by Jeff McInnis
As one interested in the ongoing argument between creationists and evolutionists, I’ve noticed a pattern that has possibly gone unnoticed until now. If it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the preponderance of those interested in the conversation, it has at least gone unnoticed by me. It is a pattern of thought that seems to drive all argument from below the surface; a way of thinking that, although never revealed, seems to orchestrate the argument and affect the outcome of the thought pattern.
In exposing this pattern, I hope to bring the conversation between evolutionists and creationists to a new level. This would benefit everyone, not least of all me, as we could all be spared the constant accusation of stupidity. Each side has employed this tactic, the creationist side by, among other subtleties, referring to Psalm 14 (“The fool says in his heart there is no God.”), and the evolutionist side by the somewhat less eloquent and certainly less veiled saying which goes something like this: “you’re an idiot!” In exposing what I believe to be the underpinnings of each side’s theological position, I hope to find those areas in which there exists common ground so that the discussion can advance from the base level at which it currently finds itself to a more intellectually pleasing and certainly less polarizing level.
I’m told by those well-versed in writings of this sort that it is customary to reveal one’s own bias, if one exists. Although I would love to say that no bias exists so as to allow this writing its fullest-possible effect, it would be a lie. I am one of the idiots ignorant enough to believe that God put the whole thing together and that the giant pot-holes eagerly jumped over by those blazing the evolutionary trail are much too large for the scientific mind to transgress. Although many will say that it is this bias which has caused me to write this piece, it is not so much my bias as it is the bias of my opponents that has caused it. The pattern I’ve noticed is the pattern of willful misunderstanding between men of science and men of the arts.
To be fair, both sides of this argument have employed science, or at least the term ‘science.’ They have both appealed to the historical scientists to some degree, sometimes with great success and sometimes with dubious outcomes. However, it is this very appeal that forms the basis of the thought-pattern of which I speak. For while both parties to the debate have claimed that the scientific method was employed in their arrival at the ‘obvious’ answer to the question, this is not true. The reason this is not true is that most have no knowledge of the scientific method or, indeed, science itself. Science, you see, is not history. Science is not language. Science is not philosophy, politics, economics, literature or any form of art. It is only science. In being science, it is not concerned with history or language or etymology or philosophy or the next election. It is concerned with only one thing – a logical outcome to a logical question. Let me explain further.
Many, when asked about their knowledge of science, will begin to rattle off the various scientists they recall from their school days. They may bring up such names as Sir Isaac Newton or Madame Curie, perhaps. They may mention their knowledge of the writings of Galileo or
The people who bring up such ideas are scientific impostors. They are not scientists at all; they are only masquerading as scientists. They are no more scientists than the person who knows how many pages are in Moby Dick is a man of literature. The information they bring up shows that they have no knowledge of science whatsoever. What they do have is knowledge of the history of science. They may display a wonderful knowledge of the vocabulary of science, the chronology of science, or the writings of true scientists, but they have also shown that the scientific method has no place within their heads.
Now the true scientist will not answer such a silly question with a bunch of ridiculous names, dates, or terms. The true scientist will respond to such a question as “what do you know about science” with a blank stare. The reason is because the question is of the utmost stupidity. The true scientist understands science in this context and this context alone: things cause other things. That is true science. The scientist’s mind does not nimbly recall useless dates and terms outside of the context of needing to use them to understand a cause and effect relationship. No true scientist sits in his laboratory studying over and over the date on which
It is this issue that clouds the conversation of evolution vs. creation. Both sides believe they have the answer because both believe they understand science and can apply it to this over-arching question. Only one side, however, understands science. It is the side that understands that agents cause change. It is the side that understands that something from nothing is as impossible in their laboratory as it is in the cosmic laboratory. It is the side that understands that things (or beings) cause other things. It is the side that understands more than the vocabulary or history of science. It is the side that understands science itself and how to employ it to learn about creation. It is the side that understands that observed or studied facts reveal a cause-effect relationship. Neither the amount of financial support provided to a given cause nor the number of people believing a specific idea, no matter how great, has any bearing on the cause-effect relationship.