Creationist Seriously Argues That Atheists Should Focus on ‘Advancing Testable, Repeatable Science’

I recently posted about how the Houston Atheists were planning to protest outside this weekend’s Texas Home School Coalition convention, which features speaker Ken Ham and his brand of Creationist nonsense. The following day, the atheists will host an “Answers in Science” event at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Now, a local preacher has found out about the protest and he’s flipping out, complaining about how these atheists are so opposed to science! I mean, just look at their offensive signs!

Because God is a necessary precondition for rationiality, rejecting God equates with rejecting reason.… Of course, Aron [Ra] and all atheists use reason to understand and evaluate anything, which exposes the fact that they know God exists.

It is un-American [for the Houston Museum of Natural Science] to support such religious intolerance and false claims that Christians are “anti-science”. Christians are not anti-chemistry, anti-physics, anti-biology, etc! I am sure that we would all make a lot more headway in scientific things if atheists showed a lot more tolerance for historical interpretations that differ from theirs, and focus on advancing testable, repeatable science instead.

That’s right. A Creationist just berated atheists for not promoting “testable, repeatable science.”

I’ll give you a moment while your head stops spinning.

The preacher, Dr. David Shormann, also conducted a bit of weird “activism,” where he asked a museum official if he would rent out space to a totally-similar group:

I asked Brad [from the museum] that if, for example, a group asked to have an “Answers in Science” meeting, and it turned out their meeting was to discuss “scientific” findings that Jewish people were inferior and Hitler was right about wanting to kill them all, would HMNS support that? Brad immediately answered “no”. Brad is Jewish, so it was obvious to him a meeting like that would be about religious intolerance coupled with unscientific claims. But it is also obvious that the atheists “Answers in Science” meeting is about the same things, religious intolerance coupled with irrational claims that Christians are “anti-science”!

It’s not “intolerant” to point out that Creationists are just factually wrong, because that’s where the evidence leads. This isn’t a subjective, offensive idea. It’s also not irrational to point out how science actually works or that some Christians just don’t understand it. (Shormann is just one example.)

A spokesperson from the museum even commented on his post:

While the viewpoints expressed may not synchronize with your personal beliefs, we do not find these sentiments “anti-Christian”…

Shormann, by the way, attempted to point out errors in a Biology textbook the Texas State Board of Education was considering adopting back in 2011… and got his ass handed to him on a silver platter (PDF).

The protest and rebuttal event are going on this weekend, so if you’d like to join the Houston Atheists, you can find more details here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • EvolutionKills

    To everyone putting in the effort down in Texas:

    Thanks for all of your time and effort, and please keep up the good work! It is greatly appreciated, and know that the rest of us will be rooting for ya’! Also, that is some kick-ass signage!

    -Fellow atheist in Pennsylvania

  • Tel

    Hypothesis: Creationists make ignorant claims more often than non-creationists.

    Evidence: See above.

    Repeatability: Such ignorant claims have OFTEN been repeated.

    Conclusion: Hypothesis is likely true.

    • http://stevebowen58.blogspot.co.uk/ Steve Bowen

      Don’t you get all Bayesian on me…just don’t :)

  • Gus Snarp

    Because God is a necessary precondition for rationiality

    Except, no, he’s not. Damn presuppositionalism again. God is only a precondition for rationality if you presuppose god exists, which there’s no reason to do.

    Of course, Aron [Ra] and all atheists use reason to understand and evaluate anything, which exposes the fact that they know God exists.

    Even if the major premise here were not utterly false, this conclusion would still not follow. Total nonsequitur. The only question is whether the local preacher is actually stupid enough to believe the crap he’s spewing, which he obviously just cribbed from William Lane Craig, or if he’s smart enough to know he’s being dishonest.

    Christians are not anti-chemistry, anti-physics, anti-biology, etc!

    Well, young earth creationists obviously are, since the only way their version of events could be true would be if all of chemistry and physics were wrong.

    • TCC

      God is only a precondition for rationality if you presuppose god exists, which there’s no reason to do.

      Actually, it’s worse than that: You have to presuppose that God is a necessary being.

      • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

        It’s even worse than that, because you only come to the awareness of your presuppositions once you convert.

    • raerants

      An oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere is a necessary pre-condition to successful breathing, and so anyone who can breathe exposes the fact that they know what the air is made of.

      Assuming, you know, you can prove air. *eyeroll*

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    The first test, I want to do is to place Ken Ham in a room with a large mirror. My hypothesis is that he is so self-unaware that he is going to start pecking at the mirror.

    • The Other Weirdo

      I almost read that as, “…he is so self-unaware that he might not even have a reflection. …”

      • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

        He doesn’t. He’s incapable of self-reflection.

        • Amor DeCosmos

          …like a vampire…?

          • Big Bubba McGee

            Even Worse

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

            I think if a vampire had bit him it would have said, “Hmm tastes like Chick-fil-le.”

        • mac

          That comment deserves more up-votes than I can muster.

    • Mer

      He’ll scratch his head and look behind the mirror to see who’s there.

  • Matt D

    Ok, I did get a laugh from the “Jobs that require Creationism” sign, but it’s nice to see Texas taking a stand against junk science.

    • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

      It’s currenly at 1 but hopefully move to 0 when the CM goes bankrupt.

    • UWIR

      I don’t think the “jobs that require creationism/jobs that require science” signs are really valid. The jobs the require science require an actual science background. A creation museum curator position simply requires a profession of creationism. Teaching your kids creationism doesn’t even prepare them for that job; it could be done just as well by Richard Dawkins, were his integrity and self-respect somehow removed.

      • IDP

        Unfortunately, I’ve seen several jobs that require creationism knowledge, they are “science” teacher positions at private evangelical Christian schools. They also say stuff like “salary does not compare with salary schedule for public school district” so yeah…

        • UWIR

          “creationism knowledge”
          I’m having trouble parsing that phrase.

  • Rene Belloq 12 inch figure

    I like it! Go Science!

  • Garret Shane Brown

    “Because God is a necessary precondition for rationiality”
    “all atheists use reason to understand and evaluate anything, which exposes the fact that they know God exists.”

    How the hell is “god” necessary for rationality? No one agrees with that, I’m sure even most Christians. The faulty logic… it burns.

    • sara

      Especially the ones who think “Reason is the enemy of faith” is an argument against reason.

    • Monika Jankun-Kelly

      The goggles do nothing!

  • JET

    And so many Texans look at these “logical” arguments and think “Makes sense to me.” What the hell is in the water down there?!

  • Matthew Baker

    Creationists are not anti-science they are pro-magic. If they can pretend that science supports their magic all the better.

  • Buckley

    May I be excused? My brain is full.

  • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    It’s worse than you think. Over on the Texas Freedom Network’s news release page, someone who has spoken with Dr. Shormann before left a rather telling comment.

    I got into a comment exchange with Shormann when his fellow creationist and preacher pal, Marty, was running for [State Board of Education] (and won, dagnabbit!) and without a doubt Shormann is among the most dishonest creationists I’ve run across in decades of following these creeps.

    I even pulled up a paper he wrote studying the Brazos river for his PhD because it conflicted with his childish false dichotomy of “historical versus experimental” science. I pointed out that a plot he published, pretty much a straight line, indicated that the river would have had a certain temperature even thought they didn’t have a measurement for that year and he replied, “We can never know because we can’t go back in time” or some such BS.

  • C Peterson

    Well, as an atheist scientist myself, I do indeed focus on advancing testable, repeatable science. So Shormann should be happy. Of course, it is that same testable, repeatable science that leads to the easy rejection of almost everything in the bible that attempts to explain the nature of the physical world.

  • MartinRC

    Science isn’t anti-Christian, science is just a tool to observe reality. it is reality that happens to be anti-Christian.

  • Physicalist

    “Because God [evolution over millions of years] is a necessary precondition for rationiality, rejecting God [evolution] equates with rejecting reason.”

    See how that works?

    • rtanen

      Because agreeing with the theory most supported by evidence is a component of rationality, rejecting such theories equates rejecting reason. There, now this works for other debates as well.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    No, really, read the link to the .pdf Hemant provided: http://www.texscience.org/pdf/TCS_Analysis_Shormann%27s_Errors.pdf

    It is an eloquent slap in the face to a man who has too much knowledge, but not enough reason or wisdom.

  • JA

    Now I have heard everything.

  • Rain

    Because God is a necessary precondition for rationiality, rejecting God equates with rejecting reason…

    Aw it’s so cute when mindless bots latch on to the latest fads. (Presupositionalism in this case.) Also, never rule out the possibility of con artists.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    Where’s the fundies on this one? I feel like troll hunting!

  • Mitch

    I could start making comparisons between Shormann’s intelligence and boxes of rocks, but frankly… I respect rocks way too much for that.

  • cipher
  • UWIR

    1. It’s a demonstration, not a protest.

    2. Will there be kids there? It seems to me that the focus should be on them, not the parents. What is the thought behind these signs? Are they supposed to change anyone’s minds?

    3. That “23% of Jobs…” is an eyesore.

    4. Is dismissively saying “What controversy?” supposed to convince anyone?

  • Robster

    So, this “Dr. David Shormann” is a doctor of what? Theology perhaps, or what about talking to snakes or stoning to death people who work on Sundays with compassion? Deluded godbots love calling themselves “doctor” as it infers a gravitas that “cleric” will never have.

  • rustygh

    Christians, using as little brain cells as possible because god will tell us what to think.

  • Jeff Levy

    Why the Hell are these Creationist not eating Poison Ivy, Hemlock and some Many other poisonous plants that are GREEN why are they not picking to fallow
    Genesis 1: 29 their God gave {every green plant for food}… I guess they faithfully do not believe and/or Trust their GOD…

    Creationist heres some of that so called repeatable Science you like and yet you all are not eat Every GREED PLANT…

    come on at lest eat Grass & weeds and I’m not talking about Marijuana…

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    “God is a necessary precondition for rationiality”
    What the… How does he even…
    *head explodes from nonsense overload*

  • http://www.dregstudios.com Brandt Hardin

    Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X