googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: What is the Best Evidence for Creation?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What is the Best Evidence for Creation?

Creationists are often accused of not understanding evolution. It's true that there have been times when I've seen Christians misunderstand some point of the theory. Creation.com actually has an article dealing with common arguments they believe creationists should not use. On the whole, though, I believe the average, non-scientist creationist understands evolution about as much as the average, non-scientist evolutionist. After all, many creationists went to public schools and were taught evolution along side non-creationists.

Still, the criticism persists that creationists don't believe evolution because they don't understand evolution. By the way, I think it's amusing that more learned evolutionists don't seem to have a problem with lay evolutionists not understanding their theory. Lay creationists are often told that they don't know enough about evolution to judge it; however, lay people who believe evolution are welcomed into the fold. There's never any concern about them not knowing enough about the theory to judge it. As long as someone believes evolution is true, that is sufficient evidence that they understand the theory!

I've personally been told many times that I don't understand evolution. In another forum once, I became frustrated with the militant evolutionists' insults and rude behavior so I decided to play a game. I started a thread called, “Let me show you how it's done.” On that thread, I pretended to believe in evolution again (I used to believe in evolution, by the way). Evos were asked to pretend they were creationists and ask me the kind of questions creationists would ask; then I would answer them the way I believed evolutionists should answer them. This wasn't a parody or an attempt to create straw men. I sincerely advocated evolution for a while. The point was to show them how a person could defend evolution without resorting to the usually tactics employed by most evos.

My time spent on that thread was revealing. First, many of evolutionists were shocked that I could cogently discuss evolution and give reasoned arguments why people could believe in the theory. In the end, though, some of them argued that I was only able to “parrot” the arguments I've heard evolutionists use but I still didn't understand them. They could not get past their stereotype that people don't believe evolution because they don't understand evolution.

Here's the other thing I learned on that thread: many of the evolutionists really didn't know how to challenge evolution. They had trouble asking questions from a creationist's perspective. I could tell that several of them had never even considered alternative explanations of the evidence or even listened to creationists' questions about the theory.

The funniest thing is there was one evolutionist (who posted under the name RJW) who tried to do the same thing (that is, he pretended to believe in creation). He quickly found that he couldn't answer even the simplest questions about creation and, at one point, even asked me advice on how to answer a question. I gave him some guidance but told him he had to answer it himself. I could tell, though, that he knew nothing about creation.

If a person truly doesn't know anything about evolution, I can see how evolutionists might not take his objections seriously. How would a Christian feel in a similar circumstance? Imagine if a skeptic said to me, “I think the Bible is full of errors.” I might say, “Really? Can you give me some examples of the errors?” The skeptic would sound foolish if he only said, “I don't know. I've never read the Bible!”

I watched online while these evolutionists displayed their ignorance of creation. It looked to me as foolish as the Bible skeptic who'd never read the Bible. It seems they were guilty of the same offense of which they accused me. They denounced something that they had never even examined.

I think Christians need to study evolution if they are going to aggressively challenge it. By that same token, if evolutionists want to advertise themselves as intellectually honest, they need to study creation. They should read first hand sources written by creation apologists and not the straw man caricatures built by evolution apologists. People who don't know the evidence supporting creation, or who don't understand some of the arguments used to support it, truly aren't competent enough to judge its merits. Indeed, how can someone have a credible opinion on a subject he's never examined?

I used to listen to the late Dr. D James Kennedy on the radio. He suggested a great exercise Christians could use when confronting critics. Before getting too far into the conversation, simply ask the person, “What do you think is the best evidence for creation?” You'll see quickly that many people who ridicule creation know absolutely nothing about creation.

4 comments:

Steven J. said...

First, you are of course correct that many people, including some scientists, criticize creationists without understanding their positions. You are even correct that, like astronomers not criticizing people who believe the Earth orbits the sun even if they can't explain how we know this, evolutionists generally don't complain that laypeople who "believe in evolution" often don't understand the evidence for it.

On the other hand, there really are attempts by evolutionists to educate laypeople better: quite a few books on evolution are aimed at people who assume the scientists know what they're talking about, and are intended to clarify what it is scientists are talking about. Of course, the squeaky wheel gets the grease; if you're not squeaking, it doesn't occur to many evolutionists to correct the misunderstandings you aren't expressing.

But see, e.g. P.Z. Myers scathing commentary when Darwinius was first discovered, pointing out that [a] we didn't actually know whether it was more closely related to us than to lemurs (it wasn't, as it eventually turned out), and [b] even if it was, it was unlikely to be an actual ancestor, as the popular press kept presenting it.

Or for that matter, google for evolutionists' reactions to the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Dear Doctor," where it was proposed that evolution wanted a still-extant alien species to go extinct. Now, criticizing the biology of Star Trek is practically a hobby among the scientifically literate, but that mostly falls under the heading of "rivet counting," fans trying to catch their favorite writers in an error. "Evos" were seriously annoyed and offended by "Dear Doctor."

What did D. James Kennedy think was the right answer to his proposed question? I would, myself, go with Richard Dawkins' view that the best evidence is the argument from design. But quite a few creationist sites insist that the best evidence is that the Bible says so ... which is a very worldview-specific argument, useless against someone who supposes that the Biblical creation accounts might be in error, or figurative.

And note that it is very common for creationists not to understand evolution. Ray Comfort's apparently incorrigible ignorance on the topic is no reflection on you, but your own relatively good understanding doesn't prevent him from repeatedly asking the question "how did evolution just happen to produce a female dog at the same time as the first male dog" (neither do repeated attempts to actually answer that question help).

Anonymous said...

What a waste of time this was.

I saw the title, "What is the Best Evidence for Creation?" and expected to hear some kind of an answer...

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

Is that the Star Trek episode where there were two hominid species on the same planet and one of them suffered a genetic disorder? I saw that one. I remember Flox telling Archer that helping the diseased race would be like an advanced race coming to earth and helping the Neanderthals. If that's the one you're talking about, I definitely saw the overt, evolutionary overtones but I didn't get the impression that he was saying evolution “wanted” one species to go extinct.

Dr. Kennedy's question was a rhetorical one. He didn't suggest an answer but intended the question to be a tool to open the critic's eyes to his ignorance on the subject. If someone can't cite even 1 piece of evidence for creation, it's fairly obvious he doesn't know what is the evidence for creation.

For the record, the Bible IS the best evidence for creation. By studying nature alone, I could be discover that evolution is not tenable and come to the conclusion that there had to be a Creator. However, I could not possibly know that God created the world in 7 days unless it was revealed in the Bible. Neither could I know specific details like the order of events nor the persons of Adam and Eve.

Concerning Ray Comfort, I applaud the guy for his street ministry. He's very good at presenting the gospel message to completely non-religious people. Like you, though, I wish I could dissuade him from his arguments against evolution. I mean, what exactly is up with the crocaduck? He should stick with what he does best. But having said that, I'm going to appeal to your same argument: he's right about creation even if he doesn't understand the science. Like your hypothetical astronomer who doesn't overly worry about the layman understanding the evidence for heliocentricism, I'm not going to beat up Comfort for not understanding exactly what is wrong with evolution.

Thanks for visiting. God bless!!

RKBentley

RKBentley said...

Anonymous,

I'm sorry the post isn't what you expected. No, I take that back - I'm not sorry. I can't help your expectations.

If you're looking for evidence for creation, there are abundant sites that offer it. I've discussed some of the evidence plenty of times over the last 4 years and you could take some time to peruse my 500+ posts to find it. If you're not so inclined, I understand.

Since there are so many creation sites on the net already, I try hard to offer original material. Too many blogs that I've read merely rehash the same articles posted on sites like Answers in Genesis or Creation.com. On some occasions, they are little more than cut-and-paste plagiarism.

Not only do I put my arguments into my own words, I try to pick subjects that aren't frequently discussed. Some of the best, scientific arguments for creation have already been discussed it great detail by creation-believing scientists. It's not likely that I will write about the same points that have been published many times before unless I have something original to add.

Thanks for visiting, though. Please come back.

God bless!!

RKBentley