Skeptic labels CMI as ‘Intellectual cave dwellers called young-earth creationists’
9 June 2000
Mr Roger Scott (R.S.), responsible for the quote above, is a self-proclaimed ‘skeptic’ from Queensland, Australia. On 6 June 2000, he sent us the following email (indented text) with full knowledge that it might be published online. Due to the nature of the careless accusations and mockery of CMI’s beliefs, we felt a timely response by Dr Jonathan Sarfati from Creation Ministries International–Australia would be appropriate. R.S.’s remarks are characteristic of the shallow arguments and claims made by many evolutionists today.
RS: Recently I showed the entire 6 episode BBC program Walking with Dinosaurs, plus The Making of Walking with Dinosaurs to my Year 10 science class. I had intended showing only parts of it but the students could not get enough.
Jonathan Sarfati: Not surprising, because the special effects are spectacular (or perhaps the students found the videos much more interesting than their teacher’s lessons). But the rampant speculation in the series has upset even some evolutionists. For example, Dr David Norman of Cambridge University and author of The Prehistoric World of the Dinosaur (Bison Books, London, UK, 1989) told USA Today (1 November 1999) that the program ‘purports to be factual, but actually it fudges the truth … its blending of fact and fiction goes too far.’ For some examples, see Walking with … untruths!
From time to time I stopped the tape to discuss certain points. While T. rex was on the screen, I happened to mention that there were some people who believed that it had been created a vegetarian, as had all animals. Why did we have meat eaters now? Adam and Eve sinning. The response? Incredulity. I had to tell them that I was not joking. There was just a little laughter. I think the laughter was appropriate.
Does children’s laughter or incredulity really count as evidence against the Bible? One could show the kids the skull, jaws, sharp teeth and claws of a panda, and get the same response. But pandas use these almost exclusively for eating bamboo. And R.S.’s students would probably laugh and be incredulous if he told him that creationists believe that the legendarily fierce piranha were once vegetarian. But the joke would be on R.S., because there is a fish called a pacu which is basically a vegetarian piranha that uses its powerful jaws and teeth for hard plant food (an article on this has been written for the September 2000 Creation) [Ed. note: subsequently published online—Piranha]. Note also, there might have been changes to some animals after the Fall if latent genetic information (programmed by God who foreknew the Fall) for defence-attack structures was switched on. See the The Creation Answers Book, chapter 6.
Few things are so pathetic as witnessing a group of grown men (plus some women) engaging in fairy stories and actually, it would seem, believing in them.
R.S. of course provides no evidence that soberly written historical accounts are ‘fairy stories’. There is also something perilously serious about calling God’s written Word ‘fairy stories’—insulting God.
I am of course referring to yourselves, the largely self-uneducated group of intellectual cave dwellers called young-earth creationists.
Actually, many of us have far superior scientific qualifications to R.S.’s—see Creationist scientists or Dr John Ashton’s book In Six Days—Why 50 [Ph.D.] Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation. Note that this is not an ‘argument from authority’ for creation, but a simple disproof of R.S.’s claim above, and of related claims that no scientists or educated/intelligent people believe in creation. We leave informal logical fallacies, like argument from authority, to the evolutionists, e.g. ‘evolution must be right because most scientists believe it.’ This really is fallacious, because the majority can be wrong, and also because many of them are unqualified in the area. For example, Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann opposes creation, but why should the man who co-discovered quarks have any credence in an area totally unrelated to his expertise?
Few things are so pregnant with peril for the future as witnessing a group of grown men (plus some women) propagating unmitigated and complete nonsense in the manner of CMI and other creationist organisations. Your site is liberally sprinkled with absurdities, scientific and moral.
My my, all these to choose from and R.S. couldn’t even document one … Focusing on alleged moral absurdities, I wonder why R.S. should worry, if we are really just rearranged pond scum, as he believes. If so, then a sense of morality is really the result of mutations and natural selection, so our ‘best impulses have no basis in nature’ as evolutionists Lanier and Dawkins agree—see Evolution—no morality. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that many members of the anti-Christian organisation, the Australian Skeptics (which R.S. supports—see The Skeptic 19(3):67, 1999) have been shown to be guilty of highly unethical practices, and are on record justifying deception if it helps the anti-creationist cause—see The Ian Plimer files and A Critique Of the ‘No Answers In Genesis’ Website. The trouble for their credibility is, how can we know that anything else they say isn’t just more deception to support the cause?
I have noted that your feedback is heavily censored.
Very interesting assertion (again without support). But R.S. presumably has no problem with the entrenched discrimination and censorship against creationists in establishment educational and scientific journals—see Do creationists publish in notable refereed journals?
No doubt this is to keep the wool well over the eyes of your largely scientifically illiterate readership.
Hmm, has R.S. conducted any testing of our readers’ scientific literacy?
I have very little doubt that this letter will not appear on your web site, either in part or in full.
You should be careful what you wish for—you might get it!
Member, Geological Society of Australia
6 years field geology in eastern Australia
22+ years a science teacher
40+ years an acceptor of the evolutionary account of the development of the biosphere
R.S. neglected to mention that he is a self-confessed atheist and vociferous opponent of Christianity—see The Skeptic [Australia] 19(3):67, 1999. So we are actually pleased to publish yet more proof of how important evolution is to an atheist’s faith—see also A Who’s Who of evolutionists and How Religiously Neutral Are the Anti-Creationist Organisations? Also, demonstration of the strident anti-theism of some public school teachers does far more to promote home-schooling and biblical Christian schools than anything their proponents can say.
PS: Ken Ham may remember me from circa 1979. I was the teacher at the back left of the room who pointed out that his use of the second law of thermodynamics was scientifically invalid. The cheers from the students who had been forced to listen to him have never left me. I suspect that Ken’s capacity for self-delusion has put paid to his memory of this event.
Of course, this is hearsay, and I must wonder about the accuracy of R.S.’s recollections after so many years. Mr Ham says that the second law of thermodynamics is not part of his talks, and I’ve certainly never heard him mention it in any of his videos or talks.
From my own reading of the typical Australian Skeptic, especially those whose main training is in geology, it’s most likely that it’s R.S. who is lacking understanding of the Second Law (I speak as one with a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, of which thermodynamics is an important part). Skeptics typically parrot irrelevant canards about open systems or crystals, but see The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Answers to Critics and Be skeptical about the skeptics! Fridges and Hot Air. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is most definitely a problem for the evolutionists’ faith that life arose from non-life, as shown by the thermodynamics experts Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen in their book The Mystery of Life’s Origin (the relevant chapters are online, although the whole book is extremely worthwhile as a thorough demolition of evolutionary ‘origin of life’ scenarios).
Also, it’s not just Mr Ham who might remember R.S., but other creationist scientists too, like Drs Andrew Snelling and Don Batten. Dr Batten informs me that R.S.’s tactic has been to invite a creationist to speak to his class, then behind his back criticize his talk when the creationist is no longer around to defend his position. Dr Batten’s presentation apparently left the class stunned with such overwhelming evidence for recent geological catastrophism, consistent with the biblical Flood. So much that R.S. couldn’t restrain himself from abandoning his usual strategy, and injecting his views on the spot (before he apparently remembered his strategy and regained his composure).
Addendum: Since this email was published, Mr Scott continued with a turgid atheistic testimony which still carped on with more ‘he said, she said’ at what Mr Ham is supposed to have said over 20 years ago. He has also refused to repudiate the despicable behaviour endorsed by the Australian Sceptics, thus disqualifying himself from further postings on this site. See also this off-site response.