The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

what other theories?

Interesting debate on Nat Rad today between a full-on Creationist from Answers In Genesis and a researcher who is studying the links between human and chimp DNA.

I was thinking about this whole approach that the Bible is a scientific document. This was the claim of the Answers In Genesis guy, although he didn't use those exact words. He argued that the idea of God creating everything in six days was a scientific theory (well he said it was scientific fact actually) and that the Great Flood could explain all the fossils (rather than a God who is trying to deceive us by planting the fossils).

So science in every other area has advanced hugely in the last 2000 years (and there are many discoveries still to come), but regarding this one small part of our knowledge, where we come from, it was worked out correctly all those years ago?

But what really got me was the way that the Creationist talked about merely wanting "alternative theories" about our origins to be taught in schools. In his view evolution is one theory and his is another. Intelligent design, it was agreed by both the Answers in Genesis man and the pro-evolution guy, could be seen as a halfway house (although I'm not sure about that, but that's another post, about dialectics).

So what are the other alternative theories? Basically there is only creationism. Many see the intelligent design theory as creationism in drag (Xavier has posted some great stuff on this over at About Town). What the creationists are talking about is teaching one alternative theory only, their one. They aren't lobbying to include the creation myths of any other cultures as if they were science. In fact no one's even talking about any other theories.

Really what this is about is getting more religion into schools. Next we'll be taking dietary advice from the Bible too.


Badaunt said...

The problem with the creationists is that they don't understand what a scientific theory IS, otherwise they would never say that evolution is 'just a theory.' A scientific theory must be falsifiable.

They might as well say that creationism is 'just a fantasy.'

My favourite lesson plan for teaching ESL students about God is here:

Not that I've ever used it, but it's awfully tempting!

Uroskin said...

Taking dietary advice from the Bible? Not bloody likely. You can insert a tube into me only when oysters and champagne are involved (both big no-no's with Old and New Testament wowsers alike).

Xavier said...

Do not even get me started.

span said...

See I thought the whole thing about religion was that you have to have faith, ie that things are not provable and you have to believe them anyway. So things like creationism must not be scientifically provable by their very nature as religious articles of faith surely?