Dec 042009
 
Authors: Jeric Harper

I recently attended a presentation by Robert Carter, a doctor, of Creation Ministries International. His purpose was to show proof, using genetics, for the mitochondrial ancestor of all humans to be only 6,000 years old and that all of humanity could trace their roots back to Noah’s daughters.

I was understandably disappointed by the lack of supporting evidence for his faith-based claim that was presented under the guise of science. I was surprised, however, by Laurn Leete’s Collegian article “Geneticist speaks on the scientific evidence for a creator,” which stated that he had shown scientific evidence that supported his claim.

I must have missed that part of the presentation. The author of the article either didn’t attend the lecture or didn’t understand the material or (more likely) was someone from the church that brought him to campus.

One of the biggest differences between science and creationism is in the method that is used. Real scientific inquiry draws a conclusion based on all available evidence.

Carter, on the other hand, started with his conclusion then cherry picked what evidence he could find to support this idea, ignoring the vast amount of data, both from genetics and other fields, that contradicts his opinion. That’s just not real science. The consensus of the scientific community and bulk of scientific data show Carter’s assumption to be false.

The presentation was your basic creationist lecture: Darwin was quote mined, blamed for Hitler’s actions, the “out-of-Africa” scenario was called racist and facts were misrepresented or omitted. He went so far as to tell me that Neanderthals were simply elderly people during the question and answer session.

It is difficult to have a productive conversation with someone if they do not use logic and reason. Even the Christian biochemistry instructor that was interviewed for Leete’s article was unimpressed with the “evidence” presented.

If you would like to hear what real scientists have to say about this topic, Eugenie Scott will be on campus in January. She is the director of the National Center for Science Education and was a consultant for the Dover Pennsylvania trial concerning creationism being taught in science classes.

Also, speak to someone knowledgeable about the subject. There are many professors on campus who would be willing to discuss evolution, anthropology, geology, cosmology or any other topic you are interested in. Remember, believing is fine, but thinking is better.

Jeric Harper is a senior biology major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 7:34 am

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