The Wall Between Creationism and Science

“The scientific problem with creationism has nothing to do with God. You can believe in one or another kind of God while being part of the scientific quest. You just have to keep asking how God creates life and the cosmos, and you have to subject your answers to the tests of evidence. Creationists say God made the world in six days, but offer no explanation of how God did it. Thus they have walled themselves outside the realm of science. Their dogma stands in the way of the curiosity that drives us to make sense of our world. Creationism is predicated on a doctrine that won’t subject itself to the test of evidence, and meanwhile the evidence in favor of evolution is overwhelming.”

Jim Burklo, “Beyond Debate: Science, Religion, and Fear”

  • Sven2547

    Very well put. It’s a distinction that misses a lot of people. It’s not that science automatically disqualifies religious beliefs, it just disqualifies claims for which there are absolutely no means of testing or verification.

    Granted, the overlap between “religious beliefs” and “completely unverifiable claims” is very, very significant, but in principle they are different.

  • stuart32

    It’s remarkable what science has achieved. We know that the Earth and the rest of the solar system were born out of a cloud of gas and dust. We have been able to chart the history of the Earth since its birth. We know, for example, that India was once an island in the middle of what is now the Indian Ocean. Over millions of years India made its way north until it collided with Asia, thereby creating the Himalayas. It’s remarkable that this happened; it’s just as remarkable that we know it happened.

    We know that life has evolved from single cells into creatures like ourselves over several billions years. We know that the entire Universe began in a single explosive event 13.8 billion years ago. At some point the quest to explain must reach an end. This may be at the big bang, or, much more speculatively, with some pre-existing spacetime. Then we must either concede that we don’t know or invoke God as an explanation. There will be nothing wrong in this.

    Creationists see things differently. They want to give up the quest to explain when it has hardly even started. For them, most of the things that science has explained must be either denied or attributed to magic. This seems like a rather impoverished view of the world.


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