Letter: Let's be clear about creationism 1

March 29, 2002

So-called "scientific creationism" is not science ("Creationists bid for status on campus", THES , March 22). It is simply a Christian apologetic for reading the first few chapters of Genesis literally. But why Genesis? It is only one of several ancient Near Eastern creation accounts. All have great force as metaphors and point to "higher truths", but none is scientific, as the vast majority of biblical scholars recognise.

If the proponents of "scientific creationism" were not the religious apologists they themselves disavow, why have they not seized on the Enuma Elish or Atra-hasis? It is an attempt to smuggle religion into the laboratory by the back door.

However, no scientific theory should be treated as dogma. It is only an explanation of the known data. Evolution is so far the best explanatory framework for the data we have, but it may well be superseded.

Religion and science have their place in the curriculum, but proper scholarly method and critical thought need to be applied to both.

Lester Grabbe
Professor of Hebrew Bible and early Judaism
University of Hull

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