AIG’s Advice for Creationist Internet Debaters

We found a very peculiar article today at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

Their article is titled Fighting in the Forums. There’s no author’s name, so we’ll attribute it to Hambo himself. The strange thing about this one is that AIG doesn’t allow comments on their work, so presumably they have little experience with internet debates. Nevertheless, they’re giving advice to creationists who comment on rational websites. Their advice also applies to people defending religion on anti-religion websites, but we’re only interested how their advice applies to creationism. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and their scripture references omitted:

Many Christians have found the web to be a good place to exchange information and engage the culture. But experienced forum participants suggest that “newbies” should keep several things in mind:

Perhaps AIG is embarrassed by the terrible job creationists do on the internet, so they’re trying to improve their performance. What follows are some (but not all) of their pearls of wisdom:

Take time to observe the dynamics of the group before engaging in a discussion. You will find that many well-meaning people repeat the same outdated arguments. Before jumping in, read Problematic Apologetics … and Arguments We Don’t Use.

We’ve linked to that second item several times. It’s AIG’s list of the most embarrassingly stupid creationist arguments that even they can’t defend. Let’s read on:

Some Christians spend months or even years arguing. If the goal is to try to change narrow minds with more evidence, you are bound to fail. God’s Word and the Holy Spirit change hearts and minds, not simply evidence. People already know that God exists yet “suppress the truth” [scripture reference]. So God’s Word and His Holy Spirit are the keys.

Translation: Forget about evidence, because creationists don’t have any. It’s all about faith. AIG’s advice continues:

Don’t go in with a “me against them” attitude. Understand that the real conflict is between God’s Word and the evil “powers” that promote false ideas [scripture reference].

Got that? It’s not “me against them,” it’s God against the evil powers. That attitude explains why visits from creationists are always such a pleasurable experience. Here’s more:

Don’t agree to leave out the Bible. If you do, you’ve lost before you start. God’s Word is our starting point and our sword [scripture references].

Good advice. When debating about science, always quote the bible — it’s a sure winner. AIG’s advice continues:

Remember the last part of [scripture reference], to give answers “with meekness and fear.”

That supplements their advice that creationists’ attitude should be that they’re arguing for God against evil. Somehow they should try to be meek about it. And finally:

Be prepared for any scientific discussion to change course from creation-evolution questions to attacks on the Bible. Several good materials are available on the Bible’s authenticity, including [plug for an AIG DVD series].

So there you are. How will you know if you’re up against an AIG-coached adversary? It doesn’t matter; they’re all the same.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “AIG’s Advice for Creationist Internet Debaters

  1. I thought their advice was best summed up with “Never answer any questions. Lie.”

  2. I’ve never understood the argument that one is arguing God’s Word!®, but that they somehow manage to do so with “meekness and fear.” Or with humility. How the hell does one argue that they “KNOW” the true meaning of life, the universe, and everything (42) through their magic book®, but that they do so with humble meekness? That’s just nuts.

    I have yet to see one pull it off. At some point the argument always seems to boil down to me burning in the pits of hell for all eternity (because He is “a loving God”), or some sort of attack upon my understanding of the Bible, my horrible secret that turned me from Christianity (namely logic), or that I hate God (yup, and the Easter Bunny, Santa, and the Sock Monster).

  3. “Good advice. When debating about science, always quote the bible — it’s a sure winner.”

    Thanks for making me laugh.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    They should set-up a ‘practice forum’ so they can learn how suicidal it is (imagine Hambo being a shadow-Darwinist to train his minions). Or just links to a couple actual forum threads where creationists went down in flames.

  5. As I’ve noted here before, I’m quite willing argue for evolution based on the Bible. So evolution can be argued for with both science and the Bible. Creationism only has the Bible. I think that’s 2 to 1, in favor of evolution, nu?

  6. retiredsciguy

    Wow! Where did Ham find the time to coach debaters? One would think he’d be too busy printing up all those two-for-one tickets to his grand funhouse/creation museum.

  7. I never debate with these people. I have my strategy for dealing with these poor mentally disturbed creationist believing people. This is how you get a creationist to thinking or wanting to punch you in the nose, “It’s not your fault you believe this way. Your problem is that you have been psychologically conditioned by years of incessant religious indoctrination purpetrated on you by your peers and superiors when you were growing up. The real problem was that they started conditioning you with their belief system when you were just an impressionable child. That conditioning is so deep rooted that you are unable to perceive the terrible damage done to your psyche. In a sense, because of the deliberate stunting of your mind, you were never really allowed to grow up. It’s to the point where you cannot see reality for what it is. Your mind is trapped in this religious and deterministic universe others have created for you for the purpose of forcing you to conform to their way of thinking for purposes of control. Unfortunately, very few have the strength of will and mental fortitude to break this cycle of religious conditioning since these types of insidious psycological attacks only work well on the already weak minded. I hope one day you will be able to see through the religious fog and achieve clarity of mind enough to finally see the truth of reality. However, I’m dubious of that possibility since only a fraction of the population can actually crawl out of their mental black hole of religious indoctrination and out into the light of reason. But since I’m an optimist, I’m still hopeful for you. But I’m also a realist. The odds indicate you will die in ignorance never having known what it is like to engage in rational and complex thought along with the joy of acquiring new knowledge. You are only capable of thinking on a very closed minded and primitive level. You have my sympathies.” You simply treat them with condescending kindness as you would a mental patient or you ignore them. Although they are adults physically, mentally, these people are still children and should be treated as such. They should only be attacked when they try to use state and federal legislatures to try to get to our children in the classrooms before their minds mature enough to engage in critical thought.

  8. Drat, I mispelled a word. I hate it when that happens. It sticks out like a sore thumb. Can anyone find it? Let’s see those hot spellers and post the bum word.

  9. “Can anyone find it?”
    First sentence. When used in this context “people” should be spelled “ignoramuses”.

  10. What they should have said is:

    “Atheists always take pride in thinking themselves rational and always want evidence. You should spend time in research and studying, of all sides of the arguments. Learn evolution from the evolutionists and creationism from the creationists. Quoting scripture wont work because they consider it to be nothing more than fiction, work on their level, prepare scientific references for your scientific claims. Simply disproving evolution wont automatically make creationism true. If an atheist asks you how God created everything in 6 days, how a rib was turned into a woman, how did Noah fit all the animals onto the ark, where all the water went, etc, give them the answers! … Or if you can’t do that, lie and cheat, use political tactics because you KNOW you’re correct, you have God on your side.”

  11. NeonNoodle

    The odds indicate you will die in ignorance never having known what it is like to engage in rational and complex thought along with the joy of acquiring new knowledge. You are only capable of thinking on a very closed minded and primitive level…

    Evangelists don’t refer to their congregations as “flocks” for nothing.

    …They should only be attacked when they try to use state and federal legislatures to try to get to our children in the classrooms before their minds mature enough to engage in critical thought.

    At my house, that’s when the gloves come off and the claws come out. Protecting the brood is a universal instinct designed for species survival – courtesy of evolution.

  12. Ceteris Paribus

    Neon says: “Protecting the brood is a universal instinct designed for species survival – courtesy of evolution.”

    Protection is one instinct. Unfortunately another is to just breed like rabbits, so that the population increases no matter how many feckless bunnies Wiley Coyote picks off for lunch.

    Oddly enough, rabbits have a digestion system which requires them to eat their own feces to recover essential nutrients that were not processed on the first pass.

    Is that a product of poor design, or evolution? I will leave it to others to debate. But have you noticed that many of the religious also are known to recycle what comes out of their mouths right back into their own ears in an endless loop?

  13. AiG: “Don’t agree to leave out the Bible. If you do, you’ve lost before you start.”

    Hmm… The Discoveroids are convinced that not leaving out the Bible guarantees a loss before you start. Once again, the best way to answer an anti-evolution activist, is to remind them, in the presence of those not yet in the “flock,” how hopeless their internal disagreements are.

    Remember, if they were only interested in reaching those already in the “flock,” we wouldn’t be reading their propaganda.

  14. @Fritz: ” indoctrination purpetrated on you by your peers”. And, yes, my wife thinks I’m hot, thanks for asking!

  15. I actually agree with you. I was keeping it light so I wouldn’t come off as a crazy extremist to the more moderate readers among us. Which I probably am.

  16. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    AIG says”

    “Don’t agree to leave out the Bible. If you do, you’ve lost before you start. God’s Word is our starting point and our sword”

    Followed by …

    “Be prepared for any scientific discussion to change course from creation-evolution questions to attacks on the Bible.”

    Well duh ! One naturally follows the other if that’s the tactic you chose to take. It’s a nice way to actually dodge discussing the actual evidence and misdirect the conversation\debate, and of course any discussion on the fallibility of the bible is framed as an “attack”.

  17. retiredsciguy

    @Fritz: Dang! Gary beat me to it! “purpetrated” is what happens to you when you drink the purple grape Kool-Aid.

    Nice work, Gary. Not bad for an engineer. (Heh-heh.)

  18. retiredsciguy

    @Twiggy120: Great post!