Science vs. the Bible: Debate Moves to the Cosmos

John E. Rylander (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 08:45:23 -0500

genuine problem in some particular school districts.

One thing I like in this article: they actually use the phrase "Young-Earth
Creationist", which is an admirable gain in precision. (Now to the next
level: distinguishing between YECs generally, and "YE Creation Scientists"
(YECSs), those who claim not only YEC, but that it's the best or a good
scientific theory -- monumentally more implausible claims.)


October 10, 1999

Science vs. the Bible: Debate Moves to the Cosmos
Related Article
New Mexico Bars Creationism From State Curriculum (Oct. 9, 1999)


Scientific lessons about the origins of life have long been challenged in
public schools, but some Bible literalists are now adding the reigning
theory about the origin of the universe to their list of targets.

Nearly overlooked in the furor over the Kansas school board's vote in August
to remove evolution from its education standards was a decision on the
teaching of the science of the cosmos. Influenced by a handful of scientists
whose literal faith in the Bible has helped convince them that the universe
is only a few thousand years old, the board deleted from its standards a
description of the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins, the central organizing
principle of modern astronomy and cosmology.

The Big Bang theory, based on decades of astronomical observations and
physics research, suggests that the universe originated in a colossal
explosion of matter and radiation some 15 billion years ago.

But "young Earth creationists," as they are generally known, have come up
with their own theories to explain how cosmic history could be condensed
into mere thousands of years. They are making this case in books, pamphlets
and lectures, as well as on a number of Web sites.

Mainstream scientists consider their theories to be wildly out of line with
reality, even though books describing them are often liberally sprinkled
with references to authorities like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

As a result, physical scientists now find themselves in a fight in which
they have seldom played a public role. They have responded with a mixture of
disdain, disbelief and consternation, and the reactions have not been
limited to physicists and cosmologists in Kansas.