What do creationism and climate-change skepticism have in common?
A lot, according to the leading young-earth creationist organization Answers In Genesis.
This morning we see an argument from AiG’s Elizabeth Mitchell about the dangers of climate-change science. Dr. Mitchell is responding to the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Why do Christian creationists care about climate change?
Dr. Mitchell’s essay offers a few ideas.
First, Mitchell warns that climate-change science is based on “dubious sources.” She asks if mainstream climate-change scientists might build their case on mistaken assumptions. Skepticism about evolutionary science, it seems, bleeds over into suspicion of all mainstream science. If mainstream science has been proven, from creationists’ perspective, to be a naked emperor, then its conclusions on every topic must be treated warily.
Second, young-earth creationists are committed to the idea of a young earth and, for many, a catastrophic global flood. Arguments about the changing climate from outside the circle of young-earth creationists assume a much older earth. Climate-change science must rest on such assumptions. Young-earth creationists, then, have a keen interest in making climate arguments that insist on a short lifespan and a global cataclysmic flood.
Finally, we see an important difference in the issues of evolution and climate-change. Dr. Mitchell, at least, takes a much more irenic position toward Christians who DO agree with the mainstream science of climate change.
Christians, Mitchell argues, must weigh the evidence and make up their minds about the science of climate change. It does not do violence to scripture, she implies, to believe the mainstream science on this issue. The most important issue, Mitchell concludes, is that
Whatever position a Christian citizen chooses to take, he or she needs to understand the present in the true light of biblically documented, scientifically affirmed history rather than uniformitarian assumptions about the earth’s past—and future.