Why do Creationists hate Evolution?

Since we seem to have a few new creationists floating around, such as WRENCHEAD and yoyo3500, perhaps I can elicit some
feedback regarding their viewpoint on the Creation vs. Evolution debate. Although anyone is welcome to contribute and even elaborate on their opinions of why creationists are fixated on evolution, I really would like to hear from actual living, breathing creationists.

I have taken the liberty of reproducing part of my efforts from this thread, where I began wondering out loud about these questions.

Why do creationists focus their efforts against evolution? Their arguments are nearly always framed as Creation vs. Evolution, yet almost every objection applies to all of science, or at the very least to other, non-related disciplines such as astronomy, geology, cosmology, physics, thermodynamics, etc. When they bluster about the naturalism of evolution, they conveniently forget about every other branch of science that operates under these same principles. When they want disclaimers in textbooks proclaiming “it’s only a theory”, they completely ignore the theory of gravity, or the theory of relativity, and so forth. As they whine about order arising from the Big Bang and violations of the 2nd law of thermo, it is still portrayed as problems with “Evilution” and dogma from “evolutionists”. If their problem is with the whole of Science, why don’t they be honest and admit this, instead of concentrating on evolution? Is opposition to evolution sexier than calling it “Creation vs. Geology”, or “Creation vs. Astronomy” ??

I have tried to logically work this through, and I can only come up with several alternatives:[list=1][li]Creationists actually believe there is some qualitative difference between the science involved in evolution research and that of other branches. In other words, evolutionary science == BAD, other science == OK. Any issues with disciplines other than evolution are minor, yet still somehow disprove Darwin’s theory while sparing the rest of science.[/li]
[li]They really do think practically all of science is flawed, but have tactically decided that focusing on evolution will resonate with the populace and allow them to begin the assault on the entire naturalism philosophy of science, since no one wants to believe they evolved from some primitive ancestor anyway. Keeping it focused on the topic of evolution while in reality attacking all of science gives them the best chance of success.[/li]
[li]Evolution is so inherently evil that it must be stopped by any means necessary. Though fully aware the items are unrelated and from other disciplines, it doesn’t matter because all is fair in the war against evil.[/li]
[li]Having thoroughly studied their preferred religion, this has convinced them that evolution is wrong because it conflicts with their religious worldview. Regardless of whether evolution is separate from the other branches of science, it must be false since their religion is true. Any issues from other areas of science are irrelevant.[/li]
[li]Haven’t fully contemplated the reasons for their position, but just know that evolution is wrong due to (mis)guidance from others whom they trust. Since Dr. Dino, Ken Ham, the ICR website, their local rabbi, etc. is convinced of the errors in evolution, it surely must be so. If the Shepard indicates that moon dust should be 180 feet thick in order for evolution to be true, then obviously moon dust levels are part of the “theory” of evolution.[/li]
[li]Finally, they do accept the fact that evolution occurs, but they simply label it microevolution, as if this was in someway separate from evolution itself. The word evolution is reserved only for those topics they disagree with, regardless of the actual scientific discipline involved.[/list=1][/li]So creationists, which is it? Some combination of the above, or is there some other possibility I have overlooked? Why do you label the debate “Creation vs. Evolution”, yet your objections generally apply to all branches of science, or apply to something other than biology? Shouldn’t it be Creation vs. Science?

I’m not a creationist, but because of their Biblical literalism, it seems to me that evolution being true would mean that their god, which is the Bible, would be false.

Add two more possibilties to the mix:

  1. Evolution is seen as an attack on religion (it certainly doesn’t gybe with Genesis). It is therefore an attack on God, therefore an attack on a belief system around which many people have built their lives. It’s threatening on a very personal level.

  2. Evolution, as explained by charletans and pseudo-scientists, sounds preposterous. Who would believe that hokum?

I’d like to add that “Creationist” is a broad term that YEC’s and IDer’s latch onto. Theistic evolutionists for example are “Creationists”, they accept science and have no problems with it.

Some of the Creationists who have a problem with evolution and science develope their problem primarily because of an over-reliance on authority. Their ministers and fellow Christians are “men of God” and would not lie to them (so they think), therefore the scientist, who their fellow Christians have labelled an “atheist” is misguided and wrong.

Some Evolutionists (presumably the Young Earth variety) also have problems with plate tectonics and continental drift. Go figure.

Do you mean creationists?

Yes I do. :smack:

Obviously my brain is devolving.

Two points (somewhat related):

  1. The fact that two disciplines of science follow the same general methodology does not mean that their conclusions will be equally valid. It may be that one field lends itself to the scientific method more than the other - there may be more available evidence, it may be more testable. Scientific methodology attempts to give the best scientific answer considering the evidence available - using this same methodology may give answers that vary in certitude to different questions and in different fields.

  2. The whole point of scientific study is to arrive at a scientific answer. To assume the possibility of a non-scientific answer is beyond the realm of scientific study. If you happen to believe that there are no questions about the universe that do not have scientific answers, that works out great. But to the extent that you allow the possibility of a non-scientific answer, the conclusions of scientific study do not necessarily hold, as they have been derived from an a priori exclusion of the non-scientific possibility. It just happens that evolution addresses an area in which many people consider the possibility of a non-scientific answer, and for this reason there is less blind acceptance of science here than in other areas.

(hardcore, it is a bit unclear to me if your OP is directed at creation scientists arguing on purely scientific grounds or at the general public’s distrust of evolution science as a whole. My comments are directed at the latter).

I remember in 8th grade science when we were first learning about the scientific method, I was taught this (or something really similar, it was a long time ago after all):

First you come up with a Hypothesis.
Then, after a few experiments, you develop a theory.
Then, after a few more experiments, you come to a conclusion.

Being as a conclusion was the goal all along, and a theory is just one of the steps you have to accend to reach that goal, the theory of evolution is therefore “just a theory.”

I suspect that #4 is closest to the truth. Astrophysics and evolution are both hard to reconcile with a literalist reading of the Bible. (Frankly, the Bible is hard to reconcile with a literalist reading of the Bible, that is for 5000 other threads.)

Thermodynamics, chemistry and most other sciences are not apparently in direct conflict with the Bible. Also, their “truth” can often be more easily demonstrated to a non-scientist. Early in the Scientific Revolution, the beauty of science and the rational universe was considered to be proof of the brilliance of the Creator.

Actually the process goes something like this:

First you develop a Hypothesis
Then after a few experiments you refine your hypothesis,
then after you can no longer find anything to refine you submit it.
A peer review process takes place, where the limitations and possible problems show up.
Then you either start again from scratch, or you have a theory.
A theory is the end point, it’s the best thing science has.

Regardless of what the actual process is, that’s what they taught in 8th grade science in Fairfax County. Being as I’ve always been more of a math person than a science person, I never bothered to confirm the process. That, and I just don’t care. But the above is one possible explanation about why many creationists say that it’s “just a theory.”

Even if it is “just a theory”, stating such does not automatically falsify it. If one wishes to challenge a theory, one must actually present contrary evidence.

As I’ve gotten into studying about evolution and being non-religeous, this question has also intrigued me as well. Unfortunately I don’t recall where I read this, but I did come across at least one issue that answers this. It is basically your item #4, and specifically this: If evolution is correct, then it essentially says that all life on the planet evolved from a single, common starting point. And this shakes the fundamental “belief” that only humans have souls (and therefore can go to heaven, or be damned). That is, the “religeous worldview” that humans are separate from the rest of the animals goes out the window.

(Been lurking these boards for years, and I finally have something to contribute !)

Hmm seeing that they have this problem with Darwin’s work One wonders if they also consider Newtons work on Gravity “just a Theory?”

I can’t even remember highschool science class, but I don’t doubt that that’s what’s being taught. I agree that improper teaching could be one of the reason’s why some creationists say “just a theory”.
What I have a little trouble with is why evolution gets the attention; gravity is a theory, relativity is a theory.

I’ve never seen any college-level science textbook that says that a “conclusion” is the goal of the scientific method.

I think that Meatros is on the mark as to how things work in practice, but when I was teaching chemistry, here’s how I taught it:

  1. Make observations (includes measurements, data, etc).
  2. Propose a hypothesis to explain your observations.
  3. Conduct experiment(s) to test the hypothesis.

Experiment(s) will produce further observations. Go back to step 1.

Repeat ad infinitum.

Note: after a few cycles of this, you may wish to term your hypothesis a theory.

You might wonder what laws are, BTW, and how they fit into this. Laws are summaries of observations.

Laws do not explain anything.
Theories seek to explain laws.

An example of a law (in chemistry) is the Law of Definite Proportions. A theory which seeks to explain this law is Dalton’s Atomic Theory.

Finally, in the truest sense of the word, you cannot ever prove laws or theories. At best, you can only gather more observations to support them.

BTW, I didn’t think all of this up, (though it makes complete sense, in my mind). My source is
Chemistry: The Study of Matter and Its Changes (3rd Ed.) by James E. Brady, John R. Holum, Joel W. Russell.

Actually I think that creationis don’t hate evolution as such. After all they accept “micro evolution,” which is the adaptation of a species to a new environment.

What they won’t accept is the origin of a new species and the possibility that life originated from a chance event which isn’t part of the theory of evolution.

Creationists simply will not accept that a new species can arise from microevolution and reproductive isolation over a long period of time. That is the main reason that most creationists insist on the short time scale which, although not explicitly spelled out in the Bible, is claimed to have been derived from it.

As others have said, it threatens their basic assumption about the world and that is unacceptable. One thing they constantly bring up is that “if children are taught that man is just another animal then they will act like animals.” They don’t say why this is bad since many also claim that animals are “Intelligently Designed” to act like they do. But I guess an irrational fear doesn’t need to be consistent, does it?

I’d just like to add to this by saying that nothing in science is 100%; but that doesn’t invalidate evolution.

Newton’s work is claptrap; the evidence fully supports downism, or invisible, intangible gravity pixies (When you attack one of these ideas, I will talk about the other and vice versa).