Scientific dogma

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Scientific dogma is used in two ways: one to refer to very, very well-established theories in science (which is a pretty decent usage, albeit different from the traditional religious use) and one to negatively refer to scientific theories that the speaker doesn't like, with the implication that science is unchanging and suppressive of minority views (like religious dogmas). This second usage is unfounded.


Creationists often argue that scientists are pressured not to challenge the established dogma of evolution and radiometric dating.[1]

There are several issues with this claim:

  1. This is not historically true. When Albert Einstein proposed his Theory of Relativity, it caused a massive upheaval in the scientific community. The same also occurred with quantum theory, atomic theory, and most other major scientific discoveries — even the theory of evolution, for that matter. If scientists are pressured to never challenge "established dogma," astronomers, for example, would still be using Ptolemy's theory of epicycles to explain planetary retrograde motion.[2]
  2. This is not presently true.
    1. Scientists are, in fact, pressured to challenge dogma. Proving that science is doing it wrong is just as, if not more, likely to bring a scientist fame and funding. Einstein is noted (at least in part) because he questioned classical mechanics.
    2. Scientists conduct experiments that may or may not prove current theories to be true. If this claim were true, scientists would never conduct any experiments on anything — out of fear that they might challenge an aspect of the system.[2]
  3. This claim directly contradicts another creationist claim, "science was wrong before." It is very bizarre to think that scientists uphold "established dogma" with constantly changing data.[2]
  4. Hypocritically, creationists, themselves, are pressured not to challenge their own established dogma, given as how so many creationist organizations, including ICR, Answers in Genesis, and even Creationwiki, require that their members swear to reject all evidence that would potentially contradict a literal interpretation of the Bible.[2]
  5. This argument functions in part as an appeal to pity by arguing that creationists have to fight against peer pressure.
  6. "Dogma" is loaded language and suggests a closed-minded religious attitude. Its use in science, as noted above, is vastly different.
  7. This argument relies on the conspiracy theory that some scientists knowingly are withholding the truth.

External Links[edit]


  1. Anon, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., p. 182.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Wells, Jonathan, n.d. Unification Sermons and Talks: Darwinism: Why I Went for a Second Ph.D. [1] See also: Anonymous, n.d. Dr. Jonathan Wells Returns to UTS. [2]