The deep thinkers at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia — are asking a very important qustion: Why Aren’t People Convinced by Facts?
It was written by Avery Foley. AIG says she holds a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which certainly qualifies her to discuss this subject.
Avery begins by referring to this article in Scientific American: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail: Why Worldview Threats Undermine Evidence, written by Michael Shermer. She quotes Shermer:
Have you ever noticed that when you present people with facts that are contrary to their deepest held beliefs they always change their minds? Me neither. In fact, people seem to double down on their beliefs in the teeth of overwhelming evidence against them. The reason is related to the worldview perceived to be under threat by the conflicting data.
Creationists, for example, dispute the evidence for evolution in fossils and DNA because they are concerned about secular forces encroaching on religious faith.
Then Avery cleverly says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Well, let’s turn this thinking around on him. What about those who hold to evolutionary ideas? Do evolutionists listen to facts when they are presented by creationists? Or do they “double down on their beliefs” and “dispute the evidence?” Of course they dispute the evidence because it goes against their deeply held worldview.
Great question! Do you, dear reader, disregard the facts and evidence presented by creationists? After that she tells us:
Shermer argues that facts fail to convince people because of their deeply held beliefs. But he doesn’t apply this same thinking to himself. He doesn’t acknowledge that his interpretation of the facts could be wrong, but just assumes the other group is obstinate and wrong.
Aha — Shermer is a fool! He merely assumes the creationists are wrong. Avery continues:
In reality it is not about the facts. When it comes to creation vs. evolution, the age of the earth, or climate change, the issue is not the facts because these facts (just the observable evidence) don’t speak for themselves. They must be interpreted. Because we were not there at the beginning of the universe, we must interpret the evidence from the past to determine what happened. And we interpret the evidence through our worldview.
She’s right, dear reader. Were you there? Let’s read on:
Evolutionists start with man’s ideas about the past and assume everything is the result of natural processes over time (even though they cannot directly observe, test, or repeat such an idea). Biblical creationists start with God’s Word, the eyewitness account of creation, and use the history provided in God’s Word as a framework for interpreting the past.
Are you feeling a bit less secure, dear reader? Avery isn’t done with you. Here’s another excerpt:
Creationists don’t ignore facts. We interpret them in light of the history from God’s Word. Because we have a different starting point, we come to conclusions different from those of evolutionists looking at the same evidence. And, because God’s Word is true, the evidence we see in the world confirms God’s Word.
Perfectly reasonable! Here’s more:
We’re often asked why more people, especially scientists, aren’t creationists since the evidence confirming a young earth and creation, as described in Genesis, is overwhelming. The Bible even tells us that creation itself testifies to the Creator (Psalm 19) so that “[we] are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). So why don’t more people believe the Bible and creation?
Another good question! Avery’s answer is provided in several bible quotes, including: “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:18–23).
This is our last excerpt:
One thing Shermer doesn’t acknowledge is that, at its core, this is a spiritual problem. The facts aren’t the problem at all. The real issue is that man is at enmity with God and suppresses the truth in unrighteousness. That’s why, ultimately, facts don’t convince anyone, though those who do seek the Lord and truth will be rewarded [scripture reference].
The problem is you, dear reader. The only reason you’re not a creationist is because you’re evil.
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