Creationism is not Science

That, in effect, is the admission from Rhonda Forlow in her latest Ask Dr Rhonda post, Evolution and Science:

Q: Is evolution a scientific fact?

A: In a short answer, no. But, by the strictest definition, neither is creationism, theistic evolution, or any other origin (historical) science.

Of course her “historical science” logic is flawed, as simply dealing with the past does not make a field unscientific. If evolution isn’t science, then what is it? (It’s certainly not a religion, whatever the creationists like to say.) You can define science in such a way as to purposely exclude evolution but that’s a silly definition to use. Semantic arguments such as this do not invalidate a field either, which is the intention.

But it’s still nice when a person using this line of argument takes it to the logical conclusion and turns it on “creation science” itself. Because, evolution and historical science aside, creationism isn’t science.

The Next Breakthrough

One of the more famous young Earth creationist escape hatches, to be used when there is no other way to dismiss evidence contrary to their position, is to invoke the spectre of “historical science”. Historical science is a legitimate term for observational, i.e. non-experimental science, which deals with things that cannot be directly tinkered with. Creationists, however, try to spin this as meaning that such science is less reliable or useful than experimental science, though this is far from the truth.

Brian’s latest use of the term, however, in What Will the Next Biological Breakthrough Be? is rather different. He comments on another freely available Nature feature, Life-changing experiments: The biological Higgs. This one asks “what fundamental discoveries in biology might inspire the same thrill [as the search for the Higgs]?

The discovery of life on Europa would probably do it, yes, but what else? Continue reading