Many self-proclaimed "skeptics" have charged creationists with the bogus claim that we are not interested in new information, our minds are already made up. Many Christians also wonder if there is any good in research—we should just teach Scripture and ignore scientific knowledge.
But the "R" in ICR stands for "research," and we do a lot of it. We think it absolutely essential. Let me explain.
The Bible tells us a great deal about the recent creation, the Curse, and the global flood, and what it tells us is absolutely true. It doesn't tell us all the details, however. For instance, it doesn't tell us how and when Grand Canyon formed, and people would like to know. Evolutionists continue to use Grand Canyon as a tool for recruiting advocates for evolution and the old earth idea. Obviously, we must research to see if there is a better understanding, one that doesn't enslave people in wrong thinking.
Science is limited to the present. We can't directly observe past events, we can only study their results which still exist in the present. This is true for both evolutionists and creationists—neither side observed how the strata in Grand Canyon formed, or how the fossils died, or how and when the canyon was eroded. Both sides have exactly the same evidence to research in an attempt to reconstruct its history.
ICR contends that the best understanding of Grand Canyon is that a pre-flood earth was inundated by dynamic water action, depositing layers of sediments containing living things (which later hardened into sedimentary rock and fossils). Then, the sediments were rapidly eroded, leaving a deep canyon. But was this erosion late in the flood, or did a post-flood lake catastrophically breach its natural dam, carving the Canyon?
This is an area of discussion among ICR scientists, but you can see how the Bible is used to set the basic parameters, and scientific research is used to fill in the blanks.
There are at least two categories of research. The first is to gather the actual field or laboratory data and interpret it. The second is to critique published data and reinterpret it as necessary. Both are absolutely crucial to creationist advancement.
At Grand Canyon, ICR scientists have collected all published radioisotope dates and isotopic analyses. As it turns out, these results are frequently self-contradicting and often unusable to any model. But did the original authors ask the right questions? Did they publish all their data? In recent years, ICR has gathered fresh specimens and conducted more extensive research, asking the right questions, and finally the picture is starting to clear up.
The concept of radioisotope dating, which has intimidated many into accepting evolution and old earth, has thrived through selective reporting of evidence and incomplete analysis. But good research—creationist research—has taken this "idol" off its pedestal, exposing it as false thinking and replacing it with better, God-honoring, and Bible-supporting thinking.
*Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.