Young Earth Creationists make their point

creationism

Our previous post, Dan Wilkinson’s “Creationist Ken Ham versus the Truth,” generated many comments from Young Earth Creationists eager to assert their conviction that, because the Bible is meant to be taken literally, the theory of evolution is not just factually but morally wrong.

Young Earth Creationists believe that approximately six thousand years ago God created the world and all of its creatures in six twenty-four hour days. They believe that dinosaurs co-existed with modern humans. When presented with the scientific facts that the universe is between 11 and 15 billion years old, that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and that life appeared on earth at least 2.5 billion years ago and subsequently evolved into many forms, Young Earth Creationists often respond with Ken Ham’s famous, “Were you there?”

Ken Ham is a prominent leader of the YEC movement. He is founder and president of Answers in Genesis (AiG), a “Christianity-defending ministry” that in 2007 opened the $27 million Creation Museum, paid for entirely through private donations to AiG. Located on 50 acres in Petersburg, Kentucky, the 70,000 square foot state of the art “museum” (for it is not accredited by the American Alliance of Museums) features “a time journey through a visual presentation of the ‘Seven C’s of History’ according to Scripture: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross and Consummation. … [Visitors] will also be challenged to consider how the first 11 chapters of Genesis addresses modern cultural issues such as racism, same-sex marriage and abortion.” Over two million people have visited the Creation Museum since its opening.

AiG produces a daily radio feature called Answers…with Ken Ham which airs on over 860 domestic stations and over 450 international outlets. It also hosts more than 350 “teaching events” across the United States each year. Ken Ham and his followers seek to eliminate the teaching of evolution in public schools.

Here, speaking for themselves via their reaction to Dan’s blog post, are just some of the Young Earth Creationists who want to dictate public school curriculum:

For anyone who reads their Bible, it’s pretty clear that the entire concept and theory of evolution blatantly contradicts a number of biblical accounts, therefore one must be true and the other false as the Bible does not contradict itself. Simple, and in a nutshell. — Jonathan D.

Satan and the demons work hard to deceive us. If, as you imply, Ken Ham’s work of teaching and interpreting the Bible is wrong, you are making null and void the gift of teaching given to the church by the Holy Spirit. — Nick L.

Nothing cant evolve into something anymore than something with gene can evolve a million other genes different from the first. This is basic maths I have one sweet and have no more sweets to add how many sweets do I have 1 or 10,000,000? —   Benjamin N.

The issue of origins is outside the realm of science. If you think that evolution is science and proven, you have absolutely no clue as to the nature of knowledge. … Science cannot deal with unique, unrepeatable, unobservable and untestable events. Can anyone do a Show’n’Tell of a fish turning into a crocodile? The same is true of Creation. Both must be accepted on Faith. … Since no one can observe what has taken place in the past, no theory of origins is in the realm of science. The answer as to where we came from must be based upon faith. If you believe in Evolution, you have placed your faith upon Nothing, because for you the universe came from Nothing. … There is No truth in science, Truth is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Learn the Natures of Knowledge and Truth before delving into the issue of origins.
–Gijreb

Their truth is a theory not based in any scientific fact yet they cling to their faith of what is not there. Sad. –Thalinna B.

One of the best learning experiences I ever had was my visit to the Creation Museum. — Janet W.

If death came prior to Adam (evolution) then Jesus is not needed. We are not Christians. Its incompatible. We need Jesus as Savior BEcause of Genesis. — Ryan D.

Evolution, according to every text I have seen and that schools provide, says “evolution” is a “belief” of scientists, and a “theory”, so they choose this as THEIR religion, I have 4 children that are going to learn the truth and that is Creation, the Bible, and Gods laws and rules for us. … I am very concerned my own children and about the millions of children that are exposed to the lie of “evolution”, and their salvation and receipt of the true message of God … . — Susan

Well, the Bible says, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” That verse makes no exceptions for those who have their Ph. D. and have published journal articals. … [Ken Ham is] actually trying to defend the conclusion to which anyone would come if they read it for themselves without trying to make it fit something else … — PN8891

I do believe the earth is less than 10k years old, sure. I trust the eye witness that was there and was kind enough to tell us about it, God. I do believe people lived hundreds of years, so what? … There is no old earth creation. It’s a lie of Satan to deceive the very elect if possible. … Dump science and believe the Bible. Science is the fancy of men while the Bible is every single word of the Living God, perfectly preserved and inspired for us to read. — Shawn A.

It all comes down to how big your God is. Mine is big enough to speak everything into existence in 6-24 hour days. Mine is big enough to preserve His Word so that “day” means “day”. How big is yours? — Ernie B.

Both “theories” require faith. And yes…creation is an accepted theory. A theory is simply a system of ideas intended to explain something. So those dismissing creation as a theory…if people believe it, then it is a theory. Get over it! — Nathan

I reject your belief that evolution has been proven true. The only thing that has evolved is the theory itself. The human architects of this theory have worked hard to overcome the growing problems with such an idea. I will admit that it takes a great amount of faith to believe such a tale. However, I can also appreciate the differences in opinions among people unlike many advocating evolution. My only point right now is that you cannot attempt to square the Word of God and remain consistent with true Biblical Christianity while holding to a man made theory that has been devised to eliminate God from the equation. I believe, in the beginning God and it seems you believe, in the beginning dirt. — Pastor Todd D.

Child like minds don’t use science to justify truth nor do they compare theory to do this leads to sorcery wich is very dangerous ground and also questionings the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ .who do i believe man or Jesus Christ without a doubt Jesus Christ you will never be led astray. — Sheena K.

in order to for a theory to be considered true, the hypothesis has to be able to be tested and verified. This is impossible to do regarding both creationism and evolution. It will NEVER happen. Therefore, they are both theories. Both require faith. So, the ultimate questions is do you want to place your faith in man? or God? — Emily (a self-proclaimed high school biology teacher)

Nothing good ever comes from Patheos. They are so full of Biblical inaccuracies it is truly sad. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. — Susie M.

I think that anyone who is honest and doesn’t have an atheistic agenda or axe to grind, if they take a reasonable look at what the theory of evolution proposes, they have to conclude that it just can’t make any sense. There are more holes in the theory of evolution than there are stars in the galaxy. — Thomas C.

I know you don’t have to believe in six literal creation days to be saved, but sometimes you wonder if these people who compromise believing in long ages and/or evolution really are since they basically are insisting man’s word is more authoritative than God’s even though they would probably deny that conclusion. — Edward L.

The creationist model is the biblical model. Anything else is private, personal, and subjective interpretation, which 2 Peter states is the wrong way to read the Bible. The Bible interprets itself! — Caleb M.

The universe created by God is vast beyond comprehension, and, amazingly enough, coincides with science when science does what it does best – describes what it sees and observes. Everything else is just . . . theory. — Queen Alice

Genesis is compatible with Jesus. Evolution is not compatible with the need of a Savior. Death entered after Adam’s sin, not before. Jesus paid the fine Adam caused. The fine was death. — Ryanmd

Patheos is pathetic! Both blogger Wilkinson and many (but thankfully not all) of those responding are displaying their anti-Bible bias and ignorance. — Greg B.

Also, because evolutionists are unwilling to give creation science any serious consideration, they really don’t have a proper understanding of it and always refute and discredit it with straw man fallacies and ad hominem attacks. Can scientists demonstrate the earth’s purported age of 4.6 billion years in a laboratory? — Desi

The bottom line is these folks [evolutionists] simply have no room in their hearts for God …. — Eric S.

[Progressive Christianity is] whatever the secular world believes about where they came from, you accept that as infallible and then change their assumed fallible Word of God to fit! So sad. In many ways these sort of people are more dangerous to Christianity than the atheists. … Any attack on the WORD is an attack on Christ the WORD. — Ken Ham

 

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  • JWBS

    You’re making my head hurt. These are all the components of a typical Fundamentalist Gish Gallop. You cannot have a reasonable discussion with them about creationism because they lack the tools have have a reasonable discussion. They wouldn’t know a logical fallacy if they tripped over one.

  • Jeff Elvis

    Thoses are able body voting americans. That is truly scary!!!!

  • MikeHaas82

    I put in more than my share of responses to these folks. Predictably, most were hit and run and didn’t stick around for questions (or answers) that they weren’t prepared to handle.

    I’m honestly a bit surprised that Ken Ham himself didn’t drop by to field a few questions. But when you have so many adherents ready to go to bat for you, why bother?

    I think Ham is probably intelligent enough to realize that in a debate atmosphere, even members of the audience that don’t buy into his Christian beliefs, still don’t grok the scientific process well enough to tell the difference between the *theory* of Evolution, that is testable and can be demonstrated, and Creationism, which is a hypothesis (barely) and is neither testable and therefore, cannot be demonstrated. He’s counting on the fact that he can confuse them into at least accepting the idea, particularly if they lean toward a literalist view of the Bible or if they believe blindly in “putting God back into our schools”, that they might take the view of, “what’s the harm” in teaching Creationism to our children.

    Its odd – these YEC folks who take their computers and cell phones for granted, would they argue circuit theory? System calls made by an application? One would think they would regard modern pad and phone displays as “voodoo”, “of the Devil.”

    I made a point about whether animal life native to Australia was on the Ark. I was really hoping one of them would tell me how they got to Mesopotamia…

    • Ian

      I made a point about whether animal life native to Australia was on the Ark. I was really hoping one of them would tell me how they got to Mesopotamia…

      They didn’t need to get to Noah. They were indigenous across the whole world before the flood. It was only after the flood they migrated to where they are now.

      And because the water levels were seriously messed up, it is entirely valid to believe that there were land bridges to the appropriate parts of the world in the months after the flood dried up, which disappeared when the water returned to its normal level.

      Honestly, I don’t think much of your ability to make up stuff if you’re stumped on a basic question like that.

      • Stuart Blessman

        Were you there?

        • Ian

          No, but my deity of choice told me I’m right, and he is infallible, so that settles it.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Wait. There was a deity choice?? How come no one ever told me??

          • lymis

            Of course there’s a deity choice. One choice is right, and all the others condemn you to an eternity of hellfire and agony. And you get to make the choice without adequate information.
            Sleep well!

          • Julie

            No….apparently the one that condemns you to an eternity of hellfire and agony is the right one. There are some loopholes though.

          • MikeHaas82

            Y’know, I’m a more or less a “believing” Jew but the Pastafarians have a great church. And the Flying Spaghetti monster is the most benign God in the whole Universe. I like my Kipa, not sure a pasta strainer would be a good look for me though.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Or, there was a major regional flood, as has been strongly suggested with some strong evidence. As we’ve had a few ice ages over the past several milenia, sea level changes have been altered more than once. Noah’s flood could have resulted from a sea level finally overtaking a once dry area of land as ice melted and retreated. Scientists have uncovered former settlements under the sea off the coast of England, that were flooded during the end of the last ice age.

        the flood account, written of course, well after the event, and the stuff of legends, was certainly not a global one. The people of that day, did not yet have a concept for the vastness of the planet yet, or that there were other continents…to them the world is the area they knew, and just a little further.

        as for animals indigenous to small portions of the planet. One has to wonder how a snail, found only in a small region of the Amazon rain forest, or a bird found only in the frigid steppes of Mongolia, or a butterfly who’s migration routes are only found in the western hemisphere, managed to not get on that ark and survive.

        • Ian

          Sounds like secular thinking to me. You atheists are always coming down from your ivory towers with your logic, and history and evidence and other ungodly stuff. It isn’t right.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I’m not an atheist.

          • Ian

            Sorry allegro, I tried vainly to keep up the sarcasm. But I forgot Poe’s law… it is impossible to satirize a YEC without being mistaken for being serious.

            I am an atheist. I only suggested you were out of satire.

            To the extent I had a good point in my first comment to Mike Haas, it was that, asking ‘tricky questions’ of YEC is usually pointless. Because they have no commitment to finding out whether something actually happened, or finding out which of a set of hypotheses best matches the evidence, they will always respond with some ad-hoc explanation. By coming up with silly excuses on their behalf, I think it helps us see that they aren’t arguing in good faith, imho.

            Sorry I didn’t make that clearer. I appreciated your suggestion on the origin of the flood narrative.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh its Ok. I was weaned on sarcasm. I passed it on to my children (their poor spouses) and can’t get past a day without at least one snappy comeback.

            Part of my charm.

            And of course you are right. If someone is satisfied with the answers given, no matter how inadequate, then they don’t want to look further, and will resist any and all suggestions that there may be more to the picture.. But for the perpetually curious, like myself….I have all these questions that start with the word “why”.

          • MikeHaas82

            I have a good imagination, Ian. I’d proffered that the likely explanation was that at the time of the flood, they’d say there was no plant or animal life there – no need for it until right before it was discovered. I’d mentioned in the same post that years ago, my ex-father in law and I were discussing extraterrestrial life (not UFOs) and he said that that it couldn’t exist if it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible. I countered that it didn’t mention North and South America either and it thoroughly honked him off.

      • Ian

        I think I’m suffering from Poe’s Law…

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

          Don’t give in…keep playing…stand firm!

      • Lars

        “They didn’t need to get to Noah. They were indigenous across the whole world before the flood. It was only after the flood they migrated to where they are now.”

        Thanks, Ian. Few people realize just how much the flood dispersed indigenous species to places where they were less indigenous as other species in that location prior to the flood. If you’ve ever watched a duck carcass drift downstream, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

    • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

      I beleive the answer to this (by creationists) is that the original single landmass broke up, drifted apart, and that is why there are different animals in different places. But maybe i don’t remember correctly. I used to know quite a bit about creationism.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Trying to imagine land masses bobbing along like ice cubes until they got to their current positions, in the matter of just a couple of thousand of years. and then somehow just finding ways to get connected to each other….well except for Australia and Antarctica, of course. And all the animals knew just which continent to end up on…

        sorry. Just can’t do it.

        • lymis

          How did they know to show up for the Ark? If one, then the other. Divine guidance. And miracles, ’cause that’s a pretty quick trip for a snail or slug.

      • gimpi1

        Actually, the continents have been joined up into a single land-mass a few times over the earth’s 4.5 or so billion-year history. The most recent was Pangea. We can track their movements from space these days. They move at different speeds, Eurasia-Africa and the Americas are moving apart at around 2″ a year. India is slamming into the Eurasian continent at almost 6″ a year, pushing up the Himalayas. Of course none of this is possible over a 6,000 year time-line. You truly need deep time to make the geology work.

        Sorry to blow the Poe-thread. I’m the wife of a geologist, and I just had to dip my oar in.

    • paarsurrey

      Quoting your words:

      “I made a point about whether animal life native to Australia was on the Ark. I was really hoping one of them would tell me how they got to Mesopotamia…” Unquote

      Please quote from Bible for your main objections to the narratives relating to the Flood.

      Thanks

  • Valerie Barlow Horton

    I truly believe in the word of God, that being said I also believe that if an all powerful God created our universe that he may have used evolution to do it. I am sick and tired of these fundamentalist jerks corrupting what the Bible says about creation. I also think that if they force us to learn creationism in school that other creation myths should be included as well. I believe the Polynesians believe that a great turtle travels through the universe with the earth on its back…

    • paarsurrey

      Quoting your words:

      “I truly believe in the word of God, that being said I also believe that if an all powerful God created our universe that he may have used evolution to do it.” Unquote

      I agree with you.

      The scribes might have failed to convey the original word revealed on the original recipient of revelation; we don’t have the exact Word revealed. Nobody knows who wrote the Genesis.

      In the Arabic language; and Hebrew and Aramaic language are its sister languages; the word youm does not have to be of 24 hour-day, necessarily; the day could consist on one thousand years; or fifty thousand years.

      I quoted earlier, two verses of Quran to elaborate the point.

  • Michael Rigby

    I have a question for all those YEC out there. If the Earth and the Universe are only 6 – 10,000 years old, how come we can see light from stars that are over two billion light years away? Light travels at 299,792,458 m/s which equates to 9.4605284 times 10 to the power of 15 meters (around 9.5 trillion kilometers. Yes, I had to google those figures). If the Earth and Universe were only 10,000 years old, surely we would only be able to see light that was no more than 10,000 light years away. please answer me that!

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      There is no critique that you can come up with that YECers don’t have an answer for. In the case of starlight, they claim that your conclusion is based upon flawed premises, such as: your assumption that the speed of light has been constant throughout history, your assumption that the passage of time has been constant throughout history and your assumption that starlight couldn’t be supernaturally transmitted. Given such dubious assumptions, how can you cling to the clearly un-biblical notion of an old universe?

      • Michael Rigby

        Well, that’s completely put my mind at ease and I am now a fully paid up YEC. I shall put those points forwards next time someone brings my original point up. If they don’t agree with me, I shall resort to calling them a heretic! O_o

      • John Oliver

        It cuts both ways, Dan. Mere “evidence” will rarely convince anyone to leave their position. They have to be persuaded, and that is much harder than mere evidence. So often in this debate, both sides assume such unkind things about their opponent, and speak with that tone.

        • MikeHaas82

          John, its called, “Cognitive Dissonance”. I’m pretty easy to persuade with factual information backed up by decent sources, even if it upsets a closely held belief.

          • John Oliver

            That’s a wonderful trait, Mike! Would that there were more like you. But cognitive dissonance is not the correct term for what I’m referring to. Cognitive dissonance, to my understanding, is that uncomfortable feeling we have when we try to hold two positions that are contradictory. We have an inward sense that we are not living according to our own beliefs. That’s not quite what I’m talking about. I’m referring more to the shallower regions of our being, where we immediately search for a response to an objection as more of a knee jerk reaction, because it doesn’t align with our presuppositions. Some of these presuppositions may not even be clearly understood by us, we just believe what we believe, and then look for evidence to substantiate it. When objections are raised we have dozens of “saving tactics” to preserve our position.
            At any rate, my contention is still that kindness in debating such issues will always yield more fruit. I know I am much more likely to listen to a kind and patient person, who treats my like a person, and not like a walking idea

        • gimpi1

          Evidence has persuaded me to change my beliefs. Several times. Well, I always knew I was special:-)

      • gimpi1

        The problem with those dodges is that we have seen the explosions of supernovas that exploded over 10,000 years ago. According to young-earth (universe) creationism, those stars must have not existed at all, since they went supernova before creation. All that ever existed of them is the blast from their deaths. How does that work?

    • lymis

      The obvious answer, which, oddly, the YEC never seem to even consider is that, God being omnipotent and being able to create the entire universe in an instant (or six days worth of instants), there’s no reason for him to have created it NEW.

      So, God could have created a multi-billion year-old universe with light already streaming between the stars, fossils in the ground, and evolution in progress, like buying a new clock and setting it to half past ten.

      But of course, if they claimed that, which would resolve all the difficulties in their theory, it would also completely void all their objections to things like evolution – since evolution would be a perfectly valid and reasonable view of how things are right now, regardless of how they got that way. The purely secular view would simply be an accurate description of the world around us, which self-evidently manifests God’s Plan (or it wouldn’t be here.) It would completely validate science, and make things like logic and intellectual curiosity valuable. That would be an issue for people who want simple explanations.

      • Sven2547

        The term I like to use for this is “Last-Thursdayism”.
        It goes like this: “It has been revealed to me that the universe was made last Thursday. Prove me wrong.”

        The claim is, of course, silly. We remember things prior to last Thursday. We have possessions that are more than a week old. The naked eye can see starlight more than a week old.

        But oh! I just hand-wave it away and say the Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth created those memories, objects, and starlight in situ, which only grants the appearance of an older universe to the uninitiated mind.

        Even beyond the theological implications of such a trickster God, the whole claim is idiotic. No less idiotic is the claim that the Earth is younger than 10,000 years old: it’s exactly the same bogus “reasoning” as Last-Thursdayism.

        • lymis

          I agree completely.

          Even if you posit an Almighty God who could do such things, it’s certainly inelegant.

    • John Oliver

      Isn’t the speed of light 186,000 m/s?

      • Michael Rigby

        Are you getting your units of measure mixed up? I was quoting in meters per second. You appear to be quoting Miles per second. Both are correct once you do the highly advanced sums (divide Km by 1.6).

        • John Oliver

          Ah, yes! I’ve just always used the miles measurement. Thanks for clarifying.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Novice question. Can light speed be altered by gravitational pull, therefore not quite being a constant? I think I remember reading that, and I don’t remember where.

          • Michael Rigby

            It can change travelling through water but not in the vacuum of space. Unless you’re in a black hole but then it would be pulled towards it but not changed. I think :-

    • Bernie Keefe

      I heard somewhere along the road that they do have some convoluted answer for that. Something to do with the moment of creation, all the light from the stars being affixed in the Firmament of the sky…yada, yada…then the universe expanding out…BS, BS….and so on. I just look at them and quietly say to myself,”There, but for the Grace of God, walks I.”

    • buzzdixon

      It gets even more specious than that.

      In the YEC universe if light from a super nova a million light years away reaches us, it means that God created an image of the star exploding long before it actually did explode, which is as pointless an endeavor as one could imagine. If God created the universe only 6K years ago, then we would be seeing new stars popping up all the time, not stars that are millions or billions of years old dying.

      Ergo, YEC claims God is a deliberate liar who can not be trusted.

      • gimpi1

        Or a Loki-like trickster-God. Someone who deliberately tries to mislead people, then condemns them for falling for His deception, and punishes them horribly. Not a pretty belief…

    • Sven2547

      There is a YEC hypothesis that the value of C (the constant representing the maximum speed of light in a vacuum) used to be much larger, and it is constantly shrinking. They call this hypothesis “C-decay”.

      There are multiple significant problems with the “C-decay” hypothesis:
      * It contradicts the overwhelming evidence that C is indeed constant.
      * It has absolutely zero evidence supporting it.
      * It contradicts the tested and established laws of physics.
      * It has essentially zero explanatory or predictive power, other than just being a lame excuse for the blatant shortcoming of YEC illustrated by the Starlight Problem.

      E still equals MC^2. If C were a few billion times greater in the past (as C-decay proponents claim), then the energy output of the Sun would have been much greater, multiplied by a factor of a few billion squared. Suffice to say, Earth would have been disintegrated.

  • Ralph Locklin

    Science is and has always been a hard sell to people who have never studied the scientific method. People including primitive folks have always been curious about nature and the meaning of life. To help the common folks to live day to day, early writers used stories created without any understanding of science but which nonetheless created an approachable framework to deal with difficult issues. These stories are still useful to some extent today, but one must realize that they are just a symbolic representation of fundamental processes that may not be useful in a scientific context. The creation story is perhaps the best example of this. Now, does evolution theory explain everything that happens to living creatures over time? Probably not. It is a theory and theories both make statements of fact based on evidence as well as ask questions that test the theoretical statements or predictions..One aspect of evolution theory that is currently being researched involves the adaptation of creatures to changes in their environment. The field of epigenetics studies the changes in genetic information based on experiences of the creature. While it was once thought that genes and their role in life were static and unchangeable it is no longer an accurate representation of the role of genes in the life of at least all mammals.Experience can change how our genes work and this applies to the time an infant is in the womb to situations throughout life. The changes in gene performance are transmissible across generations. Here is another example of how very small single cell creatures adapt their entire metabolism when removed from an environment that sustained them and placed in an environment that cannot sustain them. When the change occurs they go to work to adapt their complete physiology to use the chemicals available in the new environment. Just to summarize current scientific understandings, we can say that all life forms evolve over time to other expressions and forms. And furthermore, these process are happening at the present time. Creation is not static but it is dynamic and very likely has always been dynamic and changing.

  • Jakeithus

    What’s clear to me from these comments, and almost all of the discussion on this topic, is that a different approach needs to be taken in order to get any sort of real traction or progress towards a better state of affairs in the family of God.

    Deciding how the conversation needs to change is easier said than done however, and I would be at a loss to try and explain what exactly I would change about the conversation. Being part of the minority and holding the middle ground in the debate, I can’t help but feel there is a greater role for waiting for us, although it’s a tough position to be in when you don’t naturally fit in to the 2 sided debate.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      I’m just curious where you place yourself. What do you consider “the minority and holding the middle ground” to be?

      • Jakeithus

        While I’m awfully agnostic about the whole thing, mainly on the point that I’m dubious about the actual impact the topic has on day to day life, if I’m forced to give what I believe to be the most likely account, I lean towards a Progressive/Old Earth Creationism.

        My minority status remarks came from partly misremembering this post: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2013/05/16/creation-evolution-and-us-pastors-rjs/

        While progressive creation is still the minority, I remember thinking that Theistic Evolution was held at a higher level than it is (that survey is among clergy, but the point stands). Progressive Creation is kind of the forgotten position in the conversation, it rarely comes up on Patheos for example, and it means whenever I watch the debates I get the luxury of thinking “I agree and disagree with just about everyone here at the same time”.

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

          Thanks for that clarification, I appreciate your forthrightness. You’re of course right that there’s more than two sides to the issue, and you’re right that the conversation between any/all sides is essentially stalled. How to move forward? Your guess is as good as mine!

          • Jakeithus

            You’re welcome.

            I’m probably biased and overconfident, but I like to think if it was more widely publicized my own perspective would help get rid of the flaws and problem that I see in YEC. I know I wasn’t even aware such a position existed until I was 18, but when I discovered it I was immediately attracted by a new way discussing and thinking about our origins.

            Of course, Ken Ham and many of those like him view my position as just as unbiblical, so using reason and debate like the current tactics would likely achieve nothing more than a 3 way status quo.

  • LG

    I except that I do not have all of the answers . I still believe in God . Most of our scientific forefathers also believed in God and believed that science and the Bible worked together . Science changes every day , what we thought we knew for certain is no longer certain . It amazes me , I love seeing both sides , both points of view . I believe that God wants us to question . He wants us to be amazed bewildered . I do not see this world as an accident . I believe in God , those are my certainies . As a Christian my job is to follow Jesus and show his love . Arguing evolution vs creation is not feeding the hungry , caring for the sick , loving the rejected . I have seen full fledged atheist come to a belief in God , yet still not having all of the answers and still uncertain about this topic .

  • germcheck

    Answer in Genesis is a business enterprise selling false science to children with Christian parent deficient in proper science education. Ken Ham made millions of US dollars, dollars that he can’t possibly make in Australia where he came from, dumbing down the children of USA. It’s sad. No wonder many American Christians are becoming more and more stupid that one Texas governor (who is a Christian) organized a prayer rally for rain on April 22, 2011 resulting not in a single drop of rain. Wake up! The last thing Ken Ham wants is to educate your children. He is an astute businessman and a con artist!

    • gimpi1

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Mr. Ham should be doing time for fraud.

  • Daniel Webb

    I couldn’t get far enough past all the subject-verb disagreements to see the truth of a literal genesis. Someone please remove the scales from my eyes!

  • R Vogel

    Is it any wonder that America is falling behind the rest of the developed world in virtually every meaningful category?

    • exelion

      Dont forget about the fact that many schools are severely underfunded.

      • R Vogel

        They are probably linked, yeah? A general religious disdain for education lead many to opposed funding. All it can do is drive people away from the timeless truths of the bible!

  • http://www.samareth.me/mc2.html Matthew Crockett

    The biggest problem with YECs is their assertion (which they Start with at the beginning and don’t even pretend to prove) that science is anti-christian and that Christians have a Duty to counter with a view selected Because it is at odds with science and the scientific method. The Truth is that, if you believe God made the universe, then anything discovered by honest research is By Definition “how God made things”.

    When Darwin’s book was first published, some theologians went so far as to refer to it as “a description of divine providence”. It was only Later with the fundamentalists that some changed that view To Spite Atheists (not because anything had been disproven).

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    I cry “Poe’s law”.
    No, I scream “Poe’s law! Poe’s law”.
    No, I pray “please, please Poe’s law”.
    If not, I’ll curl up into the fetal position, rock back and forth, and mumble softly “it has to be Poe, it has to be Poe.”

  • Jeffrey Hoffman

    “Any attack on the WORD is an attack on Christ the WORD.”

    Once again, Ken Ham reveals what a theological disaster he is by confusing the LOGOS (Jesus) with the Bible (a library of books whose number and contents remain hotly disputed between and among various Christian communions and denominations). While this is not, sadly, an uncommon mistake among American evangelicals, it is this sort of sophistry that turns thinking people away from Christ; not the rigorous intellectual inquiry of critically thinking Christians in what largely constitutes wide swaths of the historic, apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.

    Why would God have revealed the complex mechanics of Creation to an uncomprehending Iron Age nomad? How would that have enabled the Israelites to find the Promised Land? After all, it took them forty years of wandering in a giant circle following mysterious portents to end up where they were headed. Imagine if God had revealed GPS or even a friggin’ compass to Moses, how that story might have changed.

    “It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.” — St. Augustine of Hippo in the Fifth Century

    “For who that has understanding will suppose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, existed without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally.” — Origen of Alexandria, Third Century

    • Bernie Keefe

      Which is why I always trip them up with,”This begs a question then, who do you believe in more, the Bible or God?” Works everytime, because they are incapable of discerning between the two. The can’t see the forest through trees and their own idolatry.

  • JenellYB

    Just give it up. Let it go. There’s no reasoning with them. I have now and in the past been around such people that think, it you can call it that, like this, through some one chance or another incident of kin by blood or marriage or just accidental shared close proximity. Having had some personal level interaction with such people, if you wonder how they can get this far out over something like this, you wouldn’t be able to even imagine some of the stuff they can come up with in ordinary matters of life, that can leave you by turn scratching your head and wondering ‘huh?’ to rolling on the floor laughing.

  • JenellYB

    I have read Ken Ham’s main book in which he lays out creationism, and have it still stuck away on one of my closets here somewhere, from my university experience a few years ago, as it was one of the required texts for a Religious Studies course, “Science and Religion.” Also a text written by actual scientists laying out the facts that counter false information found within it. In ‘Creationism,’ Ham used not only a lot of misinformation, repeating as if ‘expert sources’ other religious oriented creationists, as well as presenting as if still current and accepted valid, a good deal of material, speculations and theories, suggested at some time past, but long ago debunked and discarded. There are even casually speculated oddities that have drawn a bit of attention in some non-professional small newspaper stories, presented as if ‘evidence and testimony’ of scientific experts. Ken Ham is more than merely mistaken or deluded, he is an outright fraud that had manufactured so much of what he presents as claimed evidence, put forth so many entirely fabulous fictional stories, in his argument for Creationism, it can’t be just ignorance, he’s an out right fraud, a con man making a buck off the gullible.

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    ******* “Nothing cant evolve into something…..” *********

    So how do they explain the existence even of God? They don’t bother, of course. This entire discussion begs the question of where God came from in the first place, to which there is no answer possible and never will be.

    But never mind. There can be no “discussion” with Creationists. Their intellectual INcapacity quiet simply makes discussion moot. And about that intellectual INcapacity……One needs only to try to comprehend their education level as illustrated by their use of the English language so witlessly displayed by their sentence structure, syntax. failure to punctuate and even construct comprehensible sentences. Sigh.

    “Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.”Proverbs 16:22

    • Valerie Barlow Horton

      Unfortunately I have observed supposedly educated people that believe in the Young Earth Theory. The example I am thinking of is a dentist here in Texas who was on the Board of Education to decide what would be in Science books! Scary.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

        That dentist is Don McLeroy, whose fight against evolution is documented in the 2012 film The Revisionaries.

        • Valerie Barlow Horton

          Thank you Dan, I couldn’t remember his name. I saw a screening of The Revisionaries not to long ago and it scared me.

  • William Prince

    Creationism and evolution aren’t mutually exclusive. Most Christians I know believe in both.

    • lymis

      Yes, but it’s not like everyone who professes to be Christian believes exactly the same things, nor everyone who believes in evolution.

      There are versions of each that are fully compatible. There are versions of each that are utterly irreconcilable.

      • William Prince

        Well, yes, I suppose that goes without saying. My point is that it’s entirely possible to believe that God created the world and also to believe in evolution. People tend to treat the question as a simple either-or dichotomy, and I simply don’t believe that. In fact, despite a very conservative upbringing in small-town Texas, I was never taught to believe that. The Bible is the basis of our faith–not a science text.

  • John Oliver

    At the top of this page is a large banner that reads, “Above All, Love”. And yet what I pick up from the whole conversation is mocking and ridicule. What part of love is that? Why is it okay to mock our brothers and sister who a try to reconcile their understanding of the Biblical text with scientific findings. Gentleness, kindness and patience, these are what the Bible teaches us regarding our interaction with those with whom we disagree. Persuasiveness is not usually found at the end of a jagged word.

    • Jakeithus

      I couldn’t agree with you more John, and despite my own major problems with YEC, the mocking and condescension that often is involved really adds nothing of value to the conversation. It’s part of why I believe so strongly that the conversation itself needs to change somehow, as it’s current form is possibly too poisoned to be saved.

      • John Oliver

        You may be right. Though I have several friends with whom I disagree on this subject, and we are able to discuss and debate it without all the rancor. Perhaps it’s the faceless forum debates that allow the nastiness that wouldn’t be there in person.

        • MikeHaas82

          And sometimes John, you have to shame people into realizing they are being played for rubes. Ken Ham owns the copyrights and the materials that would be used if his variety of Creationism were to be adopted in public schools. Just think of all the schools books and additional materials and the potential millions he’ll cash in on. I believe that is his sole motivation (with a caveat) and since you can’t use logic to persuade his followers, you need another tactic. The closest analogy to Ken Ham is L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Look at the money his organization bilks out of fools, the lives his religion has ruined, not only financially, but by openly pursuing detractors by legal means, coercion and intimidation. True, Scientology isn’t looking to invade our school systems, but in Ham’s case, he’s a Dominionist. His ultimate goal is to gain legislative authority to punish his enemies like Homosexuals, Feminists, Liberals, etc., etc. That is the evil behind the personality cult that has arisen around him.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Hey Mike….Jake seems to have left the scene just when I was going to suggest we give it up. He’s a blathering troll enjoying the spotlight. There is no intellectual substance to his presentations and thus, no hope of us making a dent in his nothingness. So, nothing is lost by ignoring him. I have tired of it. But hey, it has been a pleasure reading you.

          • MikeHaas82

            Or perhaps he was taking time to inhale. Enjoyed reading your comments as well, thanks!

          • Raymond Watchman

            Mike, I must take this opportunity to add my voice to Bill’s in saying how much I enjoy reading your comments on this and other Patheos posts – enjoy, appreciate and value. Thanks so much for your generosity of spirit and your integrity.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      John: First of all, these words belong to the people who wrote them; they’re not ours at all. That’s … the whole idea. But more to your point: There’s nothing Christ-like—which is to say nothing Christian–about allowing people to use God and the Bible to harm others. And Christian fundamentalists like the YEC crowd do a great deal of harm to, for instance, women, children, and LGBT people—and they DO seek to dictate the curriculum of our nation’s public schools. Maybe that’s all right with you. It isn’t to me. I so tire of Christians hiding their unwillingness to combat evil behind a facade of piety. If you don’t want to fight the good fight, don’t. But don’t lob accusations of being inadequately Christian (of all things) at those of us who do.

      • John Oliver

        John, I certainly didn’t intend to lob accusations at anyone one particular group. My comments were purely my observations of the tone I had detected on the site. Perhaps I was wrong. And it is true that “love does no harm to its neighbor” as Paul states in Romans, so I agree that the Bible shouldn’t ever be used to “harm” or hurt people. But I also think we are too quick to attribute unkind motives to those with whom we disagree, while overlooking nastiness in our communication. And please hear me, I’m speaking of both sides.
        So how do you feel YEC fundamentalists are doing a great deal of harm? What are some example you would give of this? Thanks!

        • John Oliver

          Whew, I had all sorts of typos in that. Sorry!

      • Jakeithus

        Is the good fight really the one that mocks or denigrates others based on their interpretation of Genesis and of scientific findings? I really have a problem with that. I get your equation of YEC crowd=Fundamentalism=Evil, but I really think it oversimplifies things and leads to viewing people (in this case those who believe in YEC) as their ideas, rather than brothers and sisters in Christ.

        Does the debate really need to include the idea that people should be afraid of those who think that way? Does it need to involve questioning their ability to make valuable conversations to public life?

        What is the “evil” being fought here? I certainly think YEC is wrong, but whether or not it is evil is a bit of a stretch. The problem to me with that line of thinking is that, whether on purpose or not, the implication is made that those who believe in YEC are “evil” by association. Those people include my family, some of the most loving, Christ-like individuals that I know, and they are the ones that come to my mind when you talk about fighting evil.

        Of course, none of this is to say that one cannot disagree strongly with the idea or especially with those who knowingly spread falsehoods or create divisions. Just don’t use the bible to harm people, which all too often is done by all of us when we don’t see it as harm when done to those who don’t agree with us.

        • Valerie Barlow Horton

          IMO the evil being fought here is deliberate ignorance and the teaching of this same ignorance to children. Children should be taught how to think not what to think. I encourage discussion of both science and religion in my home and I expect my children to voice their own opinions and theories, YECs do not do that. That teach their ignorance as fact and do not encourage any kind of discussion among their followers. Deliberately keeping the masses ignorant is a control method. Used to keep people in their places especially women and children. I am not saying that any particular person that believes in YEC is evil just that the movement in general is. I have friends that are fundamentalists and I love them very much but I do NOT let them influence my thoughts or the lives of my children.

          • Jakeithus

            But don’t you think those on the other side of you have the same arguments? Do parents who are YECs have the right to be worried about the influence that those they disagree with might have over the lives of their children?

            You’ve made a lot of generalizations and IMO somewhat bigoted statements that helps show what I mean about viewing people as their ideas rather than as people. Many YECs do encourage discussion, but they feel like their opinions and theories are not even being given a place at the table. Whether or not they should be is a different question, but it’s more complicated that you’re making it out to be.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            ********Whether or not they should be is a different question…..********

            There is the operative phrase. Some things should NOT be given consideration and religious ideas based upon deliberate ignorance and outright fraudulent charlatanism must surely be among them.

            *******….but it’s more complicated that you’re making it out to be.********

            No, it’s not really. Some things are NOT complicated. Some things ARE simply wrong and espousing religious/political social policies that are harmful to others are most certainly among them.

          • MikeHaas82

            Their “theories and opinions” do indeed have a place at the table. They are guaranteed by the 1st Amendment a venue to teach their children and the children of like-minded parents their “theories and opinions” – their own churches. If a parent of children in public schools want their children to learn Creationism – they know exactly what church to send them to. Creationism is by its own curriculum, Christian in nature. What right to these people have to teach Christian Dogma and Doctrine to non-Christian children or Christian children who are not raised with that doctrine. Don’t their parents have any rights? John Shore earlier said much the same thing much better than I did or can – you didn’t give it much gravity apparently.

          • MikeHaas82

            If YECs are worried about the influence other people and other ways of thinking may have on their children then it is their responsibility to keep their children home schooled and monitor their contact with the, “outside world”. They have no right to expect such a thing sending their children to public schools. And please stop accusing people like Valerie of making “bigoted” remarks. You may say otherwise, but its clear you’re championing the rights and “theories and opinions” of the YECs above the rights of other Christians and forgetting that they have rights, too. Your pretense of being “impartial” as you claim is really falling flat, especially when you call the rest of us “bigots” merely because we disagree with them or other fundamentalists. As you’ll probably read elsewhere on this blog or John Shore’s own, having people disagree, even vehemently, with your religious beliefs is NOT persecution.

          • Jakeithus

            If I may offer a suggestion for future discussion you might have, please try and stop reading your own ideas into mine or others comments. I never once claimed to be impartial. I clearly have my own position that doesn’t fit nicely into the polarized debate. I have also made absolutely no claims of persecution, and I’m not about to start over this topic anytime soon. I also don’t really care about public school curriculum one way or the other, although the status quo might not be the best way to approach things.

            In terms of the bigoted remarks, it may have been a little harsh, but I stand by it. In a belief as diverse as YEC, any time someone makes disparaging remarks about the group as a whole like Valerie did, it’s going to come across that way. By association, she accused my upbringing of being one of close mindedness, afraid to ask questions with a deliberate attempt to use ignorance to keep women and children in subjugation. Do you see why I might have a problem with that, and would you really accept blanket statements like that about other groups?

            I believe that everyone has the right to their own beliefs, regardless of however much I may disagree with them. And while I don’t claim it is a right, I believe we should treat others with love and respect despite our differences. In their quest for everyone to achieve enlightenment, sometimes I think progressive Christians forget that love is still the most important thing. Not love until someone stops seeing reason, then shame, and not love until someone becomes too much of an embarrassment, then disowning.

          • MikeHaas82

            I wish I could take credit for the following, but I can’t. If Ham and his followers and other Fundies can claim, “Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner, then I can Hate the Belief but Love the Believer.” Do you buy that? No, Jake. You’re asking me to respect the beliefs of people who want to FORCE their religious opinions on others, via legislation, via our Public School system. If that wasn’t an issue, I wouldn’t care if these people still believed in Heliocentrism regardless as to whether I thought they were destroying their children’s minds with it.

            You wrote, “I think progressive Christians forget that love is still the most important thing. Not love until someone stops seeing reason, then shame, and not love until someone becomes too much of an embarrassment, then disowning.”

            You let me know when you you start aiming this this very nice sounding and fluffy puppy love sentiment at the likes of Ken Ham and other fundamentalists who by way of a self-serving and destructive Modus Operandi, regularly tell Christians and non-Christians they are Hellbound and “false” Christians. Otherwise, it would be nice if you could acknowledge that in their support of Gay Christians and the support of full inclusion of women as our equals instead of commodities whose activities must be rigidly regulated, try their very best to live up to that very sentiment from a practical application of Christian Ethics in their daily lives.

            Someday, when the “Great Work” (a Jewish concept) of John Shore and the Progressive Christian Movement culminates in the reality that the vast majority of Christians no longer shun and denigrate their Gay family members, tearing entire families apart, and accept them fully as participating in the Kingdom of God, contrast that with the work of Ken Ham, who sought to eradicate Grace, pervert Christian Ethics and destroy the work of the Christian Church via his pursuit of wealth and his distain for the scientific appreciation of God’s Universe.

            Jake, thanks to John Shore and those who preceded him, mainstream Christians no longer label me a “Christ Killer”, force me and my family into Ghettos and disenfranchise all of us from participating equally in American life. Think about that next time you see an old photograph that show businesses with signage such as “No Colored, No Irish, No Jews.”

          • Jakeithus

            I’m not asking you to respect anyone’s beliefs, I’m asking you to respect people. That was one of the very first things I brought up, that I think the Evolution/YEC debate dehumanizes people and causes people on both sides to view them as ideas or sides in an argument rather than as human beings.

            I’m not speaking to Ken Ham or fundamentalists here, but if I was, I would call them out just as harshly for the lack of love they show to those on the other side. The fact that one side does it doesn’t make it alright for the other side to do it as well. To be honest, I have higher expectations about the conduct of this side of the debate, so it disappoints me more when I see them descending into the same tribalism that they try and speak against.

            I have no doubt that John Shore and the rest of the Progressive Movement try their best to live up to the high standard of love that God calls us to. My YEC believing relatives do the same, and both probably succeed and fail at about the same rate. Love is more important than fundamentalism, moderate Christianity, or progressive Christianity; that doesn’t mean we can’t have serious disagreements, or even air them in public, but I don’t see how a post designed entirely on the basis of “look at the ignorant YECs, let’s shake our heads at them while feeling satisfied in our correct thinking and talk about how afraid of them we should be” has any place in loving discussion.

          • MikeHaas82

            “…I don’t see how a post designed entirely on the basis of “look at the ignorant WBC’ers, let’s shake our heads at them while feeling satisfied in our correct thinking and talk about how afraid of them we should be” has any place in loving discussion.” There, Jake. I fixed it for you.

          • Jakeithus

            Leaving aside the question of whether it makes sense to conflate WBC and YEC to begin with, in neither case would I consider the action to be loving, so I’m not exactly sure what you’ve fixed.

            If you want to think about it in a different way, think about this. A much reviled conservative makes a post, including nothing but quotes from progressive supporting same sex marriage, and the sole reason for the post is for members of his tribe to say “look at these godless heathens, let us be thankful we are not like them.” No addressing their arguments, no attempt at loving dialogue, nothing but in-group promotion and furthering tribal boundaries. Can you honestly say that such an action could be considered loving in any sense of the term?

          • MikeHaas82

            I see, so you’re suggesting that Jesus, whom I consider to be an outstandingly wise sage but not equal to God, who shamed, held up to ridicule and other wise condemned openly, certain members of the Pharisaical community to which he belonged, wasn’t demonstrating the very Christian love he taught the rest of us. Ok.

          • Jakeithus

            Saying that just because Jesus mocks and ridicules makes it ok for us to do it in this situation is kind of an example of proof texting at its worst.

            In this particular case, rather than one side being the voice of Jesus and speaking exclusively for God, I think it’s better to view the 2 sides as the disciples arguing over which of them would be greatest in the kingdom of God. The Christ-like response would be, “why are you trying to argue and lord over your brother, when you should instead be serving(loving) them”.

            Both sides are much more like the Pharisee from the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Forgive my crude attempts at trying to capture the spirit of Jesus’ words:

            To some who were confident of their own reason and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went to the internet to debate, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee puffed up his chest and declared: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—YECs/Evolutionists—or even like this tax collector. I read my bible using the correct interpretation and stay up to date on relevant Answers in Genesis/Biologos podcasts.’

            “But the tax collector lurked in the comments section, pondering the argument and said, ‘God, I have my beliefs, but whenever I debate I end up harming my neighbour. Help me to love, rather than feel the need to prove myself right on a largely inconsequential topic, considering how little we truly know in the big picture”

            “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

          • MikeHaas82

            Just shoot me. Please.

          • Jakeithus

            That bad? Sorry. I was quite happy with my attempt at trying to come up with a Christlike position to the question at hand, but I guess it is not for everyone.

            And at that, I would say we are probably at an impasse, since you seem set in your interpretation of the best way to respond, and I remain unconvinced that this course of action is really what Jesus would do. In any case, thank you for the discussion.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The bar is that way. Shots of your favorite beverage a plenty. But we need you around, so no metalic shooting for you.

          • MikeHaas82

            Thanks, Allegro. Is that a reference to John Marco Allegro by any chance?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            My name? no, its a nickname I’ve had since I had dial-up. It loosely means quick and lively and is often used in music notations. I’m just too lazy to change it to my other online name reference.

          • Valerie Barlow Horton

            Are you suggesting that we just love and serve them until they completely subjugate us to their beliefs even though we don’t want them? Loving our neighbor can only go so far before we become a doormat. I for one refuse to be that doormat and I refuse to let my children be used as pawns for their political gain.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            *****I’m not asking you to respect anyone’s beliefs, I’m asking you to respect people.*******

            Ah, another way of saying hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner. Nonsense. Tell me how Ham, who would imprison us (at the very least) if he could get away with it, who would force his “flat earth” beliefs on ALL our children if he could get away with it, who would impose his brand of “christianity” upon our entire nation and destroy our Constitutional Rule of Law if he could get away with it, deserves Respect?

            Stop your driveling equivocation and just answer that?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            *****I never once claimed to be impartial. I clearly have my own position that doesn’t fit nicely into the polarized debate.****

            So just what IS your position.? I am unable to discern that you have one beyond persistent equivocation.

            ***** I believe we should treat others with love and respect despite our differences.*****

            For a productive discussion, that must work both ways, and YEC’s and Dominionists DO NOT engage with Love and Respect. Indeed, it is particularly true of Dominionists that, if they could get away with it, they would engage with weapons or nooses.

            Your “arguments” would be comical if they weren’t so dangerous. Your only useful contribution to this discussion is to illustrate that Progressive Christians have enemies on TWO fronts, not just one; the “other side”, and the “no side”, the latter permitting the “other side” to get away with whatever they are doing. Precisely what happened in pre-war Germany.

          • Jakeithus

            If you would take the time to have read my comments, you would find my own view on the origins issue stated further upthread: “While I’m awfully agnostic about the whole thing, mainly on the point
            that I’m dubious about the actual impact the topic has on day to day
            life, if I’m forced to give what I believe to be the most likely
            account, I lean towards a Progressive/Old Earth Creationism.”

            That is the side I am on in this debate. I also try my best to be on the side that loves my neighbours, despite the fact that I disagree with most of them. If my being on either one of those sides makes you think I’m your enemy, then I feel sorry for you.

            Throughout this thread, you have implied that I am a “troll”, a Nazi sympathizer, that I am driveling, lacking in intellectual substance and basically not worthy of having a discussion with. I’m not sure what I have done, other than express a belief that is at odds with your own, that has made me worthy of such attacks, but I truly am sorry that you feel that way. If my position really does bother you to that extent, I think that maybe ignoring me really is the best course of action you can take.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            You know Jake, I actually don’t quite know WHAT to make of you. I guess you are sincere if only because you keep trying to make me believe it. So okay, I’ll give you that and that you are a man with a good heart. But I still don’t get you. Love your neighbors, even if you disagree with them? No problem from me on that. But I can’t love them when they threaten societal well being in ways that will certainly affect me and millions, even other Christians that they will turn on if given the powers of education and politics and most of all LAW.
            It is not enuf to be a loving man loving everyone. A wise man sees evil coming and makes moves to head it off. What I get from you is the kind of man who won’t do that. You will keep loving your neighbor until he absorbs your life, like the cancer that they are. You strike me as the Neville Chamberlain of this national dialogue. You also strike me as educated enuf to know who that was.

          • gimpi1

            You have a right to your own beliefs, but you don’t have a right to your own facts.

            The age of the earth, the development of our land-masses, the process of plate-tectonics and the source of much of the heavier elements – cooked in stars and released in nova-explosions to re-form into new stars and worlds – these things are facts. Hard-won, well-supported, integrated facts.

            You have to ask yourself, why do you want to ignore facts?

          • Jakeithus

            Is that question directed towards me? I’m not a YEC, and I don’t ignore any of the facts you brought up.

          • gimpi1

            It was directed at those who ignore those facts, who I read you as defending. Young-earth creationism ignores all these facts. You defend their “right” to do that. That’s what I meant by my quote at the top of my post. Neither they nor you have the right to make up or deny facts. There is no legal penalty, but the universe tends to exact one. The problem is, the fact-deniers take the rest of us along for the ride.

          • Jakeithus

            I prefer to see myself as defending them as people from undue mockery and insult.

            What people have the “right” to do is certainly up for discussion, but I’d probably argue that freedom of belief (even wrong belief) is one of the most fundamental right we possess. This doesn’t mean that people can’t be questioned on their beliefs.

            I was a YEC for 18 years. I realize now I was wrong, but looking back I don’t think it did any harm to me or to anyone else. The reason I changed was not due to mockery, which in this particular case I find unbecoming of followers of Christ.

          • gimpi1

            Well, I’m an outsider to your faith, so I’m afraid I’m not overly worried about how becoming my tone is to you. However, in general, I try not to be snarky, so if I have been, I apologize.

            However, again, you are talking about beliefs. I am talking about facts. Facts trump beliefs, or they should.

            You’re right, people have freedom of belief. I can’t jam the facts into their brains (though sometimes I wish I could). But that doesn’t make false information right.

            And you may have done a great deal of harm as a young-earth creationist. For example, if you voted to deny funding to alternate-energy research, you allowed China and Germany to take the lead in a technology that will determine the global winners and losers in the next century. If you taught children your false facts, you made it that much harder for them to learn about reality.

            Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to tell someone that they’re making an ass of themselves. If I was piloting a boat into shoals, I would want a sailor who yelled, “Get away from there, can’t you read the *#@* chart!” over one who said, “I’m not sure about the way you’re going, Perhaps we can consider…CRASH! Glug. Glug. Glug.”

          • Jakeithus

            Just so we’re clear, I haven’t had any issues with your tone, so don’t worry. And as an outsider to my faith, I have less issues than I do with a group of Christians who promote “Above all, Love” as their primary statement.

            In your example, neither sailor seems to be unloving to me, although the first is somewhat crass and the second is lacking a sense of urgency. My problem is when the conversation turns to “Look at that ignorant moron. He should just get out of the boat if he’s not going to get things right.” I feel this blog post is more about the statement I provided than either of your 2.

            And while it really has nothing to do with the debate, there is more to something like alternate energy research than whether or not one believes in a young earth.

          • gimpi1

            I agree, name-calling is always wrong. You can point out that someone has their facts wrong, without calling names. However, I hope you appreciate just how frustrating it can be when someone simply chooses to ignore settled, readily observable facts because they don’t fit with their pre-conceived beliefs. But we shouldn’t give in to that frustration, you’re right. You don’t have to be Christian to understand that, just reasonable.

            I brought up things such as climate change and energy sources because you mentioned you didn’t think your earlier young-earth creationism had done any harm. I think denying the facts is generally harmful. Many, if not most people involved in young-earth creationism deny the need to explore alternate energy-sources and don’t support protecting the environment, perhaps because they believe God simply put resources where they are and refuse to accept the fact that we can, and will run out. That has real consequences when people with those beliefs have power to act on them.

        • Bill Steffenhagen

          *****Does the debate really need to include the idea that people should be afraid of those who think that way?*****

          Emphatically YES! It does, because they vote for fools like Bachman and Gohmert and Palin (who frighteningly came too close to the Presidency), they get on school boards and make education policy, they influence young minds and foment the kind of public thinking that gives permission to gay bashing and anti-intellectualism which in turn corrupts our political system and our Constitution which is the foundation of our rule of law instead of a theocracy.

          So YES, a resounding yes to your question. The ultimate end of their way of thinking if they prevail is too frightening to contemplate.

          • Jakeithus

            I have very little patience for scare mongering politics, as I think the very idea that “if my side doesn’t win, then the consequences will be too dire to predict” is responsible for more damage to this world than any individual ideas themselves. Half the people live in fear of the other half, and vice versa, with no real way of telling which half is correct. Living with that as the only way to think is far more frightening to me.

            I have no idea to your beliefs, but Christians shouldn’t let fear rule our thinking, especially not fear of other Christians.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            So you don’t think that an American Theocracy would be frightening considering what we KNOW about their thinking about gays and others like atheists and “Liberals” etc? I’m not giving a thot to MY taking up weapons against them. I honestly believe THEY would do it against ME if they could get away with it. Can you seriously think they would not imprison me (at the least) and literally abolish our Constitution if they could? If THAT isn’t a frightening thot to you, then YOU frighten me!

          • Jakeithus

            I oppose any sort of totalitarian political system that unjustly demonizes and punishes those that think or act outside the boundaries of what is considered safe.

            Believing in YEC however does not mean that those individuals are looking at starting or supporting a theocracy.

          • MikeHaas82

            Of course it does, Jakeithus. They are members of the Dominionist movement. If you’re unaware of what that is, I’m happy to provide you some starting points.

          • Jakeithus

            I’m quite aware of Dominionism, but saying just because someone is a YECs that it immediately makes them a dominionist is no different than me saying that just because someone is an atheist it immediately makes them a communist.

          • MikeHaas82

            I disagree in this case. Conspiring by way of legislative efforts at the local level to coerce school boards to implement the teaching of Creationism in public schools is by its very definition, Dominionist. However, I’m not suggesting every follower of Ham is a Dominionist. I’m specifically talking about Ham and his associates and co-conspirators.

          • Valerie Barlow Horton

            I did say in an earlier comment that I was not saying that any particular YEC believer was evil just that the movement is part of the fundamental/Dominionist beliefs. Individuals may not even know the core beliefs of their leaders. They have been, for lack of a better term, brainwashed to believe only what they are told. It is all about control, there is no individual thought or question permitted. I don’t know anything about your upbringing but if it involved this kind of education obviously you overcame it, congratulations. I am not bigoted towards the people but I am towards the belief and as a mother I will NOT allow my children to be indoctrinated into that way of thinking.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Wrong again. Many ARE doing precisely that but cloaking it in religious piety so people like you don’t catch on to the fact that they are taking it one seemingly “safe” step at a time. Your thinking appears to me like that of the frog that doesn’t jump out of water that starts cold but eventually boils him to death.
            Get a clue, man. These are the same kind of people that support the new death penalty law in Uganda and now only days ago a law against gay relationships in Nigeria. Take your nauseatingly sweet “christian brothers and sisters” blinders off. They are NOT our sisters and brothers in Christ. Granted, the YEC rank and file may be merely gullible “christians”, but the leadership is not. They are dangerous power hungry charlatans much like the Nazi’s of pre-WWII Germany, and look how easily almost the entire population of Germany followed gullibly along.
            They need to be stopped NOW. Of course, WITH ARGUMENTS, and if that means the use of forceful language then so be it, because failure to stop them WILL ultimately mean the necessity of protecting ourselves FROM THEM…..with weapons if necessary. The European Jews were not armed. The American population is, and that includes gays. We may be lovers and kind spirits, but we WILL be fighters who will protect ourselves and our very own “sisters and brothers” ….fiercely, if we have to. One need only consider the enormous effort of several days of battle Phillip II of Macedon had to engage in to defeat The Sacred Band of Thebes, an elite unit of the Theban army made up of 150 pairs of gay lovers fighting ferociously to the last man. The Jews in Europe couldn’t fight back but we can. Those who support an anti-gay Theocracy for America might do well to give that some thought.

          • MikeHaas82

            Even we Jews followed gullibly along, thinking that Hitler’s anti-semitic ravings were just posturing and that as patriotic Germans, some of us wanted to champion him in ending the shame of the Versailles Diktat and reparations payments.

          • http://kingscriercommissions.blogspot.com/ thekingscrier

            Bill, as a bisexual man and an atheist, the thought of an American Theocracy terrifies me beyond my considerable ability to put into words.

          • Valerie Barlow Horton

            bignick- as a heterosexual Christian the thought of an American Theocracy terrifies me as well!

          • Raymond Watchman

            Me too! And I’m a Kiwi. Folks, being a Kiwi I am of pragmatic disposition. I guess we Kiwis would advise our US cuzzies “If the village idiot is taking a leak on your boots, kick him up the ass and send him on his way.” (Ken Ham is an Aussie, so this bit of homespun holds great appeal for an ol’ Kiwi boy like me.)

          • MikeHaas82

            I’ve heard this argument before. I believe what you’re saying also has the sense that “Christians shouldn’t air their dirty laundry” in front of the “Unbelievers”, regardless of the consequences. And you’re ignoring them. We’ve already become dangerously close to allowing a very particular type of Christian Doctrine, namely, Creationism, to be taught legally in our schools in direct violation of the 1st Amendment. If we’re foolish enough not to be vigilant, the next step – one that we’ve also not just come “close” to but rather, that we’re already seeing happening, is the legislation of Christian Doctrine into Law at least at the State level, also in violation of the 1st Amendment.

          • Jakeithus

            I don’t think you’re quite hearing what I’m saying. I have no problem with Christians disagreeing with each other, and whether or not the unbeliever is watching is of no consequence. We should act the same way regardless of who may or may not be watching.

            My problem is the way this plays out, especially on the wretched hive of scum and villainy known as the internet.

          • MikeHaas82

            You’re saying exactly the same thing: Christians shouldn’t air their dirty laundry “on the wretched hive of scum and villainy known as the internet”, or in other words – in public.

          • Jakeithus

            My point is the internet has the tendency to turn people into dicks, and that much of the debate online ends up resulting in both sides acting dickish towards their brothers and sisters.

            Sometimes dickishness might be justified, I really don’t think this is one of them.

          • MikeHaas82

            C’mon – for the most part the responses we gave them were intelligent and well reasoned, based on the scientific method and/or taking great steps to explain the scientific method to them. And, most importantly and as I pointed out earlier, most of the folks were entirely hit and run – they came here and posted their remarks and split before giving anyone a chance to reply. Otherwise, we spent a remarkable amount of time trying to communicate with them. Also – look at the very nature of their “message” to us. You cannot show me a single post from any of “us” that implied that if Ham’s followers didn’t accept the truth that they were going to Hell. That implication was very clear in *many* of their posts directed at us. We were in error, calling God, Jesus and the writers of scripture “liars”, etc., etc. Tell me: when all you have is the threat of Hell to coerce someone to your way of thinking or to stop calling negative attention to Ham, do you really think you even *deserve* the label, “Christian”? Look at the Cult of Personality that has developed around Ham. Many of them implicitly stated that since he “preached the infallible Word of God”, that his preaching was “infallible”. Again I ask – does such a CULT deserve the Christian Label?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            *******Half the people live in fear of the other half, and vice versa, with no real way of telling which half is correct.*******

            Arrrggh! That kind of thoughtless nonsense drives me up a wall. OF COURSE THERE IS A WAY OF KNOWING. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” It should be obvious to anyone that if “half the poeple” produce rotten fruit, THEY ARE THE WRONG HALF!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Jakeithus

            It would have been more accurate for me to say “No way of knowing without letting one side have its way and seeing where we end up”. Then you still need some judge about what constitutes “rotten fruit” in the first place, and I imagine there would be just as much agreement on that.

            Or maybe one half produces pineapples, while the other half produces bananas. The banana growers will argue that pineapples will lead us to ruin, because they are sour and pointy, while the pineapple growers will argue that bananas are too mushy to be any good. Who decides which fruit is the true fruit?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Everyone decides…..or should. But we aren ‘t comparing pineapples and bananas here, are we. We are comparing (or should be) what is harmful to another person, or to the rule of law and our Constitution and what is not. THAT should not be too difficult to determine. Unless you simply prefer to not take a stand on anything. Then you don’t have to decide. Right?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Anyway, I must leave the discussion. I have dishes to do and laundry to put away and a movie to watch. All more important than engaging with endless equivocation.

          • Jakeithus

            If it wasn’t difficult to determine the correct way to get good fruit, most people would agree on what the best course of action was most of the time, which clearly doesn’t happen.

            Thank you for your responses.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Aw, I just couldn’t let that get past me. I made no mention of the “correct WAY to get good fruit.” That’s an entirely different subject from deciding what is good or rotten. Changing the subject is not a legit response.

          • Jakeithus

            It wasn’t my intention to change the subject. However, I think my overall point still stands, being that the whole discussion is more complicated than you have made it to be. For example, it is obvious to me that YEC is not intrinsically harmful (or at least not any more harmful than the other possible options). You strongly disagree with me on that point, showing that on this topic the question of good or rotten fruit is not easy to determine.

          • buzzdixon

            “…if “half the poeple” produce rotten fruit, THEY ARE THE WRONG HALF!!!!!!!!!!!!”

            No, they’re the winemakers.

            You know, like Jesus…

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Thank you. This discussion needed a bit of levity.

        • Rick K

          Jakeithus – If I say to your face that you are a green-skinned alien, and I ignore all evidence to the contrary, why should you take me seriously?

          If I tell you that Hogwarts is a real school and that I wear robes and can cast magical spells (but never when anyone is watching), why should you take me seriously?

          Why should we take anyone seriously who believes that all branches of science are false, that the Earth is a few thousand years old, and that animals were all created by a burst of divine magic?

          If one person spouts nonsense, it is insanity. If a million spout nonsense, it is a religion.

          We’re just trying to point out the insanity of this particular religious belief. The more children grow up exposed to the internet and to the utter absurdity of the YEC position, the sooner we can eliminate this particular brand of self-inflicted ignorance from human society.

          • Jakeithus

            Rick, you won’t see me trying to defend YEC beliefs in any intellectual sense. I hope that one day everyone is able to accept both our creator and the fact that our world is older than 6000 years.

            If the motto of the website really is “Above All, Love” like it claims on the top, then I question whether the results of an article such as this lives up to the standard, that is all. I question the wisdom of the approach, more than anything.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            *******Rick, you won’t see me trying to defend YEC beliefs in any intellectual sense.*******

            Well then, what the hell ARE you doing other than persistent equivocation? I mean that question seriously. You baffle me with your middle ground insistence. For some things, there really is no middle ground because the “other side” doesn’t permit middle ground to exist.
            And don’t come back at me with the argument that I am doing the same thing; allowing no middle ground. I most certainly am. I’m not insisting that they think the same as I do. I’m asking them to THINK! Which is what they won’t do and which is precisely what gives them permission to persist in ignorance and prejudice which, in turn, is dangerous to society…..and more particularly, to people like me.

            Assuming you are str8, you have the luxury to equivocate. Gays do not. We must either hide or fight back, preferably intellectually. While you are free to sit on the sidelines and cheer on the show? How very troll like.

        • gimpi1

          The problem I have with young-earth creationism is those who believe it often try to dictate public-policies around their beliefs. Quite a few YEC believers refuse to accept in climate-change, for example. They believe God controls the climate, so there’s no need for greenhouse-gas reduction. If the climate is changing, it’s God’s will.

          They believe God placed resources in the earth’s crust, rather than the slow action of time and geology, so there will be all the oil, coal, or minerals that we need, with no reason to conserve those resources or develop alternate energy-sources. They don’t even understand the meaning of the words “fossil fuels.” I have had a YEC-believing correspondent deny the existence of Peak Oil, the point where oil resources will become so much scarcer and harder to harvest that we simply won’t be able to fulfill the earth’s needs. Peak Oil is basic to petroleum geology.

          They don’t accept the dangers of emergent diseases or antibiotic-resistant bacteria because “there’s no such thing as evolution.” Therefore, they see no need to fund research to address these threats.

          When you believe in absurdities, you will commit atrocities. I truly consider young-earth creationism dangerous.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        John, what is most disingenuous about religious fundies (takes less time to type) is their DELIBERATE resistance to knowledge and learning. It’s infuriating. My family (parents gone now but three siblings) are like that in our “discussions” of gay issues, discussions we no longer engage in because it’s futile. They are love the sinner hate the sin people who wouldn’t even avail themselves of my considerable library or consider that I am the family expert on the subject. My sister told me a few years ago that she will no longer read anything I send to her. My two brothers I rarely hear from. They simply dismiss anything that clearly counters their preconceived religious brainwashing. I do understand that it’s their way of protecting their “faith” when, in reality, it is embracing their fear. I finally gave up and have pretty much divorced myself from my entire family. The profound sadness I was feeling had to be finally let go of and the only way to do that was to let go of them. After hiding who I was from everyone thru my entire youth and into my 40’s, no bond was ever developed anyway, which is another sad part of my story. I wouldn’t even recognize many of my nieces or nephews if I encountered them on the street. Of my family, my sons are all that remain who, of course, are the most important to me. Somehow, they are more critical thinkers and are not mindlessly prejudiced. For instance, as military officers, they both agreed that the prejudice in the military was clearly stupid. (And how good it feels to be saying WAS!!!)

        • MikeHaas82

          ” I do understand that it’s their way of protecting their “faith” when, in reality, it is embracing their fear.” Wow, very well said, Bill.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Thank you. I note that you’re no slouch in this discussion also.

        • buzzdixon

          I know a family of pastors who have driven their youngest son (now in his 40s) to despair praying “for” him that he will repent his orientation. They simply have invested too much in their brand of belief to entertain the possibility that any part of it might be based on erroneous assumptions.

          Despite their prayers, they would rather see their youngest member in both a literal and a figurative hell than show him love and acceptance.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            ****** They simply have invested too much in their brand of belief to
            entertain the possibility that any part of it might be based on
            erroneous assumptions.******

            Precisely. If one part of their belief system proves to be in error, especially, it seems, the homosexual part, then what else might be suspect?! This anti-gay belief has practically become the foundation of their belief system. If that’s erroneous, their whole “wall of faith” crumbles. They have trapped themselves in Biblical literalness to the point that they live in fear of thinking for themselves, which is where the Spirit speaks to us. Thus, they rob themselves of the voice of the Spirit.

          • Andy

            That’s disgusting.

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          what is most disingenuous about religious fundies (takes less time to type) is their DELIBERATE resistance to knowledge and learning.

          Yes, it’s so wrong of delusional people to resent the condescension of their intellectual and moral superiors. After all, we’re just trying to help them overcome their brainwashing and profess the exact same beliefs we do.

          Why are they so damn sensitive?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Oh please! Spare us your disingenuous sophistry.

          • http://batman-news.com Anton

            Bill crieth without; he uttereth his voice in the streets: he crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city he uttereth his words, saying, “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of Bill: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.”

          • Jakeithus

            Totally agree Anton, I mean, poor people always love it when told how to live by those who are not poor, why can’t YECs feel the same way?

            Fred Clark is fond of saying that when using ridicule and mocking to challenge the position of others, we should be sure we are always “punching up, never down”.

            If YECs really are as delusional and irrational as they are often presented to be, those who are not have a moral imperative to resist from using their privileged positions to mock and attack those who, for whatever reason, at a disadvantage.

      • buzzdixon

        It needs to be repeatedly pointed out that Biblical literalism received its greatest push from slave owners who wanted to justify the way they treated and abused African-Americans.

        Indeed, they tried to have it both ways: To believers they claimed Africans were cursed by God and sentenced to be slaves because of Ham’s transgression against Noah as proved in various verses supporting and codifying slavery, while to non-believers they readily embraced Darwin as “proof” Africans were not fully human but actually lesser creatures whom were not entitled to the same rights as whites.

        Let’s call Biblical literalism for the human based / greed inspired shennanigans that it is.

        • MikeHaas82

          Well said, buzz.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

      I don’t see much of trying “to reconcile their understanding of the Biblical text with scientific findings” in the quotes above, or in the YEC movement as a whole.

      • John Oliver

        I grant that in the quotes above there’s not much. And I will also grant that the rancor is on both sides. My point is simply that to answer a nasty tone in the same tone is to add nothing to the discussion. I know a lot of people with whom I disagree on this subject, and I find them to be honest, ernest believers trying to honor God and His word, while still living in the modern world. It’s a tough task, and all I’m saying is that our tone and vocabulary with each other could go a long way in being persuasive. That’s all.

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

          I don’t really see a “nasty tone” in the post above…but tone is in the eye of the beholder. Of course there are honest, sincere Christians who hold the YEC position. But in my experience there is also a lot of blatant and not-so-blatant deception on the part of many YECers — especially in the leadership of that movement. And in my experience, both in person and online, there is little chance for persuasion regarding this issue, regardless of one’s tone.

          • John Oliver

            Well, again, I think the same could be said of OEC and evolutionists. Facts are often fudged or omitted to the degree that they help or hurt our position. That is the sad nature of living in a fallen world and being flawed ourselves. At the end of the day, though, I want to keep the lines of communication open with a brother or sister who differs with me. There is much to be learned from walking with those with whom we disagree. And if I find fault with them, I want to deal with them charitably, as I would want them to deal with me. In short, I think we need to ask more questions, listen harder, paint with a much finer brush, and choose our online and face-to-face words more carefully. Thanks for interacting with me, Dan.

          • Rick K

            Teaching a child that species didn’t evolve or that the Earth is a few thousand years old is no different than teaching them that New York borders California or that the Sun orbits the Earth.

            Why must I respect the beliefs of someone who finds it morally acceptable to assert obvious falsehoods?

    • Surprise123

      Excellent point. Mocking fundamentalists’ understanding of creation is not going to cause them to open their minds to empirical inquiry. It’s just a way of separating THEM from US, and then laughing at them. ABOVE ALL, LOVE has nothing to do with this post.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      I don’t think “deliberate lying” and “stubborn, willful ignorance” should be Christian virtues. And “love” doesn’t mean not speaking out and challenging lies and ignorance where they are encountered, though I often see Christians trying to silence each other by lobbing accusations of “unlovingness” (that is officially now a word) at anybody challenging lies and ignorance. Instead of policing people’s tone, why not pick up with what is true and what is not, and let the pieces fall where they may? I think this discussion has been a real breath of fresh air. I can only speak for myself, but this particular non-believer needed to see sane Christians policing their own for a change. And John’s done it in a way that would be far nicer and gentler than I ever would have. I do hope very much that the ignorant Christians quoted in this piece will recognize their ignorance and try to break free of their indoctrination.

    • http://kingscriercommissions.blogspot.com/ thekingscrier

      John, anyone who holds views this childish and this backwards deserves to be mocked in the same way the Flat Earth Society deserves to be mocked.

    • Roger Morris

      “Above all love” is like saying “Don’t talk back to your mother – even if she’s completely and utterly wrong”. It is just emotional blackmail to stifle discussion and deflect critique. YECs need to be told straight their bad theology, bad science and bad witness – no punches pulled.

      • John Oliver

        I disagree. I think if someone believes they have a superior position, AND they call themselves a Christian, it is incumbent upon them to patiently instruct in kindness. If you feel that that is not being effective, just step away from the conversation. Nothing good is accomplished by mocking them. And generally speaking, the scoffer and mocker has the weaker position, which is why they resort to such tactics…in my experience, anyway. So teach, train, instruct with kindness, and if you feel you’re not getting anywhere, leave them. I think the mockery start to sound eerily like the fundamentalists they criticize.

        • MikeHaas82

          What utter baloney. You’re seriously suggesting that no matter what dangerous activity other Christians are engaged in say, keeping medical treatment from their own children, cannot be chastised or even blamed, not for the consequences of their actions but even for the doctrine that *leads* them to those consequences. You guys are just arguing for the sheer sake of argument now.

          • John Oliver

            Whoa, how did we jump from the creation/evolution debate to withholding medical treatment from children? Bringing correction is not the same as ridicule, my friend. False doctrine should most certainly be addressed. But can’t you see the difference between rational critique and mocking? The words of Paul should at least have some sway with Christians: “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness…” 2 Tim. 2:24-25
            Mike, I am saying we need to address those we think are in error, but saying they’re a bunch of morons, liars, idiots, etc., is first of all no argument against their position, and second of all shuts down the lines of communication. I’m just saying it’s not an effective policy. How about one from the OT: “The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.” Pro. 16:21
            Again, my comments were directed to My fellow Christians.

          • MikeHaas82

            Except we specifically *didn’t* do (or John Shore didn’t do above) what you’re accusing us of doing, John. We simply copied their own words and held them up to them – we made them look in the mirror. No racist (or very, very few) were ever changed by kindness. Often, it takes generations. Some Christian Scientists withhold medical treatment, YECs attack our 1st Amendment rights. Both are dangerous and need to be strongly addressed. Is the kindness you pontificate on reserved only for anyone who labels themselves Christian, regardless whether what they preach puts either people or people’s civil rights in danger, or everyone?

            Abraham Lincoln tried “kindness” via his vision of Reconstruction. We see how well that worked out, regardless of Stanton’s post-war, post assassination implementation. Slave holders considered themselves “Christian”. Kindness may persuade a change of heart in a single person. But it does not, can not, and never will, change People, which is to say, the Mob – the Crowd. And for the record I believe Lincoln should have gotten out of Sherman’s way and let him burn down the South and start over. Perhaps we’d be enjoying the “post racial” period by now.

          • John Oliver

            What are you basing the comment “no racist (or very, very few) were ever changed by kindness”? Where would you even get that sort of data? How do you know why people changed. How did they change in England? Christian Scientists or neither Christian nor scientists, so I don’t think they’re a real good example of anything pertaining to this discussion. And how exactly are YEC attacking 1st Amendment rights? I thought the 1st Amendment secured freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. What are they doing to attack the free exercise of religion?
            Mobs are made of people. You gotta start somewhere. How would you like to see YEC dealt with on a national level? I’m curious.

          • MikeHaas82

            No, John – that’s the worst misinterpretation of the 1st Amendment there is. Its a very short line that speaks volumes and has over 200 years of both application and opinion to back up the idea that it does indeed imply, freedom FROM religion as well as the right to worship as one sees fit. However, I’m not suggesting that I have a right not to be exposed to Christian doctrine in my day to day life. For example, there are many who claim that Gay Marriage “forces” the gay lifestyle or the gay agenda on other Americans. “Where’s my right not to be exposed to the Gay Agenda?” It lies exactly and precisely in the same place as my right not to be exposed to the far-right radical Christian Agenda. In short, neither of us have a right to expect we won’t be exposed to ideas we don’t like because of Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Speech. Gay Marriage in those States that have legalized it, merely means that it exists. It does not affect the state of your marriage at all. It does not take away any of your Constitutional rights. Teaching Creationism in public schools takes away the right from parents to teach their children the religious doctrine they wish, not what Creationists wish. I’ve said before – they are guaranteed by the Constitution a venue to teach Creationism in their own Churches and private schools.

            Please don’t tell me that wanting to force their doctrine into our schools is an act of “kindness” or that I have to exercise “kindness” or “Christian Love” (as if its superior in some way to “Jewish Love” or anyone else’s “Love”). Your entire argument is simply unrealistic. I don’t owe someone hellbent on taking away someone else’s rights, whether it is to force a particular Christian Doctrine when it is unwanted on other people’s children, or to tell 2 people who they are allowed to love or that they must remain alone and celibate, love, patience or respect.

            This entire discussion is silly. I don’t have to show you “examples”. You’re the one pushing the application of “Christian Love” to Ham and his followers. Please show me examples of where “Christian Love” has had a practical application in a *similar* context and resolved it. I don’t believe you can. Leaving these people to their own devices is *not* the answer. They are impervious to reason and dangerously and willfully ignorant. They have a very definite political agenda and I have no reason to believe that “Christian Love” and understanding is going to persuade them away from their agenda and its goal – a goal that they’ve stated very clearly.

            It doesn’t matter if you think or they think they are being slighted or insulted. What is vitally important is that the general public of the United States be shown in graphic detail their folly and its immediate and long term consequences. I don’t care about them. I care about my fellow countrymen being robbed of their rights and educating them by any means available, what passes for thinking on the part of Ham and his acolytes. Would that I could, I would re-publish what John gleaned from Dan’s previous article and print it on the front page of every newspaper with the banner, “Wake up America – these are the people who insist that their doctrine of Creationism belongs in your public schools!” Which is more important, John? Loving Ham and company. or loving your fellow countrymen enough to warn them?

  • Sven2547

    Scientists look at all the evidence and attempt to discern a conclusion.
    Creationists begin with a conclusion and deliberately disregard evidence that doesn’t fit it…

    By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record.

    ~ from the AIG website’s “About Us” section

    Scientists want to methodically study and understand the natural universe, and reconcile any apparent inconsistencies in the evidence.
    Creationists use any inconsistencies as “evidence” that they were “right” all along, with no effort made to better understand or correct it.

    Scientists submit their findings for peer review, in a good-faith effort to weed out unreasonable presuppositions and unfounded assumptions, and try to approach the subject objectively.
    Creationists turn their “findings” into pithy arguments, and challenge scientists to timed Lincoln-style debates, where style prevails over substance.

    When something baffles scientists, they draw hypotheses and attempt to falsify them.
    When something baffles creationists, they decide it is the providence of an unknowable God, decide that further study is futile, and return to their debate talking-points.

  • Peter Lefevre

    There have been a few comments about YECs asking what harm they do, and asking for our tone to be modified. I’d like to address the harm first. Appealing to the God of Fundamentalism is a way to avoid thinking. When we run into something we can’t understand, our tendency is to go “God only knows” and leave it at that. Or, we feel particularly threatened by new information and rather than hear it out, we go into a defensive mode, usually accompanied by selected Bible verses, or sloganeering (“God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.”) The first lines of Genesis are much easier to understand than the first lines of the Origin of Species. It’s easier to argue than do homework. So the harm done by a fundamentalist interpretation is exactly the harm done by thwarting the critical thinking facility. The gaps in reason as exemplified by most of the above quotes indicates a discomfort with subtle and difficult topics. it’s not Biblically literate or scientifically literate. It’s hearsay, gossip, black-and-white thinking. No one seems to know that major contributions to the theory of evolution were made by devout Catholics. (Although I’m not sure that would qualify them as Christians in the eyes of the above commenters). Fact is, the majority of Christiandom accepts evolutionary theory as the most reasonable explanation for human origins. A small, vocal, angry, defensive minority still clings to the Bible as if it were on-the-spot reporting. So, the damage here is to the critical facility. The capacity to ask questions, to live with ambiguity, to listen to other people, in short, to learn. To grow. And enforcing that deliberate ignorance (the ability to ignore) hurts everyone. In a classroom of students studying math, fundamentalists are the ones in the corner whining that they won’t need algebra in the real world, why should they pay attention, and is this really going to be on the test. As for modifying the tone, again, if I were a teacher I would hope to have infinite patience. I would hope that I could persuade every student to pay attention. I would hope that I could somehow unlock every student’s innate curiosity about the world. But if someone doesn’t want to learn and they continue to disrupt the learning process of others, there will come a time when I will tell them to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up.

    • Bill Steffenhagen

      Amen and Amen!!! Sir, this is brilliant.

    • Rick K

      Well said.

      Young Earth Creationism is basically a personal statement: “I surrender my intellect, my rationality and my reason.”

      Don’t you wonder in what other parts of their lives they so willingly abandon intellectual integrity?

      • MikeHaas82

        My first guess is at the voting booth.

        • Roger Morris

          And pretty much any other decision in life that takes too much effort and critical thinking to get through. Some people just want to be led like sheep.

      • Roger Morris

        Pretty much any other decision in life that takes too much effort and critical thinking to get through. Some people just want to be led like “sheep” and not have to think too much about life themselves.

  • Manny Panning

    “Were you there?” demands the YEC enthusiast, “How can you know?”

    “Right back atcha!” I reply.

  • Fallulah

    Seems to me like they are right on the mark. Evolution and the bible are in direct conflict. Seems to me like some Christians are hypocrites if they say they believe the bible is the unfailing word of god and then say they accept evolution. Ham, may be totally wrong but at least he is consistent with his religion.

    • buzzdixon

      But what about we Christians who don’t think the collection of writings by human beings known as the Bible is entirely the word of God? In the OT God only speaks aloud to a large group of ear witnesses only once, when offering the Decalogue from Mt Sinai; every other “thus sayeth the Lord” is what an inspired prophet / preacher / poet / philosopher interpreted God as wanting.

      Genesis chapters 1 – 8, for example, could only come to us through Noah, whom we know from the Bible itself to have been a drunken Bronze Age farmer with a dysfunctional family. We know the Torah recounts not one but two examples of Moses adding to or changing things that God told him. We know that Amos and Isaiah essentially threw out all the holiness rituals to remind people that God wants us to treat one another justly rather than follow religious legalisms.

      In the NT we have numerous examples of Christ’s teachings recorded, and they are all remarkably consistent in their simple direct elegance not just among the four Gospels but with the Decalogue as well (compare them w/various OT legalisms that go on and on and on in obsessive detail about things God’s latter prophets dismiss as trivial, or several of the Epistles, which are as convoluted a mess of easy to misunderstand verses as one could hope to find). In neither Christ’s teachings not the Decalogue was any requirement to believe in a strictly literal interpretation of Genesis set forth; rather in both the Gospels and in the Decalogue it was stressed that the best way to love God is to love our fellow human beings in the same manner that God loves us.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      That like saying Peter Boyle is in direct conflict with the story of Frankenstein.
      (waits for the non Mel Brooks fans to google the reference)
      It also assumes that all Christians look at scripture the same way and therefore are inconsistent with their beliefs..which of course isn’t the case at all.

      • gimpi1

        YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (That’s Fronkinsteen) rules!

  • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

    Some people can’t handle shades of grey. There’s a serious lure for some folks there in black-and-white, either/or, us-versus-them tribalism. Folks like that get really threatened and challenged at the idea of not knowing for 100% sure some of life’s big questions. Fundamentalism/evangelicalism offers a surefire 100% “sure” way to know those answers–even if it’s just talking out its butt and doesn’t know those answers any more than anybody else! It’s a scary world and someone offering some semblance of an answer–not to mention a justification for unwarranted privilege–is going to find a quick and eager audience.

    Rejection of science is one of the fundie tribe’s biggest in-group markers at this point. Accepting science–especially the ToE–would mean rejecting the tribe itself. If there’s no literal Creation, then there can’t be a literal Fall, and from there no literal Original Sin, which means there’s no need for a literal Jesus to die and be apparently risen again. There might not even be a real hell or heaven to threaten or entice people with. However would the tribe exert control and flex its dominance then? If there’s no literal truth to the Bible, then why on earth are they even bothering? I think that’s why “inerrancy” sorts focus on evolution rather than on the myriad of other theories that are accepted scientific fact, like Germ Theory or Atomic Theory. Out of all the theories that could be true, this one, if true, threatens the entire foundation of their very weak faith.

    Talk about a cruel dilemma to be in.

    • Guest

      Yeah – the “infallibility” thing is a stumbling block for any religion. If Paul, as a believing Jew, really believed in the infallibility of the “Old Testament”, he would never have become a “Christian” to begin with. If you are an Orthodox, “Torah- believing” Jew (I’m a Jew but certainly not Orthodox), you have to be willing to apply a large amount of exegesis to the Word and be really, really willing to hedge your closely held Jewish beliefs to become a Christian. Orthodox (Fundamentalist) Jews use the same type of argument that Christian Fundamentalists use : If you accept that Jesus is Mesiach and moreover, the Son of God, YOU are calling the God of Israel a liar and deceiver because you are saying what the WORD says about the nature of Mesiach as well as the nature of His Suffering Servant, the People Israel, is in error. I know, I know – you believe that the OT leaves no doubt that Jesus was Mesiach, Son of God and “Savior”. But that’s because you read an English translation of Hebrew Scripture in which the scholars applied exegetical thinking to the translation to make it appear that way. In short, its been “Christianized”, a trend that started in fact, with Paul albeit in Aramaic and Greek.

      “Hey, Mr. Jew – how come “you people” don’t accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?”

      “Because GOD would not have lied to His people.”

      Whoopty-doo, people are always willing to hedge their beliefs if they have a compelling enough reason.

      Example: The Suffering Servant material in Isaiah 53-55. A Christian, reading a “Christianized” English translation has no doubt that the Suffering Servant Isaiah describes is Jesus. A Jew, reading an English Translation in which Christian exegesis has *not* been applied, has no doubt that the Suffering Servant is the People Israel.

      Oh – go try and find “and He will be born in Bethlehem” (or however the verse goes) in the Old Testament. It ain’t there. Of course, a Christian Fundamentalist’s belief in Hell ain’t in the Bible, either. It comes directly from John Milton who in turn, borrowed it from the various Christian Apocrypha such as the Gospel of Peter, the Protevangelion (Infancy Gospel of James), and others that are filled with many of the same visions of Hell Milton wrote about.

      When you attach more importance to your belief in a book than to whatever god you worship, its trouble. When you start feeling so offended that others don’t believe in what you do that you turn punitive – that’s when the trouble starts.

      • MikeHaas82

        That’s odd – I wrote this while logged in and it shows up as “guest”. Weird.

        • MikeHaas82

          And Captain Cassidy, I cross-posted this from another blog entry so you are not the “you” I’m addressing. My apologies – I should have done a more careful job editing it for my reply to your post, which I’m in total agreement with. Its getting late and I’m replying to myself – I better stop. :)

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            It’ll be a real loss when/if you stop commenting, Mike Haas.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            I’m so sorry I missed this reply till now — quite okay, Mike. I agree entirely as well. Disqus imps be damned, we’ll muddle through somehow, right?

        • Alliecat04

          Thank you so much for this. I had the good fortune in college to take a class on Revelation taught by a Jewish scholar who started with the background of the whole genre of eschatological literature. It seems to me that it’s not really possible to appreciate where the writers of the Bible, all Jews, were coming from, without listening to what Jews have to say about it. Please keep teaching us!

    • paarsurrey

      Sorry; I don’t get you; what does “ToE” stand for? Please

      • Scott Plumer

        Theory of Evolution

        • paarsurrey

          Thanks and regards

    • paarsurrey

      Quoting your words:

      “If there’s no literal Creation, then there can’t be a literal Fall, and from there no literal Original Sin, which means there’s no need for a literal Jesus to die and be apparently risen again. There might not even be a real hell or heaven to threaten or entice people with.”

      Quran here comes to the rescue of the Bible for correct understanding of the things lost its originality due to the manipulation of the scribes of Bible.

      Taking the narrative of Adam’s creation as literal is a misunderstanding of the scribes and is wrong. Adam was not the first man created/evolved; man might have evolved in millions of years as science has deciphered it rightly now. Adam and Eve were the first people chosen for the direct Converse with the One-True-God as the words ““[9] And the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: Where art thou?”

      It also is the mistake of the eulogizers of science and scientists to take the Word Revealed on Krishna, Moses, Jesus etc as if they were writing text books of science; they never claimed as such.

      It is easy for the ordinary/common man to understand the things in nutshell and in a symbolic or poetic way than in terms of the formulas, equations and other difficult terminologies of science; which is the job of Scientist to do and they must do it for the benefit of the human society.

      So, please let it be simple. Let the masses understand life in easy terms.

      Thanks

    • http://batman-news.com Anton

      Some people can’t handle shades of grey. There’s a serious lure for some folks there in black-and-white, either/or, us-versus-them tribalism. Folks like that get really threatened and challenged at the idea of not knowing for 100% sure some of life’s big questions. Fundamentalism/evangelicalism offers a surefire 100% “sure” way to know those answers–even if it’s just talking out its butt and doesn’t know those answers any more than anybody else! It’s a scary world and someone offering some semblance of an answer–not to mention a justification for unwarranted privilege–is going to find a quick and eager audience.

      I agree with you. And I find it ironic how well this also applies to a certain type of nonbeliever.

      Let me be clear. I don’t believe in “biblical literalism,” and I affirm the validity of the exact same model of natural history I assume you do: Big Bang, continental drift, DNA, species evolution, no miracles or magic. But I notice that the fear of ambiguity you mention, and the comfort of being 100% sure, are common among people who are otherwise proud of their clear-eyed realism. They cheer on science as if it’s a football team and not just a method of inquiry. If I had a dime for every time I’ve been told that the fact that I’m reading words on a computer screen is proof that science is the final arbiter of all questions pertaining to human endeavor, well, I’d have a nice pile of dimes.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

    > Satan and the demons work hard to deceive us.

    Oh no! But I thought the big fellow “God” was doing the deceiving via “apparent age.”

    Or maybe there is simply no difference between God and Satan. Even the Bible seems to have trouble differentiating between the two deities.

    ● II Sam. 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
    ● I Chron. 21:1 And SATAN stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I so do love the church lady.

  • John Oliver

    What strikes me is how shockingly similar people sound on both sides. The anti-science fundamentalists claims he has the authority of God’s word, and therefore can mock the evolutionists. The evolutionists claims the authority of science and feels justified mocking the creationists. Broad brushes are used by both sides. And can we please quit using the line that all creationists are anti-science? This is manifestly not so. The scientific revolution began with men who were creationists. Name upon name could be given of modern-day scientists who hold to creation as well. Heck, the inventor of the MRI was a creationist, Raymond Damadian! Of course there are some on that side who reject science, but I certainly wouldn’t paint the whole lot that way. They simply don’t agree with the findings of some of the basic tenets of historical science. But historical science is very different from observational science. Advancement in technology and medicine has very little, if anything, to do with the theory of evolution. In fact, a case could just as easily be made that holding to the basic tenets of evolution can hinder the scientist from progress because the clearly observable results don’t line up with what he expects to find. Just a few years ago geneticists claimed that a large part (95%) of our genome was junk DNA left over from evolution. Most geneticists now recognize them as a vital part of the regulation of protein coding sequences. While an evolutionist scientist would expect to find junk, a creationist would expect to find design. Surely this is not illogical and unscientific. At the end of the day, we all rely on authorities who know more than we do. We have certain presuppositions based on those authorities. We have to have them in order to do science, to expect regularity. I personally don’t see anything in the basic tenets of Christianity that would inhibit research and discovery. If one claims to be a Christian and is anti-science, I would argue that that does not flow from the teachings of the Bible. Just my two cents….

    • Kevin Panda

      Stereotypes of any kind are generally wrong and misleading as a whole.

    • Ralph Locklin

      Maybe we should invent new terms: Genesis young earth creationist and a big bang creationist. Lots of scientists are attempting to deal with creation without reference to the story in Genesis. Cosmologists might be referred to as creationists, but most of them would not give serious thought to the stories in Genesis. Most of the scientists that study and do research in evolution are probably creationists because their discipline involves looking backward in time or making inferences about causes of current observations. My own thinking about this is that the young earth Christians want to believe that everything started just a few years ago and hasn’t changed much at all since that time. The picture that emerges in science is that creation is a continuous process and cannot convincingly be characterized as a single event. For example gene expression can change in a lifetime based on experiences. These changes are inheritable and so affect the course of humanity and perhaps all mammals. The discipline is referred to as epigenetics. Creatures adapt to new conditions and in doing so become a species with a twist. Creatures are doing that at the present time and very likely were doing that throughout all the time that life was present on this planet or any other viable location in the universe. The current evidence supports this viewpoint in a much more convincing way than does the young earth Christian approach.

    • Rick K

      “historical science is very different from observational science”

      That is a completely false creationist marketing slogan.

      The scientific process consists of these steps:
      1) Make a guess or have an idea
      2) Use your guess to predict what you will find in the evidence.
      3) Go out and confirm or deny your prediction.
      4) If the evidence fits your prediction, it may be right
      5) If the evidence doesn’t match your prediction, your idea was wrong – drop it or change it

      The evidence can be light sent from stars a billion years ago, the number of plankton in a volume of ocean water, the spectra of light emitted by a laser, the number of red-headed people per square mile, the color of a chemical mixture in a lab, or the pattern of bones dug from the ground.

      Evolutionary Theory is based on SCIENCE and is tested and confirmed by multiple independent lines of evidence including but not limited to: patterns of morphology, co-evolved relationships, convergent evolution, observed speciation, Lenski experiments, shared DNA, inherited ERV markers, molecular biology, vestigial traits, atavisms, genetic mutation, embryology, the fossil record, paleontology, archaeology, transitional species predictions, radiometric dating, dendrochronology, thermoluminescence dating, ice core dating, biostratiography, archaeogenetics, biogeography, plate tectonics, geology, chemistry, and physics.

      The question for the creationist is simple: “Is there any evidence that would convince you that man was created by natural processes and was not created magically in his current form by God?”

      If the answer is “no”, then the person has surrendered intellectual integrity in pursuit of their faith. And I personally believe that any faith that can only be preserved by the surrender of integrity is a morally deficient faith.

      Oh, and please find a quote from a geneticist claiming that 95% of DNA served no purpose. You’re repeating another creationist slogan that has no basis in reality. We’ve known for decades that much non-coding DNA serves regulatory and other purposes. We also know that there are bits of true junk left there by historic mutations, vestigial sequences and retrovirus leftovers. I’m begging you – to protect your own intellectual integrity PLEASE learn about evolution from someplace other than creationist websites.

    • Andrew Dowling

      “Advancement in technology and medicine has very little, if anything, to do with the theory of evolution.”

      You have zero idea about what you’re talking about . . .

      • John Oliver

        Okay, please explain, Andrew. I’m asking for you to give me an example of how holding or not holding to any theory of origins relates to advancement in technology or medicine. Thanks!

      • John Oliver

        Well, I tried to respond to you before, but my response was deleted….interesting. I was simply asking for you to explain how what we believe about origins has any affect on current research and development. Let’s see is this one stays up….thanks!

  • Barry Lenard

    Ernie B. aaaaalmost had me. If s/he’d have really nailed the argument with a nice, wet tongue wag and some kind of sing-song-y schoolyard chant, the “my God is bigger than your God” tack would have won the day. Well done, sir or madam.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Young Earth Creationists often respond with Ken Ham’s famous, “Were you there?”

    To which I respond, “Yes. Yes, I was there.”

    What’s that? You doubt me? Why–were you there??

  • David Morgan

    “Ken Ham and his followers seek to eliminate the teaching of evolution in public schools.”

    Mr. Shore, this is incorrect. Neither AiG (nor most of the other creation science organizations) are in favor of eliminating the teaching of evolution. They are in favor of teaching intelligent design alongside it.

    Thank you.

    • D Lowrey

      So…they are all for forcing their fundamentalist viewpoint on everyone like they used to be able to do before the Supreme Court and the law they claim to love so much told them forcing others to their viewpoint is wrong?

    • BT

      Not really. While they do press for creationism to be taught alongside evolution, it strains credulity that AiG is content leaving it there given that Ham believes it to be a lie and one of the chief anti-Christian evils of our day.

      • BT

        More correctly – if anything, he advocates teaching his incorrect idea of evolution, complete with what he incorrectly sees as “errors”, which can then be used to “teach” the wisdom of his young earth theory.

        He does seem to object to teaching a modern understanding of evolution as it is understood today by those who study it.

    • Rick K

      That is not accurate, David.

      First, “Intelligent Design” as marketed by the Discovery Institute and as attempted in the Dover, PA School System is very different than Ken Ham’s Young Earth Creationism. Ken Ham wants ALL of natural history taught from the Bible – magical creation ~6000 years ago, the Flood, Noah’s Ark, etc. Even the scientists who’ve thoroughly sold out to the Discovery Institute don’t take their reality-denial that far.

      Second, have you actually BEEN in a science classroom in Louisiana when (if) the evolution topic comes up? There is no desire to teach evolution. If it wasn’t mandated by our overbearing secular government, many of our children would never hear the word “evolution”.

    • Sven2547

      The Discovery Institute has made it explicitly clear that their goal is to “defeat” evolution and “replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”

      They call it the Wedge Strategy, and virtually every ID/creationist outfit uses the Discovery Institute’s playbook to that end.

  • Kendall Furlong

    Of course, the creationists DON’T “make their point”. They repeat the same distortions, misunderstandings, and hubristic assertions they have always made.

  • D Lowrey

    If these deluded “christians” who are more interested in their political agenda…rather than leading people to Christ are so sure of their “theology”…then they don’t believe in all of the modern devices they love so much. This being the case…they need to go live exactly how they believe their heroes lived 6000 years ago and never use any modern convenience. Not doing so makes themselves liars at least and hypocrites at the worst.

  • Raymond Watchman

    If I ever meet Ken Ham I really must ask him: “As a fundamentalist, creationist, dominionist and Aussie, how does it feel to be an intellectual quadriplegic?”

  • Rick K

    “Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved.”

    — Tim Minchin, “Storm”

    • Raymond Watchman

      I wouldn’t call the denial of observation “faith”. I would call it closed-mindedness. I would call it stupidity and arrogance. I would call it ignorance and folly. I would call it fear. To me, faith requires open-mindedness. Surely open-mindedness is as fundamental to spirituality as it is to intellectual inquiry. Let us not confuse spirituality with adherence to dogmatic fundamentalist religious beliefs. The former is based in freedom and open-mindedness, the latter in fear and closed-mindedness. “Faith” is a disposition of heart and mind, not a religious formula – in spite of best efforts of some religionists to make it such. Scientific inquiry itself offers a far more satisfactory example of what authentic “faith” is than any ridiculous religious straw-clutching ever could. In spirituality, as in science, it is faith which enables us to be drawn ever-onwards, ever deeper, to learn and grow as much by the ability to discard concepts proven flawed or false by observation, as by the embracing of new concepts as observation and contemplation of those observations illuminate them for us.

  • xscd ✱

    Wow. So young-Earth creationist Ken Ham defiantly tells all skeptics and those who have a reasonably high regard for science, “Were you there?!”

    Was Ken Ham there?

    Ken Ham just seems to love the spotlight and waging a Christian crusade of naysaying against science while supporting an argument he’s comfortable can’t be disproven (no matter how far-fetched or unlikely it may be). Like saying, “How do you _know_ Santa Claus doesn’t exist?! Prove it!”

    • Sven2547

      I imagine him in a courtroom, being the defense attorney for a murder trial.

      Prosecutor: “The overwhelming forensic evidence places the defendant at the scene of the crime.”

      Ken Ham: “But were you there?”

  • MikeHaas82
  • Alliecat04

    Wow! Reading all of these straight through makes me so sad. The one that sticks in my mind is “How big is your God?” Well… big enough to make me with a brain capable of reading and understanding this verse:

    To you, a thousand years is like the passing of a day, or like a few hours in the night. (Psalms 90:4 NCV)

  • texcee

    When the blind leads the blind, they all fall into a ditch.