An Essay by W. Josef Lindermann, Ph.D.

 

 

The Christian War on Science

The War

In my spare time, I like to cruise the internet and hang out in chat-rooms. In this never ending quest for knowledge, I made a disturbing discovery. It seems that Christians from around the world have started a war against science. It seems as if some scientific discoveries and theories/laws go against some of the things in the Holy Bible. Instead of taking a look at the possibility of error in the Bible, they instead are attacking science. Unfortunately in their war, they are using either misrepresentation, misunderstanding, or just flat out lies to degrade science. The worst part is that a lot of this information goes out to people who know little about science and the Bible, and naturally they tend to believe the first thing they hear. The purpose of this page is to clear up some of the things that people may hear. Just as a note, I am all for religious freedom. Although I am atheist, I have no problem with some people's need for the divine, or supernatural guidance. This is not an attack on Christianity, just an attempt to spread truth and clear up misunderstandings.

Clearing Up The Theory

One of the biggest things I see in error with nearly every anti-science web site is the theory. Many of these Christian websites make it sound like scientists think that theories are 100% true. This is false, in fact it's the complete opposite of the truth. This next statement is very important... No scientist thinks that a theory is 100% true. Not a one. A theory is not a law, but it cannot be easily discarded because there is some evidence. But to say that any scientist thinks or teaches a theory is fact is nothing more than a lie.

The Multiple Choice

There is one thing that creationists do that is really irritating to me, yet many people never really notice the problem with it. How many times have you heard a creationist say "either lifeless matter created the earth or God did, and since lifeless matter cannot create, that means that God did". Do you see the problem?
Okay, for those who didn't see the problem, here it is. There is no reason that there are only those two possibilities. With something as broad as the creation of the universe, I really doubt we can limit the possibilites to being two, for the most part, impossible choices. I wonder what these creationists would put in the following questions on a test

1. 2+5=
a. 34
b. 2,983,203,992,823,881,873,988,388,293,884,377,328,289

2. Ice is ________
a. a blend of fingernail clippings and toothpaste
b. a synthetic material used to line microwave ovens

3. George Washington was ________
a. the first man in space
b. the goalie for the Calgary Flames in 1995

Now do you see the problem? This is a pretty clever way of deception. Not too many people think right away that when given a multiple choice problem that the correct answer is not one of the choices. If you had seen the questions above on an important exam, would you have questioned the examiner? Or thought "well, I'm no hockey expert, maybe the Flames goalie was named George Washington" or "Who knows what the lingo at microwave assembly lines is, maybe there is ice in the oven." I hope, for the world and the future of humanity's sake that you would question the exam. So why not a creationist?

Evolutionism, Darwinism, and Creation Science.

These words are all very funny to me. Mainly because I never see them anywhere except on Christian based anti-science web sites and publications. But lets take a good look at these.

Evolutionism- This term has an interesting origin. After a Christian group's attempt to get Biblical creation taught in public school's science classes failed, they took a new angle. They changed their tactic from adding the Bible to taking out science. They said that since the theory of evolution cannot be proven, it's a faith. Therefore it's a religion, and should not be taught in public schools. They called it evolutionism to give it a religious sound. The problem here is that evolution is not a religion, it's a scientific theory. To say a scientific theory is a religion is wrong, a theory is an educated guess, put through experiments and for the most part have inconclusive evidence. Religion on the other hand is faith, there is no scientific testing. It's just believed.

Darwinism- Another attempt to make science look like a religion. This term is used to label those who believe in Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. Due to the fact that DNA testing has proven Darwin's theory wrong (Homo Sapiens are not related to Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, etc.) there are no true Darwinist Scientists. Darwinism has absolutely nothing to do with modern science.

Creation Science- The exact opposite of Darwinism and Evolutionism. This is from a Christian attempt to having the Bible taught in science classes. They simply took the biblical story of creation and put the word science after it. Their argument was "creation science is a science, thus it should be taught in science class." The flaw is that there is nothing scientific about the Bible's story of creation. It's all just pulled from one source which cannot be verified for accuracy.

Charles Darwin

As most people know, Charles Darwin wrote the book "Origin of Species". This is the book that brought forth his theory of evolution. As a great deal of Christian based anti-science sites like to point out, Charles Darwin is treated as close to a God that a scientific community could treat a man. This is wrong.

The truth is that scientists have already proven his theory as being wrong. They did this by giving each "step" of man a DNA test. Does this mean that Charles Darwin is now a laughing stock? By all means no. If it wasn't for Charles Darwin bringing up this theory, we may never have thought about this option. Charles Darwin came up with a good foundation on which to build a new branch of science.

One thing that makes me think that these "creation scientists" have never even studied Darwin's theories is the fact that on the very first couple of pages, in the introduction, of Origin of Species Charles Darwin says the following quotes.

"My work now (1859) is nearly finished, but it will take me many years to complete it, and as my health is far from strong, I have been urged to publish this Abstract."
As we know an Abstract is not much more than an outline, or introduction. To take this book as fact is in great error, for it's not completed work.

"This Abstract, which I now publish, must necessarily be imperfect. I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy. No doubt some errors have crept in, though I hope I have always been cautious in trusting good authorities alone."
In other words, this book isn't complete, the theory hasn't been fully researched, and there is a great deal more work left. Not to mention there may be false leads that have yet to be weeded out. In other words... not even Darwin himself was confident of his works on evolution.

Not only did Darwin think he was right, but neither did scientists, they furthered his studies and continued to do so with the help of technology, until they disproved it. So never was there a time that a true scientist said "Darwin's theory of evolution is right, without a doubt." So if a creation scientist tells you this, you know that they are lying to you.

The Truth About the Laws of Thermodynamics.

The laws of thermodynamics are probably the most common, and most distorted part of science that these web sites and publications use. I am guessing that this is so because thermodynamics is not commonly discussed nor is it easy to understand. Those are the two things that make it easy to misrepresent. Unfortunately I have heard and seen creation scientists and their writings distort and misrepresent the laws to extremes, then they end it by saying that they have degrees in a scientific field. I personally had a gentleman talk to me and say that the law of thermodynamics makes it impossible for evolution to happen. Then he said "and I have my masters in biology, so I know this is how it really works." Naturally when I asked him which law of thermo dynamics, and why he'd be such an expert in physics if he's a biology major, and so on. He turned red faced and referred to me as a devil's worker. So here it all come in layman's terms.

The Zero Law of Thermodynamics

This law is simple, it states that there is no energy exchange between two objects that are the same temperature. So if you have a pot of water that is 80 degrees, and drop an 80 degree rock into the water, there will be no energy exchange. The reason it is called the zero law is because it was formulated after the first law but is needed for the first law as well.

The First Law of Thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics states that energy is conserved. It has nothing to do with the possibility of evolution. The first law of thermodynamics is actually about energy may be made and used but there is no change in the amount of energy in the system. Okay, so what does this mean to you? It means that if you heat up a pot of water, drop a cold rock into it, the water will cool and the rock will heat up. No energy is lost nor gained by the rock. The water and rock will eventually be the same temperature, but it will be the midway point between the two temperatures. So energy is conserved.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics still has nothing to do with evolution, instead it deals with entropy. Entropy is disorder, and the second law states that in order for a reaction to occur entropy must increase. This is saying that if water is heated, the molecular structure becomes more disorderly. When we take ice in it's most orderly form, ice, and heat it up, it becomes less orderly (water). When we heat water up even more, it turns to a greater state of disorder (steam). Now when we refreeze the water the energy is conserved but the disorder is not. And that is the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The Third Law of Thermodynamics

The third law of thermodynamics, states that the entropy of a perfect crystal and absolute zero is zero. How can this be applied to evolution? It can't. But what does it mean? It means when you take a temperature of something down to absolute zero (-459F/-273C), since there is no thermal heat, there is no disorder.

So there you have it, now when you hear somebody equate thermodynamics with the impossibility of evolution you know that they are either in error or flat out lying. And in the words of the old GI Joe cartoon... "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle".

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