We’ve posted several times before about what we regard as the supremely silly activity of debating creationists. Our favorites are listed in the sidebar under the heading “Debating Creationists.” Here we shall briefly return to that topic.
First, even if you’re inclined to engage in such debates, it’s important to know, generally speaking, what you’re dealing with. We’re not opposed to answering questions and explaining things to students who are open to learning. On the other hand, we always advise against debating a charlatan — a professional creationist — who has heard it all before and who doesn’t care what you say. Debating a professional creationist is a guaranteed waste of time, because it can only enhance his reputation by giving him respect and recognition he does not deserve. It won’t impress the audience either, because the audiences for such events are mostly mindless fans of the charlatan.
But aside from students and charlatans, there’s a third case — the simpleton — someone who is well beyond his student years and who firmly believes in creationism. Is there anything that can be accomplished by debating him? To decide that, it’s necessary to understand that for the true believer to accept creationism, he must first believe a few things that boggle the rational mind. Some of those are:
1. There is a transcendental realm beyond space and time, which is not only invisible to us, but is also undetectable by any instruments we may ever devise.
2. Dwelling within that transcendental realm are entities (usually one, but maybe more) unbound by the laws of nature, who probably created those laws, and who can and do influence the limited universe known to us.
3. Such entities affect the universe by means of what we call miracles — things that are incomprehensible and inexplicable to us because they are literally impossible according to the laws of nature, and which are thus called supernatural events.
4. The Earth and its species were miraculously created by supernatural means. Anything you offer to explain such things by natural means is dismissed as inadequate.
5. The existence of the transcendental realm, the beings who dwell there, and their supernatural activities were revealed to some people, who passed that knowledge on to us. Lacking evidence for such communications and the contents thereof, such revelations must be accepted on faith.
6. No evidence supports any of the foregoing beliefs, but as the simpleton will gleefully point out, no evidence disproves them.
Okay, dear reader. That’s what you’re dealing with. Now then, if you want to debate such a person, go ahead, but don’t expect to accomplish anything.
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