An A-News PSA: Creationism
Search Google for the definition of “creation science” and you get “The interpretation of scientific knowledge in accord with belief in the Bible, esp. the creation of matter, life, and humankind in six days.” That’s a rather interesting definition of this rather bizarre form of pseudoscience because of the phrase “interpretation of scientific knowledge”. The word science can be either a noun or a verb. You can do science by the formulation of hypotheses, the designing of experiments, observing natural phenomenon and so forth. Some things can also be science. The idea that DNA controls the inheritance of phenotypic traits is a good example of science as a noun.
What the phrase “interpretation of scientific knowledge” implies is a step in a philosophical process that comes after the verb does its work and the noun makes itself known. Interpretation is the action of explaining the meaning of something. In other words it is the filtering of the nouns that science as a verb produces through a framework of a specific process of the evaluation of knowledge.
This process within the scientific community starts with an idea known as “The Null Hypothesis”. The Null Hypothesis is a technical way to say that if the evidence cannot be logically shown to support an alternative hypothesis, one must default to the position of no significant conclusion. One can see that this idea is one that has a specific progression. Its starting point is observational data. Beginning with an aggregation of potential causes and conclusions, scientists whittle away like an old man in a rocking chair, patiently and persistently working to free the most truthful ideas from the formless lump of data before them.
The religious process involved with “Creation Science” is the mirror image of scientific methodology. Religion gives its adherents the groundwork of truth claims and it is up to the individual to grope around seeking any pieces that may be jammed into the puzzle, even if the selection available is extremely poor. It’s like the old man on the porch was handed a ten inch tall figurine carved by a master and told to make it fit into a seven inch long gift box. The old man must by necessity damage the integrity of the piece in order to complete his task. 
Creation Science is the process of jamming the work of science and its students into the box of religion, cutting away important aspects of the data in order to fit the box of religion and its set of predefined truth claims. Most of the counterclaims made by creationists to evolutionary science are clumsy attempts at whittling away at the credibility of the scientific community as opposed to any kind of cogent attack on the science itself.
For example, a famous creationist, actor Kirk Cameron one stated in a debate, “Darwin said in order to prove evolution, which is the number one alternative to God, you gotta be able to prove transitional forms. One animal transitioning into another, and all through the fossil record and life we don’t find one of these. A croco-duck. There’s just nothing like it. There is no one animal transitioning into another”
The assertion that there is no transitional fossil anywhere in the fossil record is beyond patently false. According to the Tree Of Life Project, “Biologists estimate that there are about 5 to 100 million species of organisms living on Earth today. Evidence from morphological, biochemical, and gene sequence data suggests that all organisms on Earth are genetically related, and the genealogical relationships of living things can be represented by a vast evolutionary tree, the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life then represents the phylogeny of organisms and the history of organismal lineages as they change through time.” What this means in basic terms is that technically every fossil ever found is a transitional fossil.
However, some fossils represent more significant transitions than others. A prominent example is the fossil history of the order Cetacea, colloquially known as whales. The evolutionary history of the Cetaceans includes the significant transitional forms found in the families of Pakicetidae, Ambulocetidae, Remingtonocetidae, Protocetidae, Basilosauridae, Odontoceti and Mysticeti. Cetacea is an interesting case because it represents two significant transitions, the first being transition from sea to land and the second representing a return to an aquatic lifestyle.
Because of the geological time span and the fluid dynamics of the Earth’s crust, the fossil record is incomplete. However this is not a detracting point against evolution as many creationists claim. There are estimates that approximately, on average each strata produces at least one fossil of 75% of the vertebrate families which existed at the time. Besides the claims regarding transitional fossils, there are very few claims made by proponents of Creationism that can even be evaluated on a truly scientific basis. Most of the rest of Creationism’s claims stem from a list of logical fallacies seated in historical and social claims such as the idea that Darwin was a racist or that Eugenics necessarily follows from an acceptance of evolutionary theory.
However there is another interesting consideration, that of the psychology of religious belief and the mindset of the creationist apologist. In a study in PLoS One, neuroimaging techniques were employed to assess brain activity in both the religious and the non-religious during the assessment of various truth claims related to religious belief and to ordinary facts. A comparison of both stimulus categories suggested that religious thinking is more associated with brain regions that govern emotion, self-representation, and cognitive conflict, while thinking about ordinary facts is more reliant upon memory retrieval networks.
According to youtube user AtheistCoffee, “When challenged on my beliefs, it wouldn’t really bother me. That’s because I knew I was right. The fundamentalist starts from the position of certainty. They talk about “the truth” as if it just floats out there for us to grasp in its entirety. How many times have you heard them use the phrase “absolute knowledge” or challenge science by pointing out that it’s “never sure” and can “never be proven”? That’s because even though they would not admit it outright, they believe that they possess absolute knowledge. They believe that they have the answers…maybe not all of the answers, but all of the ones that matter – all of the big ones…And you must understand, their beliefs are interconnected. Each one is believed in exactly the same way, by faith. Casting doubt upon even the most minor belief also casts doubt upon the most serious ones. That is why a conversation with them regarding the minor points of Scripture always ends up with them questioning you on the big ones… ‘Where did it all come from then?’…There are also other mechanisms within fundamentalism to keep the believers in line… coercion and forced conformity in that anyone who voices a different opinion from within the group will be questioned, ridiculed, judged, and accused of being outside of the group.” *
Creationism is a threat to our future. According to researchers quoted in an article in Science Daily, “We should take no pride in a finding that 70 percent of Americans cannot read and understand the science section of the New York Times.” Pushing creationism as a science in science classrooms fosters an inaccurate picture of what science is and how science works, misleading students and putting the advancement of this country in jeopardy. Keep religion in schools where it belongs, in the religious studies and history classes.
 Gatesy, J., et al. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. (2012), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ j.ympev.2012.10.012
 Harris S, Kaplan JT, Curiel A, Bookheimer SY, Iacoboni M, et al. (2009) The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief. PLoS ONE 4(10): e7272. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007272
 An Interview With AtheistCoffee Jan 19-20 2013
*AtheistCoffee makes excellent and informative videos on the subject of creationism. Of himself he says “I was a fundamentalist born again Christian for almost 20 years. I grew up in a Christian home as a pastor’s kid. I went to Bible School, received a degree in theology, taught the Bible in churches, preached and pastored, taught and defended creationism to young people. I came to the realization that there were some things I believed that were not true. I am now an atheist who accepts the truth of evolution, and seeks to debate and discuss these issues with creationists and other atheists as well. My videos are both a challenge to creationists to prove me wrong, and also a way for me to spread awareness of these scientific issues and make them easily accessible to others just like me who are looking for answers. Don’t be afraid of the hard questions.”