Response to "Creation vs. Evolution: Irrefutable Proof"
booklet by Dr. Jason Lisle
2010 Answers In Genesis publication
Karl, thanks for the interest in getting my opinion and feedback from this piece. You probably know my position on the validity of the Christian creation story, but I am always willing to listen! One thing I really wish others on all sides of any argument/debate/discussion would do is listen and seriously consider what the others say, especially if they do not agree with it. Everyone has their own personal perspectives on everything that happens to them in life, that is just how it is and why we have such a diverse pool of personalities and ideas. It is no different for this kind of subject; one only needs to listen and appreciate the particular perspective from which the argument/opinion comes. Until one can understand even a little bit of that other perspective, there probably won't be any progress.
And so, here is my response to this book. I believe I will go section by section, quoting specifics as needed, rather than a general response at the end. Might be more specific that way.
Section 1 - Intro.
Heh, a quite note on the third sentence: most of us who are honest about human knowledge in this "materialistic" world view will acknowledge that we have no right to claim much understanding of events like the Big Bang. We have some "educated guesses" backed up by math, science, etc, but that is a very far cry from complete understanding. The influence of human kind has only just begun to understand ourselves and a few of the environments we have been living on for the last few thousand years. Much of ourselves, and our planet, are a mystery. More so is the moon, which currently marks the edge of our physical reach. We've sent some expensive toys out a little further to take a look at the rest of the solar system and stars around us, and its only been recently that we've gotten some rather amazing and clear images of it all. Claiming knowledge of anything beyond those spheres of our influence is met with the understanding of just how new at this we are. Just want to make that clear!
Immediately, from the perspective of a non-theist talking to a theist about trying to examine the logic and science behind a specific religions creation story, you will find that most non-theists quickly lose interest and will already be willing to leave the discussion. One of those reasons is because of the nature of these world views in the classic stereotype of logic vs emotion, science vs faith. Those are very general, though, a very big brush to paint with that ignores a great many things. The one thing to see, though, is that "materialists" view this world view of theirs as objective, emotionless and pure science, and a faith view as pure emotionally supported with little to no science. I've seen a number of Young Earth Creationists who think they have valid science supporting their views, such as presented by Creation Museums all over the place; science, however, does not allow for very much interpretation.
So right from the start, any non-theist "materialist" will be put off or even amused at the mere mention of trying to use science and logic to validate a religious creation story. And from the third paragraph about claiming an emotional attachment to the "belief in evolution that they will be unwilling to even consider an argument to the contrary" will start to annoy some, heh. Personally, I find it a sign of a shallow thinker to stop there and ignore the rest, but some will just stop there because they have heard this claim many times before. While I am sure there are some people who have tried to hold on to science with an emotional attachment, they are only hurting themselves. The truth behind the science to evolution is that it does not require belief of any kind. Evolution, which is change over time, is, even when it applies to human evolution, the culmination of at least a dozen completely different fiends of science all converging on the same answers and conclusions to establish a true Scientific Theory. So I put it to the author that the immediate and almost rude rejection of his argument is not due in any way to an emotional response to the contrary, negating the claim of the third paragraph, but because the argument has already been settled in various ways for a long time.
I will reserve judgment on the last paragraph about "intellectual debris" of "bad arguments" used in the debate until we get to them, but that made me smile. I am very well aware of a great number of really horrible argument, silly arguments, just plain wrong arguments, and more, used mostly by one side but in actuality used by all sides. We will see what the author has to say about that!
Section 2: A Few Common Evolution Arguments
Equivocation claim. The authors accusation of equivocation fallacy is rejected, due to the authors apparent misunderstanding of the word evolution. By definition, the word evolution is, as defined by wikipedia, "...the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins." As I mentioned earlier, evolution simply means change over time, be it human, elephant, or any other kind of living organism on this planet, yes, even including plants. Bacteria developing a resistance to harmful substances to its own well being is a prime example of evolution. This can be demonstrated in all organisms from bacteria to the largest creatures on the planet.
The second paragraph makes some good points though. Anyone using Ad Hominum attacks (attacking the person rather than the argument) does not deserve to be in the debate. However, the accusation of question-begging-epithet is suspect. It is very rare that anyone in any religious debate will stick around long enough to get the full breakdown of what makes up their argument, on any side. Most non-theists who engage theists in a debate about their religion do not have a library or their life's experiences and perceptions on the topic readily available for examination and reference right then and there, so this claim's validity is rather dubious depending on the circumstances of the debate. It works both ways, too, however; theists have merely to say "its a matter of faith" and that will suddenly end all discussion and debate avenues as "faith" is something personal, which cannot be shaken or challenged easily due to the intensely personal and individual nature of it.
"Inappropriate appeal to authority" claim, Ad Populum (appeal to population) claim. Both of these are rejected. First, scientists are the authority in their field on the specific topic of evolution they are addressing or being cited for, so not only did the author fail to apply this fallacy correctly, but he demonstrates a lack of understanding as to what the fallacy is and what an "authority" is on any subject. This fallacy is use when the "authority" on the subject in question has no actual authority to be making claims on it, such as a football coach with no study time, education, or degrees beyond football tries to act as, or is cited as, an authority on something completely unrelated, like particle physics of nuclear fission through ceramic materials (I actually heard something like that being mentioned as a PhD focus from someone at my friends graduation from a university before). Second, the appeal to population claim is slightly dishonest.
A) A scientific consensus of a Scientific Theory is reached only upon exhaustive research and peer review over a long period of time, and is done so by the entire world. It isn't agreed upon by the worlds scientists because they simply say so, it is done so because of the science proving it to be the case.
B) Invoking this fallacy is a misguided attempt, or a demonstration of actual ignorance, on the system leading up to what earns a scientific consensus. Additionally, ending with the second to last sentence about how the scientists of the world have been "dead wrong" before, is yet another well known and very dishonest tactic used by certain people to slander science. Given the chance, I doubt the author could actually provide clear examples of this, but that is just a petty retort, honestly, heh. In all honesty, I believe the author's bias is not allowing him to mention that science is self correcting and will eventually find the "truth" to the matter as long as we keep asking questions and developing new ways in which to test those questions out. The argument of "scientists being wrong before" is exactly what has given rise to everything we take for granted today, in every moment of our lives in these big cities. So it is with a smile on my face, after a particularly heavy eye rolling, that I submit that these claims as well are not valid.
Begging the question claim. The point is brought up that "creation cannot be true because it involves the supernatural. Science must be limited to natural explanations." Good point, and it would possibly be considered for an actual use of fallacious logic ... except for a few considerations.
1) The word "creation" used at the beginning of this quote is not limited to the authors particular version of an Abrahamic monotheism: it can refer to any creation myth from any religion or culture in the world that has ever or may ever exist. Many of them are quite different, and all of them are believed by their believers with equal conviction that they are all individually the "real" story. This is one of many reasons why science limits itself to what it can prove while excluding such things. This, to me, is very fair. Also, it has been my experience that theists are unwilling to accept the possibility of other creation myths when they are talking about this topic within this discussion, and I find that rather telling, personally.
2) Even if someone humors another of the Christian faiths to allow their creation story in an attempt to see where it goes, right from the start we have a problem with the first few pages of any bible used; when the literal reading is questioned for validity, the theist will almost always return with "its not to be taken literal, it is to be metaphorical". So then the point becomes meaningless as to why the theist complained in the first place.
3) The one thing that destroys this argument from theists is the simple point: Evolution has nothing to say about anything before the origins of life, because it requires the presence of life before it has any meaning. That is the one thing many theists seem to completely misunderstand, including the author, apparently. The formation of planets, "creation" of the universe... none of these have anything to do with Evolution. That tells me, and most other non-theists, exactly what we need to know about the credibility of the author and what we can expect from the rest of the booklet right there. So no, this claim is also rejected. Science depends on testing, and on matters of faith there can be no tests made in a laboratory.
As for the point about refuting radiometric dating methods... no, now the author is outright lying. If he is referring to Carbon Dating methods, there is a specific range of dates where this method works and where it doesn't, as well as a number of reasons contaminants will throw the date way off. These are known issues, which is why multiple elemental dating methods are used. This is scientifically unforgivable, and adds a new level of disappointment to the credibility of this piece.
Affirming the consequent claim. This is dishonest. The author is making these arguments from the untenable position where there is nothing validating the claims he is attacking, making it seem like people are randomly asserting the things he is mentioning. This is not true in the slightest. I have yet to see any scientist say that "because we thought we'd get this result and this, Evolution MUST be true!"... and I doubt I ever will. This is called a Strawman Fallacy. The author should attack claims like that, because people like me would be quick to point out its failures as well. Once again, claim rejected due to committing a fallacy of his own.
Reification claim. ....this is just stupid and childish, given what the author attempted to argue. I can tell the author is really grasping at straws here. No scientist, no non-theist, and probably many theists, would acknowledge any validity in this last paragraph. Needless to say, rejected and embarrassing to see such a thing written.
Section 3: Scientific Evidence.
Oh dear... right from the start I find myself rolling my eyes. "As far as we know, creative information can only originate in a mind." There are a number fallacies associated with this particular argument, the first one of which is a silly response that goes something like, "Well then, all hail Lord Cathulu!". There are other fallacies associated with this, but it boils down to a baseless assertion, especially as it includes the Special Pleading fallacy that asserts validity of one god over another god when the argument can apply to any god or system of gods. It's a silly argument to attempt. Additionally, the author has no justification to state, especially as yet another baseless assertion, at the end of the paragraph that "It cannot be the result of chance mutations and natural selection". The author has demonstrated ignorance of the evolutionary process, what mutations are, and so on.
The next paragraph talks about the fossil record, which is apparently "exactly what creationists would expect to find, since the Bible records a global Flood...". No. Just, no. 1) There is absolutely no evidence for a global flood. 2) Even if there was a global flood, it would not leave bones in an organized system as we find it today. 3) Any attempt to validate a literal "global flood" event in history will fail right from the start. The arguments have been made, refuted, and compounded by overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I have personally identified 47 or so specific reasons why the global flood is an impossibility, which can be viewed in a two part video series I have on youtube.com : .
Part 1: cheeky reading of the biblical event, list of literary facts as told from the story, speculation from supporters
Part 2: rebuttal with 47 of my own points:
...or, for easier reading, I've put the entire script (including links to the videos) in a blog of mine, as requested by others a while ago:
And on the last paragraph for this section, yes, the fossil record, geologic column, and genetics all support the Scientific Theory of Evolution, without issue. For the genetics, I'd like to point out human Chromosome number two, which is the clear bridge point discovered in genetics and predicted by people going back, if not farther into history, as Darwin himself who suggested a link between primates and humans. Specifically, the evidence of human chromosome number two was displayed in detail during the Dover Trail over Intelligent Design, noting how the chromosome was a fusion of two other chromosomes and how the truth shines a light on the interesting difference between humans and primate chromosomes. The author is clearly under prepared for this debate.
Section 4: Evidence and Worldviews
I whole heartedly agree with the author about "both" parties, creationists and "evolutionists", using the same evidence. Well, sort of: most creationists just don't bother using the scientific evidence to support their claim; they utilize their limited understandings, misinformation, and outright lies by the theist community as support for their arguments. This is the frustrating part of the entire argument. Yes, we all have access to the same things, yet many are coming to completely different conclusions while refusing to do a lot of work to actually validate those conclusions. By and large, no creationist can actually substantiate their world view with science these days. Creation Museums are a national embarrassment of the United States of America on the global stage, and we are constantly mocked for it. The Intelligent Design movement had a shot at the Dover Trial of 2005 to validate the strength of its case, and as the Discovery Institute ran away in shame from the trial, there was nothing the actual, if not dishonest and confused, scientist Dr Behe could do to make a good case. We are a first world country with a third world devotion to an ancient religion.
And as a side note, using the term "evolutionist" makes many of us "materialists" laugh and think "awe, how cute!", honestly. For a number of reasons, we see this telling use of words to be quite amusing.
Another note on something in this section: the history of the Bible is now, more so than past decades, known to be quite suspect. The Fairbanks Freethinkers show a NOVA documentary on this specific subject called the Bibles Buried Secrets, which goes into detail about the actual written history, cultural history, and origins of this version of the Abrahamic tradition. So... yes, actually, the history alone can settle the debate itself. I know that is hardly satisfactory for any believer, but from my perspective it really is quite an influential bit of evidence piling on top of the already massive pile.
The authors attempt to talk about Carbon-14 is comical, barely worth noting, but he gets it right where he says "...an evolutionist will not necessarily be persuaded by such evidence." Very true, because that misunderstanding of Carbon-14 is not actual evidence for anything except an ignorance of the topic.
Section 5: How to Resolve a Worldview Issue:
Oh yes, two problems with the first few lines. 1) The literal interpretation of Genesis is already invalidated, and 2) he just invoked the God of the Gaps and Special Pleading, False Dichotomy fallacies. Not only did he just use the old argument of "if you can't explain it, it must be my god", but he stated a case where the only alternative was his god and his gone alone. Triple failure, and there may be additional ones on top of that.
I find it ironic that, in the first paragraph of page 14, the author makes a case that saying something is wrong because it goes against his world views, if he had to play devil's advocate (heh), ...but isn't that exactly what he is doing by neglecting to even consider other cultural creation stories as a possible answer and only attacking Evolution, which, as stated before, only covers life on this planet once it was already here?
I also cannot withhold a big smile as the author states:
"If a worldview is defective in any of these areas, then it is not rational to hold. We will see that evolution fails all three of these tests, but creation passes spectacularly:"
This just makes my inner nerd giggle a little bit. With the three given categories being tested are how arbitrary, inconsistent, and full of preconditions it is, I know the authors statement is actually completely reversed in reality.
The reasoning the author gives for his point on Arbitrariness is ironic and fallacious. He used the argument of testimonials from "evolutionists" to invalidate the entire Scientific Theory of Evolution. Very foolish. Very poor form. Very dishonest. I am not impressed, and continue to be disappointed. Arguments founded on testimonials, or commonly known as "person on the street" statements, fail for many reasons, the first one being that people are stupid. Yes, yes, it's true. I am reminded of a line from Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles, "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." I really don't care for the people who argue that "Oh look, this guy on the street couldn't answer my question, therefore my view is right!" ....silly, very silly. There is no excuse for that kind of thing in this day and age, not with things like telephones, the internet, and even such things as call-in shows like The Atheist Experience which has been on for 15 years taking calls from anyone and everyone while being willing to discuss and debate anything. And seriously, if this one point about the random person not knowing the answers is all he has for the "arbitrariness" of the Scientific Theory of Evolution, is it any wonder no one is convinced by this booklet?
As a side note on the second section about Inconsistency, I have a poster that outlines several hundred contradictions within the Bible itself in a visual representation, it is called The Reason Project.
In this section, the author tries to use Relativism as an example of an inconsistent and self-refuting "world view". Again, this demonstrates the authors poor and apparent superficial understanding of the things he is trying to use in this booklet. I will again quote a definition:
"Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. The term is often used to refer to the context of moral principle, where in a relativistic mode of thought, principles and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context. There are many forms of relativism which vary in their degree of controversy. The term often refers to truth relativism, which is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture (cf. cultural relativism). Another widespread and contentious form is moral relativism."
-wikipedia (yes, wikipedia. If someone has a problem with using wikipedia definitions specifically, they can find another definition somewhere that comes from a higher authority and refutes the definition here, or be forced to concede that this is a workable definition. Note that wikipedia often cites its pages with various other works outside of its own site)
First example demonstrates the authors failure to know what he is talking about. His second example is "strict empiricism", being the belief that "...all truth claims should be evaluated empirically: by observation or experimentation". Yes, it means you shouldn't make stuff up and expect anyone to take you at your word, that we require a demonstration of those truth claims in order to take it seriously. I, for one, do not have blind faith in something just because someone says so... I require a foundation upon which to set trust, some justification such as credentials or evidence. Why would anyone do it otherwise? The author expands on this example of "strict empiricism" by articulating it in another way: "If a claim cannot be proved by observation or experimentation, then it is to be rejected." That is quite fair, I think. However, the author claims this is self-refuting... because it itself "cannot be proved by observation or experimentation", which is quite false. Trying to assert that the definition of "strict empiricism" is self-refuting only betrays an astoundingly shallow thought process.
It is no surprise, after those two issues, that I would have difficulties accepting the leap from that to how an "evolution worldview" is inconsistent, especially when the author conflates Evolution with anything to do with the universe with "...evolution implies that the universe is..." No. No it doesn't. As stated previously, Evolution has nothing to do with anything beyond how life on this planet changes over time. Time and time again, I find myself having to repeat that to certain people.
Ignoring this point for the next paragraph, I have another problem with "...people are simply chemical accidents: the meaningless products of mindless interactions of nature." Here I draw a number of conclusions about the authors frame of mind and intentions with those few simple words. First, the biochemical reactions of our bodies are far from simple, but that is beside the point. The word "accidents" combined with the twice iterated point of a lack of intelligent causation ("meaningless" and "mindless") shows me that the real issue the author has with evolution is the lack of a personal connection, which will boil down to a lack of an afterlife or a "purpose" in things. This, as I have seen over and over, is the core problem theists have with a non-eternal system of existence. Setting that aside for now, the author conflates the word "meaningless" within the context of a lack of intelligent intervention and randomness to the context of "meaningless" as he applies it to a personal and emotional interaction between a male human returning from a day of work and embracing and kissing a female human. Okay... seriously, does the author actually intend to call Evolution inconsistent because of his interpretation of Evolution by natural selection as "meaningless" chemical reactions being somehow required to not retain an emotional connection between multiple very complex entities in a complex social hierarchy between mates of the same species, supported by biochemical reactions intended to promote procreation and the survival of offspring? ...the author is clearly suffering from a vast deficiency of knowledge and understanding relating to so many topics within this very small context he is attempting to reference for his point. This is not an example of an inconsistency, but yet another example of the authors profound ignorance of the details.
In the next paragraph in this section which examines the creationist worldview, it pains me to have to point this out, but here it is: "He expects laws of nature to be congenial to human understanding since God made the human mind able to understand (at least aspects of) the universe." I will roll my eyes, chuckle, and only mention the time it has taken to reach our level of understanding in "the universe", and how very, very far we have yet to go to even begin a remedial understanding of the most basic functions and reality that is our universe.
Third part of three, Preconditions for Knowledge. The phrasing of the first sentence is rather odd, honestly, and while I know where he is going with this just from the title, its more obvious with this, "If a worldview does not make knowledge and science possible, then the worldview is wrong-because knowledge and science are indeed possible!" This, to anyone thinking about it, should sounds vaguely circular at the very least, yet blatantly fallacious. Knowledge is not exactly tangible. It is not something we can turn on or off, in any organism. Science, likewise, is not a thing that can be influenced directly. The irony of this is that the author has already made this link in his mind pages previously, yet seems to ignore that and attack it as some kind of point now. Additionally, the author makes another intellectual blunder with this: "in order for us to use laws of logic in our reasoning, such laws must already exist". This line of argumentation leads down an intellectually crippling slope of baseless assertions and fallacious logic to reach a forced conclusion with no rational foundation; intellectual laws require a law giver, which is then asserted to be a specific version of an Abrahamic monotheism.
These laws do not "exist" in a material sense. These kinds of laws are thoughts. In particular, a race of creatures called humans on this specific planet have, in the last few hundred years or so, reached a general conclusion that a certain line of reasoning is so intellectual strong that it is currently considered to be above reproach. This does not mean that any particular "law of logic" we hold on a intellectual pedestal is some kind of material item in the universe that has existed somewhere in time and space for us to stumble upon and then claim as our "law", nor was it ever "given" to us by anything. Arguments like these are a slap in the face to all intelligent human beings because it says that we are too stupid to have done it ourselves through thousands of years of rational and philosophical examination and could never have enough intellectual power to reach it without assistance. This, in my experience, is an extension of the Christian self-loathing that seems to act as a filter hindering any sense of achievement.
How readily do humans forget the shoulders upon which they stand and judge others. How soon do humans ignore the trials, pain, suffering, and effort by their previous generations to deliver them into the here and now. Romans 12:3 kind of applies here as well, sort of. Too often do we forget the past and imagine ourselves so strong and quick to slander and spit in the faces of our dead ancestors who worked to build us to our height. This bothers me, a great deal, as if people are arrogant enough to say that we are good enough that we wouldn't have needed any help, like a spoiled brat unwilling to acknowledge a caring parent.
If the author believes the Laws of Logic to be the same as the effects we observe in the natural world, such as the particular way in which chemicals bond, gravitation, or other such things, he is guilty of conflating the word "law" here. They are similar in the way they required initial discovery, exhaustive exploration, scrutiny, testing, and then refinement in order to reach global recognition, but comparing these things will not extend beyond these accidental similarities. The scientific laws described by any Scientific Theory are, even today, simply the best we can explain natural forces within the terms of our current and "modern" perspectives. Laws of Logic are intellectual conventions which have no material structure what so ever. Social laws and governances are just as abstract as Laws of Logic, which also have no material form in the slightest, yet are only "laws" because a group of us got together and established them to be. No Scientific Theory, no Law of Logic, and no Judicial Law of social behaviors have ever been "given" to us; we have either discovered them, worked them out intellectually for ourselves, or reached such a conclusion by agreement of those in power at the time. Needless to say, there are a great many issues with trying to argue the "laws require a lawgiver" argument.
"But evolution cannot make sense of laws of logic." The context of this entire paragraph is based on the assertion that because we say these four fundamental Laws of Logic:
1) Law of Identity: Everything is what it is. A is A or A is identical with A
2) Law of Contradiction: A cannot be A and not A at the same time
3) Law of Excluded Middle: A is either A or not A
4) Law of Sufficient Reason: there should be sufficient reason to all happenings
...that somehow the process of evolution cannot "make sense" of this? First of all, on a technical level where we split hairs to mock someone, and as I previously mentioned, he is right! Evolution has nothing to do with anything other than the biological change of living organisms over time. Once again, the author fails to understand what he is talking about. Now, what he meant to say is that "a godless materialistic worldview cannot account for the Laws of Logic", in which case he would still be mistaken. These Laws of Logic are a verbal or written representation of an intellectual and logical framework on how we see the world. If I hold a banana in my hand, that particular banana... is that particular banana. It cannot, nor has it or anything like it, simultaneously existed both in my hand as well as some other location. That banana cannot be anything other than what it is at that specific time and place. Yes, I very well can be expected to almost always reach a sufficient level of understanding and reasoning as to how that banana arrived to be in the palm of my hand at that moment. While invoking the phrase "Laws of Logic" may sound impressive and intellectually structured, it is no more impressive a feat of mental gymnastics than it would be to tie your shoe. In fact, I think it requires more structured problem solving thought to tie ones shoe than it does to realize the absurdly simplistic standards of thinking that are the four fundamental Laws of Logic. To assert that these are most sacred and priceless gems of intellectual treasure bestowed upon the human race by a vastly superior entity is absurd, disgraceful, and expectedly self-loathing as befitting a severe masochist.
As expected, the intellectual foundation of that particular argument completely shatters with the final statement of that paragraph: "In fact, laws of logic cannot exist in a materialistic worldview (the philosophy that everything is material or made up of material), because laws of logic are non-material." ...seriously, the consistency of the authors patterns of logic are erratic at best here, clearly demonstrating a breakdown in comprehension and structure. I would seriously hope that this was the authors attempt at a joke, but as I've seen through various parts of the Christian (and various sub-groups of) sects, this is not too farfetched so I have no choice but to read and accept this as a serious attempt to critique his perception of that worldview. The next point about questioning "evolutionists" on their ability to use logic rather confirms my suspicions that what I had previously hoped was a bad joke is in fact a very serious point. The author asserts that because the Laws of Logic come from the Christian god, and that since he asserts that Genesis 1:27 and Romans 1:18-20 implies that all humans (regardless of belief status) both have the tools of logic and know god, that we are "unwittingly relying upon the biblical worldview while simultaneously denying it", therefore being inconsistent and finally validating the authors claim that Evolution violates the third rule about preconditions, ultimately "proving" that Evolution fails and Creationism wins. Seriously, go back and read that last sentence, slowly. ...yeah.
The author continues to try and justify his position on the entire world of science (which is now italicized in the booklet) being founded on the "biblical worldview in order to make sense". So now the author has gone from an examination of both "sides" to proclaiming that the opponent actually requires his "side" in order to exist in the first place. That is a rather interesting position to take. It is further emphasized by the amazing statement that "In order for science to be possible, the universe would have to operate in an orderly fashion that can be progressively understood by the human mind." It is in these moments of profound amazement that I find myself recalling ancient arguments of long dead Inquisitors and religious leaders condemning knowledge and science as an evil art of the devil, or some other abomination that threaten their very existence and could call down plague and death if it were to upset the gods. Amidst the centuries of intellectual growth we have finally begun to overcome our aversion to dangerous ideas... and I have seen a change in attitudes following an old yet pointed phrase: "If you can't beat them, join them." Smiling quietly and pretending like it was your idea all the while is a very strong tactic to use when trying to con someone. It is as transparent and telling as any parent watching a child do something silly and then exclaim that they had meant to do it the entire time. Special moments like this have been an amazing time for me: frustrated astonishment at pure arrogance rising until, at a certain point, something clicks and it all evaporates instantly into calm pity. That "something" that clicks is a realization of a psychological state so entrenched and wound up in its own knots as to have to struggle to make what should be one of the easiest gestures of all.
Section 6: Conclusions and Application
As I read the first few lines of this final section of the booklet, I find myself smiling and nodding. As I have anticipated from past experiences, the compelling words of those from Young Earth Creationists that work for Answers In Genesis and those Creation Museums, such as the author of this booklet Dr. Jason Lisle, have not exceeded the level of expectations I've learned to set for these kinds of people talking about this issue. Oh yes, I am quite aware of how incredibly arrogant and self-righteous that sounds, trust me. I wouldn't make such a statement without a great deal of justification and a long period of exposure... which is exactly why I am completely comfortable making it. There has been a long and sad tradition of misrepresentation bordering on intellectual dishonesty that plagues certain groups in particular, and the author is a part of two of the leading examples of these intellectual embarrassments. Not only are these certain groups an embarrassment for the United States of America on the global stage of science where every other first world country on the planet laughs and mocks us constantly, but these fundamentalist groups represent the last stronghold of ancient religion fanatics who are hell bent (heh) on preserving an absurd literalistic view of obviously wrong views. They are bastions of the academically debunked, stubbornly refusing to do anything but commit intellectual suicide while trying to teach others that it is the best thing to do.
I can certainly appreciate an attempt to bolster an old and cherished cultural heritage, but to all things there is a time and place. While I can forgive anyone for stating an opinion, I have less forgiveness for those who try to forcefully wedge their way into any system and strong arm their views. And to that end, I view the Creation Museums as the best example of one of the most intellectually dangerous minefields for any developing country. There is no other worldview mindset that intentionally and so blatantly lies in order to maintain its powerbase. Thankfully, the only thing anyone needs to do to intellectually fight such a cancerous threat is to read many books and ask many questions. Fundamentalism has been in an ever accelerating decline throughout the global population for a long while, and there are bound to be holdouts. Sadly, one of those holdouts is one of the most powerful nations: the United States of America. The freedom to ask questions is a freedom all are born with and all should be allowed to practice. Thankfully, the internet is making that so very easy to do... and its access is cheap and easy.