Yup, its finally here. I was following the story on the Creation Museum’s development and construction for a while and then sort of fell out of the loop. But its up and running now.
Basically, one main problem is this: in “creation science”, you are starting with the premise that the Biblical account of creation is literally true. Not only that, but you also have the premise that the Bible is an accurate source of scientific knowledge. What “creation science” does is then goes through the physical evidence that we have and arranges it according to this preconception, which is never open to debate or challenge.
On the other hand, “science” starts with observations about the physical world, then theorizes explanations of those observations. Then it tests them in a repeatable fashion, and finally publishes the results for open critique and peer review. The path that a theory must travel to become widely accepted is unbelievably challenging, and there is always the assumption (here I’m talking about good science, not necessarily all science) that any theory is open to challenge at any time.
The difference is that, on the one had, you have the imposition of ideas on physical evidence based on an unassailable assumption: the Bible is literally true. On the other hand, in the scientific method, you have the assumption that the universe is comprehensible, that it functions according to laws and principles which we can discover through observation and rigorous testing.
My main point is that “creation science” is not science at all in any meaningful sense of the word. It is apologetics, on a very large scale, and that is very different. Creation science is not based on accounting for observations – it is very openly based on a singular interpretation of the Bible, and on defending that interpretation at all times.
I’m not going to say that apologetics has no place (much to the contrary, actually), but it isn’t science, and this is a very important distinction for me in my own thinking. Scientists certainly have preconceptions when the approach evidence. We all do. But the preconceptions of science, the theories and models which guide inquiry and thought, are the result of hundreds of years of rigorous enterprise, and those preconceptions are always open to peer review and revision – but those revisions must be based on observation and experimental testing, and the question is always ‘what accounts for the evidence best’, and never ‘what adheres best to the Biblical account’.
Personally, I am not an expert, but I’ve gone over a lot of ‘evidence’ put forward for the Earth being six thousand years old and for a worldwide flood event, etc., and I find it totally unsatisfying and unconvincing. On the other hand, I’m not afraid of people putting forth these ideas, and don’t think they should be forcibly shut or anything like that. I think the best ideas will win out in the end. If I’m wrong, and Creationism has great, demonstrable explanatory power, and leads to new discoveries more effectively than the scientific method has, then I’ll happily eat my words.
In the meantime, though, I’m going to trust the process that brought us modern astronomy, electricity, internal combustion engines, photovoltaic cells, mapping the human genome, vaccination, particle accelerators and the like to continue to account for the world in physical terms. I don’t really begrudge other people their admission to the Creation Museum (well, ok, I do a little), but I certainly won’t be showing up.