Creationism isn’t about science, it’s about theology (America Magazine)


(Brad Kramer) #1

One of the most insightful articles I’ve ever read, about AiG/Creation Museum. Well worth discussing.

Here’s my favorite part:

Strangely, in their attempt to provide definitive empirical answers to moral and theological questions, creationists like Mr. Ham have more in common with some of their most strident scientific opponents than with the broader Christian tradition. They are proponents of the strictest form of biblical inerrancy and literalism. And in this mode they are actually advancing a mirror-image of scientism, in which God’s revelation, both in Scripture and in creation, is meant to convey a list of facts.

But for the broader Christian tradition, God’s revelation is compatible with scientific inquiry even as it explores realities and questions that are beyond the realm of science. Pretending that scientific answers will solve theological questions gives in to the proponents of scientism, who treat science as the sole arbiter of meaning and truth, instead of one avenue of human understanding alongside others, like theology or ethics. Ultimately, creationism starts with a failure of faith, not of scientific rationality.

Literal interpretations of the Book of Genesis buttressed by pseudoscience weakens the standing of Christian conceptions of the human person in our public discourse. Places like the Creation Museum make any appeal to the biblical tradition seem foolish, which presents a greater danger to the public understanding of faith and morality than it does to our understanding of science.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #2

Mr. Looy noted that from his perspective natural selection is wasteful and thus cannot be true. He described his realization that “[evolution] went totally against God’s nature…. Evolution is a story of the struggle of the survival of animals…‘nature, red with blood and tooth and claw.’ It didn’t make any sense from that philosophical and logical point of view.”
This concern about evolution and what it implies about God reveals that creationism’s core motivation is not science, but questions about evil, pain and suffering. Can a loving God use a process of death and competition to create life in all its awe-inspiring diversity? Can the biblical tradition give us insight? How and why can we trust that tradition if the narratives in the Book of Genesis do not match up with scientific facts? These are great theological questions, but they are not scientific ones. The Creation Museum has a serious theological problem that needs theological scrutiny.

This is the part that I thought was most important and wish BioLogos would take more seriously since it needs to be more theologically sensitive.


(Phil) #3

It is good to see that others have come to same conclusions expressed here. It inspires me to avoid engagement with some strident YEC folks on the science, which is usually straightforward, and if in discussion focus on the theology.


(Robin) #4

Very well said…wish it could be heard by those who need to hear it


(Jay Johnson) #6

Buddha gave advice on how to tame your monkey brain.

“We all have monkey minds, Buddha said, with dozens of monkeys all clamoring for attention. … You can, over time, tame the monkeys. They will grow more peaceful if you lovingly bring them into submission with a consistent practice of meditation. … I’ve also found that engaging the monkeys in gentle conversation can sometimes calm them down.” (emphasis added)


(Brad Kramer) #7

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