No. 99 AN ANSWER FOR ASIMOV
By Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
One of the most widely circulated anti-creationist articles to appear in
many years was recently published in the New York Times Magazine.
There was nothing new or significant in the article, but it has never-
theless been reprinted in whole or in part, under various titles, in news-
papers from coast to coast and overseas, and has probably turned many
people against creationism.
The reason for its impact is certainly not its contents, which feature
the usual evolutionary distortions and pseudo-logic. However, the author
is Dr. Isaac Asimov, the most prolific and widely read science writer of
our generation, and this fact has assured a wide audience for his
opinions. He is the author of over 230 books on all kinds of scientific
subjects, including even a few books on the Bible, and many people con-
sider him an authority on anything he chooses to write about.
Asimov does, indeed have impressive academic credentials and is a
brilliant writer. It is, however, impossible for any scientist to be a real
,,authority" on anything outside his own limited field of special study and
research (which, in Isaac Asimov's case, consists of certain aspects of
enzyme chemistry), so that he owes his reputation more to his excep-
tional ability in the techniques of exposition than to his accomplishments
in scientific research.
Furthermore, Dr. Asimov has his own religious axe to grind. He was
one of the signers of the infamous Humanist Manifests II, promulgated
by the American Humanist Association in 1973. Among other state-
ments, this Manifesto includes the following anti-theistic affirmations:
"As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially
faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons,
to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something
about thdm, is an unproved and outmoded faith."
"As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity."
"No deity will save us; we must save ourselves."
Asimov and other humanists decry the teaching of creationism as
"religious" while, at the same time, their Manifesto proclaims their
own set of beliefs to be "a living and grovang faith."
The quasi scientific basis of their humanistic faith, of course, is evolu-
tion. Hitler?iariist Manifesto I (published first in 1933) made this clear. Its
first four tenets were as follows:
"First: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and
Second: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that
has emerged as the result of a continuous process.
Third: Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the
traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.
Fourth: Humanism recognizes that man's religious culture and
civilization, as clearly depicted by anthropology and history, are
the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with
his natural environment. . ."
It is significant that Asimov, in his anti-creationist harangue, does not
attempt to offer even one slight scientific evidence for evolution. Never-
theless he proclaims: "To those who are trained in science, creationism
seems like a bad dream, a sudden reliving of a nightmare, a renewed
march of an army of the night risen to challenge free thought and en-
lightenment." Asimov, as a prize-winning writer of science fiction, is a
master at the use of emotional rhetoric to intimidate and frighten, and
this essay is a skillful niasterpiece of alarmist propaganda. He warns
about those previous "societies in which the armies of the night have
ridden triumphantly over minorities in order to establish a powerful
orthodoxy which dictates official thought." He concludes with an
Asimovian prophecy: "With creationism in the saddle, American science
will wither. . . We will inevitably recede into the backwater of civilization
tion. . ." The "prophet" Isaac never mentions the fact that most of the
great founding fathers of modern science (e.g., Newton, Pascal, Kelvin,
FariAday, Galilee, Kepler, etc.) were theistic creationists, nor that
thousands of fully qualified scientists today have repudiated the evolu-
tionary) indoctrination ()f their school days in favor of the much stronger
scientific evidences for creation.
Although Asimov gives no arguments or evidences for evolution, he
does attempt to identify and refute what he thinks are the seven most
iniportant arguments for creation. These he denotes as follows:
I. The Argument from Analogy. Since no one would question that
the existence of a watch implies an intelligent watchmaker, by analogy
the much more intricate and complex universe implies an intelligent
universe maker. Asimov makes no attempt to answer this unanswerable
argument, except to say that "to surrender to ignorance and call it God
has always been premature." Such an answer is foolishness. The prin-
ciples of mathematical probability and scientific causality certainly do not
constitute a "surrender to ignorance," but provide a compelling demon-
stration that complex systems do not originate out of chaotic systems by
By this term, Asimov, is the widespread belief among all peoples that
the world must have been brought into its present form by some god
or gods. Asimov main-tains that the "Hebrew myths" of creation are no
more credible than all these other beliefs and that "such general consent
Actually this so-called "argument from general consent" is rarely, if ever,
used by creationists. However, it is almost always used by evolutionists
to prove evolution! That is, since they can cite no scientific evidences for
evolution, they use the argument that "all scientists believe evolution" as
the main proof of evolution.
(3) -The Argument from Belittlement. Here Asimov incorrectly
accuses creationists of failing to understand scientific terminology and of
belittling evolution as "only a scientific theory." As a matter of fact,
creationists maintain that real "vertical" evolution is not even a scientific
theory, since it is not testable. There is no scientific experiment which,
even in imagination, could suffice either to confirm or to falsify, either
macro-evolution or creation. The proper term to use is not "scientific
theory" or even "scientific hypothesis," but "scientific model" or
"paradigm," or some such title. The creation model can be used far
more effectively than the evolution model in predicting and correlating
scientific data (the laws of thermodynamics, the character of the fossil
(4) The Argument from Imperfection. Creationists are often accused
of mistaking disagreements among evolutionists as evidence that evolu-
tion itself is false. Actually, all creationists are well aware of this distinc-
tion, but it does seem odd, if evolution is a sure fact of science, that it is
so difficult to describe how it works! How does it happen that, if evolu-
tion iS SLIch a common process in nature, its mechanics remain so
obscure? Yet, as Asimov says: "However much scientists argue their
differing beliefs in details of evolutionary theory, or in the interpretation
of the necessarily imperfect fossil record, they firmly accept the evolu-
tionary process itself." Evolutionists walk by faith, not by sight!
(F)) The Argument from Distorted Scienc:e. One of the main crea-
tionist arguments against evolution is its apparent conflict with the
second law of thermodynamics, but Asimov says this argument is "dis-
torted science," since it ignores the fact that the earth is an open
system. Of course, it does not ignore the fact that the earth is an open
system; evolutionists such as Asimov seem to have a strange blind spot
at this point, perversely continuing to ignore the fact that this naive
charge has been repeatedly answered and refuted. Asimov should know,
as a chemist, that the mere influx of external heat into an open system
(such as solar energy entering the earth-system) would not increase the
order (or "complexity" or "information") in that system, but would
actually increase its entropy (or "disorder" or "randomness") more
rapidly than if it were a closed system! If "order" or "complexity" is
actually to increase in any open system, the latter must first be pro-
grarnnied to utilize the incoming energy in some organizing fashion and
then be provided also with a complex energy storage-and-conuersion
mechanism to transform the raw heat influx into the specific useful work
of increasing the organized complexity of the system. Since the imag-
inary evolutionary process on the earth possesses neither such a direct-
ing program nor organizing mechanism, the second law of thermo-
dynamics does indeed conflict with it and, to all intents and purposes,
renders it impossible.
Asimov also makes the arrogant charge that creationist scientists
"have not made any mark as scientists." The fact is that a cross-section
of the records of the scientists on the ICR staff, for example, or of the
Creation Research Society, would compare quite favorably with those of
most secular colleges and universities (including Asimov's own record).
(6) The Argument from Irrelevance. This criticism is merely a carica-
ture of the concept of a completed creation, which Asimov thinks would
be "deceptive." The fact is that a genuine creation would necessarily
require creation of "apparent age," the only alternative being eternal
matter and no true creation. There is no deception involved at all. As a
matter of fact, the world does not even look old, except to the distorted
vision of an evolutionist. The fossil record by its very nature speaks
clearly of a recent worldwide cataclysm, and there are far more physical
processes which yield a young age for the earth than the handful of
processes which, through arbitrary and unreasonable assumptions, can
be forced to yield an old age.
(7) The Argument from Authority. Asimov insists, as do many other
evolutionists, that the only real evidence for creationism is from the book
of Genesis. The Bible does, indeed, teach creation and its literal author-
ity was accepted by most of the founding fathers of our country and by
our country's first schools. That ought to count for something, especially
with those who deliberately chose to come to this country from other
countries (Asimov came with his parents as immigrants from Russia in
1923). As a matter of fact, however, creationists are quite content to let
the scientific evidence speak for itself in the public schools, with no
reference whatever to the Bible. Many of us, in fact, are quite insistent
on this point, appalled at the prospect of a humanist teacher such as
Asimov teaching the Bible to a class of impressionable young people.
Dr. Asimov opposes creationism in the schools with the following
astounding concluding argument: "It is only in school that American
youngsters in general are ever likely to hear any reasoned exposition of
the evolutionary viewpoint. They might find such a viewpoint in books,
magazines, newspapers or even on occasion, on television. But church
and family can easily censor printed matter or television. Only the school
is beyond their control."
Unfortunately, his last statement is mostly correct. Parents have
indeed largely yielded control of their tax-supported schools to the
educational establishment and its de facto religion of evolutionary
humanism. However, the increasing incidence of such tirades as this
from Dr. Asimov indicates that the creation movement has become a
serious threat to this powerful and pervasive system.
Index - Evolution or Creation1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125 | 126 | 127 | 128 | 129 | 130 | 131 | 132 | 133 | 135 | 136 | 137 | 138 | 139 | 140 | 141 | 142 | 143 | 144 | 145 | 146 | 147 | 148 | 149 | 150 | 151 | 152 | 153 | 154 | 155 | 156 | 157 | 158 | 159 | 160 | 161 | 162 | 163 | 164 | 165 | 166 | 168 | 169 | 170 | 171 | 172 | 173 | 174 | 175 | 176 | 177 | 178 | 179 | 180 | 181 | 182 | 183 | 184 | 185 | 186 | 187 | 188 | 189 | 190 | 191 | 192 | 193 | 194 | 195 | 196 | 197 | 198 | 199 | 200 | 201 | 202 | 203 | 204 | 205 | 206 | 207 | 208 | 209 | 210 | 211 | 212 | 213 | 214 | 215 | 216 | 217 | 218 | 219 | 220 | 221 | 222 | 223 | 224 | 225 | 226 | 227 | 228 | 229 | 230 | 231