Originally published in Creation 2, no 3 (July 1979): 9-10.
Creation is often criticized as being religious while evolution is scientific. In reality, both have religious aspects and both have points which are testable by repeatable observation.
This article is a continuation of “Creation as Science.”
Since science cannot deal with events which (a) happen once, (b) occur too fast or too slow to be measured, (c) have no agreed definition, (d) are non repeatable or historical or (e) which cannot occur, there is no view of origins which is exclusively scientific.
The word science simply means knowledge. We do not often use it this way, but this original meaning can still be seen in words such as conscience, or con-science, meaning with knowledge. When you offend your conscience, you do so “with knowledge” that what you have done is offensive. In this sense of the word, music, art and theology are true sciences.
The word science however, has come to have a much narrower meaning. Our modern usage really refers to Empirical Science—the method of measurement, definition and repeatable test. When we refer to chemistry as science and to art as non-science, we really mean that chemistry has an agreed measure and can be subject to “evidence” and agreed repeatable tests, whereas art “is in the eye of the beholder.” It is commonly implied that anything which is regarded as scientific, is of the highest order of truth, obtained by men and women of integrity, by fool proof methods, whilst anything artistic is simply a matter of opinion.
Science demands repeatable tests! Science demands evidence! Most people fail to realize that with respect to the origin and history of life, the decision about what is or is not acceptable as evidence or theory is largely decided by BIAS derived from outside the study of science.
When it comes to deciding the answer to the question of the origin of life, both creationists and evolutionists use their preconceptions to decide how to arrange the evidence.
Let me explain by reference to the four major areas of BIAS that exist in any society. Persons holding to creation as a valid model are often accused of bias which has affected their ability to see the evidence. They are declared guilty of deciding what the answer is and then arranging the evidence to fit, whereas the scientist has deduced evolution on the basis of the evidence alone, and will not be convinced to change his mind unless the evidence suggests he is wrong. In reality this accusation is naive. When it comes to deciding the answer to the question of the origin of life, both creationists and evolutionists use their preconceptions to decide how to arrange the evidence. Let us pose the question “Did God create?” to scientists holding one of the four types of western religions—Atheism, Agnosticism, Deism, and Revelationism.
The Atheist has the basic belief that there is no God. The atheist scientist does not hear the words “Did God create?” as a question, but as a statement of ignorance on the part of the person making it. The atheist cannot consider the words “Did God create?” even as an hypothetical question just to think about them. The minute he does so, he concedes the possibility of God’s existence and is no longer an atheist but an agnostic. Thus the dogmatic atheist can consider only certain questions and answers as possibilities for scientific research. He is not and cannot be open-minded without destroying his own faith. The atheist is confined in his research to proving evolution.
The Agnostic is someone who does not know if God exists, or does not want to know, or states that you cannot know. The major part of today’s scientific community fit one of the three types of agnosticism. The practising agnostic can certainly accept that “Did God create?” is a question, but he cannot accept any answer which states that God did something definite. The instant he does so he has begun to define God and he ceases to be an agnostic. Whilst the agnostic is quite open-minded to the question “Did God create?” he is not and cannot be open to any answer other than those that exclude God. All convinced agnostic scientists are confined in their research to proving evolution in its atheistic form, since they will not be offended by an atheistic answer but cannot afford a theistic answer without destroying their faith.
The deist is one who, on the basis of the world around him, has deduced that there must be a God of some sort somewhere. The God of the deist is the “Great Architect” who in some unknown way has brought the world and man into being. The deist’s religion confines itself to that which can be deduced using the senses and logic. The deist is opposed to any final answer since “deduction” as a method can never prove a point beyond doubt. Therefore whilst the deist is quite open to investigate all possible answers to the question “Did God create?” he can never believe in any one answer. He must oppose those who claim they have “the answer” by revelation from God. The deist must reject Genesis or give up his faith. The deist scientist has no practical alternative but to support evolution.
The basis common factor of revelationists is that they claim to have additional knowledge about the topic of God’s role in creating. The claim is common to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Those who accept that the introductory chapters of Genesis are a revelation from God and therefore an accurate description of events are committed to accepting a scientific model of origins which is in accordance with the data contained in Genesis. They are not open to any disproof of the question “Did God create?” since their starting point is “In the beginning God created.” To allow any other conclusion would destroy their faith. This position of acceptance of a revelation is no more unscientific than the biologist accepting the chemist’s word that thermodynamics is relevant to the origin of life. Acceptance of a revelation is a BIAS which excludes certain answers to questions surrounding the origin of life, but it is no more or no less a BIAS than those held by the Atheist, Agnostic, and the Deist.
In the final analysis, the choice you must make in scientific research into the origin of life is not whether you will be biased or unbiased, but which BIAS is the best BIAS to have.
It is important to note that the majority of todays scientists fit categories 1, 2 or 3, and their influence on the direction of scientific research is therefore evolutionary and essentially atheistic.
“Creation as science,” Creation 2:2 (April 1979)