In my previous article on science and creation science I had written this:
“So where does that leave ‘creation science’? ‘Creation science’ has been defined this way: “The effort to provide scientific evidence supporting the account of the creation of the universe related in the Bible.” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright C 2004, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.) If, as I have argued, ‘creation science’ is ill suited for revealing the timing and order of origins, is it of any use? I would argue its usefulness as a movement has primarily been in the realm of critiquing certain aspects of the materialistic evolutionary theory, rather than ‘proving’ the creation of the universe related in the Bible, which it is ill-equipped to do. The evolutionary theory has not been proved by science consistently applied, as I argue in the book at http://www.puritans.net/curriculum/eden.pdf and the book at http://www.puritans.net/curriculum/darwin.pdf. To ascertain the order and timing of origins, we are left to rely upon the revelation of the Triune God in the Bible, since the Triune God alone was witness of the origin of the physical universe, and since it involved various miraculous events.”
Let me further explain what I have written, by considering this question: can we prove young earth creationism from the natural data alone, without reference to the Bible?
I think not, but much of the creation science community differs with me. For instance, one of the leading creation science organizations, ICR, seems to answer in the affirmative, in an article http://icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-017.htm excerpted below:
“…In Table I have been listed 76 different processes for calculating the age of various integral parts of the earth and, thus, presumably of the earth itself. All of them yield an age of much less than a billion years, whereas the present standard evolutionary estimate is approximately five billion years.
The presently-favored geochronometric methods (that is, those that give long ages, such as uranium-lead, rubidium-strontium, and potassium-argon) have not been included in the tabulation, nor are they discussed in this paper. However, it has been shown elsewhere (1, 5, 6, 7) that these can also easily be reconciled with young-age concepts.
The most obvious characteristic of the values listed in the table is their extreme variability—all the way from 100 years to 500,000,000 years. This variability, of course, simply reflects the errors in the fundamental uniformitarian assumptions.
Nevertheless, all things considered, it seems that those ages on the low end of the spectrum are likely to be more accurate than those on the high end. This conclusion follows from the obvious fact that: (1) they are less likely to have been affected by initial concentrations or positions other than "zero"; (2) the assumption that the system was a "closed system" is more likely to be valid for a short time than for a long time; (3) the assumption that the process rate was constant is also more likely to be valid for a short time than for a long time.
Thus, it is concluded that the weight of all the scientific evidence favors the view that the earth is quite young, far too young for life and man to have arisen by an evolutionary process. The origin of all things by special creation—already necessitated by many other scientific considerations—is therefore also indicated by chronometric data.
This article illustrates why I cannot say that I agree with ‘creation science’ – as it is commonly understood- without qualification or reservation. Contrary to the article above, I do not think we can conclude a young earth or an old earth from the natural data alone. I deny that we can conclude, from the natural data cited in the article above, young earth creationism. The data are too scattered to make such a conclusion, and the assumptions to make such a conclusion are unproved from the natural data alone. According to Genesis, God created a fully functioning universe during creation week. Therefore, anyone looking at the natural data after creation week, and assuming constancy of natural operations back in time, would reach wrong conclusions. Mankind has not had to wait millions of years to see stars that are millions of “light-years” away. Though Adam may have looked 30 years old on day 7 of creation week, he was only one day old. And most likely the same could be said for many other things. We, like Adam, have to depend upon the testimony of God to know the age of the world, for we cannot make a conclusive inference from the natural data alone, and the natural data alone does not lend itself to such conclusive inferences.
How can I look at the stars, the sky and the rocks and know from them alone that the world was created some 6000 years ago, or whether birds were created before or after fish? I cannot. The timing and order of origins is simply not determinable from the natural data alone. Science is a valuable tool, but its usefulness is limited to those times and places when God has governed his universe according to His ordinary laws. It is analogous to the usefulness of a microscope. A microscope is useful within limits, but beyond those limits it is not useful. For instance, one could not use a microscope to study the stars.
“A Resolution to encourage equitable treatment of alternate scientific concepts of origins in the public schools and other institutions of the state -
I. WHEREAS, it appears that most, if not all, state-supported educational institutions require students to take courses in which naturalistic concepts of evolution are taught as scientific explanations of origins of the universe, life and man;1 and
II. WHEREAS evolution is not demonstrable as scientific fact or testable as a scientific hypothesis, and therefore must be accepted philosophically by faith;2 and
III. WHEREAS there is another concept of origins ¾ namely, that of special creation of the universe, life, and man by an omnipotent personal Creator ¾ which is at least as satisfactory a scientific explanation of origins as is evolution, and is accepted as such by a large number of scientists and other well-informed people;3 and
IV. WHEREAS many citizens of this State believe in the special creation concept of origins and are convinced that exclusive indoctrination of their children in the evolutionary concept (including so-called "theistic" evolution) is inimical to their religious faith and to their moral and civic teachings, as well as to scientific objectivity, academic freedom, and civil rights;4 and
V. WHEREAS even most citizens who are not opposed to the evolution concept at least favor a balanced treatment of these two alternative views of origins in their schools, thus allowing students to consider all of the evidences favoring each concept before deciding which to believe.5
Now, therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the State Higher Education Commission and the State Board of Public Education be, and hereby is, urged to recommend to all state-supported educational institutions that a balanced treatment of evolution and special creation be encouraged in all courses, textbooks, library materials and museum displays dealing in any way with the subject of origins, such treatment to be limited to the scientific, rather than religious, aspects of the two concepts.
…The suggestion seems in order, therefore, that creationists should normally work through persuasion rather than coercion and should emphatically stress the scientific (rather than religious) aspects of creationism, as well as the basically religious nature of evolutionism.1 When a political approach is followed in a particular state or community, then I.C.R. suggests that a resolution be proposed, rather than a legislative bill or an administrative or judicial directive. A resolution encourages, rather than compels, the teaching of creation, and so should not encounter the usual bitter opposition of the educational and scientific establishments. Also, if the resolution stresses (with documentation) that creation and evolution are both equally scientific and/or religious, and that fairness and constitutionality warrant an equitable treatment of both, then hopefully responsible officials will support it. Accordingly, I.C.R. has prepared the foregoing sample…”
While such a resolution may on its surface seem an improvement over current affairs, it is actually an improper compromise. God does not permit schools to take a neutral posture with respect to Reformed Biblical Christianity. All schools are commanded to teach the Biblical truth and to suppress wicked heresies and lies. And all schools and all governments are commanded to profess King Jesus as their Lord. God has spoken in His word, and men must obey that word. That must be our message, for the word of God does not permit another message.
Furthermore, fallen, sinful men need the word of God in order to enjoy sound government and sound education and sound science. The Bible is necessary for true science, but science is not necessary for a true Bible. Fallen man is totally depraved, and without the word of God cannot come to true knowledge.
It would not be fair, however, to suggest the errors cited in this article are true of all of the creation science movement. For example, it seems that http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i1/creation.asp is more sound. Furthermore, we should repeat again the significant good organizations like ICR have done in defending 6-Day creation, when much of purported “reformed” Christianity has fallen for heresies like the Framework Hypothesis. We must acknowledge the good in the creation science movement, and call for reformation where that is needed.