So here's a rather typical post by Taq that purports to identify a mental deficiency in Christians. The mental deficiency is of course nothing other than the belief itself, and he's oddly quite amazed as if he'd never encountered Christian belief before. That in itself is amazing. Anyway, the accusation of the Christians' "inability to understand" is simply false, so I thought I'd see if I could clarify things for the amazed unbeliever.
Taq is referring to a discussion at another evolution-creation debate board:
Libby Anne recently wrote a "Why I am an atheist" essay over at Pharyngula. In it, she discusses how she argued against evolution but finally conceded that the evidence was on the side of evolution:First I wonder why Taq is so amazed at this response, why his "jaw hit the floor" and how he arrived at the conclusion that Dr. Purdom "just doesn't get it." What does that even mean, she doesn't "get it?" Get what?[Libby]And then I went to college, where my young earth creationist views were challenged. I responded by fighting back. I argued with both students and professors, sure that I had some sort of truth they were missing. I brought out every argument I had, and went back to my creationist resources for more. As time went by, though, I found my arguments effectively refuted by arguments and information I had never been exposed to before. To my utter shock, it seemed that the evidence actually fell on the side of evolution and against young earth creationism. After nearly a year of fighting, I conceded defeat.What happened next is fascinating, at least to me. Two creationists felt the need to comment: Dr. Georgia Purdom and Ken Ham from AiG. When I read their responses my jaw just hit the floor. They just don't get it, as Libby Anne was quick to point out. Quite frankly, they would have been better served not saying anything at all. In an attempt to explain why Libby Anne left the faith they have given away the farm, IMHO. Here are just a few excerpts from Dr. Purdom and Mr. Ham:Libby seems to have things backwards. It’s not that “we know the Bible is true because young earth creationism is true,” but rather because the Bible is true we can believe what God said in Genesis about the time frame in which He created. Although she read AiG resources, attended AiG conferences, and came to the Creation Museum, I have to wonder how much she really understood what she was reading and hearing. The very idea of God creating in six literal days, 6,000 years ago, and the global flood comes from Scripture (and of course the scientific evidence confirms it)!--Georgia PurdomSo the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true, and Libby should have remembered that. Oh, and the evidence backs it up. Why not just say that the Earth is young because that is what the evidence says? I think Dr. Purdom is revealing more than she may want to with this statement.
Why not just appeal to the evidence for a young earth? Because a Biblical creationist starts from the Bible. Why is this so amazing to Taq? Dr. Purdom is right that it isn't that the Bible is true because creationism is true, and it also isn't true because it says it's true as Taq spins it, it's true because it's God own word and true Christians know this. There shouldn't be a question about this, there shouldn't be anything amazing about this, it's the first principle of Christian belief. Serious Bible believers pursue the creationist debate because God's word tells us the world is not as the evolutionists and Old Earthers say it is, and we expect ultimately to be able to find scientific evidence for the Biblical claims (and as Dr. Purdom says, there is such evidence). What's not to get?
Also, if you read Libby's response it is more than apparent that she did know her stuff, perhaps even better that Dr. Purdom does. It's not that Libby did not understand the arguments, it's that the arguments are WRONG. Creationists just can't understand that.Well, of course we aren't given the arguments that Libby found so compelling, or what arguments she was using as a creationist, so there is no way to determine the rightness or wrongness of either side of the debates. No matter of course, if it's a creationist argument it's wrong by definition according to Taq, no need to produce specifics so that we could judge for ourselves.
Then Taq quotes Ken Ham:
But it isn't that creationist arguments have failed to stand up against criticism -- or at least there is no way to tell in this case since there isn't enough information either about the creationist arguments Libby used and her understanding of them, or the arguments used against her and whether they could have been handled better.As we train our children, we need to do much more than just expose them to resources like those produced by AiG; we need to make sure they understand them correctly and are taught to be able to answer questions logically. . .Both Dr. Purdom and Ken Ham seem to agree on this point. The solution for creationism failing in the face of criticism is MORE INDOCTRINATION. As Libby Anne puts it:
We can undermine a lot of what we have done if we send our children to the wrong institution (e.g., a compromising Christian college or even a theologically conservative one that does not teach them why they believe what they do—and how to logically defend the Christian faith and so on).
--Ken HamAnd the solution Ken Ham and Dr. Purdom make? Double down. That’s pretty much it. Teach the same things, just more. Oh, and isolate yourself and your children from other points of view – oh the dangers of the state college or “compromised” Christian college!Creationists, is this really the new strategy? When it becomes apparent that creationist arguments can not stand up to criticism is it really the right move to protect creationism from any type of criticism? Is this why creationists are fighting so hard to get evolution out of the classroom?
But nobody has suggested protecting bad arguments from criticism, it is obviously assumed by both Dr. Purdom and Ken Ham that either Libby did not do a good job defending the creationist arguments or she caved in when there was no need to cave in, to evolutionist arguments that could have been answered. In either case, of course the response is that Christian students need better training in dealing with these things.
Taq has no problem with any of it, of course, because he "knows" that the creationist arguments are wrong. Therefore he sees further training as merely indoctrination in wrong arguments. Purdom and Ham know that people who are not solidly grounded in the Bible can be persuaded by the seemingly scientific arguments of evolutionism to give it up. Their answer is to advise better grounding.
It's good to have a good grounding in the science of course if you're going to try to debate evolutionists, but the emphasis should always be on the Bible as God's word and not just on the logic of scientific arguments. That's where a Bible-believing creationist must start, that's where our grounding has to be. The stronger the faith the better will be our scientific arguments too. Some of us don't have the mind to grasp many of the scientific questions anyway, or we can only go so far in that direction, but those who can't grasp the science still need to hold to the Bible even in the face of the kind of ridicule that is constantly coming at us from evolutionists.
The weakest creationist arguments come from those who aren't solidly grounded in the Bible, don't have a real relationship with the Lord, but only give mental assent to the truths they've learned over the years, or abandon parts of the Bible under pressure from the world. Most of the creationist arguments at EvC really aren't very good. And of course those weak in faith capitulate to the supposedly superior science of the evolutionists all too easily.
This is sad because the science that supports evolution is really the flimflam I keep saying it is. It's an illusion. But it SOUNDS scientific, and all genuine science is done in its name as well, without any real justification. The entire disciplines of biological and geological science are given over to it. It's all smoke and mirrors so it's not easily falsified and the fact that it has the allegiance of millions, even though the vast majority of them don't really understand it, exerts a powerful pressure to accept it, especially as it's backed by ridicule of dissenters.
No wonder it's not uncommon for a Christian of weak faith in God and His word to capitulate as Libby apparently did, and others all the time do. Ken Ham is right that you can't just assume that somebody who can repeat all the creationist arguments really has a good grasp on them -- same as it's even possible for someone to think he's a Christian and appear to be a Christian just because he's learned all the basic teachings and does all the accepted things, and yet not really be born again.
If your "faith" is really intellectual learning and tradition it's not really faith and it's easy to lose it. You have to build your learning ON your faith, not the other way around.
What a creationist loses by capitulating isn't just a scientific argument but God Himself. The Bible is either God's word or it isn't. WHOLLY God's word.
NoNukes in Message 8 got it right.
That the Bible is true is a given. So what the Bible says is right. The evidence, when interpreted correctly also supports the Bible, but it is possible to become confusedExactly.
But Taq still doesn't get it:
Then why even look at the evidence? Why does AiG spend so much time discussing the evidence? If you already believe that you are right and can not be wrong, then why do you need evidence?Because, knowing that the Bible is the truth we expect science will ultimately confirm it, and we believe it already confirms a great deal of it. It's not science so much as the evolutionist bias that is what we have to overcome, but that requires dealing with the scientific claims.