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Friday, February 02, 2007

Institute of Creation Research Launches New Journal

The Institute of Creation Research announces a new 'scientific journal'. That's very nice, but just how scientific is this journal? Well, let's look at some of the requirements for consideration of any submisstion. We start with the following:

Papers can be in any scientific, or social scientific,
field, but must be from a young-earth perspective and aim to
assist the development of the Creation Model of Origins.

In other words, if you find out something that does not fit our conclusions, don't bother to submit the paper. What about scientific rigor? Well, we see a bunch of instructions about formatting, review process etc but the clinchers are:

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)

So if a scientist seeking real answers finds out that the preconception of a young earth is wrong, well they need not apply here. I can hear the argument now "But that's what secular journals do". I challenge you to find a secular journal that lays out a series of conclusions and asks that all papers fit that conclusion. Note too, that 'scientific accuracy' and 'high quality data collection, analysis and presentation are not even mentioned!
It gets worse:

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.

In other words, the editor-in-chief damn well better reject any paper that disagrees with conclusions already reached. Note that real science absolutely thrives on controversy. In fact, look through some of the classic papers in any field and note that when they were written, they were most certainly controversial!
Now, to their credit, the guidelines state that they may ask an 'evolutionist' to review the manuscript but also duly note that this bias should be considered when making the decision to publish/not to publish. Basically, here is another attempt by ICR to try and gain legitimacy by pretending to do science. If one reads carefully, there really is no need for any research to be done, the conclusions are reached and they are immutable. One wonders if they'd accept a pure load of crap if it was written from a young earth perspective (gets an evil thought).


Joe Meert


At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, i've seen this on both "sides." We can't use circualr resoning that's not scientific at all. But evolutionists do the same thing...trying to make everything fit into vast amounts of time in order for what we see today has been acounted for through "millions of years." I'm not saying a take a stance on either position, but quite frankly, i don't see how evolution has a leg to stand on. Maybe you could tell me why you have this passion and what makes you "believe" in evolution (since it too, takes faith as it has yet to be proved as fact).

At 3:00 PM, Blogger geack said...

I admire your attempt at neutrality, but you're very confused on the reasons to believe something.

People "believe" evolution not due to passion or faith, but because pretty much everything we've learned by studying nature over the past couple hundred years supports it. Science is about evidence, and it's not an absolute yes-or-no situation. Every good scientist, when proposing a new idea, is pretty much required to state "here's what we still don't know, and here's a bunch of stuff that once we know it might support or destory my idea". Just to give one of literally thousands of examples, when people first started working on evolution, it became clear that for evolution to produce the huge variety of life we see today, the planet would have to be millions or billions f years old. No one had ever suggested that before, and there was no way to test it. So the biologists had to acknowlege that weakness in evolutionary theory and work on the things they had the tools to study. Then, decades later, physicists studying radiation figured out how long it takes some materials to decay. Geologists took that idea and realized it could let them measure the age of some rocks. When they did, it turned out the rocks were millions of years old - which supported the earlier predictions by the biologists, and made evolution seem more reliable. Of course, the geologists and physicists had to point out the weaknesses in their theories, and state clearly what sort of evidence would prove THEY were wrong. And when ways were developed to test those things, it supported and confirmed the original theories. And this happened over and over and over again.

So today we have information from basically every way of looking at nature, every branch of science, all of which says the planet is billions of years old and life is millions of years old. People still spend their careers arguing over the details, trying to prove themselves right and the others wrong, but the basic facts are agreed upon by everyone who's taken the time to study it. And that has absolutely nothing to do with faith.


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