The “Creationism” Conflict

With the nomination of Gov. Sarah Palin came the usual slew of liberal attacks on everything from her pro-life stance and actions, to the DUI her husband had in 1986…22 years ago. All of these attacks are of course because the left does not really want to discuss the issues, but prefer to fling insults instead. To Senator Obama’s credit, he did say that her family issues were off limits. It’s just that his supporters are not listening.

But the one attack, breathlessly uttered with wide eyes and beads of anticipatory sweat rolling down their foreheads, as if this is the disqualifier of all disqualifiers, is that she is *gasp*…a creationist. Now while that remark may stand as an accusation among the secular left, for many Americans it is the natural result of her well-published Christianity. But the “accusation” does not stop there. Nope, it gets worse. She actually once said that she wouldn’t mind seeing “creationism” taught alongside other theories of origin in schools. Talk about being radical…

I don’t claim to know what Gov. Palin believes about creation. It falls under that section of things that really does not bother me that much. If she has faith alone in Christ alone for her salvation, then that settles it for me. And it appears that she does.

But what does bother me is the hypocrisy, or at the very least, the intellectual dishonesty of those who level “creationism” as a charge. Look, it is real simple. As a parent, or as someone who has attended schools and colleges, I want to know that I’ve been taught the truth, and that my children will be taught the truth. No distortions, no lies, no nonsense.

So the question then, to those who level this charge of “creationism”, what have you done to disprove that the universe has been created? Regardless of the various creation beliefs out there, this is the fundamental question. Because if the universe was in fact created, then wouldn’t we want our children to know that truth? Now some may say that we have some idea of how we came to be through the big bang and subsequent development, but that is a category mistake. Because that does not answer the question of origins. It merely describes the processes governed by natural laws that happened over a finite time period based on an limited view of the universe and some extrapolation and interpretation of evidence, after the beginning. Kinda like a history class, where the victors get to write the history we are taught.

Logically, something cannot come from nothing. Nothingness has no existence or being. It cannot create anything because it is not. So we have to assume that the universe had a cause. Or else, we may have ourselves fitted with a matching set of intellectual eyepatches, and continue to whine about the fact that we don’t want to know this, and we also don’t want our children to know this.

In the overall scientific context, origins make up a relatively small part of all studies. And is so because we mostly wish to have science make a difference to our lives through innovation and application. Mentioning in a science class that the very beginning is down to two options, creation of some sort, or whatever alternative theories secularists wish to posit, should not be that big a deal. And it will have zero influence on the scientific efforts of those who wish to innovate and apply science in the service of mankind, be they atheist, agnostic or religious.

Yes, there are some who want to use the science classroom as a pulpit for evangelization. That is another category error, one cannot resolve presuppositions of that nature in the science class. On the other side it leads to the slippery slope argument, where secular scientists want to make us believe that juxtaposing two theories of absolute origins will lead to us being back banging rocks in the stone age.

Both sides have to lighten up. No, we should not be teaching any of the pet theories of either creationists or atheists in the science classroom. Because we want to have our children know the truth. Right now, the best scientific evidence points to a universe that is around 14 billion years old. No-one knows what happened before then. In fact, no-one can know what happened before then, because there was no before. Time began then. (A sidenote about the theory of evolution: Is it the best evidence we have right now? It may be, but I am biased to believe that it is not all that it is cracked up to be. But it is not a critical element of absolute origins, at least not for the purposes of my argument here, so it is irrelevant to my discussion.)

There are only two possibilities. An eternal God caused the universe to come into existence, or there was some other cause. Right now, as with the best scientific evidence for an old universe, the best evidence is that an eternal being caused the universe to come into existence. Through an act of creation. Because there are no real feasible and intellectually honest alternatives.

Atheists are free to deny that. As some Christians are free to argue that the universe is 6000 years old. But that does not make it true, nor does it mandate the teaching of that in the science classroom. We should be teaching whatever best evidence we have now. Will this lead to less research and a throwing up of hands in hopeless despair when it comes to absolute origins, saying Goddidit, and leaving it at that, as some the atheist peanut gallery would lead us to believe? No, of course not. We are commanded to rule over creation, and that includes understanding it. From beginning to end. I’ve not yet met a Christian scientist who’ve reached a seemingly dead end and gave up saying that it’s down to divine fiat, and stopped his research. Is it possible that we will never know exactly how something came from nothing, even by virtue of creation? Sure, but it does not mean that we will stop trying to learn as much about it as we can.

Would such a statement about absolute origins violate the separation of church and state? I can hardly see that it would, since it does not assume the character of a church per se, nor does it lead to the promotion of a church or churches, nor does it lead to the creation of a church in school. The battle cry of the atheist is not separation of religion and state, or Creator and state, merely church and state. Their problem is that those atheists do not want the exclusive right to trumpet their masked illogic and religious belief in the non-existence of a Creator taken away. Well, until they can prove that the universe came to be without intervention from a Creator, the doubts will exist, whether they like it or not, and the most logical one should be taught, in the name of truth.

Leveling “creationism” as a charge then, holds little merit. It demonstrates the agenda of the one making the “accusation”, and at the very least demonstrates his ignorance. Generally, it shows bigotry and hatred towards those who believe in an eternal Creator.

Governor Palin is to be commended for standing up for her beliefs, and for wanting our children to be taught the truth, or, at the very least, be able to see the alternatives where some believe there is ambiguity and let them decide for themselves. If that is a disqualifier, then every secularist who demands exclusivity should be excluded from running for office as well, because they want to withhold the truth from our children. And us.


4 responses to “The “Creationism” Conflict

  1. It would be really helpful if “Creationists” would just do a little research on the scientific method. Science is primarily a method and only secondarily a body of knowledge arrived at via this method. “Creationism” simply is not science. That’s why so many believers as well as non believers don’t buy it – has absolutely nothing to do with “hating God,” it’s just knowing what science is and is not.

  2. Starting with an veiled insult is no way to get the conversation going. You assume that creationists have not looked at the scientific method. And no, science isn’t just a method, it has come to be underpinned by the philosophy of methodological naturalism. How science is actually practiced and used makes your claim to some sort of neutrality void.

    Furthermore, you try to assert that creationism “simply is not science”, which further bears out your a-priori commitment to the underlying philosophy of methodological naturalism. Some parts of science are, as I noted, religiously agnostic. But the study of origins is not, it has taken on this character of conflict, which is unavoidable. The only question is where you stand in that conflict.

    Maybe you can start by telling us what demarcates science from non-science, and why?

  3. Remember August. These are the same people who tried to suggest that the Declaration of Independence was “unconstitutional”, and should be removed from classrooms.

    I’ll bet they would really love it if we made our students study the Mayflower Compact.

  4. Paul,

    It would be hepful if you would please provide support for the statements that you make. How exactly is Creationism not science? Also, do you believe evolution is science? Please provide a detailed response with support. Thanks

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