Young-earth creationism is no better than any other form of malicious gossip

I’m not arguing here that young-earth creationism is heretical. What I’m pointing out here is that it is immoral.

Young-earth creationism is not an exclusively intellectual error. It is not a harmless mistake or an innocent confusion. Young-earth creationism is a sin.

The degree of that sinfulness depends on the extent to which one becomes invested in promoting or defending this untruthful scheme. At one extreme are the hucksters and charlatans — the bunco artists and shameless fraudsters who are transparently lying for money. At the other end of the spectrum are the followers least complicit in this malicious deception. Their complicity and culpability is more interesting.

“And it’s not just the biologists and geologists and astronomers … they’re ALL in on it.”

For the followers, participation in this falsehood tends to be mostly passive and receptive. For many it may be only tangential or in passing — a matter of accepting what one is told or of not making waves. And yet this passive, receptive role still requires them to participate in what is, at it’s core, a malicious slandering of others, a slothful disregard for the truth, and the prideful puffing up of one’s self.

In other words, young-earth creationism is no different than any other form of contemptuous gossip. Some play an active role — inventing the gossip, fabricating false witness against others, propagating those lies and aggressively seeking to deceive. But these active bearers of false witness are powerless without an audience. They cannot commit their sin unless they have the support of others who agree to listen — to accept such gossip without question and without challenge. Without such a receptive audience, malicious gossip cannot function. The passive listeners and followers play the same supportive role that bystanders play in mob violence or in permitting a culture of bigotry.

My focus here, again, is not on the simple factual errors and mistakes that young-earth creationists accept about the natural world. My focus, rather, is on the factual errors and mistakes they accept about other people. Those false assertions are not an innocent matter of getting the science wrong. They involve a willingness and an eagerness to spread malicious assertions about other people, without caring whether or not those assertions can be defended, and while refusing to consider the evidence that shows they cannot be. That’s not simple ignorance, it’s a choice — a choice that requires and reinforces contempt for others, self-absorbed pride and a rejection of the duty to love.

Young-earth creationism requires that choice, and that is why it is a sin. It requires one to make that choice, and to keep making that choice, which is why the more one participates in it, the worse one becomes — the more contemptuous, prideful and cruel.

It is not a sin to believe that the universe is only 6,000 years old. You can believe such a thing earnestly and innocently and that belief is not, in itself, either moral or immoral. It is incorrect, but such an incorrect belief is no more or less morally significant than any of the myriad other beliefs that all of us hold at any given time.

Provided you never learn anything more about the world around you, you can maintain such a belief and maintain your innocence while doing so. The incuriosity this requires is not commendable, but it need not be willfully immoral. (In another context I would argue that such incuriosity about the world is also a kind of moral failing, but that’s a separate discussion for another time.)

But eventually, inevitably, such innocent ignorance will be confronted with counter-evidence contradicting this belief. Responding to such evidence with hostility or disdain may be morally suspect as well, but we’ll give that a pass here because it is the next inevitable step I want to focus on. The next step is the one that introduces an explicit, conscious and deliberate moral choice. That step and that choice cannot be avoided forever, even for the most sheltered fundamentalists doing their best to guard their innocent ignorance in a hermetically sealed subculture.

Up until that step, that choice, you can innocently believe that which is false because you truly do not know any better. But that changes once you encounter others who do know better. That encounter presents you with a moral fork in the road, a clear choice between two divergent paths.

Suddenly you are faced with others who claim to know of things you know nothing about. Can you accept that this might be possible? To reject such a possibility is to make a moral choice.

These others present evidence and claim to be bound by the implications of that evidence. Will you look at it? Or will you refuse to even consider it? This, too, is an inescapably moral choice.

And then comes the largest and most important choice of them all, because this is where the hucksters and the fraudsters re-enter the picture and begin to do their worst. Here they will offer you another choice.

They will tell you that all of these others — these outsiders with their “evidence,” these people who claim to “know” things — are evil liars. They will explain to you that these others are part of a conspiracy. It is a huge, vast, global conspiracy of wicked people that encompasses everyone — everyone except, of course, them. And they will invite you to join them in opposing this conspiracy. They will invite you to join them in believing — without basis or evidence — the very worst things you can imagine about millions of people whom you have never met. They will invite you to join them in celebrating yourselves as uniquely righteous and as better than everyone else — the sole remnant of innocence in an irredeemably wicked world.

They will present you with a choice. It is the same choice that every malicious gossip presents to everyone they suspect will be receptive to their lies. You can choose to accept that invitation or you can choose to reject it. One of those choices is a sin.

 

  • Brennan Doherty

    I would say the word “Hoax” in the title refers to evolutionary theory itself and the subtitle clarifies that he is going to be attacking Dawkins’ book on evolution, which is not the same as attacking Dawkins himself.

    But I see your point. Hoax is a word which involves deception. All I am saying is that within the book itself Dr. Sarfati does not engage in ad hominem or personal attacks against Dawkins or other scientists themselves. He does go after their arguments and evolutionary theory itself, of course.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If the theory of evolution is a hoax, then the theory of evolution is a deliberate deception. That is what ‘hoax’ means. Another word for ‘deliberate deception’? Lie. If Sarfati did not want to call anyone a liar, he should not have picked a book title that calls people liars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    “When Al Franken published Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them with a picture of Bill O’Reilly on the cover, he wasn’t insinuating that Bill O’Reilly is a liar!  Oh, of course not!”  Yeah, I’d buy that.

  • Brennan Doherty

    Ok fine. They should have picked a different title. And Dr. Sarfati probably should have followed up the title for his book by actually stating or insinuating that Dr. Dawkins is a liar. But he didn’t.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I have no idea how anyone can possibly simultaneously believe that young-earth creationism is true, know that nearly everybody (at least in the US) who accepts the theory of evolution has encountered creationist ideas, and think that anybody who accepts the theory of evolution is wrong but not lying. But that’s beside the point. Nobody cares whether Sarfati, in the pages of his book, called anyone a liar. In his book title, he unquestionably did. Which puts paid to your statement that no one has said that people who accept the theory of evolution are lying.

  • Brennan Doherty

    Okay Ellie, as I said, I have no idea on what level any particular person has encountered “creationist ideas.” Probably a very small percentage have actually read a book like Dr. Sarfati’s. I simply don’t attribute bad faith to people who disagree with me. I assume that people, whether Richard Dawkins or anyone else, holds to evolutionary beliefs because they believe them to be true. So I don’t call them liars or deceivers. 

    And I put a lot more weight on what Dr. Sarfati actually said in his book and the arguments he makes than the title. And no you can’t, just by the title, say that Dr. Sarfati (and who knows, maybe the publishing company chose the title) actually intended to call anyone a deliberate liar. If he intended to do that, I would expect at least some passing reference to it in his actual writing. He states right in the title the point of the book: “Refuting Dawkins on Evolution.” 

    But at this point I wish we had Dr. Sarfati on the line so we could ask him what he meant by the title. And if he says that he meant that Dr. Dawkins is really a liar and deceiver who is intentionally misleading the public with something he knows to be untrue then great. But I don’t have him on the line unfortunately so I can’t ask him. I can only go by what he has actually written and said about evolutionists. Right now I think the title was arrived at because they were trying to come up with a clever play on words on the title of Dawkin’s own book. 

    And if I really want to get into details I could say that he puts a question mark at the end of the book title.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Sarfati had to approve the title, though, even if he didn’t come up with it? And even if not, even if he was handed a title and told it was that title or no deal, all that does is shift the blame. Amazon says it was published by Creation Book Publishers. So we are still in the position of there is at least one real live creationist who has actually said that people who teach the theory of evolution are liars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Brennan, you keep talking about what-level this, and what-level that.  What is this, World of Warcraft?  Are you going to send your 60th Level Intelligent Designer after me?  Kidding aside, though, really, what the heck do you mean when you say “at what level you’ve read this”?  It sounds like a dodge to me, frankly.

  • Brennan Doherty

    Hi Ellie, I agree with you that Sarfati would at least had to have approved the title and so has to take responsibility for it. And I agree that an argument could be made that it was a poor title. However, since there is nothing in Sarfati’s book that I have seen that implies that any evolutionists are liars or are deliberately trying to deceive people I don’t necessarily conclude that Sarfati himself meant to say that people who teach the theory of evolution are liars. Sometimes people, for better or worse, use words or phrases which don’t necessarily correspond exactly to the dictionary definition. Or they may mean something by a word or phrase which doesn’t correspond with how another person would take it. 
    Thus one could argue that he should not have chosen the title and picked a different one if he didn’t mean to convey that evolutionists are liars. That’s fine. At this point I’m tempted to just find his home address and hunt him down and ask him what he meant by the title and why he picked it. 

  • Brennan Doherty

    Hi Randy,

    No, I’m not going to send David Berlinski after you (well, technically he’s not an ID’er but you get my drift). 

    What I meant by level is that I think there are different “levels” at which people have engaged the creationist arguments (which most often involve anti-evolution arguments as well). I suspect that most people know that a YEC believes the earth is young and that God created the heavens and the earth. But beyond that I don’t really know to what extent a particular person has actually read or engaged creationist arguments such as by reading a creationist book. And this often would include ID arguments as well, particularly the anti-evolutionary ones. 

    My overall point is simply that regardless to what extent someone is familiar with creationist (or ID) arguments I have no desire to extend bad faith to anyone as if they hold to evolutionary theory even though they deep down they really know it to be false.

  • Turcano

    Well, let’s see:

    In Chapter 1 and throughout the rest of the book, Safarti  accuses Dawkins of equivocation over his use of the term “evolution” when changes in allele proportions are one of the bedrocks of the theory of evolution (and which is the height of hubris, as Safarti equivocates constantly regarding information theory).  He also accuses Dawkins of attacking straw men, which is something else he himself does constantly.

    In Chapter 4, he accuses Dawkins of attempting to snow-job readers regarding Lenski’s experiments with bacteria (and then accuses Lenski of swapping out physical experiments for computer models when he received supposedly unsatisfactory results).  Later in the chapter, he accuses Dawkins of historical revisionism.

    In Chapter 5, he accuses Dawkins of ignoring inconvenient evidence regarding “limitations of natural selection” (which, due to his equivocation regarding information theory, exist only inside his head).

    In Chapter 7, he accuses Dawkins of cherry-picking transitional lineages to hide a supposed lack of transitional lineages in the fossil record in general.

    In Chapter 17, he accuses Dawkins of hypocrisy for believing Roman historians but not the Bible.  Later in the chapter, he accuses Dawkins of being dishonest when he says that The Greatest Show on Earth is not necessarily anti-religious.

    You still want to make the argument that he never said that Dawkins is a liar?

  • The_L1985

    Would this comment be related to what Marcellus Wallace does and does not look like? :)

  • The_L1985

    Because eating a fruit kills the fruit itself, but not the entire plant; also, if some fruits are left behind (and we’re not talking about modern seedless varieties), then the plant can still reproduce.

    An apple can be eaten without affecting the health or reproductive success of the apple tree; a celery stalk can’t be eaten without killing the plant it’s part of.

  • The_L1985

    I’ve always liked that scene more than I should.

  • Turcano

     Allow me to ruin it for you.

  • Go_4_tli

    In summary form, since I don’t want to swamp the discussion, let me summarize Sarfati’s “truthfulness” in a single chapter of “Refuting Evolution”: chapter 5 (which is about whale evoltion, something known to science rather well).

    First of all, I should point out some similar (and strongly related) tactics that he uses in a broad sense that are misleading and incorrect.  For example, citing specialized features does not refute evolution, unless you can show that there is no way any of the transitional forms could not have lived without it.  Recall that the closest living land-based relative to modern whales is the hippopotamus.  So if we look at sonar, for example, is it reasonable to think that hippos can survive without sonar?  Is it reasonable to think that a little sonar is good, and increasingly refined sonar is even better?  Of course.  Claiming that all of these features had to exist in full form, all at once, is rather naive.  What he’s doing here is certainly *not* “engaging the argument”.

    Sarfati also employs a common creationist tactic in pointing out the extreme capabilities of a group and declaring it too far to travel by fiat, ignoring all the *modern* examples *all around them* of animals that do it less well and survive just fine.  Again, deliberately *not engaging the argument*.

    He also likes to point at a particular feature (e.g., the melon on a dolphin) and declare that it had to be the right shape and in the right place without ever talking about *tolerances* or *whether this could have been co-opted from another structure* — never mind whether it’s possible to process sonar *without the structure*.  (It turns out that it is; so it need not have found selective advantage until sonar was already in place.)

    He claims that in order for whales to evolve, the animal must get rid of its pelvis — which is hilarious, because *many modern whales still have their pelvises*.

    He pretends that the tail has to convert from a horizontal movement to a vertical movement… ignoring that whales don’t use tail-wagging muscles to move their tails; they use the muscles for swimming that other mammals use for *running*.

    He claims that the earliest whale fossils were fully aquatic, which begs the question.  By the time it was something that we’d call a whale, yes, it was fully aquatic.  There are plenty of transitional species in between that whale and the full land mammal that was its ancestor.  In the transitional species we have, you can see the animal becoming increasingly well-adapted to the sea — structures and all (I find it particularly interesting to watch the nostril climb up the head to become the blowhole).

    He claims that Ambulocetus appeared too recently to be an ancestor of whales.  His basic logic is flawed.  “Too recently” is not a problem.  Evolution does not require that an ancestral population die out before their descendants can flourish.  “Too early” might present a problem (depending on what, when, and where), but “too recently” does not.

    He pretends that “vestigial” means “useless”.  It doesn’t.  It means “rudimentary”.

    By mischaracterizing his opponents’ stances, and then claiming that he has defeated his opponents when he has shown his own personal caricature of them to be ridiculous, he is *lying* — both about the theory under discussion, and the honesty/intelligence/diligence of his opponents.  The fact that you, Brennan, pretend that this is “engaging the argument” means that you are either (a) ignorant about the nature of the argument or (b) dishonest yourself.  I eagerly await your reply to see which.

  • Carstonio

    Your point about good faith versus bad faith wrongly treats creationism as a valid alternate theory, as if the whole issue was merely a matter of opinion. Put aside the whole question of intent. This isn’t a matter of anyone’s honor or reputation. Creationists make tons of claims about the fossil evidence and about natural selection that simply aren’t true, such as “No transitional fossils have ever been found.” Whether they intend to deceive doesn’t change the fact that these statements are false. As others here have rightly pointed out, creationists have been told over and over that those claims are wrong yet they persist in making the claims. Their reasons for doing so are not important – what’s important is that they’re promoting ignorance. 

  • Go_4_tli

    Some more from Sarfati’s “Refuting Evolution”:

    He claims that “Human lysozyme is closer to chicken lysozyme than to that of any other mammal”.  This is not true.  Human lysozyme and chimpanzee lysozyme are *identical*.  Human lysozyme and chicken lysozyme differ from one another in 51 out of 130 possible amino acid placements.

    He also states in the same document that “The a-hemoglobin of crocodiles has more in common with that of a chicken than that of a viper (their fellow reptiles)”.  That’s *true*, but *misleading*.  Evolution *predicts* that crocodile a-hemoglobin will be more similar to chicken a-hemoglobin than viper a-hemoglobin.  It is not the case that any two reptiles are more closely related to one another than either is to any non-reptile.  In this particular case, crocodiles have a more recent common ancestor with any bird you’d care to name than with any snake you’d care to name, so one should *expect* the similarity he outlines.  Based on similar statements he makes to these, I expect that Sarfati either (a) understands evolution very poorly (in which case, he’s misleading his audience by trying to get them to believe that he knows what he’s talking about) or (b) understands that *his audience* understands evolution very poorly and uses their ignorance to his advantage (even though it means misleading them).

    In either case, he’s lying.  In neither case is he “engaging the arguments”.

    Still eagerly awaiting your reply, Brennan.

  • Brennan Doherty

    Because someone engages someone’s arguments and attempts to refute them does not mean they are accusing them of being a liar or dishonest. But I’ll go ahead and take option b (since there are only two choices) and just say that I am of course lying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Well, crap.  Damn Cretans, now I don’t know what to think.

  • Go_4_tli

    Brennan: “Because someone engages someone’s arguments and attempts to refute them
    does not mean they are accusing them of being a liar or dishonest.”

    Strictly speaking, taken in isolation by itself, of course not.  But the way in which they attempt to refute those arguments can show whether *they themselves* are lying or dishonest.

    It also does not speak well of their character if they present certain things as true that relatively trivial research reveals are not.  On that level, as Fred pointed out, this is like malicious gossip.

    It also does not speak well of their character if they do not attempt to do any of the good that would be possible for them to do if their ideas *really were true*.

    Brennan: “But I’ll go ahead and take option b (since there are only two choices) and just say that I am of course lying.”

    Can you think of a third option?  It’s perfectly valid to point out that I might be missing something here.

  • Go_4_tli

    Sarfati on Mark Isaak’s “Problems with a Global Flood” FAQ in Talk.Origins: “How do police investigators treat statements by witnesses who are blatantly dishonest?”

    http://www.trueorigin.org/arkdefen.asp

    Here, he’s just talking about someone who has a different take on Biblical interpretation.  But surely, since the sin under discussion is spreading malicious gossip about people without justification, doesn’t this qualify?

  • AnonymousSam

    Option 3 would be the assertion that scientists are not lying, but they’ve based their determinations on misleading premises which, despite drawing consistent results, are not adequate to the task of providing a means of accurately calculating the age of the Earth.

    Mind you, I have trouble following this logic to a feasible conclusion. The reason these measures of dating are used is because they are consistent, predictable, and have been tested against reliably dated objects to test their accuracy. Unless the Earth itself has suffered some sort of massive changes in the way atoms behave in the last few thousand years, I don’t see how every means of determining the age of the Earth could become invalid… and if it has, we’re back to Last Thursdayism again.

    It’d have to be rather massive too, since it’s not just radiocarbon dating that has to be explained away. The article I was reading just now was about how scientists have used the tidal rhythmites in the Bay of Fundy to determine the position of the Moon two billion years ago. I have to agree with a previous poster; it saddens me that Creationism has taken life and science from wondrous marvels to nothing more than talking points arguing tactics.

  • Go_4_tli

    AnonymousSam: “Option 3 would be the assertion that scientists are not lying,
    but they’ve based their determinations on misleading premises which,
    despite drawing consistent results, are not adequate to the task of
    providing a means of accurately calculating the age of the Earth.”

    I think I follow.  So if we’re splitting hairs, the malicious gossip isn’t that the scientists are all *liars*; it’s that the scientists are all *delusional*.

    That’s… not much better, really.  Especially, as you point out, because the evidence that leads them to this conclusion is massive and consistent from independent lines of inquiry.

  • AnonymousSam

    Take it in the most innocent way possible: The numbers all line up right, we’re just making some sort of intuitive leap that isn’t necessarily supported by them. We’re not delusional, just sadly mistaken.

    Although if it were me, I’d want to side with evolution and an older Earth anyway, since they’re the ones with the people preaching that we need to protect the environment. We can damage the Earth; it doesn’t matter how young or old it is, so we might as well assume that it’s not here for our convenience and stop taking it for granted.

  • Go_4_tli

    AnonymousSam: “The numbers all line up right, we’re just making some sort of intuitive leap that isn’t necessarily supported by them. We’re not delusional, just sadly mistaken.”

    That seems a bit like a semantic game.  Doesn’t “delusional” *mean* “having false beliefs”?  How the individual/community *arrived* at those beliefs is irrelevant.  It sounds a little like the way some Christians justify acting in unloving ways: “Well, yes, love is important and all – *but*…”  Paradoxically, they want us to understand that they’re loving *even if they don’t act like it*.  Isn’t insisting that people can have false beliefs but *not* be delusional the same kind of weird wordplay?

    And lest I sound like a broken record, it’s also irresponsible to claim that people have false beliefs when you haven’t seriously investigated the evidence they claim to possess.  (Of course, I remained a YECist as long as I did partly because the teachers are so effective at convincing you that they’ve shown the foundational axioms of evolution to be bogus; in listening to them, you’re pretty sure at the end of the day that you *have* investigated what they say.  If you don’t have the part of your brain working that can realize that your *teacher* might be misrepresenting his opponents’ stance, you can become quickly convinced that “evolutionists” have nothing to bring to the table.  Believing that your beliefs are true tends to reinforce that conclusion.)

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Doesn’t “delusional” *mean* “having false beliefs”?

    I would say it is possible to have false beliefs without being delusional (e.g., I believe the War of 1812 was declared on June 17 rather than June 18, because I forgot the actual date). It is also in principle possible to delusionally hold a true belief (e.g., I am an inmate in the Metropolis Insane Asylum who believes everyone I meet is Superman, and Clark Kent walks in).

  • Go_4_tli

    Dave: “I would say it is possible to have false beliefs without being delusional (e.g., I believe the War of 1812 was declared on June 17 rather than June 18, because I forgot the actual date).”

    There’s an important distinction between what you describe here and the idea that “evolutionists” are merely mistaken.  In your example, one can potentially have access to the facts of the matter; it’s just that what the facts *are* have slipped in your brain.  In the case of the “evolutionist”, he can have the accurate facts in mind, *but be wrong about what conclusion they point to*.

    It’s a bit like someone who looks at the Watergate proceedings and determines that they’re proof that the Nixon administration had secret meetings in the Oval Office with aliens from Ceti Alpha V.  It’s not that this poor person has the wrong *facts*; his delusion springs from warped reasoning about what the facts *indicate*.

    It seems pretty clear that the person in the previous paragraph is delusional, right?  How is the described creationist position concerning “evolutionists” different?

    (I’m leaving your “delusionally holding a true belief” example alone because as far as I can tell, it doesn’t relate to the creationists and how they see “evolutionists”.  Please feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken.)

  • Dr.ChristianCynique

    I like your thoughts. I am not an earth scientist. I do have a PhD in one of the “social sciences” and thus have learned a thing or two about the nature of science itself. When I began my academic pursuits, it was for the purpose of “establishing” the Truth. Thankfully, my experienced humbled me. I discovered that what comes out of science is inevitably biased by the theory assumed by the scientist. I’d like to know Fred’s qualifications for interpreting and evaluating the findings of scientists. Truth is, I don’t know enough about earth science to KNOW who to believe. I don’t think either perspective is a threat to my faith. Clearly, some people fear that their faith will be questioned by peers if they seriously consider Darwinian Evolution. On the other hand, some fear that their goodstanding among “enlightened” liberal intelligentsia will be threatened if they question the dogma of Darwinian evolution. I’m not sure how – as a non-scientist – Fred KNOWS that he is correct, unless he is simply accepting the “claims” of certain scientists, which suggests a certain degree of his own “self-absorbed pride” and his name-calling suggests his own “rejection of the duty to love.” Kohlberg’s theory of moral development should be a must-read for all in these polarizing times. What is becoming seemingly obvious to me, is that we are living in a time when ALL people and authorities have become increasingly prideful, and their institutional “KNOWLEDGE” is being challenged. Its not just our religious authorities and institutions which have become overly-certain, prideful, and defensive, but our academic, media, and political institutions as well. God help us all if we continue to put our trust in them. In God I trust.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    No, I think I’d say that if I have a bunch of accurate facts and use them to arrive at a wrong conclusion, I’m not necessarily deluded, though I might be.

    For example, I might look at the Watergate proceedings and consider them proof that the Nixon administration was colluding with G.Gordon Liddy’s tax attorney. Stipulating that G.Gordon Liddy’s tax attorney wasn’t in fact involved, my conclusion is mistaken, but I might not be deluded.

    That said, I would agree with you that if I consider them proof that the Nixon administration was colluding with aliens, I am almost certainly deluded. But I derive that not only from the fact that my conclusion is false, but from other facts about my conclusion (in lay terms, it’s a crazy belief).

    Similarly, it may well be that creationists see evolutionists as deluded… indeed, I agree that many, probably most, of them do. But it doesn’t follow just from the fact that they see evolutionists as drawing false conclusions from their data.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I discovered that what comes out of science is inevitably biased by the theory assumed by the scientist.

    Which is of course why, when somebody presented this off-the-wall completely counterintuitive idea that said, among other things, that synchronizing two identical clocks and sending one on a really fast round trip will result in the clocks saying different times, and that idea explained observations that Newtonian mechanics couldn’t, and predictions based on that idea came closer to experimental results than predictions based on Newtonian mechanics absolutely nobody was convinced that Newtonian mechanics is, if not false, certainly incomplete.

    In other words, if you want us to believe creationism is true, find observations that are unexplained or poorly explained by the theory of evolution, and show how your idea explains those observations better. And then think up an experiment where the results will go one way if the theory of evolution is true and another if creationism is true, and do the experiment, and show us that the results suggest creationism. You and your buddies will have to do this thousands of times, because we have thousands of experimental results that track very well with the predictions consistent with the theory of evolution, but it is not at all an impossible task.

    Providing, of course, that creationism, not evolution, is true.

  • Vermic

    On the other hand, some fear that their goodstanding among “enlightened” liberal intelligentsia will be threatened if they question the dogma of Darwinian evolution.

    Who are these people?  What are their problems with evolution, and what new evidence do they have to support their case?  Or do they cry “dogma!” and “bias!” and “prideful!” to avoid admitting that they have no evidence worth listening to?

    Generally, science is pretty cool about being questioned and challenged — if the challenger can back up their claims with good data and new theories that explain the data better.  That’s how science moves forward.  If, on the other hand, the challenger has only crummy ideas and prejudices to bring to the table, and even after being corrected comes back with the same crummy ideas and prejudices, again and again … well, science is less cool about that.  And justifiably so.

  • swbarnes2

    When I began my academic pursuits, it was
    for the purpose of “establishing” the Truth.

     

    Then you were ill-educated in your undergrad years.  Fallible mortals have no access to Platonic
    Truth.  We have our facts, and the context
    in which we collected them, and we do the best we can to use those facts to make
    accurate predictions about reality.  When
    our predictions come true, say, we land a rover on Mars, we conclude that we
    have done a rather good job, but NASA engineers do not know any kind of perfect
    Truth.

     

    I discovered that what comes out of
    science is inevitably biased by the theory assumed by the scientist.

     

     

    If I have a theory that the force of gravity
    decreases by the cube of distance, my rover will not land on Mars.  How long will my co-workers  let me labor under that prejudice when my
    rovers keep failing to land on Mars?
     

    What is becoming seemingly obvious to
    me, is that we are living in a time when ALL people and authorities have become
    increasingly prideful, and their institutional “KNOWLEDGE” is
    being challenged.

     

    You know how easy it is to look at human lysozyme and all
    its orthologs in other species?  I can
    post the link.  It’s not like scientists are
    hiding any of this stuff.  No one is keeping it from you, no one is
    terrified that you are going to challenge them with your unorthodox
    interpretation of the data.  You want to challenge
    the mainstream scientific conclusions drawn from those datasets, go right on
    ahead.  No one is stopping you.  We’ll wait. 
    I personally know ensembl better than NCBI, but I’m sure between all the
    people who read this board, someone will be able to take a stab at whatever specific
    question you might need to ask to further your inquiries.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens
    When I began my academic pursuits, it was
    for the purpose of “establishing” the Truth.

    Then you were ill-educated in your undergrad years.

    I think it’s hardly fair to call him or her out on that when it was immediately followed by “Thankfully, my experienced humbled me.”  That was kind of his or her whole point there.

    P.S. If I’m understanding correctly what went wrong with your formatting, you need forward slash “/”, not backward slash “”, in the closing tags.  You should still be able to edit it and fix it if you care to.

  • Captain_dg

     “Suddenly you are faced with others who claim to know of things you
    know nothing about. Can you accept that this might be possible? To
    reject such a possibility is to make a moral choice.

    “These others
    present evidence and claim to be bound by the implications of that
    evidence. Will you look at it? Or will you refuse to even consider it?
    This, too, is an inescapably moral choice.”

    I am not a YEC but neither of these conclusions is logically necessary.  A practical choice about what you can assimilate for non-moral reasons is also possible.  The “others” presenting you evidence could be drinking out bottles in paper bags screaming obscenity while you try to walk to a restaurant. 

  • Socal Pastor

    I think most Christians don’t care if the earth is 6k or a billion years old.  that issue is completely separate from macro-evolution which is a “belief” system that takes greater faith then the faith to believe that something created has a creator (that is observable science!!).  Micro-evolution is believed by Christians and is observable.  Adaption is completely different than from nothing coming something.  This is a debate that matters little.

  • AnonymousSam

    Observable science? You use this term, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Who has observed a cosmic creator in the process of creation? What is that process, if it is not applying gravitation and atomic forces to particles until a supernova goes boom, then continuing to apply such forces until a solar system arises containing quantities of the heavy elements only formed in supernovae, then continuing to apply such forces until collections of particles become self-replicating, then twiddling with those collections of particles trial-and-error and seeing which organisms flourish and which fade under what circumstances, and continuing to twiddle with the organisms to see what will make them more able to survive to reproduce under given circumstances and what will make them less able?


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