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creation in the schools

Sarah L. Pallas spallas at bcm.tmc.edu
Tue Sep 3 16:56:36 EST 1996

In article <322C748C.5853 at bms.com> Patricia W. Cash, cash at bms.com writes:
>Maybe I am underestimating the ability of people to twist the term 
>"scientific evidence", but if scientific evidence must be presented; I 
>don't see how religion will enter into the teaching.  I don't see how
>Genesis account of creation could ever be proven - none of us were

In San Diego there is the Institute for Creation Research, headed at my
last look by Duane Gish.  They do what they consider to be research to
gather scientific evidence for special creation and against an old
earth/evolution.  They publish prolifically- in their own journals and
books.  They think or at least claim that their research is valid- but if
course it is difficult to do real science with untestable hypotheses. 
Most of their work consists of attempts to disprove evolutionary theory
(for example they say there are no intermediate forms between humans and
apes therefore they must have been created independently and not evolved
from a common ancestor) or to attack evidence from geology/astrophysics
about the age of the earth (they attack dating methods, etc).  It is
based on this "scientific research" that they have been able to claim
that their religion deserves to be taught in science class in public
schools.  Most other creation stories do not claim to have a scientific
basis.  The average legislator or parent or school board member knows
little about science and so is unable to distinguish between valid or
invalid science.  That is why the creationists have been successful in
pushing their agenda through.  Again, see "Abusing Science" by Kritcher
for a more detailed analysis of their strategies.  Even when creationists
and biologists get together for debate, it is difficult for the biologist
to be convincing because the creationists don't use logic in their
arguments, whereas scientists are bound to use logic and a lot of
complicated concepts to explain their position.  I have seen Duane Gish
debate Richard Lewontin, and Gish is very SMOOTH.

Sarah Pallas, Ph.D.

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