"Geology will survive creationist undermining," according to a recent commentary by Steven Newton in New Scientist. Newton is Programs and Policy Director for the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), a nonprofit advocacy group based in Oakland, California, that is dedicated to censoring academic freedom and promoting evolution-only teaching in public schools.
He described how presentations at Geological Society of America (GSA) meetings by scientists who question the flaws in evolutionary theories have some members of the group "outraged" and calling for a ban on such presentations.
However, Newton argued that a ban "would be a mistake as it would hand [creation scientists] a PR coup."1 He then cited a lawsuit in which the California Science Center settled with the American Freedom Alliance for infringing on free speech rights when it censored a showing of the film Darwin's Dilemma.
"Scientific organisations will continue to experience creationist infiltration….But it is important for scientists not to overreact and to remember the science is far stronger than any creationist attempts to undermine it," he wrote.1
Actually, all that creation scientists really want is the freedom to do their work without the fear of retribution, such as losing their jobs or funding. If the science—rather than popular opinion—won't support their hypotheses, then the research will show that.
But while some in the GSA have frowned upon creation science presentations, other scientists don't seem to mind publishing about Atlantis2 or speculating on the existence of the mythical kraken.3 And considering that some of the founders4,5,6 of, and great contributors to,7,8 modern science approached their work from the perspective that the earth was created and that mankind didn't evolve from a common ancestor, why would conducting studies with a similar mindset today be deemed less scientific than research prompted by the writings of Plato or old sea monster stories?
Even though the NCSE's Newton clearly doesn't support the endeavors of creation scientists—or even non-creation scientists who don't blindly believe in random evolutionary theories—he does make the valid point that their work should be not be banned, which can lead, and has led, to legal drama beyond the scope of scientific investigation.
Regardless of worldview, letting the science speak for itself is something upon which all scientists should be able to agree.
- Newton, S. 2011. Geology will survive creationist undermining. New Scientist. 2833: 30-31.
- Gutscher, M-A. 2005. Destruction of Atlantis by a great earthquake and tsunami? A geological analysis of the Spartel Bank hypothesis. Geology. 33 (8): 685-688. See also Dao, C. Why Can't Science Start with the Bible? ICR News. Posted on icr.org September 2, 2010, accessed October 12, 2011.
- McMenamin, M. A. S. and D. L. Schulte McMenamin. 2011. Triassic Kraken: the Berlin Ichthyosaur Death Assemblage Interpreted as a Giant Cephalopod Midden. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. 43 (5): 310. Reported on in Simpson, S. Smokin' Kraken? DiscoveryNews. Posted on news.discovery.com October 11, 2011, accessed October 12, 2011.
- Dao, C. 2008. Man of Science, Man of God: Johann Kepler. Acts & Facts. 37 (3): 8.
- Dao, C. 2008. Man of Science, Man of God: Robert Boyle. Acts & Facts. 37 (4): 8.
- Dao, C. 2008. Man of Science, Man of God: Isaac Newton. Acts & Facts. 37 (5): 8.
- Dao, C. 2008. Man of Science, Man of God: Charles Bell. Acts & Facts. 37 (6): 8.
- Dao, C. 2008. Man of Science, Man of God: George Washington Carver. Acts & Facts. 37 (12): 8.
* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on October 13, 2011.