Can creationists be scientists?
by Dr. Jason Lisle, Ph.D., astrophysics, AiG–USA speaker and researcher
First published inAnswers Update–USAApril 2005
It has been often said that “creationists cannot be real scientists.”
Several years ago, the National Academy of Sciences published a guidebook entitled Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science.1 This guidebook states that evolution is “the most important concept in modern biology, a concept essential to understanding key aspects of living things.”
In addition, the late evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky once made the now well-known comment that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”2
But is a belief in “particles-to-people” evolution really necessary to understand biology and other sciences? Is it even helpful? Are there any technological advances that have been made because of a belief in evolution?
Although evolutionists interpret the evidence in light of their belief in evolution, science works perfectly well without any connection to evolution. Think about it this way: is a belief in molecules-to-man evolution necessary to understand how a computer works, how planets orbit the sun, how telescopes operate, or how plants and animals function? Has any biological or medical research benefited from a belief in evolution? No, not at all.
In fact, the Ph.D. cell biologist (and creationist) Dr. David Menton, who speaks at many conferences, has stated, “The fact is that, though widely believed, evolution contributes nothing to our understanding of empirical science and thus plays no essential role in biomedical research or education.”3
Nor has technology arisen due to a belief in evolution. Computers, cellular phones and DVD players all operate based on the laws of physics which God created. It is because God created a logical, orderly universe and gave us the ability to reason and to be creative that technology is possible. How can a belief in evolution (a belief that complex biological machines do not require an intelligent designer) aid in the development of complex machines which are clearly intelligently designed?
Technology has shown us that sophisticated machines require intelligent designers—not random chance. Science and technology are perfectly consistent with the Bible.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that there have been many scientists who believed in biblical creation. In my own research field of astrophysics, I am reminded of several of the great minds of history. Consider Isaac Newton, who co-discovered calculus, formulated the laws of motion and gravity, computed the nature of planetary orbits, invented the reflecting telescope and made a number of discoveries in optics.
Consider Johannes Kepler, who discovered the three laws of planetary motion, or James Clerk Maxwell who discovered the four fundamental equations that light and all forms of electromagnetic radiation obey. These great scientists believed the Bible.
Today as well, there are many Ph.D. scientists who reject evolution and instead believe that God created in six days as recorded in Scripture. Consider Dr. Russ Humphreys, a Ph.D. nuclear physicist who has developed (among many other things) a model to compute the present strength of planetary magnetic fields4 which was able to predict the field strengths of the outer planets. Did a belief in the Bible hinder his research? Not at all.
On the contrary, Dr. Humphreys was able to make these predictions precisely because he started from the principles of Scripture. Dr. John Baumgardner, a Ph.D. geophysicist and biblical creationist, has a model of catastrophic plate tectonics, which the journal Nature once featured (this model is based on the global Genesis Flood).
Additionally, think of all the people who have benefited from a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. The MRI scanner was developed by the creationist Dr. Raymond Damadian5 who has been featured twice in Creation magazine.
Clearly, creationists can indeed be real scientists. And this shouldn’t be surprising since the very basis for scientific research is biblical creation. The universe is orderly because its Creator is logical and has imposed order on the universe. God created our minds and gave us the ability and curiosity to study the universe. Furthermore, we can trust that the universe will obey the same physics tomorrow as it does today because God is consistent. This is why science is possible.
On the other hand, if the universe is just an accidental product of a big bang, why should it be orderly? Why should there be laws of nature if there is no lawgiver? If our brains are the by-products of random chance, why should we trust that their conclusions are accurate? But if our minds have been designed, and if the universe has been constructed by the Lord as the Bible teaches, then of course we should be able to study nature.
Yes, science is possible because the Bible is true.