Darwin Was Wrong Will Return in a Moment

Fundie reasoning. Don't try to follow it.

I took a break from recounting the horrors of the Darwin Was Wrong conference, so I could fit in the Christmas-related posts. As soon as I get a reasonable amount of time (in a day or two), I will resume the tale.

It was worth the diversion. The Atomic Toy article got Stumbled-Upon, and I received my second-highest one-day traffic of all time! (About 8000 hits. The highest was about 14,000 hits way back in 2007 for the AIG Research Paper Winner.)

I know you’re going through creationism-conference withdrawal, so head on over to Robert Madewell’s blog. He also went to a creationism conference and lived to tell about it.

In his first article, he gives a brief recap. His second article is an open letter to the pastor of the sponsoring church. That goes into the most detail of what he heard there. Robert’s experience is fundamentally (ha!) different from mine.

I throw around the term “liar” and “lying” rather loosely in my descriptions of the conference I visited. Many of the statements that all of the speakers made were falsehoods. In most cases, the speakers were lying to themselves as much as they were lying to the audience.

The speakers at Darwin Was Wrong largely misunderstood the science they were presenting to the audience. They were mostly saying things such as:

Atheist scientists say that the Earth is billions of years old, but it isn’t, because their radiometric dating is incorrect.

Or:

Darwinists claim that humans evolved from apes, but there are no transitional fossils. Every fossil that they claim is transitional is just a diseased ape.

They are giving a quasi-accurate description of current scientific consensus, and then explaining why they disagree with it.

In Robert’s case, the speaker was (apparently) intentionally misrepresenting the current scientific consensus. He was building straw-man arguments, because they were so much easier to refute than the actual scientific beliefs.

Robert is a little more charitable than I am in this assessment. Robert says:

I am horrified that Dr. Harrub could so blatantly misrepresent science. I can’t say whether it was out of dishonesty or negligence. Doesn’t matter. A man with his credentials should research his claims about his opposition’s claims, before writing a presentation based on them. I think anyone is obligated to do that.

Here is just one example that Robert mentions:

In the lecture The Dinosaur Dilemma, Dr. Harrub claims that a fossil skeleton of a mammal was found that has parts of a dinosaur in its stomach. He then claims that this fossil contradicts the theory of evolution, because science claims that dinosaurs preceded mammals and that these two classes of animals did not co-exist.

Scientists do not claim that dinosaurs and mammals did not coexist. This is something that Dr. Harrub should have known if he had done the barest research beforehand.

Robert says he counted at least ten incidents like this. I say that a pattern of recklessly-false statements about the opponent’s position indicates intentional deception by the speaker.

In my encounters with creationists, I find that most of the ones who try a scholarly approach to refuting evolution use the approach of the speakers at Darwin Was Wrong. They present the scientific side as best they understand it, and then wave their arms around and pretend all of those facts don’t matter.

Only a minority take the approach of Dr. Harrub at the event Robert went to, whereby they make false statements about the scientific side, in order to more easily shoot it down.

Of this latter group, I think very few of them are actually like Dr. Harrub, who is educated enough to know better. This is the true liar of the anti-evolutionists.

The bulk of the people who mis-state the scientific side are simpletons like Ray Comfort. He is an uneducated rube with no intellectual capacity. He can be forgiven for being retarded.

Crocoduck

8 Responses to “Darwin Was Wrong Will Return in a Moment”

  1. PaulJ Says:

    The bulk of the people who mis-state the scientific side are simpletons like Ray Comfort. He is an uneducated rube with no intellectual capacity. He can be forgiven for being retarded.

    I think you cut Ray Comfort too much slack. Ignorance is no crime, but Comfort has been told repeatedly and in detail where he’s getting evolution egregiously wrong, yet he persists in misrepresenting it. The phrase “lying for Jesus” comes to mind….

    Thanks for reporting on “Darwin was Wrong” — I’m keen to read the final installment(s). And I’ll definitely check out Robert Madewell’s experience.

  2. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I agree with PaulJ. I cut Comfort no slack. He has an agenda and willfully ignores any and all fact checking on his arguments. I would only cut a fundie slack if they genuinely did not understand the process -or- if they stop arguing the same falicious point (ZOMG second law of thermodynamics) once it was pointed out how wrong they were.

  3. Ron Britton Says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that he is incapable of comprehending what he has been told. Therefore, he is retarded.

  4. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Ah, but is he willfully retarded?

    (Shakes Magic 8 Ball)

    “All Signs Point To YES!”

  5. Robert Madewell Says:

    I still have had no response from the pastor. I wonder if he has even read my letter. Oh well, I knew my effort would probably fall on deaf ears.

    Here’s a gem from the conference that I haven’t written about yet.

    Dr. Harrub claims that God first created the earth as a water world without any landmasses (Gen 1:2,6). On his slide he showed a picture of a bluish sphere to represent the water world of the early earth and a picture of earth from space to represent earth as it is right now.

    Fine! Right? Well, I recognized the bluish sphere that Dr. Harrub used to represent the watery earth. It is here.

    Yep! It’s a SOHO picture of The Sun. I laughed out loud when I saw that. No one else seemed to get it.

    Thought you guys would like that.

    Thanks for the shout out, Ron.

  6. Syldoran Says:

    How . . . how could nobody else tell that that’s not a picture of Earth? Especially if compared side-by-side with an actual picture?

    I’m confused.

    I suppose that happens when your scientists lie to you about the world . . .

  7. Ron Britton Says:

    Syldoran:

    how could nobody else tell that that’s not a picture of Earth?

    It’s exactly what they think the Earth looks like. They’re convinced that almost everybody in the world is going to burn in hell. That picture is what it would look like.

  8. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I think Robert’s point is that Dr. Harrub used the image to show what Earth looked like “in the beginning”, when it was all water.

    Re: everyone burning in hell – someone posted this link on an ex-christian site. It’s a video of John Spong asserting that hell is meant to be understood metaphorically.

    I also came upon this earlier today. Read the comments, then tell me these people shouldn’t be under lock and key.