We've all heard the arguments. Whether it be from Bill Nye in his debate against Ken Ham, or from Richard Dawkins in one of his many inspiring books. But take the arguments away and put side by side the theory of evolution, and the theory of creation (or Intelligent Design).
Evolution, the scientific approach does not claim to have all the answers. It's patrons are open-minded and willing to admit a mistake, and if they are proved wrong, they admit it, and keep looking for answers.
In Creationism, their arguments and statements are all written down in their holy book, and they make the audacious claim that every last word in their book is 100% accurate. Here's the problem: If even one thing is proven wrong about creationism, it can be assumed that by their own logic, their entire thesis is wrong. If they claim nothing is wrong with their theory, and it turns out they are incorrect, it can be validly said that everything they claim is wrong.
Conclusively, the logical choice is to chose the theory that can adhere to the fact that we as humans make mistakes. But evolutionists are willing to accept and correct these mistakes, where as creationists are not. It is intellectually dishonest to make the claim that any ideology is 100% infallible. The best method of finding the truth is to accept failure, and make amends to preserve progress. This is the biggest problem with the theory of Creationism.
Here's the problem: If even one thing is proven wrong about creationism, it can be assumed that by their own logic, their entire thesis is wrong.
Maybe, but not in their minds. When you believe in a sorcerer who created the universe through an act of magic, a logical contradiction doesn't even register as cognitive dissonance.
I would use it more an observation than an argument. The problem with arguing with creationists is they will not accept rational, calm discourse, nor will they accept belligerent attacks. Sometimes the best thing to do is convince the spectators rather than the person you argue with.
Yeah, it doesn't really work that way. You're still arguing from your own framework of logic which they can simply dismiss, as @Unseen suggests.
For me as a theist, the biggest problem with Creationism is what it says about God. If we presume that God is Creator then we have to assume that he put in all the fossil evidence, etc. just to trick humans into disaster and damnation. That doesn't square with the Judeo-Christian God as we understand Him.
Atheists make the same point with other passages from the Old Testament, of course.
If we want to get our errant brethren to give up their biblical literalism then the way to go about it is to meet them half way and argue within their framework. If God is Creator then creation reflects His Truth and what we find in Creation - from sunsets to starry skies to all the land and creatures - He saw and called "good". Creation is also the true work of God, and we need to study Creation just like we study the bible.
If Creation speaks the tale of God's Creation and evolution through billions of years, then we have to accept that our fallible human interpretation of his Word is the problem, not Creation. Saying that God wrote falsehood into Creation is blasphemy against the Spirit and is the one unforgivable sin. ;-)
Maybe I just prefer to try to open people to new understandings and deeper possibilities, rather than closing them down with nitpicky logical traps.
Scientifically, there is no "theory of creation". Biological evolution is a fact however and the theory (natural selection) explains the process. Creationism (Magic wish-thinking -Jesus did it!) and evolution (facts, grounded in reality) should not be put on equal footing.
Evolution explains how living things adapt to their environment and change or improve over time. However, evolution does not explain the spark of life. Science does have theories about that, though life as science views it is simply a chemical state, not some special, mysterious, or miraculous event at all, but rather something that results every time certain particular conditions come together, just like anything else governed by physical laws.
Adam and Eve did not exist. In terms of Evolution there were no “first” human beings. There was never a point in the evolutionary chain from our ape ancestors to the humans we see today. It was all a constant transition. We are still evolving. Evolution has no “goal” in mind for us. We just adapt (fit) to the environment or disappear as 99% of all species that has ever existed has.
Evolution is a fact and Modern Evolutionary Theory, rather than “Darwinism” has proven this. We are an evolved species and we are related to all other life forms on Earth. The Creation stories of all religions are myths. There is no debate. Those of us that understand the Theory of Evolution accept it as a factual body of knowledge which we accept as being the explanation of how we came about. It does not explain how life on Earth started (abiogenesis), that is not its remit, but it does explain how humans came about.
It does not matter a hoot if Creationists do not believe “in” Evolution for is not a matter of belief but one of education and understanding. It is only Creationists that want to argue against it. They have to. They have no choice. Without it the need to have a Creator God vanishes. The reason they strive to engage in debate with the scientific community is to give “intelligent design” an appearance of being a legitimate scientific endeavour. I think it was Dawkins who refused to debate a Creationist because it would be like a gynaecologist debating with a proponent of the “stork theory”. It would give them some legitimacy but detract from the scientific community.
If we want to get our errant brethren to give up their biblical literalism then the way to go about it is to meet them half way and argue within their framework…..
I am not so sure about that Dr. Bob. Maybe some religious people might want to. All I want to do is to stop it being force fed as science to children. The adults who insist Creationist views are legitimate can continue to do so. We don’t care. We have left them behind in the same way we have, for example, Astrology. We know it to be rubbish but there are people who insist it is legitimate with the same conviction that Creationists prattle on about the irreducible complexity of the eye or other “atheist nightmares”.
Excellent thesis Reg.....I could not have said it better.........Debating with a Creationist is a non-starter and it would only legitimize their fantasy of how life began.....
the theory of evolution, and the theory hypothesis of creation (or Intelligent Design).
Fixed it for you.
Here is a video by AronRa on the problems and failures of creationism. Believers may honestly accept creationism as a valid "science" but they are being lied to by wilfully dishonest people.