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Creationism is Bad Science, Bad Theology, Too

There is another aspect to scientific creationism (The Scientist, November 17, 1986, pp.10-11) that nobody seems to mention. The obvious aim of the fundamentalism-oriented scientific creationists is to combat atheism. In this endeavor, they render great disservice to science because they identify evolutionary science with atheism. This is well known. What is being missed, however, is that they also render great disservice to sound theology as well. Jean Danielou, S.J., a scripture scholar, state

By | January 12, 1987

There is another aspect to scientific creationism (The Scientist, November 17, 1986, pp.10-11) that nobody seems to mention. The obvious aim of the fundamentalism-oriented scientific creationists is to combat atheism. In this endeavor, they render great disservice to science because they identify evolutionary science with atheism. This is well known. What is being missed, however, is that they also render great disservice to sound theology as well.

Jean Danielou, S.J., a scripture scholar, states in his book In the Beginning... (Helicon, 1965), an exegetical study of the first three chapters of Genesis, that the theological aim of these chapters was the demythologization of all contemporary polytheistic religious influences on the Jewish people. The statement of Genesis is that there is but one God who is the creator of all else. The Babylonian goddess Tiamat becomes simply the created ocean, and Marduk, the god of light, is just light brought forth by the creating word of God.

This theological contention, however, has been expressed in the book of Genesis in anthropomorphic terms. We read in the second chapter that "On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing." This anthropomorphism is being carried to an extreme by the scientific creationists. They attempt to place the divine act of creation into time and by doing so they make time to be the real absolute over God. This is absurd. They actually reverse the meaning of Genesis and make god out of a created phenomenon.

Let us, therefore, demythologize scientific creationism and state clearly that space and time are created phenomena. God does not create in time, but is the creator of time. We, on the other hand, are created beings, and we do exist in space and time. No wonder that God's creation appears to us in a process.

I am all for equal time in schools for good science and for good theology, but scientific creationism should be disqualified on both counts.

-Andrew L. Szebenyi, S.J.
Department of Biology, Le Moyne College
Le Moyne Heights, Syracuse, NY 13214

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