Before we get to the solution I am proposing, I want to spend some time discussing some of the steps and missteps taken by Creation scientists in the past.
First off, to be fair, Creationists have tried to introduce an alternative model, not for evolution directly but for the supporting geology: i.e., the flood geology model. I am not going to get into the scientific value of this model here. I do know of several legitimate scientists who believe they have at least some evidence that lines up better with a flood geology model than the standard model. Nonetheless, I believe the likelihood that this approach will work is minimal for several reasons:
- Whatever evidence a handful of Creation scientists can gather, it will have a hard time competing with more than a century of work by tens of thousands of evolutionary scientists.
- The flood geology model contradicts not just the standard geology model but numerous other branches of science. It is very unlikely that the scientific community will be open to a geology model that will require a complete revamping of paleontology, biology, genetics, dating techniques, etc.
- Accepting the flood geology model, although itself possibly a naturalistic model, would require an acknowledgment of the supernatural since there would no longer be enough time for evolution to take place. And this is another thing the scientific community will never do.
- Evolution is a theory that has its roots in biology, although it is supported by the other disciplines. For scientists to take an alternative model seriously, it will need to start with the biology as well. It will need to provide an alternative mechanism for Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection working upon genetic variation.
- Creation scientists have been unsuccessfully trying to introduce the flood geology model for more than a century. Are present-day Creation scientists doing anything significantly different from what has been done before?
- Most importantly, if Creation scientists really believe that, given enough time, they will be able to produce sufficient evidence to make a convincing case, can they at least provide us with a time frame? Or will we still be waiting for them to produce that evidence fifty or a hundred years from now?
Thus, while I am not one to discourage scientists in their work, I personally think there are better ways to address the problem.
Another mistake, in my opinion, has been that Creation scientists have focused on looking for ways to either defeat or displace evolution altogether. This is both unnecessary and next to impossible. What we should be trying to do instead is to come up with a model that, as far as possible, could work side by side with evolution. This will allow us to develop the model without being constantly challenged by evolution supporters.
Along the same lines, we shouldn’t be trying to produce an alternative for the entire theory at once, since this would be too great an undertaking. We should start with something small and get our foot in the door, so to speak. It is OK if, for the time being, we go along with everything else evolution claims except for this one small area we are working on. Instead of trying to come as close as possible to the biblical Creation story, we should go as close as possible to evolution and then take one step back. Once this step is established, we can take another. We should move no faster than it takes us to provide ample support for our current position.
We shouldn’t expect that an alternative scientific model will line up exactly with Scripture, since the nature of science is such that it could take centuries for that to happen. What we should be looking for instead is a scientific theory that is closer to the Creation story than evolution is. At this point our beliefs are being judged by a theory that is at the exact opposite end of the spectrum.
Lastly, I want to mention as well that Creation scientists must realize that the scientific community makes the rules and, if we are going to accomplish anything, we have to play by those rules. They have over many decades proven the effectiveness of their methods and earned the trust of the public as well as the support of governments and courts. Taking our toys and leaving whenever there is some indication of unfair treatment just means that we will lose yet again.