. evolution conflict revolves around determining which ideas are "facts" and which are "interpretations" of fact. For the most part, the same actual facts, observations, and repeatable phenomena are common to scientists of all philosophies. The divergence comes in the approach to them, and in the interpretation of them. Creation scientists use the same scientific method, but simply operate under the presupposition that God designed and assembled our world when forming theories. The number of scientists populating the creation paradigm has risen sharply in recent decades, and hence the issues in scientific creationism have abounded.

Beliefs

Biblical creationism derives its information primarily from the book of Genesis in the Bible, while some also reference apocryphal literature such as the Book of Jubilees and Book of Enoch. Islamic creationists use the Islamic Qur'an. All of the above books contain nearly parallel accounts of a six-day creation, Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and Noah's flood.

Young earth creationism has three basic beliefs drawn from a literal interpretation of the Bible:

  • All living things were created by God
  • This creation was relatively recent
  • A Great Deluge occurred some time after the initial creation

Secular scientists find the first statement unscientific in the sense that it is based on observations that cannot be reproduced, and thus exclude it a priori. Creationists usually respond that this argument relies on an inadequate definition of science, because it excludes as unscientific a possibility that could still be historically true, and because it admits abiogenesis as scientific, even though it also cannot be reproduced. The second and third claims are vigilantly attacked on the basis of uniformitarianism, or the idea that the geology of the Earth is the result of slow processes, rather than the catastrophism of creation science.

Disciplines

Creation science is limited in scope, focusing on issues relevant to the origin of things. As such, it does not differ from mainstream science on many issues that are observable today, such as the function of gravity or the composition of the sun.

Principal subjects of research in scientific creationism are:

Considerations

A few notes are in order regarding this topic due to its controversial nature.

  1. It is patently impossible to adequately discuss creation science without referencing creationist journals. It is practically impossible for a scientists to publish a creationist paper in a secular journal, and it is claimed that journals have even pulled support for papers post-approval when it was discovered that one or both of the authors had creationist leanings. Therefore, be advised that, while many of the papers under discussion are peer-reviewed, they are peer-reviewed by scientists who are themselves generally creationists, possibly removing one bias for another.
  2. When used here the term theory refers to a model which describes evidence, and hopefully, makes predictions. It is therefore not meant in the informal sense of conjecture, but neither is it meant to implied that has gained currency in the mainstream. hypothesis could easily be used instead.
  3. This site describes the principal work of creationists, which typically revolve around showing difficulties with the superstructure of modern science. In general, creation sciences do not attempt to prove creation directly anymore than secular scientists attempt to prove uniformitarianism or abiogenesis. The research of creation scientists falls into two general areas
    1. Showing that their beliefs are not incompatible with known observations
    2. Showing that modern day observables challenge some basic tenets of modern science (e.g. an old earth, evolution, abiogenesis)
Both of these basic areas of research are treated here, but it must be understood that creationists typically rely on a type of argument from silence. They suggest that if the universe is young, abiogenesis is untenable, or the modern-day diversity of life cannot be explained via evolution, then their general axioms are more reasonable than any other way of explaining our modern earth. This argument by silence is, of course, not air-tight, but neither is it the case that, for example, a young earth theory of evolution exists.

See Also

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