Here is something interesting I came across this morning. It looks like the Creation Museum will be having a science fair next year. The Creation Museum’s blog posted this entry yesterday: “Top 10 reasons why you should go to the Creation Museum Science Fair in 2010.”
Here is the list:
10. You probably don’t have anything else planned for February 27, 2010. (Mark your calendar!)
9. It’s at the Creation Museum!
8. It’s open to homeschoolers, Christian school students, and public school students—as long as you agree with AiG’s Statement of Faith and will conduct a quality experiment, you can apply.
7. Science is fun!
6. It will be a fun day of learning with special programs just for you.
5. You can show off your scientific prowess.
4. You can meet other creationist science-minded students.
3. You can conduct an experiment on a topic of your choice in the life or physical sciences (within certain guidelines).
2. You can meet Answers in Genesis staff scientists.
1. Many fabulous prizes will be awarded!
Now, here is what is interesting about this. Point (8) says that to qualify the experiment performed by a student must coincide with AiG’s “Statement of Faith.” You can check that out yourself, but the take take-home message is that all scientific research must agree literally with the Bible. Any research that indicates a different conclusion that what is found in Scripture must necessarily be incorrect as Scripture is the final word (Word?) on everything.
There are a couple of issues here. The first one is a question as to why one would bother to do research at all if the answer is already known. It seems that a large part of the reason people conduct research into some subject area is precisely because we don’t know how things are. When you say you have not only the truth, but you have the Truth, the absolute and full answer, then it seems unclear why you would take the time to do research in the first place. Now, it may be that someone would suggest that the Bible gives us the big answers, but we still need to work out the details. That could be where science plays its role. But that seems problematic from a conceptual standpoint. Normally, studying the details gives you the big picture. Suggesting that you have the big picture but not the details seems odd. But, even worse, it seems just bizarre to think that one would use an independent method of studying the details than the one used to study the big picture. Of course, if it turned out that this did, in fact, work, then it might just be that what is counter-intuitive here just turns out to be true. Certainly it is the case elsewhere that what is counter-intuitive is true. Just look at quantum mechanics. But it would seem that we are only justified in thinking this is the case when the independent method of getting details (here, science) keeps delivering the same conclusion as the already-possessed Big Picture. And that is exactly what we don’t see in the case of science vs. Scripture. Instead, what we repeatedly see is science studying the details and delivering a radically different conclusion that the one found in the Bible. So, if you believe that you already have the Truth, as the AiG crew certainly does, then it is baffling why you would be at all interested in pursuing a method of studying details that clearly arrives at false conclusions. Since you already know you are Right, then the only reasonable position is that the scientific method must be fundamentally flawed. So why hold a science fair?
There is a further issue, and it concerns the morality of holding a “science fair” that demands that the conclusions found must not contradict a position already held. This is simply not science in any recognizable form. Science does not presume an outcome and try to make the evidence fit that preconceived conclusion. In fact, that is the epitome of bad science. Yet, that is exactly what this supposed science fair is doing. As such, the organizers and promoters of this event are explicitly lying to the children they’re roping into this sham. This is because they are telling these kids that it is legitimate to do science in this fashion. And the argument can’t be made that AiG might be unaware of their mistake. They are very active in their attempt to push their “alternative” interpretation of science, and, in fact, this is the entire reason for the Creation Museum’s existence. That awareness means that there can be no excuse in their bamboozling kids into believing they are participating in a genuine science fair and doing real science. AiG is holding this function with full knowledge that the scientific community sees what they are doing as a perversion of science, something completely antithetical to actual science. This means that there is no excuse for their labeling of the event as a “science” fair or willfully lying by telling the children participating that what they are doing is in any sense legitimate science. This deception is clearly harmful in that it sets these children up for failure when they attempt to use the practices and skills that are supposed to be learned in science fairs in the real world. That puts AiG and the Creation Museum in the unenviable position of not only being liars, but demonstrably being shown to be harming those they have a clear moral obligation to protect: their own kids.