The 14th foundational falsehood of creationism: “Creation is evident”
In May of 2007, former child actor, Kirk Cameron and fellow advocate of idiocy, Ray Comfort, promised to scientifically prove the existence of God on national television,
“100% absolutely –without the use of faith”.
Of course that didn’t happen. Religious beliefs –as everyone knows- are assumed on faith in lieu of proof and regardless of evidence. Cameron and Comfort had neither. Instead they presented a series of fallacious absurdities revealing the depth of their own impressive ineptitude. First they tried to parody cosmology and abiogenesis -as if criticizing them should somehow challenge evolution; as if disproving evolution could imply creation by default; as if God would only be indicated by a failure of science to explain what religion also does not explain; as if science did not adequately explain every aspect of biodiversity very well, and hadn’t already disproved all the Genesis fables which Cameron and Comfort are still trying to save.
Failing that, they immediately resorted to their usual staple of mined quotations appealing to authority with irrelevant comments made by folks who often meant the very opposite of what these two implied. Then they revealed a profound incompetence on the subject of logic. When all that inevitably failed to impress anyone either, they tried to intimidate the audience with a sermon of emotional pleas entirely reliant on fear and ignorance. But this assembly wasn’t stocked only with paranoid and superstitious zealots; this was a more intellectually curious group, many of whom already believed in God. But whether they did or not, everyone in attendance was sincerely disappointed with Cameron’s & Comfort’s inability to produce anything they promised.
"I think everybody here can tell that
there was not one piece of evidence
presented -at all- for their god."
Comfort insulted fellow believers by assuming that, if there is a god, then his religion and absurdly narrow interpretation of it was the only acceptable option, a notion his cohort unwittingly described as idolatry. Cameron insulted the rest of the audience by pretending to have once thought as rationalists do, a lie he himself also accidentally exposed when he then accused rationalism of being a belief based on faith. Finally, Comfort implicitly admitted that his god could only be indicated if one was already determined to believe in it regardless of evidence, and the only claim to it they had depended on religious references which they had earlier promised they would neither need nor use. If they knew this going in, then their whole premise was phony, because they also knew they didn’t have any evidence, –much less proof- and would have to rely entirely on assertions of faith, –and their reverence of scripture.
“The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.”
“I find it incredulous –if not astounding-
that when it comes to knowing all things
and having all things at your fingertips,
you turn the Bible, a book riddled
with things we know are wrong!”
Amazingly, subsequent interviews showed the duo apparently oblivious to any of their string of utter failures in that forum. They went into this venue as if they actually believed they had something to present, and may even have come out thinking they showed it. But much of the alleged evidence they declared to be “irrefutable” had already been refuted thousands of times. The rest were merely unsubstantiated assertions, flatly stating as fact unsupported assumptions which can neither be evidenced nor confirmed, presenting their baseless speculation as though it were certain knowledge.
“God is gonna punish murderers. He’s good. He’s just.
He’s gonna make sure murders get what’s coming to them.
But realize this; that God is so good, he’s also gonna punish
rapists, adulterers, pedofiles, fornicators, blasphemers.”
Obviously Cameron & Comfort hadn’t any idea what they were talking about at any point, neither in fact nor fiction. They certainly didn’t know what the words, “science”, “knowledge”, “proof” or “evidence” even mean. Creationists typically don’t.
“We’re both looking at the exact same facts;
we’re just coming to different conclusions.”
No we’re not. First of all, facts are objectively verifiable -and thus indisputable- data. But dogmatic religious beliefs depend instead on subjective impressions of personal preference, erroneous assumptions, and assertions of logical fallacies.
“Creation is 100% absolute scientific proof there was a creator.
You cannot have a creation without a creator.”
“Everything is just so incredibly complex, there has to be a creator.”
“Everything that has information and is complex has to have been created.”
“That’s not true at all.”
Second: We could rationalize a few of the facts differently. But mere facts don’t qualify as evidence until or unless they collectively indicate –or can be accounted for by- only one scenario over any other available option. By definition, the same evidence cannot imply two mutually-exclusive opposing positions.
Besides, we’re obviously not both looking at ERVs, atavisms, transitional forms, physiological, anatomical, and molecular vestiges, ontogeny and developmental biology, protein functional redundancy, convergent phenotypes, mobile genes, observed speciation, or the myriad methods of dating geologic stratigraphy, nor any twin-nested hierarchy of phylogenetic clades. All of these are peer-reviewed and verified accurate evidence positively promoting evolution as well as directly disproving creationism. But you know what we’ve never seen? We’ve never seen anything “created”. No one has ever seen a complex life-form (or anything else) magically pop out of thin air. But that’s what creationists are arguing for! Talismans, incantations, elemental component spells, enchantments, clairvoyance and prophesies all consistently fail every test.
To confirm this, James “the Amazing” Randi, a former Las Vegas illusionist well-versed in the angles used in supernatural pseduoscience -has for ten years- offered a million-dollar prize for anyone who can show testable evidence of the things we should expect would also be true if there were etherial entities influencing things with molecular structures. In that time, he has exposed a few frauds. But to date, no one has ever produced any actual evidence for faith-healing, telepaths, psionics, precognative psychic friends with astral bodies, past life remembrance, or spectral manifestations of any kind. So where is there any field of study or accurate fact positively promoting a magical creation?
“We’re considering this matter of life origins, and there’s an incredible body,
a pyramid of evidence in support of divine orchestration,
divine engineering, divine creation.”
Great! Where is it? What is it? Because each of the arguments presented for “irreduceable complexity” (the best arguments creationism ever had) were disproved scientifically and exposed in court. And apart from a series of frauds and falsehoods like these- the only arguments anti-science evangelists have ever had seem limited to nothing more than ignorant criticisms of dwindling and already irrelevent gaps in the ever-enveloping advancement of science. But vague criticisms against science still wouldn’t count as evidence for creationism even if those arguments weren’t all completely wrong. Even if there was evidence of gods, it might not be their god. Even if it was, that wouldn’t be evidence of creation either, because that still wouldn’t dismiss any of the evidence for evolution and against mythology; nor could it change the fact that humans are still apes. Creation relies on a false dichotomy –rejecting all other options and insisting that there can only be two alternatives; So they can imagine that criticizing the one will vindicate the other by default.
“Question for doctor Hovind: What is your strongest piece of evidence for creationism?”
“I think the evidence for creation would be the absolute impossibility of the contrary.”
Convicted fraud and pseudoscience charlatan, MISTER Kent Hovind argues that what has already been directly-observed and shown to be certainly true is (in his opinion) impossible, and the only option he thinks is possible is that an imperceptible (and possibly imaginary) mystical being poofed everything out of nothing by magic. The irony is that what he proposes is physically impossible because it defies all natural laws, and it’s logically implausible since it has neither precedent nor parallel anywhere in reality to imply that it could still be true anyway. Where is there evidence anywhere that such a thing actually exists, or that anything even could have any of these abilities?
The evidence of evolution, and even the event of evolution itself, –the proof of it- are both directly observed, and testable, and demonstrably factual. But religious beliefs are none of the above and never have been; they’re assumed on faith. Whether or not these beliefs turn out to be correct, they are asserted as true without justification in the form of evidence.
Defenders of pseudoscience scornfully reject scientific methodology and gleefully ignore evidence on purpose, and their leaders even admit this openly and publicly; Because they actually preach not only that we should make positive proclamations of complete conviction even without the slightest indication, but also that we should automatically reject –without consideration- everything we ever find that doesn’t fit into their pre-conceived bias.
“We need to be looking at the world through our Biblical glasses.
We have a revelation from one who says, “I know everything; I’ve always been there.
Here’s what happened in the past.” So when we take that revelation, -put on our set of glasses, and we look at the evidence, we can say, “Aah now I understand.
Fossils couldn’t have formed before sin. There was no death before sin.
There was a global flood. That connects to geology.
God made distinct kinds of animals and plants. That connects to biology”, and so on."
This is how to prove that creationism really is willfully ignorant and deliberately dishonest, because here is another admission that they don’t care what the truth really is. They just wanna believe what they wanna believe, and if that doesn’t turn out to be true, then they don’t want to know what is true, and sometimes they’ll even admit that too.
“I’ll be the first to admit that creationists
view evidence from a biased perspective.
Evolutionists, would you be willing to admit you
also view evidence from a biased perspective?”
Religion is a bias by definition. That’s why it relies on propaganda. But science dispels propaganda because it eliminates bias by design; it has to because it’s an investigation, not a predetermined conclusion like religion is. So every proposition must be requisitely evidential and potentially falsifiable, and must be subjected to a perpetual battery of independent and unrestricted tests wherein anyone and everyone who thinks they can is welcome to try and find and expose from flaw in it –to correct it. Creationists won’t subject their beliefs to any of that because they’re not interested in finding out what is really true. They want to defend their preferred beliefs whether they’re true or not.
“Look, the bottom line is, the creationist answer is God just did it that way.”
“That’s good enough for me, man. He just [snaps fingers]”
“That’s good, yeah. We don’t need science to back us up.”
And that’s the thing about the Biblical view;
it doesn’t have to be explained by science.”
“I’ve chosen to believe the god of the Bible.
Now the evolutionists chooses not to believe in the god of the Bible.
We’ve chosen to believe. They’re both matters of faith.”
Science is necessarily rational and empirical. That means that whatever we believe isn’t a matter of choice; its an obligate condition imposed upon us by our knowledge of the evidence, and that position will only change in accordance with our understanding.
“Well think about it; very little evidence.
Blind faith, that’s all we have to go on.
There’s not a shred of proof anywhere –nothing!”
If there’s no evidence for a particular notion, then there’s no reason to believe it either. It may as well have been imagined out of nothing because it has no basis in fact. We can only proclaim a positive belief if we have sufficient evidence to support only that, and no evidence at all against it. Even then we can only accept it tentatively. Because, if future evidence ever confirms that we were wrong all along, then we’ll be forced to change our minds accordingly even if we didn’t want to.
Defense of faith doesn’t work that way. It relies instead on apologetics; the branch of theology concerned with the manditory promotion and reinforcement of faith in a particular religious doctrine, and the obligate defense of that belief by systematically rationalizing or denying any or all arguments that may ever be laid against it.
Lemmie explain how it works. It’s really quite easy: “Goddidit” explains everything by explaining nothing. Since magic is exempt from all rules of nature or logic, they think that means that anything that seems impossible somehow proves them right. Conversely, anything and everything that might imply otherwise can be immediately dismissed as a knee-jerk reaction with the phrase, “that doesn’t prove anything”. Virtually all anti-science apologetics are composed of variants of these two thoughtless comments, in addition to the usual propaganda of inflammatory emotional pleas, tall tales, petty bigotry, incredulity, and appeals to authority.
No matter how scientific, how commonly believed, or how apparently workable or logical it may seem, no evidence of any sort can even be considered if it contradicts their sacred stories –which they insist must take priority in the event of any apparent conflict. Their position is wholly dishonest, and it’s everything science isn’t; because it’s an a-priori position which must never be seriously questioned, corrected or rejected.
They have to defend their preconcieved notions because they’re forbidden –on pain of a fate worse than death- to even consider that they could be wrong, and they must maintain that belief no matter how wrong they obviously are. Even when they know they’re wrong, they still have to make-believe anyway. Their position is the definition of a closed-mind. It is not a search for truth!
“For the remainder of this program, we’re going to put you right here
where I’m sitting in the juror’s box.
But this time you’re going to hear the facts about evolution vs creation,
not some media spin, not wishful thinking,
not the biased view of a scientific minority.”
“…The truth is you’ve been mislead, scammed, lied to.”
There’s no rational need for apologetics and science rejects it. We don’t hold evolution sacred. We defend it only because it is evidently true. Superstitious politics have made evolution an icon necessary to the defense of the scientific method –which is the real target of religious fundamentalism. But their under-handed attempts to undermine science is also eroding their parent theology more so than atheism ever could. Because if you have to lie to defend your truth, then it was never really truth to begin with, and creationism obviously IS not like the truth and DOES not like the truth.
That’s also why they don’t like free speech. Where science invites critical inquiry in peer review, apologetics depends on one-sided assertions based on nothing and defended only by censorship.
For example, if you Google QuestionEvolution.com, either on the web or in the Talk.Origins news group, you’ll see that –to their credit- their webmaster once agreed to host a link to an offsite collection of rebuttals from the evolutionary perspective. However despite this several months later, his home page still said “these questions remain unanswered by the evolutionist”. So we pressed him about correcting that error, and he said he would when he had the time. But that was several years ago, and his site still tells the same lie. All he did was to quietly remove the links to all our answers, so he could pretend they didn’t exist –rather than correct his false accusations.
For another example, someone still stupid enough to promote Kirk Cameron actually bought a domain named after me, with all the tags applicable to me, in an obvious attempt to redirect search engines looking for me. Of course there’s no way to post comments to that site, nor to contact them to correct it. So they use that page to post idiotic falsehoods deliberately misrepresenting my position. It’s so crazy that on some level they have to know how wrong that all is. But they don’t care about accuracy and we’ve already heard them declare they don’t care about evidence either. They’ve assumed their conclusions without it, and admit they’ll never change their minds because of it. But sometimes they’ll contradict themselves and pretend otherwise –if they think they have a few facts on their side.
“I have, we have footprints of humans with dinosaurs in Dakota.
We have dinoglyphs from Lake-on-the-Woods in Ontario all the way down to Peru.”
“Dinoglyphs being native drawings.”
“Native drawings of tyrannosaurs.”
“Right, just like there are native drawings of all kinds of fantastic creatures.”
“Yes but these aren’t fantastic; they’re consistent.
And …it’s not that I don’t know something;
it’s because I know something I’m a creationist.”
What this creationist doesn’t know is that he has just cited known forgeries as evidence.
Many of the famed Ica stones have been recently created and artificially aged as part of a hoax financed by a Peruvian dentist seeking to defraud gullible tourists. Some of the hucksters involved have even confessed to their part in this crime. Even other creationists reject this -including cryptozoologists –the ones who most want to believe in persistent existence of extinct paleofauna; even they say they can prove that these artifacts aren’t really ancient depictions of dinosaurs. AnswersInGenesis.org, –a leader in the apologetics resistance against science- admits this too.
Fundamentalists have never exposed a single evolutionary fraud or scientific conspiracy since their mindless movement began, but they’ve perpetrated many of each! Some sites supporting science have long lists of creationists’ criminal cons and thoroughly-disputed fabrications along with citations of peer-reviewed research proving why every single allegation of evangelical evidence ever examined is either unsubstantiated or entirely erroneous if not deliberately deceitful.
Religious fundamentalists seldom correct any of the many flaws in their data, and increasingly desperate wanna-believers keep repeating the same old wives’ tales and urban legends long after they know they’re not true. That’s all they ever had; and before the age of information, they could still get away with that. But some of these frauds and rumors are now so blatantly bogus that even apologetics propaganda mills are compelled to admit it; Because refuting the various fallacies, fibs, and fakery of creationist claims has become a sort of internet sport. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel because every single thing the fundies ever presented in their defense –if it could ever be tested at all- has always turned out to be either misunderstood and grossly distorted or intentionally misrepresented.
The simultaneously saddest and most laughable irony of this whole stupid controversy is that these zealots claim they’re opposed to evolution as an issue of morality. Yet while we can cite dozens of examples where politically-influential creationists clearly know they’re lying about science, there is no such instance wherein evolutionary scientists can be shown to be dishonest in their criticisms of creationism. There’s no need to be. Despite all the attempted deception, the baseless assertions and political division produced by the creationism movement, the truth is there has never been a single verifiably accurate argument of evidence indicative of miraculous creation over biological evolution or any other avenue of actual science. Not one –period. Neither has there been any credible proponents of creation science anywhere ever, because, (with one crackpot exception) everyone who has ever published anti-evolutionary rhetoric to any medium did so only according to a prior religious agenda rather than any amount of scientific comprehension. They’ve all revealed inexcusable ignorance in the very fields where they claim expertise, and their arguments are all dependant on erroneous assumptions, prejudicial bias, logical fallacies, ridiculous parody, misdefined terms, misquoted authorities, distorted data, fraudulent figures, or out-and-out lies. Thus, there are only two types of arguments for creationism; those which are untestable, indistinguishable from the delusions of imagination, and can neither be indicated nor vindicated, verified or disproved, and those which have already been disproved many times over, both scientifically and in a court of law.