in RATE's "Research"
Dr. Kevin R. Henke
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Because radiometric dating methods utterly refute their antiquated Biblical interpretations, young-Earth creationists (YECs) are desperate to undermine the reliability of these methods. YECs realize that just quoting the Bible is not going to get geochronologists and other scientists to drop their research and stream to the church alters in repentance. Therefore, a small group of YECs with Ph.D.s have formed the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth; Vardiman et al, 2000) committee to comb the scientific literature and design laboratory "experiments" that will somehow verify what they have already concluded, namely that Genesis is "The Truth" and geochronology is "wrong".
The RATE committee even has a doctrinal monitor to look over their shoulders to make sure that their "science" does not conflict with the official party line. That is, a Hebrew language scholar will participate " ... to make sure the RATE Group stays on course" (Morris, 2000, p. viii).
Everyone should be totally repulsed by the thought of a theologian or politician dictating to scientists whether their scientific data is accurate or not. However, YECs consider this type of authoritarian control to be "good science" and somehow ethical. Clearly, the YEC approach to "research" strongly resembles the dogmatic "doctrinal correctness" of Stalin's Lysenkoism, where communist party officials told biologists what to think and what "research" was acceptable, see Lysenkoism.
Unlike the Geological Society of Australia, the American Chemical Society and other professional science associations, the Creation "Research" Society (CRS), the Institute for Creation "Research" (ICR), "Answers" in Genesis (AiG) and other YEC organizations commonly require their members, students and/or employees to sign or affirm their sectarian "statements of faith". Specifically, the following links list the compulsory "statements of faith" for these YEC organizations:
Creation "Research" Society
Institute for Creation "Research" (Tenets of Creationism)
Institute for Creation "Research" (Admission Procedures)
"Answers" in Genesis
Any scientist that is willing to sign away his/her integrity and freedom to explore nature for the sake of a political and/or religious cause does not deserve to be called a scientist. These oath-takers are promising not to accept any results or perform any research that challenges the credibility of the official political and/or religious dogma. Whether atheist, YEC, Lysenkoist or whatever, those that submit to the oaths of the party line are ultimately unable to adapt to any radical paradigm shifts that may occur in our views of nature. Because the members of the RATE committee have signed away their academic freedom for the comfort of Biblical dogmatism, it's not surprising that their "research" plans, as outlined in Vardiman et al. (2000), are crippled and full of faulty arguments and flawed experimental procedures. For some specific examples of the ratty technical arguments in RATE, see Joe Meert's excellent essay More Faulty Creation Science from The Institute for Creation Research.
Morris, J.D., 2000, "Prologue" in Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, L. Vardiman, A.A. Snelling and E.F. Chaffin (eds.), Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon and Creation Research Society, St. Joseph, Mo, p. iii-viii.
Vardiman, L., A.A. Snelling and E.F. Chaffin (eds.), 2000, Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, CA and Creation Research Society, St. Joseph, Mo.