Some evolutionary scientists are upset that many newly-minted science graduates are scientifically illiterate. In a recent article in The Scientist, writer Richard Gallagher states,
One young innocent, for instance, defined scientific theory as "an idea about something, not necessarily true." If that isn't playing into the hands of creationists, then I don't know what is!1
In one exclamatory statement, Gallagher not only implies that “creationists” can’t be scientists, he also insinuates that they operate out of scientific ignorance and/or dishonesty. This is an ad hominem argument and does nothing to further the discussion of scientific literacy, which is ironically the main point of Gallagher’s article—that those who are involved in science, whether as researchers or teachers or in some other capacity, need to understand what science is.
Creation scientists would wholeheartedly agree with Gallagher that those involved in scientific endeavors should have “a strong foundation in the philosophy of science,” and a thorough understanding of its tenets. However, to accept the blanket assumption that science is incompatible with the Bible violates both that philosophy and its tenets. Indeed, the very foundation of Western science was laid by those who believed the Bible from the very first verse.2
Later in the same article Gallagher says:
Let's get the interactions amongst ourselves right. Integrity, humility and respect layered on top of our necessary skepticism will encourage open dialog and creativity.1
Creation scientists couldn’t agree more, and would suggest that Gallagher apply this formula equally with regard to those who do not subscribe to his secular viewpoint.
- Gallagher, R. 2008. Why the Philosophy of Science Matters. The Scientist. 22 (10): 15.
- Morris, H. M. 1982. Bible-Believing Scientists of the Past. Acts & Facts. 11 (1).
* Mr. Sherwin is Senior Science Lecturer.
Article posted on October 29, 2008.