I found an interesting link/post via one of the comments, entitled “Combatting creationism with History.” The premise being, of course, that the Bible is a quaint collection of melded cultural myths, an archaic holdover from the scientific dark ages to which people cling out of a sense of maudlin sentimentality, if nothing else. Gee, nothing new there, to be sure.
I guess I am curious as to why creationism needs to be combatted? Why does it so often seem that the scientifically-illuminated feel honor bound to “destroy” or otherwise “combat” the theory of creationism on a scientific basis? Is there a core belief among these warriors of science that a belief in the causality of creation rather than random chance is some sort of dangerous delusion from which people need to be rescued? Are they some sort of moralistic/scientific crusaders who see it as a mission to release people from their intellectual servitude to such antiquated ideas about the origins of our universe?
Then can we all just right now stop calling it the “theory” of evolution, and accept that it has, for all intents and purposes, been accepted among the vast majority of the scientific community as a natural law, akin to the Laws of Thermodynamics? And therefore, that attempting to find fault with some of the premises of evolutionary theory puts one in the “flat earther” category, calling gravity “magic” and insisting that ideas such as entropy and exothermic reactions are so much heretical nonsense?
What I find interesting in these “scientific” viewpoints is the tacit assumption that our modern creation “myth” was culled together from various ancient sources and “tuned” to fit modern theology by some nameless group (perhaps the Council of Nicea?). And yet, there seems little credence paid to the idea that the Babylonians or Chaldean or whomever could have instead been influenced by a creation tradition found among many of the tribal people they conquered and/or enslaved. The Babylonians were well-known as a pollyglot of various cultural traditions incorporated from assimilated people. Why is it so far-fetched to assume that their creation mythology could have been influenced by the long-standing oral traditions of captured ancient Hebrews whose culture predated their’s by thousands of years? I’m just asking.
I recently visited the Pacific Science Center in Seattle on my last trip back to the States. Yeah, I know. What was I thinking? Christians are all supposed to be all, “because God did it!” and shun such heretical institutions as this. However, what I did find interesting was a video presentation on gravity and space, wherein the featured scientist related that recent stellar measurements and observations from the Hubble telescope suggested that the universe is in fact expanding at an increasing rate, rather than at a slowly decreasing rate, as has been the prevailing theory. Almost like things were being pulled, rather than pushed. His comment was something to the effect that, “I guess we don’t really know anything about gravity, like we thought we did.”
So, for years, the Big Bang theory and its exploding singularity required that after the initial release of energy, the universe would expand to a finite limit, and then slowly collapse back in upon itself as gravitiational forces took over (yes, folks, I did actually go to college. Yes, yes, more heresy, I know). However, now it would seem, just the opposite appears to be taking place. Hmmm. Wait, you mean a scientific discovery has set the entire acacdemic world on its ear, and radically altered pre-existing theories? Why, that NEVER happens! Okay, okay, it happens all the damn time.
Now, with all that said, I think about the derision with which the anti-creationism crusaders view our quaint little Biblical narrative. Of course, then I also think about the repeated Old Testament references to God “stretching out the heavens.”
I guess I take issue with the idea that simply because a concept is in the Bible, it must therefore be held as presumptively unscientific. My visits to places like the Pacific Science Center serve only to bolster my faith, not lead me to doubt it. To me, the discoveries of science only point that much more decisively towards a creative force, one deeply mirrored in the Biblical narrative. No, in many cases, not literally, but certainly conceptually.
To me, there is a great deal of scholarship out there which is summarily dismissed not because it is scientifically inviable or logically flawed, but merely because it is creationist in its context. This hardly seems to support the kind of inherent skepticism required by the scientific method.
I guess I find it difficult to lend credence to those who would (and I must say, justifiably so) criticize many Creationism defenders’ reliance on the “just because” or “well, it’s obvious” defense, when the scientific evolutionists continue to refer to biological organisms adapting or reacting to changes in their evironment, without any references to the actual biological/physiological mechanism whereby genetic code is reprogrammed based on input from external stimuli. What “drove” the early amphibians to seek land vs. water? And for the love of pete, stop anthropomorhpizing “Nature” in all your freaking documentaries. An amorphous “Nature” is given the causal force behind adaptive change, without really explaining what this force is, or how it influences the genetic make-up of species to “spontaneously” adapt to new conditions.
So I guess, ultimately, it is to my mind a “pot-n-kettle” kind of argument. Don’t claim the moral and/or scientific highground if you can’t provide any better answers to the questions of ultimate causality than those wacky creationists. Science and creationism don’t have to be mutually exclusive, unless of course, that is the internally mandated and pre-determined viewpoint.