Saturday, May 15, 2010

Can creationists be “real” scientists?'ll let your answer to that question be the same as the answer to this one: "Can flat-earthers be "real" scientists?" AiG never attempts to answer that question in their newsletter, so I'll do that for them. On to their words.
A: Although evolutionists interpret the evidence in light of their belief in evolution, science works perfectly well without any connection to evolution. Think about it this way: is a belief in molecules-to-man evolution necessary to understand how planets orbit the sun, how telescopes operate, or how plants and animals function? Has any biological or medical research benefited from a belief in evolution? Not at all.
Only partially correct. Evolutionists (read: scientists) interpret the evidence in light of the current best theories but have to explain how they do or don't fit in with the theory and why or why not. Science, as a process, would work whether or not evolution by natural selection was a fact or not. Your first two items in that list are indeed mostly irrelevant, but the third is an outright lie. Our understanding of "molecules-to-man" evolution directly affects what we know about how plants and animals function and you know it. Almost all of our biological and medical research has benefited from understanding evolution.
In fact, the PhD cell biologist (and creationist) Dr. David Menton has stated, “The fact is that though widely believed, evolution contributes nothing to our understanding of empirical science and thus plays no essential role in biomedical research or education.”
Dr. Menton, you must be either incredibly inadequately educated or an outright liar. Perhaps, in light of your ignorant or deceitful quote, you would be well-advised to do some reading or just a little thinking. If you like to have things narrated to you while looking at pretty pictures in hi-res, you might enjoy C0nc0rdance's 3-part series, The light of evolution: What would be lost. He breaks things up into 8 parts:
  1. Pathogen evolution and the Red Queen
  2. Human genetic disease, SNPs, and forensics
  3. Conservation genetics
  4. Agriculture
  5. Cladistics and reconstructive phylogenies
  6. Discovering genes and regulatory regions
  7. Understanding the past
  8. Beyond biology
If you don't want to spend 30 minutes educating yourself on the topic (thought it would be time well-spent), I'll just say that understanding evolution allows us to understand how things change. How we change. It allows us to make better medicine because we understand how bacteria and viruses can evolve. You may look at these and say "that's only micro-evolution," but that's not a real objection. The only difference between micro- and macro-evolution is scales of time and biologists don't think within these narrow spaces. There is a real value to having knowledge and even if it were somehow true that it didn't benefit us in any way in the present to understand the effects of science, would that mean we should abandon it for something that helps us understand things even less? (I'm looking at you, Special Creation.)
The rise of technology is not due to a belief in evolution, either. Computers, cellular phones, and DVD players all operate based on the laws of physics, which God created. It is because God created a logical, orderly universe and gave us the ability to reason and to be creative that technology is possible.
The rise of understanding of biological processes and technological mechanisms stem from the same thing - the scientific method. Evolution, like all natural processes, operates on the laws of physics and chemistry, just like cellphones and DVD players. But no one ever said that technology was due to a belief in evolution and it doesn't even make sense that you would assert that. Science seeks to tell us about the world we live in and provide us with solutions to life's problems as well as endow us with all kinds of things that many people would deem luxuries. You readily accept the luxuries it gives while criticizing it for things you apparently don't understand. The alternative would be that you, Answers in Genesis, are willfully lying to the scientific illiterate who will buy your propaganda hook, line, and sinker. And that's just despicable.


Skinner said...

Volitile. I like it. I wonder where the most salient crossroads is between creationism and secular science. Who takes the most heat for making scientific decisions while touting a creationist philosophy? 'Where is it the most dangerous' might be a better question.

Drew said...

Well generally, creationists don't make decisions because they don't publish in peer-reviewed journals. I don't know what kinds of scientific predictions/falsifications they could make as biologists if their only theory is "goddidit." Seems like that idea would get shot down pretty quickly.

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