By: DAVID RICE To: DAVID BLOOMBERG I wished to expland on the following: DB> Tell ya what,
By: DAVID RICE
To: DAVID BLOOMBERG
I wished to expland on the following:
DB> Tell ya what, Andy, why don't you PUT FORTH some of this
DB> supposed evidence for the theory of creationism. Oh,
DB> before you do that, how about putting forth the theory of
DB> creationism, so we can adequately judge what might or
DB> might not be evidence in support of that theory.
When Arkansas' Act 590 was passed into law, Ms. Marianne
Wilson (Pulaski County Special School District science
curriculum director) was charged with preparing "Creation-
science" material to be taught in the district's science
classrooms. She built a team of science teachers and
university professors which examined the Creationist
material. She had Act 590 Section 4(a) as her curriculum
guide (typos are mine):
(a) "Creation-science" means the scientific edidences
for creation and inferences from those scientific
evidences. Creation-science includes the scientific
evidences and related inferences that indicate: (1)
Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life
from nothing; (2) The insufficiency of mutation and
natural selection in bringing about developement of
all living kinds from a single organism; (3) Changes
only withn fixed limits of originally-created kinds
of plants and animals; (4) Seperate ancestry for
man and apes; (5) Explanation of the earth's geology
by catastrophism, including the occurance of a world-
wide flood; and (6) A relatively recient inception
of the earth and living kinds.
Ms. Wilson and her team sought the help from Creationists in
person, Creationist books and pamphlets, and even attended
Creationist meetings. Her team worked diligently to try and
comply with the court's directive to create a "Creation-
science" curriculum that followed the law (as in Section
Needless to say, the team failed utterly. The team could find
no evidence of "sudden creation of the universe, energy, and
life from nothing (a)" in the Creationist literature (quantum
vacuum fluctuations and N=8 Superstring theory was not yet
considered in 1981). They could find no evidence that life
was "created from nothing," in Creationist literature or
otherwise. The team was therefore unable to define a science
course that contained (a) in Section 4.
They moved on to "the insufficiency of mutation and natural
selection in bringing about developement of all living kinds
from a single organism (b)" and discovered that once again
the Creationist literature provided no evidence for the claim
that there is a limit to genetic change ("mutation") in a
population; nor could they find in Creationist literature a
scientific definition of "kind." This failure included (c)
as (b) and (c) are redundant. There was no evidence to teach,
therefore the team was at a loss here as well.
For (4) "seperate ancestry for man and apes" the team found
no evidence in Creationist literature that demonstrated that
there was a "seperate ancestry for [humans] and apes." Since
the converse affirmative ("humans and the other primates
share a common ancestor") is evolutionary, (4) was irrelevant
until Creationists made it relevent.
That is, the Creationist who drafted Act 590 (Paul Ellwanger
(a respiratory therapist)) did not understand that his
inclusion of (4) was an assertion of a positive, and thus
would have to be supported by evidence.
If I wished to have taught as fact in school that Luna is
made of silicates and various metals, that is a positive
assertion and I must support it with evidence--- act 590
asserts the equivilent of stating that Luna is NOT made of
silicates and therefore, by Act 590 and Scientific
Methodology rules, evidence must be provided demonstrating
that Luna is NOT made of silicates.
Needless to say, there is no evidence that humans and the
other primates do not share a common ancestor. There was
nothing they could teach for (4).
When they tried to find material to teach for section (5)
"explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophism,
including the occurance of a world-wide flood," they failed
to find in Creationist literature any evidence that supported
the section. There was nothing they could teach.
By the time they got to (6) "a relatively recient inception
of the earth and living kinds" I suspect they realized how
unlikely they would find evidence for this part. They did not
know what "relatively recient" meant, thus they could not
gather material to teach it. They did not know what a "living
kind" was, thus they could not teach that either. The
Creationist material was equally unhelpful on the task.
The team finally gave up the task as hopeless, and eventually
joined the plantiffs (along with 16 clergy) in the December
The upshot of all this was, THERE IS NOTHING TO TEACH ABOUT
"CREATION-SCIENCE." There is no theory; there is no evidence
for the assertions made by Creationists; many of their claims
have already been falsified.
Creationists had their day in court, and they lost utterly.
... 4th Rule of Creationism: Never be specific when you can be vague.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank