There is a very clear reason why Creationism, in all its forms, does not qualify as science and it boils down to a single word: mechanism.
In very general terms, the fundamental objective of science is to explain the mechanism by which something happens.
For instance, we see a pool ball bounce in a specific direction when hit with another pool ball. Science is the investigation to uncover the mechanism by which Ball 1 imparts its kinetic energy to Ball 2. Turns out that is extremely complicated, and we still don’t have a grasp of all of it yet. But we investigate to see how such a thing can happen using the laws of the universe as we understand them.
What science does not do, and this is key, is to suppose there could be a supernatural force that can act on the pool ball. That is also the limitation of science. Science, by definition, cannot take the supernatural into account.
The reason Creationism is not, and cannot be, a science is because it includes the supernatural. You can never posit a hypothesis or put forth prediction if you can always allow for a completely random variable in your equation.
The theory of evolution is an attempt to explain the observations we see regarding life using internally consistent theories of other disciplines. It is incomplete, yet remarkably robust. It may not be correct, in whole or in part, but it is robust in that it describes a mechanism by which the things we observe could have come to be, given what we understand about other laws of the universe.
Creationism also describes how the things we observe could have come to be, but in addition to a mechanism that operates based on the laws as we understand them, Creationism adds a supernatural wildcard that is impossible to quantify or predict. It cannot describe a mechanism by which anything happens.
At its most fundamental, this is not an argument about whether Creationism is right or wrong. It’s about whether Creationism is science and should be taught in a science classroom. The fact is, it’s not science. It may be wonderful, enlightening, and uplifting, but it’s not science.
And here’s the kicker: Creationism may be right. But it’s still not science.
The real question behind all the discussions that both scientists and creationists of all stripes will ultimately need to answer:
Why is there anything at all?
Scientists pull their hair out trying to find ways to tease out the slightest bit of information about how the observable universe came to be - not about the Big Bang and how rules of time and space came to be - but about why is there anything instead of nothing (and we can't even agree on what "nothing" is!)
I haven't heard any creationist ideas on this, but only because I haven't been exposed to them. The ultimate question from a creationist point of view is not "where did the universe come from," but the same question of "why is there anything at all?" That includes deities.
It's really the ultimate question about origins. I think it can make for some really interesting discussion here, especially given how little we know about the subject.
So let's hear it! What are your ideas?
- Sweetwater EnergyVP, Finance, 2009 - present
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