This Monday I wrote a brief summary of my exchange with the (in)famous Answers in Genesis. One aspect of this discussion was whether or not most of the work by creation “scientists” is actually scientific. I claim it isn’t given that science is based on making and testing predictions, whilst most of what creationists do is post-dicting (technically called retrodicting). Rather than trying to make new discoveries which would confirm the world is 6,000 years old they cram existing discoveries into their world view in the hope of proping it up.
Answers in Genesis, perhaps unsurprisingly, disputed this position claiming there were loads of instances of creationists making predictions. Like when they predicted the results of ENCODE ahead of time! And…err…that guy in 1859 who predicted plate tectonics based on his beliefs about the flood. So there!
At the time I didn’t bother to challenge that last notion about Antonio Snider-Pellegrini’s predictions about plate tectonics because I’m just not that bothered. However, the good folks over at the British Centre of Science Education (a top notch organisation I keep meaning to join) are keen to hold AiG’s feet over the fire and have takeb them to task on the matter.
Brian Jordan, of their forums, pointed out that Pellegrini (a) didn’t predict plate tectonics based on his beliefs about the flood but rather hypothesised plate tectonics existed and then attributed their movement to the flood and (b) wasn’t the first to propose ideas about plate tectonics, with earlier thinkers figuring out they may have existed, making little reference to the flood in their work.
So this proud example of creation science Answers in Genesis actually has very little connection to creationism; with the theory being seemingly developed indepdentently of the Bible and then retrodicted back into it. Like most other examples of creation science.