Is creationism scientific?
Science is the impartial investigation of evidence without prejudice. At least, that is what it is in the popular imagination. But that is not what it is in the minds of the majority of professional scientists themselves. "Methodological naturalism" is the prevailing philosophy within the modern scientific community, which means that the majority of scientists essentially define science as "the human endeavor of explaining everything in terms of natural causes and natural causes only." It rules out any act of God, since God is outside of the natural realm. In other words, if God does anything, we are not allowed to recognize it as an act of God. This of course means that creationism cannot be deemed scientific since creationism is the theory that God created the universe, and God is not allowed to do that. Thus, science is not the impartial investigation of evidence without prejudice since the majority of scientists are prejudiced against God.
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Dr. Richard Lewontin, the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Biology at Harvard University epitomized this point of view when he wrote, "It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material [strictly naturalistic] explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." (Richard Lewontin, "Billions and Billions of Demons", New York Review of Books, January 9th 1997, p. 28)
While this is the prevailing point of view within the modern scientific community today, it is not universal. There are plenty of brilliant, properly accredited PhD scientists who believe that creationism is not only a valid scientific perspective, but is more compelling than the atheistic alternative (with all of its perceived flaws). These scientists believe that just as we use design inference in such scientific disciplines as anthropology, archeology, forensic sciences, cryptanalysis and SETI, if we applied the same logic to biology, genetics and astrophysics it would be evident that not only all life on Earth but the entire universe itself was created by some sort of Intelligent Agent outside of our realm (i.e. God).
Thus, creationism is or is not scientific depending upon your prejudices. If you have an "a priori adherence" to atheism, you obviously would not view creationism as a scientific option. However, if you believe that science is the impartial investigation of evidence without prejudice, you may or may not find the evidence for design compelling and believe that creationism is a valid scientific option.
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