The writing activities of the Institute are particularly aimed at preparing suitable textbooks and other literature for use in schools and colleges, both public and Christian ... The teaching materials are all developed within the integrating framework of scientific creationism. The goal is to produce such materials in all fields and at all grade levels, so that the entire educational process can be carried out within the framework of the scientific creationist Biblical world-view in Christian schools and on a purely scientific "two-model" basis in public schools. 
The economic motive behind the ICR's efforts to get states to adopt equal-time rules requiring creationism to be taught along with evolutionary biology in public schools is quite obvious. Being one of the few sources of so-called "two-model" textbooks, the ICR would make a bundle if even a single state surrendered to the benighted legions of Creationdom.
What The ICR "Knows"
Unlike other institutes of scientific research, the ICR already "knows" everything about the world that is really important. Before the ICR ever existed,
"Dr. [Henry] Morris ... was asked to organize the appropriate departments and curricula, all with strong emphasis ... on Christian evidences, the scientific integrity of the Bible, and the foundational priority of creationism and full Biblical authority in every field." 
Given the "foundational priority of creationism and full Biblical authority in every field," we see that ICR "scientists" have an advantage over all others - they can resort to revelation as a source of information about the world. The ICR catalog tells us that
The Institute for Creation Research bases its educational philosophy on the foundational truth of a personal Creator-God and His authoritative and unique revelation of truth in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments ... More explicitly, the administration and faculty of ICR are committed to the tenets of both scientific creationism and Biblical creationism as formulated below. A clear distinction is drawn between scientific creationism and Biblical creationism but it is the position of the Institute that the two are compatible and that all genuine facts of science support the Bible... 
In addition to a firm commitment to creationism and to full Biblical inerrancy and authority, the ICR Graduate School is committed to traditional education and to high standards of academic excellence. 
Given the scientific "revelations" found in the Bible, ICR astronomers can know that the sun, moon, and stars are embedded in a "firmament," without having to look through a telescope.  ICR ornithologists can know that there are four-legged birds  and feathered bats  without having to do any field-work. Without bothering to go to the zoo, ICR mammalogists can know that rabbits chew the cud  and camels lack cloven hooves.  ICR physiologists do not need to do expensive biochemical experiments to elucidate the mechanisms of life, since they already "know" that it is blood or breath  that makes something alive. (Given the need of "living things" to have either blood or breath, ICR botanists admittedly have little advantage over heathen botanists - if it is an actual ICR assumption that plants and bacteria are alive!) The geologists at ICR know that all the sedimentary rocks were laid down in the single year of Noah's Flood, and thus have no need of all the expensive and time-consuming analytical procedures and equipment used by stratigraphers, sedimentary petrologists, and paleontologists. If ICR should ever acquire any psychologists, they would know that they have to bypass the brain and go to the heart if they want to study the organ of grief, and go to the kidneys  if they want to study the seat of the conscience.
Thanks to the Old Testament revelation that the universe was created around 4004 BCE, in ICR's "Master's program in Astro/Geophysics ... The focus is on the young age of the cosmos."  Thanks to the revelations in Genesis, chapters 6-9, ICR's
Master's program in Geology distinctively emphasized [sic]  catastrophism in its many areas of application, especially the catastrophic processes which characterized Noah's Flood. 
Because of revelations in both the Old and New Testaments, "The Master's program in Biology treats the nature and origin of the living state as a reflection of scientific design and God's purpose." Exactly which revealed bit of truth accounts for the fact that "The Master's program in Science Education trains students in the skill of information transfer for creation theory and science" is unclear, however. On the one hand, this would appear to be grounded in the Book of Revelation's account of the unleashing of hostilities between Gog and Magog  - a clear prophecy of warfare between public and parochial schools, if ever I saw one. On the other hand, contemplation of ICR graduates out spreading "the word" in public schools quickly leads one's thoughts to the prophecy in the Book of Revelation  describing the release of angels carrying the seven last plagues.
Two Types Of Creationism?
We have just seen that the ICR seeks to distinguish between two types of creationism: "scientific" and "Biblical." The distinction is, of course, specious, and the ICR Catalog even admits "that the two are compatible and that all genuine facts of science support the Bible." A moment's reflection suffices to make it clear that all creationism is Biblical - or at least religious - and no creationism can be scientific. Why, then, if these conclusions be correct, do creationists pretend there is a difference?
A study of the history of creationism and the fight to outlaw the teaching of evolution in the public schools shows quite clearly that the attempt to distinguish between "scientific" and "Biblical" forms of creationism is actually an attempt to deceive the public and the courts. When the courts ruled creationism-inspired anti evolution laws unconstitutional, creationists had to develop a different strategy in order to protect their pet delusion. If they could offer both creationism and evolutionary biology in the public schools, the resulting confusion would be more than adequate to prevent evolutionary theory from being understood to any significant degree, and the seeds of creationism thus sown could then be sprouted and fostered in fundamentalist Sunday schools.
It did not take long, however, for creationists to realize that a biology syllabus mentioning Adam and Eve, Satan and original sin, Noah's Ark, and the other mythological foundation-stones of creationist belief would never pass constitutional muster. After all, the so-called "tenets of Biblical Creationism" commence with a confession of the triune nature of the godhead (which "exists in three Persons, each of whom participated in the work of creation") and culminate in a warning to those who reject Jesus: "Those who reject Him, however, or who neglect to believe on Him ... must ultimately be consigned to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
And so it was necessary to sanitize the tenets of the creationist religion; the tenets had to be made to look less obviously religious. Where possible, the vocabulary of science had to be employed in order to create the illusion that what is being promoted is simply an alternative type of science - aconstitutionally permissible type of science.
The ICR Catalog says, on page twelve, that
ICR maintains that scientific creationism should be taught along with the scientific aspects of evolutionism in tax-supported institutions, and that both scientific and Biblical creationism should be taught in Christian schools.
Thus the fraud of "scientific creationism" has come to be.
Where's The Science?
It is extremely rare for a creationist debater explicitly to state the claims of "creation science." Almost always, an attack on evolutionary theory is launched instead, and most creationists take care to prevent their opponents from attracting any attention to the nonsensical claims of creationism. The reason for this is simple: "scientific creationism" is religion, and the creationists know it. They know that even a casual examination of their would-be scientific system would convince practically anybody that there is no science in "creation science."
The science writer Robert Schadewald, a veteran creationist-watcher and defender of science education, has observed that this need to deflect critical inquiry away from the preposterosities of creationist claims usually leads to exchanges logically equivalent to the following:
Evolutionist: "Tell me something about the claims of creationism"
Creationist: "Evolution sucks."
Evolutionist: "That's rather negative, don't you think? Can't you tell me something positive about creationism?"
Creationist: "Evolution positively sucks!"
One would imagine that creationists have frequent nightmares, in which their debate opponents point out that Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace, independently and on opposite sides of the world, discovered the principle of natural selection - a rather strong indication that the principle does in fact reflect something real in nature. What shivers must shake their frames when they dream of evolutionists challenging them to imagine the implausibility of the creationism equivalent: two people, who had never read the Bible and had never been culturally brainwashed with Biblical mythology, independently studying the world of nature and then both concluding that the world was less than six thousand years old and had been miraculously created in six days, that birds have been here longer than reptiles, that green plants are older than the sun, and that all the world's humans are descended from a family of eight white people who beached an oceanliner-sized boat on the top of a seventeen thousand-foot high volcano - in Turkey. Oh, yes: and they beached their boat in the year 2348 or 2347 BCE.
In view of the preceding it is extremely important to find that the ICR actually lists the tenets of "scientific creationism" - as well as the tenets of "Biblical creationism" - in its 1985-1987 Graduate School Catalog (see sidebar). Even a brief examination of these "tenets" will suffice to show their religious nature and to demonstrate their incompatibility with the principles of genuine scientific procedures.
The problems begin with the first tenet, which maintains the universe "was supernaturally created by a transcendent personal Creator." The incorporation of supernatural causes automatically places creationism beyond the bounds of science: real science can only deal with natural causes. And what is to be done with a transcendent personality? If it is transcendent, how can we even know we are dealing with a personality? By definition, transcendent things are beyond the physical universe. What science can presume to deal with things beyond the physical universe? How could a real scientist even know there are such things - science being limited in its scope to things that can be detected?
The supernatural rears its unscientific head in the second tenet too: life did not arise naturally, but was "specially and supernaturally created by the Creator." How could a real scientist know this supernatural act was "special" rather than routine? How would one go about gathering evidence? How could one know (scientifically!) that there was but one supernatural creator? Why not four? Why not a transcendent committee of beings belonging to five flavors, six sexes, and seven species?
Tenet number four also requires supernatural acts to account for the so-called "spiritual" nature of humanity. Curiously, the enumerated components of this spiritual nature - self-image, moral consciousness, abstract reasoning, language, will, religious nature - are all things commonly studied by anthropology and psychology without any need for supernatural causes.
It should be noted that the fourth tenet additionally claims that "the first human beings did not evolve from an animal ancestry, but were specially created in fully human form from the start." Reminding ourselves that this is a statement of a conclusion which, in real science, could be stated only after a great amount of research had been done, we can only wonder why the fossil record exhibits so many forms that appear to link modern humans to arbitrarily primitive primate relatives.
Although the fourth tenet relies upon supernatural causes, it nevertheless comes close to being a statement testable by scientific means - if one is willing to add to it a few more theological assumptions. If one assumes that the god of the Christians is "good" and is not a deceiver - assumptions even most creationists should be willing to make - then it would seem the fourth tenet is falsified by the facts of nature. Who but a deceiver would create humans independently of all other forms of life but then place fossils in the earth which appear smoothly to connect them to the lineage of the apes?
But more than just the fossil record implies either evolution or divine deception: the evidence from comparative biochemistry is unequivocal. Human genes are nearly 99% identical to those of the chimpanzee, and about 98% identical to those of gorillas. Moreover, a comparison of the chromosome structures of apes and humans shows that these nearly identical sets of genetic instructions also are packaged in the chromosomes in nearly identical fashion. Who but a deceiver would create unrelated organisms with such a false appearance of genetic relationship?
But this isn't all. There is yet a third level of genetic evidence that links apes to humans - unless, of course, everything is the result of a diabolical deceiver. Humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas are known to share not only genes, but pseudogenes as well! Pseudogenes are the ultimate in vestigial organs. They are genes which occupy space on the chromosomes, are replicated whenever cells reproduce, and are identical to working genes in all but one feature: they lack a DNA control sequence which allows them to be "switched on" to cause specific proteins to be produced. One can easily understand how a genetic defect (loss of a small stretch of DNA) in a distant ancestor might be carried on by many different descendant lineages. But what is one to say about the goodness and honesty of a deity that gives useless genetic baggage - let alone the same useless baggage - to apes and Anabaptists alike?
While the tenets examined thus far are more than sufficient to show that "scientific creationism" has nothing in common with real science, the sixth tenet is down-right perspicuous (to use the term beloved at ICR) in its depiction of a system light-years away from anything legitimately called science. It clearly claims that the laws of nature continue to operate from moment-to-moment only because a god continuously makes them do so. It points out, however, that "there is always the possibility of miraculous intervention in these laws or processes by their Creator," and then goes on to make the theological assertion that
Evidences for such intervention should be scrutinized critically, however, because there must be clear and adequate reason for any such action on the part of the Creator.
There is a famous cartoon by Sidney Harris which shows two scientists at a blackboard. The left and right sides of the blackboard contain complicated, Einsteinian mathematical symbols. At the center of the board, however, is the notation "then a miracle occurs." The cartoon would seem to be a life-like depiction of the work-day at ICR. Of course, the caption under the cartoon makes it clear that the blackboard is not at the ICR. One of the scientists in the cartoon advises the other, "I think you should be more explicit here in step two." At the ICR, in the unlikely event that such a criticism should ever be raised in the first place, the "scientist" who invoked the miracle would simply cite a "clear and adequate reason" for the miracle required. And that would be that.
Just such a "clear and adequate reason" for a miracle arose not long ago, in the midst of a debate I was having with Duane Gish, the ICR's superstar debater, on a radio station in Columbus, Ohio. Since Gish held that the universe is only a few thousand years old, a caller pointed out that the fact that we can see stars and galaxies millions of light-years away - meaning that the light we see has been traveling for millions of years. About to have his aces trumped by a fact of science, Gish simply replied that god could easily have created the light already en route, and that the light we see never actually came from a star!
Gish scored no points on this occasion, however, because I pointed out that the ability to resort to miracles whenever needed to save one's "theory" makes creationism a game played without rules. Real scientists are required to play by the rules without exception. Creationists follow the rules of science only so long as it is expedient. Then they resort to miracles. But resorting to miracles is not offering an explanation: it is asserting that no real explanation exists.  Whenever creationists resort to miracles, they are admitting that their system cannot account for the facts of nature; it cannot explain the world.
Institute For What Research?
According to the ICR Catalog's entry titled "Purpose and Objectives," the ICR
has the specific purposes of education, research and publication in the broad fields of scientific and Biblical creationism. Research studies are conducted on projects involving the relation of scientific phenomena to the facts of Creation, the Flood, and other important historical events as recorded both in the Bible and in the phenomena of nature. 
The notion that research is done at the ICR is found also in the "History" part of the catalog, which opines that
this is the first time a significant body of scientists and their support team have come together on a full-time basis to do research, writing and teaching in scientific Biblical creationism. [Emphasis added]
The facts of the matter are quite different.
The report of the committee that visited the ICR in August of 1989 revealed that no research was done there, nor did it appear possible for research to be done. Although the ICR claims to be a graduate institute capable of granting Master's degrees in Astro/Geophysics, Biology, Geology, and Science Education, it was actually a four-room grad-school at the time of the visit! Each department was allotted one room, approximately 500 square feet in area, in which both lectures and laboratories were conducted. Just as there is a "nature area" at the back of Miss Alice's kindergarten, where the children can learn about hamsters, turtles, and pet rocks, so too at the back of each of the ICR rooms there was a laboratory nook.
The committee's report stated that
The Biology laboratory contains a small amount of equipment of the sort found in a very modestly equipped high school. There is no equipment of any sort for carrying out experiments in biochemistry or molecular biology ... ICR offers no opportunity for training in modern experimental biology, and this deficiency inevitably will impact the ability of ICR graduates to function later as teachers. 
The "laboratory" for the Astro/Geophysics department apparently had no equipment functioning at the time, although one of the two professors was building a radiocarbon dating apparatus. The visiting committee doubted, however, that it would be up and running in the foreseeable future.
The lack of laboratory facilities highlighted not only the fact that no actual research was done at ICR, but also the fact that the creationist philosophy rendered research unnecessary: everything of importance has already been revealed in the Bible. Experimentation or observation is resorted to only when it is needed to "prove" that what the Bible claimed millennia ago is actually true.
Given the lack of laboratory facilities, it is not surprising to learn than almost none of the seventeen M.S. theses accepted by ICR at the time of the evaluation had involved any actual original investigations of nature. According to the visiting committee,
Nearly all of these theses were works of advocacy rather than investigation. They set out, not to find out something, but to prove something - one or another of the creationist tenets. 
Evaluating the Astro/Geophysics theses produced by ICR graduates, the committee noted that
...the earlier Astro/Geophysics theses are unscientific, improperly supervised, cavalier concerning scientific method, and unacceptable at any comparable scientific institution. All had been accepted as valid pieces of research by the ICR faculty, including persons presumably having professional expertise in the subjects. 
The committee report went on to discuss a scandal surrounding an exceptionally incompetent M.S. thesis in Astro/Geophysics, telling how the "research" had been begun with the assistance of a professor who had retired before the student could finish his thesis. When the thesis finally was finished, a new professor - the person most qualified to evaluate the thesis - refused to sign it.
Nevertheless, it was accepted officially over the signatures of only two faculty members rather than three ... When questioned on this issue, the Dean responded that he was embarrassed by the thesis but felt that he had to approve it out of courtesy to Prof. Barnes and consideration of the time and effort that the student had put into it. These good intentions placed the official seal of approval of ICR, and the reputation that goes with that approval, on non-scientific work. They led to conferral of the ICR M.S. degree in Astro/Geophysics upon a man who is not a competent scientist, and sent him into the public arena with this certification. 
So much for the graduates. What of the faculty of the ICR? What earth-shaking research are they producing? Once again, let us see a bit of the visiting committee's report:
The Institute for Creation Research, by its very name, implies that it is the site of original scientific research. yet not one of the resident faculty members can be said to have an active, ongoing research program. In fact, those faculty who did have research programs prior to arrival at ICR seem to have dropped out of research entirely since their arrival. 
The report of the committee that examined the ICR in August of 1989 - and recommended that its license to grant graduate degrees in science be revoked - strongly corroborates my thesis that creationism is science in reverse. We have seen that creation "scientists" start with desired conclusions. It is clear that a person who already possess "the answer" before doing any work is not likely to have much motivation to do the work.
There is, however, a more insidious sense in which the creationists at the ICR and elsewhere are reversing science. Since the tenets of creationism are threatened by all sciences, there is a strong effort on the part of creationists to reverse the progress of everything from astronomy to zoology. So long as students obtain a satisfactory understanding of any science, creationism is in danger - hence the creationist attempts to censor all the sciences taught in the public schools.
We must hope that fewer and fewer Americans will be deceived by the fraudulent claims of professional creationists, and we must work to get the word out that practicing creationism is not practicing science - it is reversing science.
 An example of unincluded factors causing an essentially correct hypothesis to be "falsified" is seen in the case when Newtonian celestial mechanics was used to predict the orbit of the planet Uranus. Although Newtonian methods had predicted the orbits of all the other planets beautifully, its predictions for Uranus were consistently off the mark. Instead of having to abandon or make drastic revisions in Newtonian mechanics, it was predicted that an unincluded factor - an unknown planet - was causing the departures of Uranus from its calculated orbit. Predictions of where such a planet would have to be to produce the observed distortions of Uranus' orbit led to the discovery of the planet Neptune.
 "Luminaries" is an inappropriate word. How can persons dedicated to the spreading of darkness beluminaries? Perhaps they should be called tenebrosities.
 An example of such a declaration, required when ICR was still a part of Christian Heritage College, is quoted at the beginning of this article. Nowadays, ICR staff have to agree to the much more detailed "Tenets of Scientific and Biblical Creationism" discussed below.
 1985-1987 Graduate School Catalog: Institute for Creation Research, 10946 Woodside Ave. N, Santee, California 92071, page 8.
 Ibid., page 9.
 Ibid., page 12.
 Ibid., page 15.
 "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters ..." [Gen. 1:6] "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth." [Gen. 1:16-17]
 "All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination to you." [Lev. 11:20]
 Bats must have feathers because they are birds, according to Lev. 11:13-19: "And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls ... the stork, and the lapwing, and the bat."
 "And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you." [Lev. 11:6]
 "... the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you." [Lev. 11:4]
 Blood vs. breath: "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." [Gen. 9:4] versus "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." [Gen. 2:7]
 "Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins [kidneys]." [Psalm 73:21] ICR psychologists surely would notice also that the word 'brain' does not appear even once in the entire Bible. What better proof than that, that the brain is of no use or significance to a creation "scientist"?
 ICR Catalog, page 30.
 The past tense appears to be a typographic error, since catastrophism is still being emphasized by ICR at this very minute. Readers will be interested to note that one of the careers listed as being suitable for graduates of the geology program is "writer or lecturer in para-church apologetics ministry."
 ICR Catalog, page 33.
 Rev. 20:8.
 Rev. 15:6-7.
 ICR Catalog, pp. 14-15.
 I am indebted to Robert Schadewald for being the first to explain this point with great clarity.
 ICR Catalog, page 8.
 California State Department of Education, Private Postsecondary Education Division, January 12, 1990, Report of Visitation of the Institute For Creation Research, August 7,8,9,10, 1989, page 28.
 Ibid., page 35.
 Ibid., page 40.
 Ibid., page 42.
 Ibid., page 21.
|TENETS OF SCIENTIFIC CREATIONISM