CREATIONISM'S NEW LANGUAGE

The scientist who yields anything to theology, however slight,
is yielding to ignorance and false pretenses, and as
certainly as if he granted that a horse-hair put into a bottle
of water will turn into a snake.-H.L. Mencken

One of the most important principles which separates science from religion is the law of non-contradiction: when two or more ideas don't reconcile, one or the other or all have to be false to some degree. A second important law is the law of causality: Every event is caused by a preceding event. And a third, the first law of thermodynamics: The amount of energy going into a system equals the amount of energy coming out of a system. Until someone comes along and proves different, these are some of the best we can know about the fundamental way in which the universe works. There is no room for God in the real world.

In contrast, the religious view starts with God as an unshakable given. So whenever believers come across contradictions, they have to either ignore them or rationalize them in some way. When they base our beliefs on words alone, all they have to do change the words to fit our beliefs. They would never think of questioning the validity of their premise. Believers and creationists alike have acquired a habit of living in a world of words and contradictions all their lives. What's a few more.

The canonized biblical view describes a static view of existence of how the Universe appeared magically from nothing about 4,000 BCE without going through the dynamic process of evolution. God, so it says, is the unmoved mover. It's an idea that was taught in major universities up to the 17th century. The unmoved mover paradigm lost credibility when it was realized that energy is its own motivating force.

What this is building up to. If there is no evolution, there would have to be no energy, no thermodynamics, no causality, no motion, nothing. The Universe would have to come into existence from nothing. Such a possibility defies everything verifiable known about the universe. Energy is the material and the motivating force behind evolution.

To repeat again: the process of evolution--or of constant change--is a self evident fact we experience every day of our lives. While the history, or the cataloguing the events of the process is an extremely difficult task. The creationist methodology is to muddle the two. The pickings are the greatest in the evolutionary history of biological organisms because they are so complex.

Religion, being authoritarian based, is not bound by standards of proof. Thus some card carrying creationists insist that the biblical view is entirely correct because they know that to accept anything outside the Bible is tantamount to admitting the Bible is in error. They would rather live with their religious contradictions than add science to the mix.

Others have come to realize that the biblical view is untenable, so they adopted a strategy of combining science with religion, called scientific creationism. For several reasons, mixing science with religion is an admitted strategy of retreat in face of impossible advancement.

What's first notable about this strategy is that it doesn't make science sound more religious, it makes religion sound scientific. You can tell by some of the prominent buzzwords floating around: creation science, anthropic principle and the intelligent design theory. Some see evolution, is evidence of God's creation or that God may have planted a faith gene in everybody, though most of the human race doesn't seem to have one.

Let's call them coattails, for convenience, because their aim is to sound attractive by riding on the coattails of science's credibility. One of the newer scams is to appear to be using science to disprove science. The strategy fits within the religious frame of mind because religion does not concern itself with scientific integrity; it measures its self worth by the quantity of believers like politicians do in the number of voters. And it is entirely word based, so it can morph without being constrained by the discipline of physical reality.

The coattail strategy falls into a no man's land--neither science nor biblical religion. Science is not science with God and religion is not religion without God. If anything, it makes religion sound more atheistic. by deferring to science, coattails only enhance science's credibility and places religion in a secondary roll. After a while, one should get to realize: What do you need religion for if it is giving science all the credit?

It was only a few hundred years ago when early scientists felt a need to justify their discoveries as consistent with their religious beliefs, sometimes to avoid threat. Times have changed. What is left are religious fanatics with science degrees, who still think they can prove religion is compatible with science. Progress evolves in subtle ways.