This is about an article from the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. Yes, it’s from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. Ol’ Hambo also created the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.
Our title (“Part 3”) suggests that this is a sequel to our Creationism and Logic, Part 2, but it’s more than that. We’ve posted several times before about AIG’s demented logic lessons. They’re so bad they could be considered a perverted form of psychological warfare. For example, not long ago we posted AIG’s Logic: Prepare To Lose Your Mind (they recommend circular reasoning); and before that we wrote about this mess by Dr. Jason Lisle, Ph.D (“biblical creation absolutely must be true because it is a prerequisite for knowledge and science”), and before that we wrote
Creationism and Logic (about another article by Dr. Jason Lisle, Ph.D (“1. If the Bible were not true, logic would not be meaningful. 2. Logic is meaningful. 3. Therefore, the Bible is true.”)
The title of today’s article from AIG is Are the Laws of Logic Really Laws? This one isn’t by Jason. Apparently he’s got followers who can carry on in his tradition. As we’ve noted before, the most logically-contorted articles are the most difficult to write about, and these articles by creation scientists that mis-define and mis-apply logic are among the most difficult we encounter. So let’s get going. The article purports to be AIG’s answer to a question they received:
My friend and I (he is Christian as well) were talking about the laws of logic and we sort of hit a bump in the road. He mentioned that maybe laws of logic are simply a description of the universe that we humans have given names to. For example, we know things cannot be contradictory, but we know that because we observe it in the universe.
Now, does this not account for the laws of logic in a naturalistic way? Rather than saying they are immaterial laws, this seems to say that they are merely descriptions of a behavior, so to speak. I am hoping that someone could clear this up for us.
Isn’t that sweet? Someone confused about logic is turning to AIG for information. Here are some excerpts from AIG’s answer, with bold font added by us, and AIG’s links and footnotes omitted:
Great question! You are right in assuming the laws of logic exist. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have any meaningful way of communicating, reasoning, or proving anything. These laws pose a problem for the naturalist who believes that only nature — matter in motion — exists. The naturalist tries to explain the laws of logic apart from the biblical God.
Aaaargh!! How many false definitions, fallacies, and compound fallacies are contained in AIG’s opening paragraph? Let’s start with their use of the word “naturalist.” Rigorously, it refers to a follower of the philosophy of naturalism — the belief that only observable and detectable phenomena like matter and energy exist. By definition, a naturalist is an atheist. But AIG (and creationists in general) deliberately confuse that term with the scientific procedure (not philosophy) of methodological naturalism — which limits science to observations of matter and energy. To creationists, science is godless naturalism — because science “dogmatically” refuses to work with incorporeal and undetectable theological doctrines. We’ve discussed all this before (see Bring Me An Angel Detector).
But that’s just AIG’s first error. We’ll give you one more to get you started — it’s about the “existence” of the laws of logic that is allegedly such a problem for naturalists. See: Reification. Rough translation: to reify is to thing-ify — to somehow convert an abstraction into an actual thing. Okay, back to AIG’s article:
Various explanations for the laws of logic have been conjured, such as the one you and your friend mentioned that the laws of logic are merely a description of the universe … that the laws of logic are just names we give to our observations of behavior.
However, if the laws of logic are not laws governing correct reasoning but just descriptions of the way the brain thinks, then no one could ever be guilty of being irrational or breaking a law of logic. [Huh?] Furthermore, if the laws of logic actually existed materially in the brain [a claim no one makes], they would not be universally true, and people could have different laws of logic depending on their particular brain connections.
This is tragically whacky stuff. Let’s read on:
If someone wanted to object to these statements, then they would be demonstrating their reliance upon the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction. That’s what makes this argument so compelling: one must use the immaterial laws of logic when trying to object that these laws exist.
Yes, if someone wanted to demonstrate that AIG’s article is pure rubbish, he would use logic to do so. And then — amazingly! — AIG would leap up and exclaim: “You’re using logic. That means we’re right!” You don’t need our help to deal with that one. We continue:
Perhaps the naturalist might conclude pragmatically that humans follow the laws of logic because they work. This explanation skirts the issue. Where do these laws come from? How could immaterial laws of logic come from a strictly material universe? As Dr. Jason Lisle asked, “if the brain is simply the result of mindless evolutionary processes that conveyed some sort of survival value in the past, why should we trust its conclusions?”
Aaaargh!! Here’s more:
The laws of logic flow from the biblical worldview. The very nature of God — unchanging, universal, and immaterial — is the source of the laws of logic.
As we did once before in response to that same claim in an AIG article, we must consult scripture. The site we use for our online searches is BibleGateway. This picture shows the result of our search.
Moving along, here’s one last excerpt:
Being made in His image, we have the capacity to use these laws of logic to reason correctly and identify fallacious reasoning. On the other hand, naturalism does not provide any basis for the laws of logic, so the existence of these laws demolishes naturalism.
There’s more to AIG’s article, but we’ve had quite enough. If you crave punishment, click over there and have fun.
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