Friday, April 15, 2005

Creationism vs creationism

I'd like to thank Smallholder for responding to my request for a definition of terms.

And I hate to disappoint him if he's itching for a fight, but truth be told, I agree 100% with him when it comes to creationism. While I am a staunch Theist, and an Evangelical Christian, I am NOT a literal Seven-Day Creationist. In fact, the following paragraph, quoted from SH, might as well have been my own:

By one defintion, I'm a creationist. I believe God created the universe and world and set it to operating according to natural law. One of the outgrowths of natural law is evolution - so one might say that God guided evolution. Now, the intervention of deity is not amenable to empircal proof. So: eEvolution is scientific fact. I BELIEVE it was guided by God.

You might say that while I’m both a creationist and an evolutionist (small c and e), I’m neither a Creationist nor an Evolutionist

However, here’s where I can see the Creationists’ point of view. While I agree with Smallholder that it is what he calls “Magical Thinking” to hold to the view that belief in a divine Creator precludes belief in evolution, I also note that there are far too many people, particularly atheists, who hold to a view that belief in evolution precludes belief in a divine Creator, and I firmly assert that this is equally “Magical Thinking.” [Insert quote] Science is equally incapable of proving OR disproving the existence or non-existence of God. In short, Science is about what we CAN see, while faith is about what we CAN’T, and it requires an equal amount of faith to assert that what we cannot see either is or isn’t there. And it seems all too common that this second form of “Magical Thinking” with regards to the origins of life. The problem that I, like the Creationists, have is that while it’s considered bad science to say God created the Earth in 7 days (and rightly so), it’s NOT considered bad science to say that because the Earth is eons old, there must therefore be no God.

So, no, I don’t believe that Creationism should be taught as science. Furthermore, I don’t even believe that MY view, and that of Smallholder, that evolution was guided by God, should be taught. But by the same token, I don’t believe that it should be taught as science that evolution is the result of random accidents with no outside origin. Science can attempt to describe HOW things happen – it can never explain WHY they happen. In explaining the difference between observation and explanation, C.S. Lewis put it this way: “All of Science can be summed up in the phrase, ‘Humpty-Dumpty is falling”. Unfortunately, I’m too much of a cynic to believe that we can ever prevent science teachers from separating their scientific belief that life evolved from their magical belief that it evolved by accident.