Creation and its Critics:
Answers to Common Questions and Criticisms on the Creation Movement
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
With the sharp renewal of interest in creation that has taken place in recent years, there has also developed a well-orchestrated reaction against it, spearheaded by the strongly entrenched evolutionist establishments in science, education, and the news media. These criticisms became especially strident with the passage in 1981 of "creation laws" in Arkansas and Louisiana.
The anti-creationist reaction has currently (June 1986) reached extravagant proportions. More than thirty books have been written against creationism and at least three anti-creationist periodicals are now being published. It seems that practically every secular newspaper and periodical in the country must have printed by now one or more articles critical of creationism. Many of these books and articles have focused their attacks particularly on the Institute for Creation Research, claiming that the dynamic of the modern movement has come largely from the writings and lectures of its scientists.
Most of the criticisms being published against the creation movement are strongly biased and badly distorted. Whether these false charges are based on sincere misunderstanding or deliberate misrepresentation we shall not attempt to judge.
In any case, they are false, and need to be answered. Since it is clearly impossible to try to write individual rebuttals to all the anti-creationist books and articles that have been published, this booklet has been prepared to try to answer some of the more common criticisms. Using a question-and-answer format, we have tried to organize them in convenient reference form, with brief and cogent corrections to the various misunderstandings and/or misrepresentations that are currently being circulated. We would encourage concerned creationists everywhere to assist in distributing the information contained in this booklet wherever people have been prejudiced against creationism by such false charges.
Question: "Since creationism is based on the Genesis creation story, why should it be included in public education?"
Answer: Scientific creationism is not based on Genesis or any other religious teaching. One can present the scientific evidences for creation (and against evolution) without referring at all to the Bible or to any type of religion.
Entire books1 have been written on scientific creationism without a single quotation from the Bible and without basing any argument on Biblical authority or doctrine. Such arguments deal with genetics, paleontology, geology, thermodynamics, and other sciences without theology or religion. Indeed, the scientific case for creation is based on our knowledge of DNA, mutations, fossils, and other scientific terms and concepts which do not even appear in the Bible. Furthermore, creationist scientists many who were formerly evolutionists made a thorough study of the scientific evidences related to origins and are firmly convinced (not by religious faith but by the scientific evidences) that the scientific data explicitly support the Creation Model and contradict the Evolution Model.
Question: "But isn't this so-called scientific creationism simply a backdoor method of getting Biblical creationism introduced?"
Answer: We could just as easily ask whether teaching evolution is a backdoor method of introducing atheism. Scientific creationism and Biblical creationism can, in fact, be taught quite independently of each other. We ourselves are opposed to the teaching of Biblical creationism in public schools. Teachers of biblical creationism should have a good knowledge of the Bible and a firm commitment to its authority, and these qualifications cannot be imposed on public school teachers. Biblical creationism, as well as other sectarian views of creation, should be taught in churches (as well as synagogues and mosques) but only scientific creationism in public schools. Both can well be taught in religious schools.
Question: "What is the difference between scientific creationism and Biblical creationism?"
Answer: The first is based solely on scientific evidence, from such sciences as those listed above; the second is based on Biblical teachings. The Genesis record includes the account of the six days of creation, the names of the first man and woman, the record of God's curse on the earth because of human sin, the story of Noah's ark, and other such events which could never be determined scientifically. On the other hand, scientific creationism deals with such physical entities as fossils, whereas the Bible never refers to fossils at all. It is quite possible for scientific creationism to be discussed and evaluated without any reference whatever to Biblical creationism.
Question: "Why is it that only Protestant fundamentalists are concerned about creation?"
Answer: The doctrine of creation is of concern to people of a wide variety of religious views. Evolutionism is the basic premise of many religions, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Taoism, Liberal Protestantism, Modernist Catholicism, Reform Judaism, and others, not to mention humanism and atheism; so these all would naturally tend to oppose creationism. In view of these and other religious implications, it is absurd to claim that evolution is strictly scientific. On the other hand, creationism is also basic in a number of religions only all the denominations of conservative Protestantism, but also traditional Catholicism and Orthodox Judaism, as well as conservative Islam and other monotheistic religions. It is much broader in scope and importance than as a particular doctrine of Biblical fundamentalists. Indeed, it is offensive and discriminatory to these other creationists to hear constantly that creation is only of concern to certain Protestant conservatives.
Question: "But isn't the very fact that creationism requires a Creator proof that it is religious, rather than scientific?"
Answer: It must be remembered that there are only two basic models of origins, evolution and creation. Either all things have developed by continuing naturalistic processes, or they have not; there is no other alternative. Each model is essentially a complete world view, a philosophy of life and meaning, of origins and destiny. Neither can be either confirmed or falsified by the scientific method, since neither can be tested or observed experimentally, and therefore either one must be accepted on faith! Nevertheless, each is also a scientific model, since each seeks to explain within its framework all the real data of science and history. Creationism is at least as non-religious as evolutionism, and creationists are sure that the Creation Model fits the facts of true science better than the Evolution Model. It is true that creationism is a theistic model, but it is also true that evolutionism is an atheistic model (since it purports to explain everything without a creator). If theism is a religious faith, then so is atheism, since these are two fully comparable systems, each the opposite of the other.
Question: "Why can't evolution be regarded as the method of creation, instead of having two competing models of origins?"
Answer: It is important to define terms, especially on this issue. The belief that God used evolution to make man is properly called theistic evolution, not creation. Evolution purports to explain the origin of things by natural processes, creation by supernatural processes; and it is semantic confusion to try to equate the two. Theistic evolution says there is a God behind the natural processes which cause evolution; atheistic evolution says there is not. Both forms of evolution assume the same framework of evolutionary history and the same evolutionary mechanisms, so there is no scientific way to discriminate between the two, as there is between creationism and evolutionism. Theistic evolution must be judged on the basis of theological criteria, not scientific. The creation and evolution models. on the other hand, can be compared and evaluated on strictly scientific criteria, as is done, for example, in the book mentioned previously, What is Creation Science? Creationists maintain that evolution is a poor scientific model of origins, strictly on the basis of scientific criteria.
Question: "How can creationists expect to have their doctrines taught in public schools when they believe that evolution was invented by the devil and is responsible for communism, racism and many other evils in the world?"
Answer: At most, such beliefs are no more offensive than the frequent evolutionist charge that creationists are ignorant fanatics, and that creationism and Biblical Christianity are responsible for religious wars, witch hunts, and all sorts of moral bigotry. The latter charges are actually frequently made in public institutions, whereas evolutionists are merely fearful that the former charges might be made if they ever gave creationists an even break.
As a matter of fact, creationists have repeatedly stressed that any religious, social and moral implications of evolution and/or creation should not be discussed in public institutions at all. Only the scientific aspects of the two models should be discussed, leaving all religious and moral implications for discussion at home, church or elsewhere as appropriate.
As far as the actual beliefs of creationists are concerned, this should be completely irrelevant in a land of religious freedom. The role of the devil in propagating the evolutionary concept is a legitimate topic of study for those who believe in Biblical authority, since the Bible does teach the reality of a great personal being who is the ultimate source of all rebellion against the authority of God in His creation. Those who do not believe the Bible should not be concerned one way or the other, since they do not believe there is a devil anyway.
Evolutionists are completely unwarranted in taking any personal offense to this teaching of the Bible. Creationists do not regard them as "agents of the devil," as some have complained, but only as unknowing victims of the one who has "deceived the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). If, indeed, creationism is true and scientific, and if evolutionism is false and contrary to true science (and this is the question at issue) then it is also reasonable for creationists to seek a causal explanation for the world's pervasive and age-long belief in evolution. The Bible-believing Christian (and one should remember that our country and legal system were established in the first place by Bible-believing creationist Christians) thus necessarily must be committed to some such ultimate explanation.
However, this in no way implies any personal charge against any individual evolutionist. Furthermore, these are religious matters, not scientific, and creationists believe they should all be excluded from public instruction anyhow. Creationists do not want their beliefs caricatured by non-Christian teachers any more than evolutionists want them promulgated by Christian teachers. They should not be discussed at all in public schools.
By the same token, creationists do not suggest that any modern evolutionist is a fascist, communist, racist, imperialist or any other type of social activist. To believe that fascism, communism, etc., are based on an evolutionary philosophy, however, is only to believe what the founders and leaders of these systems have always themselves insisted. If present-day evolutionists object to this fact, they should direct their complaints to the spokesmen for these systems, not to the creationists. Once again, however, creationists do not propose that these or any other social, moral or political implications of either evolution or creation should be included in public education anyway; so the objection is irrelevant.
Question: "Why should creationists insist on teaching creationism in public schools when they do not teach evolutionism in their own churches and religious schools?"
Answer: This widely circulated criticism reveals a serious misunderstanding of the nature of public schools and other tax-supported institutions. These are supported by both groups of citizens and evolutionists therefore both basic scientific models of origins should be taught in them, as objectively as possible. If Christians want to have only creation taught, that they should establish private schools for that purpose. By the same token, if secularists or others want to have only evolution taught, they should establish private humanistic schools for that purpose. For evolutionists to insist that their evolutionary religion should be subsidized by the taxes of creationists is both arrogant and unconstitutional. The two-model approaching both evolution and creation on a strictly scientific and objective basis the only approach in the public schools which is consistent with the constitution, with civil rights, religious neutralism, scientific objectivity, educational effectiveness, academic freedom, and general fairness.
Question: "Since creationism includes the creation of 'apparent age,' doesn't this imply the supposed Creator has deceived us?"
Answer: The concepts of creation does, indeed, involve the creation of "apparent age" better, the creation of "functioning completeness." By its very essence, true creation involves processes no longer in operation.
The products of these creative processes include the whole functioning universe. One may try to calculate an "apparent age" of any particular system in this functioning cosmos by use of some present (non-creative) process involved in that system, but at best this can only be as good as the assumption of the "initial conditions" which are used in the calculation (see the discussion of this subject in, for example, What is Creation Science?, pp. 239-253). The Creation Model quite reasonably implies that these initial conditions were produced in the system by the processes of creation and were of whatever nature and magnitude they needed to be for that system thenceforth to function optimally in the completed world as created. This concept is inherent in the very nature of creation. To say that there can be no creation of "functioning completeness" (or "apparent age," if you prefer) is the same as saying there can be no creation; this begs the whole question, of course, and is equivalent to defining away every option except atheism.
1 For example see the book What is Creation Science? by Henry M Morris and Gary E Parker (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers 1982. 306 pp. ).
Question: "Why should such a small minority as the creationists expect to impose their beliefs on others?"
Answer: Creationists are not a small minority. A nationwide poll commissioned by the Associated Press and NBC News late in 1981 showed that over 86% of the people favored having creationism taught in the schools.
Nevertheless, creationists only request fair treatment, not favored treatment, in the schools. The attitude of the liberal humanistic establishments in science and education, in trying to maintain an exclusive indoctrination in evolutionary humanism, seems incredibly intolerant and arrogant in a free country. In 1982, a Gallup poll, as widely reported through the New York Times service (e.g., San Diego Union, August 30, 1982, p. A12), found that at least 44% of the national population believed not only in creation, but in recent creation!
Question: "America's news media are apparently almost completely opposed to the creation movement; does not this fact refute the claim that a significant part of the population favors creation!"
Answer: Unfortunately, there is firm evidence that the leaders of the news media are completely out of touch with the opinions of the American people, even though they are supposed to be "opinion makers." For example, columnist Pat Buchanan, through the Chicago Tribune New York News syndicate on December 30, 1981, cited a recent article by Lichter and Rothman in Public Opinion magazine, which had reported on detailed interviews with the 240 leading editors, reporters, columnists, TV anchormen, producers, correspondents, and film editors people judged to be the leaders of the media in deciding what news to report and how to report it. The answers to all the questions demonstrated the extremely strong liberal bias of this group (as opposed to the much more conservative leanings of the people they supposedly represent). This abnormally left-wing bias was evident in all areas of thought sociological, scientific and political. Only 8% of them regularly attend either church or synagogue. and over half have no religious affiliation whatever. With this kind of profile, it would be surprising to find even the smallest semblance of sympathy for creationism in the media. The creation movement and arguments are, as a result, almost always misrepresented and distorted, often viciously, in newspaper and magazine articles and in radio and television coverage.
Question: "But why are all real scientists evolutionists?"
Answer: All real scientists are not evolutionists! There are thousands of bona fide scientists today who have become creationists, all of whom have postgraduate degrees, who are pursuing careers in science and who have records and credentials quite comparable to those of any other segment in the scientific professions. Although most scientists may still be evolutionists—especially those who control the scientific societies and journals—the creationist minority is respectable and growing. There are creationist Ph.D.'s in every branch of pure and applied science today geology, physics, engineering, medicine, and all the rest it is obvious now that a man or woman can be well trained and experienced in any discipline of science and can understand the factual data of that science within the framework of the Creation Model. In fact, acceptance of creation is known to be growing most rapidly today among people with scientific and technological training. This is all the more significant in light of the fact that practically all of these scientists were indoctrinated in evolutionism throughout their training. To become or remain creationists, they have had to study and think themselves through the evidences and arguments for both models, all on their own initiative, and usually against the opposition and ridicule of the majority of their scientific and educational colleagues. Most of them, like the author of this booklet, were themselves evolutionists throughout their college years and beyond, becoming creationists only as a result of later personal critical study and reevaluation.
Question: "Then why don't creationists publish in the standard scientific journals?"
Answer: Creationists do publish in the standard scientific journals, in their own respective scientific disciplines, and their publications' records compare well with any other comparable group. For example, the scientists who have served on the staff of the Institute for Creation Research have published at least 150 research papers and 10 books in their own scientific fields in standard scientific journals or through secular book publishers addition to hundreds of creationist articles and at least 50 books on creationism and related subjects. Whenever these articles or books have creationist implications, however, they must be "masked" in order to get them published in secular outlets. So far, at least, all frankly creationist articles or books are simply rejected out of hand by such publishers. For example, when the high school biology textbook produced by the scientists of the Creation Research Society was ready for publication in 1969, the 15 leading high school textbook publishers were contacted about possibly publishing the book. It was a comprehensive and well organized book, written by a fully-qualified team of Ph.D. biologists and other scientists, and should have been financially profitable for any publisher. Nevertheless, not one of these publishers would even so much as look at the manuscript! They claimed their other books would be boycotted if they were to publish a creationist textbook, so it was necessary for the Society to have it published by a Christian book company. The book has gone through two editions, and has been widely used in private schools.
Question: "But isn't it true that all the really important scientists are evolutionists?"
Answer: It is extremely difficult today for creationists to get Ph.D. degrees or to secure and retain faculty positions in the major universities.
Similarly the major scientific societies and periodicals are controlled by committed evolutionists. Students in science programs are exposed only to evolution in their classes and textbooks and often their advancement after graduation depends in part on conformity to the system. Under such circumstances it is remarkable that thousands of scientists have become creationists anyhow. One organization alone, the Creation Research Society, has had well over 700 members who have postgraduate degrees. Even though the modern scientists whose names are most familiar to the public are evolutionists (Sagan, Gould, Leakey, etc.) there are nevertheless many creation scientists today who hold equally important and demanding positions in scientific research and development. In fact most working scientists are apparently so deeply involved in their own projects that they don't even think very much about the creation-evolution question. They have not taken any public stand either as evolutionists or creationists and probably have not studied the evidence enough to decide. Many are (like the writer was for a number of years) evolutionists simply by default and conformity rather than conviction. Of even greater significance than the fact that there are thousands of scientists who have become creationists in modern times, however, is the fact that most of the greatest scientists of the past founding fathers of modern science creationists and, for that matter, even Bible-believing Christians. One could go down the list of the names of the great men who founded the various disciplines of modern science like Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Pascal, Faraday, Pasteur, Maxwell, Kelvin and scores of others of like calibre he would find a very large percentage of them to have been men who believed the Bible to be the Word of God and the God of the Bible to have created all things in the beginning. Somehow these beliefs didn't deter them from understanding science! For brief biographical testimonies of more than 60 of these great creationist scientists of the past, see the book, Men of Science-Men of God (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers, 1982), 128 pp.
Question: "Why do creationists make it appear that scientists are questioning evolution when they are really only questioning current beliefs about evolutionary mechanisms?"
Answer: This is an entirely unwarranted charge, usually made when creationists cite the writings of Stephen Gould or other modern evolutionary critics of neo-Darwinism. If those who make the charge would read or listen to the full context of what the creationists say, they would surely realize that no such misrepresentation was made or intended. Creationist scientists are all well aware that Gould and other modern advocates of "saltatory" evolution (as opposed to "gradualistic" evolution) are still evolutionists.
This very fact has been made a key point of creationist writings and lectures. The fact is that the so-called "punctuationists" are now using exactly the same arguments against the neo-Darwinians that creationists have been using for years (e.g., the gaps in the fossil record), and these "revolutionary evolutionists" resent having this recognized. The latter still maintain their faith in evolution despite the complete lack of evidence for it. It does seem strange to creationists that evolutionists can be so confident about the "fact" of evolution and still remain so completely uncertain as to its mechanism. Evolution is claimed to be "scientific," and still going on; so it seems like it should be observable and measurable. Yet, after 150 years of intense study of biological variations, evolutionists are still completely in the dark about the supposed mechanism of evolution. This fact surely is cause for beginning to doubt the validity of the very concept of evolution.
Question: "Who profits from the sale of creationist books?"
Answer: The largest publisher of creationist literature is Creation-Life Publishers, of San Diego. However, CLP is in the bush leagues of publishing compared to the giants who publish high school and college evolutionist textbooks. Not only those publishers, but also their authors, have a vested interest in maintaining the high profits and royalties which they receive from the lucrative textbook markets, especially in the elementary and secondary schools. This is surely one key reason for their emotional opposition to the introduction of creationist books into the schools. The inordinate fear of the Creation Research Society biology textbook has already been mentioned.
The outcries of indignation that have been widely voiced at the very thought of creationist publishers or writers profiting from creationist books need to be evaluated in light of the personal interests of those who are resisting it. As a matter of fact, the Creation-Life Publishing Co. was only organized in 1974 in order to provide a needed outlet for creationist books, since the established publishers were all afraid they would be a financial liability, and since the Institute for Creation Research did not have adequate resources to publish its own books. A small group of concerned individuals (including a few ICR staff members) provided the necessary investment capital to get CLP started, knowing it was a serious risk, but feeling that the cause of creationism warranted it. Furthermore, the company has had a substantial net loss for its first twelve years, and no stockholder has yet received any monetary dividends or interest on his investment. Of course, if and when the publishing of creationist books ever does begin to be profitable? we can be sure that the big publishing companies will then also begin publishing creationist books, and, with their resources, would probably soon take over this market. In the meantime the record following facts should be noted as to the relation between CLP and ICR:
- Although some ICR staff members are CLP shareholders, the large majority of shares are held by people not connected with ICR.
- CLP publishes many books produced by ICR, but also publishes many other books.
- A significant number of ICR books are published by other publishers than CLP.
- There is no organizational connection at all between the two, only an informal cooperation.
Question: "Isn't it unethical for creationists, in order to support their arguments, to quote evolutionists out of context?"
Answer: The often-repeated charge that creationists deliberately use partial quotes or out-of-context quotes from evolutionists is, at best, an attempt to confuse the issue. Creationists do, indeed, frequently quote from the evolutionary literature, finding that the data and interpretations used by evolutionists often provide very effective arguments for creation. With only rare exceptions, however, creationists always are meticulously careful to quote accurately and in context. Evolutionists have apparently searched creationist writings looking for such exceptions and, out of the hundreds or thousands of quotes which have been used, have been able to find only a handful which they have been able to interpret as misleading. Even these, if carefully studied, in full light of their own contexts, will be found to be quite fair and accurate in their representation of the situation under discussion. On the other hand, evolutionists frequently quote creationist writings badly out of context. The most disconcerting practice of this sort, one that could hardly be anything but deliberate, is to quote a creationist exposition of a Biblical passage, in a book or article dealing with Biblical creationism, and then to criticize this as an example of the scientific creationism which creationists propose for the public schools. Another frequent example is that of citing creationist expositions of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and charging them with ignoring the "open system" question, when their writings are specifically dealing in context with that very question. In any case, evolutionists much more frequently and more flagrantly quote creationists out of context than creationists do evolutionists.
Question: "Do creation organizations and their leaders profit financially by promoting creationism?"
Answer: The Institute for Creation Research is a nonprofit organization, dependent primarily upon individual donations for its operation. Its staff scientists have all taken jobs at ICR for smaller salaries than they were making, or could have made, in public education, and they also turn over all honoraria at ICR meetings to ICR for its general operations. ICR is careful to maintain sound financial policies, with its books audited annually, and with expenditures always kept strictly within its income. Its fundraising methods are always low-key and non-emotional. We cannot, of course, speak for other creationist organizations, except to say that we know of no individual or organization that has profited significantly in a financial way from promoting creationism. If any have ever attempted to do so, they soon found that this is no way to make money! The ICR is the largest creationist organization, but its annual expenditures are significantly less even than the budgets of most individual university science departments.
Question: "Why, then, does ICR lobby for the passage of creationist legislation which would require purchase of creationist books?"
Answer: Neither the Institute for Creation Research, the Creation-Life Publishers, nor the Creation Research Society is engaged in promoting, financing, or lobbying for creationist legislation. Neither do they file lawsuits or other political or legal actions aimed at compelling the teaching of creationism in public schools. This is a widely repeated charge, but it is completely false. The ICR constitution, in fact, precludes such activities.
It is true that certain other creationist organizations do this, and ICR has been willing to provide assistance (when such assistance was requested and financed by such organizations) in the form of scientific and legal consultation, service as expert witnesses, etc. Such aid is made available for the purpose of trying to help keep such activities, if they take place at all, on a high scientific, academic, and constitutional level. Although individual creationists hold widely differing convictions on this particular subject, most creationists educators believe that compelling unwilling teachers to teach creationism in the public schools is unwise and unnecessary. We prefer the approach of education and persuasion to that of legislation and coercion. There is already no constitutional or legal impediment to teaching creation science along with evolution science in any state of widespread publicity to the contrary in Arkansas after a biased judicial decision following a poor state defense. It is simply a matter of persuading school boards and teachers that they ought to do so and then helping to provide materials to enable them to do so. Many are already doing this and no doubt many others will as time goes on, without any need for compelling laws or ordinances.
Question: "Since the creation/evolution question is actually involved in one way or another in every discipline, wouldn't it be impossibly expensive for schools to institute a two-model approach?"
Answer: Creationists are sensitive to the costs of such changes, of course (they are taxpayers, too!), but there are reasonable ways in which that can be accomplished. All school districts order new textbooks every five years or so, anyway. If the appropriate textbook committees would simply specify the types of books desired, and make it clear they would not purchase any others, the publishing companies would quickly provide books to conform to these specifications. In the interim before the next adoption, workshops, supplemental materials, and other aids could be provided within existing budgets (which allow for this sort of thing anyway) to enable teachers to adapt their current textbooks and class instruction to a two-model approach.
For teachers whose consciences recoil at teaching creationism, substitute teachers or teacher interchanges could be scheduled for, say, three-week units on the creationist alternative in each course where the subject comes up.
Enough creationist materials and teachers are already available, so that this interim period need not be either traumatic or costly. Such procedures are not unusual at all. School boards frequentIy mandate new curricula and provide for their implementation when they perceive a legitimate need, as in the need for health education, nondiscriminatory textbooks, etc. The study of origins is foundational in all disciplines and surely warrants openness and fairness in its classroom treatment. Furthermore, instruction from a two-model approach is the best learning method, and therefore most economical in the long run. It is essentially inquiry-based, whereby the student is asked to explore all the facts and arguments related to both creation and evolution. Then, using the process skills of science, the student himself becomes the decision-maker. Careful tests have shown that this approach results in a greater understanding of evolution as well as creation.
Question: "Since creation is not testable, and therefore cannot really be scientific, why should it be included in science curricula?"
Answer: Neither creation nor evolution is testable, in the sense of being observable experimentally. Both can be stated and discussed as scientific models however, and it is poor science and poor education to restrict instruction to only one of them. The fact that creation is not repeatable in the laboratory is irrelevant, since evolution (in the sense of "vertical" transformation from any given kind of organism to a more complex kind of organism) is not only never observed in the laboratory (or in all recorded history for that matter) but also seems impossible in light of the entropy principle (see below). Since creation was completed in the past, we would not expect to see it take place now, whereas evolution is supposed to be still going on. Yet it has never been observed and the entropy principle seems to guarantee that it will never occur at all. In this sense, creation is thus more "scientific" than evolution and should certainly be recognized as at least a legitimate scientific alternative to evolution.
Question: "Even though evolution cannot be demonstrated, it is at least based on natural processes, whereas creation is based on supernatural processes; doesn't this prove creation is intrinsically unscientific?"
Answer: This frequent humanistic assertion is nothing less than thoughtless arrogance at best. Whoever decided that "science" should be defined as "naturalism," anyway? The word science comes from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge." True scientists are supposed to "search for truth," wherever that search leads. It is surely possible that a great Creator exists (and, of course, absolutely impossible to prove He does not exist!); so it is at least possible that creation is the true explanation of the origin of the tremendous and intricately complex universe in which we live. It is inexcusable for evolutionists (whether they are atheistic evolutionists or "theistic" evolutionists) to arbitrarily exclude even the consideration of special creation as a scientific model from public institutions, when it might well be true, and therefore profoundly and perfectly scientific.
Question: "Why can't creationists understand that their entropy argument against evolution is completely irrelevant, since the laws of thermodynamics apply only to closed systems and the earth is an open system?"
Answer: Why won't evolutionists quit echoing this irrelevant canard, and listen to what creationists actually are saying? Evolutionists seem to think that the principles of thermodynamics apply only to closed systems but professional thermodynamicists never say this. The imaginary age-long evolution of the biosphere must, of course, be discussed in terms of open-system thermodynamics, but this fact in no way helps the case for evolution.
The influx of heat energy into an open system (as, say, from the sun onto the earth) will not naturally improve the organization of that system, as evolution would require, but will increase the entropy (that is, the disorganization) of the system more rapidly than if the system remained closed. To verify this, one need only examine the simple thermodynamic equation for heat flow into an open system. Where do evolutionists get the quaint and quite unscientific notion that solar energy is a sufficient explanation to account for evolution? Solar energy has not generated life or evolution on Mars or Venus, so how can it do so on Earth? The fact is that any system which does experience an increase in its organized complexity must be much more than merely an open system with external energy available to it. These are necessary, but not sufficient, conditions. In addition, the system's growth in complexity must be directed by a previously created program and then energized through a previously designed energy storage-and-conversion mechanism. For example, the growth of a seed into a plant is directed b~ its qenetic code and implemented by the mechanism of photosynthesis. Similarly the "evolution" of a building from a pile of bricks and lumber is directed by a blueprint and implemented by the construction machinery and the muscular skills of the builders. The evolution of the earth's biosphere in the space/time continuum, from primeval chemicals to a complex array of plants, animals and human beings represents a far greater increase in organized complexity than a plant or a building, yet it apparently had no directing program (chance?) and no solar energy conversion mechanism (mutations?). Thus, the entropy principle does indeed define any significant amount of upward naturalistic evolution as completely unscientific. Evolution would require an unending string of miracles to make it work!
Question: "But hasn't this problem been solved by Prigogine and other scientists?"
Answer: The real problem has hardly been addressed, let alone solved!
Belgian scientist Ilya Prigogine received a Nobel prize in 1977 for his work in non-equilibrium thermodynamic theory but he did not solve, or even claim to solve, the problem of harmonizing evolution with entropy. He showed that under certain conditions of high energy flow and high energy dissipation, with large overall increases of entropy, certain ephemeral "ordered systems"called "dissipative structures" be formed as a side effect of the dissipative process. Priogogine expressed the hope that these might eventually somehow provide a clue to the origin of life. That was as close as he (or anyone else) has come to resolving the conflict between evolution and entropy. Evolutionists who believe this conflict can be handled merely by repeating the vacuous statement that the earth is an open system are thereby inadvertently acknowledging that they badly misunderstand the basic principles of thermodynamics.
Question: "Don't creationists realize that the earth is far older than the 10,000 year age postulated by the creation model?"
Answer: The scientific creation model is not tied to the young earth concept at all, despite very wide misunderstanding on this point. The basic evidences for creation and against evolution (e.g., the gaps in the fossil record. the laws of thermodynamics, the complexity of living systems) are completely independent of the age of the earth or the date of creation. Creationists therefore do not propose that creationism be tied in public schools to a recent creation. On the other hand, there are many sound scientific evidences that the earth is young more numerous and based on data at least as good as the few evidences for an old earth apparently the only reason for not including these in public education is the fact that the evolution model requires an old earth before it can be considered feasible at all. The creation model does not depend on a young earth, but evolution does imply an old earth. Why shouldn't both types of evidences be included, so that students can have access to all the information relevant to a decision on this important subject?
Question: "But doesn't the Bible teach a young earth?"
Answer: The Bible certainly does teach that all things were created in six days several thousand years ago, if its record is taken naturally and literally. Unfortunately, many Christians have been so intimidated by the evolutionists' insistence on an old earth that they have resorted to various forms of non-literal interpretation to try to accommodate the geological ages in the Genesis account of creation. In any case, although scientific creationism is compatible with Biblical creationism, each can be taught and evaluated quite independently of the other, and scientific creationists are as opposed to the teaching of Biblical creationism in public school as evolutionists are. Although the young earth is indeed a teaching of true Biblical creationism, it is not a necessary teaching of scientific creationism, and it is only the latter which should be taught in tax-supported institutions. Biblical creationism, on the other hand (including its teaching of literal recent creation) should be taught in Bible-believing churches.
Both scientific creationism and Biblical creationism should be incorporated in Christian schools and colleges. Only scientific creationism should be taught in public schools.
Question: "What about the teaching of a worldwide flood?"
Answer: The same distinction should be made as with the teaching of a young earth. The Bible, taken naturally and literally, indeed does teach both a recent creation and a subsequent worldwide hydraulic cataclysm, but neither of these are necessary components of scientific creationism. As with the evidence for a young earth? there is a great amount of sound scientific evidence for catastrophism, rather than uniformitarianism, in earth history, including good geologic and ethnologic evidence for a worldwide flood. There is no good reason why all these scientific data should not be incorporated in public instruction. However, this question is quite distinct from the basic creation-evolution question, and should be kept separate in public school classrooms and textbooks. In other words, there are three basic questions at issue here:
- Special creation versus naturalistic evolution as the ultimate explanation of the universe, life and man.
- Age of the earth; ancient earth versus young earth.
- Uniformitarianism versus catastrophism (including not only intermittent local catastrophism, but also a global cataclysm) as the basic framework of interpretation in earth history.
Each of these issues can and should be treated as a separate scientific issue in public education. They are related issues, of course, but each is important in its own right and is capable of discussion and evaluation quite independently of the others. Furthermore, although all three (creation, young earth and worldwide flood) are taught in the Bible, they can and should be discussed (in public schools) solely in terms of the scientific evidences, pro and con, related to each.
Question: "Creationists say there are no transitional forms in the fossil record, while evolutionists maintain that there are; which is right?
Answer: After many decades of insistence by the neo-Darwinians that evolution proceeded slowly and gradually by accumulation of small beneficial mutations by natural selection, it is gratifying to creationists that more and more evolutionists today have abandoned gradualism for what they call "punctuationalism," the idea that evolution proceeds by quantum leaps, accomplishing major changes very rapidly. The main reason for this change has been the belated acknowledgement that the fossil record billions of fossils now discovered shows no evidence of true transitional forms. However, although these ubiquitous gaps are widely recognized by evolutionists when arguing among themselves, they are quick to bridge the gaps when debating with creationists, insisting that there are many transitional forms. The transitional forms cited are almost always the sameArchaeopteryx (the reptile-like bird), the therapsids (the mammal-like reptiles), and the horses. Others are mentioned occasionally, but these are clearly the most likely candidates for intermediacy. Even if these were convincing, however, the very fact that the same fossils are continually being offered as examples is an eloquent testimony to the scarcity of transitional forms. If total evolution were really true, it would seem that all fossils should be transitional forms! As a matter of fact, even the handful of examples exhibited are not really evolutionary transitional forms anyhow. For an up-to-date discussion of this subject, see the book, Evolution The Challenge of the Fossil Record, by Dr. Duane Gish (C L P, 1985).
Neither these nor any other supposed transitional forms meet any of the following requirements for true transitional forms: (1) transitional or incipient structures, such as half-scales/half-feathers on reptile/birds; (2) series of gradually changing intermediates from one major kind to another, rather than sharp changes; (3) correlation of even the sharp changes with geologic time sequences. For example, true birds are now known to be at least as "old" geologically as Archaeopteryx; the early horses overlap chronologically with more modern horses and each is quite distinct from the others, with no gradual intermediates; the mammal-like reptiles died out even before the main age of reptiles, and no one knows which, if any, ever evolved into mammals. All were evidently fully functional in their own environments, with neither vestigial structures from previous evolutionary stages nor incipient structures destined for future utility. At best, each was a "mosaic" form, not a transitional form, with a mosaic of useful features including some found in certain other animals, but all uniquely created with their own peculiar combination of structures for their own intended purposes.
It is impossible in such a brief treatment as this to deal with all the charges, questions, criticisms and innuendoes that have been published by anti-creationists. As mentioned earlier, over thirty books have recently been published with anti-creationist themes (not to mention many more with straightforward evolutionist themes), as well as articles of this type in almost every journal and paper in the country. It would take one's full time just to read them all, let alone try to answer them.
Nevertheless, there is much duplication and repetition in all of these, and it is feasible to collect the more commonly encountered questions and criticisms and try to answer them all at once. That has been the purpose of this little book. The answers necessarily have been kept brief, rather than comprehensive, but it is hoped that judicious readers will be able through them to sense the fallacies and irrelevancies of all these main anti-creationist charges.
In studying these various attacks on creationism, one can only wonder at the reluctance of evolutionists to allow the scientific evidence to speak for itself. Instead of emotional polemics against creationists and their religious beliefs, why not simply present and document the scientific data that are supposed to prove evolution? If the data and arguments for evolution are really valid, there is no need to be so traumatically fearful about the data and arguments of the creationists. On the other hand, if there is even a possibility that creation could be true, aren't scientists supposed to be interested in truth? There are the only two possible ultimate world views or creationism it should be to the greater benefit of everyone to be able to study and evaluate for themselves, objectively and dispassionately, all the scientific evidences and arguments for both.