Introduction

6. What are the Main Arguments for Creationism?

You can read many creationist websites, you can purchase creationist books, and you can attend creationist seminars. But in all of those places, surprisingly enough, you will not find a single argument for creationism; instead, you will find countless arguments against evolution. This is the first thing you need to know about creationist arguments: they do not argue for creationism; they argue against evolution. And they do so by quite literally demanding that it explain everything in the universe.

In other words, you can summarize 100% of creationist arguments with the following template:

"The science of [evolution/geology/astrophysics/etc] doesn't make any sense. If it's true, then we should see [insert made-up prediction here], and we don't. And how do scientists explain [insert random science question here]? It takes more faith not to believe in God than to believe in Him."

This is not a joke. Look at even the most carefully written creationist argument and you will see that it can be distilled down into that basic formula. Even well-regarded books such as Dr. Michael Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" intelligent design treatise fit that formula, by identifying questions which we cannot yet answer and assuming that God is the answer to all these questions. Nowhere do any of them explain how creationism or "intelligent design" can explain any of the mysteries they're challenging science to explain; they simply assume that it must be able to, because it's so vague that it can predict anything.

That is the operative watch-word of creationism: VAGUENESS. It is the same basic rhetorical weapon that is employed by all forms of pseudoscience, not to mention many conspiracy theories. How better to make an invincible theory than to make it so vague that you cannot generate any specific testable predictions? How better to make a victorious theory than to declare that it wins by default if the proponents of a well-documented theory can't explain every last question about everything in the universe to your personal satisfaction? A scientific theory, on the other hand, is extremely specific: it explains exactly how its mechanism works, so you can document the means by which it can generate a prediction. And that prediction will, in turn, be highly specific, meaning that it will predict not only what can happen, but what cannot happen.

Why is it so important to say what can't happen? Think about this for a moment: suppose we had a theory which predicts that certain things will happen but never predicts that anything cannot happen. How would you test it? After all, if it says that something can happen and it doesn't, you can always say that it might happen elsewhere. Or it might happen in the future. Or you have not created the proper conditions for it to happen. There are endless excuses. But if a theory says that something is impossible and it happens anyway, then the theory has failed, and there are really no excuses you can offer.

Why do I point this out? I point this out because creationism in all its forms avoids specific predictions, ie- predictions of not only what species can exist, but also what species cannot. It describes something called "God" who could create any kind of species imaginable, which of course means there is no such thing as a species he could or would not create. So-called "intelligent design" theory does the same thing, but replaces the word "God" with "intelligent designer" in order to disavow any religious connection (at least normal creationism is honest).


Continue to 7. The Need for Negativity

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