“By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record.”
~ AnswersinGenesis.org (http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith)
Of all the jaw-dropping statements made by Christians, this one takes the cake. Answers in Genesis is one of the biggest and most popular apologetics websites, giving Christian arguments in favor of the flood, the 6-day creation, the 6,000-year-old earth, and dinosaurs living with humans. But I believe that this statement in their “Statement of Faith” completely removes any integrity from its authors.
This quote is saying that before the folks at AnswersinGenesis.org look at any evidence, before they think about or approach the problem at all, they have already decided the outcome. They completely base their findings on their own preconceptions, preemptively plugging their ears and eyes and accepting only what they already assume. Their is no worse way to pursue truth than that.
The criticism I make here has been responded to by some, claiming that going off the authority of the Bible is no different than going off the authority of science. But science doesn’t operate off of authority. Claims in science aren’t true merely because someone said they are. The conclusions of scientists are based on evidence, and the evidence remains for all to see. Scientists know that their ideas must stand to the scrutiny of other scientists, who may not share their preconceptions. The way to do this is to make the case strong enough on the basis of evidence so that preconceptions don’t matter.
The history of science is filled with scientists accepting ideas contrary to their preconceptions. Examples include the reality of extinctions, the reality of meteors, meteors as causes of mass extinctions, ice ages, continental drift, bacteria as cause of ulcers, and of course, evolution. Scientists are not immune to being sidetracked by their preconceptions, but ultimately go where the evidence leads.
Scientists make a deliberate effort to remove subjectivity from their work, and do a good job in general of removing bias. They do such a good job, in fact, that what creationists really object to is the fact that scientists do no interpret evidence according to certain religious preconceptions.