Are you ashamed to be called a “creationist”? If you’re taking cues from certain Intelligent Design (ID) proponents, you might feel like the label “creationist” is a label to avoid at all costs. Here’s why that’s both the wrong approach and dishonoring to God.
I noticed a pattern developing as I read a recent article in Evolution News & Science Today, the evolution and Intelligent Design reporting and analysis site run by the Discovery Institute. The Institute is one of the leading advocates of Intelligent Design theory these days. The site features articles by the scientists leading the charge on ID such as Stephen C. Meyer (Signature In The Cell, Douglas Axe (Undeniable) and Jonathan Wells (Icons of Evolution) among many others. This particular article “Wikipedia Erases Paleontologist Günter Bechly” by David Klinghoffer bemoans the fact that the ever popular, but hopelessly secular, materialistic, online encyclopedia Wikipedia, under the control of its anti-creation, anti-ID volunteer editors acted (unsurprisingly) like the anti-creation, anti-ID censors that they are. The article by Klinghoffer points out those editors were unable to contain their blatant bias against Intelligent Design. He notes, “following his admission of finding ID persuasive” they deleted the entry for paleontologist Günter Bechly the “distinguished paleontologist, specializing in fossil dragonflies.”
The fact that the secular editors at Wikipedia elected to remove the entry of a notable scientist based on the fact that he does not fall in line with the evolutionary fairytale, but instead finds the evidence of Intelligent Design persuasive did not surprise me. But the pattern that I found distressing (and repetitive) is the clear disdain and annoyance Klinghoffer (and I believe most ID theorist) expresses at being called a “creationist.”
His annoyance is understandable. As The Discovery Institute points out on another one of their sites, calling ID Theorists “creationists”, “…is a rhetorical strategy on the part of Darwinists who wish to delegitimize design theory without actually addressing the merits of its case.” ID theorists identify first and foremost as scientists. So for them this is a significant problem. Their scientific endeavor is to demonstrate using the scientific method that the evidence of design is detectable in the world we see (particularly in biological organisms) using standard scientific methods. So being called or labeled “creationist” to them means they aren’t scientists. (Clearly some rehabilitation and redemption of the term “creationist” is in order – there are many scientists who believe in creation.) Thus they attempt to use the phrase “Intelligent Design” as a technical term to indicate specifically those engaged in the endeavor to scientifically identify design in God’s creation.
But their idea of creationism is – if not problematic – then as distracting as calling ID theorists “creationists.” They define it as, “Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it.” First off, all endeavors in creationism don’t start with a religious text. But more importantly, it’s not where you start that’s important, it’s where you finish. Specifically where your final authority is. For scientists – including ID theorists – the final authority is (clearly) the fallible science of men. For creationists the final authority is the word of God.
That is because most creationists identify first and foremost as Christians – followers of Christ. And what is it that Christ came to do? “… and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18.37) And where is truth to be found? Jesus says while praying to God the father, “…your word is truth.” (John 17.17) Thus the concern for creationists is first and foremost – truth. That applies also to science. What scientific theories accord best with what we know to be true? Which leads to the next obvious question: What do we know to be true? Here is where scientists of all types betray a commitment to science consensus (of humans) over truth. This is particularly true when theories that are acknowledged to be at root based on circular reasoning (and thus yield results which can be anything the researcher wants them to be) are still accepted. Like the dating of fossils for example.
This is the fundamental disconnect between ID and Creationism – the recognition of truth. It is also why Klinghoffer has no problems with reporting with an apparent straight face the age of some fossils found by Bechly as “discoveries of some pretty horrific insects from 100 or more million years ago”. That is of course based on Bechly’s estimate of the fossils being 120 million years old. A creationist could not, in good conscience report those years without a qualifier, such as “supposedly 120 million years old.”
A better characterization of creationism is, “an identification and defense of what is true with regards to origins. Such truth applies to all systems of thought, including science. Creationists seek also to expose that which contradicts the truth using all tools available as evidence to the truth, including science and the word of God, with the word of God as the final authority over questions of truth that it addresses.” Thus to really understand the difference between ID and Creationism you need merely look at the court of final appeal. For the ID theorist, the final appeal is to science and the consensus of fallible scientists – except of course where they disagree with science due to their study of evidences of design. (A bit of an inconsistency there.) For the creationist, the final appeal when evaluating any scientific theory which touches on origins is the Word of God.
To justify a reliance on science you’ll hear of the “Two Book” approach. This approach says God has revealed in two ways – through his creation itself, and through his revealed word. They call the two revelations “books”, such as the book of nature and the book of the Word of God. While God has revealed in those two ways, the two books are not equal in content. One, the Bible contains revealed propositional truth – truth spoken with words so it can be clearly understood. The other contains truths that must be deduced via observation. The two methods are not equivalent. Consider this: Let us suppose you’ve never flown a plane. And you come upon a modern Jetliner – say a Boeing 777. Beside it – a bookcase full of books on flying and in particular you note the Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) for the Boeing 777. Which do you suppose will be more accurate in helping you learn how to fly the jet? Jumping in and just trying to fly it while also trying to understand the complex avionics in front of you; or reading the POH from the manufacturer to tell you things like how and why to do things in a 777?
You might be able to deduce how to fly a 777 without the POH and without crashing it, but observation of the completed jet alone will never tell you things like how long it took to be built, or why the designers decided to create it, or the value the creator places on it. The same can be said of the two books from the creator: we can learn much from observing the world, but mere observation alone will never tell us things like how long God took to build the world, why he created humans, or the value he places on humans. That’s why God has made it easy for us, and used words to express clearly the ideas he wants us to know and understand.
Are you ashamed of being a Creationist?
To extend the analogy, ID theorists, in their desire to be seen primarily as scientists, eschew anything that makes it looks like they’re reading the operator’s manual. They need to be seen as scientists – those who figure things out for themselves. But there are at least 3 problems with this approach:
1. Some things science cannot reveal
As noted above, there are some things scientist will never learn from the disciplines of science. Like age, for example. Age isn’t a quantity that can be measured directly after the fact. Thus, since scientists cannot measure age directly, regardless of any shows of confidence, they will never know with certainty the age of the universe (or of the earth) using merely scientific methods. Nor will science alone be able to explain why humans are, for example, more valuable than animals.
2. In trying to be seen as scientists they bend over backwards to not be seen as readers of the manual (the Bible).
The problem here is that even when the evidence points elsewhere, they refuse to break ranks with secular scientists and acknowledge where the evidence really points. More on that below.
3. Their implicit disdain for creationism sets a bad example
Since ID theorists want to limit the concept of “Intelligent Design” to a scientific inquiry; then by implication “creationism” is a non-scientific inquiry to be avoided. Thus for all intents and purposes though they in fact believer God created, they exhibit shame – both at being called a “creationist,” and of the doctrines supported by creationists such as a young earth and a global flood. Regardless of whether they support those doctrines or not, they clearly don’t want to be confused with creationists. And not merely because the term does not accurately capture their scientific background. No, what appears to bother them more is they believe creationists have bought into “bad science” and in so doing have cast ID in a bad light. In carefully avoiding being called a “creationist” and denying doctrines many creationists uphold, they throw their lot in with secular scientists who regularly mock creationists. And since most refuse to stand with creationists on revealed truths such as a young earth and a global flood, this teaches the average non-scientist that scientists of all stripes have a disdain for creation doctrine.
With that being the case I can’t help but ask, are you ashamed to identify as a creationist? While I can understand if you are, I want to point out why you shouldn’t be ashamed and should instead be proud to be a creationist.
Why believe in Creation? Why be proud?
1. We have the testimony of God’s creation
A young universe simultaneously refutes both the Big Bang and Darwinian evolution – which is why secular scientists of all types fight vehemently against it. The problem for them is, lots of evidence points to a young universe and a young earth. Let me give you just four of my favorites among the many, many evidences of a young earth and universe:
That little stone so many women wear on their fingers is proof of a young earth. Just as you wouldn’t expect to find a living 2,000 year old person, neither would you expect to find active Carbon 14 in stones supposedly billions of years old. The life span of detectable Carbon 14 is less than one tenth of a million years. Yet we can detect it in diamonds. Which strongly suggests that diamonds – which are believed to be among the oldest rocks on earth (in fact approaching the age of the earth) – are not billions of years old as it is claimed, and in fact are only thousands of years old.
b) The Distance to the Moon
Due to the tidal effects that result in a net pulling forward of the moon (thus making the moon move faster, thus making it move further from the earth) the moon is receding from the earth. If we project backwards (as the big bang believers do to arrive at 13.77 billion years as the age of the universe), there’s a serious problem. As Dr. Jason Lisle puts it, “If you run the math and you do it right, it turns out that the earth and moon would collide in about 1.4 billion years.” If that were the case, just as secular scientists believe a collision with a mere asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs; a collision with the moon would likely wipe out all life, and we wouldn’t be here today.
Here is a picture of the Whirlpool spiral galaxy:
Notice how the arms wrap around the center. One arm starts to the left of the bright center and wraps clockwise going up first, then coming down towards the right edge of the picture. The other arm starts to the right of the center, goes down then turns upward towards the left edge of the picture. If you start at the center and go to the right edge of the picture, you hit first the near spiral arm that started out going down, then the other spiral arm, that had started to left going up. For demonstration purposes, each time we hit a spiral arm as we head to the right from the center, we’ll consider it 1 wrap. In the picture above from center to the right edge we see two wraps.
The wraps are made as the galaxy spins over time. Thus the older the galaxy, the more wraps you’d expect to see. Scientists have measured the speed of the spinning arms so we know exactly how fast they’re wrapping around the center. Physicist Dr. Jason Lisle asks the question, “what would this galaxy look like if it were really 10 billion years old?” So based on the known speed of rotation, he created a simulation. In the simulation he speeds up time so we can see what would happen over billions of years in a matter of seconds. In his simulation, the inner galaxy makes one rotation in approximately 1.5 seconds. The simulation speeds up time to cover 100 million years in about ten seconds. 100 million years is 1/100 of 10 billion years. Thus if the universe is really 10 billion years old, you’d expect the simulation to show wrappings that would be 2 * (1/100) = .02 of the amount shown in the above picture – so probably barely detectable.
But is that what the simulation shows? Not at all. As noted above, the inner galaxy makes a rotation once every 1.5 seconds, so in 10 seconds it’s made 6 and 2/3 turns, meaning the two arms make (2 * 6 2/3) wraps = 13 1/3 wraps. That’s in just 100 million years. It needs to spin 100 times longer than that to reach 10 billion years, which would create approximately 1,333 wraps. Look at the picture above. Do you see 1,333 wraps? Or even the 13 wraps of 100 million years? Or do you, like me, see just 2 wraps? As Dr. Lisle stated while the simulation played, “We’re only at about 100 million at this point, and already its twisted beyond all recognition.” Since galaxies, according to the secularist are among the earliest things created in the big bang scheme of things, this alone is conclusive evidence that the universe cannot be billions of years old.
d) Saturn’s Glistening Rings
The Rings of Saturn are known to be young. Which creates a conundrum for secular scientists. The rings are made of ice – they shine – which gives us the beautiful sight we see through telescopes. But if scientists claim the icy rings were formed at the time Saturn was – billions of years ago, then the rings should have long ago lost their luster, being covered by layers of cosmic dust, likely making them nearly invisible. On the other hand if scientists claim the rings are young – they have a problem: That means they were recently created. But how? Scientists today can’t say because they don’t know. Some speculate they were formed via a collision with a small moon, but if that were the case you’d expect the rings to be made primarily of rock not ice. So scientists have no idea how Saturn’s rings could have formed recently. The bottom line: the best explanation for Saturn’s shiny, young, glistening rings of ice: They were formed recently with the planet, which was also formed recently (thousands, not millions of years ago.)
2. We have the testimony of God
Not only do we have the evidence from God’s creation, we have the testimony of God himself. After God had led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and just before he took them into the promised land, he met with them at Mount Sinai to give them the laws they were to live by in the land he was giving them. God himself spoke at that time, and as part of the ten commandments, by way of explanation of the Sabbath, God said:
And God spoke all these words:
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Exodus 20:1; 11
God himself states that he created “the heavens and the earth” or the entire universe as we’d say in six days. And when God was finished speaking, He himself wrote the commandments on tablets of stone:
When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.
The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
Why is it so difficult to believe a teaching that is so straight forward and matter of fact? A six day creation (which makes both the big bang and evolution impossible) is only difficult to believe when you believe today’s fallible scientists are more credible than God.
And finally and most importantly, we have the pleasure of our Lord for standing firm to consider:
3. Do you want the Lord to be proud of you, or ashamed of you?
Every Christian wants to hear from Jesus the words he spoke in Matthew 25.21:
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'”
But if you are seeking praise from men instead of from the only God. (John 5.44) you will find it hard to believe God’s clear teaching. In fact, you will likely find you are too ashamed to admit to believing it because his teaching clearly contradicts both the big bang and Darwinian evolution. If you throw in your lot with those who deny foundational truths taught in Genesis (a six day creation, global flood, dispersion of people/creation of languages at the Tower of Babel, etc.) You risk throwing your lot in with those of whom Jesus says:
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
My advise to you – don’t be ashamed – be proud. Christians need to reclaim the proper use of “Creationist” as a rational belief just as Ken Ham is reclaiming the rainbow for Christian use as a reminder of God’s promise(below). Help take back the word so it can be a badge of honor. Help it to be seen as a term that regular, intelligent people who proudly believe the word of God use unapologetically to apply to themselves – for many good reasons..
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) July 18, 2017
1 David Klinghoffer, “Wikipedia Erases Paleontologist Günter Bechly”, Evolution News, October 10, 2017 https://evolutionnews.org/2017/10/wikipedia-erases-paleontologist-gunter-bechly/
2. Klinghoffer, “Wikipedia Erases…”
3. The excuse they used to delete the entry for Bechly was the claim that he was not notable enough for Wikipedia, in spite of the fact that Behly himself spoke regarding his credentials and notorietya and pointed out regarding himself that there were “dozens of more secondary sources from the print press, TV and radio” plus “three described new insect orders, more than 160 described species, and insect family Bechlyidae, a genus and 8 species named after me, 2 edited books and numerous book chapters, 1 book in German about me, and a ResearchGate score that is higher than 85% of ResearchGate members.” – Klinghoffer, “Wikipedia Erases…”
Clearly his entry should have remained, but as usual supporters of evolution aren’t interested in actual science, they’re concerned that the evolutionary fairy tale be promoted.
5. “Intelligent Design”, Discovery Institute
6. For more on the problem of circular reasoning – particularly with regards to dating fossils see my article:
“Correcting Mistakes in Memes by Evolutionists:
Meme: The rocks date the fossils and the fossils date the rocks”
7. Klinghoffer, “Wikipedia Erases…”
8. Wynne Parry, “Ancient ‘Frankenstein’ Insect Discovered”, Live Science, July 19, 2011, https://www.livescience.com/15100-insect-frakenstein-fossil-order-coxoplectoptera.html
9. Please note techniques like radiometric dating, or counting tree rings or examining ice cores or looking at rock layers do not measure age directly. They measure some other quantity (a ratio between parent and daughter elements in radiometric dating, and the number of rings in a tree trunk for example), they do not directly measure age the way you can directly measure the length of a box for example. Direct measures of time are done by starting a clock at the beginning, stopping it at the end, and noting the elapsed time. Such a method is not available for determining the age of the earth or universe of course.
10. Klinghoffer notes, “But once they’ve got you falsely tagged as a “creationist,” none of it matters.” Clearly he disdains even casual association with creationism. That’s unfortunate since because ID theorists believe we are designed by a creator; they too, are technically Creationists – in the basic sense of the word, if not their technical sense. Clearly there’s a strong desire to separate ID and Creationism, with the implication that any association with creationism is a negative one.
Klinghoffer, “Wikipedia Erases…”
11. Atheist scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson for example, in his Cosmos series seems to take particular delight in taking shots at creationists. When he isn’t saying a belief in a young earth is impossible…
“To believe in a universe as young as only 6 or 7,000 years old is to extinguish the light from most of the galaxy. Not to mention the light from all the hundred billion other galaxies in the observable universe.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos:A Space-Time Odysseyepisode 4 “A Sky Full of Ghosts“, Documentary 3/30/2014
…He’s claiming the laws of science explain away the need for God:
“Newton’s laws of gravity and motion reveal how this sun held distant worlds captive. His laws swept away the need for a master clockmaker to explain the precision and beauty of the solar system. Gravity is the clock maker. Matter obeyed commandments we could discover. Laws the Bible hadn’t mentioned.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey episode 3 “When Knowledge Conquered Fear”, Documentary, 3/23/2014
12. Dr. Stephen Meyer in an interview with The Chuck Colson Center for Christian World View, states that with regards to the young earth position “most think it’s old” – that is most Intelligent Design theorists don’t believe in the young earth position, and hold to a billions years old earth.
Stephen Meyer, “The Age of the Earth, Dr. Stephen Meyer”, YouTube published by Colson Center, April 30, 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGFWH6Okgl8
13. As I point out in Intelligent Design’s Blind Side, ID Leader William Dembski considers the Answers In Genesis Life sized Noah’s Ark and theme park an “embarrassment and a waste of money.” This of course stems from a contempt for the doctrine of a global flood.
“Intelligent Design’s Blind Side”, Rational Faith, 9/26/2016, https://rationalfaith.com/2016/09/intelligent-designs-blind-side/
14. For more, see my article: “Diamonds: A Girl’s and a Creationist’s Best Friend”, Rational Faith, 11/29/2014, https://rationalfaith.com/2014/11/diamonds-a-girls-and-a-creationists-best-friend/
15. Dr. Jason Lisle, ref. from Creation in the 21st Century, episode “Astronomy Confirms a Young Earth”, Documentary, aired 9/23/2017
16. Jason Lisle, “Astronomy Confirms a Young Earth”
17. A Biblical creationist will tell you that the earth was created first, and the stars (and thus galaxies) not created until day 4. Thus in the Biblical scheme of creation, the earth is older than the galaxies (albeit only by a few days). Gen 1.14-29
18. For details on how this is known, see my article “Saturn’s Rings are Young!”, Rational Faith, 2/23/2014, https://rationalfaith.com/2014/02/saturnsringsareyoung/
All images – used by permission from the license holders as noted below
Concept of shame and disgrace © Prazis | Fotolia (used by permission)
The Whirlpool Galaxy, Image Credit: NASA/Hubble (Public Domain)