CSC #3 (26 May 2003)
Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
(This article can be freely copied and distributed, as long as it is unaltered and a link back to the original article appears on the page)
What is a young-earth “creation scientist?” Is there such a thing. Organizations such as Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation
Research claim that their scientists are true scientists. They list a long list of scientists from the past who were creationists. Do these lists of scientists prove that creation science is true "science?" Let’s look at the definition of the scientific method.
What is a scientist? A scientist uses “scientific methods” to examine things. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the scientific method is “…the collection of data through observation and if possible experiment, the formulation of hypothesis, and the testing and confirmation of the hypothesis formulated.” Note the scientist FIRST collects data, and then formulates the hypothesis.
However, the young earth scientist does not operate by the above dictionary definition. They have reached the conclusion (hypothesis) that the earth is young FIRST, before they collect scientific data from the rocks. Only then do they try to match the scientific data to their pre-conceived age of the earth. Since young earth creation scientists do not comply with the scientific method, they cannot rightly be called scientists, and at best should be referred to as “theorists.” Therefore, to call someone a “Creation Scientist” is to put a title on them that they do not deserve, because they do not use the scientific method.
What About their Scientific Credentials?
In many cases, these so-called creation scientists have made valuable contributions in their scientific field of study, and due credit should be given to them. Many of the important discoveries of the last century have been made by scientists who were Christians. Does this mean we should blindly trust them when it comes to their statements on creation?
When these scientists use science properly, conducting experiments and then reaching conclusions, then we can trust their results. However, when it comes to creation science, these same scientists abandon the "scientific method." They reach the conclusion that the earth is young before examining the evidence. It is like they are in a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde scenario...on the one side, they properly handle science, but on the other, they totally butcher the scientific method. Because of this two-faced approach to science, we cannot trust them when it comes to their conclusions about creation. Their pre-conceived bias towards a young earth leads these educated men to completely abandon the scientific method. On the one hand, they are rational, reliable scientists, but on the other hand, they are biased, irrational men trying to prove their own agenda.
How Can They Believe?
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, these men and women actually believe in a young earth. This is despite the fact that many practicing young earth creation scientists have PhD's. While most of these people seem to be very smart, it proves that they are so presupposed towards their young earth, that they are blind to the truth of science. It is like standing in front of a moving train, and saying, "The train isn't real." (See Morton's Demon for a apt explanation of this phenomenon.)
Another reason they blindly abandon science is because of tradition. They were taught that the earth is young by their parents and by pastors and teachers. "The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it!" This is the operating rule that they follow, and "If it is good enough for Dad, it is good enough for me." They believe by faith that the earth is young, because saints of the past did so. However, basing our belief on the beliefs of our ancestors is not proper stewardship of the evidences we have been given (see Church Fathers).
Will They Ever Be Convinced?
When young earth creation scientists find something that is contrary to their belief, they proclaim, "There is an explanation...we must research this to find it." There is NO FINAL ARGUMENT that can overcome their objections...they will ALWAYS delay and say that there must be an answer.
This can be seen in the words of Jonathan Sarfati of Answers in Genesis. He states, "We should remember, if confronted with other ‘unanswerable’ challenges to the biblical world view, that even if we don’t have all the answers, God does. And He, in His good time, may raise up godly scientists to discover them." 1 Using this approach, they refuse to accept evidences for an old earth. Using this cop-out, they can ignore the train coming down the tracks, saying it isn't real.
It need not be this way! Young earth creation scientists ignore the possibility that they can believe in an old earth, and at the same time they can believe in salvation, the inerrant word, and the accuracy of the Genesis account of creation over millions of years.
Who Should We Trust?
Because creation scientists do not use proper scientific methods, and willfully ignore solid scientific evidence, you are on shaky ground when you accept their conclusions without first examining it from a scientific viewpoint. If you can't completely trust young earth creation scientists, then who should you trust? When it comes to “creation science,” one should look for Christians who objectively look at the evidences before coming to “age” conclusions. There are many good Christian scientists out there in the church who are old earth creationists. Of course, whether you listen to young or old earth scientists, you should always investigate their claims.
What About Me?
Numerous people have claimed that I am not a scientist, and that I seriously misrepresent the young-earth scientist's viewpoints. First, I do not claim to be a scientist...and second, I'm merely quoting the young earth work and comparing it to accepted science theory.
Something is seriously wrong, if I, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Geology, and a person who has not worked in the scientific field, can find so many errors in the works of supposed PhD’s. I am not misrepresenting the young-earth theorists…I am only stating the obvious errors they have made. It is obvious that they misrepresent good science in favor of their presupposed conclusion about the age of the earth.
You may ask, Why even bring this up? Why point out the errors in young earth creationism? There are two main reasons. First, for old-earth creationists, you must know where your audience is coming from in order to reason with them. Second, if young earth creationism is not true, and is based upon flawed science, then the truth that the earth is old must be proclaimed. In proclaiming the truth, I realize some young earth creationists will be offended, and will be very defensive. My apologies up front if I offend anyone...that is not the intent. In the end, however, the truth must be stated, and sometimes the truth hurts.
What Should Christians Do?
As Christians, we should all pray for the creation debate within the church. As long as the untrue theory of young earth creationism is being spread, the church will suffer, and will continue to be mocked by those outside the church who see the young earth position for what it is. It can all end with the acceptance of old earth belief, and we can start reaching the world for Christ, armed with the truth of creation.
The bottom line…it is hard to understand how anyone can cling to something that is false, despite all the evidence to the contrary. If you are seeking advice in a scientific field, don't listen only to the young earth scientists...also don't listen only to the old earth scientists. Examine the facts and decide for yourself.
Finally, consider this possibility. Suppose that we did not have Genesis or the Bible. When examining the rocks and stars, is it possible that any modern scientist without the Bible could claim scientifically that the earth was only 6,000 years old? Such a conclusion is not supported by the evidence and is not possible. God said in Romans 1:20 that the things of creation are "plainly understood." When scientists examine creation, it plainly states that it is billions of years old.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.