Thursday night brought another packed-out auditorium for Peter Harrison’s talk on Creationism, entitled “Magic, Dragons, and Dinosaur Saddles”. In preparing for his talk Harrison contacted five of the leading US Creationist institutions, asking for the very best arguments for creationism. What Harrison instead received was a series of un-researched and easily refutable claims attempting to attack the validity of evolution rather than offer evidence in support of young earth creationism. When pressed again for the evidence, these lead to claims outside the scope of science or even normal reality.
Harrison accurately pinpoints what lies at the heart of creationism – the desperation to keep one’s faith (and hence one’s identity) intact. But creationists, in committing intellectual dishonesty, are behaving in a way which makes them un-entitled to their name. They establish reality as a divine creation, yet are unwilling to accept any of the truths presented by this reality. Creationists instead begin from and cling to a biblical platform in conflict with the world around them. Believing they are somehow defending God, they have elevated an antiquated human interpretation in priority over God’s own truths evidenced in this creation.
Harrison concluded his talk with a message for creationists that science is your friend, not your enemy. You don’t need to fight evidence in order to keep a spot reserved for God, or even to defend your right to believe in one. Rather than keeping faith with ancient human ideas, you should instead view science as a tool through which God might be better understood.