Saturday, September 08, 2007

I agree with ICR

But not often

In the September 2007 issue of Acts & Facts from the Institute for Creation Research, executive editor Lawrence E. Ford argues that there is no middle ground when it comes to a literal interpretation of the Bible. Either its authority is absolute or it's not. As Ford puts it,
Question the creation account because of man's discoveries and one might as well question the virgin birth or resurrection or even the deity of Jesus Christ.
Hot damn! I agree with Ford completely. We are utterly as one in this regard.

Then we part ways, of course, because I do reject Biblical inerrancy and Ford clings to it. For me, the Bible is long since overthrown as a source of infallible truth. It contains, it seems to me, some interesting (and occasionally beautiful or inspiring) accounts of ancient tribal creation myths and practices, along with more recent accretions consisting of a patchwork (and not always consistent) history of the founding of Christianity. It is, however, neither a science book nor a history text. (Lawrence Ford would beg to differ, but that's his problem.)

Science so-called

ICR fancies itself a Bible-based scientific organization, ignoring the inherent contradiction in that description. The new Acts & Facts includes an exciting account of ICR's devotion to cutting-edge research:
Genetic research is a complicated undertaking. Although the complete human genome was published in 2001, only a portion of this genetic code is understood. A great deal of work remains to be done, and an abundance of raw data waits to be interpreted. ICR joined the field in 2005 with its GENE project...

New equipment and software continue to be developed to aid this investigation. For instance, bioinformatics offers the use of techniques such as applied mathematics, statistics, and computer science for the investigation of such aspects of genomic research as DNA sequence alignment, protein interactions, and prediction of gene expression. A team of scientists from around the country met in July to discuss ICR's genome project and the computer software and bioinformatic approaches that will best support their research efforts. The meeting also allowed the scientists to share updates on their current work and discuss directions for future investigation. The research is meticulous and time-consuming, but the new opportunities are exciting. Look for progress reports in Acts & Facts.
Sounds pretty scientific, doesn't it? In fact, ICR makes a remarkable contrast with the Discovery Institute. The latter organization claims its fosters a robust research program to demonstrate the viability of “intelligent design” as a scientific (and nontheistic) rival to the theory of evolution, but to date it's accomplished virtually nothing. ICR, on the other hand, vigorously attempts to make its case, dedicating itself to projects such as the one described in the above passage.

However... you may have noticed the ellipsis in the excerpt I quoted from Acts & Facts. Let me give you the entirety of the sentence I truncated:
ICR joined the field in 2005 with its GENE project, with a goal of analyzing the human genome in order to demonstrate that humans and animals are not distant cousins who sprang from the same microbe living in the primordial soup millions of years ago.
Yes, that was to be expected. ICR has already drawn its conclusions. Now it's time to bend the research results to fit the pre-selected creationist model.

ICR can call its GENE project whatever it wants, but science it is not.


ericlcila said...

...And you have already drawn your conclusions. Evolution is not a "proven" thing. ICR is honest about their worldview and assumptions. Evolutionist researchers pen their biases into the research as a given and call it science. Don't grant the one without granting the other. Thank you for having criticism which is not foul. It is nevertheless, biased to a worldview instead of science.

Zeno said...

I suspect you don't know much about science if you boil it down to a clash in "worldviews." Real science has correctives built into it and its conclusions undergo constant refinement and revision. ICR has sacrosanct conclusions in its mission statement—the exact opposite of science.