AIG’s Jason Lisle Tells Us How To Think

This one is a bit of a classic. It’s by Jason Lisle, Ph.D. Jason is the creationist astrophysicist who functions as a retained servitor, credentialed and compliant, employed by the ever-growing creationist conglomerate of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). Hambo is the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He runs the online creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), and he also created the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum. He is now promoting a new project — a Noah’s Ark theme park named Ark Encounter.

Our last post about Jason’s work at AIG was Instant Starlight & the Lake of Fire. His latest at the AIG website is Fool-Proof Apologetics. Right, fool proof. Jason begins with a question:

[S]ome highly educated people have argued that scientific evidence refutes the claims of the Bible. How can we answer such people unless we know a lot of science?

The rest of the essay is Jason’s answer, telling people how they can stand up to science when they don’t know any science. If you want to be a creationist, you need this information. Here we go, with bold font added by us:

It’s understandable that many Christians feel inadequate to respond to the lofty rhetoric of the academic elite. But this need not be so. The Bible gives every one of us, regardless of age or formal education, the basic tools we need to defend the faith. You don’t need an advanced degree in science or theology. Anyone can do it. We simply have to understand a few basic biblical principles.

It is indeed thrilling that Jason is bringing hope to the hopeless. Let’s read on:

When we defend the Christian faith, we must avoid the temptation to get side-tracked on secondary issues, such as nuances of scientific arguments. The goal is to quickly hone in on the heart of the matter—the debate is ultimately an issue of competing worldviews.

Bear in mind that when Jason says “the Christian faith” he’s not talking about what most people regard as the essential part of Christianity. He’s talking about young-earth creationism, because that’s where science is a “problem.” We continue:

We all have a worldview (a way of thinking about life and the universe) that shapes our understanding of what we observe. But not all worldviews are equal. Non-Christian worldviews always have internal defects. Because they reject the Bible at their foundation, they end up being inconsistent, arbitrary, and ultimately irrational.

Nothing arbitrary or irrational about Jason’s young-earth creationism! We recently wrote about this “worldview” stuff (see: What Is “Critical Thinking”?) and Jason is carrying on in that tradition. Here’s more:

The Bible teaches that genuine knowledge begins with a reverential submission to God [scripture omitted]. So, to have a worldview that is consistently rational, we must begin with God’s Word as the foundation by which we evaluate the facts. Only God knows everything, so only He is in a position to tell us — on His own authority — what our starting point should be. Only the Bible provides a logical foundation for those things that are essential for knowledge.

Are you paying attention? Good, because now it gets interesting:

In order for human beings to have genuine knowledge of any topic, certain things would have to be true, whether we recognize it consciously or not. For example, the human mind has to be capable of rational thought. The universe has to be orderly and comprehensible. Our sensations of the world around us have to be basically reliable.

That’s the only true paragraph in the whole essay. Moving along:

Most people simply take these things for granted. They don’t stop to consider how human beings are able to have knowledge of anything. Most people just blindly assume that our senses are reliable, that the mind is rational, and that the universe is orderly and understandable.

Hey, Jason: Everything that exists is what it is, and that’s why we observe order. How could the universe be anything other than orderly? As for our senses, if they were unreliable, we couldn’t survive. There must have been countless organisms that failed to survive and reproduce for exactly that reason. We’re the descendants of those with functional sensory equipment. Another excerpt:

Few people think to ask, “Why should knowledge be possible?” The answer is not as obvious as it may seem. In fact, without God, we have no reason to expect an understandable universe.

So, although there is a place for discussing scientific details, it is good to remember that science itself is based on a Christian worldview. We must patiently get the unbeliever to realize that he couldn’t even do science if his evolutionary worldview were true.

We’re only about halfway through, but you’ve probably seen enough If you want more, just click over to AIG and read it all. Well, maybe we can skip around and find one or two more gems. This, for example:

In the end, we know that Christianity is true because, if it were not, then we couldn’t know anything at all.

That pagan Aristotle must have been an idiot! Can we find anything else? Here’s one more:

For example, if evolution were true, we should have no reason to depend on our brain to know what is true because our brain is the result of chance mutations.

That’s enough. Thank you, Jason, for that wonderful creationist essay.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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28 responses to “AIG’s Jason Lisle Tells Us How To Think

  1. Unfortunately I’ve come across blogs where people actually argue like this. Basically it comes down to this: If someone brings up scientific issue with their beliefs, they ignore the issue and instead claim that science can only work if their beliefs are true. I’ve never seen anything to support that assertion.

  2. How can smart people believe such irrational arguments? That’s the amazing thing to me – Jason has even been trained in science, yet he fails logic 101.

    There is absolutely zero evidence that the bible is literally true when it’s writers describe supernatural beings and events. Nada. Zip.

    Equally, there is absolutely zero evidence that absent an alleged deity, the universe would be any different than it is. Not only is there no evidence, but there is no logical inference that the universe would necessarily be any different. That is a classic false duality.

    I do understand Jason’s concern that his followers might be drawn into a debate based on science, which they would obviously lose. Jason appears to concede that. However, his answer is to encourage the use of a rhetorical debating trick to avoid talking about evidence and facts. For a person as smart as Jason, it’s hard to conclude that he is not just lying when he writes tripe like this.

  3. aturingtest

    “The Bible teaches that genuine knowledge begins with a reverential submission to God [scripture omitted]. So, to have a worldview that is consistently rational, we must begin with God’s Word as the foundation by which we evaluate the facts. Only God knows everything, so only He is in a position to tell us — on His own authority — what our starting point should be. Only the Bible provides a logical foundation for those things that are essential for knowledge.”
    Is there a word or phrase that describes an argument that is worse than circular? That just goes round and round and round and…? I mean…, we know that only the Bible is the logical basis for knowledge because it says so in the Bible? What kind of “thinking” is that?

  4. So, to have a worldview that is consistently rational, we must begin with God’s Word as the foundation by which we evaluate the facts.

    I guess he’s just pi$sed off that the Hindus created the foundation of our math system, so-called “Arabic numerals” (which were introduced to Europeans by Arabs, even though it was Hindus in India who actually created them). As a matter of fact, the Arab Muslims themselves were kicking a$s scientifically-speaking until about 1100, when Imam Hamid al-Ghazali made it come to a screeching halt because he thought science was anti-religious.
    In other words, there is a lot of consistently rational thought, until you try to introduce “God’s Word” (whoever your god is) into it. THEN it goes to hell in a handbasket.

  5. Gary says:

    I guess he’s just pi$sed off that the Hindus created the foundation of our math system

    Not to mention that the Japanese and Chinese are doing credible science today — somehow without the bible.

  6. Not to mention that the Japanese and Chinese are doing credible science today — somehow without the bible.

    And the Indians, and the Israelis, and the Koreans, and the…

  7. Not to mention that there are plenty of Christians whose worldview is causing no end of pain, horror and terror to those around them.

    I’m not saying all of them, but if simply having the correct worldview causes one to be correct about everything, then I think we must accept that Christianity must not be the correct worldview. (Of course that “IF” is the biggest ‘IF’ ever.)

  8. I thought I’d heard something like this before. It was Dembski:

    “If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of
    Chalcedon (i.e. the doctrine that Christ is fully
    human and fully divine) and view Christ as the
    telos toward which God is drawing the whole of
    creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves
    Christ out of the picture must be seen as
    fundamentally deficient.”
    - William Dembski, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between
    Science

  9. Anonymous: “There is absolutely zero evidence that the bible is literally true when it’s writers describe supernatural beings and events. Nada. Zip.”

    True, but those claims are unfalsifiable anyway. Where the Bible is not just missing evidence, but falsified by the evidence we have, is with the testable “what happened when” claims, in particular how all “kinds” of life popped up out of the dust, independently (i.e. without common ancestors) in one busy week a few thousand years ago (or over billions of years depending on which “kind” of creationist is interpreting it.)

    I hate to use the word “creationist” because ~99% of evolution-deniers on the street have not given any thought to that, or to how believers of a literal Genesis are in hopeless disagreement as to when those “blessed events” occurred, how to define “kinds,” etc. Lisle is an anti-evolution activist, and like most career peddlers of YEC, OEC and ID he must be aware that he can’t support the origins account that he desperately wants to peddle.

    While he probably is deliberately “telling fairy tales to the masses,” to his (minimal) credit, he, like the traditional OEC peddlers and unlike most ID weasels, at least takes a position, however absurd. Which means that he might be a closet Omphalist, while most ID peddlers might be closet “virtual Darwinists.”

  10. @OgreMkV

    I would love to hear the spin put on that by Dembski’s DI buddies Michael Medved and David Klingoffer (both Jews). Specifically how they can at once mae it clear that they think Dembski’s quote is nonsense, but “more power to him.”

  11. When we defend the Christian faith, we must avoid the temptation to get side-tracked on secondary issues, such as nuances of scientific arguments… Most people just blindly assume that our senses are reliable, that the mind is rational, and that the universe is orderly and understandable…

    Wow. That’s too blatant to be the usual insidious doublethink. It isn’t sophisticated enough to be Orwellian. I’d call it more vaudevillian. It brings to mind a line often attributed to Groucho Marx: “Who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”

  12. magpie61 says: “I’d call it more vaudevillian.”

    That’s good!

  13. Well, not’s let decieve ourselves into thinking that Lisle is stupid. He’s not failing Logic 101. He is deliberately misleading people about how logic and science work. As an insider in science he is very well placed to do this. I would say he is the most subtle and tricky creationist thinker since David Berlinski.

  14. Gabriel Hanna says:

    I would say he is the most subtle and tricky creationist thinker since David Berlinski.

    I agree that Jason knows what he’s doing. But there’s nothing subtle or tricky about his essay today. It’s actually quite crude.

  15. aturingtest

    Magpie: “vaudevillian”
    Thank you! THAT’S the word I was looking for (and from now on will use).

  16. SC, I just saw the “$” in my post. Sorry about that. I’ll keep my language more family-friendly from now on.

  17. Surely there is no logic that is more perfectly circular than Jason’s. The Bible is 100% true. Why? Because the universe exists. If it did not exist then the Bible wouldn’t be true. But it does, so it is.

    Magnifique moronica insania!

  18. Andy Heyman says: “The Bible is 100% true. Why? Because the universe exists.”

    Works for me!

  19. The utter arrogance of Ham and Lisle! How dare they presume they can define another’s worthiness!

    If Jesus had thought that one had to believe the earth was 6,000 years old in order to be worthy, wouldn’t He have said so? He may well have, but it wasn’t recorded in Ham’s favorite book.

    On the other hand, Jesus was quite specific that it was one’s actions and deeds that determined worthiness, not one’s thoughts and beliefs. “Do unto others… Love thy neighbor… Turn the other cheek… etc.” All actions.

    If Jesus wanted us to be morons and ignore all that is so plain to see concerning the nature of reality, none of His apostles recorded those words.

    So, Ham, Lisle, and all other self-righteous fundamentalist creationists, just shut up. You don’t get to define the worthiness of all the rest of humanity.

    (PS to Curmy: If this post is a near-duplicate of a preceeding post, my first writing disappeared when I clicked “Post Comment”.)

  20. Joseph H. Axell

    Dr Lisle’s article appears to be an abbreviated version of the argument put forward in his book “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”. Lisle pads out the book with references to “evidences” for biblical creation (without mentioning that they have already been debunked) and with a primer on logic. One amusing aspect of the book is Lisle’s readiness, when setting out his “ultimate proof”, to commit the logical fallacies against which he warns his readers. The “ultimate proof” itself is a version of the presuppositional apologetics advocated by the theologians Cornelius van Til and Greg Bahnsen and rests on a transcendental argument of the form: (1) if biblical creation were not true, we could not know anything; (2) we do know things; (3) therefore biblical creation is true. The argument is, of course, unsound because premiss (1) is false.

  21. This is a prime example of rhetoric which applies with at least as much force to reproduction and development as to evolution.

    If we “believe” that our brains are the result of “chance genetics” etc. etc. etc.

  22. Amen to retiredsciguy – the arrogance of the Hamites is astounding. They have the answers to everything and have made Genesis their god rather than paying attention to the teachings attributed to Yeshua.

  23. “For example, if evolution were true, we should have no reason to depend on our brain to know what is true because our brain is the result of chance mutations.”

    I see that Lisle is a fan of Plantinga. It’s unfortunate that even if we accept the premise that God exists and had a hand in making humans that the probability that we have reliable mental faculties is very low.

    http://tantalusprime.blogspot.com/2011/07/supernaturalism-defeated.html?m=1

  24. if we accept the premise that God exists and had a hand in making humans that the probability that we have reliable mental faculties is very low

    If God is responsible for making the universe with the misleading appearance of common descent, then how can we trust anything that He does?

  25. “If God is responsible for making the universe with the misleading appearance of common descent, then how can we trust anything that He does?”

    Yes, why does he take such pains to hide himself? He’s covering up for something.

  26. Tantalus Prime asks: “Yes, why does he take such pains to hide himself?”

    He’s testing your faith.

  27. What if you’re wrong? Then what? I mean that in the most loving way. What if you have been deceived by others or powers greater then you know of?

    I don’t claim to know all things but as a Christian who believes from the bottom of my heart that Christ is true and the only true way to heaven. If I believe as I do; and you cannot and will not be able to take my faith away from me. Because I know the change in my heart, which occurred that day I was saved and changed my path forever. If I believe as I do in the bottom of my heart; to not tell those who do not believe in God, I can think of no worse evil.

    I struggle with teaching the truth ( I realize it is not true to you) in love and many Christians do the same. Infallible man doing the wrong things in the name of the lord. Does that make Christianity wrong? See 1 Corinthians 13.1