Feedback archive → Feedback 2015
Provoked by the truth
Some people are so anti the creation message that they attack us with a degree of hostility without engaging in any discussion. The following should prove instructive. It began when David T., from New Zealand, wrote:
This site, and its creators are intellectually dishonest. You use quote mining and selective referencing all the time. A lot of your conclusions are downright laughable. Your criticisms of evolution are aimed at those who do not understand nor study it. You’d also like to think the human race is special. It isn’t. Every living thing on this planet is genetically related so what else don’t you want to understand. Evolution is a fact. Get over it. Wishful thinking that all of life miraculously popped into existence at the behest of a creator god is bunkum.
Dr Tas Walker responded:
This site is intellectually rigorous and reliable. We don’t use quote mining, rather we provide references where you can check the original article and assure yourself that the quotes are in context. Quotes perform the role of a ‘hostile witness’. If we said the same thing, even though it is true you would be less inclined to believe it. Our conclusions are soundly based. Although our articles are written so ordinary people can understand them, they are not aimed at deceiving those who do not understand or study evolution. We receive lots of testimonials from informed scientists that our articles are reliable and correct, and were helpful in their understanding the issue better. All life is not genetically related, but it has a common designer. Evolution is a fact and it is also a fallacy, depending on how you define evolution. On cell origin, life had to pop into existence ‘miraculously’ because all the components of the living cell had to be present and functioning at the one time in order for it to work. Those who believe this was a wholly natural phenomenon that occurred by chance are the wishful thinkers—believing in miracles without a miracle worker. If you are interested in learning more you could type the bolded keywords into our search box and find relevant articles that present the scientific realities.
David T. again responded to Dr Walker. His statements are highlighted in red below with Warren Nunn’s responses under each of them:
Quite frankly I have absolutely no interest in what you have to say anymore.
And yet you have responded again.
Likewise your replies.
But will you be willing to read on anyway? We actually want to engage your claims and closely examine them. If you care to read this interaction between CMI’s Dr Robert Carter and a questioner about genetics and geographical distribution, you will see that reasoned debate can take place; however, it needs both parties to be involved.
The entire site, its founders and its messages are not only fake, and disingenuous but exhibit a childish wishful thinking.
You have made several serious allegations here but have not provided any evidence to substantiate them. One of the definitions of fake is to ‘trick or deceive’ and nothing could be further from the truth for this ministry. We are absolutely open and transparent about where we are coming from. Take time to read about who we are and what we believe. For example:
- Our Motto: Proclaiming the truth and authority of the Bible
- Our Vision: To see the Lord Jesus Christ honoured as Creator and Saviour of the world
- Our Mission: To support the effective proclamation of the Gospel by providing credible answers that affirm the reliability of the Bible, in particular its Genesis history
Being ‘fake’ is anathema to this ministry—as it should be for all Christians—as is the charge of being disingenuous which suggests that we are “lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity”.
In our statement of faith, we state our priorities:
- The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer and Judge.
- The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We seek to represent Jesus Christ to the world and nothing could be more genuine.
To describe our intentions as childish wishful thinking is to accuse us of operating without knowledge, logic or reason. But all these are essential to biblical Christianity.
You do not even investigate “quote mining” but refer to references, that’s NOT the same thing.
But you have not provided any example that we could discuss. The charge of quote mining has been addressed before and it’s worth repeating what CMI’s Lita Sanders wrote about such unfounded accusations:
Quote mining is the practice of taking quotes out of context to make them say something other than what the author intended, and then to use them disingenuously in support of one’s own agenda. It would be like an atheist quoting the Bible as affirming their belief in atheism, because 15 places in the Bible say “There is no God”. Of course, the Christian would point out that they are in contexts like, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you” (1 Kings 8:23) or “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 53:1). The surrounding words completely change the meaning, so it is dishonest to quote only the words that say what you want it to say. However, when atheists complain about quote mining, they usually are actually complaining about using evolutionists as hostile witnesses against the theory of evolution. For instance, Alan Feduccia, a noted ornithologist, has scathing criticisms of the notion that theropod dinosaurs evolved into birds. He is an evolutionist, but we use his writing and expertise to argue against dinosaur-to-bird evolution. That is not quote-mining.1
Evolution is a FACT, pure and simple, and facts cannot be interpreted any differently.
That is an argument by assertion. I could dogmatically state that Creation is a FACT, pure and simple, and facts cannot be interpreted any differently. Does that get us anywhere? And what do you actually mean by evolution? It is important that words such as ‘evolution’ be used accurately and consistently. CMI’s Jonathan Sarfati in his book Refuting Evolution, addressed this:
The theory of ‘Evolution’ that the evolutionists are really promoting, and which creationists oppose, is the idea that particles turned into people over time, without any need for an intelligent Designer. The evolutionist Kerkut accurately defined this ‘general theory of Evolution’ (GTE) as ‘the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form’.2
‘The evidence which supports this is not sufficiently strong to allow us to consider it as anything more than a working hypothesis.’
However, many evolutionary propagandists are guilty of the deceitful practice of equivocation, that is, switching the meaning of a single word (Evolution) part way through an argument. A common tactic, ‘bait-and-switch’, is simply to produce examples of change over time, call this ‘Evolution’, then imply that the GTE is thereby proven or even essential, and creation disproved.
I will add that is not quote mining either. Do you interpret the facts free of any presuppositions? I propose that that is impossible. We all start with presuppositions. As an anti-creationist, for you matter is most likely the ultimate reality. As an example, study the accompanying diagram.
The origin of the universe is open to conjecture, that’s the only concession that can be made, even to you. We don’t know. But one thing is for certain; the universe is NOT a few thousand years old.
It’s interesting that you at least concede the universe’s origin is a matter of conjecture. But, surely if you reject outright the concept of a Creator, then would you ever admit the possibility of One even if the evidence showed that possibility? You are denying a possibility while insisting there is a possible answer but that answer can’t possibly be that there is a Creator. And again you argue by assertion that the universe can’t be thousands of years old. It is just as legitimate for me to say one thing is for certain; the universe is NOT millions of years old!
Your sophistry is almost worthy of Goebbels, just how many lies and half truths do you have to tell? Or do you feel it is permissible to lie and mislead and be downright dishonest in pursuit of proving what you perceive to be your religious goals?
By sophistry I suspect you are accusing us of a “subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning” as one dictionary defines the word. Nothing could be further from the truth as discussed earlier. Comparing us with the anti-Semitic Nazi Joseph Goebbels is bizarre. Adherence to survival-of-the-fittest evolutionary concepts was what drove Goebbels and Adolf Hitler, as Dr Jerry Bergman discusses in his book Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian Worldview.
Of Hitler and his ilk, Dr Bergman wrote:
Leading Nazis, and early 1900 influential German biologists, revealed in their writings that Darwin’s theory and publications had a major influence upon Nazi race policies. Hitler believed that the human gene pool could be improved by using selective breeding similar to how farmers breed superior cattle strains. In the formulation of their racial policies, Hitler’s government relied heavily upon Darwinism, especially the elaborations by Spencer and Haeckel.3
As well, you again throw out wild accusations without providing any example of where we have ‘lied’, ‘told half-truths’, ‘misled’ anyone or been ‘dishonest’.
As for your term “religious goals”, I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean pointing people to the hope of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, then surely is that not a worthwhile goal? But, if we were using the undesirable and despicable tactics, of which you are accusing us, that would be totally contradictory wouldn’t it? Because why would anyone be attracted to something like that? So your charge is both intemperate and confusing.
Let’s start with Henry Morris. If evidence contrary to scripture is found discard it in favour of scripture. Brilliant thinking….and some of you call yourselves scientists? Hovind tries to explain dinosaur eggs on the Ark and Ham says humans played with dinosaurs. And you allow this in a fake museum and expect to be taken seriously? Addled and muddled thinking is rife throughout your site and throughout creationism entirely.
More fact-free assertions without engaging any of the propositions these individuals have made in their writings and public statements. However, as biblical creationists, we make no secret that a major function of our ministry is showing that the Bible can be trusted in all areas.4 This is not only in its theology and morality, but also in the real history of the world that largely underpins this. You infer that creationists can’t be real scientists but many key aspects in biology (as well as the other major branches of modern science) were discovered by creationists! For example, Louis Pasteur discovered that many diseases were caused by germs and showed that life comes only from life, Gregor Mendel discovered genetics, and Carolus Linnaeus developed the modern classification system. And even today, many scientists, including biologists, contribute greatly to their field despite believing in biblical creation and disbelieving the GTE. How about the significant contribution of Raymond Damadian who invented the magnetic resonance imaging scanner but was denied any recognition of his achievements because he was creationist? As well, also consider this article which examines claims that creationists can't be real scientists.
Addled and muddled thinking is rife throughout your site and throughout creationism entirely.
Yet you have not provided any example of muddled thinking but rather made sweeping statements. Do you consider any of the aforementioned scientists to have addled or muddled thinking?
You sure do exhibit a fertile imagination in it though. But I’d hesitate to use whatever you’ve used as fertiliser on my garden. I wouldn’t want to eat what it might grow.
Your ridicule is an indication of a lack of reasoned counter-argument. “Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us,” said Thomas Jefferson.
And why should what we believe and write about in the least way impact you? If we really are just rearranged pond scum—as goo-to-you-via-the-zoo evolution insists is fact—then your thoughts (and mine too on that basis) are really an epiphenomenon of the motion of atoms in the brain obeying fixed laws of chemistry.
On the other hand, the Bible gives an entirely different account of the world in which the first man and woman stepped outside the will of God. In response, God stepped away to allow them to experience life on their own. But without the source of life itself, suffering and death entered the world along with sin.5
Life as a whole goes on, but individually we die, and collectively, through a gradual loss of genetic perfection, life is losing its original perfect design. This is the direct opposite of the theory of evolution, which claims that life has been becoming increasingly complex and, as some wish to believe, is heading towards perfection.
But the Bible says that God is omnipotent; He is all-powerful. He is a God of love. He performs miracles, and He speaks to us through His Word. We have reason to love this God. We have reason to trust and to worship this God. And above all, we have a reason to hope. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Which version of the world is more attractive David T. from New Zealand?—the one in which we are just rearranged pond scum, or the one in which we can have a relationship with God now, and a hope with Him for eternity?
Where you spend eternity depends on what choice you make now, which is one of the reasons this ministry spreads the message of hope that it does.
The following Scripture should serve both as a source of ultimate hope as well as a sober reminder of what is to come:
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:9 10)
References and notes
- What if Jesus tells you you re wrong?, September 2014. Return to text.
- Kerkut, G.A., Implications of Evolution, Oxford, UK, Pergamon, 1960, p. 157. Return to text.
- Bergman, J., Darwinism and the Nazi race Holocaust, J. Creation 13(2):101–111, 1999; creation.com/holocaust. Return to text.
- Sarfati, J., Biblical history and the role of science, Creation 33(4):6, 2011; creation.com/biblical-history-science. Return to text.
- McCall, P., Who is the god of evolution and can he be trusted?, Creation 13(1):36–38, 1990; creation.com/who-is-god-of-evolution. Return to text.
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