An Ark-Load of Doublethink

Doublethink is a process of indoctrination whereby the subject is expected to simultaneously accept two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in contravention to one’s own memories or sense of reality.

For a long time now, you’ve been wondering how creationists can keep their brains locked on to all the stuff they believe. “How is it possible?” you keep asking. Well, dear reader, perhaps what we found today can explain it for you. And keep this in mind: What you’re about to read can be applied to subjects other than evolution. Politicians of various viewpoints can also benefit what we’re about to reveal.

We found it at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry ofKen Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Their article is titled Thinking Critically About “Ape-Man” Messages, and it was written by Patricia Engler. Their bio page about her says:

[She] serves as a speaker, writer and youth outreach coordinator for Answers in Genesis (AiG) Canada. Her passion for biblical apologetics ignited at age 14, when she first heard a seminar by AiG founder Ken Ham. After 12 years of homeschooling, Patricia completed a BSc with distinction at a liberal Canadian university. There, she studied intensely evolutionary courses to learn firsthand how Christian students can navigate secular education without compromising their biblical worldview.

Here are some excerpts from Patricia’s article, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Rare 10-million-year-old fossil unearths new view of human evolution.Long-awaited research on a 4.4-million-year-old hominid sheds new light on last common ancestor.

These are real headlines from science news websites, echoing the familiar story that millions of years ago, populations of apelike ancestors (hominids) gave rise to humans. What are biblically minded Christians to make of such messages? Here’s how you can use 7 Checks of Critical Thinking [Link omitted!] to reach a biblical, logical conclusion about any “ape-man” claim.

Patricia is going to teach you how to deal with all that Darwinist nonsense. Here it comes:

1: Check Scripture. The first way to detect a lie is by comparing it to the truth, with the ultimate standard for truth being God’s Word. [Sounds good!] Hominid claims fail this test because Genesis reveals God created living things according to their kinds and fashioned humans in his image, beginning with Adam.

She’s just getting started. There’s plenty more — like this:

2: Check the Challenge. Do hominid claims challenge foundational doctrines of Scripture? To find out, we can examine what happens if we try to wrangle evolutionary human ancestors into the Bible. Because fossils represent dead things, interpreting apelike fossils as human ancestors entails assuming death occurred in God’s very good creation before human sin, contrary to Scripture. This not only undercuts biblical authority but also falsely portrays God as the author of death.

Great stuff, huh? Patricia has a lot more — like this:

3: Check the Source. The next step is considering the source from which a hominid message originated. Generally, the most credible human sources are experts in a relevant field. But even experts, being human, are biased by their worldviews. Because the idea of ape-like human ancestors is incompatible with Scripture, hominid claims must stem from sources that make human reasoning, not God’s Word, their authority.

This is a big article, so we’ll have to skip a lot. Ah, here’s a goodie:

What assumptions are involved? Along with making specific assumptions about human ancestry, hominid messages assume earth is millions of years old and one kind of creature can evolve into another. These assumptions have serious issues which you can learn through articles on the age of the earth, radiometric dating, information theory, mutation, and natural selection. [Several links to AIG articles omitted!]

Moving along:

7: Check the Logic. What final logical errors might hominid messages contain? An especially common one occurs in arguments that claim that fossils “prove” evolutionary origins: [Example of bad logic:] If humans evolved from ape-like ancestors, then we should find similarities between human skeletons and ape-like fossils. We do find similarities between human skeletons and ape-like fossils. Therefore, humans evolved from ape-like ancestors.

This is a fallacy called affirming the consequent. We can see why such arguments are fallacious by creating another argument with the same structure: [Example of the fallacy:] If the car is out of gas, then it won’t start. The car won’t start. Therefore, the car is out of gas. [She explains the fallacy:] There could be many reasons why an engine doesn’t start, so failure to start is not itself proof that a car needs fuel. Likewise, common ancestry is not the only reason why humans and fossil apes may share similar features. For example, a biblical explanation states that similar features reveal apes and humans share the same Designer who engineered useful designs which apply across multiple creatures.

Isn’t this great? Alas, we’re only a bit more than half-way through Patricia’s article, and this is already long enough. Here’s one last excerpt:

Ultimately, a little biblical critical thinking reveals that, when headlines declare a fossil represents a human ancestor from millions of years ago, neither the human ancestor nor millions of years claims are observable facts. Rather, they’re historical interpretations built on faulty evolutionary assumptions. However, a biblical explanation that the fossil represents a post-flood human or extinct ape will likely be more consistent with the observational facts.

Your Curmudgeon can’t go on. If you like what you’ve seen so far, then click over to AIG and devour the entire article. Then get back here and give us your insights.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

13 responses to “An Ark-Load of Doublethink

  1. “However, a biblical explanation that the fossil represents a post-flood human or extinct ape will likely be more consistent with the observational facts.” Indeed,since under the first two rules, if it doesn’t fit the Bible according to Ham, it’s not a fact.

    Checkmate atheists!

  2. Another case of a bright young person who studied for a science degree, just to attack the very topic she was studying. Very sad, but convincing to these drooling creationists. Simply start with the conclusion and ignore everything that doesn’t fit in with your worldview.

    A century ago the vast majority of Christians had no problem with a universe billions of years old. What evidence have we uncovered in the last hundred years to believe that it is 6,000 years old?

  3. “… death occurred in God’s very good creation before human sin, contrary to Scripture. This not only undercuts biblical authority but also falsely portrays God as the author of death.”
    Why is death contrary to “very good”?
    Animals must get nutrition from living things, presumably causing their death.

  4. TomS – believe or not, plants are not ‘living things’ in the creationist universe.

  5. But see the Gospel of John 12:24-25, where Jesus says of grain that it dies.

  6. Dave Luckett

    Plants are not precisely “not living things”. Plants do not have a quality expressed in the Hebrew “nephesh chayya”, usually translated as “spirit” or “living spirit” or even “soul”, but having roots relating to breathing. Animals and humans have this quality, even “creeping things”, Almost certainly the ancients had noticed that even insects could drown. Fish were sort of the converse. They breathed water, but still breathed.

    But the ancients were certainly aware that there was a clear difference between a living plant and a dead one. So plants are alive, they just don’t have an anima, a spirit.

    So was there death in the pre-Fall world? Why would death not be good, as TomS asks? It is simply to return to God, isn’t it? Well, what about pain, suffering, privation, hardship, exhaustion, grief, old age? Are things that try patience and test courage bad things, necessarily? Perhaps they seem so, from our point of view, but what about from God’s?

    More apposite is God’s injunction to Adam and his apparent threat – death if Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This was before Eve was created, if the text is in chronological order, but she clearly knew of the command. But since this happened before the Fall, and if there was no death, then God was threatening them with something they could not possibly understand – something that didn’t exist. But Eve, in her conversation with the serpent, seems to know what death means, anyway. So on both scriptural grounds – God’s reference to it, and Eve’s apparent understanding of it, it is reasonable to conclude that death in fact was present before the Fall. Scripture doesn’t say that it wasn’t, and its absence is not to be assumed just because what God created was all very good. So much for that.

    Patricia Engler’s pitiful. This poor lady has quite clearly had her reasoning faculties systematically destroyed by her upbringing. You can say, I suppose, that it has given her entry to what I’m sure is a comfortable living working for Ham. But what a waste!

    If the car won’t start, then lack of petrol (gas) might be a cause. But if you do hundreds of tests eliminating other causes, then it becomes more and more likely that lack of petrol is the cause, until the point arrives where it is simply unreasonable to think otherwise.

    If dozens of independent tests of processes of known duration and rate of change converge on an answer (“millions of years” – in fact, billions), then simply ignoring them is unreasonable.

    And the foundational value of her life, the principle she appeals to as a first resort, is that the Bible is inerrant and literal. It plainly, obviously, inescapably is neither. As soon as she makes that appeal, it becomes impossible to believe that she can parse either reality or the scripture. Her mind has been shut down, disabled.

    Home-schooled. Why does that not surprise me? Her parents must be proud. Yes indeed, proud.

  7. And there is the absurd characteristism of the scientific reasoning from evidence as the fallacy of affirming the consequence. Even the “Scientific Method” a la Francis Bacon is better than that.

  8. @TomS: “….. the absurd characteristism …..”

    “Therefore, humans evolved from ape-like ancestors.”
    And this reeks like a strawman.

  9. @FrankB
    It reminds one of Newton’s observation of an apple called a proof of gravity.

  10. So what she advocates is to … hold fast to your ignorance and believe BS as true!

  11. Dave Luckett

    Oh, in for a penny. Engler tells us:

    “….a real Adam committed real sin leading to real death for all humans. As 1 Corinthians 15 affirms, this history explains why Jesus died a real death to pay for human sin.”

    Er… no. Neither that nor any other Bible passage explains why a hideous death by torture paid for human sin. It simply asserts that that was the effect.

    1 Corinthians 15 contains a sort of primal doctrine of the Redemption, or at least elements of it. It doesn’t include a statement of original sin. Paul writes at vs 3 that Christ died for our sins, and at 21 that a man brought death into the world, and a man also brought resurrection of the dead, but he does not assert that “in Adam’s fall, we sinned all”. Adam sinned, and we sin, but there is no thought that Adam’s sin is our inheritance. That was at the root of what Charles Darwin called “a damnable doctrine”, that none are innocent, and all are condemned by this original sin, the sin of Adam. Children, infants, are equally condemned by it. Damnable indeed.

    But far more than that, it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible why such an act as the death of Jesus was required. All the references to the redemption in the New Testament refer to the idea of purchase – that is, Jesus purchased or ransomed us with his death. Purchased us from whom? But more importantly, why was this necessary? If our salvation were God’s will, what more was required?

    Substitutuary? That is, Jesus’s suffering was a substitute for ours? Why is that a transaction? Surely that would mean that God can only be appeased by terrible suffering, not by contrition and repentence, and asking for forgiveness. Jesus said Himself that we must forgive one another under those conditions, as many times as asked, and there was no suffering attached to it. If we must forgive one another without such a substitution, and without demanding a price, why does God require more?

    And if this is a God who deals in suffering, who demands agonised death as the currency of his forgiveness, why would anyone worship such a monster?

    So no, Ms Engler, it doesn’t explain anything.

  12. @Dave Luckett
    And somehow this is connected to a belief in an age of the world, etc.

  13. So Patricia Engler, at age 14, gained a passion for biblical apologetics when she heard old Hambo. At about the same age, I read the bible (KJV) from end to end, and concluded it was a collection of improbable, contradictory, and often impossible folk tales. For example, even then I realized that stopping the rotation of the earth (which would be making the sun “stand still”) was wildly unlikely and would be disastrous for everything on it that would continue moving at about 1,000 mph. That was before I learned about angular momentum in college physics! And nothing I’ve heard in the 60+ subsequent years has made me question that.