What is Creationism?
(First and foremost it is NOT science!)
"In all of these efforts, [to promote creationism in schools] the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must."
--William J. Bennetta, from "Alabama Will Use Schoolbooks to Spread Lies and Foster Creationism"
"Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night."
"... creationism [is] (a religious, non-scientific, pseudoscientific preconceived dogmatic construct) ..."
--M. R. Leipzig, from "The Evolution Fact FAQ"
"Creationist so-called 'scientific' refutations are based on misconceptions, poor science, scripture, faulty logic, lies, hearsay, fear, and a need to protect their dogma. Creationism is like a wild, cornered animal that has no way out, clawing and snapping at everything it can.
But, in the end, creationism is a good and useful thing. It has provided the motivation for evolutionists to amass a great wealth of knowledge in support of evolution. In the end, creationism has in fact strengthened evolution."
--Ken Harding, from "Talk.Origins' September Feedback"
"Creationism is a wolf in sheep's clothing, biblical literalism simply (and clumsily) cloaked in the garb of science to evade constitutional injunctions that preclude religion in public-school curricula."
--Niles Eldredge from his book Time Frames
Creationists are fundamentalist Christians. Fundamentalist Christians believe the
Bible to be the true and absolute word of God. Creationism is the extension of
fundamentalist Christian belief into the arena of scientific endeavour. Creationists
believe that the entire cosmos, the Earth and all its creatures, were created by God in
six days between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago as described in the Old Testament's Book of
They also believe the geological record was laid down as a result of a world wide flood (the Noachian Flood). There is absolutely no scientific evidence for a worldwide flood.
Fundamentalist Christians (and creationists) also believe that our society should conform to their moral and social precepts even though we live in a pluralist society (with more Islamic people than Jewish, for instance, and an increasing variety of religions and adherents). I believe there is no place in our society for the teaching of narrow Christian fundamentalist dogma particularly when, in the case of Creationists, most of that dogma is presented as science.
Scientists are not necessarily non-believers although creationists would have you believe all scientists who accept evolution as fact are Atheists. The mainstream Christian religions, by and large, have no such conception about scientists and science. Indeed, the epistemological basis of science and Christianity are both valid and worthwhile areas of investigation and are generally practised by studious and principled practitioners.
As far back as 1882 when Charles Darwin died, the Church of England and several other Christian denominations declared there to be no conflict between his theory and the churches' teachings. Since then most major denominations within the Christian, Jewish and Islamic religions have found Darwinian evolution compatible with their religious beliefs. The statement by Pope John Paul II in November 1999 that evolution was more than a hypothesis was the fourth acceptance of evolution by the Roman Catholic Church.
On the other hand creationists have attempted to discredit scientific research and knowledge by claiming that what they preach is science. Creationists make no bones of their view that if scientific findings don't accord with the biblical record then science is wrong. In fundamentalist schools science is defined as a search for principles of Gods creation based upon reproducible experiments and any principle should always be subjected to the test of the Bible. Apart from the obvious absurdity of such a view, creationists carry out no "reproducible experiments", instead they attempt at every turn to undermine the proven foundations of evolution by misrepresenting scientific findings and misquoting reputable scientists.
But science has answers to the puerile theories of creationists.
There is absolutely no controversy within science about the reality of evolution. There is a well accepted, solidly established body of evidence showing that evolution is real and, although knowledge of some of the mechanisms by which evolution occurs is incomplete, much is known about how evolution works.
The Creation "Science" Foundation some time ago changed its name to Answers in Genesis.
There are those who believed the name change to be an attempt to diffuse the criticism rightly levelled at them for using the Bible in an attempt to disprove evolution. I don't believe that a simple name change will alter the creationists' fundamental and fundamentalist philosophy.
Should the teaching of creation "science" in schools become widespread (as it is becoming in the United States) the harm it would cause our young people would be irreparable. They would be taught that the Bible is literally true and that soundly based scientific fact, should it not accord with the biblical interpretation, would cease to be fact. They would be confused when confronted with myth masquerading as science. Children should be encouraged to be curious and to use their curiosity to arrive at the facts of a matter by rational deduction. Any attempts to indoctrinate our children with false information based on the unscientific hypotheses of the creationists would be a tragedy.
I believe the most effective way to combat creationism is to educate parents. Children can't always make choices about their education - informed parents can.
I am hopeful that the information presented on this web site will assist in combating creationism by encouraging some of those who visit to critically examine creationists' claims alongside scientific fact. Those who do so will find abundant scientific evidence supporting Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution and must come to the inescapable conclusion that there are no scientific answers to be found in Genesis.