Making a Brief Case Against Evolution and For Creation to the School Board
We were recently contacted by a Christian science teacher who had an opportunity to go before the school board in his county to present the case for alternatives to evolution, like Creation, being taught in the county’s science classes. He asked for our input concerning the points that he should make in his brief presentation. In the interest of helping others who wish to do the same, I am reproducing my response here.
If I were to go before a school board for such a purpose, I would make the single argument that our children should only be taught reasonable, rational science: science that is based on evidence, rather than superstition and blind faith. I would then expound on that argument by making two basic points:
1. Naturalistic evolution (which is increasingly advocated in science classrooms across the country) is irrational and even self-contradictory:
Naturalism requires a blind faith (i.e., is irrational), since several of its most fundamental, required tenets have absolutely no evidence to support them and are, in fact, counterintuitive (e.g., the origin of the laws of nature1; the origin of the Universe2; the origin of matter/energy3; the origin of life4; the origin of genetic information5; and macroevolutionary change6). Naturalists often point the finger at those who accept Creation and say that Creation is not based on scientific evidence, but in truth, naturalism is the model that is guilty of that charge.7 Should a model that requires a blind faith be taught in our science classes? Does that not contradict the most fundamental purpose of science?
Naturalism is self-contradictory.8 One cannot be a naturalist and simultaneously believe in unnatural events (i.e., events that do not happen in nature, like the spontaneous generation of laws of science, the spontaneous generation of matter/energy, the spontaneous generation of life, or the spontaneous generation of genetic information). In truth, there is no such thing as a naturalist, because every naturalist must believe that something unnatural (make that, super-natural) happened at some point in order to explain the Universe today.9 Should a model that is self-contradictory be taught in our science classrooms?
Bottom line: naturalism is an irrational, blind faith that should not be taught to our kids. It is a modern, “respectable” form of superstition. It is like witchcraft in that it advocates the magical, causeless appearance of universes and the spontaneous animation of non-living matter, like the monster of Frankenstein. In fact, it is worse than witchcraft, since naturalism advocates witchcraft-like activity, but without the existence of an actual witch to do it.
2. The Creation model is scientific, being backed by scientific evidence. It is not a blind faith.
While it is true that creationists cannot “observe” or directly “experiment” on God, Creation, the Flood, or alleged miraculous activity, it is also true that naturalists have not observed or verified by experiment several fundamental, necessary tenets of the evolutionary model (like those mentioned above, as well as the “Big Bang,” inflation, or a multiverse, which many leading naturalistic cosmologists are now promoting), and yet naturalism is deemed to be “scientific.” The nature of the “evidence” in favor of the naturalistic model is not observational, and yet it is considered valid. The reason such thinking is considered legitimate is that when we are attempting to ascertain what happened in the distant past, we have to engage in historical science, not observational science—two different approaches that are used in gathering evidence and attempting to arrive at logical conclusions. Historical science is necessary in many cases in the fields of biology, geology, paleontology, cosmology, and meteorology when studying events of the Universe and on Earth in the distant past. The nature of the evidence in historical science is indirect, rather than direct observation, and yet the evidence is valid. Forensic science is a classic case of science using indirect evidence. Although forensic scientists do not directly witness the crime that they are studying, they can determine a lot through indirect evidence. The case for the biblical Creation model is based on the same principle, that is, some of the events of the distant past that are mentioned in Scripture (e.g., the Flood) can be studied and verified using indirect evidence, even though some of the events of the Bible cannot be directly observed or replicated today.
Scientific study has led to the realization that the Universe is replete with examples of design—characteristics of the Universe that indicate planning, intent, purpose, and complexity.10 The presence of design implies a designer as surely as a poem implies the existence of a poet. Theists are not the only ones who acknowledge the existence of design in the Universe. Leading naturalistic scientists have had to admit that the Universe appears to be designed—finely tuned for life (i.e., the Anthropic Principle).11
Biblical Creation is scientific since it can make verifiable scientific predictions—many of which have already been verified.12
I would close the presentation by once again highlighting to the school board that our children should only be taught reasonable, rational science that is based on the evidence, and not superstitious assertions and conjecture—“just-so stories”—regardless of the number of scientists with advanced degrees who advocate them. Arguing that a position is true merely because a highly credentialed person adheres to the position is a logical fallacy known as “appeal to authority.”13 Those considered to be the “authorities” of a subject have often been wrong, historically. Determination of what is true should be based on the actual facts or evidence, only drawing conclusions warranted by the evidence.14
The above argumentation could be made in a presentation lasting roughly five minutes. Using a PowerPoint presentation is recommended, wherein the above points are outlined briefly and sources are flashed on the screen for the points you are making. A “recommended reading list” could be put on a final slide, listing several Creation science books written by highly qualified scientists in the field.15
1 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Laws of Science–by God,” Reason & Revelation, 32:137-140.
2 Jeff Miller (2011), “God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=3716.
3 Jeff Miller (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2786.
4 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis [Part I],” Reason & Revelation, 32:2-11.
5 Jeff Miller (2014), “God and the Laws of Science: Genetics vs. Evolution [Part 1],” Reason & Revelation, 34:2-11.
6 Ibid. Note that while microevolutionary change (i.e., small change within kinds of creatures, such as size and color) has been observed to occur in nature, macroevolutionary change (i.e., evolution between distinct kinds of creatures, such as reptile to bird, fish to amphibian, or ape to man) has not been observed, and accepting it as true is a leap beyond the actual evidence.
7 For more information, see Jeff Miller (2013), “‘Unlike Naturalists, You Creationists Have a Blind Faith’,” Reason & Revelation, 33:76-83.
8 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Atheistic Naturalist’s Self-Contradiction,” Reason & Revelation, 32:53.
9 Jeff Miller (2014), “There’s No Such Thing as a Naturalist,” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5050&topic=296.
10 See the various design topics in the “Existence of God” category on the Apologetics Press Web site (http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12).
11 Jeff Miller (2017), “Atheists’ Design Admissions,” Reason & Revelation, 37:134-143.
12 See the list of predictions beginning on p. 52 of Jeff Miller (2014), “Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate Review: Tying Up Really Loose Ends,” Reason & Revelation, 34:38-59. For further examples of recent, tangible Creation fieldwork involving making geology predictions that were verified in the field, see the August, 2014 issue of Discovery, our magazine for children: http://apologeticspress.org/pub_dm/08012014/d1408.pdf.
13 “Appeal to Authority” (2009), Logical Fallacies, http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/appeals/appeal-to-authority/.
14 For a deeper study of the argumentation used in this article, it is highly advised that you read the author’s book, Science vs. Evolution (including the appendices), which was written, in part, to equip creationists for just such a scenario as the one this article is addressing.
15 For example: Earth’s Catastrophic Past (by Andrew Snelling, Ph.D. University of Sydney, geologist); Faith, Form, and Time (by Kurt Wise, Ph.D. Harvard University, paleontologist); Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome (by John Sanford, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, population geneticist); Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe (by Steve Austin, Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, geologist); Science vs. Evolution (by Jeff Miller, Ph.D. Auburn University, thermal scientist/biomechanical engineer); Starlight and Time (by Russell Humpreys, Ph.D. Louisiana State University, physicist); Taking Back Astronomy (by Jason Lisle, Ph.D. University of Colorado, astrophysicist); The Young Earth (by John Morris, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, geological engineer); Understand the Pattern of Life (by Todd Wood, Ph.D. University of Virginia, biochemist).