A Biblical Critque of Creationism

By O'Leary, Dennis | Journal of Geoscience Education, May 2003 | Go to article overview

A Biblical Critque of Creationism


O'Leary, Dennis, Journal of Geoscience Education


ABSTRACT

Creationism, supported even by some scientifically informed people, remains an enduring challenge to education in geoscience. Intelligent design is only the most recent attempt to give creationism scientific credence. Scientists typically argue that creationism is religion masquerading as science, but this tactic has not been effective. The failure of creationism lies in the Bible itself. Although creationism has ancient antecedents, American creationism stems from 16th century Protestant dogma which has its basis in John Calvin s "sola scriptura" and the claim that every word of scripture is literally true. Calvin's Commmentary on Genesis is a useful resource for scientists interested in exposing creationism as theologically as well as scientifically invalid. The Protestant Reformation separated empirical science from Biblical studies and established the so-called conflict between science and religion. Pre-Reformation biblical scholarship credits secondary causes and operation of chance in nature, and interprets Genesis in non-literal terms. This scholarship shows that modern science actually has roots in pre-Reformation biblical exegesis. Scientists can use the Bible along with the geological record to demonstrate that creationist claims with regard to earth history are false.

Keywords: pseudoscience, creationism

INTRODUCTION

The promotion of creationism is one of the most vexing challenges to science education at the beginning of the 21st century. Creationism in America is the interpretation of earth history and the origin of species as the direct result of the immediate, purposive Acts of God explicitly described in Genesis 1 of the Bible. No secondary causes nor random processes are allowed. It is essentially an article of faith among fundamentalist and evangelical Protestants. Science teachers may well be confounded by a large educated population which subscribes to the premise and conclusions of science, yet vigorously rejects one of its most well-founded concepts: evolution, and not just biological evolution, but geological evolution as well. Although creationism recently suffered a political setback in Kansas, where it nearly took a place in the public school curriculum, proponents of creationism continue to work to establish it as part of science education programs. Therefore, it would be useful to consider how the conflict between evolution and creationism might freshly be engaged by geoscience educators.

Why should this be such an undying conflict and why should so many people care? The rational powers of man would seem to have been amply proved over the last two centuries: we no longer need to be guided in our understanding of the world by bronze-age documents. It is not that fundamentalist Christians have anything against science; what they object to is the notion that geology and biology entail mechanisms entirely devoid of divine guidance. They object to the conclusion that the world and its biota originated without God, and evolved with no purpose or design. They object to the randomness and atheism of it all: that is not the way God did it, and they don't want their children taught this stuff. Thus, the whole notion of evolution - including all of geologic history - must be rejected because it conflicts with the divine purpose and teaching revealed in Genesis, and replaces it with a blind, totally wrong, probabilism. Furthermore, for the creationist Salvation itself is on the line; the conflict between creation and evolution is a deeply personal crisis because Salvation is tied to "sola scriptura": if one word of Scripture is admitted to be false, the entire edifice of faith collapses. Thus, no other "creation myths" are relevant to the fundamentalist Christian; inclusion of such myths with "creation science" will be resisted as firmly as evolution is resisted: they are all wrong!

Creationists know exactly what their battle is about; having gone through the American school system, they've all had some education in science (some creationists are professional scientists), and they are all personally committed to the Truth. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A Biblical Critque of Creationism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.