The Sincerest Form of Flattery—Creationists Call for Peer-Reviewed Papers

The International Journal for Creation Research is making an inaugural Call for Papers. The announcement reads:

IJCR is a professional peer-reviewed journal of interdisciplinary scientific research that presents evidence for recent creation within a biblical framework.

Addressing the need to disseminate the vast field of research conducted by experts in geology, genetics, astronomy, and other disciplines of science, IJCR provides scientists and students hard data based on cutting-edge research that demonstrates the young earth model, the global Flood, the non-evolutionary origin of the species, and other evidences that correlate to the biblical accounts.

Under its technical review process, the IJCR outlines its paper review process:

Upon the reception of a Paper the Editor-in-Chief will follow the procedures below:
1. Receive and acknowledge the Author of His/Her Paper’s receipt.
2. Review the Paper for possible inclusion into the IJCR review process.
The following criteria are to be used in judging the papers:
(a) Is the Paper’s topic important to the development of the creation model?
(b) Does the Paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the creation model?
(c) Is this Paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?
(d) If (c) above is not satisfied, does this Paper offer a very constructively-positive
criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?
(e) If the Paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed
within the origins debate?
(f) Does this Paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatico-historical/
normative interpretation of Scripture? (if necessary refer to Walsh, R.E., Biblical
Hermeneutics and Creation, Proceedings First International Conference on
Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, 1986, Vol. 1,
pp. 121–127).

Remark:
The Editor-in-Chief should not be afraid to reject a Paper if it does not properly
satisfy the above criteria nor is in the best interests of ICR as judged by its Biblical
stand and goals as outlined in its Tenets. The Editors play a very important initial
role in preserving a high level of quality in the IJCR, as well as protecting ICR from
unnecessary controversy and review of clearly inappropriate papers.

Frankly, I prefer my bible thumping creationists to just ignore science instead of trying to mimick it. As Georgia Purdom, an assistant professor of biology at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, OH said at the Creation Mega-Conference in 2005, "God said it, that settles it."

Hat tip to frequent H&R commenter biologist.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Mimic science? Where?

    All those rules, and never once do they mention things like evidence, re-testing, comparison to existing literature and defense of differences, and so on. The only standard is whether it measures up to some unquestionable authority.

    How is that a mimic in any sense? It doesn't even bother crossdressing as science.

  • ktc2||

    ROFLMAO.

    These thumpers are so pathetic.

    Sadly they are well funded by the deluded masses to spread their mythology as fact.

    Will we never be free of this poison?

  • ed||

    cutting-edge research that demonstrates the young earth model, the global Flood, the non-evolutionary origin of the species...

    and the flat earth.

  • ||

    Peer review? Creationist Peer Review? What is that?

    "We showed your story to a high school dropout from Kansas and a guy with a shiny suit, a pompadour, and a cable access show, and they both thought it was terrific."

  • ||

    Monkey shit is still monkey shit, no matter how many moneys review it.

  • ||

    edit: moneys should be monkeys. Sorry 'bout that.

  • ||

    Seems like all the rules are in place to weed out science. They are trying to copy the whole idea of intellectual journals with a review process. I just wonder, with all their fakery, how do they pretend to be Christians?

  • stuartl||

    This is so cute! Young earthers pretending to be scientists. Reminds me of watching my kids play house when they were 3 years old.

  • Zach||

    theres a reason religion and science don't get along. This will go nowhere.

  • ||

    Do any real scientific journals require that submissions fit within, or provide a "possible alternative" within, a particular framework?

  • thoreau||

    You know, although peer review can be an annoying process (I'm in the middle of it right now), it's actually not a terribly high bar, because you can eventually find some journal that will accept your work. (I have a paper that most people think is pretty good, but it wasn't good enough for a particular journal, so we're revising and sending elsewhere.)

    The rather low bar set by peer review is actually one of the reasons why we scientists tend to insist that results pass it: Because if you can't even make it past the bare threshold of peer review, then clearly you've got a problem. (If you do make it past peer review you might still have a problem, but now it's before a wider audience, in the hopes that somebody out there will detect the problem.)

    The fact that creationists had to invent their own peer reviewed journal is yet another sign that they are completely devoid of substance.

  • ||

    No guys, it's all scientifical and stuff. They're even gonna have bibliographies and junk.

    Falwell, Jerry: Evolution and the Homosexual Agenda Brimstone Press
    Robertson, Pat: Fossils - Jesus's Big Joke 700 Club Press
    Donahue, Bill: Intelligent Design and Feng Shui - a Holistic Approach to Decorating the Universe Torquemada Press

  • ||

    The rather low bar set by peer review is actually one of the reasons why we scientists tend to insist that results pass it: Because if you can't even make it past the bare threshold of peer review, then clearly you've got a problem.

    Sort of like the bar exam. ;-)

  • ||

    I would love to read anything that passed their criteria, and then watch Dawkins get a hold of it.

  • ||

    Permission to comment for everyone?

    thanks

    "TSK TSK TSK!

  • God Himself||

    Bill O'Reilly believes it.
    That settles it.

  • ||

    I wait with bated breath for the creationist cure for cancer!

  • VM||

    'cept you'll get banned to hell for BATIN.

  • thoreau||

    I wait with bated breath for the creationist cure for cancer!

    Prayer. And if it doesn't work it's the patient's fault for being a sinner. Or else it's God's will.

  • ||

    "bated breath?"

    ummm.......ewwww

    but seriously, the cure is achieved through prayer and faith. If not here, then in Heaven.
    It's why we're so giddy.
    Ask me about my healing

  • ||

    bated =/= baited

  • ||

    There is of course one sollution Ron, don't read it. I don't really understand the big deal here. Its a free country, you can start review you want. If you think a particular review is crap, you just don't read it or pay attention to it. I don't really get why Ron deems this worth discussing.

  • VM||

    /kicks pebble. stoopid, su'tle changes in spelling. hrumph.

    *plods off.

  • biologist||

    actually, mediageek, the phrase is "bated breath"

    bate:

    transitive verb
    1 : to reduce the force or intensity of : RESTRAIN
    2 : to take away : DEDUCT
    3 archaic : to lower especially in amount or estimation
    4 archaic : BLUNT

    John, one of the strikes against teaching creation science and intelligent design in public schools has been the finding by the courts that these "disciplines" and their adherents haven't produced any peer-reviewed publications.

    Now, they will have produced "peer-reviewed" publications, overcoming a hurdle and wedging a foot in the schoolroom door, to mix metaphors.

    jp, as far as I know, the only required framework is empiricism (and not even that in theoretical areas, such as string theory).

  • Ungruntled||

    The thing that always has bothered me about these I.D. poeple is their lack of faith. Really, if you believe that God made the Earth, just believe it; that's what faith is about. You can't prove it reguardless; you are never going to find "Made by God 6000B.C." written on the underside of a rock somewhere. Why? Because God is smarter than you.

    If you have enough faith to belive that God made the world just stretch your faith a little bit further and belive that God knows what he's doing and has actually thought the whole thing through right down to the physics, chemistry, biology, and geology involved. Once again, remember, God is smarter than you.

    At this point you may be reaching for the Bible so you can flip to Genesis and start quoting things about what God said the creation of the Earth entailed. Genesis is a simple explaination of the World's creation that anyone can understand. God was talking to people who herded goats for a living. If God had been talking to scientists Genesis would be a much diffrent book with way to much math for the ordinary person to understand.

    So, in conclusion, if you are an intellegent design type of person you may want to show some faith in God and just accept that God made the world and that you will not be able to prove it. God, like a ninja, will only be seen when He wants to be seen. If you still want to be a scientist type and find that you are haveing trouble reconciling science and your faith try frameing your questions like "Why did God make it look like dinosaurs lived millions years ago?" or "Why did God make it look like evolution is a plausable theory?". This way you will be able to apperciate God's design and do legitemate scientific work at the same time.

  • ||

    It's not really "peer reviewable" if there's nothing to review and test.

    This is just a creationist circle-jerk.

  • ||

    "John, one of the strikes against teaching creation science and intelligent design in public schools has been the finding by the courts that these "disciplines" and their adherents haven't produced any peer-reviewed publications.

    Now, they will have produced "peer-reviewed" publications, overcoming a hurdle and wedging a foot in the schoolroom door, to mix metaphors."


    True but I worry that this principle can get carried to far the other way. Don't let bad facts create bad precident. You don't like creationism and think it is crap, therefore they should not be allowed to create peer reviews for it. That may be good for this case but what is to stop science from using this method to enforce group think. I am quite sure there are lots of people who think as little of anyone who denies catastrophic man made global warming as they do of creationism and God knows a lot of careers depend on the validity of man-made global warming. If Ron Bailey can stop the creationists, why can't environmentalist stop any research or paper that doesn't absolutely affirm global warming dogma? It seems to me that we are playing with fire here by making it easier to enforce group think among the sciences over a small group of cranks that really are not much of a threat to anything.

  • ||

    "Why did God make it look like dinosaurs lived millions years ago?"

    I had one Christian tell me that Satan planted the dinosaur bones to fool us.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    biologist, mediageek just meant he keeps worms in his mouth.

  • biologist||

    You don't like creationism and think it is crap, therefore they should not be allowed to create peer reviews for it.

    No, I didn't say that, nor did Ron Bailey. Don't put words (or anything else) in my mouth. Instead, we should be informed about how the group organizes their peer-reviews and recognize that it is qualitatively different than standard scientific practice. When I conduct an experiment, I don't know the result before I start: they do.

    If I had evidence, I could publish a peer-reviewed paper in a standard scientific journal that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, but considering all the accumulated evidence contrary to that claim, my evidence had better be damn good.

  • ed||

    Satan planted the dinosaur bones to fool us

    Nuh-uh. He did it to test us. Just like he and God got together over drinks and decided to test Job. Couple o' sadist punks if you ask me.

  • ktc2||

    Just a bunch of pathetic adherents to a dying myth making desperate efforts to appear relevant and scientific.

    Nothing to see here. Point at the whackos, laugh loudly and move on.

  • ||

    Rattlesnake Jake

    "I had one Christian tell me that Satan planted the dinosaur bones to fool us."

    The notion that Satan can create anything - Manicheanism - was declared to be heresy at the Council of Nicea. As the Council of Nicea antedates all the schisms which split the Christian church, any Christian who espouses the notion that Satan can create anything - even a fake dinosaur bone - is committing heresy.

  • Cardinl. Fang||

    Two counts of Heresy:

    Heresy by thought
    Heresy by word
    Here-- Three. Three counts...

  • ellipsis||

    (d) If (c) above is not satisfied, does this Paper offer a very constructively-positive
    criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?



    Hmm, most creationists don't even believe in a young universe anymore. They gave that one up a long time ago.

    Also, I can't verify it yet, but it looks like they're registered as a non-profit ministry. Which would seem to further erode their attempt at legitimacy.

  • ||

    "actually, mediageek, the phrase is "bated breath"

    bate:

    transitive verb
    1 : to reduce the force or intensity of : RESTRAIN
    2 : to take away : DEDUCT
    3 archaic : to lower especially in amount or estimation
    4 archaic : BLUNT"


    That's how I originally meant it.

    But I think I'm getting a tad blue in the face. Perhaps by abatement of breath in anticipation of the creationists curing cancer is a smidge premature?

  • ellipsis||

    According to search tools at irs.gov, they're a 501(c)(3)charitable organization. And they make it very easy and convenient to make donations on their web page.

    I couldn't find any real science-based peer journals that operated as a non-profit using google. If they're doing all this just to get creationism in schools, I don't think it's going to work. But if they're trying to fleece a few benefactors and build an echo chamber, game on.

  • David Ross||

    The irony of cracks about a "creationist cure for cancer" is that, until VERY recently, there wasn't much of an "evolutionist cure" either. We knew that cancer cells had evolved ways of becoming parasitic upon their host but there was no way of telling how. I hardly need remind everyone that Darwin's mid 19th century illustration of natural selection does not predict the process of DNA etc. Before the 1950s, what could an evolutionist do about cancer that a mediaeval monk couldn't do?

    On the other hand Darwin's theory does do well at predicting that bacteria will evolve to defeat primitive antibiotics. So we can speak of an "evolutionist cure" for infection, or at least an evolutionist process for understanding why the last batch of penicillin didn't work.

  • ||

    "The irony of cracks about a "creationist cure for cancer" is that, until VERY recently, there wasn't much of an "evolutionist cure" either."

    Yes, and they've made great strides in cancer treatment recently due to use of experimentation and the scientific theory.

    Snarky comments about curing cancer aside, perhaps you'd care to cite just one improvement that the creationist/intelligent design crowd has made?

    Show me one cure. Show me one treatment.
    Show me medical advancement to be made based strictly on the use of creationist/intelligent design ideology.

  • ||

    scientific theory method.

    my bad.

  • ||

    "cite just one improvement that the creationist/intelligent design crowd has made?"

    Cheerleading as a sport?

  • David Ross||

    mediageek: Oh that's easy. Christian creationists discovered patient care.

    During the early Byzantine era, Christian creationists discovered that making their patients feel loved was helping to cure their ailments. This at a time when the finest scientological minds of the day were teaching the four-humours theory of disease. So while the enlightened Hellenistic scientists were literally bloodletting their patients down the toilet, those ignint Xian fundies were making their patients comfortable and helping their bodies heal themselves.

    Christian creationists invented the hospital system.

    Religion bashing is fun and all, but I'd sooner be treated by a Catholic than by mediageek.

  • ||

    If we are lucky, perhaps these nutjobs will get together and review each other's work and realize, "Hey, this makes no sense at all!"

    Someone should go Sokal on these freaks and their little "journal."

  • ||

    "I'd sooner be treated by a Catholic than by mediageek."

    Depends if we're talking about a Catholic MD/Nurse, or the Pope. ["Take two Pater Nosters and call me in the morning."]

  • thoreau||

    Someone should go Sokal on these freaks and their little "journal."

    Ooohhh.....

  • ||

    David-

    Much like the screeching atheists who continue to point to the Crusades as evidence that Christianity will doom us all, you seem to lack a certain level of...ah...temporal prioritization.

  • ||

    "Religion bashing is fun and all, but I'd sooner be treated by a Catholic than by mediageek."

    Me too! Unless it's 'batin'.

  • ||

    Let folks debate this stuff. Given that none of us observed the beginning of the universe, and that we can't reproduce or test any of the origin theories in a lab or verify them, don't we all have to be a bit humble about this stuff and admit that all we can really do is spin theories that seem to match up with the current set of observable facts and remain flexible enough to change our theories as the sum amount of our observed data changes?

    So, we've got either:

    In the beginning, God created universe, this has made a lot of people very angry and is generally considered a bad move...

    or

    In the beginning there was some sort of matter that had a big bang, and through a series of natural laws, combined with an enormous amount of fortuitous luck, billions of years, some lightning strikes, a meteor collision, and what not produced irrational hairless apes who spend what little lives they have scurrying about and posting about meaningless things on message boards in the hopes that other irrational hairless apes whom they've never met find them amusing...

    Or some combination of the two, plus a few even more bizarre notions about aliens and microbe infested meteors.

  • ||

    And only then if the words "cute" and "plaid skirt" come into play.

  • lunchstealer||

    Why did the phrase "Cargo Cult" pop into my mind as soon as I first heard about this?

  • ||

    "Let folks debate this stuff. Given that none of us observed the beginning of the universe, and that we can't reproduce or test any of the origin theories in a lab or verify them, don't we all have to be a bit humble about this stuff and admit that all we can really do is spin theories that seem to match up with the current set of observable facts and remain flexible enough to change our theories as the sum amount of our observed data changes?"

    I feel the same way about my cell phone. There's a magical gnome who lives inside of it. He listens to what I say, writes it down in a little notebook, and then uses fairy dust to fly from my cell phone, up to the moon, and then back down to the phone of whoever I'm calling.

  • ||

    With the exception that we can observe (and test) said hypothesis regarding cell phones and how they operate in multiple labs.

    That being said, I think I need to drop kick the little bastard gnome who works for Verizon as he continually drops my signal when I'm calling from home.

  • ||

    Except I don't have access to a lab, and even if I did, I have neither the knowledge or experience to test it myself.

    And yeah, when you find that gnome, after you get a couple licks in, let me at 'im!

  • Untermensch||

    Do any real scientific journals require that submissions fit within, or provide a "possible alternative" within, a particular framework?



    Actually it's very common to have such limitations. It's called "specialization." So, although the idea of young-earth peer review is rather, umm, strange, this requirement is not part of that strangeness. Just one example of such specialization is the Dawkinsian (sp?) (and now defunct) Journal of Memetics. Presumably it wouldn't accept papers on information transmission that have nothing to do with memetics. In this regard there is nothing unusual about the young earthers' requirements...

    It's not really "peer reviewable" if there's nothing to review and test.



    With one fell stroke you have swept out probably the majority of non-scientific journals (and many scientific journals as well, unfortunately). Peer review happens in almost any discipline and can include review of things such as citation of relevant sources, awareness of relevant scholarship, and consideration of original contribution. Even in science peer review often does not involve the replication of results because that requirement is not feasible.

    I'm not writing any of this to defend Young Earth creationism, something I disagree with strongly. However, if you're going to bash them, these aren't the grounds to do it because they end up showing your ignorance of academe.

  • ||

    True, but then that kind of points out the limitations of human knowledge too.

    Most of our knowledge about subjects is based on the faith we have in our scientists (who interpret the universe for us), kind of like we used to have faith in our priests.

    Oh well. Guess there's nothing to be done save build a house, name it Outside of the Asylum and become even more eccentric.

  • ktc2||

    Sorry, the catholics only treat altarboys.

  • ||

    The Norse Science Fellowship, Inc. will accept papers for peer review:

    The following criteria are to be used in judging the papers:
    (a) Is the Paper's topic important to the development of the Norse model?
    (b) Does the Paper's topic provide an original contribution to the Norse model?
    (c) Is this Paper formulated within a Yggdrasil-universe framework?
    (d) If (c) above is not satisfied, does this Paper offer a very constructively-positive
    criticism and provide a possible Yggdrasil-universe alternative?
    (e) If the Paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed
    within the Norse debate?
    (f) Does this Paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatico-historical/
    normative interpretation of Sagas? (if necessary refer to Odinson, Thor, Norse
    Hermeneutics and Creation, Proceedings First International Conference on
    Yggdrasil-Creationism, Norse Science Fellowship, Inc., Bifrost, MN, 1986, Vol. 1,
    pp. 121-127).

  • ||

    On the other hand Darwin's theory does do well at predicting that bacteria will evolve to defeat primitive antibiotics. So we can speak of an "evolutionist cure" for infection, or at least an evolutionist process for understanding why the last batch of penicillin didn't work.

    Sounds more to me like we're talking about an evolutionist cure for antibiotics.

  • edna||

    trivial side note; you know you're dealing with the ignorant when you see the phrase "origin of [i]the[/i] species."

  • edna||

    the

    i hate bb code versus html.

  • ||

    "Most of our knowledge about subjects is based on the faith we have in our scientists (who interpret the universe for us), kind of like we used to have faith in our priests."

    Given the track record of science and industry, I'm willing to cut them some slack.

    Look, I don't post this stuff to be all down on God. Some people obviously derive a serious quality-of-life improvement from being a member of one form of religion or another. I'm not going to begrudge them of that.

    Where I have a serious issue is when a person's adherence to an ideology keeps them blind to many of the accomplishments made by guys in lab coats and guys with those giant buckets that pour molten steal into molds.

    How does it honestly move one's faith forward if your belief in God, etc. is so fundamentally shaken up simply because of something revealed through the use of the scientific method?

    And how can you adhere to such a belief when your attempt to replace it with something faith-friendly is never going to result in testable experimentation and ultimately products that better mankind?

    I just don't get it.

  • Urkobold®||

    edna IS BUSTED!!!
    CLAIMS TO HAVE NO [USE OF?] PINKIES AS EXCUSE FOR NO CAPS, BUT CLEARLY USED SOMETHING TO CREATE ITALICS TAG.

    PUNISHMENT:

    READ THE ENTIRE P.A.T.R.I.O.T. ACT.
    DO NOT CRY
    DO NOT FALL ASLEEP
    DO NOT CALL YOUR SENATOR
    EVERY TIME SOMEONE ELSE MENTIONS P.A.T.R.I.O.T. ACT, YOU MUST ASK "HAVE YOU READ THE ENTIRE P.A.T.R.I.O.T. ACT?" THEN BRAG "I HAVE."

  • ||

    Sorry, the catholics only treat altarboys.

    Now that's a low blow! :-)

  • Julio||

    At the end of the day, you need a busload of faith to answer the question of the universe's origin, no matter how you answer it.

  • edna||

    URKO, THERE IS STILL THE CAPS LOCK KEY....

    ALL CAPS HURTS THE EYE. THANKS, I'LL STICK WITH the whole e.e. cummings thing until they can clone me new pinkies.

  • VM||

    oh great Urkobold!

    you have Edna mistaken with Lionel Twain...

    Edna was the one they strapped to the roof of the car

    Mr. Gallo - thanks for that contribution. (grin) Unfortunately, for this citizen, my busload are controlled by the CTA, so that means that it's somewhere broken down on the side of the road :)

  • Urkobold®||

    Julio,

    LOU REED CALLED. HE SAYS YOU CAN KEEP HIS SONG. YOU'VE SOILED IT.

  • biologist||

    mediageek:

    apologies for the unnecessary attempted correction

    "Let folks debate this stuff. Given that none of us observed the beginning of the universe, and that we can't reproduce or test any of the origin theories in a lab or verify them, don't we all have to be a bit humble about this stuff and admit that all we can really do is spin theories that seem to match up with the current set of observable facts and remain flexible enough to change our theories as the sum amount of our observed data changes?"

    well, that's how the scientific method works. your point?

    in contrast, young-earth creation groups already know the answer: the Earth is young, because the Bible tells them so, therefore let's go out and find the evidence to support it, no matter how much counter-evidence has already been accumulated. perhaps they could take your advice and "be a bit humble about this stuff and admit that all we can really do is spin theories that seem to match up with the current set of observable facts and remain flexible enough to change our theories as the sum amount of our observed data changes?"

    but that would conflict with what they already "know"

  • ||

    Biologist-

    My point being that to most people, it doesn't matter HOW the technology they use works, only that it does.

    There's no need for the average layman to really understand how things work, whether it's a car, cell phone, or genetic engineering.

    The fact that most people don't understand how this stuff works, or don't care to learn, is likely to give rise to things like creationism and cell phone gnomes.

  • ||

    People should submit papers under the names of various creator-gods.

    "Excedrin won't help this headache: On the population of worlds via the forehead"

    "Eschatological Ephemerides: Scheduling of Apocalyptical Events", by Odin

    "Don't cry over spilled milk: A new method of host galaxy fabrication"

    "Design Critique: Jehovah's Mark VII Prostate - This too won't pass"

  • TJ||

    "...cell phone gnomes"

    Yup. As Arthur C. Clarke said:
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

  • ||

    My point being that to most people, it doesn't matter HOW the technology they use works, only that it does.

    This is why most people have a grasp of science and technology similar to this.

  • stuartl||

    Given that none of us observed the beginning of the universe, and that we can't reproduce or test any of the origin theories in a lab or verify them...

    Where did this silly meme come from? You want to observe the early universe? Look at the pictures from WMAP. A good view is this one. Can't test? Strange that the angular distribution of the Cosmic Microwave Background matches inflationary theory predictions:

    This acoustic polarization was measured by the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer
    (an instrument operated at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica) and later by WMAP; the value was in beautiful agreement with predictions.


    As I said earlier, three year olds playing house are very cute. Maybe when these guys grow up they can be scientists too.

  • stuartl||

    Whoops, that last quote was from here

  • Chucklehead||

    Silly stuartl... don't you know that the so-called background radiation is the echo of God's voice proclaiming "Let There Be Light!"

  • ||

    Rather amusing that you left off the rest of my sentence in your quote, which was that all we can do is look at the observable evidence available to us now and formulate theories that best fit it, yet remain humble and flexible enough to change our theories in response to new evidence.

    As someone else has said, this is pretty much a loose expression of scientific methodology in principle. In practice, I think our human failings make us more arrogant in our knowledge than we have a right to be, given just how limited (by our current technology) our views of the universe are.

    None of this is to diminish the great achievements and advances of science, nor the great minds that brought them to our attention (whose number include many believers in something divine).

    If anything such a humble expression of the limitations of our knowledge should encourage the next generation of scientists to work harder and push our collective understanding forward.

  • thoreau||

    all we can do is look at the observable evidence available to us now and formulate theories that best fit it, yet remain humble and flexible enough to change our theories in response to new evidence.

    Yep. That's what we're doing. And so far, the best available evidence is pretty damn consistent with an old earth, an old universe, and a progression of species from single-celled life forms to what you see today.

    If we get new evidence we'll be happy to draw new conclusions.

    Now, if the Creationists were actually willing to change any of their conclusions in response to new evidence, then we'd have something to talk about with them.

  • stuartl||

    CFisher -- you miss my point, we can and have observed the beginning of the universe. What do you think the CMB is? It is light. We observe it by using a detector. It is collected and put in the pictures that I linked to above. I'll say it again -- we are observing the beginnings of the universe.

    The same applies to testing, we test the theories, refute or verify them, find interesting stuff, etc.

    Sure the theories are being revised and refined, that makes it a live science. But this "it can't be observed or tested" meme is just plain wrong.

  • ||

    Stuarti is right -- the cosmic microwave background is the flash from the creation of the universe. We ARE seeing the creation of the universe when we observe that light with our radio eyes. And when scientists get their gravity wave detectors working with sufficient sensitivity, they'll have another set of eyes with which to see the Big Bang.

    Dicke, Peebles and Wilkinson predicted it,
    Penzias and Wilson saw it,
    that settles it. :-)

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