The essence of creation science, as Isaac Asimov explains in his article "The Threat of Creationism" (New York Times, June 14, 1981, Sunday, Late City Final Edition, Section 6; Page 90, Column 3) is that it is an attempt to gain political power for the religious right. This power centers on advancing conservative religious values through the manipulation of the school curriculum. Asimov gives seven different creationist arguments (parenthetical summaries are mine) along with reasons why the arguments don't hold water:

  • The argument from analogy
    (just as a watch is complex because it was designed by an intelligence, so life is complex because it was designed by an intelligence)
  • The argument from general consent
    (most people and religions believe in a creation story, so the story must be true)
  • The argument by belittlement
    (evolution is "only a theory" so it's probably wrong)
  • The argument from imperfection.
    (the evolution theory is imperfect and textbooks have mistakes, so the theory is thereby discredited)
  • The argument from distorted science
    (evolution contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
  • The argument from irrelevance
    (see below)
  • The argument from authority
    (the Bible is the inspired word of God, and any other explanations cannot be true.)

For the purposes of this node, the most salient argument is "The argument from irrelevance," which essentially states that scientific data are not relevant since all reality is created by God and thus all of our alleged scientific evidence is really arranged in such a way as to make us think that the world is billions of years old. As Asimov persuasively argues, that argument "is itself irrelevant, for it can neither be proved nor disproved." He also adds that such an argument presupposes a creator that is a "cruel and malicious prankster," which no creation scientist wants to assert.

Taken as a whole, however, Asimov is saying that creation science is an unfair attempt to smuggle religion into the classroom as the dominant idea. He asks rhetorically, "Do you suppose their devotion to 'fairness' is such that they will give equal time to evolution in their churches?"

The idea that creation science is not science does not discredit religion or science. It merely states that the two endeavors are separate, and that in order to do science one must agree to base one's arguments on verifiable evidence and falsifiable theories.