Is "Creation Science" Really Science?
"Creation science" fails two important tests of science: it neither makes predictions nor makes claims that can be empirically verified. It simply makes proclamations by faith. Furthermore, creation scientists have yet to offer any scientific evidence that proves the case of creationism; their efforts are almost entirely spent critiquing apparent contradictions within evolution. Finally, the scientific credentials of the creation scientists are what we might charitably describe as suspicious.
In the last few decades, a movement called "creation science" has gained considerable influence among Christian fundamentalists. According to Henry Morris, director of the Institute for Creation Research, their studies require "no reliance upon biblical revelation," but utilize "only scientific data to support and expound the creation model." (1) Specifically, this model is the literal interpretation of Genesis as it happened 6,000 years ago. Discoveries in both geology and biology were already deconstructing this model by the mid-19th century, and by the turn of the 20th century most fundamentalists had simply conceded the scientific fight to evolutionists. In recent times, however, creationists have become determined to resurrect their scientific case, and fight against evolutionists on their own ground.
By presenting the creation model as science, creationists have re-raised the question of what "science" is. Philosophers of science have worked out a commonly accepted list of criteria (produced well outside the debate between creationists and evolutionists). To be accepted as science, a theory must have predictive value, must be coherent (or internally consistent), must be falsifiable (or verifiable), and must explain at least those phenomena explained by the current theory.
Creation science fails to meet these criteria in several ways. First, its claims are not falsifiable. (This doesn't mean a theory has to be false -- only that if it were false, there would be some way of verifying it. It's the same thing as being vulnerable without actually being hurt.) If you were to claim that life exists on a planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri, that would not qualify as science because there is no way of verifying it. It merely becomes an unsupported assertion. The claim that God made the earth is likewise unverifiable... no one has yet found any way to test this claim. Evolution, on the other hand, has made countless claims that have the capacity to be proven false, if indeed they are.
Second, creationism has no predictive value. A theory must be able to make predictions which can then be tested for accuracy. Creation science makes "predictions" that already happened in the past or are unfalsifiable. Evolutionary theory passes this test because it has made accurate predictions concerning population densities, physiologies, chemistries, fossil find forecasts, and many...