Letter To The Editor

The creationist caricature

POSTED AT 09:23 PM ON Mar. 3, 2009  (UPDATED AT 09:23 PM ON Mar. 3, 2009)

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Some say there’s little difference between Holocaust denial and anti-evolutionism. One is ludicrous while the other is supportable. Christian universities are berated for teaching against evolution, but few doubters make time to understand the logic and evidence of the arguments.

Some say creationism is bereft of logic, seeing a professor introducing students to evolutionary straw men and declaring creationism is true “because the Bible tells me so.”

Students aren’t fools or brainwashed, and all disciplines require explanations and logic to fit the evidence. They expect a strong argument before adopting a critical tenet. No, there’s much more to this than simplistic declarations or brow-beating.

Few realize that much of the evidence claimed by evolution is also identified by creationism. With many commonalities, they part ways primarily due to inferences.
Contrary to popular opinion, creationists rarely choke on insignificant difficulties, preferring to focus on well-established physical laws to trip evolution up.

Most minor issues can be set aside for some future investigation to provide an “aha” moment, but glaring problems require a vast upheaval of scientific thought.

A theory meets great difficulty when a well-accepted principle presents a foundational contradiction. Creationism takes the time to examine and discuss these issues, which cannot be set aside. Any other approach is unscientific.

If your car refuses to start, you don’t repair it by changing the batteries in the remote. If a prevailing theory has a critical conflict with a foundational principle of physics, we have a theoretical crisis. It’s no small matter, and it’s only reasonable to examine both to determine what has been grossly misunderstood.

Well-established evolutionists and creationists have publicly recognized the serious conflicts in evolution, but few have effectively grappled with them. How can we continue scientific progress until we’ve appropriately discounted and rectified ideas that are misguiding scientific research?

The only honest approach is to frankly examine the claims of creationism based upon the evidence – but not the interpretations – of evolution. If nothing else, perhaps creationists can be better understood, and maybe a significant scientific difficulty can eventually be resolved.

David House
IU employee

 

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