Archive for Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Science standards face review by Kansas school board

June 12, 2012


— The Kansas State Board of Education is preparing to review the first draft of proposed science standards that could renew the debate over teaching evolution.

The standards on the board's Tuesday afternoon agenda are being drafted by 26 states, including Kansas, along with the National Research Council. The goal is to create guidelines that can be used by all states, and Kansas is likely to consider whether to adopt them next year.

State Board of Education member Ken Willard, a Republican from Hutchinson, said last week he considers the initial draft problematic. That document was released in May and describes evolution as a well-established, core scientific concept.

Kansas has switched multiple times between standards expressing skepticism about the theory and evolution-friendly guidelines like the ones now in place.


Alyosha 6 years ago

The operative phrase should be "science standards." Knowledge should be the only goal — not coddling insecure people's unexamined and unenlightened beliefs.

If you're not a scientist, you have no business refining science standards. Unless religious folks allow atheists to determine religion standards for sunday school, or animal abusers to determine animal shelter standards, anti-science folks should respectfully be shown the door when attempting to control what science standards are to be taught.

devobrun 6 years ago

I teach physics in a private school where I can teach just about anything I wish. I teach that science is defined by the test and that the veracity of any scientific assertion is determined by testing.

Quantity and quality of testing is really all there is to science. When assertions are made for which only argument can be engaged, then religion is sure to follow. One man's rational argument is another's blasphemy. How do you settle scientific arguments? Tests.

Statements about origins of humans are presently asserted by evolutionists and creationists. Do it. Make it Test it.

Can't test assertions about origins? Then you're not engaged in science.

Oh BTW, untestable assertions are also useless assertions. I mean....why should I care if I shared a common ape-like ancestor, or God put me here? I don't care and I teach my students that, if they do it. Test it...... or go over to the chaplain and discuss it with him. But I don't have time to speculate about that which is just argument.

So, science standards are simple. Science is taught as a search for the truth via testing. Can't test it? Don't assert it.

Scribeoflight 6 years ago

So, what then is the testable hypothesis within the creationist argument?

One "test" of evolution would be the existence of "Ring Species". A branching of a species around a physical barrier (mountain range, body of water) where at one end of the chain, breeding is possible, and at the other it is not.

devobrun 6 years ago

Creation is not testable. It isn't science. The test you site is definitive to......."ring species". Is that the argument here?

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Depends on how you define "creation".

The biblical creation idea that the earth was created 6000 years ago with all life created at once at the same time is testable.

In fact, it has been tested and refuted based upon evidence.

So, yes, biblical creation has been tested and hs been refuted by data and evidence.

devobrun 6 years ago

Who friggin' cares, nightmare. Grow up. It is a story. Johnnie Lightning, Danny Dunn and anti-gravity machines, What does it matter? Only to help you with your really bad conception of science and God and meaning and......Jeezy peezy...nightmare....grow up.

It is all useless pap. It is for babies. It entertains. It is useless. Nothing comes from it. Nothing is advanced by "origins". Wake the....up. Putting it to Christians is useless. It doesn't matter what Christians believe. Who cares?

Do a test. Build a product based upon it. Hire some people. Then we will all care. Short of that, you simply engage in argument that soothes your soul. Fine, then call it religion. Evolutionary Religion. Useful only to engage in banter among the faithful.

No, nightmare, the argument is not about fruit flies. The argument between you and Christians is about Origins. You don't know. Neither do Christians. Manup, own up, be true to don't really know.....and it doesn't really matter.

And if you want science to truly defeat religiojn, then you will pick your battles where you can conduct an experiment.......and win. I'm all for defeating religion. But don't try to beat them by joining them.

chootspa 6 years ago

If you didn't care, you would't post until cornered and then claim not to care. Notice how I don't comment in some topics? It's because I don't care.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

I think we do know a lot. There was a so called big bang. Before that there was no time or space. We don't know what triggered the big bang. We know that the universe has been expanding for something like 13 billion years. We know the earth was formed from the remnants of a star that went nova about 5 billion years ago. We know life emerged on earth about 1 billion years after that. From the earliest single cell organisms to life as we know it, life form have evolved gradually from one form into another. This was made more understandable with the discovery of DNA which demonstrates the biochemical similarity between even viruses and humans.

There are no unicorns. There are no leprechauns. There are no dragons. There is no supreme least not one anything like what fundamentalist Christians or Muslims or Hindus or etc believe.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

Why do the creationists get flu shots every year while denying even the possibility of evolution? Is it because they are hypocrites?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

Why do the creationists get flu shots every year while denying even the possibility of evolution? Is it because they are hypocrites?

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Evolution is tested all of the time. This is why scientists are so convinced of evolution as a core scientific concept.

Evolution has survived 160 years of tests and three major scientific revolutions: mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, and now genomics.

The fact that evolution has stood up to all tests and revolutions makes it a very strong scientific hypothesis indeed.

Oh, and devo, I a waiting for you to create a galaxy or even a star in the lab based upon the theories of gravity, general relativity, and quantum mechanics, theories that underlie electricity and magnetism that run all of your consumer electronics.

devobrun 6 years ago

You insist on conflating that which is testable and that which is not. The argument regarding science standards is not whether fruit flies evolve and you know it. The argument is with creation and origin of species. Neither is testable within the boundaries defined therein.

And that which isn't testable, not science. And since Darwin and evolutionary biologists push the boundary of science toward fuzzier and sloppier assertion, we get arguments with religion. Evolution asked for it. It exceeded testable hypotheses and it got religion right back at it.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Devo, you are making things up here.

Your self-narratives might make you feel better about science clashing with religious dogma, and might help you hold onto your job, but do not confuse them for science.

They are not.

KSManimal 6 years ago

"That which isn't testable, not science."

That is typical, red-flag, creationist nonesense right there.

How many people have ever seen Earth orbit the Sun? Zero. How many have ever directly observed the interior of our planet? Zero.

Yet, these and countless other well-verified things are studied all the time - scientifically. Testing a hypothesis does not require actually being present when something happens, or even being able to observe it directly.

Give my condolences to your science students.

Cai 6 years ago

we're not able to test that gravity actually was 'working' in 500 BC either, but we kind of assume it was because of our tests, fossils, stories, cultural artifacts, etc.

Evolution has similar evidence. And fruit flies (even dead ones) don't keep that long.

chootspa 6 years ago

Honestly, you're embarrassing yourself at this point. You're trying to produce a false equivalency argument out of whole cloth. It's really unbecoming in someone who claims to like science, and it makes a lie out of any claim that you're not influenced by religious motives.

There are plenty of objective observations, experiments, and testable hypothesis involved in the theory of evolution. It's not a matter of assertions. If you researched the matter, you'd know this, but you've already stated that the subject doesn't hold your interest, since biology doesn't "make airplanes fly."

Ragingbear 6 years ago

Kansas Schooling: Derp, Derp, Depity Derp, Creationism, Derp, GOOOOOOOOD, Derpity doo, derp derp Gays are bad, derp derp.

There. That took me like 20 seconds. Why is it taking the school board so long to come to the same exact conclusion?

Cai 6 years ago

... can we make sure to keep the derps? I think they fit in rather well.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

How does one graduate from high school, much less become a State School Board Member without understanding basic scientific principles? I'm not even talking evolution here, I'm talking the absolute basics: observation, testing, hypothesis, theory, law.

devobrun 6 years ago

Jack, everybody observes. Lawyers, literature analysists and scholarly endeavors of all kinds engage in hypothesis, theory and evidence.

Science requires that the hypothesis be testable. The assertion must be falsifiable, refutable. The best way to find truth in science is to do what you hypothesize. Airplanes fly all day, every day with millions of passengers who trust the veracity of Navier-Stokes equations. This is what I mean by testing. Trust your life and the lives of millions........

BTW, Navier-Stokes equations are used to design airplanes. They are actually not proper math equations because there are regions where they are not properly posed as a math equation. So, they are not true because they are rigorously derived from rational mathematical principles.......But they are tested. Do you fly on airplanes? Then you believe them because they are tested, not because they are rationally perfect. Ultimately the veracity of all assertions (science or not) is in your own head.

Do you fly on airplanes? Think about it. Do you care whether evolution is asserted as fact or not? Navier-Stokes matters, Darwin doesn't.

Scribeoflight 6 years ago

Darwin doesn't matter?

I would say the evolution of multi-drug-resistant TB and Staph, which is confirmation of, and based on, Darwin's ideas, makes it kind of important that we understand how living things change over time.

devobrun 6 years ago

You don't need grand narratives like "Origin of Species" to notice that things change. Yep, things change and you'd better be diligent about those critters and that they can change.

What will the next change be? Dunno. What can we do to prevent change? Dunno. What causes change? Dunno.All we know is that change occurs. Right, got it.

Here's an alternative to grand evolution which explains drug-resistant TB. Everything in life that can happen, does. When, where, how is most uncertain. Viable changes live. Unviable life fades away.

That is a long, long way from asserting tiny changes times millions of years links us all together. That is useless argument. Untestable assertion intended only to dissuade people from believing in religious explanations. Well, if you want to argue religion, go ahead.....don't call it science. So, in public school, teach that all creatures that are living are viable. Those creatures that couldn't hack it are gone, or are going. Some creatures that could exist have in the past. Some creatures that never existed before are possibly emerging. Flabby, video gamers come to mind.

Don't argue about grand narratives. They are useless human assertions that serve only to lord over each other.

ScottyMac 6 years ago

"Here's an alternative to grand evolution which explains drug-resistant TB. Everything in life that can happen, does. When, where, how is most uncertain. Viable changes live. Unviable life fades away."

You example is not an alternative to "grand evolution." It's an example of circular reasoning.

I thank the Noodle that you aren't teaching my kid you're crackpot version of "science."

devobrun 6 years ago

I didn't say my alternative was science. I said it was an alternative to grand evolution. My alternative scientifically consists of reducion into testable units. That is a sure sign that science is happening, reduction to testablility, followed by tests.

Leave the grand narrative to those who feed the soul. That ain't the job of science.

ScottyMac 6 years ago

(Ignore the above typos please!)

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Yes, devo would just like to ignore the fossil record and all stars, galaxies, and cosmic objects that we can only "observe".

What are we to do with the fossil record and with all of these pesky stars, galaxies, and planets that we can only observe through telescopes?

I guess, like any good scientist, just ignore them.

devobrun 6 years ago

Beats inventing untestable science. You can do with them whatever you wish, nightmare. But when you invent explanations that exceed the ability to test, you modify the definition of science and that allows all kinds of dam-fool assertions that cannot be tested.

It contributes to the delinquency of science.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

So, you advocate that scientists should just ignore the fossil record and ignore stars and galaxies? Some scientist.

Devo, you can believe whatever you want about what science is. It troubles me that you teach children this nonsense, but so be a christian "education".

I realize that your narrow definition of science allows you to think of yourself as a scientist while at the same time avoiding scientific clashes with religious ideology. It must be comforting to you.

Yes, I guess you are right, and 99.9% of all other scientists, tens of thousands worldwide, are wrong.

devobrun 6 years ago

Science was created precisely to be separate from religion. Read up on Francis Bacon, nightmare. Experimentation is precisely that which refutes religious explanations.
Make an assertion? Test it. Simple. Except now it is see the universe? Pontificate. Observe something? Conjure an explanation and try to make it fit with the consensus. That mode of inquiry is really just a new religion, nightmare. "Look folks, we know and lots of other scientists believe us. You should too."

Wow, how the mighty have fallen.

KSense 6 years ago

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." -Psalm 19:1-3

chootspa 6 years ago

All trees are exactly my age or younger. China may or may not exist. The sun rotates around the Earth, and gravity may not exist while I sleep.

KSense 6 years ago

It wasn't just some random bits of wordy fluff but an answer to Nightmare when she/he asked "What are we to do with.....all of these pesky stars, galaxies and planets...?"

chootspa 6 years ago

No, that wasn't to you. I was giving random examples of willful ignorance in the hope that the reductio ad absurdum would shake some sense into him. I doubt it will. He's pretty entrenched in his willful ignorance.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Devo, even Popper himself dismissed this very narrow view of science that you have.

Yes, Navier-Stokes works, but why? Why is it that density differentials lead to vacuum and thus pressure? Why is that?

devobrun 6 years ago

After he turned 80 and was told that the avenues of testable science were closing. Yes, in the 1960s and 70s and 80s, fundamental science was whirling around with new theories all over the place. Testing was not converging to answers. Instead experiments were diverging into a myriad of subatomic particles and genomics that gets more complex by the day.

Why is always an ill-posed scientific question. What, where, how, when......."why" is for priests.

jafs 6 years ago

Why is a quintessential scientific question.

We all know that if we hold a pen out and let it go, it will fall to the ground.

Science gives us an explanation of why that happens.

In fact, it gives us multiple explanations of that, from gravity to bending the time-space continuum, to modern physics.

chootspa 6 years ago

Apparently they even give PhDs in EE to people that don't actually understand science or how it works, so beats me.

blindrabbit 6 years ago

To clear up this mess once and for all, I suggest we bring back the 6 conservative, bible-thumping Board of Education ostrichs that voted in the Creationist consideration back in 2004/2005. Fortunately, more intelligent heads prevailed in 2007, and tossed out their B.S. agenda. Kansas needs more bad publicity, now with Gov. stumping on the abortion issue in Virginia, Herr Kobach messing with the voters, and the Koch-a-Kolas buying the elections.

Remember them; how could you forget! Dr. Steve Abrams John Bacon Kathy Martin Connie Morris Iris VanMeter Ken Willard

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

It is a simple lie that evolution is untestable. It is tested all of the time by thousands of scientists worldwide for 160 years now.

Evolution has survived three scientific revolutions: mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, and genomics, and it has come away stronger and with more explanatory power. This is why scientists are so convinced that evolution is a core scientific concept, maybe the scientific concept.

Ken Lassman 6 years ago

Just to throw a total wrench into the reporting on this topic and the ensuing discussion, I thought I'd provide a link to the science framework being discussed:

Sorry in advance for subversively providing access to the document in question and thinking that this might actually be relevant to considering and discussing the topic.

Which, by the way, looks pretty darned good to me at first glance. Seems like the goal is to actually come to some kind of understanding of what science is and what science has learned about the universe we are a part of. Talk about being subversive....

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Devo, you know as well as I how theories are tested.

Theories are tested by making hypotheses based on the theory and then doing experiments to test the hypothesis. Failure to refute the hypothesis, based on the thoery, is a test of the theory itself.

You also know as well as I that "observational" science also tests hypotheses and thus theories, but it relies on making predictions about what one expects to observe or not if the hypothesis and thus the theory is correct.

Devo, you are a science denier who masquerades as a scientist.

Randall Uhrich 6 years ago

I'd like to see the opponents of teaching evolution to offer any kind of proof that evolution hasn't occurred. What is it about the difinition of 'science' that they don't understand? I can't believe that these chowderheads actually got elected to office. Also, it's unfortunate that 'theory' has been used to described evolution. It confuses the ignorant. Perhaps we should call it the 'observed process' of evolution.

Fossick 6 years ago

"Yourworstnightmare: "So, you advocate that scientists should just ignore the fossil record and ignore stars and galaxies? Some scientist."

Not taking sides, but I've a question for you: Is history science? I'm of the opinion* that it's not, though there are some who try to make it so. And I'm of the opinion that it's not a science mostly because it's not testable. We gather data and make a logical case for why something was one way and not another, but we are not really testing anything in a rigorous, controlled, scientific manner.

If history is not a science, is archaeology a science? I'm of the opinion that it's not, and for the same reason. We can gather evidence and we can make inferences, but what we are doing is applying logic and interpretation to data. But that's not really on the level of chemistry or physics, which are actual, real sciences. The results are less trustworthy in direct proportion to how little we can test.

If archaeology is not a science, is paleo-anthropology a science? If so, what differentiates it from archaeology and history?

I'm curious as to where you draw your cutoff between "science" and "systematic study," if there is one.

  • And it's not just an opinion, I'm a trained historian (award winning, even) though I'm not a professional one.

jafs 6 years ago

The classic distinction is between "hard" and "soft" science.

Hard sciences allow for things like double-blind repeatable tests, while softer ones don't allow for that.

Fossick 6 years ago

So are they (soft sciences) still sciences and why? It seems to me that Devo's heresy trial is over the fact that he argues 'no' while others argue yes.

Your worstnightmare's definition that science is "observation, hypothesis, testing, and theory" seems right on, and yet it's hard to imagine a test for why Rommel lost to Montgomery at Second El Alamein. One can argue from the data - and if one does it honestly and thoroughly, one can make a convincing case that might stand for generations. But it's very hard to imagine a repeatable test that could demonstrate all the underlying causes of a unique historical event. To me that means one can do good history, but even done well, history does not deserve the credibility of chemistry or physics, which credibility is earned by repeated demonstration, i.e. testing.

jafs 6 years ago

Well, they're called soft "sciences".

I suppose the difference between that and simple speculation is that there are some sort of procedures in place to test one's hypotheses.

They're just not as rigorous as with hard sciences.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Despite a lack of experimental blinding and repeatable manipulation in the lab, historical science can lead to some very strong conclusions and theories.

This involves gathering a lot of evidence that results in an argument building case. While directly testing why Rommel lost to Montgomery is impossible, it is possible to gather evidence from many sources, historical as well as contemporary, that builds a case that can support or refute a hypothesis.

I think we as a society intuitively accept historical science as valid, because it is the basis of our entire criminal justice and court system. We trust it enough to put people to death because of its results.

I guess some refute it when it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Fossick 6 years ago

"Despite a lack of experimental blinding and repeatable manipulation in the lab, historical science can lead to some very strong conclusions and theories."

So, science is "observation, hypothesis, testing, and theory," except when it's history, which gets to be science with only building a logical case from evidence?

So does science need testing or not? I'm so confused.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

It depends on definitions, doesn't it.

Science is the method of using observation of the natural world (or historic record) to pose questions and build hypotheses, using experimentation to test those hypotheses, and then establishing theories that best explain all of the data (the collection of hypotheses).

History can be a science if these methods are used rigorously. Much history, however, is not based on scientific methods but on speculation in the absence of data and historical narratives that fit a particular viewpoint (often called revisionist history).

Yes, history can be science, and in my opinion the best history is based on evidence and the scientific method. All else is just storytelling.

Fossick 6 years ago

Yourworstnightmare: "It depends on definitions, doesn't it."

I suspect that this whole argument (like many others on these threads) depends on that more than anything else.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Agreed. This is why science if defined as observation, hypothesis, testing, and theory.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

How could evolution be refuted. By a thousand thousand ways.

Examples: if radiocarbon dating and all of geological science conludes that the earth is not 4 billion years old but, say, 6000.

If fossils of T rex were found in the same geological strata and of the same radiocarbon dating age as human fossils.

If fossils of all extinct and extant animals were found to be of the same age.

If human genes were distinct from genes of other species, and if fly genes did not work in humans.

If genetic change and differences did not correlate precisely with the fossil record and geologic data about the history of life on earth.

There are thousands more. Evolution could be easily refuted. It has not been. In fact, the theory is strengthened the more we test it.

devobrun 6 years ago

"Evolution could be easily refuted. It has not been. In fact, the theory is strengthened the more we test it."

Most important statement you've made in this argument. I agree completely with it. But it doesn't go far enough. Reduction of your evolution word yields all kinds of bounded, testable hypotheses. But "evolution" as a whole is too broad to be tested. Application of the grand law of evolution is where you get into trouble. "Evolution" goes too far. It allows for assertions that cannot be tested, yet are accepted as part of the "evolution is the law" narrative. And the argument you have with Christians is just such an argument. You need to be more strict. You need to stay away from the cocktail napkin science that is the world of graduate students. Reign it in there big pants. But no, that is not the direction science is going is it.

Stephen Hawking is a fine example of the hubris that accompanies non-testable science.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Huh? I honestly don't get your point here.

Could you provide examples of evolutionary over reach?

JackMcKee 6 years ago

I would like to thank Devo for making the entire LJWorld website a little dumber. I think he spent too much time at the creation museum looking at Jesus on the back if a triceratops.

devobrun 6 years ago

Wow, Jack. How could you have missed my point so completely? Look, I gotta go. I have work to do. But Jack, how could you possibly think that I defend creation, or Christianity, or any religious, non-testable assertions...... My claim isn't that creation is correct. It is that grand evolutionary utterances that are quite untestable......are not science.

Is it possible to not believe either in your head, Jack? Maybe I'll be back tomorrow. I gotta go now. Wow, how can you be so obtuse?

chootspa 6 years ago

Your point is that some vague point you refuse to elaborate on is something you don't like, so therefore the whole thing collapses. mumblemumble macroevolution. That's how it goes, right?

Sorry devolution, but that poke a single hole in it and it all collapses idea only works with the Bible. Besides, macroevolution has been observed and tested in the lab.

Rice, W.R.; Hostert (1993). "Laboratory experiments on speciation: what have we learned in 40 years". Evolution 47 (6): 1637–1653. DOI:10.2307/2410209. JSTOR 2410209. Jiggins CD, Bridle JR (2004). "Speciation in the apple maggot fly: a blend of vintages?". Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.) 19 (3): 111–4. DOI:10.1016/j.tree.2003.12.008. PMID 16701238. Weinberg JR, Starczak VR, Jorg, D (1992). "Evidence for Rapid Speciation Following a Founder Event in the Laboratory". Evolution 46 (4): 1214–20. DOI:10.2307/2409766. JSTOR 2409766. Kirkpatrick, Mark; Virginie Ravigné (2002-03). "Speciation by Natural and Sexual Selection: Models and Experiments". The American Naturalist 159 (3): S22–S35. DOI:10.1086/338370. ISSN 00030147. JSTOR 3078919. PMID 18707367.

question4u 6 years ago

Only hypotheses, not theories, are tested. Arthur Eddington didn't test the theory of relativity. He tested Einstein's hypothesis that the sun's gravity could deflect grazing rays of light by roughly 1.75 arc-seconds. The result was consistent with Einstein's theory. Was Eddington a scientist and Einstein not? Was Einstein's prediction science but his reason for making the prediction not science? Should we not teach the theory of relativity in schools because it isn't testable in itself but can only be supported or undermined by testing hypotheses?

The Miller-Urey experiment tested the Oparin and Haldane hypothesis, which was formed in response to evolutionary theory. The experiment was science, and the hypothesis was science. Does it really seem reasonable to say that the theory that prompted the hypothesis is not science? Would it make sense to teach students about the Miller-Urey experiment and not about the evolutionary theory that caused Oparin and Haldane to form their hypothesis?

There is no logical reason to omit evolutionary theory from science classes unless you believe that the theory of relativity should not be taught in science classes. By the same token, there would be no legitimate reason to omit creationism from science classes if there were a significant number of scientists forming hypotheses in response to the Biblical story of creation and acquiring new and significant knowledge by testing those hypotheses.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Although I would add the experimental testing of a hypothesis derived from a theory is an indirect test of the theory itself. It is semantics, but tests of hypotheses test the validity of the theory from which they originate.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

My conclusion is that many elected officials don't want anything to be taught in school. This conclusion is based on my observation of what just happened to the state budget. Cyphering is necessary so a farmer isn't cheated at the marketplace. Reading is necessary for the good book. I think that is all they want, about a 4th or 5th grade education for people. Then everyone will vote republican...

beatrice 6 years ago

Forcing scientists to ignore evolution? I thought rulings based on Sharia Law are illegal in Kansas.

beatrice 6 years ago

If evolution in schools is outlawed, then only outlaws will be able to pass college entrance exams.

Umm ... maybe I didn't get that one quite right. Let me try some others.

In Kansas, friends don't let friends evolve.

This is your brain. This is your brain on evolution.

Only YOU can prevent evolution.

chootspa 6 years ago

I don't know. I didn't see you type it, so it would be an unscientific leap for me to assume you did.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

About Creationism?

Is Creationism logically consistent?: Creationism is usually internally consistent and logical within the religious framework in which it operates. The major problem with its consistency is that creationism has no defined boundaries: there is no clear way to say that any particular piece of data is relevant or not to the task verifying or falsifying creationism. When you deal with the non-understood supernatural, anything is possible; one consequence of this is that no tests for creationism can really be said to matter.

Is Creationism parsimonious?: No. Creationism fails the test of Occam’s razor because adding supernatural entities to the equation when they are not strictly necessary to explain events violates the principle of parsimony. This principle is important because it is so easy for extraneous ideas to slip into theories, ultimately confusing the issue. The simplest explanation may not always be the most accurate, but it is preferable unless very good reasons are offered

Is Creationism useful?: To be “useful” in science means that a theory explains and describes natural phenomena, but creationism is not able to explain and describe events in nature. For example, creationism cannot explain why genetic changes are limited to microevolution within species and don’t become macroevolution. A true explanation expands our knowledge and understanding of events, but saying that “God did it” in some mysterious and miraculous way for unknown reasons fails in this.

Is Creationism empirically testable?: No, creationism is not testable because creationism violates a basic premise of science, naturalism. Creationism relies on supernatural entities which are not only not testable, but are not even describable. Creationism provides no model that can be used for making predictions, it provides no scientific problems for scientists to work on, and does not provide a paradigm for solving other problems unless you consider “God did it” to be a satisfactory explanation for everything.

Is Creationism based upon controlled, repeatable experiments?: No experiments have ever been performed that either demonstrate the truth of Creationism or suggest that evolutionary theory is fundamentally flawed. Creationism did not originate out of a series of experiments that produced anomalous results, something that has occurred in science. Creationism has, instead, developed out of the religious beliefs of fundamentalist and evangelical Christians in America. Leading Creationists have always been open about this fact.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Is Creationism correctable?: No. Creationism professes to be the absolute Truth, not a provisional assessment of data which can change when new information is discovered. When you believe that you already have the Truth, there is no possibility of future correction and no reason to look for more data. The only real changes which have occurred in the creationist movement is to try and push the biblical arguments further and further into the background in order to make creationism look more and more scientific.

Does Creationism follow the scientific method?: No. First, the hypothesis/solution is not based on analysis and observation of the empirical world - rather, it comes directly from the Bible. Second, as there is no way to test the theory, creationism cannot follow the scientific method because testing is a fundamental component of the method. =================================================================== The bottom line:

Do Creationists think Creationism is science?: Even prominent creationists like Henry Morris and Duane Gish (who pretty much created scientific creationism) admit that creationism is not scientific in creationist literature. In Biblical Cosmology and Modern Science, Morris, while discussing catastrophism and the Noachic flood, says:

  “We cannot verify this experimentally, of course, any more than any of the various other theories of catastrophism [e.g. Velikovsky], but we do not need experimental verification; God has recorded it in His Word, and that should be sufficient.”

This is a statement of religious faith, not a statement of scientific discovery.

Even more revealing, Duane Gish in Evolution? The Fossils Say No! writes:

  “We do not know how the Creator created, [or] what processes He used, for He used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe. This is why we refer to creation as special creation. We cannot discover by scientific investigation anything about the creative processes used by the Creator.”

So, even leading creationists basically admit that creationism is not testable and clearly state that biblical revelation is the source (and “verification”) of their ideas. If Creationism is not considered scientific by the movement’s own leading figures, then how can anyone else be expected to take it seriously as a science?

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