If creationists really wanted to earn a place in science class, it would be easy. Well, it would be easy if their theories had any scientific merit.
Just do some science.
That's all it takes
Come up with a hypothesis that says "If creationism (or intelligent design) is true'and only if it's true'then X will be true." Then set about doing research that proves X is true.
Funding shouldn't be a problem. The Discovery Institute, which promotes "intelligent design" (creationism with the serial numbers filed off) as a first step in making science more Christian
has a budget of around $2 million. Creationists have scraped together money for multiple creationist museums
. Creationist Kent Hovind once offered a quarter-million for anyone who could prove evolution to his satisfaction. If anyone has a research idea for proving creationism/ID, the money is there.
And if there's one thing that can force scientists to change established theories, it's better science. Certainly challenging an established theory with a century of evidence behind it is difficult. Scientists are often reluctant to believe new ideas, even with solid proof. Even so, countless scientists have challenged the status quo and triumphed (Darwin among them), so it's doable.
Yet while I've heard creationists give lip service to the idea that their beliefs are "creation science," they never actually do any science. Instead, they write press releases, solicit vouchers
for schools that teach creationism or lobby legislators
and school districts to "teach the controversy."
To put it as nicely as possible, this is unadulterated bullshit. There is no controversy.
Okay, there is a controversy if you believe the creation story in Genesis is a literal account of life's beginning. Evolution doesn't fit with the spontaneous creation of all living beings in six days. But that's a religious controversy. In science, evolution's no more controversial than the Earth going round the sun.
True, science has revised lots of the details since Darwin first expressed his ideas; Darwin, after all, wrote decades before the discovery of genes and a century before DNA. But the concept of evolution, that living creatures change over time in response to natural selection? That remains solid.
Scientists have made predictions'"If evolution is true, and only then, we should see X"'and they've been verified. Despite the claims of creationists that there are no transitional fossils, paleontologists have unearthed thousands of them. Likewise, while creationists and IDers often insist this or that biological feature can't possibly have developed by evolution, geneticists and scientists have found plausible genetic paths for it to happen (Kenneth Miller's Finding Darwin's God
gives a good overview of this).
Creationism, conversely, has been thoroughly disproven. Fossil evidence shows that species did not all get created in one week a few thousand or even a few million years ago. We live on an Earth millions of years old with species that change over time and sometimes go extinct. Every counter-argument creationists and intelligent-design advocates offer invariably flops and goes belly up.
Even if someone disproves evolution some day, that wouldn't make creationists right. Science isn't like a football game: Creationism and intelligent design can't win by default. It takes evidence to win, and creationists don't have any. Teaching creationism/ID as scientifically valid makes no more sense than teaching any other failed evolutionary theory, such as catastrophism, Lamarckianism and Lysenkoism.
That's presumably why creationists don't do research: A lot of them are aware that more science is only going to produce more evidence against their side. For others, the science is irrelevant. They believe Genesis is literal, therefore all facts to the contrary are irrelevant, if not Satanic.
Writing press releases and giving interviews about teaching the controversy and academic freedom and challenging established theories sounds so much better and more reasonable. And it even makes sense'well, if there was a controversy, or if they had anything to challenge established belief with.
They don't. Saying schools should teach "creation science" in any way shape or form makes no more sense than saying schools should teach "flat earth geography."