5 Major Reasons Why Creationists are Dead Wrong

“Young Earth Creationists are dead wrong, no matter how much they would like you to think the contrary. Their misunderstandings of science speak heavily toward their ignorance of the natural world, as well as their reluctance to accept new and revised information. God is and will always be their go-to answer for most questions, but science has refuted (quite effectively) the idea that God created this planet, universe, and inanimate and animate objects less than 10,000 years ago. With index fingers plunged deep into their ear canals, they continue to believe only to maintain their faith in God; standing as a testament to the fact that faith makes you believe and say silly and outlandish things. Not only do they believe their religious beliefs to be true, they’re often vocal about it. Out of all their silly beliefs, these five reasons effectively demonstrate why the Creationist is dead wrong.”

Read more at Atheist Republic.

Things to Look Out for When Debating Young-Earth Creationists

As the Creation Museum debate approached, atheists and theists criticized Bill Nye for his decision to debate “Answers in Genesis” CEO Ken Ham. But why is this? The simple answer:

Ken Ham claims that the theory of evolution inadequately describes the growth of Earth’s flora and fauna. Not only does he ignore the massive amount of empirical data supporting the theory, he then goes on to believe that life was created by God in primitive form. From there, he believes, different species (or “kinds”) steadily progressed via “micro-evolution.” This isn’t the end, I’m afraid. He also claims to have a personal relationship with that creator being.

Bill-Nye-and-Ken-Ham-Debate

Most atheists know this is ridiculous. But not every atheist believes people like Ham should be taken seriously. With this post, I do not intend to weigh in on the “Should we debate creationist?” question. That is a matter of choice. Personally, I find it valuable because I’m also a secularist. Battles are being waged in the Southern states of the USA over whether state-funded student textbooks should include Intelligent Design as a legitimate scientific field. Ignoring them won’t make them go away. If we aren’t careful, their beliefs could infect the most vital portion of our society: our children. This isn’t only an American problem, this is a global issue that must be addressed.

So, how should you go about debating a Young-Earth Creationist? YEC’s (young-earth creationists) have no problem telling you why they believe the theory of evolution is flawed. In my experience, most won’t shy away from discussion. But before doing so, understand their position on evolution.

Let’s use the Christian Evangelical Young-Earth Creationist as an example. What strategies and arguments must you be ready to defend against?

  • Sometimes, they will argue that evolution is “only a theory.” Most on the opposite side of creationism often understand the difference between the traditional word and the scientific definition. Politely remind them of the difference. It’s important to point out that in order for the conclusion of a hypothesis to be considered as a theory, an immense amount of research and data must support the claim.
  • They may try to assert the “controversy” claim, meaning that the scientific community is split on the validity of the theory. This isn’t true. It’s incredibly hard to pin down an exact percentage, but it’s generally accepted that almost all working scientists believe it to be fact. Evolution is even the core every biological scientific field. Without a working understanding of evolution, those sciences may have never achieved the success they have.
  • Sometimes they ask for observational data confirming evolution. It exists, but not in the way they are wanting it. They want an example of a change in species, not a change among certain species’. If they ask this question, it will be apparent to you that they simply don’t understand the basic principles of evolution. Point this out and decide where to take the conversation from there. If they wish to continue and ask for observations, cite this example (which is one of my favorites): Italian Wall Lizards were introduced to an island of the coast of Croatia in 1971. 10 lizards were transplanted. In 2008, over 5000 Italian Wall Lizards inhabited the island, all direct descendants of the previous ten. The most interesting part: They had completely different intestinal structures and a larger head with a stronger bite. Natural selection forced the species to change so drastically.
  • Finally, they may use “irreducible complexity” as a valid reason to believe the creation myth. This simply denies evolution by claiming life on Earth is far too complex to have evolved in the way the theory holds. To the average person, this may make sense. But if you look further, it doesn’t. “Everything works and looks so perfect that it must have had a designer!” This is top-down logic and it doesn’t work. The best way to describe this, I’ll quote Douglas Adams from a speech he gave in Cambridge in 1998 – “Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’” It’s unsurprising to find human beings that feel they and the rest of the animate and inanimate mater was particularly created. We evolve and adapt to our surroundings. With the primitive questioning and thinking capabilities of early man, it was only a matter of time before we began to say we were the best and everything was created for us.

Of course, this isn’t the most comprehensive of lists. It’s meant to act as a starter guide, citing many of the most commonly posited arguments for Creationism. If you decide to watch the upcoming debate, pay close attention to Ham’s arguments. Write them down, study the opposition, and better yourself for the next time you find yourself tangling with a Young-Earth Creationist.

In Support of Bill Nye

On February 4th, science popularizer Bill Nye will debate Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The obvious topic: “Is creation a viable model of origins?”

bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-wide

Now, many atheists/anti-theists/secularists have voiced their opinions, debating whether it is a good thing for a science advocate to take on the current anti-evolution heavyweight champion of the world. I’ve read many of the arguments against Nye’s decision, most of them being:

  • Nye isn’t an evolutionary biologist.
  • Nye may not understand the creationist position entirely.
  • Never give a creationist the time or place to publicly display his foolish beliefs.
  • This is only a money-grubbing opportunity for the struggling Creation Museum.

I’m sure there are a few that I’ve missed. Not many support Nye’s decision to take on Ham. Surprisingly, I’ve noticed more Christians on Nye’s side, since many feel the creationist position is lush with stupidity and unneeded literalism. I also understand why he probably shouldn’t have readily accepted the debate. I see why many disagree, because they’re all valid points. The anti-evolution movement has no weight; it isn’t supported by the majority of scientific thinkers, no substantial amount of evidence has been presented to support their failed hypothesis, and it is an entirely faith-based claim. Since I first heard this was happening, I was in full objection. Nye remained silent on the subject until recently, explaining his decision to The Huffington Post. I watched the video in full length and reflected for some time.

And now I’m sympathetic to Nye’s decision.

Developing scientifically literate children is the key to our survival as a species. Standing against the opposition is an admirable position. I care deeply for the education of our youth, particularly those who’ve been lied to their entire lives in regards to the evolution of the biosphere. We atheists often say “tolerance is part of the problem.” By ignoring the creationist completely, isn’t that a form of tolerance? Nye isn’t particularly concerned with changing Ham’s mind, but this is what is important:

Creationism is an issue that we must argue and challenge without remorse, for the sake of our future.

In my experience, most who side with the anti-evolution community have never heard any of the arguments against their position. This will offer a great opportunity for Nye to reach an audience that many often fail to. No one is “too far gone” in their faith. Everyone has the ability to comprehend the truth of evolution and the positives of a science-based objective eye. Perhaps Nye is the right person to get that specific job done. How many times have we heard atheists say, “Books like The God Delusion and God Is Not Great got me to think a bit more critically about my faith and I soon found myself to be an atheist.” This could be another one of those instances.

All it takes is for one person to change a 1000 minds. Hell, they may only need to change one mind; a mind that could go on to change the entire world. These are chances we need to take because the fight against this ultimate stupidity is escalating. I have high-hopes for his presentation and I expect him to diligently tear down Ham’s arguments, which isn’t incredibly difficult.

Popular creationists often begin with an objection to our current scientific understanding. By creating a level of distrust, they have the opportunity to sneak in their ridiculous claims with crafty rhetoric. Nye needs to erase this level of distrust by doing what he does best: Promote science in an innovative and exhilarating way. If he can do that effectively, he deserves a nod. As Nye says, he was “challenged to a dual. What am I supposed to do?”

But I could be wrong. Maybe this will make the creationist look more credible than those who valiantly support evolution, and Nye could lose horribly. But I’m not a pessimist about this event.

So, I support Bill Nye.

And I invite you in joining me.

——-

The Huffington Post interview with Bill Nye

View the live debate on February 4th for free here.