AIG Answers Their Mail Again

They’re answering the mail at 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.

Our last post in this series (in which AIG responds to questions) was Young Earthism Is and Is Not Optional. In that one, they explained to a questioner that AIG’s bizarre belief in young-earth creationism both is and is not essential to their version of Christianity, and that this fine example of creationist doublethink isn’t contradictory.

AIG’s offering today is Feedback: Get the Message Across. The question to which AIG responds is a long one, which they answer sentence-by sentence. We’ll deal with it that way, showing the question in blue font and AIG’s response in normal font (with bold added by us for emphasis and scripture references omitted). Also, to make it more entertaining for us, we’ll insert our own imaginary AIG responses in red font. This is how it starts:

I believe in God and was raised a Lutheran. However, I am open to other religious thought, because no one can claim to know the true nature of God and how the earth was created.

Greetings. I’m glad to know that you believe in God; however, being “open to other religious thought” is directly opposed to clear teachings in God’s Word. Jesus unambiguously stated that He is the only way to the Father, and that anyone who did not believe in Him is condemned already [scripture quote]. … Why do you say no one can claim to know the true nature of God and how the earth was created? Surely God, who is all-knowing, would know how to reveal Himself to His own creation. … In [Genesis references] the Lord told us that He made everything in six days. Why would you reject God’s revelation of Himself and the truth in His Word? [You’re headed for the Lake of Fire!]

Then the question gets more provocative:

I believe that your strict views of creationism are archaic, ignorant of what god has revealed to us through science and technology (which God also created), and the Christian equivalent of the Taliban.

You are certainly entitled to your beliefs [at least for now] , but if this is merely your opinion, then your claims are simply arbitrary. Do you have any rational reason for claiming these things? [We really hate your guts!] Also, you are employing several logical fallacies in your claims. First, you made an appeal to emotion by calling us “the Christian equivalent of the Taliban.” This is also a form of ad hominem attack known as ad metum (“appeal to fear”) — instead of dealing with our arguments in a calm, respectful, rational manner, you have chosen to make personal attacks and appeal to the fear people have about a society run by the Taliban. Next, you have used loaded words (archaic and ignorant), and engaged in the fallacy of chronological snobbery by assuming that recent ideas are automatically better than ancient ideas.

Skipping a bit, we come to this:

The Bible cannot be interpreted literally.

Actually, the Bible can be interpreted literally. The real question is, should the Bible be interpreted literally? And the correct answer is that each passage should be interpreted according to the standard principles of interpretation for that particular type of literature. [In other words, we make it up as we go along.]

The questioner persists:

It speaks figuratively and in parables, to people who existed before the discoveries of science and technological advances.

Again, you are exhibiting cultural and chronological snobbery. [We’re so happy you’ll be burning in hell.] So the people to whom the Bible was originally written existed before there were any discoveries and technological advances? Hardly. The first man born (Cain, Adam’s first child) built a city. Six generations later, some people, obviously through exploration, invention, and experimentation, figured out how to mine ores, extract metals from them, and make musical instruments. Noah built a large ship that survived a year-long,violent Flood. … Your comment was not only a put-down to intelligent people who lived long ago, but it was actually an attack on the perspicuity (clarity) of Scripture and the intelligence or integrity of God, who created man and gave him the mandate to study, manage, and rule over the rest of creation. [And we really — really! — hate your guts.]

Oh, how AIG must weep when they receive such sinful letters. Here’s more:

You were born after these discoveries, and have no excuse to reject the truths of Gods method and timetable of creation that has been revealed to us through science.

My date of birth is irrelevant because again you are confused about the nature of science, equating technological (operational) science and historical (origins) science. We at AiG don’t have any problems with the technological discoveries of operational science. What we reject are the atheistic assumptions used to imagine the method and timetable of creation. The millions of years of evolution are not a discovery but an invention in the minds of Darwin and many others who attempt to use science to justify their denial of the God who made them. [You’ll meet them in hell.]

If we see that fake dichotomy involving “origins science” one more time we’re afraid we might get violent. Anyway, here’s one more part of the question:

Rejection of these discoveries is simply ignorance.

[Just you wait, Darwinist vermin. We’ll get you!] We don’t reject true discoveries of science. Not everything that scientists claim to be a “discovery” actually is one. So we reject the conclusions or stories about the past announced by any scientist, if that conclusion or historical reconstruction contradicts the Word of God. Since God has always existed, knows everything, and has told us what He did, we will trust His Word any day over the ever-changing opinions of man.

There’s more. Lots more. But you’ll need to click over to AIG to enjoy it all for yourself.

Now, class, what have we learned? The lesson is this: If you debate a professional creationist, you’ll break your little heart. As we’ve said so often before, any adult creationist is almost certainly a lost cause, and a professional creationists is lost beyond any possibility of recovery — so don’t waste your time.

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

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24 responses to “AIG Answers Their Mail Again

  1. Curmudgeon: “If you debate a professional creationist, you’ll break your little heart.”

    Especially when you let them define the terms of the debate, starting with the implication that it’s “Darwinists” vs. one “kind” of creationist. Your heart will be intact, and experience some guilty pleasure, however, if you point out how other evolution-deniers say make claims that contradict theirs, and watch them try to weasel out of that. Of course that only works in the presence of an audience that is unaware of their tactics.

  2. The only way to debate a creationist is to agree beforehand to exclude any reference to the bible (or other religious document). This article demonstrates how difficult that would be.

    A more interesting debate with a creationist would be to ask why they think the bible is true, and what objective evidence (not in the bible) they base their belief on.

  3. Another way to debate a creationist is to agree to exclude any reference to evolution. Let them define their alternative positively, rather than “something, somehow is wrong with evolutionary biology”. Let’s hear definitions or descriptions of “kind”, “design”, “irreducible complexity”, …

  4. I’d rather debate a squirrel. They’re no less rational, and a damn sight cuter. And they don’t bus in out-of-town squirrels to throw nuts.

  5. Debating a professional creationist would break your heart, we can’t know how seriously they believe what they are saying or if they are just doing their job. But what about people like this – http://www.facebook.com/mrministryman – He has ambition to become a professional creationist, just graduated from Liberty “University” and ready to spread his ilk across the internet, he needs our help and support before another Eric Hovind is unleashed. He’s also been avoiding my questions for about a month now, so I’m giving him the atheist audience he wants. x

  6. NeonNoodle says: “I’d rather debate a squirrel. ”

    I regard all communication with creationists to be a waste of time — except for simple commands, like “Get out!” It’s foolish to attempt anything more complicated. They either don’t understand or, in the case of professional creationists, they don’t care. You will have more success reasoning with a dog than a creationist — dogs want to understand.

  7. You know, all things being what they are, you could just skip the debate and support the NCSE. I’m a chronological bigot!

  8. Totally off topic, SC, but I’m surprised you haven’t discussed Indiana’s Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/05/07/can-science-save-us-mourdock-sees-a-savior-in-science/

  9. RWA says: “I’m surprised you haven’t discussed Indiana’s Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock”

    I hadn’t heard of him before, so I thank you for the link. If he wins the primary and gets some national coverage, I’ll probably post about him. For the moment, it’s good to see a Tea Party-backed candidate who isn’t a creationist. But from what I’ve seen (with local exceptions), the Tea Party has generally stayed away from the “social conservative” issues.

  10. Speaking of creationists and AIG, how about our own Mr Cathy of
    Chik Fil A?
    Gee, attacking science by funding the family Reserach Council isn’t enough for the chicken guy. He wants people to know gays are badddddddddddddd people. Badddd. But, hes only exercising his freedom of speech.
    Ahem, so was Mussolini. How much did AIG get? Anything?
    And The Southern Baptist Convention. Wow.
    You guys are just such great Americans.
    After all chickens are just little dinosaurs anyway.
    (Shouldn’t there be a dino saddle on the Chick Fil A sign?)
    Next year hopefully.Maybe AIG cand draw one for them to use.
    Thanks for sharing the love AIG..

  11. Charles Deetz ;)

    Quite the ‘beat down’ attitude like you’d see in a forum, quite out of place in a blog. This is a gem: “Again, you are exhibiting cultural and chronological snobbery.”

  12. Yeah, how dare Cathy express the exact same sentiments about same-sex marriage that Obama expressed in 2008 through 2011 and the start of 2012, before the new prevailing attitude “evolved” due to political expediency, approval ratings and jobs numbers. After all, someone else built that business (which doesn’t happen to illegally discriminate against hiring gays).

    Free speech is so overrated, anyway. And speaking of Mussolini, has anyone heard Louis Farrakhan’s stance on same-sex marriage? I only ask because apparently Chicago mayor and Obama crony Rahm Emanuel seems to have conveniently overlooked it.

  13. “After all, someone else built that business”

    … really, you’re going to try to lay that spun and polished turd here ? *eyeroll* It’s clear he was talking about the infrastructure that business utilizes. They even trotted out Jack Gilchrist (who company received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds) to try and prop up that delicious quotemine. Spinning quotemines here where everyone commenting has an eye for them is not a great idea.

    Disagreeing with Cathy suddenly makes one an Obama lover or will somehow deflate bigotry no matter who espouses it ? That’s some pretty lame knee jerk reactionary rhetoric.

    “Free speech is so overrated, anyway.”

    wtf ? Talk to me when you don’t have that right, then we’ll have something to discuss.

    I’m not sure why you or will are dragging politics into the conversation anyway.

  14. docbill1351

    And we have Dwight Schrute giving the Moussolini speech.

    Great stuff!

  15. Twiggy! I went to the creationist you IDd and asked him if he had any references or examples of successful oil and gas exploration based on creation science instead of geology and geophysics. Uh, he didn’t . Waaah….
    I’m surprised. He did tell me however that the theory of evolution at its essence doesn’t have anything to do with oil and gas exploration either. I gotta agree with Curm, no use talking to a creationist. It’s a waste of time and it annoys the creationist. Plus, he had to put down his Chick Fil A sandwich to answer my post.

  16. Ed: “The only way to debate a creationist is to agree beforehand to exclude any reference to the bible (or other religious document).

    Reason no. ~6000 why I hate the word “creationist.” Discoveroid “creationists” will be more than glad comply with that request. But they will do everything in their power to keep the “debate” on “weaknesses” of “Darwinism,” and away from “strengths” of their “theory,” and where what little they have admitted to date contradicts the basic “what happened when” claims of Biblical YECs and OECs. The most frustrating part is that most “Darwinist” critics give them exactly what they want!

    See also what TomS wrote. Sometimes it’s tempting to think that <1% of us "Darwinists" truly "get it."

  17. @Frank – good point, I was thinking of YEC’s when I made that comment. Thus my other point about focusing a debate on why they believe the bible is true.

    My experience in discussing creationism with friends, coworkers, etc. (on the few occasions that I have done so) is that they don’t know anything about ID. They may have heard of it, but they cannot describe it’s primary arguments. The impression that I have is that creationism amongst the public is almost entirely based on biblical literalism coupled with a few false ideas about evolution, such as the supposed absence of transitional fossils.

  18. retiredsciguy

    Here’s a question for Hambo at AiG: Why did God deliver the Ten Commandments to Moses, and not some wise leader in China?
    Besides having a much larger population at the time, they also had a well-developed society.

  19. retiredsciguy

    My space bar is acting up. Help me out, please, Curmy!

  20. retiredsciguy says: “My space bar is acting up.”

    What’s that, some saloon for aliens?

  21. retiredsciguy

    Actually, if it were a space bar, we would be the aliens. Thanks for putting spaces where they belong.

  22. retiredsciguy

    By the way, that was pretty funny.

  23. @Ed:

    What amazes me about the general public, at least half of which “leans” toward evolution or evolution-denial, but is not committed to either, is how so few of them have heard of ID or Dover. And yet ID’s sound bites, from “life is too complex to have arisen ‘by chance’” to “many scientists ‘question’ evolution” have definitely trickled down to them. That to me is much more troubling than the ~25% that will believe their interpretation of Genesis (mostly OEC if you ask enough questions) with or without the anti-evolution activists. In the big picture, the “heliocentric YEC” of AiG and ICR is really a sideshow. They play mostly to the ~25% that we can safely write off, and still have a majority. The problem is that most of the rest rarely give it more than 5 minutes’ thought beyond the popular, misleading sound bites, and quickly forget whatever little evolution they learned in school. We desperately need to reach them, and show them how anti-evolution activists (not “creationists”) are covering up the fatal flaws and pathetic contradictions in the pseudoscientific attempts to “prove Genesis” or “disprove Darwin,” and deliberately misleading them.

  24. continued…

    I should add that I include such sound bites like “where are the transitionals?” as “ID sound bites,” even though they are “borrowed” from “scientific” YEC and OEC. The difference is that ID peddlers deliberately avoid any positive claims (supported or not) for any alternate “theory.” And with that they have “trained” most people into accepting the double standard that evolution must supply every last detail, while “alternatives” are exempt from making even the most basic claims of “what happened when,” much less support them on their own merits.