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Personal attacks and accusations but no substance

Published: 23 March 2013 (GMT+10)

In response to the author’s road-trip report where creationism was on trial, a skeptic, David Q. (USA) e-mailed us, claiming that one of our associate speakers Phil Robinson is brainwashed and teaching blatantly false information. The e-mail appears first in its entirety, then interspersed with Phil Robinson’s responses:

David Shankbone, Wikipedia Arguments about God can become very heated.
Arguments about God can become very heated.

This is directly to Phil Robinson. If you haven’t spent so much of your life and “education” (I use the term loosely) to brainwashing yourself or teaching yourself blatantly false information, I doubt that you would be as arrogant as you are. I just saw a video claiming that atheists aren’t willing to debate so-called educated theists. I challenge that thought and propose an argument to you. You are the one making the positive claim, so prove to us that your god is true. I won’t accept anything less than vetted, peer-reviewed sources. Your bible is less than a fifth-removed anecdotal tale of some extremely primitive and non-scientific accounts of how people who didn’t even understand the mechanics of child birth trying to understand how the universe works. Alternatively, I can present THOUSANDS of argument that disprove your specific cult, oops I meant sect, of christianity, or whatever the hell you believe in.

Let me state my mission here. I am firmly against the believing in junk science. Actually, let me retract that statement a bit. “id’ or creationism (they don’t deserve to be capitalized) cannot be categorized as junk science. Junk science may actually start off with scientifically viable hypotheses whereas “id” or “creationism” are absolute delusional and idiotic stances. Your stance that the bible (not sure which version you’re referring to) is the true, LITERAL account of how we began is absolutely laughable. I can disprove the story of genesis in my sleep yet you think that you want to debate real educated atheists? If you simply want to argue for god then I present you with a question that is unanswerable to your kind, “Which god?”

Phil Robinson responds:

This is directly to Phil Robinson. If you haven’t spent so much of your life and “education” (I use the term loosely) to brainwashing yourself or teaching yourself blatantly false information, I doubt that you would be as arrogant as you are.

Hi David,

For someone who, as far as I am aware, has never met me, perhaps if wanting to engage in some meaningful dialogue, an insult is not the best way to open? However, if you are trying to equate arrogance with exclusivity, then you are heading down the wrong path. Explaining and defending the truth of biblical creation and in turn the Bible and the Gospel, and presenting it as the truth, is not arrogant, but it is exclusive. Truth by definition is exclusive, as it excludes all falsehood. In the Bible we read that Jesus is truth and that everyone on the side of truth listens to him (John 18:37); so faith in Jesus is exclusive. He himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

Have you ever studied the Bible’s prophetic accuracy concerning the truth of Jesus? My personal favourite can be found in Isaiah 53 which accurately describes Jesus’ vicarious suffering and death for our sins. Isaiah 53:9 reads, “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death”. In the original, the Hebrew the word for wicked (rashayim) is plural, and the word for rich (ashir) singular. This prophecy concerning Jesus was written more than 700 years before it occurred and yet we know that he was crucified with a thief on either side of him—and thus assigned a grave with the wicked (Matthew 27:38)—and that he was buried in the tomb of a rich man, Joseph of Arithamea—and thus with the rich in his death (Matthew 27:57–60). This is only one of hundreds of examples. For more reasons to believe the truth contained in the Bible see here. The reason I am so concerned about telling people the Good News of Jesus Christ and defending biblical creation is that there are eternal consequences for peoples’ souls. My desire is that they find peace with God now as they turn to him and repent of their sin. Explaining this to people is love, not arrogance.

In my own undergraduate and postgraduate studies I was certainly not brainwashed as my lecturers and professors were definitely not advocating a biblical position on Creation. In fact, some of them were even hostile to Christianity in general. It was because of this that, during my academic years, I read very widely on the issue of Creation/evolution and examined fully what people told me, looking at their biases, presuppositions and the evidence they were presenting. It was through reading the Bible, prayer and critical thinking that I came to the position I now hold. However, on this issue, critical thinking has all but been banned in our secular education system. The brainwashing is occurring in schools and universities not creationist churches. For example, in 2008 evolutionist Prof. Michael Reiss, the Royal Society’s director of education, had to resign under firm pressure within days of merely suggesting that creationism and ID could be discussed in classrooms! You can also read how the evidence for biblical creation is now being censored in UK schools. To get a fuller grasp you might also want to read Dr Jerry Bergman’s Slaughter of the Dissidents or view the documentary Expelled for further examples of how anyone who questions the evolution mainstream paradigm is treated.

I can only presume that the ‘blatantly false information’ that you are talking about refers to the kind of information that you find on the CMI website. The thing that I have always treasured about CMI is that they use the biblical principle of “as iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens man” (Proverbs 27:17), and thus the information put up on the website is very carefully examined before being published. Perhaps you could have given an example of ‘blatant falsehood’ from one of the fully searchable 8,000+ articles rather than just be vague?

I just saw a video claiming that atheists aren’t willing to debate so-called educated theists. I challenge that thought and propose an argument to you.

While it’s hard to comment on the particular video that you viewed, I am aware of numerous times when atheists have refused to debate both educated theists and creationists; for examples see here. One personal example I can share is when speaking with Professor Donald Prothero in April 2012 at Lipan Point, Grand Canyon. When I asked him if he would speak to a creationist geologist, someone trained in his own particular field, about the Grand Canyon he replied, “I wouldn’t waste my time, I have a life”. This is not a scientific argument, but one of simple ridicule which is seen over and over again, and is hardly credible. The truth of the matter is that atheism, evolution and all that it pretends to be simply does not stand up to scrutiny, as a proper examination of this website and the resources available on it reveal.

You are the one making the positive claim, so prove to us that your god is true. I won’t accept anything less than vetted, peer-reviewed sources.

You ask for proof, but then say you will only accept it on your own terms. Do you really seek the truth or have you already decided what way to live your life? You have set a standard that will prove nothing as you expect the very people who publish in secular journals, who reject the Bible, to prove it to you.

However, in saying that, you will find that the Bible which is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16) and every word true (Psalm 119:160), in a very different way, is the most reviewed source that you will find. Millions have testimonies of experiencing the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ by reading its pages and seeing the truth contained in it. I heartily recommend it to you. Have you ever studied it for yourself? You will also find that CMI produce their own peer-reviewed Journal of Creation and, as explained earlier, all web articles are carefully checked and pass through an editorial process before being published. For arguments on the existence of God see here and for understanding that you cannot disprove God see Probably no God?

Your bible is less than a fifth-removed anecdotal tale of some extremely primitive and non-scientific accounts of how people who didn’t even understand the mechanics of child birth trying to understand how the universe works.

I can clearly tell that you are indeed quoting peer reviewed sources yourself with an argument like that! I missed the references though—did you forget to include them? In regard to the Bible being less than a fifth removed anecdotal tale, Dr Clark Pinnock sums up rather nicely what is actually the case: “There exists no document from the ancient world witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies, and offering so superb an array of historical data on which an intelligent decision may be made. An honest man cannot dismiss a source of this kind. Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon irrational fear”.1 The historical accuracy of the Bible has been proven time and time again, showing that it is not “less than a fifth removed-anecdotal tale”. For example, in the 1800s, critics of the Bible argued that the Hittite empire, known only from the Bible, never existed. While this was an argument from silence, it was nevertheless hurled at Christians. In the late 1800s a range of ancient documents were found in Egypt and Turkey with references to the Hittites and, in 1906, the ruins of the Hittite empire were discovered, silencing the critics. Evidence for long-forgotten empires, historical events and persons in history contained within the Bible are frequently shown to be accurate, even in respect of persons only receiving the briefest of mentions; an example is one of Nebuchadnezzar’s court officials, Nebo-Sarsekim mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3, found to be mentioned in a recently deciphered clay tablet in the British museum. For further examples you may wish to read a very interesting interview with archaeologist Dr Clifford Wilson.

In regard to the mechanics of child birth the Bible appears to be quite clear. For example, right in the beginning, in Genesis, in respect of Eve and her first born Cain, Genesis 4:1 states, “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant.” That childbirth would involve pain (Genesis 3:16) and, while pain is a spectrum, from being present during child birth and having talked with a range of women who have been through it, I have never come across one who described it as totally pain free. Lastly after becoming pregnant, she then, “gave birth to Cain” (Genesis 4:1). Adam and Eve understood perfectly what was going on as they fulfilled God’s command to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). Instead the truth is that you have failed to present even a syllable of evidence that the Bible writers did not understand the mechanics of childbirth! This is an accusation with no substance and, to be fair, you wrote to us, so you should really have taken the time to explain why you chose to state this.

Regarding the cosmos, the Bible was able to record more than 4000 years ago that God, “Hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7), literally “it floats in space” which we now know to be the case.

Alternatively, I can present THOUSANDS of argument that disprove your specific cult, oops I meant sect, of christianity, or whatever the hell you believe in.

And yet you have presented none. You have simply used a tactic called elephant hurling, throwing out the statement “I can present thousands of arguments” to give the impression that you have weighty arguments, but in actual fact you have presented nothing but fact-free assertions. In regard to what we at CMI believe, our statement of faith may be found here, which you could have taken the time to read, outlining the core tenets of the Christian faith as they always have been. For examples of Church Fathers who believed in biblical creation see here and here; an example of one of the great leaders of the 16th Century Reformation, John Calvin, is given here, and you can also read here what Jesus taught in regard to the age of the earth.

Let me state my mission here. I am firmly against the believing in junk science. Actually, let me retract that statement a bit. "id" or creationism (they don’t deserve to be capitalized) cannot be categorized as junk science.

A mission? Sounds like a religious zeal? Well we actually have two things in common here: I too am firmly against believing in junk science. That’s why I try to educate people in regard to the fallacy of evolution. I would also agree that biblical creationism and the concepts behind ID2 cannot be categorized as junk science. Like evolutionary belief, biblical creation is a world-view, but one which is supported by true science as the many well documented articles throughout this website testify. There are plenty of examples of evolutionary junk science though, such as the continuing belief that life came from non-living matter, despite this contradicting the known laws of science. Or slightly further on in the story, how did sex originate? This is a question that evolutionists never seem to address. Just how did useful male and female sexual organs evolve just at the right time? A part evolved sex organ would be useless and selected against. For more questions that the junk science of evolution cannot answer see Question Evolution!

Junk science may actually start off with scientifically viable hypotheses whereas “id” or “creationism” are absolute delusional and idiotic stances. Your stance that the bible (not sure which version you’re referring to) is the true, LITERAL account of how we began is absolutely laughable.

I presume by further mocking you now hope to a score a point. Do you realise that you have actually said nothing of any substance but simply made derogatory statements? Genesis is written as a historical narrative and not as a scientific text book; however the scientific statements that it does make are accurate in all respects. While Genesis can never be scientifically proven, it is demonstrably consistent with the evidence around us. For example the evolutionary model would not have predicted that everyone on the planet would be traced back to one woman, Mitochondrial Eve, and that there would be three main mitochondrial DNA sublineages. However, this is fully concordant with the Bible which states that we all came from Eve, the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20), and then from the three wives of the sons of Noah (Genesis 9:18,19).

We also know that sedimentary rocks, laid down in processes that we do not see today, i.e. sometimes over many hundreds of kilometres over the earth’s crust, contain marine fossils even on the highest mountain tops, such as Mt Everest. Many of the fossils contained in these rock layers are exquisitely preserved and soft bodied indicating that they were formed very quickly. This fits very well with what we would expect to find after a catastrophic world-wide flood, which the Bible teaches occurred in the time of Noah. It does not fit well with the secular uniformitarian view that the rocks were built up by slow and gradual processes over millions of years. It is also impossible for evolutionists to explain how dinosaur soft tissue can exist in bones which they say date to 65MYA+. The existence of well-preserved dinosaur tissue, however, is easily explained within a biblical creationist framework, as this would be understood to be just a few thousand years old.

I can disprove the story of genesis in my sleep yet you think that you want to debate real educated atheists?

And yet you have not.

If you simply want to argue for god then I present you with a question that is unanswerable to your kind, “Which god?”

Rather than being unanswerable this is actually one of my favourite questions and one that I ask people all the time when I am out evangelising. You see there is only one true God (Isaiah 44:6). He makes himself known to us through His Word, the Bible. However a lot of people have created their own gods which exist only in their imaginations—gods that allow them to live how they want, and they still get to a heaven in the end; gods who will look favourable upon them and their families and not punish their sin; gods who are not personal to them, but distant, and who don’t really bother much with them or affect their daily lives. However these ‘god’s are not real and have no power.

Rather the Bible presents the one true God who, in His omnipotence, formed the universe by His command (Hebrews 11:3). He has no equal (Isaiah 40:21–31), and cannot be deceived or mocked as He knows all your ways (Galatians 6:7). He who wants to interact with the mind that he has given you in a fully intelligent way (Isaiah 1:18), and knowing that we could not save ourselves from our sin, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sins (John 3:16). I hope that you, “Stop trusting man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?” (Isaiah 2:22), “take refuge in the Lord” (Psalm 118:8) and come to true repentance and knowledge of saving faith through Jesus Christ.

Every blessing,

Phil

References and notes

  1. Pinnock, C., Set Forth Your Case, Moody, Chicago, p. 85, 1971. Return to text.
  2. The concept behind intelligent design, i.e. that there is an Intelligent Designer behind the universe and life, I agree with; however I do not agree with all tenets of the Intelligent Design movement, primarily as they fail to name the creator as Jesus. For more see CMI’s views on the Intelligent Design Movement. Return to text.

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