Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 543–559

Naturalism, evidence and creationism: The case of Phillip Johnson

  • Robert T. Pennock

DOI: 10.1007/BF00138334

Cite this article as:
Pennock, R.T. Biol Philos (1996) 11: 543. doi:10.1007/BF00138334


Phillip Johnson claims that Creationism is a better explanation of the existence and characteristics of biological species than is evolutionary theory. He argues that the only reason biologists do not recognize that Creationist's negative arguments against Darwinism have proven this is that they are wedded to a biased ideological philosophy —Naturalism — which dogmatically denies the possibility of an intervening creative god. However, Johnson fails to distinguish Ontological Naturalism from Methodological Naturalism. Science makes use of the latter and I show how it is not dogmatic but follows from sound requirements for empirical evidential testing. Furthermore, Johnson has no serious alternative type of positive evidence to offer for Creationism, and purely negative argumentation, despite his attempt to legitimate it, will not suffice.

Key words

CreationismevidenceevolutionnaturalismPhillip Johnsonscientific methodology

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert T. Pennock
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PhilosophyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinU.S.A.