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 You will find that many well-meaning people repeat the same outdated arguments.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.