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How best to argue against creationists

Discussion in 'Evolution Vs. Creationism' started by Runlikethewind, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Runlikethewind

    Runlikethewind Monk in Training

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    Let us discuss/debate the methods for dealing with creationists. I argue that the worst thing a person can do is to argue the facts with a creationist. So long as they have their faith nothing you show them about the fossil record, dating methods, etc, will change their position. Instead, the only sensible thing to do is avoid specif questions about the science and the facts and instead turn the debate around, get to the root of the problem, which is fundamentalism. The debate must be focused on the question of why? Why is it so important that evolution be wrong? Why is a literal interpretation of Genesis so important? When they claim that no one has ever witnessed macro evolution, ignore it and return with the question why is that such a threat to your faith? Fundamentalism is the enemy in this debate and not ignorance of science.

    On a side note I just want to say how annoyed I am with the fact that the term creation (creationist, creationism etc) has come to be connected the way it has with the most fundamentalist interpretations of the doctrine. In the broadest sense, I consider myself a creationist because "I believe in one God, the Father the almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen". But if I were to label myself as such, people would instantly think I reject evolution and believe the earth to be only a few thousand years old. Annoying, they must be stopped, we must restore creationism to its rightful place of honor!
     
    Storm likes this.
  2. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister New Member

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    I agree with this. The real problem is a modern fundamentalist perspective. Notice I said "modern" because the fathers of the fundamentalist movment (such as James Orr) SUPPORTED DARWIN.
     
  3. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Religion:
    Episcopalianism
    I think that could be an interesting conversation, Run. I think that creationists (in the sense used above, not creationists as you indicate you'd like the term to be) understand the science and the implications as well as any average citizen.

    Probably for a good number of creationists, it is based in a literal view of the Bible, in a way I don't think the Bible was ever meant to be taken. Perhaps some people are uncomfortable with the idea that large parts of the Bible are metaphor, poem, and well-kneaded story.

    I wonder how many will acknowledge the deeper concern, that evolution points to a God who made creation with elements of freedom, that God gave up some control so Creation could itself be creative. There are many Christians who do not accept free will, and this is very deep in their theology. It is especially strong in the same line of Protestants who tend to take the Bible more literally.

    Evolution indicates a God who does not tweak and control, who has limited Himself, and allowed a creation with the potential for suffering, and for evil.
     
  4. TheKnight

    TheKnight Guardian of Life

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    3,097
    The best way to debate a creationist is not to. But if they insist, I've found that it helps to do exactly what you've said. Why does it threaten their faith if evolution is true? What makes it such a big deal to them?

    Usually once you examine these avenues their desire to debate is lost. Because they realize that evolution is not a threat.

    Another part of it is the fact that SO many people know so little about evolution. I was anti-evolution before I had a guy with a PhD in Biology to (kindly) explain it to me. Then I was like "That's it? That's what the debate is about? Wow." And now I don't debate it anymore.

    There are lots of misconceptions out there as far as what evolution is. Personally, I think we just need to work on clearing up the misconceptions and the debates will go away.
     
  5. RedOne77

    RedOne77 New Member

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    It is not a 'threat' in the sense you mean it; the facts are facts yet creationists believe what creationists perceive to be truth, that is, the Bible is an infallible text written by God and is correct on all matters from history to science without exception. The Bible, therefore God, is incompatible with evolution, therefore evolution is false because God (the Bible) is right. It is not that evolution is a threat, rather there's a perceived dichotomy and creationists will always side with 'God'.

    I'd say fundamentalism is but a shell surrounding ignorance (both science and theology) coupled with very ingrained social/religious mores that tend to be hostile to things like science.

    I think many share that sentiment. I'd like to agree with you, but perhaps I've been involved in the debate so long I rarely think or notice that every Christian is a creationist, whether they accept evolution or not.
     
  6. Gunfingers

    Gunfingers Happiness Incarnate

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    I remember being told once to never let the evolution discussion become a debate. The debate is over, and has been for 150 years. Instead we "educate" those who do not understand evolutionary theory.

    The idea of attacking fundamentalism is interesting, however.
     
  7. rusra02

    rusra02 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, let's just pretend that the theory of evolution has been proven, and call anyone who disagrees uneducated. Couple of good examples to follow: scientist H. S. Shelton writes that the concept of special creation is “too foolish for serious consideration.” Biologist Richard Dawkins adds: “If you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane.”

    And let's just keep repeating over and over, "Evolution is a fact..Evolution is a fact"

    Maybe those pesky people who question and probe for the truth will just go away.
     
  8. rusra02

    rusra02 Well-Known Member

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    As a RC, you apparently claim to be a Christian. If the ToE is correct, the foundation of Christianity has no basis in fact. If there was no Adam, there was no original sin.
    If no sin, there is no need for the ransom sacrifice paid by Jesus Christ. Further, Jesus is condemned as a liar, since he obviously believed and taught the Genesis account of creation.
    Either the Bible or the ToE is wrong. The evidence, the facts support what the Bible says, that God created animals and other living things according to their kinds.
    I can understand why evolutionists want to quell debate. As Phillip E. Johnson, a University of California law professor noted in an article in the Wall Street Journal. the evidence for evolution is lacking but its supporters still often ridicule those who question it. The article comments: "Evolution theory is having serious trouble with the evidence—but its proponents don’t want an honest debate that might undermine their world view.”

    BTW, the Bible does not teach the ridiculous notion that the earth is only a few thousand years old. It simply states "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
     
  9. David M

    David M Active Member

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    And here you demonstrate your ignorance of science. Looks like Dawkins was correct in his summation.

    Firstly scientific theories are never "proved", they explain evidence and facts, to be considered valid a theory must explain all the facts, be contradicted by none and make verifiable predictions. Secondly evolution is an observed fact, populations evolve and that is a fact. The Theory of Evolution explains that fact, and others.

    This illustrates the problem with talking with creationists, the vast majority are not interested in evidence or truth, they are only interested in supporting dogma. The only useful response is to expose every mistake and falsehood in their arguments with evidence from reality. This acts to educate the undecided and the portion of creationists who are willing to look at reality and what it tells us.

    What evidence and what facts? Reality shows that there is no such evidence.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  10. Jollybear

    Jollybear New Member

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    After reading some of the stuff on here I am stirred to say something.
    First off, I am a YOUNG EARTH creationist who does NOT believe in MACRO evolution. I believe in SMALL changes over time however. But I believe it is limited that change.

    Anyway, I am PROUD to admit this belief. And I am NOT stupid, insane, or DAM DISHONEST for believing it either! I also am not FULLY ignorant, yes I admit I need to read MORE, but I have read A LOT. I am NOT WILLFULLY ignorant. That's just another NICE way of calling someone dishonest.

    Now WHY do I believe what I do in this regard? Is it ONLY because the BIBLE STRONGLY IMPLIES a young earth and that no macro evolution takes place? Is this the ONLY reason I believe this? The answer is a resounding

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Get it? NOOOOOOOOOOOO! No! NO! NOO!

    Sorry, but this is frustrating.

    I ALSO believe this because I SINCERELY QUESTION the UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS BEHIND the scientific THEORIES of a old earth and old universe and macro evolution. I would do this EVEN IF I DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE!

    Now do you all get it? You better hurry up and get it, because not every creationist is the same. Hurry up and get it because I am sick of it not being gotten.
     
  11. Raithie

    Raithie atheist

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    134
    I have tried that before, but their response is simply "evolutionism is false propaganda being shoved down our throats 24/7!" and how they want "the controversy" to be taught.

    It's ... irritating.
     
  12. Shyanekh

    Shyanekh Well-Known Member

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    The best way to argue against creationists?

    Shrug, turn around and walk away.
     
  13. Sententia

    Sententia New Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism

    It has nothing to with the Bible. Evidence clearly shows the earth to be BILLIONS of years old and NOT thousands of years.

    Its not a small mistake to make.
     
  14. Raithie

    Raithie atheist

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    134
    I was really hoping to see some sort of a winky face in that post. Sigh.

    You say you "believe" in micro evolution. Macro evolution is simply accumulative micro changes until it's above the species barrier. This has been observed. There is no reason why small changes cannot accumulate.



    Perhaps you should read more about evolution, because from the sounds of it, you don't know what it is.

    So you don't base your beliefs on the Bible...? Or science? Then where are you getting your "answers" from?

    Let me point out again that observed speciation has taken place.

    I'd love to see some of your theories as to why science is wrong, since you obviously know so much more about it than the experts. Although you should probably do it in another thread.

    Oopsies. I guess I just ignored the OPs advice. Oh well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  15. The_Evelyonian

    The_Evelyonian Sporadic Moderator Staff Member

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    3,963
  16. Noaidi

    Noaidi slow walker

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    You are making a classic error in terminology, Jollybear. You will find that scientists don't believe in evolution either. Neither do they believe in gravity. If something exists as a fact (based on accumulation of robust evidence), then you can't 'believe' in it - you accept it unless a more verifiable explanation comes to light.
    You can believe in the bible stories, because they are not verifiable facts, but you can't believe in evolution or gravity.

    It's a minor point, but it does reveal your approach to evidence.
     
  17. Peacewise

    Peacewise New Member

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    I agree that the argument is best placed in terms of refuting fundamentalism and extremism, after all that is so easy to do. If the person/opponent is so opposed and extreme that they refuse to even see that they are extreme and fundamentalist then yep, go the shrug and walk away when you've had enough of headbutting the wall.
     
  18. Peacewise

    Peacewise New Member

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    887
    Believe is also defined, by the Collins unabridged dictionary as,
    "verb
    1 to accept (a statement, supposition or opinion) as true.
    2. ...
    3. to be convinced of the truth or existence (of)
    ..."

    Whilst the Collins thesaurus provides.
    "Believe,
    1= think, consider, judge, suppose, maintain, estimate, imagine, assume, gather, guess, reckon, conclude, deem, speculate, presume, conjecture, postulate, surmise.
    2= accept, hold, buy (slang), trust, credit, depend on, rely on...."

    One can believe a fact. One can believe that the evidence supports the conclusion. Some can and do believe in evolution, including from a position of knowing the truth.

    Come on guys, let's dump this BS that scientists don't have beliefs, multiple dictionaries (which I've quoted before) provide a definition of "believe" that includes truth, facts and evidence based reasoning. Beliefs can change too, one can hold a belief, discover new evidence and then move to a different belief.
     
  19. Noaidi

    Noaidi slow walker

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    1,424
    Ok, fair enough. I was trying to distinguish between accepting something on faith or unverified, and accepting something based on evidence.

    Peace to you, Peacewise.
     
    Peacewise likes this.
  20. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    17,423
    Religion:
    Beyond the Light
    Do we really need to argue against creationists? The very idea strikes me as just a bit weird. Now, if they actually had a leg to stand on to begin with, I might agree, but to argue against absurdity isn't an especially wise use of my time.
     
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