Worldviews and Pseudoscience

Pseudoscience can be defined as an idea that is presented as scientific but which does not use the scientific method, lacks evidence, or cannot be tested. Pseudoscience is a term that is often used, and abused, by both sides of those involved with the Creation and Evolution debate.

Worldviews and Ideologies

Worldviews are a concept or image of the universe and man’s relationship to it. Ideologies are beliefs or bodies of doctrine that guide an individual or group. Both worldviews and ideologies are primary sources of confirmation bias and pseudoscience. These things encourage a person to jump to a conclusion that goes beyond what the immediate facts state. Whether it is Evolution or Creation that is a the worldview or ideology, it can strongly effect the interpretation of data. In fact, both creationists and evolutionists have the same data and facts to work with … they just interpret them differently according to their views. True science would take the facts and see which concept is actually supported rather than assuming one or the other.

Science and Pseudoscience

Defining Pseudoscience

Pseudoscience is a concept or idea which has the appearance of being scientific but which in reality is unscientific, unprovable, or even false. It is not unusual for pseudoscience claims to rely on confirmation of the idea rather than refutation of the idea which is the process usually used in scientific inquiry. It can include exaggerated or unprovable claims and can lack an evaluation by experts.

True Science

Actual scientific investigation deals with the physical world which can be studied by empirical research and testing. One of the primary goals of science is to increase knowledge by following where the evidence leads. The opposite of this is the process involving confirmation bias where one has a finished concept and is searching for evidence to support it. Science starts with a solid base of facts and looks for conclusions while confirmation bias starts with a conclusion and then looks for facts to support it.

The Creation and Evolution Debate

The Creation and Evolution debate is full of examples of science, pseudoscience, and non-science (perhaps better called nonsense). All of these can be presented by both creationists and evolutionists. The more reputable sources will try to stay strictly with science or distinguish separately those concepts which fall outside of science. However, the less reputable sources of information (non-scientists, internet forum debaters, etc.) will give or pass along much information that is pseudoscience. Therefore, when evolutionists accuse creationists of using pseudoscience or when creationists accuse evolutionists of using pseudoscience they are likely to be overgeneralizing although they could genuinely be dealing with a not so reputable source.

Are Creation and Evolution Science or Pseudoscience?

The simple answer is both. At this time in history, both Creation and Evolution are concepts for which people would like to prove and are trying to gather evidence. This leaves both of them ripe for pseudoscience to mix with real science. Often, what is given as fact is just a person’s individual interpretation of actual scientific research.

Grand Canyon Example

A common example of this comes from studying the formation of the Grand Canyon. Creation Theory states that it formed in a short time due primarily to large scale flooding and secondarily to subsequent glacial action. Natural Origin Theory states the canyon formed over hundreds of millions of years by river erosion. Interestingly, both sides will use the same geological rock formations to support their theory.

The scientific facts about the Grand Canyon include such items as the composition of the rocks, the layering of the rocks, the fossils within the rocks, the existence of a river within the canyon, fossil footprints that in some areas only go uphill, and such items as that. Comparing the evolutionist and creationist interpretations of these facts can be interesting. For example, it is a fact that there is currently a river running through the canyon. Evolutionists interpret this through a Uniformitarian worldview and state that the river has caused the erosion that has formed the canyon. Creationists will interpret this as what remains after a worldwide flood (a scriptural worldview).

With further study, the facts include: #1. the river does not start at the top but instead enters the canyon 3,000 feet below #2. there is no alluvial plain where the river would have dumped the eroded sediments #3. there are routes the river could have taken around the Colorado Uplift rather than taking time to erode a passage through it. Do these facts prove or disprove Evolution and/or Creation? No. Taken together, the few facts given here only show that, most likely, the Colorado River did not carve the Grand Canyon. [Please note that there are many, many more facts and conclusions regarding the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon … this is just a sampling to make a point.]

XVIII. Last Updated: 02/01/2016
Todd Elder

Todd Elder

Todd Elder has a deep desire to understand and experience Creation. As a Baraminologist, his current research includes developing the Katagenos Species Concept, the Natanzera Classification System, and the Floral Formula Method of determining Plant Kinds. As an author and speaker, his books and seminar materials are designed to encourage a growing relationship with the Creator.
Todd Elder

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