Let me first clear a few things up. When I say "creationist" I'm referring to creation science in general, that includes intelligent design, which
is creationism. Tho they "IDer's" have been better at hiding their religious motives and are better at writing pseudo-scientific bull than
creationists. They are not married to young-earth creationism, even though they are more than happy to cater to that crowd, their theology appears to
be little more than "God of the Gaps."
Most all creationist claims have been soundly refuted decades ago, but then new generations of creationists come up, the veritable "suckers born
every minute", they are only taught those old, bogus, soundly refuted claims, but never the refutations. Then they go out in the real world convinced
that they have the absolute latest scientific findings and instead they are devastatingly informed that their claim is completely and utterly bogus.
But there are a few hard core believers that tow the line no matter what the truth is, the truth will always take a back seat to their beliefs.Their
agenda is not scientific, but rather political and social as the Wedge Document
We are talking about people with deeply held beliefs and theologies that have strong emotional and psychological ties to their religion.
The scientist / informed lay person debates within constraints that Creationists do not bother themselves with, i.e. sticking to the facts.
Here is breakdown on what to look for and what to expect when debating creationist.
1) scientists limit themselves to what is known, and they (generally) clearly state what is their opinion and speculation when they stray from what is
Creationists allow themselves wild speculation, baseless assertions, lies, deceit, and a belief in magic to defend their dogmas.
2) scientists discard obsolete data when new data supplants it with better evidence and explanatory power.
Creationists discard every piece of data that does not mesh with their pre-conceived dogmas.
3) scientists acknowledge the fact that many questions remain unknown, and indeed may be unknowable.
Creationists manufacture ANY possible "answer" they can imagine that supports their dogmas.
4) scientists expect their listeners to think and hear critically, and to know enough about the subject to arrive at the reasoned, valid
Creationists DEPEND upon the ignorance of their audience. They avoid properly set up debates in front of real scientists.
5) scientists debate because they find the subject to be fascinating and they want to educate the audience of not only science, but also the threat to
education Creationism poses.
Creationists "debate" because they believe it is "saving souls" from their Hell. They therefore believe they have a far bigger stake in
"winning" than the scientist.
6) scientists do not expect Creationist debate opponents to lie (unless the scientist is well-read on Creationist tactics.)
Creationists expect scientists to tell the truth, thus the Creationist will not be surprised by anything the scientist brings up. I dare say that if
scientists started to be as dishonest as Creationists, these "debates" would be "won" by the scientists: however, the scientific community would
scream bloody murder (unlike the Creationist community, whom remain silent over their Creationist "debaters" lies).
7) scientists do not have the time to "debate" the Creationists.
Creationists have lots and lots of time, since they do no work, perform no research, and are supported by their cults. They gleefully announce that
the reason scientists do not "debate" them is because the scientists are afraid of them.
8) scientists must limit themselves to a very shallow overview of evolution and Evolutionary Theory, out of time restraints and complexity of the
Creationists need only make assertions that their audience will buy because they sound nice and gives the audience a warm, fuzzy feeling. For every
assertion by the Creationists that the scientist demonstrates false, the Creationist utters many dozens of more falsehoods. There is no way the
scientist has time to correct them all.
I think nearly all of the big-name Creationists who debate are aware of the fact that most of their claims are false. I think, with good reason,
that Creationists believe their lies are for "the greater glory of god," and are thus justified --- they believe they are "saving sinners" (i.e.
non-Fundamentalist Christians). The "debates" that Creationists set up and run are not conducive to debate. When a scientists or informed lay
individual is allowed to address every point the Creationists bring up (which is possible in written debates and in properly controlled debates, but
never in the "debates" Creationists sponsor), the Creationists nearly always lose. The solution is to set up a proper debate, where the Creationist
cannot do The Gish Gallop. Such a debate would follow the general structure of:
Creation attempts to twist the truth to serve their own ends, have achieved nothing more than to put another black mark on the history of religion.
Creationism is actively turning potential converts away by associating religion with their literal interpretations of ancient mythology. The deception
inherent in creationism is causing formerly devout members to desert the flock. Creationism has done, and is doing, far more damage to religion than
any atheist movement ever could.
quote:I still hold some anger because I believe the evangelical Christian community did not properly prepare me for the creation/evolution debate.
They gave me a gun loaded with blanks, and sent me out. I was creamed.
Here is a page by a former creationist, one D. Jon Scott, and his page, Genesis Panthesis. He was another inspired young creationist ready and charged
up with all of creation science's bogus claims and ready to defeat that "evil evolution". But what happened? Well, here are his own words:
quote:I still hold some anger because I believe the evangelical Christian community did not properly prepare me for the creation/evolution debate.
They gave me a gun loaded with blanks, and sent me out. I was creamed. Here is a page by a former creationist, one D. Jon Scott, and his page,
Genesis Panthesis. He was another inspired young creationist ready and charged up with all of creation science's bogus claims and ready to defeat
that "evil evolution". But what happened? Well, here are his own words: quote:Talk.Science was my own creation, and was graciously hosted by
MyTownNet.Com (the company has since been bought out and no longer exists) at the URL [www.talkscience.mytownnet.com...]. It received a healthy
portion of both creationist and evolutionist readers, who avidly submitted feedback which I was happy to respond to on the web. For a very long time
I was content to explain away the mounds of evidence supporting evolutionary biology as well as mainstream geology and cosmology. Particularly the
fossil record - which I feel I can safely say that I was much more well-versed in than the majority of prominent creationists (Gish et. al.), was
rather easy for me to dispute in my deluded creationist mind. After a while, I became very aware of the dishonest tactics used by creationists such
as Gish and Morris, and developed a growing contempt for the majority of my fellow creationists/Christians. Though I was determined to help give
creationism scientific respectability and aid in restoring the good name of the Christian religion. I kept updating the archive and working on it
straight through 1998, the year in which Caudipteryx zouii and Protarchaeopteryx robusta - two creatures which scientists described as obviously
non-avian dinosaurs (which means they weren't birds), but which had feathers! I simply emphasized their avian qualities and either explained away or
dismissed as unimportant their reptilian characteristics, and went on happily spreading the myth of creationism. Yes - I had the evidence, the
information, and the knowledge of how evolutionary biology works - yet I did not have the intellectual integrity to admit to the truthfulness of
evolutionary theory and kept denying that this incredibly intricate law and set of 'trends' in nature could possibly have any validity. Then, in
september of 1999, the bomb dropped. I picked up my issue of the National Geographic and saw what else on a page advertising an upcoming issue; but
Sinornithosaurus millenii! It had long steak-knife-shaped teeth like a T. rex, a long, muscular tail, hyper-extendable "switchblade" claws on the
hind legs like Velociraptor mongoliensis, a narrow snout that looked almost like a bill, a bird-like pubic structure, and worst of all - feathers! I
simply stared at the page for a few moments, muttered "oh #!" to myself a few times, and got up to check the N.G.News web site. This wasn't just
some artistic depiction of what a reptile/bird might look like - and it was no hoax. It was a small dromaeosaurid ("raptor") with killing claws,
razor-sharp teeth, and a pair of wing-like arms complete with plumage. My heart sank, and my gut churned. This was it - the one proof of evolution I
had always asked for but never thought would come to light. In my mind, I was betting that even if evolution were true, the chances of finding such a
beautiful example of transition would be slim enough to be dismissed as impossible. And yet here it was - proof. I stepped outside to compose myself,
and stood there looking at the world around me. Weeks later, I began making plans to dismantle to the Talk.Science Archive, all the while researching
the Christian religion. I soon came to the conclusion that since much of the first ten or twelve chapters of genesis had been plagiarized from
Chaldean fairy tales and mythos, the truthfulness of the Bible must be strictly spiritual rather than spiritual and historical. It wasn't very long
before I began to realize that since the 'historical' sections of the Bible, particularly those stolen from Chaldean mythos, were intended to
influence spiritual truth - that the early Israelites must have simply been making up their own "spiritual truths", trying to make the fairy tales
of their Hebrew (Chaldean) ancestors match up. I was faced with the realization that the Bible could not even be taken as spiritually true...it was/is
nothing more than a book of myths and fables from a time and place in which people had no scientific knowledge, and made up these stories to explain
what was going on around them (though the people making up these fables probably thought that they were coming to revelations given by their God[s]).
Then that day in 1999 came back to me. I remembered standing outside on my porch, looking at the natural world of which I had always known myself to
be an integral part - albeit created as such. On that day, however, I began to look at the world in a new light. I looked at the trees, thinking
about how they worked. Photosynthesis, receiving energy from the sun, these creatures had limbs which branched out in every direction, tipped with
leaves made green with chlorophyl, drawing energy from the sunlight which they captured. As they fed on the radiant light, blocking the light from the
ground below, I began to think of how they might exist without God. A tiny bacterium absorbs energy from both heat and chemicals. Plants are exposed
to heat, feed on chemicals, and have chemicals that allow them to feed on heat more efficiently - on a much larger scale than primitive bacterial cell
strands. I thought, perhaps, that since some algae is bacterial and other is plant-life, that some bacteria might have used chlorophyl to extract
nutrients from the sun. Also, perhaps from this algae, primitive coats of slime would evolve and dwell on rocks near river beds. In a few million
years, you'd have moss growing on moist soil. Millions of years could come and go, and plants which harness the power of the sun and extract more
nutrients from the matter around them (whether it be water or dirt) would spread more abundantly and prosper over their contemporaries. I looked at
the trees again. They were large, tightly-packed groups of cells, which over millions of years grew larger and larger, growing green leaves which act
as solar panels. They were cell-colonies trying to survive in an environment where new oportunities are as ample as the number of possible
combinations of DNA. So here they were, beautiful, and majestic, and sitting there because of the opportunistic nature of living cells - not because
God put them there. They were green because they had Chlorophyl to absorb sunlight - not because God thought that humans would think it an attractive
color. I looked down at my own hands, studying my finger prints. I pondered the reason God might have given them to me. I recalled to myself that
only primates have finger prints, and that they used the blunt part of their fingers - rather than claws, to grip limbs and branches. They have
traction-treds on their fingers and toes. This is probably why all primates also have flat nails. But then why do humans have finger prints? For
indentification? We've only had finger print identification for the past hundred years or so. Even if the world were only six thousand years old,
that's less than a thirtieth of a percent of the time since humans were first created. Why give us this feature, why design such intricate patterns,
if God knew it would be an absurdly short amount of time between the first use of finger print identification and the creation of DNA fingerprinting,
which is much more accurate? And what how would this be any different from believing that the bridge of the nose were created for sunglasses, or the
opposable thumb designed so that our hand could fit into gloves? The only way these hands of mine made sense, with the gripping fingers, the
traction-tredded finger tips, the flat nails, was if my distant ancestors - and the ancestors of all humans - were creatures who used their front
limbs for climbing. And why such low body hair? Wouldn't it be more effecient to not have body hair at all? We use resources to grow this hair which
appearently serves no purpose. If we evolved from hairy creatures, it would make sense that we evolved to use our resources more effeciently and
wasted less of our reserves on this useless feature. That way, the hair wouldn't have to be completely absent, since the industrial age - when we
could produce many of our own resources from previousely unavailable sources - occured at a time which vary well might have been before we had the
chance to evolve a completely bald body. Of course it must have been a bit more complex than that, but I had a feeling I was pretty much on-track with
this line of reasoning. I looked down at my hands again, and studied them for a few moments longer... "This is it..." I spoke to myself softly,
"Welcome to the real world."
Creationism constantly denies the real world. It has to, since the real world offers it absolutely no support. Doesn't that tell you something?