Item description for What Is Creation Science by Henry Madison Morris, Orris Henry M & Gary E. Parker...
Overview Many Christians are not aware that a growing number of legitimate scientists now embrace the Genesis explanation of origins. In What Is Creation Science, two of the most respected members of that group have given us the benefit of their knowledge: Dr. Henry Morris, who has served on the faculties of five universities, and Dr. Gary Parker, a former evolutionary biologist. Their findings throw the brakes on the "evolution train."
Publishers Description Two leading creation scientists provide conclusive evidence for intelligent design (an extremely popular topic today), and examine the major arguments used to support evolution.
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Studio: Master Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 1987
Publisher New Leaf Press/Master Books
ISBN 0890510814 ISBN13 9780890510810
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More About Henry Madison Morris, Orris Henry M & Gary E. Parker
DR. HENRY M. MORRIS (1918-2006) (B.S. Rice University; M.S., Ph.D. University of Minnesota) is widely recognized as the founder of the modern creation science movement. For many years he was the president of the Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, California. Dr. Morris wrote extensively on creation science and evolution, producing definitive works such as "Some Call It Science, Biblical Creationism, Science and the Bible Scientific Creationism," and "The Biblical Basis for Modern Science." In 1963, Dr. Morris and nine other creationists founded the Creation Research Society. At the age of 87 and after a full life devoted to the defense of the gospel, Dr. Morris entered into the joy of the Lord in 2006.
Reviews - What do customers think about What Is Creation Science?
"religion" vs. "science" Dec 20, 2006
Morris is one of those unique individuals who dared to blaze a path through the wilderness of modern western consciousness. Though rough and sometimes vindictive without necessity, he begins to strike at the root of the "science" vs. "religion" debate, which is weltanschauung (i.e. "worldview").
The dichotomy between science and religion is a false intellectual concept developed late in the Renaissance as Platonic metaphysical dualism was renewed and propagated throughout Europe. Plato's perceptual realm was modified and developed into the "natural" realm (vs. the "supernatural" realm, first used as a noun with metaphysical connotations in 1587). The only problem with this metaphysical dichotomy is that it's fundamentally anthropocentric.
As Bacon laid the groundwork for the modern scientific method in "Novum Organum," he also laid the groundwork for the anthropocentrism of the Enlightenment by orienting reality about that which human beings can perceive, observe, measure, etc. The Enlightenment was initiated with Descartes' famous phrase, "I think, therefore I exist." The common assumption before this went something like, "God or gods think, therefore I exist." Thus, began the downhill slide of humanity orienting existence around itself. As we oriented reality around what we could perceive corporately in the Enlightenment, so now we have pushed it to the extreme be orienting reality around ourselves individually with postmodernity. Thus, reality and all the implications therein are "relative" to each individual. So humanity has moved from "corporate anthropocentrism" to "individual anthropocentrism."
To orient reality around human perception of existence is absurd. We have absolutely no control over the parameters of our existence. We can't control the fact that the earth spins around the sun, that clouds float across the sky or that trees grow out of the ground. We have no control over the laws of our existence (gravity, inertia, etc.). Nor, do we have any control over the origination of the elements of our existence (i.e. time, space, matter--which also have to come into existence simultaneously, a.k.a. "existential trinity"). Thus, to say that existence is limited to the human perception of it is crazy. Literally, it's crazy; it has no correspondence to reality.
This is why "religion" is a false concept intellectually. It was developed late in the Renaissance to generally refer to belief in that which resides in the "supernatural" realm. However, if the anthropocentrically defined "natural" realm doesn't actually correspond to the reality of existence, then the intellectual concept of "religion" developed within that metaphysical construct is equally invalid. Thus, to say one person is "religious" while another is "non-religious" is nonsense.
People simply have a perception of existence, which we call a "worldview." That worldview may be animistic, pantheistic, polytheistic, monotheistic, or atheistic. However, no one is actually atheistic because something has to be 1) self-existent, 2) self-sustaining, 3) self-conscious, 4) self-determining, and 5) self-forming. For most in the West, the "Universe" fulfills this existential Deity. Thus, most in the West, who accept what they are spoon fed from the textbooks, are actually "naturalistic pantheists."
"Science" is likewise an anthropocentric term (Lt. scientia for "knowledge," from scio for "I know"), since the locus of knowledge is again the human perception and acquisition of knowledge. Who cares what human beings can know, and who cares what human beings define as reality?!? It should seem completely obvious to anyone not confined by the narrowness modern western mass consciousness, that existence is slightly larger than what we little peanuts on earth can perceive. Yet, in our unbounded pride and arrogance, we continue to orient existence about ourselves.
A perhaps somewhat different approach & review Apr 12, 2006
Since the previous reviews by prof. McCauley and Tim Beazley were so withering and detailed, I don't think I can improve on their superb critiques, so I thought I take a different approach in this review, showing how Creationism as a theory and "science" compares with more rational and scientific methods of analysis, and how it ultimately results from an unfortunate tendency of the human mind.
I was discussing religion vs. science recently with someone, and he remarked that although science may have no need of God, science isn't all there is to human thought. He said even though God's existence may be unprovable, that doesn't mean there aren't reasoned arguments in favor of it. So I thought I would discuss that a bit.
At least on the surface, he's correct. The whole field of Natural Theology attempts to deduce God's existence from his handiwork. I went to the trouble of reading a classic text on the subject used for Ph.D. programs in Theology once. And anyone who's read Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica can't fail to be impressed with what a great logician and mind he was. But although I was quite impressed on how much intellectual ingenuity and logical gymnastics had been expended to prove the existence of God, unfortunately the whole enterprise rests on a probably false premise--which is that God exists a priori and that it is the job of natural theology to therefore go look for proof of that fact.
So although I was impressed with the logical edifice the theologians had built, the whole house is constructed on a single and probably false premise of a foundation. And without that foundation the whole structure comes tumbling down.
But there's no doubt he was right when he said that science isn't all there is to human reasoning. I've read enough theology to know that, and I've read dozens of theologians back when I was educating myself on this topic, too many to list here. It's just that I find the whole field, unlike science, lacking in substance, lacking in demonstrable results, and likely based on false premises to begin with--which science is not.
He also said one other thing, which is that all science is tentative, and nothing is ever really settled, by definition. Why should God's existence have to meet a higher standard of proof than the theory of evolution through natural selection, for example?
There is some truth to the statement that everything in science is probably tentative. Philosophers have pointed out that science proves nothing and its conclusions are partial and its methods inferior to pure logic. The only truths exist in pure mathematics and formal logic--but that's because their proofs are really elaborate tautologies.
That being said, however, there are degrees of "tentative" in science. There is really a whole spectrum from tentative to quite well established, so characterizing all of science's conclusions as "tentative" is really oversimplifying. Some things are so well established and the amount of evidence is so extensive and massive that they're unlikely to be disproven at this point. Evolution is one of them. And I don't expect Newton's Law of Gravitation to be repealed anytime soon.
And although no true scientist claims that the theory of evolution is complete, so much evidence exists for its validity and it explains so much that it is unlikely that the theory as a whole will ever be proven false. It is one of the simplest and most powerful scientific theories ever conceived, and in the last 100 years, the sciences of molecular genetics, population biology, cell biology, and others have given it an even more rigorous basis, which weren't around during Darwin's time.
This contrasts with the anti-evolution side of the debate, whose more philosophical, aesthetically oriented, politically motivated, and theologically based theories simply don't explain as much or are as well supported and rigorously thought out. Most don't even get to the level of respected and well validated theory status, which evolution achieves easily, as they are really more like partial and fragmentary hypotheses or explanations.
Take for example, the claim that intermediate species have never been observed, and therefore macroevolution is false. There are actually many intermediate species, such as eohippus and mesohippus in the case of the modern horse, and there is even more evidence of intermediate species in the case of primitive plants and trees, since their parts fossilize more easily. Anyone who doesn't believe this should read the great botanist, K.R. Sporne's book on paleobotany, The Morphology of Gymnosperms, one of the very fascinating botanical books on this subject. Because of this fact, for many gymnosperm genera (which is the group that contains pines, firs, spruce, larches, redwoods, sequoias, hemlock, etc.) we actually know of more extinct species than extant ones, making the evolutionary sequence much easier to see.
In any case, even if intermediate species didn't exist, we have species whose genes still contain intermediate developments, such as cetaceans which are occasionally born with a leg rather than a flipper or a fin. Evolution handles this easily, whereas the anti-evolutionary theories cannot, since cetaceans are thought to be land mammals that returned to the sea. They didn't lose the genes for legs and arms, however,; they were merely repressed, and sometimes something goes wrong in the gene transcription process and a leg is produced. This is one difficulty Creationism has never been able to overcome.
But getting back to the earlier question of truth vs. uncertainty in science, while the statement might be true on purely logical grounds, on practical grounds, the success and the superiority of experimental science over methods that still use armchair speculation and analysis, which is what theology and philosophy do, is there for all to see. Two thousand years ago, the systems that philosophers were creating from their armchairs made the science of the day seem quite humdrum and piecemeal by comparison.
However, this is now many centuries later, and although it took some time for all the details of the scientific method to be fully worked out and its power appreciated, there is no doubt at this point that science has far surpassed philosophy and theology in demonstrable results and knowledge, both practical and theoretical. And most of that knowledge has been gleaned in only the last 100 years. Contrast that with what has been achieved in the previous 4000 years of philosophy and theology. There's simply no comparison.
I had one last comment to make here. One of the odder and more unfortunate intellectual tendencies humans have (including very intelligent humans who should know better) is a fascination and apparent predilection for solipsistic forms of knowledge that give priority to the individual consciousness over that of empirical knowledge.
This tendency is especially strong in the west because of our traditional emphasis on the individual ego and individual consciousness, and it is to a great extent responsible for humans having a predilection for things like religion and theological speculation. If my own mind is the ultimate arbiter of truth, then my intuition or logical conclusions that God exists are all I need for proof.
While this is an interesting epistemological position (and has some small validity--emphasis on the word "small") and philosophers like Berkeley and Kant represent some of the best classical philosophical positions in this tradition, and Kuhn and Polanyi more recent versions, the problem is that all such theories are permeated by a systematic ghost of an illusion, because there is no strong connection to the external world anymore. And the way to keep that from happening is to stay close to the empirical evidence, however fragmentary and partial that may be, as science does, rather than attempting to deduce the entire nature of the cosmos (or God, for that matter), from what one's own individual consciousness is aware of. The success of science, and the failure of armchair methods of speculation, has shown that the psychological attractiveness of such methods is nothing more than a false hope and a potentially dangerous dream and illusion.
Anyway, just a few comments coming from perhaps a slightly different perspective on the science vs. creationism debate. I give the book two stars just for effort, but really, that's being generous due to all the errors, omissions, and problems with the book as a scientific explanation that are discussed very capably here by McCauley, Beazley, and others such as Covelli, Reynolds, and cynical_prophet.
Excellent Intro Creation Science Book Dec 17, 2005
I read this book in 1991, and it changed my entire mindset regarding evolution. Just that morning I laughed at my best friend because he thought Creationism was science. At the time, I waa a hardened evolutionist, and essentially athiest. But I made an agreement with him to study the matter and talk again.
That afternoon, as I walked into the fourth floor of my University library to study, there was "What Is Creation Science" on the go-back shelf, right at eye level. Amazing coincidence.
So I picked up the book, went into my private study room, and nine hours later, finished the book. I began reading it a staunch evolutionist with a great reputation in the biology department as a premier student of science. I finished this book a convinced creationist, and I have never wavered from that change.
The most utterly convincing arguments for creation are in the geologic record. Amazing truths, just amazing stuff. "Hydraulic geologic shock" is a phrase from the book that I will remember until I die. Buy the book and read it. You'll love it. Plus, once you intellectually understand the creation arguments, everything seems to snap into focus. Things "make sense" regarding Genesis, time lines, age of earth. It radically changed my life for the better.
Evolution is a pitiful joke. It's just utter nonsense, and most scientists who speak positively of evolution do so because they are paralyzed with fear of arguing against their peers. They are afraid to fair mindedly examine the evidence, because they want to be considered "smart" and part of the intellectual elite (which exists in their own mind). Plus, most scientists are unbelievers in God, Jesus Christ as diety, and the Bible in general. Evolution specifically does that to people. It denys God.
Pride, then, is the enemy of great science, which is a damnable pity because we need the best answers we can get. Evolution is a virus in the scientific community that kills intellectual freedom to know the truth.
Study creationism. Read the best arguments for creationism, and if you have the guts to say "This, if true, means a young earth and a creator", you will be on your way to a whole new life, I assure you. You'll look at everything with new eyes, and answers will jump out at you. Go. Do it. You will always be glad you did.
What Is Creation Science? Apparently, it's stupid! Jun 4, 2005
"What Is Creation Science?" (1987) by Henry Morris and Gary E. Parker, from the Institute for Creation Research, is intended as an overview of why creation science is more scientific than evolution.
The book is divided into two main parts. In the life sciences section, Parker reviews homologies, vestigial organs, the fossil record, and biochemical similarities from the creationist viewpoint, carefully avoiding any inconvenient data, such as the detailed fossil record of reptile-mammal evolution and the detailed sequence of gradually increasing cranial capacity in hominid fossils.
In the physical sciences section, Morris reviews the geologic column, radiometric dating, thermodynamics, and the Big Bang theory. If Parker's section could be characterized as hopelessly biased and incomplete, Morris' section could be characterized as bizarre. Morris' argument that radiometric dating is invalid because it measures only "apparent age," not actual age, borders on delusional.
Regarding Morris' thermodynamics argument, the simplest response is that two of the greatest thermodynamicists in history, Ludwig Boltzmann (proposed the atomic theory of gases) and Ilya Prigogine (Nobel Prize for work on dissipative structures), were both enthusiastic evolutionists. I'll take Boltzmann and Prigogine over Morris any day.
Morris' goofy statistical arguments are also fatally flawed, being based on his erroneous belief that evolution is a purely random process. Apparently, Morris is so clueless that he doesn't understand that survival of the fittest is a NON-random process. In any case, here too, the simple fact of the matter is that one of the greatest statisticians in modern history, Sir R.A. Fisher, was also one of the most prominent evolutionists in modern history. I'll take Fisher over Morris any day.
Some specific comments:
1. Even granting that overviews are necessarily superficial, WICS takes the simplifications way too far. Page 1 states there is no scientific evidence that cannot be explained as well by creation, but WICS maintains that argument only by ignoring voluminous, contrary evidence, such as the data related to magnetic reversals, the 20 million varves in the Green River Formation, the data related to plate tectonics, data related to population growth, and the fact that the pyramids in Egypt don't show any water damage, even though the oldest pyramids were built before Noah's Flood is alleged to have occurred. Creation has no explanation at all for any of those data!
2. In addition to glaring omissions, the book also contains numerous inconsistencies. For example, page x states that evolution is based on the atheistic belief that there is no god; but page 17 lists 21 separate religions alleged to be structured around evolution. How can an atheistic theory that denies the existence of god be the basis for 21 separate religions, some of which specifically include a deity? This sort of illogical inconsistency is repeated several times throughout the book. (And why a book supposedly intended to show the "scientific" basis for creation science would spend so many pages on religious issues in the first place is a mystery all by itself.)
3. There are also many, serious, factual errors. On page 16 WICS says that oil deposits are found indiscriminately (i.e., proportionally) in rocks of all ages. Well, according to the people I worked with in the land department at Shell Oil, that's simply not true!
4. Even apart from the repeated religious rants, the book doesn't read like a science book. On the vast majority of issues, instead of discussing specific pieces of evidence, WICS instead presents quotes from this or that scientist, as if quotes were a substitute for evidence. What kind of bizarre science book focuses on quotes instead of evidence???
5. Even worse, it's obvious that some quotes were deliberately chosen for the purpose of misleading readers. Regarding the evolution of flowering plants, WICS quotes a botanist lamenting the lack of fossil evidence. But the quote is from 1961! The explosion of fossil discoveries confirming the predicted evolutionary sequence, didn't occur until the mid-60's. Since WICS was written 20 years after those discoveries, the choice of quotes can only be characterized as dishonest.
6. Ironically, Henry Morris complains bitterly throughout the book about how those mean old evos are always unfairly accusing creationists of using misleading quotes. What a weasel.
7. Finally, many important arguments were supported by citations to what turned out to be nothing more than books or articles published in the popular press, newspaper articles, etc. Apparently Morris and Parker are happy to take their "scientific" support from even the most amateurish sources. One citation, for example, was to Melvin Cook, a creationist bungler who concluded that radiometric dating was unreliable because decay rates were not constant. Cook based that conclusion on his "detailed" comparison of different radioactive isotopes. Unfortunately, in his "detailed" analysis, Cook failed to notice that not all of his samples were actually radioactive!!!
So, What Is Creation Science? Apparently, it's pretty stupid!
WICS was supposed to demonstrate the quality of "scientific" creationism, and indeed I think it does, but not in the manner that Morris and Parker intended.
What is science? Feb 3, 2005
Science, as Galileo, Kepler, and Newton taught us in the seventeenth century, is the discovery of mathematical laws obeyed by nature. Those laws can only be discovered and then verified or challenged via systematic, repeatable experiments and observations, and to be 'believable' by the scientific community at large those claims must be verified by competent skeptics. Mendel's discovery of simple laws of evolution obeyed by garden variety peas falls into this category. Mendel's scientific discovery was the first step in our understanding of cell biology.
There can be no 'proof' (or 'disproof') of Darwinism at the macroscopic size scale. ''Macroscopic' here means phenomena with sizes on the order of centimeters or greater, roughly speaking. This was explained by the great physicist Erwin Schrödinger (who discovered quantum mechanics in 1925 parallel to Heisenberg) in his pathfinding 1944 monograph "What is Life?". In that book, Schrödinger reviewed all that was known about cell biology up through 1944, and then suggested the idea of the existence of a 'genetic script' in chromosomes (long linear molecules, roughly speaking). Schrödinger's speculation motivated Crick and Watson to discover the helical molecular structure of DNA and thereby also discover the genetic code, the code that explains how evolution proceeds at the molecular scale mutation via mutation. We can never hope to understand quantitatively how a fish evolved into a bird, but we have daily evidence of 'Darwinian evolution' in cell biology, e.g., in the rapid mutations of viruses and bacteria to new and unforeseen forms that current antibiotics and vaccines cannot defeat. This is 'complexity' at work, and the essence of complexity is surprises. For a very readable description of the 5-6 mutations required for a cell to evolve into a matastacizing tumor, see Robert Weinberg's "One Renegade Cell: How Cancer Begins". It is cell biology, the 'reductionist science' based on Mendel's physically careful oberservations of evolution at work in the mundane growth of peas, that formed the basis for all later scientific work that has led to the amazing scientific breakthroughs that permit cancer treatment.
In a word. 'creation science' is not science in any sense of the word, but 'evolution' is science. A scientific model or theory must be falsifiable, meaning that it must be possible to prove it wrong, if it is wrong, via repeatable identical experiments or observations made by competent skeptics (a first requirement for a 'competent skeptic' is that she has adequate scientific training to carry out the required experiments or observations). Until 'creation science' can produce falsifiable claims, it is not science, it is mere ideology. Evolution, on the other hand is falsifiable: we see it at work daily in the effects of mutations.
As for the notion of 'intelligent design', it is not needed. We understand from physics how the universe evolved into galaxies from the rapid expansion of a 'hot' gas of fundamental particles. We understand from physics how the solar system formed via condensation. We understand how life evolves via DNA. There is no need, at any point, to assume that God (if she exists, whatever 'God' might mean) intervenes at all. The notion of intervention by a god is not a falsifiable idea, is not science. One can legitimately and intelligently express lack of understanding about the details of how life evolved initially from the formation of complex molecules like RNA and DNA (scientists certainly do), but religious fundamentalism can only thrive in a society that is scientifically ignorant.
What was there before the Big Bang? Where did the initial energy come from? Very interesting questions, but we don't know and can't find out. We don't even know if those questions make any sense. There is quite a lot that we don't understand, and with good reason. Science doesn't answer all questions, it only answers falsifiable claims. And hard questions can't simply be answered 'on demand' but require years of smart, dedicated effort, the hardest questions will not be answered in our lifetime or in many lifetimes. We do not yet understand the details of fluid turbulence very well, e.g, and turbulence is not a complex phenomenon. You can believe what you want about religion, but unless your claims can be tested then don't try to pass them off as 'science'. One thing is certain: where science may leave gaps in the description of complicated details of the evolution of the universe and life, religion or other ideology cannot provide us with any competent or reliable answers.