Answers in Genesis: Shameless Chicanery

Today we’ll discuss one of the shabbiest, trashiest, most blatantly outrageous articles we’ve yet seen at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major purveyors of young-earth creationism. This is their article: The Seeing Eye. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The Bible tells us that God’s eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen in the things that He has made. One of the most obvious displays of His creative power is the human eye.

You know where this is going, don’t you? We’ll read on just a little bit longer:

Even Charles Darwin conceded that “to suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.”

After that quote, they neatly provide a footnote to Darwin’s Origin of Species. Very scholarly, right? Okay, that’s enough from the AIG article.

We recently discussed the same quote here: Evolution of the Eye. However, we did more than provide a footnote to Darwin’s book; we linked to the actual chapter where it could be found online — it’s in the first edition of Origin of Species, Chapter 6. After we quoted the same thing AIG does, we said:

Creationists use that sentence to claim that Darwin didn’t believe his own theory. However, either through ignorance or dishonesty, the creationists ignore the fact that Darwin then — in the very next sentence! — presents his explanation:

[Quoting Darwin:] Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.

Following that, Darwin provides pages of details describing earlier versions of eyes as evidence of their gradual evolution.

In other words, Darwin “conceded” nothing. AIG has just deployed one of the oldest and most frequently debunked examples of quote-mining in all of creationist literature. Will they fool anyone? Sure — their devoted fans are clueless.

Bear in mind that AIG purports to be a deeply religious, highly moral, young-earth creationist enterprise staffed by diligent creation scientists. In a desperate attempt to appear credible, they even have a list of Arguments that should never be used. There, AIG lists a few of the absolute worst, and most easily debunked creationist arguments. We’ve written about that before. See Creationist Wisdom #129: Bad Arguments Rejected!

But it’s a false facade, a meaningless gesture. They cast aside some of the worst of the creationist canards, while clinging to so many others — and pretending all the while to be scrupulous and scholarly. Today’s AIG article is a striking example of how truly iniquitous their operation really is.

And so, class, what do we conclude from this? We have confirmed, yet again, what has been said many times before: Creationists: Ignorant, Stupid, Insane, or Wicked.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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3 responses to “Answers in Genesis: Shameless Chicanery

  1. Hum,

    I remember reading an “article” at AiG that contained at least one the the “arguments we should not use.” If I remember correctly they were using the “information/entropy” arument, which is among the ones they say they should not use. Unfortunately, I did not follow up, and don’t remember the article in question.

    So, even if they try to appear scholarly by having such list, the list seems to be useless as their “creation scientists” can’t read them.

  2. AiG: “One of the most obvious displays of His creative power is the human eye.”

    I thought it was “the” bacterial flagellum? And why the human eye? Chimps’ eyes are nearly identical.

  3. Curmudgeon: “Will they fool anyone? Sure — their devoted fans are clueless.”

    The problem with those egregiously quote-mined sound bites is not that they fool the ~25% of Americans who will not admit evolution under any circumstances (and thus don’t need those arguments), but that they fool another ~50% that is capable of knowing better, but lacks the time or interest (usually both) to dig a bit deeper and see how they have been misled.