Guest Melanie Posted July 9, 2009 Report Share Posted July 9, 2009 Since some people aren’t convinced that the Creationist Ignorance Emporium is an ignorance emporium, let’s dedicate a topic to discussing it. I’ll start with a fundamental claim of the Ignorance Emporium’s founder. Let’s start in the “starting points” room. Ken Ham explains the difference between “creationists and evolutionists” as follows: “So, we have different interpretations because we have different starting points. The real battle is between the two starting points—God’s Word or autonomous human reasoning.” http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/aroundth...aleontologists/ ; http://www.flickr.com/photos/astropop/2693...57606318201168/ . See also http://www.ooblick.com/gallery/v/travel/mo...c_2429.jpg.html ; http://www.flickr.com/photos/astropop/2694...57606318201168/ ; http://ooblick.com/text/creation-museum/ ; http://www.aam-us.org/pubs/mn/scienceonfaith.cfm What’s wrong with that statement? Let’s count the ways. 1. The statement is incomplete in a way that completely distorts the real differences between evolutionary theory, which is scientific, and creationism, which is not. The methods of analysis are different. That is too important a distinction to omit. Evolutionary theory is based on a vast body of data, including fossil records, carbon dating and DNA analysis, all of which support evolutionary theory. Millions of pieces of data have been collected, any one of which could have punched a hole in evolutionary theory if it wasn’t true; instead, as the data have accumulated, they have only supported and advanced evolution as the correct explanation for the history and development of species. Evolutionary theory makes accurate predictions and has generated advances in biology and the development of numerous medical treatments. Its critics have observed that there were gaps in the fossil and DNA records, only to be stymied repeatedly as those gaps have been filled in, one after another, exactly in the manner that evolutionary theory predicts. Because it makes accurate predictions and generates useful advances in medicine and related fields, evolutionary theory is an essential part of modern science. Ham conveniently omits all of that. By contrast, creationism is not supported by the evidence but in fact is disproved by it. It does not make any accurate predictions and has not resulted in a single advance in science or any other field of objective inquiry. Ham neglects to mention that, too. These omissions are so vast that they render Ham’s argument dishonest. 2. Equally dishonest is Ham’s attempt to frame the issue as a conflict between “human reason” and “God’s word.” Both sides of his argument are distorted. The “human reason” side is distorted because Ham omits the mountain of data supporting evolution, its proven predictive value and its many practical applications. No doubt, Ham would take advantage of the medical treatments that evolutionary theory has made possible. It is dishonest for him to dismiss the science as mere “human reason” when it is also supported by data and experience, and is so useful in its applications. The “God’s word” side is distorted in two key ways. “God’s word” is a claim. It is dishonest to present it as a fact, especially when there is no objective basis for calling the Bible “God’s word.” Indeed, most people who believe in a god do not believe in the Bible. Second, the claim of “God’s word” is itself based solely on human thought, if not quite human reason. Ham is completely inconsistent here, criticizing human reason as inadequate, while relying on a lesser variant of it. He fails to mention the fact that the very act of starting with the conclusion is diametrically opposed to how knowledge is actually obtained. To know, one must start with the evidence and draw the conclusions from it; the Creationist Ignorance Emporium does exactly the opposite, starting with the conclusion and justifying by any means necessary, no matter how illogical or how much it must ignore. He is quite correct to distinguish this from human reason, but the true distinction is not the one he suggests. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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