A front page article in the New York Times this morning caught my eye. Titled "Believing in Scripture but Playing by Science's Rules", the article is about Dr. Marcus Ross, who's 197-page dissertation was about the distribution of mosasaurs 65 million years ago. "So what?" you might ask. Dr. Ross is a young-earth creationist who believes the Bible is the literal word of God and the world was made 6,000 years ago.
This is intellectual dishonesty in the extreme. He basically lied his way through his doctorate to gain a legitimate PhD and obviously didn't care enough about his own work to accept his findings. He was simply pretending. The real clincher is where he works now: Liberty University, the ultra-conservative school founded by Jerry Falwell, which teaches young-earth creationism as actual science.
In Ross' defense, the New York Times reports:
For him, Dr. Ross said, the methods and theories of paleontology are one “paradigm” for studying the past, and Scripture is another. In the paleontological paradigm, he said, the dates in his dissertation are entirely appropriate. The fact that as a young earth creationist he has a different view just means, he said, “that I am separating the different paradigms.”
I don't buy it. I seriously doubt a person can find a way to agree with two completely opposed views.
This is just my speculation here, but Creationists are desperate to legitimize their views. A major way to do this is to gain more PhDs who agree with them. Is this what Ross has done? Perhaps.
Now, Creationists might defend Ross by saying he never would have earned his PhD without faking it because of the scientific community's dogma against new ideas.
That sounds nice, but it's bullshit. Evolution is accepted because the theory is derived from observation of the natural world. Creationism is not accepted because it is a mythological story that looks for evidence to prove it. The scientific one came from connecting the dots, the theological one already has the lines and tries to find the dots. It's the opposite of science.
The most upsetting part for me is that Ross went through all the work it takes to become a PhD by pretending to be someone he's not. It's deceitful and dishonest and should instantly discredit him in the scientific community. Furthermore, while he was a greaduate student, he appeared in a DVD endorsing intelligent design, so we already know where he stands.
In my opinion, he should stop pretending to be someone he's not and actually stand for what he believes in, no matter what it is. I'd respect him more since what he's doing now is simply dishonst.