In my previous post, I trolled the toll-free number on a one of those gospel billboards purporting to be about “truth”. You can listen to that call here. I spoke with an operator named Philip. I challenged him to point out even one thing in the Bible that he could show to be true and thus qualify as truth. The truth is what the facts are. A fact is a point of data that can be objectively verified, and a statement or claim doesn’t constitute truth until we can show that it is true and concordant with reality. In both cases, there has to be a degree of merit determinable by either party despite our biases and regardless of our preferred beliefs. Otherwise it is just an empty assertion of no value at all.
Of course Philip was unable to indicate anything in the Bible that could be shown to be true, just as three of his co-workers had previously failed to do when I called earlier. In science, there is only what is supported by evidence and what is not supported, and whatever is not supported does not warrant serious consideration. So if you can’t justify your claim by showing the truth of it, or that there is any truth to it, then we’re already done. What is asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. The billboard is fraudulent because the claims are unsubstantiated. That’s all we need to dismiss it as “truth”. We don’t even have to know whether it also lied.
So Philip went on the offensive, accusing “evolutionists” of “admitting to frauds”. That’s the 13th foundational falsehood of creationism. So of course I called him out on that too. I challenged him to name one evolutionary scientist who ever lied in the act of promoting evolution over creationism, and also to name any professional creationist who did NOT lie when trying to defend religion or condemn evolution. The disparity is that extreme. The scientific community would never allow any scientist to be as dishonest as every professional creationist has to be as a mandatory job requirement. Creationism is based ENTIRELY on frauds, falsehoods, fictional folklore, fables, fibs, and fallacies. So when creationists accuse “evolutionists” of being dishonest, it is like the pot calling the silverware black.
That is not to say there are no dishonest scientists nor honest creationists. I can name a few disreputable scientists. They just don’t lie about this. There is no need to and never has been. The rest of the scientific community will also call them out for that, in a type of quality control that is rarely seen among the religious. Accuracy and accountability are paramount in science. But those things don’t matter at all in religion, where all that matters is an illusion of confident conviction–no matter how misplaced or mistaken that is.
I have also met honest creationists, but that is a temporary condition. Within creationism, there are only deceivers and the deceived. They may be either or both, but they have to be one or the other. There is no third category. Once a sincere believer examines this issue in-depth, especially when engaging someone who actually knows the subject very well, they will very quickly face a life-altering choice: whether to remain honest or whether to remain creationist: for it is no longer possible to be both. They’ll either have to start conceding points honorably or they’ll have to start lying in their defense. Professional creationists who actually make their living this way, know precisely what lies they’ll have to tell at each junction and that there’s no honest way around that. Their job is to make-believe and to make people believe by whatever means necessary. Being truthful does not and cannot work to that end, because what they want to pretend is not really true.
Remember that it is also dishonest to assert as fact that which is not evidently true, yet that’s what all religions do. Even though Philip couldn’t think of a single example to justify his allegation, he refused to retract it while on the call with me. But he sent me a text message later which both retracted the accusation and repeated it at the same time.
Of course he accused Ernst Haeckel of lying about evolution, because that is always the first name creationist accusers all try to drop. It’s usually the only name they can ever list. In my previous post, I’ve already explained in detail why that allegation doesn’t apply against Haeckel.
Philip’s next allegation was against a science blogger, not an “evolutionary scientist” like I asked for. I understand this person may have published a paper on botany once upon a time, but my challenge asks for someone working in a field of biology or geology that immediately dealt with evolution. I’m a science blogger too, and I’m best known as a science communicator, but that doesn’t make me a scientist. As an amateur taxonomist with the Phylogeny Explorer Project, I am probably more of an evolutionary scientist than the science blogger Philip named.
It seems that Philip’s nomination didn’t lie either. Remember that I define a lie as misinformation or information misrepresented with deliberate intent to deceive. That doesn’t apply in this case, as the claim of “lying to chidlren” was only about teaching an inaccurate introductory lesson that would make it easier for students to understand a more difficult concept. Then the inaccuracy would be corrected once they have some competence of the subject. The real lie in Philip’s allegation was the way his creationist source misrepresented their sensationalized exaggeration.
I told Philip he would fail both parts of this challenge. But that for the second part, all he would have to do was name any professional creationist, and I would reply with a specific citation of something that person said which we can not only show to be false, but that we can also show that the person already knew it to be false when they said it anyway. So Philip tossed out three names for me to look into. I only asked for one, but it wouldn’t matter how many he lobbed at me. All professional creationists are liars by necessity.
The first name Philip listed was all too familiar to me. Henry Morris Jr. is the father of modern creationism, known as “creation science”, which is already a lie in itself–as there is no part of creationism that is remotely scientific. Creationism is anti-science; not alternative science. As the source of so much superstitious pseudoscience, Morris is named numerous times in TalkOrigins’ extensive list of refuted claims of creationists. So he has a lot of lies on record. Among them is the assertion that “Many scientists reject evolution and support creationism”. He may just be repeating a lie that is as old as he is, but it was never statistically true, and the numbers only move further against him as time goes on. In fact recent polls show that less than 1% of earth and life scientists give any credence to creationism. That’s 0.14% creationists to 99.86% of biologists and geologists who accept real science and reality as it really is. So if 99.44% equals “pure”, as it does in the silver trade, then Bill Mahr was correct when he said that “evolution is supported by the ENTIRE global scientific community”.
Bearing that in mind, that makes Morris’ chief lie the claim that “Darwinism [acceptance of evolution] leads to social Darwinism, the policy that the weak should be allowed to fail and die.” No, not once. No way. This is completely contrary to the scientific consensus, not just on the facts but also on the case for humanism. No matter how confused or delusional Morris was, there was no excuse for a fib like that.
But I didn’t want to just list the obvious answers. Philip has given me an opportunity to interact with him. So I want to go the extra mile and find something on Morris myself.
Morris is also the founder of Institute for Creation Research. ICR posts a statement of faith saying, “[V]erbal inspiration guarantees that these writings, as originally and miraculously given, are infallible and completely authoritative on all matters with which they deal, free from error of any sort, scientific [sic] and historical as well as moral and theological.” Which means that those who adhere to this assertion will simply never accept or even consider any evidence that stands against their a-priori assumption. In fact all the prominent creationist organizations post statements of faith, each one confessing in their own way that no matter how wrong they are, no amount of proof will ever change their minds. So they are, by definition, irrational and unreasonable, but at least they didn’t lie about that.
However this is also how we know they will never concede any critical error honestly. It is not possible to defend creationism honestly, and all the faith statements published by these reality-denying religious extremists are intellectually dishonest. Henry Morris Jr has also made an awful lot of false claims in his life. But my challenge requires more than just showing that he’s wrong or even dishonest; I have to show that he KNEW he was wrong and was therefore deliberately lying.
I thought I had an easy source for that with a video titled, Heresies, Anti-knowledge, and Willing Ignorance – Henry Morris III, but that wasn’t a video pointing out Morris’s lies; that was Morris lying about other people, the logical fallacy of projecting his own faults onto others who will not share them. It also wasn’t Henry Morris Jr, but Henry Morris III. Philip had also asked me about Jake Herbert the third, not Henry Morris the third. Morris 3.0 is a liar too, but not the specific one Philip asked about.
So I opted to review another video, called Dark History of Evolution In the very beginning, we see Henry Morris Jr being introduced by two more professional liars, John Morris of ICR and Ken Ham, CEO of Answers In Genesis. I’ve already shown in my videos how both of these guys definitely lied and met my criteria. So I knew I would find meat in this video!
Virtually nothing more than a couple separated sentences that Morris says in that video is actually true as stated. The list of factual errors, misunderstandings and misstatements is almost innumerable. But my challenge was not to show that creationists are stupid. Never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence. Morris is grossly incompetent, but I need to show that he knew better, and is thus a liar.
Of course Morris asserts as fact their standard assertions of make-believe. His followers may argue that this is acceptable as apologetics or theology. But that’s special pleading, another logical fallacy. If this were any other topic besides religion, then whenever someone professes to know things they don’t really know, we here in the south call that “talking out of your @$$”.
Most of what he says is irrelevant, and nearly all of it is fallacious: especially the quote-mining that creationists are so fond of. That too often constitutes a lie as–if you bother to read the original comments in context. For instance, Morris opened his speech by crediting Alfred Russell Wallace with having devised the theory of natural selection before Darwin, as if Darwin stole the credit for that. But then ten minutes into the video, Morris starts contradicting himself, admitting that Darwin had already been developing Natural Selection for twenty years before Wallace did.
Morris also contradicted himself by repeating his lie about Darwinism leading to social Darwinism, by saying that Darwin was influenced by Herbert Spencer’s popularization of that, when of course that was obviously Spencer’s political distortion of Darwin’s theory, and wouldn’t have been called “Social DARWINISM” otherwise. That, and the concept of Social Darwinism as well as Malther’s original essay that inspired it both actually contradicts Darwin’s science and his humanism as explained in his work. These allegations were also part of Morris’ attempt to paint Wallace as a demonic occultist, which is another lie revealed by the failure of Morris’ own explanation.
Thirteen minutes in, Morris quotes one of the 19th century spiritualists apparently trying to capitalize on Darwin’s success. This was someone who had nothing to do with Darwin, Natural Selection, science or anything else that is relevant. That person cited a book written 15 before Darwin’s, which mentioned nature’s revelations given in a trance. This is the sort of thing that mediators typically claim, but that doesn’t have anything to do with evolution either. Then Morris interjected his own words into the quote, so that William Coleman’ book, Evolution of the Spiritual Universe  now describes Andrew Jackson Davis’ book Nature’s Divine Revelations  as being delivered in a trance, which Morris said described as “demonic”. This is why it is dishonest to assert as fact things that are not evidently true. There was no mention of demons in the original quote, and Morris is unjustified for adding that to completely change the meaning of the comment the discussion or meditation behind it. This at a moment when he was also attempting to imply that any concept of evolution, (including Lamarckian evolution, a precursor to Natural Selection) was derived not by analysis of the facts but by spiritual revelation from a devil.
Jake Hebert III is one of ICR’s minions. Amusingly, he wrote an article encouraging creationists to work for ICR as scientists. As with similar pseudoscience propaganda mills, “All candidates must agree to ICR’s doctrinal statements and tenets.” This means there can’t be any actual science done because the preconceived conclusion is sacred and questioning that is forbidden. That is exactly the opposite of how science works. Science is the antithesis of faith.
In his article, Hebert said
“ICR, together with the rest of the creation science movement, has made great strides in the last 40 years. In many areas, the superiority of the creation worldview has been clearly demonstrated. Even now, ICR is making exciting discoveries in the fields of biology and geology, and we have started new research initiatives in the field of astronomy.”
Not a bit of that is true. There is no “creation science movement” and their list of consistently backward failures could not be interpreted as “great strides” by any reasonable or credible person. Creationism meets exactly none of the criteria required of a scientific theory, and there has never been even one scientific discovery attributed to creation science, because they don’t even have a methodology. They’re not trying to do science but to UNdo science and undermine science education to replace that with supernatural superstition. So all of that was a lie, and that’s just the very first paragraph that I ever saw from Hebert.
Are you satisfied, Philip? Because I don’t even want to try and watch his video on Dinosaurs and the Bible: because it’s obvious in the first minute that he’s in a classroom full of children, and seeing a deliberately deceptive religious extremist like this willfully misleading and confusing susceptible sequestered and helplessly trusting students gets me enraged.
Until I hear back from you, Philip, I’m moving on to your last best choice, Jason Lisle, yet another stooge of ICR, the most despicable pseudoscience propaganda mill of the western world.
Lisle is also listed as working for Answers In Genesis. Their requirements of their so-called scientists are even more unreasonable than they are at ICR. If you’ll look at AiG’s Scientist Inclusion Procedure, you’ll see that they have to submit a signed copy of their statement of faith, which is even more unreasonable than ICR’s. They have to endorse it, and follow that with their own testimony, promising to promote Christianity regardless what the truth is or the facts are. In addition, they also have to provide references from Bible-believing Christians–including at least one pastor. Because they can never risk an honest investigator ruining their illusion. What they know about science doesn’t matter as long as they have the necessary degrees to appeal to those who base their beliefs on authority rather than evidence. All that matters is that you believe in the mystical mumbo-jumbo and promise to promote that even where it has been proven to be certainly false. This is how you know that creationist organizations are propaganda mills forcing conformity of belief with no interest at all in improving understanding of anything real with actual science.
“Although some creationists claim that a creationist would be unable to earn an advanced degree from a secular university because of institutional prejudice against their beliefs, Lisle’s academic progress was not hindered by his creationism. While members of his Master’s thesis and Ph.D. dissertation committees might have been aware of his young Earth beliefs, their evaluation of his work was based on his research and not his personal beliefs.”
The above quote reveals at once the falsity of creationists’ irrational conspiracy beliefs and the fairness of the scientific community–despite the agenda of apologists determined to undermine science from within. That’s why many of the famous PhD creationists are dentists: Dr Javier Cabrera, Dr Jobe Martin, and Dr Don McLeroy for example. They use their degrees to speak outside their expertise. So did Lisle. He has an actual degree in astronomy, but in his video, Science Confirms Biblical Creation, (which is a lie in itself) Lisle tried to explain genetics. And the mistakes he made there cannot be dismissed as innocent errors.
He started with the logical fallacy of false equivalence, pretending that creationism and evolution are both equal positions according to their world view. That’s a lie. Creationism relies on faith against all reason. Science relies on reason regardless of faith. Put another way, it’s a conflict between fact and fantasy, what we can show to be real and what we can’t because it isn’t.
Then he misrepresented evolution by reciting the 11th foundational falsehood of creationism. He said that dogs don’t turn into anything but dogs, which is true according to the evolutionary law of monophyly. Obviously he didn’t know that, but he did know that what he was saying is false.
He talked about “kinds” and even tried to distinguish the “dog kind” from the “elephant kind”. But in so doing, he’s only citing Ken Ham, who admitted that his determination was entirely arbitrary, not based on any actual fact.
The stem of all proboscideans (elephants and such) is virtually indistinguishable from the stem of sirenians (manatees and the like). Both have a fluid succession of transitional species, with the sirenian lineage now being essentially complete: from a land-walking hippo-like thing to a four-legged web-footed semi-aquatic to a two-flipper fully marine manatee with only vestigial hind leg bones hidden in its flesh.
Likewise, as I explained in one of my videos, dogs aren’t a “kind” in either sense Lisle could have meant: neither as breeds of domesticated Canus familiaris or in the larger grouping of Canidae, which actually includes several species of dogs that genetically distinct and cannot interbreed. Caniformes, the “dog side” of the Carnivore cladogram also contains bears, weasels and seals. This is to say nothing of the wealth of fossil forms, including the bone-crusher canids of the Oligocene era, or the bear-dogs of the Pleistocene, nor the Miacids of the eocene, when proto-dogs still had grasping hands and lived in trees. We also have fossils of not yet completely evolved sea-lions, which technically still aren’t completely evolved even now. Nothing is really; that’s just more obvious with sea lions.
As I explained in another video, the “dog-side” of Carnivora is connected to “cat side”, which includes civets, hyenas, mongooses and a handful of other things you’ve probably never heard of, as well another collection of quasi-cats and cat-like critters in the fossil record. You should watch both of these videos. You have no idea how much evidence there is for evolution or against creationism.
Lisle said that “evolutionists” misrepresent what creationism teaches, referring to species rather than kinds. But that is a lie, because Philip Johnson, founder of the Discovery Institute promoting Intelligent Design (another lie) correctly described macroevolution as the emergence of new species and he equated species with kinds. It is not a misrepresentation when we quote your sources directly.
Lisle’s mention of “kinds” is a reference to baraminology, a bogus invention by creationists trying to come up with a sciency-sounding alternative to taxonomy. However, as I demonstrated with the Phylogeny Challenge, baraminology is an unsubstantiated illusion and scientifically invalid, another lie.
Then he said that Natural Selection and evolution are not the same thing, that they are opposite: another lie. Then he lied about what evolution is, saying that it was limited to an increase in “information”, which it isn’t. Evolution is defined as allelic variance in reproductive populations, and everything he described counts as that. He won’t admit it of course, but that’s because he’s a liar. He has an advanced degree from an accredited college, and he specializes in arguing this topic. So we know he knows better.
His explanation of genetics alleged reproductive limits that don’t exist, (another lie) and completely skipped over mutations–as if they didn’t even happen. There is no way he could achieve a doctorate degree from a secular university and not know better than that. Yet here he was plagiarizing one of Ken Ham’s presentations, (including the stupid jokes) and pretending that mutations neither deleted nor added “information”, (however he defines that) nor that chromosomes could either fuse or divide, as we know that they do. So his whole argument for the loss of “information” and against its gain was bogus, a lie. With a PhD in any field of science, he still had to know better than that.
Lisle also mentioned irreducible complexity, but of course he didn’t mention how every claim of that was disproved by science before the whole scam was exposed in a court of law. If you have questions about that, ask me about Kitzmiller v Dover and what a cdesign proponentsist is.
I didn’t watch even a third of this video either, and it’s already a non-stop lie-a-thon. Hopefully you understand that now, Philip. By now you should realize that the company you work for has no business using the word “truth” since it won’t come anywhere near it. Your billboards should say 855-Dial-a-lie or 855-LIE TO ME.
There is no nice or polite way to put this, Philip. Everything you think you know about either evolution or creation is a lie, and the Bible is absolutely wrong about absolutely everything. Sorry. You’re at a cross-roads, Phil. Choose the right path.
I don’t expect to ever hear from you again. But I hope you can break your mind out of its God-helmet and get back to me with any questions you still have. I’ll happily walk you into a brighter world of reason and rationality where you can actually understand things rather than having to believe them.