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2017-10-01 17:01
By Lee Hyon-soo



In 1654 Archbishop Ussher of Ireland analyzed all the “begats” in the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament and combined his results with other biblical hints, concluding that the Earth was created by God in 4004 B.C. But his calculation was unequivocally refuted by the scientific method long ago. On the basis of radiometric dating, geologists estimate the Earth came into being about 4.5 billion years ago.  

That said, lo and behold, even in the 21st century there are some people who persist in believing Archbishop Ussher’s unscientific and arbitrary calculation. Recently, a candidate for a ministerial position in South Korea allegedly said at his National Assembly confirmation hearing that he believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old. The fact that such an unscientific statement was made by a professor of mechanical engineering was newsworthy and the local media had a field day. He bowed out after the Assembly decided not to support his nomination.

He seems to be one of the so-called scientific creationists who reject the theory and practice of radiometric dating. Instead, they believe that as recently as only thousands of years ago God created the universe, the Earth and life out of nothing, as described in Genesis.

The age of the Earth is but one of many areas of contemporary science that scientific creationists attack, ostensibly on scientific grounds, but in reality only because they believe the account of origins in Genesis is a factual presentation of historical truth.

Another area of contemporary science that scientific creationists attack vehemently is the big bang theory which is a cosmological model for the history and expansion of the universe.

Scientific creationists reject the evolution and big bang theories and instead put forward what they call scientific creationism, which attributes the origin of the universe and that of everything in it (including mankind) to acts of God. As the activities of God cannot be proven by the scientific method but must be taken on faith, scientific creationists devote their efforts to attacking the credibility of evolution in the mistaken belief that scientific creationism is automatically validated, if the theory of evolution is disproved.

Science is the human search for a natural explanation of what the universe is: its makeup, how it came to be. By this definition, evolution is a scientific theory, but scientific creationism is not. The latter is nothing but a religious belief.

As scientific creationists have not managed to come up with any intellectually compelling, scientifically testable statements about the natural world, they are not bona fide scientists. Rather, they are religious bigots who only try to discredit the scientific achievements that have been made painstakingly over many centuries in such fields as astronomy, geology, biology and anthropology.

Many well-researched and well-reasoned books enlightened me on the fallacy of scientific creationism. The books that I have read include “Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism” by Philip Kitcher, “In the Beginning: A Scientist Shows Why the Creationists Are Wrong” by Chris McGowan, and “The Monkey Business: A Scientist Looks at Creationism” by Niles Eldredge, to name just a few.  

In closing, I would like to quote Niles Eldredge: “Science seeks to understand the universe in naturalistic terms. It depends on observation, accepts nothing on faith, and acknowledges that it can never claim to know the ultimate truth. Religions, on the other hand, are belief systems, generally involving the supernatural. Both are time-honored ― but utterly different ― human activities. Most scientists and members of religious communities see no conflict between science and religion, as the two systems are completely different, are pursued for different reasons, and serve different functions.”


The writer is a retired international banker who lives in Toronto, Canada. His other writings are posted on his blog, http://blog.daum.net/tom―hslee.


 

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