I've mentioned before that I sometimes post on Yahoo! Answers. Many of the questions asked there are on topics that I've already written about on my blog so I usually just copy what I've already written here and paste it there. I then paste a link to my blog so that people might visit if they want to read more. Anyway, one Yahoo! poster (who posts only under the name “Richard” with no avatar) asked the following question:
Why do creationists say there's no evidence for evolution? Is it possible they don't know what they're talking about?
He then cited 4 books he's read about evolution (Wow! Four books!) and concluded his question with this remark:
Countless dozens of evidences for evolution in each book with virtually no overlap. But still creationists say there's no evidence for evolution. Why do they say this even though they're completely wrong?
On my blog, I've written many times about the nature of evidence. I've explained many times that evidence is neutral and isn't “for” any theory but, instead, theories seek to explain the evidence. I had many posts that I could have used to respond to his question but I chose my post, “Evidence for the Tooth Fairy.”
You might visit that post and read it but here's the point I was making: a “Tooth Fairy” might seem to explain all the evidence (the missing tooth, the money under the pillow, etc) but it's still not true. Likewise, the theory of evolution might seem to explain some of the evidence reasonably well but that still isn't “proof” the theory is true.
Richard did not like my answer and posted this comment:
You just compared DNA sequencing and the other powerful evidences for evolution to evidence for the tooth fairy fantasy. Do you have any idea how f*cking stupid that is? Grow up you bloody moron.
Hmmm. Not a very thoughtful rebuttal, wouldn't you agree? As always, I remained calm and tried to respond with substance. I said to Richard:
Do you not understand the concept of analogy? I gave you an obvious example of how "evidence" can support an obviously false theory (like the tooth fairy) in order to demonstrate how theories can seem to explain the evidence yet still be wrong.
It was here that Richard completely blew a gasket. His responded with two more comments:
You compared the tooth fairy fantasy to the strongest fact of science. Take your complaints and your supernatural magic to the world's biologists. You disgust me. Drop dead.
"God made the world as described in Genesis." BULLSH!T. Where's your f*cking evidence? What kind of magic wand did your fairy use? You reject science supported by tons of evidence and instead invoke your Magic Man which has zero evidence. Obviously you're a f*cking idiot. Grow up or shut up tard boy
I got a little chuckle from Richard's rant. I was going to respond again but found that he had blocked me so I couldn't. Discussion and reason are the enemies of liberalism. Unfortunately for him, he can't block me from posting his rant on my blog. I was going to say something like, “You're obviously a very enlightened thinker. Do you persuade a lot of people with arguments like this? 'Grow up or shut up tard boy.' Brilliant!” The funniest thing is that I suspect Richard is probably 12-13 years old judging by how impressive he thinks having read 4 books is, yet he tells me to grow up.
So why am I posting this here? One reason is because I really did get a chuckle from it and thought maybe some of my readers would also. But beyond that, I wanted to show readers the kind of response I often get from militant evolutionists. Certainly, I wouldn't say this is representative of all evolutionists, but Richard has resorted to many of the same arguments I've heard and wrote about many times before. You could say that his is a typical rant.
Besides the scarcely censored profanity (Richard himself had typed it that way, obviously to hide his foul language from Yahoo! Answers) let me spend a few moments pointing out a few of his logical failings.
First, we see the oft use argumentum verbosium or “argument by verbosity,” sometimes called “elephant hurling.” This is where a person throws out lists of terms or lays claim to “mountains of evidence” without ever really making a specific argument. Richard has said there are “countless dozens” [that's an odd term, don't you think?] of evidences for evolution yet in all his rant, he fails to cite a single one. He did say, “DNA sequencing” but that is a simply a method of determining the order of nucleotides in a DNA molecule (per Wiki). It's not “evidence” for evolution. That would be like saying, “digging” is evidence for evolution because that's how paleontologists find fossils.
Did you notice too how he said, evolution is “the strongest fact of science.” I'm not sure if I should include that in with his fallacy of elephant hurling or count it as a separate fallacy. I'm not sure how to label it, though. Some have identified “overstatement” as it's own logical fallacy. If so, this would certainly qualify as such. "The strongest fact of science?" Tsk tsk.
Richard also conflates “science” with all of evolution, a tactic I just recently had addressed. He used the term “science” instead of “evolution” when he said, “You reject science supported by tons of evidence.” I don't reject science at all. Yet, as I've already said, if I reject “evolution,” I'm accused of rejecting all of science as though science and evolution are the same thing.
Do I even need to point out the obvious use of ad homenim? This is where a person attacks his opponent rather than addressing his argument. I made a valid point, namely that evidence can seem to support even a false theory. Richard never addressed my point but, instead, merely called me names. Likewise, should I mention the frequent use of loaded words? Richard didn't make a case against creation; he merely described it using unflattering terms like “magic” and calling God a “fairy” and “Magic Man.”
I could go on but I've gone on too long already. Let's wrap this up with some life lessons. It's because of people like Richard and Human Ape that I have to moderate my comments. Without it, my comments would be filled with rants and profanities worse than theirs. The simple presence of moderation causes most visitors to reflect on what they will say before they write it. But it's also because of people like Richard and Human Ape that I blog. I want people to hear the truth. People as bitter as they are usually hardened against the truth but I still want them to hear it. Remember the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-7). The Sower didn't just sow in the good earth, he sowed in the hard earth as well.
I also want to encourage other Christians. You will encounter people like this. Don't let them bully you. Don't let them shame you. Be reminded of Jesus' instructions to His apostles: Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).