Questions that Creationists Can't Answer

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | Published in

"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory." - Scott D. Weitzenhoffer

If you know me well you probably know that I've been following the evolution-creationism "debate" pretty devoutly for the last 4 years or so. I don't know why. It's usually like a rather nasty car crash with steel twisted every way. The creationists mindset is some rather interesting head space though. The amount of cognitive dissonance and outright denialism contained in one hardcore Creationist is more than enough to keep a whole team of psychologists and neuro-scientists busy for several lifetimes.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) I've never been one to directly engage in prolonged debate with Creationists. Mainly because 1) research is hard 2) I'm allergic to direct conflict 3) I don't particularly like bashing my head against the wall. Instead I've always sat on the sidelines, cheered on the good guys, and occasionally tossed a very sharp object into the ring.

That being said, I have actually picked up some knowledge along the way. For instance, there are certain questions that will stop almost all Creationists in their tracks and make them do an abrupt 90° turn (because we all know that them doing a 180° is impossible). The one thing Creationists are good at is making rationalizations that they dub "apologetics". There are certain things that they can't answer though such as:

1) Why can we see starlight from millions of light years away? (Otherwise known as the Starlight Problem.) The only apologetics I have seen for this involve completely changing the laws of physics beyond repair or to invoke the Trickster God of Omphalos.

2) Why doesn't the Institute for Creation Research do any research? Why hasn't the Discovery Institute discovered anything? So far all either of these organizations have contributed is apologetics, public relations and legal muscle. Neither Creationist organization has ever put forth any new scientific information. They have never put forth a scientific model to do any tests around. There have only been a handful of Creation "scientists" that have done peer-reviewed work and none of these papers involved a creationist model. Their excuse is that Big Science is blackballing all of them but that leads us to our next question...

3) How far does the Big Science conspiracy go? Currently more than half of all humans in the industrial nations agree with evolution. We can wave that away by saying most of those are being fooled by the evolution "hoax". However we still have millions of scientists in the last hundred years that understand biology and agree with evolution. According to creationists they are just keeping their mouth shut because overturning an entire branch of science and winning a Nobel Prize would be too stressful. Add to that the fact that most government scientific agencies (and the entire Judicial branch of the US government) are helping prop up the theory. Then take into account the fact that many drug companies use the theory of evolution to develop new drugs (here is where Big Science intersects Big Pharma). And don't forget the oil and mineral companies that use non-Flood geology to discovery veins of the good stuff. Well, then you are talking about the biggest conspiracy in the history of mankind. It would include hundreds of millions of people over the last 150 years without one single person blowing the whistle. Of course, we can always hand wave this away by saying "Satan did it".

4) Why aren't there more Nazis in Scandinavia? One of the main theses of the movie "Expelled" was that Darwinism directly lead to the Germans killing millions of people. In fact, Ben Stein very clearly said in an interview that "Science leads you to killing people." And yet today the countries that have the highest percentage of people that accept evolution are the most peaceful. In the Scandinavian countries more than 75% accept the modern theory of evolution yet they aren't committing mass genocides. I wonder why this is.

5) Why do we patterns in the genetic sequence of all living things? Why is it that humans share more than 90% of our DNA with the other Great Apes? Why do we see the same exact pattern when it comes to endogenous retroviruses? I've always heard the excuse of "Same designer, same design" but that doesn't even make sense. Why would the same designer reuse the same bits in a specific pattern that makes it look like everything is related in a nested hierarchy? Why would he bother to put all of those retroviruses in in the first place? Is this another appeal to the Trickster God?

6) This one is specifically for Intelligent Design proponents: How can we gain knowledge of the Designer? What is the possibility for there being more than one Designer? And while we are at it, is there a possibility that the Designer isn't omnipotent, omniscient or benevolent? Could it have been aliens? At this point they will give away the game and reveal that Intelligent Design isn't really science, it's just rewarming the old natural theology arguments from the 1800s and using cooler jargon.

Ok, that is more than enough questions from me. If you want to see the master list of creationist claims and how to debunk all of them go over to Talk Origins. I'm pretty sure that they have over a thousand by now.

(7) Comments

  1. Techskeptic said...

    I like this post. Thanks. Some notes:

    on #4: the Danes went with us into Iraq. take that as you will.
    On #5: The discussion I have heard on this at ERV on a video of her most recent debate is about Lego blocks. The idea is that with lego I can make a great variety of things, but the blocks are all similar. She debunked that idea, but for the life of me, I can't remember how.

    The talk origin site is great. Its nice that there is a list that I can refer to to counter the old tired arguments. I like when there are new ones.

    July 2, 2009 at 9:08 PM
  2. dihhuit said...

    On #4 I read: "...yet they are committing mass genocides." Did you mean to type "aren't"?

    July 8, 2009 at 11:27 AM
  3. Rev. Ouabache said...

    LOL. Oops. I can't believe that I didn't catch that.

    July 8, 2009 at 11:31 AM
  4. Scott Weitzenhoffer said...

    I am Scott D. Weitzenhoffer, and I approve this blog!

    October 12, 2009 at 6:30 PM
  5. Anonymous

    look up radioactive halos at halos.com
    think about this:
    if creationism is wrong and the bible is wrong than are we any worse for beliveing it? but what if it's right? than you have a lot to worry about. better safe than sorry!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:35 PM
  6. Rev. Ouabache said...

    Radioactive halos and Pascal's Wager. How unoriginal.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:35 AM
  7. Anonymous

    I don't understand the "believe in god just in case, guys!!!" mindset.

    If you don't really think that there's a god but you pay lip service just in case, you will still go to hell. The omniscient god knows that you don't really love him more than anything else in the whole world, you're just pretending to in an effort to escape possible eternal torture. You're trying to deceive something that can read your mind and it won't work. Even if you've picked the correct religion in the first place, you've gained nothing.

    So no, I'm not losing anything by not pretending to believe in god. You're losing hundreds of hours on something that you apparently already know is false.

    September 28, 2012 at 11:35 PM

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