Why do some Evolution Scientists become Creation Scientists?

If you follow the Creation/Evolution debate then you already know that many of the best-known Creation Scientists are former Evolution Scientists.1 On the other hand, few, if any Evolution Scientists are former Creation Scientists.2

One thing that Evolution Scientists and Creation Scientists usually have in common is that they were taught only Evolution Science (no Creation Science) while earning their advanced science degrees. Very few universities teach Creation Science. Most of the scientists who have switched from Evolution to Creation did not study Creation Science until later in their careers.

When Creation Scientists explain why they switched, their stories usually sound much like the following:

a) They were taught Evolution.3 

b) They believed what they were taught.

c) They began their professional careers thinking that anyone who did not believe in Evolution was either ignorant or naive.

d) At some point in their professional careers they examined Creation Science and after much self-study became convinced that scientific evidence supported Creation better than Evolution.

e) In spite of near certain ridicule from peers they chose to go where they believed the evidence led them.

If scientific evidence is really in favor of Creation Science as these scientists concluded, one might wonder why even more Evolution Scientists do not become Creation Scientists. Consider this:

Most Evolution Scientists have been taught (and believed) there is no scientific evidence that favors Creation.4 Because of this teaching they look at evidence through what I call “Evolution Lenses.” That is, they look at evidence in only one way: “How can this evidence be explained by Evolution Science?” instead of more properly: “Can this evidence be explained better by Evolution Science or by Creation Science?” As a result, they continue in their careers believing that all scientific evidence concerning origins, if properly understood, MUST support Evolution.5 And any evidence appearing to go against Evolution MUST be invalid in some way.

Of the minority of Evolution Scientists who are knowledgeable of the scientific evidence claimed for Creation, some consider it compelling enough to switch to Creation, and some do not. But there are others who seem to reject it out of hand, as if they cannot allow in their minds the possibility that Creation could be true. For some this might be because they do not want to suffer ridicule from peers. For others it might be because their careers depend on their Evolutionary research. For still others it might be because they have a deeply held belief in atheism, which is incompatible6 with Creation. Whatever the reason, until an Evolution Scientist mentally allows for the possibility that Creation could be true, he/she can never interpret any evidence to be in favor of Creation no matter how compelling the evidence might be.

References and Notes for Chapter 2:

1. I define an Evolution Scientist as someone with an advanced science degree (Masters or higher) who is a firm believer in Evolution. Likewise, I define a Creation Scientist as someone with an advanced science degree (Masters or higher) who is a firm believer in Creation. Some Evolution Scientists claim that “No real scientist believes in Creation.” But for a sample list of “real” Creation Scientists, go to: https://creation.com/scientists-alive-today-who-accept-the-biblical-account-of-creation

2. Some Evolution Scientists will rightly claim that they believed in Creation when they were young, prior to becoming a scientist (i.e. before earning an advanced science degree). But I do not know of any Evolution Scientist who was once a Creation Scientist.

3. The term “evolution” means different things to different people. Sometimes people tell me they believe in “some” evolution. When I ask what evolution they believe, I find that their answer depends on how they define evolution:

Some people think of evolution as any example of adaptation, the process by which inheritable changes make organisms more likely to survive in one or more environments. But by this definition even Creation Scientists believe in evolution because Creation Scientists certainly believe in inheritable adaptation.

To other people evolution refers to the theory that sometimes one form of life will gradually change so much that it changes into a completely different form of life. According to the Theory of Evolution this happened many times in the past as bacteria gradually changed into people and all other forms of life.

The truth is that both Creation Scientists and Evolution Scientists believe in adaptation. Where scientists differ is this: Evolution Scientists believe that inheritable adaptive changes have accumulated so much in the past that a species of fish, for example, gradually changed into a completely different form of life, which then gradually changed into another form of life, and so on, eventually changing all the way into people. But Creation Scientists believe that due to genetic limitations on the amount and type of changes that can take place, fish have only changed into different looking fish, and people have only changed into different looking people, etc. Therefore, to avoid confusion over semantics please note the following:

  • Throughout this e-book I use the term “Evolution” (with a capital “E”) to refer to the belief that all forms of life are related to each other, dictating that in the past many types of life forms changed into very different types of life forms. This is the belief of most Evolution Scientists.
  • I use the term “Creation” (with a capital “C”) to refer to the belief that God created all the basic life forms with the genetic potential for considerable change, but with no mechanism to change into completely different forms of life. Bacteria can only “evolve” into different types of bacteria, fruit flies can only “evolve” into different species of fruit flies, and people can only “evolve” into different races of people, etc. This is the belief of Creation Scientists.

4. This is true in the United States but even more so in some other countries. I once gave a presentation on Mutations and Natural Selection (from the Creation Science perspective) to approximately 50 research scientists at Harvard Medical School. Afterwards a woman from the audience approached me privately. She was from China and had only been in the United States for a short while. She held advanced science degrees in biology and medicine but said she had always been taught that creation was a fairy tale. She acknowledged that the case I made for Creation Science was very compelling, but she was finding it difficult to accept something that until an hour earlier she had thought was a fairy tale.

5. I once publicly debated the Chair of the Biology Department at a New York State University (SUNY). The title of the debate was “Creation vs. Evolution.” During the debate the Biology Professor spent much of his allotted time explaining that Evolution is compatible with some established religions. He even provided quotes of well-known religious leaders who agreed with him. But during my allotted time I spoke on mutations, natural selection, genetic code, etc. The Professor was clearly taken aback that I spoke on science instead of religion. It quickly became obvious that he knew little or nothing about Creation Science and had spent his entire career interpreting evidence through the “Evolution Lenses” that I explained above.

6. Atheists cannot believe in a Creator, otherwise they would not be “Atheists.” For them, Evolution MUST be true. It is impossible to prove the non-existence of a Creator, so an Atheist must believe so on faith. It appears to be this “Atheistic Faith” that prevents some Evolution Scientists from considering the possibility that Creation could be true.

A Christian can believe in Evolution and still be a Christian. However, an Atheist cannot believe in Creation and still be an Atheist.