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Message 631 of 631 (828748)
02-23-2018 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 628 by Coyote
02-22-2018 12:26 PM

Re: Why do we have so few creationists
Lies are lies. Period.

Regardless of whether the person telling the lie does so knowingly or believes that lie to be true, it is still a lie and they are still spreading a lie.

The consequences of telling and spreading a lie is the same whether the person telling and spreading that lie knows it to be a lie or thinks that it's true. The consequences are exactly the same.

The only difference is one of moral judgement, since a person has to know that she is telling a lie in order to be a liar. But that still does not make that lie not a lie. A lie is still a lie and still has the same consequences.

BTW, creationists have indeed been caught deliberately lying. On a Yahoo Groups forum (ruined when the moderators dropped out leaving only one moderator, a creationist, who immediately turned it into his own private dictatorship), a creationist tried to use the sea sodium claim, so I corrected him and he fully admitted that that claim was false. Then a few weeks later there he was using that exact same claim on a new-comer, that exact same claim that he knew was false and had admitted was false. When I reminded him of that, he ran away.

Similarly, in their two-models class when Duane Gish was the guest speaker, Thwaites and Awbrey refuted Gish's bombadier beetle claim by mixing those two chemicals together and, lo and behold, they did not explode spontaneously as Gish had claimed. Gish acknowledged that his claim was wrong, but then he continued to use that same false claim with the full knowledge that it was false; ie, he was deliberately lying. Since then the ICR has reworded that claim slightly.

In 1981 on a PBS-TV program, Duane Gish made up lie on the air. In response to Dr. Doolittle's story of comparing human proteins with chimpanzee proteins and trying to find a protein that was different (they did finally find one, but not before rumors had started that the differences between humans and chimps were purely cultural{grin}), Gish claimed to have evidence of a protein that shows humans and bullfrogs to be more closely related. When asked about it, Gish insisted that it did exist and that he had documentation of it. When asked for that documentation, Gish insisted that that documentation existed and that he would send a copy of it. Of course, he never delivered on that promise. Then he found excuses to absolve himself of the responsibility to support his obviously false claim. It turned out that his source was a joke he had once overheard (seriously!). This was a case of Gish deliberately lying. For more information including actual quotes, read my page, THE BULLFROG AFFAIR.

On that same page is the story of Walter Brown's rattlesnake protein claim, which is another deliberate lie. He had to word it very precisely in order to claim it to be technically true. Then when he was observed telling a group that false claim, the observer, Robert Kenney, started to explain the truth about the claim, whereupon Brown immediately changed the subject. Walter Brown knew full well that he was lying.

Leading up to that, Robert Kenney had gone to the ICR in order to ask Gish for the documentation of his false protein comparison claims. Noticing a copy of the article which refuted those claims, Gish referred him to former biologist Gary Parker, whom Kenney could never find, not even at his scheduled office hours.
The ICR promised to send Kenney that documentation, which of course never happened. Deliberate covering up of their deliberate lies.

In his false moondust claim, Henry Morris falsely claimed that his source was a "1976" NASA document, when in reality his source was another creationist, Harold Slusher, who misquoted that 1965 NASA document as well as misrepresenting its publication date -- that "1976" date was very important to Morris because he was trying to refute the observation that creationists keep using out-of-date sources. When I wrote to Morris with questions, Gish responded. When I found the NASA document in the university library and learned the truth, I wrote to Gish with a xerox copy of the document's cover. Gish insisted on the "1976" date. I wrote back with the same xerox copies and Gish never replied again. Two astronomers went through the same evolution only with Henry Morris and they got the same bum's rush. A year or two later, I went to a local Gish presentation after which I asked him about that claim. He feigned complete ignorance of it, but took down my name and address to send me the information I requested. Suddenly my subscription to the ICR newsletter, Acts & Facts, was cancelled -- even Dr. Eugenie Scott was shocked that Gish would sink so low as to do that. Again, deliberate lies and cover-ups of their lies. See my page, MOON DUST.

So then even though many creationists actually do believe their lies, many creationists are undeniably lying deliberately. I have written (and need to rewrite) an attempt to analyze what's happening.

Most creationists don't know any better and simply accept what they're told; these same creationists normally don't get out and present these claims to non-believers, so their false beliefs are never exposed to the truth and challenged. When they do venture out to proselytize or to do battle with the Enemy, they quickly learn which claims to avoid using because they are proven to be false -- whether or not they allow themselves to admit to themselves that their claims are false, they do nonetheless learn to cover up their claims' weaknesses. The more active a creationist becomes, the more they experience contact with non-believers and the more they are exposed to the truth and the more their claims are challenged and are exposed as lies. So the primary factor is how active a creationist is, which will determine how much he is exposed to the weakness of his claims, etc.

The next question is how a creationist reacts and responds to learning that his claims (and hence his beliefs) are false. My opinion is that they cannot help but respond with increasing levels of dishonesty, starting with self-deception and delusion which can escalate to outright deliberate lies and deception.

One of the reasons why we have so few creationists is that they cannot withstand exposure to the truth about their claims. Most creationists cannot maintain the necessary levels of dishonesty while also deceiving themselves into believing that they are not being dishonest. As a result, the only creationists who stick around end up being the most extreme cases.

I have met honest creationists before. Merle was a creationist on CompuServe who, unlike all the other creationists there, would make honest attempts at discussion and would actually research his responses. After about a year, he had switched to the evolution side. Honest creationists simply do not last long. Only the dishonest ones have any lasting power.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 628 by Coyote, posted 02-22-2018 12:26 PM Coyote has acknowledged this reply

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