Monday, August 10, 2015

How I Came to the Conclusion That "Creation Science" is a Silly Thing

As a very science-oriented child raised as a devout Christian, I was naturally drawn to “Creation Science”. This is supposedly a branch of science devoted to proving that the creation story at the beginning of the Christian Bible is actual fact and not an allegorical representation or some sort of myth. It also seeks to disprove evolution as the origin of different species, and claims life could not have arisen on the planet without divine intervention. In my teens this all sounded very attractive, as I could handily rectify the whole Genesis/dinosaurs/etc conflict. It also involves a heavy dose of conspiracy theory, the reason “Creation Science” isn’t mainstream is because the whole of the scientific community chooses to ignore the clear and obvious signs that the earth is only a few thousand years old. The idea that I was privy to secret knowledge and suppressed truths was pretty cool.

Of course, I never stopped being a science-oriented person. I’m also a history-oriented person. Through my natural curiosity, I gradually came to a realization so overwhelming that I had to share it. Anyone who is familiar with the history of modern science is aware that the foundations of science began with the premise that the Bible was literal fact. This assumption continued for centuries, until it was so unmistakably obvious that the evidence did not match the conclusion that there was nothing to do but conclude that the nature of the universe did not match the Bible.

It’s like this: Imagine someone is trying to put together a puzzle, but they haven’t got all the pieces yet.

They think they already know what shape it’s going to be, and at first the pieces fit pretty good.

But the more pieces they get, the less well they fit together to form the picture they are assumed to make.

Eventually there are a whole lot of pieces that don’t fit very well if the picture is what they assume it is.

Finally, they realize that they have to jump through a whole lot of hoops and rationalize a lot of questionable things to make the picture they thought they were making. The pieces fit really nicely together to make a different picture, though.

From there, it was much easier to study the picture and add the pieces as they found them. Abandoning the original assumption about the nature of the picture allowed them to advance their puzzle-assembling skills rapidly in a way they couldn’t before. Knowing this, it’s pretty difficult to make the case for the original picture without going through a whole lot of mental gymnastics and outright denial.

It was only when the evidence was impossible to fit into the biblical story that other possibilities began to be explored. We would never have made the sort of scientific advancements that have brought us where we are today had we continued to shoehorn all the astronomical, geological, and biological evidence we gathered into the archaic model provided by the Bible. That's not even real science.

In real science, we develop a falsifiable hypothesis and then check to see whether the evidence supports that hypothesis. If it doesn't fit, we develop a new hypothesis that better fits the data. We don't just keep trying to make the data fit our original hypothesis. It didn't work hundreds of years ago, and it doesn't work now either. "Creation Science" isn't really science, it's just a futile attempt to resurrect a hypothesis deemed faulty centuries ago. We've done this before, we don't need to do it again.

No comments:

Post a Comment