Scientific creationism

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I quote creationism's leading intellectual, Duane Gish ... "We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by the Creator."
Pray tell, Dr. Gish, in light of your last sentence, what then is "scientific" creationism?
Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution as Fact and Theory

Scientific creationism is a term used by actual creationists in an attempt to give a scientific veneer to creationism, and disguise the fact that it is motivated entirely by religion. It was coined by Henry M. Morris, the father of the modern creationist movement, and was the title of a 1974 book by him. Most skeptics consider this phrase, at best, to be an oxymoron, and even creationists that use the term rarely venture into actual science.


[edit] History

"Scientific" creationism is a reaction to the teaching of evolution in American schools. Evolution is science, but telling people that God made the world is religion; and so both law and common sense meant that the factually challenged religious view could not be taught to school children as a replacement for evolution by natural selection. As a response, creationists began trying to be more "scientific" in their endeavours.

Textbooks were written to present, essentially, the biblical view but without explicitly naming Yahweh as the creator or hinting that the Bible was a specific source of inspiration. With the superficial religious nature of the argument disguised, proponents demanded equal classroom time. This approach was struck down by the courts in 1982, leading, ironically, to the evolution of the intelligent design approach, which in turn was struck down by the courts in 2005.

Further developments include the Teach the Controversy campaign, which attempts to reframe evolution as if there was a giant controversy within science itself over the subject (there isn't) and the wedge strategy, which aims to use this as a starting point to shoehorn religion back into schools.

[edit] Oxymoron

A general rule of thumb when dealing with claims of scientific creationism is that if it's science it ain't creationism, and if it's creationism, it ain't science.

One of the reasons this can be so confidently stated is that there is no actual science that backs the creationist position. If this was so, then creationists wouldn't have to campaign for equal time to be heard in classrooms and the evidence would simply present itself in mainstream science journals. Creationists instead retreat to their own scientific journals such as the ARJ, which are friendly to the position of creation. Indeed, journals like the ARJ specifically do not allow papers that don't advance the position of creationism - a type of stipulation not found in any mainstream (read; "reliable") scientific journal.

Further to this is the method used by creationists. Inside the classroom, they have to tread carefully with their wording; outside the classroom, creationists are free to espouse their views on the certainty of their position. In this case they are sure that God created the Earth over the course of 6 days a few thousand years ago - and they just have to prove it. This is the exact opposite of the scientific method, in which theories are altered to suit the facts; in the case of creationism the theory is solid and unchanging, and no one is going to be caught publishing reasons why the world wasn't miraculously created and evidence against creationism in any of their pseudojournals. Creationists have an unwavering theory, and twist, distort and selectively quote the facts to suit it.

In short, there is no way one can consider what "scientific" creationists do as being similar to what real scientists do. The term is nothing more than a veneer, and what they do is no more than cargo cult science.

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