They argue that both evolution and creation fall into the category of origins science. Both are driven by philosophical considerations. The same data (observations in the present) are available to everyone, but different INTERPRETATIONS are devised to explain what happened in the past.
As much as possible, scientists try not to bring philosophy or any other preconceived notions into their work. The best scientist is a disinterested observer, who gathers data and applies logic to deduce the most likely physical mechanism causing the observed effects. That is about as removed from creation "science" as possible. Literal creationists--those who believe that the earth and all life were created almost instantaneously from nothing around 6,000 years ago try to either apply unscientific interpretations of the data or deny the data even exists.
From what I have seen literal creationists say, the attempt to pigeonhole science into "past" and "present" categories is all about trying to cast doubt--"You weren't there, you didn't see it, you're just guessing!" It's not about the science at all. Creation "science" has nothing to offer in the way of useful science, so, being unable to compete on an even playing field, they try to erode people's trust in the scientific method. They aren't alone in that effort; it's a common tactic among all those who are anti-science, and there are many anti-science efforts out there.
So, they insist that Creationists produce scientific theories but the Biblical account is used as a starting point, just as Evolutionists produce scientific theories but pure materialism without any reference to any external intelligent being are their starting point.
Creationists then insist that their resulting theories make TESTABLE predictions many of which have been successful.
Example of creationists theories with successful predictions include Dr Russell Humphreys model of planetary magnetic fields which successfully predicted planetary magnetic field observations, including the recent measurements of Mercurys magnetic field.
Scientific investigation must deal with the physical world; there is no other option. If you want to call that "materialism", fine. The "starting point" of science is observation of the physical world and phenomena. In a scientific context, it is impossible to take a metaphorical creation story and make any real predictions from it--at least, any that pan out. I could certainly make predictions based on a belief that all life sprang up from the soil on the word of a supreme being--but it's unlikely I would find evidence of such an event upon investigation.
Likewise, a literal creationist astrophysicist might claim he developed hypotheses on planetary magnetic fields based on the biblical creation story--but I find that highly unlikely, since the Bible contains no discussion of magnetic fields, planetary composition, cosmic rays, the solar wind, or any of those other phenomena which must affect magnetic fields. Any predictions he made were based on his deep understanding of the current knowledge of planetary magnetic fields, and nothing else.
The Bible is full of metaphorical stories. It's not necessary to be a scientist to realize that both versions of its creation story are metaphorical; the clues are intrinsic to the story.
RE: The best scientist is a disinterested observer, who gathers data and applies logic to deduce the most likely physical mechanism causing the observed effects. That is about as removed from creation “science” as possible.
Well in this case, if one is a real disinterested observer, one will have to be OPEN to all possible explanations, not simply materialistic ones. THAT is what creationists argue.
In which case, I will have to say that the accusation that one is “disinterested” should not simply be leveled against creationists. Many hard core evolutionists are not disinterested observers themselves IMHO.
Creationists do not disregard Scientific investigations that deal with the physical world. In fact THAT IS PART OF THEIR OBSERVATION. Neither do they deny that the The “starting point” of science is observation of the physical world and phenomena. They DO observe the physical world but look at it differently.
What they insist on however is this -— The argument that materialist evolution can explain the origins of the universe or of life on earth ultimately is a philosophical one, not a testable scientific proposition.
I understand creationists as challenging the presumption of non-intelligence in popular & natural science the idea that no designing mind or minds are or were responsible for most aspects of nature.
Those who are not 6 day creationists in fact want to follow all evidence regardless of whether this mind was natural or not, material or not.
In fact, creationists insist that all of the following areas of science use evidence of an intelligent maker as the major or sole means of study.
They insist that the principles involved in studying these areas of science can be applied to the study of :
Archeology: Is that rock formation slow or catastrophic?
Anthropology: Do sharp, pointed rocks occur naturally or are they designed by someone intelligent?
Forensics: Intelligent cause of death or natural circumstances?
SETI: Are those radio signals natural or caused by intelligent beings?
So, What are the characteristics of a successful creation model?
A reasonable creation model can possess all of the following characteristics:
Intelligence is identified
The model is detailed
The model can be refined
The model is testable and falsifiable
The model can make predictions
How does the biblic model score on the above characteristics? The intelligent Designer is identified as the Creator God of the Bible
The biblical model of creation is detailed in that the major creation events are listed in a temporal sequence.
Dozens of creation passages make specific claims about the nature of the world. The model can be refined by putting together all the biblical creation passages into a coherent, detailed model.
Creationists complain that many skeptics claim that ID models cannot be tested, but then go on to state that the biblical descriptions of nature are incorrect. You can’t have it both ways!
Creationists thus insist that a biblically-based ID model is eminently testable and falsifiable. Contrary to the claims of opponents, they insist that a biblical model does make predictions.
For example, it claims that all men are descended from one man, Noah, whereas women come from up to 4 different blood lines (see Genesis 6). One would predict from this claim that males would have lower genetic variability on their y-chromosomes, compared to the mitochondrial DNA ( mtDNA), which is passed on exclusively through women. Published scientific studies confirm this biblical prediction, since the last common ancestor dates for the y-chromosome tend to be less than that for mtDNA.
Again, I am just presenting their arguments, not saying that I am an advocate for them. I am still on the fence on this one.