Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

“Rather than mistrusting science, creation science should verify its theses”

2018-01-10 12:15

It has been suggested that creation scientists asserting the “young-earth theory,” i.e., that earth is 6,000 to 10,000 years old, should hold open discussions with ordinary scientists. Amid increasing arguments between leading scientists and theologians over the plausibility of creation science, this would mean initiating a verification process.

On January 6, the Korean Association for the Sociology of Religion (Jeon Seong-pyo, president) held an academic conference (photo) at Kyung Hee University in Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, on the theme of “Science, Religion and the Public Interest: Protestantism and Creation Science.” The discussion for the most part was a critical diagnosis of creation science in its present form.

Jo Deok-yeong, a professor at both Gimcheon and Pyeongtaek Universities, maintained that creation science cannot be science. “As Karl Popper said, science assumes the possibility of contrary evidence,” he said. “In creation science, the impossibility of observation, experiment or reproduction means there is no possibility of contrary evidence.” Jo said, “The coupling of the two mutually conflicting concepts of creation, which cannot be proved, and science, which can be proved, has produced this contradiction.”

Jo made a proposal: “Creation science should not mistrust modern science unconditionally; rather, it needs to present verifiable theses and prove them…It is time to enter into dialogue and debate with theologians, astronomers, geologists and other academic specialists.”

Researcher Kim Hyeon-jun (Research Group CAIROS - Christian Association for Interactive Researches On Scripts) analyzed the background of creation science’s emergence as mainstream theory in the Korean church. “Creation science is a movement that tries to prove creation through science, on the basis of the Christian worldview,” he said. He explained that creation science has become a closely connected, widespread part of the church since the 1950s, when Korean Protestant Christianity activated the Christian worldview movement in response to worries about anti-intellectualism.

“Creation scientists have a resistance against naturalism,” Kim said. “Today proponents of creation science, driven to a defensive stance in modern society, see their situation as a ‘spiritual war’ or ‘cultural war.’”

The originator of the creation science movement was a U.S. Southern Baptist, engineer Henry Morris. Morris lectured at a seminar titled “Creation or Evolution?” sponsored by Korea Campus Crusade for Christ in August 1980. Kim Yeong-gil, the founding president of the Korea Association for Creation Research (KACR), along with others who had participated in the seminar, established KACR in January 1981. Following that, creation science was popularized through church-related meetings, etc., but since September last year it has become a target of social criticism, after Park Seong-jin, a candidate for the post of Minister of the Ministry of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and Startups, referred to it with such positive assertions as “the earth is 6,000 years old.”

Reporter Gu Jachang (critic@kmib.co.kr), with Marion Kim (marionkkim@icloud.com)
Photo provided by Korean Association for the Sociology of Religion

Original Article in Korean:
“창조과학, 일반과학 무조건 불신 말고 공론의 장으로 나와 검증거쳐야”: 한국종교사회학회 학술대회

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