Creationism is the Opposite of Science

Creationism is the Opposite of Science

Creationists and Young Earthers like to say that their point of view is just as valid as the scientific point of view. They state that science and creationism both have their starting assumptions, and that evidence is viewed through these assumptions leading to different conclusions. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what science is.

The word “science” through history has been used for different things. It is sometimes used to refer to the scientific method of thought and experimentation, and sometimes to the collective knowledge gained through the application of the scientific method.

Science, by definition, does not and never did start with a theory and set out to prove it as creationism does. In fact it does the exact opposite. It starts out with an idea about how something works and sets out trying to disprove it. The greatest scientists are those who prove grand ideas wrong. For example, Einstein wasn’t celebrated for coming up with a new theory, he was celebrated for coming up with an alternative to Newtonian physics in a way that could be tested. When the test results came back showing things Newton didn’t account for (gravitational lensing) science celebrated Einstein for breaking a new frontier.

This is why a lot of scientists have a short temper with creationists. Creationists come around and say they have the answer for how everything started, and regardless of what you do, you can’t prove them wrong. Something doesn’t match the theory? Then God changed the rules at some point and that’s why it doesn’t match. Creationism has endlessly movable goalposts.

The sad thing is that creationism and other forms of magical thinking are truly a threat to our existence and way of life. We now live on a planet with so many people, interconnected so fully, that if the web of infrastructure we have built would collapse it would lead to astounding devastation. What keeps us away from that precipice is the fact that we humans are getting progressively better at understanding our universe. We learn how things work and get them to work better. We find new ways to make lives across the planet better. We take responsibility for keeping the engines of progress turning.

Creationism is the opposite of that. It wants us to think that we should not try to understand how the universe works. We should accept what we are told. This kind of thinking leads to stagnation and death.

But creationism is so easy. Just hand over the keys and accept the answer you are given. It’s so hard to work at finding other reasons. It’s embarrassing to be proven wrong. With creationism you don’t have to work hard, and you can’t be proven wrong. It’s a tempting to take the easy way out. After all, there are plenty of people who do. Why bother with science? Why study the methods and results of thousand upon thousands of man-years of labor when you can just read the one book and go on with your life. As a bonus, the creationism way teaches that you are really special to whoever created the universe and that they can make it so that you will live forever as long.

I for one, choose the hard path. Not just for me and my desire to learn, but also for my children. The way to build a better world for them and the billions of other humans on this planet is not to relinquish control to some deity, it’s to work together to increase humanity’s understanding and capabilities.

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One response to “Creationism is the Opposite of Science”

  1. rebecamahler says :

    Reblogged this on Rebeca Mahler.

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