John Lynch has an important essay in the current issue of the Newsletter of the History of Science Society. I’m sure we are all familiar with creationist abuses of science and philosophy (not to mention their abuses of common decency and basic integrity), but their comparable abuses of history often fly under the radar. Mind you, the problem is not simply that creationists routinely get their facts wrong. It is that their whole approach to the subject is rather blinkered:
In short, anti-evolutionist historical scholarship accurately mirrors creationist scientific work in being directed at the true believers rather than the academic community. The temptation may thus be for professional historians to ignore their claims – a temptation that I feel must be rejected. As historians, we have a social duty to correct error and over-simplification where it is foisted on the public by politically and religiously motivated individuals, and this responsibility goes beyond what sociologist and ID sympathizer Steve Fuller has dismissively seen as “catching the errors” of the creationists. There is something far more fundamental at stake. At a time where historians have eschewed Whig or “Great Man” histories, anti-evolutionists are presenting their “Not-So-Great Man” view of Darwin. They misrepresent the very nature of historical enquiry; they manipulate history until it risks becoming a mere shadow of the rich and intricate tapestry that it is.
The immediate context for this is the several recent attempts by ID folks to draw simplistic, straight-line paths between Darwin’s ideas and the actions of the Nazis.
It really is impressive how creationiss manage to get everything wrong. I recommend reading the whole essay.