Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
Greetings, readers. My name is James Applewhite, and I am a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Notre Dame majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Anthropology. I have created this blog with the intent to refute and challenge the various perspectives being taught by a website known as Answers in Genesis.
AIG is a fundamentalist Christian church organization based in America that teaches Young Earth creationism based on a strict, literal interpretation of the Bible. As president of the organization, Ken Ham strives to promote his beliefs in any way possible, sometimes even challenging well-known scientists. The organization strongly rejects any and all scientific evidence that goes against biblical interpretation. Yet, AIG is quick to accept any empirical data or scientific observation that validates its creationist narrative. In this website, I will point out and explain AIG’s creationist claims and what they get wrong about science. Throughout the examples, a common pattern becomes clear: AIG uses scientific observations when convenient and attempts to refute them when they pose a challenge to their creationist beliefs. In many cases, they even contradict their own arguments, relying on the average reader to not notice. In this sense, AIG uses “bad science” through a confirmation bias in which they only accept empirical data that fits their argument, choosing to ignore all other evidence.
I hope to reach out to people of all ages curious about science and seeking to understand what constitutes science vs. pseudoscience. AIG attempts to reach out to people of all ages and backgrounds, especially trying to refute what most Americans have been taught in our education system regarding evolution and the origin of the universe. My intent is not to disregard any person’s religious beliefs. In fact, as a Catholic who believes that science and faith do not have to be mutually exclusive and can complement one another perfectly, I believe every person has the right to their own faith and see the the value in religiosity. Instead, I aim to examine how AIG uses science erroneously in order to support and convey its message.
I will leave you from this direct quote from the AIG website:
Thus science is not the “window to the past”! This notion is based on a complete misunderstanding of the nature of evidence. What we observe and measure today exists in the present. We can repeat our observations tomorrow, but we can’t go back to last week to repeat them. The only way we know our observations were the same last week as they are today is if we have an eyewitness testimony from someone who made the same observations last week.
It is my hope that as you read this blog, you understand how this is a profound misunderstanding of science, what it stands for, and what it can accomplish. Teachings like this that ridicule the scientific method and attempt to instill in Americans a radical disbelief of empirical data will not only inhibit people’s understandings about the world around them but more importantly limit our future progress as a society.