(Ref: http://killdevilhill.com/srchat/read.php?f=143&i=7153&t=7153):

In view of previous posts here, I though it would be interesting to browse through my wife’s college textbook on biology. Here is a section I found:

Not all forms of inquery are scientific

If you understand the methods of science, you can distinguish science from nonscience. Recently some people have claimed that “creation science,” sometimes called “scientific creationism,” is a legitimate science that deserves to be taught in schools together with the evolutionary view of the world presented in this book. In spite of these claims, creation science is not science.

Science begins with observations and the formulation of testable hypotheses that can be rejected by contrary evidence. Creation “science” begins with the unsubstantiated assertion that Earth is only about 4,000 years old and that all species of organisms were created in approximately their present forms. This assertion is not presented as a hypothesis from which testable predictions are derived. Advocates of creation science do not believe that tests are needed, because they assume the assertion to be true, nor do they suggest what evidence would disprove it.

In this chapter we have outlined the hypothesis that Earth is about 4 billion years old, that today’s living organisms evolved from single-celled ancestors, and that many organisms dramatically different from those we see today lived on Earth in the remote past. The rest of this book will provide evidence supporting this scenario. To reject this view of history, a person must reject not only evolutionary biology, but also modern geology, astronomy, chemistry, and physics. All of this extensive scientific evidence is rejected or misinterpreted by proponents of creation “science” in favor of a religious belief held by a very small proportion of the world’s people.

Evidence gathered by scientific procedures does not diminish the value of religious accounts of creation. Religious beliefs are based on faith–not on falsifiable hypothesis, as science is. They serve different purposes, giving meaning and spiritual guidance to human lives. They form the basis for establishing values–something science cannot do. The legitimacy and value of both religion and science is undermined when a religious belief is called science.

Purves, Orians, Heller, and Sadava, “Life: The Science of Biology”, Volume 1, 5th ed.

A few notes may be in order:

First, note that the authors claim their belief in evolution to be a worldview – “the evolutionary view of the world”. This is a point that is missed by many, especially the authors of this textbook. Although they try to be inclusive by saying that creationism (actually not creationism, but religious beliefs – creationism is not allowed by anyone who wishes to be scientific), the beliefs in question which hold to creationism come part and parcel with this belief in creationism. To reject creationism is to reject Christianity – there is no way around this fact – and one cannot hold both with the same value if the fundamental beliefs of one are explicitly contradicted by the other. To teach evolution as a worldview, therefore, is to teach against the religious worldviews that hold (young earth) creation in high regard and is equivalent to religious (naturalist) indoctrination. It claims to justify this indoctrination by what follows.

Second, the authors believe that evolution is science and creation science isn’t. They claim that creation scientists do not use science to back their claims. This is, of course, patently false; the fact is that all substantial scientific evidences for a young earth are simply rejected out of hand by the scientific community at large. They already “know” that the earth is 4 billion years old, so any evidence to the contrary “must” be wrong. They then argue that creation science can’t be science because it is unfalsifiable, but the ignore the fact that according to many “scientists” evolution is the only “scientific” theory possible to account for life on earth. (Doesn’t that make it unfalsifiable?) Darwin did suggest evidences that could disprove evolution, but those evidences have been met, and still the belief in evolution is dogmatically held. How can evolution be held as falsifiable if scientists are willing to ignore the falsifications in order to uphold their theory? Despite all the supposed evidence, evolution is still just a presumption in science – a presumption that is not required in order for one to accept true biology, geology, astronomy, chemistry, or physics.

Third, the authors use an oversimplification of the creationist classifications of kinds and assume that all creationists believe every single species to have been created as is. The fact is that the biblical class of kinds is wider than that of the modern class of species. Variation is possible, but this is due to specialization with a loss of information, not from “positive” mutations.

Fourth, not only is it incorrect to state that a “very small proportion of the world’s people” hold to a belief in biblical creation (cf. http://www.rae.org/polls.html etc.), but it would be fallicious to argue for the truth by taking a vote (perhaps not according to Postmodernism, but in reality truth cannot be changed by a group of people changing their beliefs).

That’s all for now…

Comments?

Donatello

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