Where is the Science in Creation Science?
The second account of the trial, entitled "Where Is the Science in Creation Science?," is another deft attempt to establish that creation science is not science. The author sets the stage for his drama in this article by noting that only seven out of sixteen potential creation science witnesses actually testified at the trial. Next he states:
This appears to be a very damaging admission. But there is more than one way to interpret such a statement. In fairness the context should have been included so that the reader could evaluate just what was meant by these remarks. True, the work of many creation scientists involves the observation and interpretation of existing geological data. They also utilize a flood model of earth history in interpreting that data. Since geologists generally exclude a worldwide flood from their scientific perspective, possibly these creation scientists are only admitting their interpretive framework of science differs in some respects from the orthodox view of science. To illustrate, I quote a recent statement from Dr. Ariel Roth, one of the creation scientists who was the target of Lewin's thrust:
. . . the question of whether creation is science is trivial. It revolves around varied definitions of science and conflicting scientific practices. By promoting the proposition that creation is not scientific, evolutionists are directing their energies to a non sequitur that distracts from the more basic question of origins. C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre! (This is magnificent but this is not the war.) The real question is whether evolution or creation is true. (Roth 1984, 64)
I suggest this statement throws a different light on the issue. This kind of information Lewin could easily have obtained to give a balanced perspective, but he chose not to do so.
Neither does Lewin mention that my views on this topic were necessarily different. As a scientist whose work has dealt mainly with experimental data obtained in the laboratory, I have consistently maintained my work is scientific and have invited my colleagues to test my results. This was made clear in my pretrial deposition and in my court testimony, but Lewin is silent about it. Anyone reading his second account of the trial may erroneously think that all creation science witnesses, including me, had admitted that creation science, even my experimental work, was not scientific. This one misunderstanding alone would have been sufficient to raise serious questions among my scientific colleagues. And the damage does not stop there.
Lewin then refers to an assessment of creation science held by Duane Gish, a well-known creation scientist who was not a witness at the trial:
In admitting that creation science is not a science, Gish and his colleagues are quick to point out that, in their opinion, neither is evolutionary theory scientific. . . . (Lewin 1982b, 142)
The phrase "Gish and his colleagues" suggests that all creation scientists think alike on this point, which again invites a misunderstanding about my experimental results.
In the next paragraph Lewin says:
. . . creationist literature, Act 590, and defendants' counsel, avoid the term "theory" in reference to creation and evolution explanations, because of its implied property of testability, tentativeness, and explanation. (Lewin 1982b, 142)
This statement implies that creation scientists cannot stand to have their ideas put in the marketplace of science for critical scrutiny. This is just the opposite of what I had done for a decade and a half of research. And it was contrary to the testimony which Lewin heard me give before the court. This is the third instance that Lewin remained silent about my position. And there is more to come. A few paragraphs later we find:
In addition to the pretrial proclamation that creation science is not science, the defense opened its scientific case with a second distinct disadvantage. (Lewin 1982b, 142)
Where is the "pretrial proclamation" Lewin mentions? To my knowledge no such proclamation was made. Is this a reference to the pretrial depositions of the other creation scientists? If so, this was no proclamation. How could it be when my pretrial deposition emphasized the opposite view? This is the fourth instance where the author, by his silence, left a cloud over my experimental results and cast doubt upon my reputation as a professional scientist. As earlier noted, this need not have been the case at all for the other creation science witnesses, who were possibly utilizing a different definition of what is scientific.
The "second distinct disadvantage" in the last quote refers to several creation science witnesses (including me, at that time) who held membership in the Creation Research Society (CRS). Lewin correctly notes that CRS members affirm faith in the Genesis account of creation and the flood as well as in the widely held Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind. I ask: Is the "disadvantage" Lewin mentions here a reflection of his own attitude toward these beliefs? At the trial I asked my evolutionist colleagues to show where my evidence for creation is wrong and theirs for the uniformitarian principle is correct. This they failed to do either at the trial or since then. Instead of faulting the evolutionists for this failure, Lewin casts aspersion on the CRS members who testified for the State:
This statement contains factual information, but the whole truth is not evident. As one of those five witnesses, I must take exception to this characterization of my work. As a scientist I have worked to uncover the truth about the origin and history of the earth. At the trial my conclusions unequivocally supported creation, but those conclusions were based on scientific evidence. What Lewin does in the above statement is to confuse the motivation for my research—wanting to know the truth about Genesis—with the scientific results achieved in that search.
Earth Science Associates