So I thought that “You weren’t there,” was the exclamation that most thoroughly defined the Creationist denial of science, but I have recently been proven wrong. “You weren’t there,” is kids’ stuff, the adult version is “PhD Scientists say…”
What do I mean by that? Well, “Here’s the research we are doing at Liberty University. They don’t know about E. Coli like we do at Liberty University. In fact, we are doing cutting edge research at Liberty University. People talk about E. Coli when they don’t know about E. Coli like we do at Liberty University. Did I mention Liberty University? I’m from Liberty University.” -Andrew Fabich, PhD, Microbioligist, Liberty University
Now, I hadn’t heard of Liberty University, but the name sounds vaguely Christian. Did I say vaguely? I meant “Liberty University is a Christian University in Virginia.” Well, Creationists giving other Creationists PhDs to prove non-Creationists wrong? I am shaking in my boots, how can we fight this wave of SCIENCE rolling over us?
Now, I do have to be fair here, they do know a lot about Biology. They do expect you to be able to defend Creationist science when they hand you that PhD, but (and this is them talking): “It is a pre-suppositional issue.” That’s right, Creationists are arguing that evolutionists (I do so hate to use that word…) have an answer in their head before they go to work; that answer being that evolution is true. And because they believe that evolution is true, they make the math fit the conclusion, therefore the science is all bad right from the start.
Does that sound familiar? It may, because that is an exact mirror image of what I wrote about Noah’s ark; science is easy when you know the answer going in. But they themselves paint it out to be a lie; in the same breath that they point out that evolution is a “pre-suppositional issue”, they also state that main stream biologists are always changing the rules. Why is that so significant? Because “The Rules” in this case is a synonym for “The Answer.” If the answer is constantly changing, we obviously don’t hold to “the answer”, now, do we?
Our answer is a changing target that moves based on evidence. One thing that defines modern science is that it is willing to admit that it is incorrect. When a Creationist Biologist says “Well, in this widely accepted 1993 paper, scientists got it horribly wrong”, the main stream answer is “That paper was flawed, and here are the 8 peer reviews that pointed out the flaws. Further, if that is not good enough, here are 67 studies posted since that time that come to a different conclusion. Also, here are 43 other papers that come at it from a different angle. And here are 7 independent places that collect evidence based on the metrics outlined, and here are the ways they agree.”
Actually, while I was thinking about this, I have FINALLY understood how any *thinking* modern Christian could possibly arrive at the conclusion that the Bible is without contradiction. They simply don’t know what a contradiction is! It is so simple! (The files are *in* the computer!) It should have occurred to me the minute I heard “Mainstream scientists have a presuppositional bias,” followed by “But the answer keeps changing!” Within one minute, you can hear a person holding a PhD contradict themselves twice without blinking. (And you can see it in action here: http://creationtoday.org/do-creation-scientists-have-the-answers-s03e05/ and in addition to that, you can watch a man say Liberty University 60 times in 50 seconds! What fun! And, before any of that, you can see two grown men say PhD Scientists repeatedly in casual conversation, without any clue what makes a PhD… Or a Scientist.)
The thing is, evolution is not a single process, and no one has ever said evolution could be described as “Right now I have a single celled organism, oh wait! IT IS NOW MULTICELLULAR WITH A SKELETON WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!” Richard Dawkins described it far better than I ever could, from the perspective of a biologist (people sometimes forget that Dawkins’ profession is biology, not Christian bashing), as I am not a biologist. In any case, I would recommend that Creationists take a look into what evolution actually *is* before they start saying it is a load of cow dung. Here’s the thing though… Evolution is not simple. Dawkins, one man, has written 11 books describing evolution, and even that is but a small fraction of what marks a concept “evolution”.
The part that hurts me the most is the willful academic dishonesty among so many Creation scientists. “That’s not evolution,” they will say “That is adaptation,” or “That is survival of the fittest.” I will chalk this one up to bariminologists, I think, as Creationists believe that one “kind” cannot become another “kind.” Mind, it is important to note that one “kind” is bird. “Oh, over 3,000 generations it lost its wings, its legs grew longer, it changed its beak size, and grew to ten times the size it used to be? That’s not evolution, it is still a bird, duh!”
The problem is this: Dr Andrew Fabich stated in the very video linked above that “I have been studying E. Coli for 10 years, and I have seen adaptation, but nothing that would count as evolution.” Ok, your E. Coli have adapted better to survive in their current environment… HOW IS THAT NOT EVOLUTION?! I just don’t understand what Creationists think evolution is, because after reading several books and watching hundreds of hours of Creationist videos, I am still not entirely certain. The other thing (and I have mentioned this before) is that this respectable PhD has effectively stated “I didn’t see evolution in 10 years, therefore there is no evolution. Q.E.D.” Even under your incredibly limited worldview, Dr Fabich, you have studied E. Coli for 0.17% of human history (6000 years), and a score of 0.17% on an exam is, last I checked, not a passing grade. You have studied it for 3.33x(10^-7)% (0.0000003%, give or take a zero, I did the math suuuper lazily) of the evolutionary history of life as understood by mainstream science. In fact, if you could prove mainstream science wrong, we could move the slider for the history of life — mainstream science may have pride, but they will admit they were wrong in the face of evidence.
I will leave you with one last quote about presuppositional evidence that shoots itself in the foot so hard it … I was going to say hurts, but that makes too much sense. Whatever.
Georgia Purdom, PhD, stated that “Like it says in Romans chapter 1, if they just looked at the evidence, everyone would believe in God.” Right, the Bible states “The evidence proves God,” therefore we don’t actually need to do any work, that statement (obviously) stands on its own and needs no verification.
So why this rant? And why is it important to point out “PhD scientists say…”?
Well, unless you check from whence their PhD comes from, you have no idea if they are actually qualified. You also have to check what kinds of papers they have published. Hell, some of them publish some very good, useful science; this is a case of the means outweighing the ends, because to them the ends are always the exact same — but sometimes, I can’t even argue with how they got there, I can only argue with their conclusions. Luckily for me, much smarter people than me are comfortable debating the conclusion with a rock-solid foundation of evidence; all of what I say is hearsay, and merely the opinion of someone who is worried about the state of scientific discourse.
In any case, watch out for “PhD scientists say…”
And also, “Liberty University is a University about Liberty and University-ness. Also, Liberty University.”