Let’s examine a couple of the fallacies employed by the creationist outfits we regularly follow. You probably know this stuff already, but it’s good to set it down in writing.
First there’s the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. They constantly insist that they’re not creationists, despite the clear evidence to the contrary. An example of this is something we wrote back in July of 2011: Discovery Institute: “Stop Calling Us Creationists!”, about a Discoveroid post in which they criticized Reuters for calling them creationists. The Discoveroids said:
The plain fact of the matter is that intelligent design, unlike creationism, has nothing to do with Genesis and everything to do with what the scientific evidence tells us.
They also tried to distance themselves from the Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate because, they claimed, Ham is a creationist, and therefore the Discoveroids’ “science” won’t be involved — see Klinghoffer on the Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate. Klinghoffer said:
The more people watch Ham debate Nye, the better they will be able to appreciate the stark contrast between advocates of intelligent design and those of creationism.
Because they’re not bible-based young-Earth creationists, the Discoveroids insist that somehow means they’re not creationists — despite their non-stop hatred of Darwinian evolution and their science denial in general. Yet, except for Genesis, their arguments are identical to those used by most other creationists.
As we’ve said before, their wondrous “design inference” is nothing more than Paley’s watchmaker analogy, and their so-called evidence that supports their “theory” of intelligent design supports nothing at all, except for their reliance on the God of the gaps fallacy. Wikipedia says: “God of the gaps is a type of theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God’s existence.”
Today’s fallacy of the Discoveroids is their false premise — that all creationists believe in a literal reading of Genesis. That is their own definition and it’s obviously untrue. They’ve adopted it solely for the purpose of denying that they are what everyone knows they are — flaming creationists, which is also what their followers are.
One example that disproves the Discoveroids’ definition (and one example is sufficient), is the Raelians, a little-known sect based entirely on Intelligent Design. Wikipedia has an article about the movement — Raëlism, which says:
It is numerically the world’s largest UFO religion. An adherent of Raelism is a Raelian. The Raëlian Movement teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call the Elohim.
No one cares about the Raelians because (as far as we know) they have no political ambitions and they’re not promoting any legislative agenda. They’re just off by themselves, enchanted by their belief in a designer, and ignored by the rest of the world. Like the Discoveroids, their evolution denial and creationist beliefs are not based on Genesis. But who cares?
Our concern is with science, and whatever motivates someone to be a science-denier is his problem, which is irrelevant for our purposes. Genesis is only one path to creationism, albeit the major one. Even if it were true that the Discoveroids rely solely on their imagined spiritual insights , without reliance on the bible (and that’s easily refuted by their wedge strategy), they’re still creationists, so that’s what we call them.
Then there’s Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) and the website of his on-line ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), which owns and operates the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum. Those guys have probably invoked every fallacy that ever existed, but today we’ll mention one we haven’t pointed to before.
Ol’ Hambo constantly insists that he advocates true Christianity — which he says must be based on a literal wording of scripture — hence his strident young-Earth variety of creationism. In claiming that his version of Christianity is the only one, he’s committing the No true Scotsman fallacy, which Wikipedia describes like this:
No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim (“no Scotsman would do such a thing”), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”).
They give this example:
Person A: “No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
Person B: “I am Scottish, and put sugar on my porridge.”
Person A: “Then you are not a true Scotsman.”
That’s exactly how it is with Hambo and his version of Christianity. If you don’t see things his way, then you’re not a true Christian.
So there you are, dear reader. Two more fallacies recognized and described. In a way, they’re the same, because the Discoveroids are really saying: “We’re not true creationists.” Ah, but they are!
See also: Discoveroids: Two Darwinist Fallacies.
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