Why Does Mainstream Scientific Literature Ignore Conclusions from Young-Earth Creationists?

Part 4

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Searching for Adam

This article is excerpted from chapter 10 of the book Searching for Adam, available in our online store.

Why Don’t More Scientists Accept These Conclusions?

The conclusions that we’ve presented in this chapter are obviously at odds with the dominant scientific paradigm in the Western world today. How can our claims possibly be true? Evolutionists have an explanation that they’ve advanced for decades: YEC conclusions are not true. The justification that evolutionists cite for this claim is the absence of YEC conclusions from the mainstream peer-reviewed scientific literature. And why are creationist conclusions absent from this literature? The quote from BioLogos that we cited above is worth repeating here:

The reason Christian anti-evolutionary approaches are absent from the mainstream scientific literature is not because scientists are theologically or philosophically biased against them, but rather because they offer little in the way of useful tools for making accurate predictions about the natural world.1 [emphasis added]

As we’ve observed, this is factually untrue. In the realm of science that we’ve briefly examined in this chapter, YE creationists make many testable, accurate predictions about the natural world, and it’s the evolutionists who historically have had trouble getting their predictions to match facts.

Furthermore, YE creation scientists do not publish un-reviewed technical papers. The major scientific players in the YEC field all earned their degrees from reputable secular universities with many also having many secular publications prior to making a career shift into origins research,2 and we submit our findings to one another for peer-review prior to publication. Just like the secular peer-review system, some of our initial conclusions must be significantly refined or rejected before they have a chance of being published.

Naturally, evolutionists might criticize YEC scientists relying on likeminded individuals (e.g., fellow YEC scientists) for the peer-review process. Evolutionists might claim that this represents a self-reinforcing process that is ultimately flawed and useless to scientific progress. But YEC scientists could say the same about evolutionists. The latter do not consult with YEC scientists before publishing their evolutionary conclusions. Instead, they solicit the assistance and review of the fellow, like-minded evolutionists!

Thus, on two counts, the common evolutionary reason for the absence of creationist ideas from mainstream scientific literature is wrong. First, creationists do indeed submit their research to peer review. Second, as we have demonstrated, they make testable scientific predictions that, in many cases, are more accurate than the predictions of the evolutionists (e.g., see preceding sections).

The latter fact raises an important question: Why don’t evolutionists submit their ideas to creationist peer-review before publication? Why not solicit YEC PhD scientists for help and criticism before publishing a paper? Why not consult with the YEC community (at least informally) before taking evolutionary ideas public? Doing so might save the evolutionary model from further erroneous predictions.

To answer the question that heads this section, the BioLogos claim that we cited above would suggest that we are left with only one option: The vast majority of professional scientists are theologically or philosophically biased against creationist ideas. At first pass, this would seem conspiratorial and, therefore, difficult to accept.

Yet upon further reflection, this wooden interpretation of our options becomes much more nuanced in light of a few key facts. First, surveys show that the vast majority of scientists are unbelievers. Nearly 70% of scientific professionals cannot positively say that they believe in God.3 Since belief in God is a necessary (but insufficient) profession for one to be a Christian, the number of non-Christian scientists is likely even higher than 70%.

Second, Scripture tells us that unbelievers do indeed have a bias. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:18–20). Not only do unbelievers suppress the truth about God, they suppress the truth about God that is revealed in nature. Thus, the creation/evolution debate is at the heart of the unbeliever’s dealings with God.

However, this passage in Romans does not suggest that all unbelievers go on the warpath against creationist ideas. Instead, Scripture says that unbelievers suppress the truth; they don’t all violently try to destroy it. Conversely, suppressing the truth can take many forms — from passively ignoring contrary ideas, to never attempting to learn or understand uncomfortable contrary claims, to occasionally expressing strong dislike for an idea. In other words, non-Christian scientists are much like the unbelievers that we encounter every day. Most are passively disinterested in and ignorant of the things of God and of the scientific ramifications of the creation account. Only a few are visibly and adamantly opposed.

Sadly, as the above discussion demonstrates, evolutionists who are professing Christians appear to practice the same behavior.4 For example, they seem to never have considered alternative hypotheses on the question of ancestral population size, and they regularly and prematurely turn highly speculative hypotheses into fact (e.g., Table 2).

The latter error should technically be termed pseudoscience. However, since the evolutionary creationists we cited are well trained and practiced scientists, we don’t think this error stems from any lack of quality training. Instead, it is more likely to stem from an ignorance of the opposition. In other words, when a scientist is completely unaware of a contrary view, his hypothesis may seem like fact since nothing else seems able to explain the data he’s observing.

In support of this conjecture, mainstream evolutionary literature demonstrates ignorance of creationist ideas.5 For example, evolutionists regularly contend that accepting YEC requires throwing out science entirely:

If someone challenges the current paradigm of [sic] by asserting that the Earth is not 4.5 billion years old, but rather was created by divine intervention 6000 years ago . . . the correct response is: “Well, maybe. But if that is what happened, then much else of what we think we know must also be wrong. We will need a new explanation for how the Sun gets its energy, as our laws about nuclear physics must be wrong. As this is the physics that has manifestly empowered engineers to build nuclear power plants, we need to explain how they are doing so well even though they are operating with the incorrect laws. The same would go for the empowerment provided by science for the use of radioisotopes in medicine X-rays in dentistry.6

The former president of BioLogos repeats this claim:

The conclusion that creation is ancient does not come from interpretations at the periphery of these disciplines; it is at the core of all that nuclear physicists, geologists and astronomers do every day. For you or I to say that they are wrong is to say that these entire disciplines — geology, nuclear physics and astronomy — have got almost everything wrong.7

But it is nearly impossible to read and understand the YEC scientific literature and arrive at the conclusions above. These claims — that accepting YEC requires throwing out physics, geology, etc. — are as far from the truth as any stereotype of YEC science can be. Since we are confident that both of the men responsible for the quotes above are scholarly and logical scientists, we are left with one option: they haven’t read and/or understood the YEC scientific literature.

Even more disappointing, the few evolutionary creation scientists with whom the authors of this chapter have personally communicated seem to have no interest in the YEC scientific literature. When we’ve presented them with the opportunity to engage the scientific data (e.g., by pleading with them to rigorously peer-review creationist findings before publication), they have declined. One theistic evolutionist has even admitted a past bias toward opponents, confessing that he viewed them as dumb and uninformed. If this is how professing Christians behave when confronted with contrary evidence, how much more so the unbelieving scientists!

In sum, the vast majority of the scientific world is at odds with the conclusions that we have presented here about human genetic origins because they appear to never have educated themselves on their opponents’ scientific positions. More troubling is that, in some cases, evolutionists appear to have even deliberately avoided the opposition, and in the most extreme cases, intentionally suppressed it.8 While this phenomenon could be labeled “bias,” it does not appear to involve a deliberate and planned conspiracy among scientists in the Western world. Instead, for unbelievers, it appears to flow from their deeply rooted spiritual state. Since unbelievers are too proud to acknowledge God in their thinking,9 and since all believers, ourselves included, are in the process of sanctification and can fall prey to some of the same sins that unbelievers practice, such as spiritual and/or intellectual pride,10 the fear of man, and the desire for academic respect from the secular world,11 “pride” rather than “bias” may be the better answer to the question that heads this section.

Summary and Ramifications

From the brief overview of the technical scientific literature that we’ve sketched, three facts emerge. First, the evolutionary model of human origins has a long history of scientific failure (Tables 2–3). It has repeatedly made public pronouncements of fact only to discover new data that contradict these claims. Hence, before we can even explore the question of whether evolution works as a scientific model today, we are struck with the dismal track record of evolution in times past.

Second, the evolutionary model does a poor job of explaining data in the present (Figure 2). When pressed to explain human-human genetic differences observable today, evolutionary predictions are an order of magnitude off the actual value. In essence, the evolutionary model cannot predict the rate of mtDNA mutation in humans. Since mutations are supposed to be the engine of evolution and the driver of all evolutionary change, this mismatch between predictions and facts is all the more profound.

Third, the YEC conclusions that we’ve highlighted in this chapter represent a comprehensive answer to the question of human genetic origins. Our claims and observations encompass virtually every genetic compartment present in human cells (Table 7), and they account for the millions of DNA differences across ethnic groups present in the world today. Furthermore, they robustly answer the questions of from whom humans originated (people, not apes), how many humans began our species (two — Adam and Eve), when humans originated (about 6,000 years ago), and where major human ethnic groups originated (near Ararat). In short, they explain all the data for which we have experimental results. For those areas in which experiments are forthcoming, we presented testable predictions that can be falsified in the lab (e.g., Table 5).

Table 7. Grand Summary of YEC Model on Human Genetic Origins
Type of Genetic Comparison YEC Status
Human vs. human nuclear DNA Successful prediction of mutation, genetic reshuffling rate (e.g., recombination & gene conversion) for entire sequence
Human vs. human mitochondrial DNA Successful prediction of mutation rate
Human vs. human Y chromosome Pending prediction for Y chromosome mutation/genetic reshuffling (e.g., gene conversion) rate

In light of these facts, it is all the more remarkable that evolutionists can continue to accuse creationists of being ignorant of the “big picture” of evolution. While this chapter covers only the question of human genetic origins, the accompanying chapters demonstrate the veracity of the biblical account of human origins from a variety of fields. To say that creationists are only capable of finding minor holes in evolutionary arguments while missing the larger body of evidence is unjustifiable.

Furthermore, the claim that “multiple independent lines of genetic evidence” support human evolution is false. Again, evolutionists are fond of appealing to the “big picture” when confronted with a contradiction between one of their predictions and fact. Logically, if every one of their claimed evidences fails, then the sum of these broken evidences cannot possibly add up to a successful model. As we have observed, all the claimed evolutionary evidences represent type-3 experiments, or they represent type-2 experiments that could falsify or have already falsified evolutionary predictions (rather than YEC predictions) (e.g., Tables 2–4, 6). Multiple independent lines of evidence demonstrate that evolutionary claims are unscientific.

As described at the beginning of this chapter, the gold standard of science is the ability of a model to make testable accurate predictions. From the assumptions of the YEC model, creationists have made testable predictions about the future that can be tested in the laboratory. If evolutionists have a problem with what we’ve concluded, we’ve given them a ready means by which to falsify our position. In other words, the YEC model of genetics has matured into a full-fledged scientific alternative to the evolutionary model, with much stronger predictive power.

Furthermore, the conclusions in this chapter represent only a fraction of the mature YEC model. We’re in the process of publishing testable genetic predictions for a great assortment of animal species alive today for which genetic data is available.12 The “big picture” of evolution can now be compared head-to-head with the “big picture” of YEC — if evolutionists are able to come up with some falsifiable predictions of their own.

In light of these advances, we would be fully justified in taking the evolutionists’ criticisms of creation right back to them. If evolutionists want to be taken seriously in the origins debate, then they need to do more than make an isolated claim about an obscure species here and there that shows nothing but shifts in existing genetic variation or an isolated benefit due to the loss of genetic information. Instead, they need to give us a comprehensive model, a falsifiable explanation that accounts for the genetics of all species alive today. Science demands no less.

Master Books has graciously granted AiG permission to publish selected chapters of this book online. To purchase a copy please visit our online store.

Footnotes

  1. Dennis Venema, “Theory, Prediction and Converging Lines of Evidence, Part 3,” https://BioLogos.org/blogs/dennis-venema-letters-to-the-duchess/theory-prediction-and-converging-lines-of-evidence-part-3.
  2. Anon., “Creation Scientists and Other Specialists of Interest,” http://creation.com/creation-scientists.
  3. Anon., “Scientists and Belief,” http://www.pewforum.org/2009/11/05/scientists-and-belief/.
  4. Note that most of our references to evolutionary ideas come from the BioLogos website.
  5. For example, see chapter 23 of Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolution (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc., 2013).
  6. Steven Benner, “Challenge or Preserve the Paradigm?” https://BioLogos.org/blogs/archive/challenge-or-preserve-the-paradigm.
  7. Darrel R. Falk, Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), p. 80–81.
  8. Michael Behe, “Correspondence w/ Science Journals: Response to Critics Concerning Peer-Review,” http://www.trueorigin.org/behe07.php.
  9. “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts” (Ps. 10:4).
  10. Note that pride need not pervade every area of a person’s life. A Christian may be one of the most humble people you have ever met — in all areas but one, which happens to be the area in which he or she is currently undergoing sanctification.
  11. All Christians, including the authors of this book, are susceptible to giving in to these two vices, as Scripture makes clear (e.g., Prov. 29:25 and John 12:42–43).
  12. Jeanson and Lisle, “On the Origin of Eukaryotic Species’ Genotypic and Phenotypic Diversity,” p. 81–122.

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