We found a brilliant and very inspirational post at at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.
The title is Do Christians Have More Doubts Than Evolutionists? It was written by David Menton, one of AIG’s creation scientists. Here’s AIG’s bio page for him. They say:
Dr. David Menton holds a PhD in biology from Brown University and served as an award-winning professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for 34 years. He retired as an Associate Professor Emeritus and now serves with Answers in Genesis as a speaker, writer, and researcher.
Menton’s article first appeared at the AIG website back in 2012, but we ignored it then. Fortunately, they’re posting it again, and we won’t ignore it this time! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
It is often claimed that it takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation. [Yes, we see that a lot!] A creationist must simply believe that an intelligent designer designed intelligently, but a consistent evolutionist must believe that mindless natural processes produced everything in the cosmos. [Hee hee!] Surprisingly, evolutionists seem to have less doubt than many Christians! [Really?] How can this be?
Great question! How does Menton answer it? He says:
I have often asked evolutionists if they ever wondered whether random evolutionary processes could really produce all the marvelous integrated complexity we see in living things. Do they ever wake up in the middle of the night and ask themselves if that hummingbird doing acrobatics around their flower bed could really be the result of pure chance? So far, none has admitted to the slightest doubt.
How is that possible? Menton tells us:
Sadly, it is different with many creationists, whose faith seems to be shaken by every evolutionist claim hyped in the media. While most Christians don’t respond this drastically, we all have our moments of doubt about both God’s written and natural revelation. [Surely, not Hambo!] How often we must join the father who cried out to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
We’ve never seen a post like this at a creationist website. It’s really quite amazing. Menton continues:
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We generally don’t think of nouns like substance and evidence when referring to faith [No one does!], but God’s Word is more reliable than eyewitness observation.
Aha! Phooey on mere observation! It’s nothing! Oh, for what it’s worth, we posted this a long time ago in Creationist Definitions:
So what’s the appropriate word to use when one understands a scientific theory and accepts it, based not only on the verifiable evidence, but also on the fact that in all the theory’s tests, it has never been disproved? Obviously, “faith” is inappropriate. Our preferred word is “confidence,” that is, one has confidence in the theory — which is justified as long as the theory is consistent with the evidence.
Anyway, let’s get back to Menton:
So how do we acquire faith in God’s Word? The Bible tells us in Romans 10:17: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Our doubts diminish as our God-given faith grows through Bible study and prayer, but we will always have some doubts until we are raised in our glorified body.
That’s how you do it! Another excerpt:
But do evolutionists really have more “faith” than creationists? Certainly not by the biblical definition. [Big bible quote that ends with this:] “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
You have no excuse, dear reader. Here’s more:
Not only is God’s handiwork in creation clearly seen by everyone, but God has made it evident to all of us. How then can people deny the obvious? They actually suppress the truth in unrighteousness! [Gasp!] No wonder the evolutionist seems to have no doubts — he or she suppresses the truth.
He’s talking about you, dear reader. And now we come to the end:
Clearly neither scientific evidence nor logic will convince those who suppress the truth they already know. Here the stony hearts of people must be changed by the power of the Word and the Spirit, by which God created the heavens and the earth and all its inhabitants.
It’s probably hopeless for you, dear reader. There’s no way you can avoid the Lake of Fire!
Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
“A creationist must simply believe that an intelligent designer designed intelligently.”
Ouch – this will sting Kclunckerdunkcer and co. Can we expect a nice rant on their IDiot blog? Me thinks not – Big Tent and stuff.
But don’t we evilutioniits dare to call Klincklekclapper and co creationists!
“a consistent evolutionist must believe that mindless natural processes produced everything in the cosmos.”
“Surprisingly, evolutionists seem to have less doubt than many Christians!”
Perhaps, but how did Davy Mentos arrive at this conclusion?
Hmmmm … Dougie Axe’s instinct sounds like a good candidate.
“How can this be?”
Ah, Davy Mentos asks a good question!
Well, a pesky thing called evidence. Truckloads, actually. Of many – dare I use the word? – kinds.
“whether random evolutionary processes could really produce all the marvelous integrated complexity”
Are you talking snowflakes, Davy Mentos? Grains of sand?
“….. could really be the result of pure chance?”
No, I never woke up, because no naturalistic theory postulated it was (whether birds, snowflakes or grains of sand).
“God’s Word is more reliable than eyewitness observation”
So much for “where you there”!
“Clearly neither scientific evidence nor logic will convince those who suppress the truth they already know.”
Just after Davy Mentos downplayed the relevance of eyewitness observation (in the broadest meaning of the word all evidence needs it).
No, the illogic of DavyM won’t convince anyone.
DavyM fully deserves the evaluation “prominent champion of ignorance and delusion” (Encyclopedia of American Loons).
Amazing how many things this creacrapper manages to get right and still fly off the rails.
“we won’t ignore it this time”
That’s fortunate indeed!
” . .professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for 34 years. He retired as an Associate Professor Emeritus . . .”
I wonder why he never became a full professor in all that time.
a consistent evolutionist must believe that mindless natural processes produced everything in the cosmos.
A consistent evolutionist must believe … I won’t quibble about the word “believe” … but biological evolution is about the changes in populations, accepting that there are relations among the various forms that life on Earth take. If might be that life itself did not appear by natural processes, perhaps even that life is eternal, that there are no processes at all which produced life. Or, a consistent evolutionist might consider that some non-evolutionary processes produced life; and a consistent evolutionist might believe that God created the first life on Earth. As far as non-living things, that is, in general, left to sciences other than evolutionary biology. (A consistent evolutionist might believe that the Earth is flat!)
A creationist must simply believe that an intelligent designer designed intelligently
One wonders whether there is a point to leaving out the adjective “consisten,. One should expect the contrast to be to “what a consistent creationist must believe”. Is there such a thing as a “consistent creationist”? Anyway, we are left wondering, what does it mean to design intelligently as a creationist believes.
I confirmed his celebrity status at http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2011/12/270-david-menton.html
That site says he has a PhD in anatomy….not biology. The article dates back to Dec., 2011. Along with what that article credits him with and this one…he definitely earned the loon award.
“I have often asked evolutionists…”
Sure you have. And not one of them — in answer to the dead-of-night question about hummingbirds and “pure chance” — ever explained the concept of selection? And he still didn’t get it? Menton is either lying and/or stupid. Quelle surprise — ne pas. I’ve met fifteen year olds who have a basic grasp of the concept of selection.
Damn! Who is Menton to accuse kids of unrighteousness? They’re far more guileless than he is. And besides: doubt is infinitely preferable to sanctimony.
And what is “pure chance”? That any outcome is possible? How does that differ from “an inscrutable agency, for which any thing is possible” – aka “act of God”? Or, come to think of it, isn’t pure chance constrained by the laws of nature, while the omnipotent supernatural is even less an explanation? To explain the eye by pure chance, it has to be compatible with the laws of optics; but the supernatural omnipotent doesn’t explain why the eye is compatible with the laws of optics.
If a creationist asked if I believe that “random evolutionary processes could really produce all the marvelous integrated complexity we see in living things”, I would say, “Of course not, because evolutionary processes are not random.” Natural selection is endlessly repeated selection, the very opposite of randomness.
The profound misapprehension revealed by the vapid idiocy of the question deserves a coined word to describe it. I can only call it “dyscomprehension” – incomprehension so radically, so ludicrously mistaken as to be toxic in itself.
@TomS: you’re completely right of course, but to avoid an already too long comment becoming even longer I decided to skip the “believe” and “evolution” issues.
“Is there such a thing as a “consistent creationist”?”
I don’t want to exclude the possibility, but I yet have to meet him/her.
“And what is “pure chance”?”
I understand it as equal probilities. So if there are 6 options all 6 have a probability of 1/6. Of course no creacrapper ever has specified the meaning; their first priority is to appeal to emotions (Pure chance! That’s horrible! I want to feel special!).
Which illustrates the previous point – the creacrapper wants to feel special, but preaches humility. Right.
If there are an infinity of possibilities?
Like, say, the speed of light can be any positive real number; the number of dimensions of space can be any positive integer; etc. Whatever, as long as the natural world obeys mathematical equations using analytical functions. The possibilies are infinite. The probabilies cannot be equal and sum to 1.
That’s if we restrict things to nature. What if there is the supernatural. Whatever the supernatural means, the point of it is that there are more possibilies than the natural. That is the wrong way to try to explain the way things are.
To explain things as being as they are, one should try to limit the possibilies.
“…God’s Word is more reliable than eyewitness observation.”
Jesus H. Christ almighty, gimme strength! Just how many ways can this be wrong?
Of course I know that eyewitness testimony is problematic, which is why it’s treated cautiously in courts. But I’d wager my observation, indirect though it might be, that the earth is a sphere against the Bible’s contention that it’s either a flat disc or a flat square any day.
The basic question is: on what basis does Hambo say that God’s word is reliable? That can only be answered by going round and round and round until you get dizzy and fall off.
Re “God’s Word is more reliable than eyewitness observation.” This seems to be AIG’s version of “Are you going to believe us or your lying eyes?”
Not only is the Bible (as interpreted by Ham) more reliable than human observation, but human observation confirms the Bible is completely reliable. It is one big swirling eddy from which one cannot escape. A black hole sucking the brain out of your skull.
@TomS: “If there are an infinity of possibilities?”
That’s a pure mathematical problem with little practical relevance (my example underneath is quite far-fetched).
“the speed of light can be any positive real number”
No, it can’t. It can have any random unit; once that is chosen the speed of light is fixed, depending on the (lack of) medium. But the unit is only a tool to describe it.
“the number of dimensions of space can be any positive integer”
Again only in pure math. String theory postulates ten, iIrc.
“The probabilies cannot be equal and sum to 1.”
Oh yes, they can. If x approaches 0 and y approaches infinity the product of x and y perfectly can be 1. And multiplying is nothing but repeat addition. See my example underneath.
“the point of it is that there are more possibilies than the natural. ”
How did you arrive at that conclusion? Why wouldn’t there be zero possibilities? Because of some set of assumptions we just have to accept like that? It doesn’t work that way with me.
“To explain things as being as they are, one should try to limit the possibilies.”
No need to. Ever seen dice with an infinite amount of sides? Of course – a perfect sphere. Throw it up and guess what? It will come down again and assuming nobody intervenes the probability that some geometrical point (ie without any length, area, volume etc.) on the sphere will hit the ground is exactly 1, while the probability that a given geometical point will hit it is exactly 0.
So it’s totally unnecessary to limit the possibilities regarding the geometrical points on the sphere. Such are the wonders of calculating limits.
However all this is hardly relevant for The Central Question of IDiots. We have to consider the specific circumstances of a Young Earth (meaning 3,5 – 4,5 billions years ago, ie just after it formed) and laws of nature as we know them. Then not only the amount of possibilities is limited, probabilities are not equal. And that’s my point – random evolutionary processes vs. goddiddid is not only an appeal to emotion, it’s also a false dilemma.
I assume that this is meant as humor.
For example, the point of bringing up
supernatural is to have something which is able to do something which the natural is not able to do. The supernatural is, presumably, can do things which the laws of thermodynamics (or conservation of complex specified information) forbids to the natural.