The Antelope Valley Freethinkers in California found out last month that a local pastor was going to give a sermon offering “examples of evidence pointing to a creator.” He was going to put God to “to the test” by answering everyone’s toughest questions. It was followed by an hour-long Q&A.
The atheists had heard at least a version of the sermon before — they did a formal debate with Pastor Shane Idleman earlier in the year — so they knew it wasn’t very convincing. It was something along the lines of Case for a Creator.
They wanted to make the most of it, though, so they came up with a great idea: They would watch the sermon’s livestream with a checklist of the most common fallacious arguments and cross them off whenever the pastor said them.
For every item they crossed off, they’d make a $5 contribution to charity.
Here’s what they were listening for:
1. Evolution is “only a theory.”and finally,
2. Historical vs. observational science
3. Darwin’s eye quote
4. “The fool says in his heart…”
5. Irreducible Complexity
6. Darwin’s Dissenters
7. Seashells on top of Mt. Everest prove a global flood.
8. “Creation screams creator!”
9. “Something can’t come from nothing.”
10. “It’s not a head issue, it’s a heart issue.”
11. Bacterial flagellum
12. “Primordal (sic) ooze”
13. It takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.
14. Micro- vs. macroevolution
15. If the Earth were a little closer to the Sun, it would burn up, a little farther away, it would freeze over.
16. Carbon dating (and other methods) are unreliable.
17. There are no transitional fossils.
18. Evolution is a theory in crisis.
19. The Grand Canyon proves a global flood.
20. The Second Law of Thermodynamics
21. Piltdown Man
22. Darwin was a racist
23. Evolution is a religion
24. Atheists know there is a god but suppress it.
25. “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”
26. Hitler. Anything Hitler.
27. Pascal’s Wager/”What if you’re wrong?”
28. The Watchmaker Argument
29. Survival of the Fittest
30. DNA is very complex/improbable
They doubled their donation to $100 for good measure and gave it to Foundation Beyond Belief’s disaster relief efforts. It’s not a life-changing amount of money, but this is more about the idea behind it.
If other atheist groups tried something similar, it’d be a powerful way to make the most of bad preaching.
(Thanks to David for the link)