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Author Topic:   AiG's Strategy: Indoctrinate and Isolate
Taq
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Posts: 7421
Joined: 03-06-2009
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(2)
Message 1 of 79 (663581)
05-24-2012 2:05 PM


Libby Anne recently wrote a "Why I am an atheist" essay over at Pharyngula. In it, she discusses how she argued against evolution but finally conceded that the evidence was on the side of evolution:

quote:
And then I went to college, where my young earth creationist views were challenged. I responded by fighting back. I argued with both students and professors, sure that I had some sort of truth they were missing. I brought out every argument I had, and went back to my creationist resources for more. As time went by, though, I found my arguments effectively refuted by arguments and information I had never been exposed to before. To my utter shock, it seemed that the evidence actually fell on the side of evolution and against young earth creationism. After nearly a year of fighting, I conceded defeat.

What happened next is fascinating, at least to me. Two creationists felt the need to comment: Dr. Georgia Purdom and Ken Ham from AiG. When I read their responses my jaw just hit the floor. They just don't get it, as Libby Anne was quick to point out. Quite frankly, they would have been better served not saying anything at all. In an attempt to explain why Libby Anne left the faith they have given away the farm, IMHO. Here are just a few excerpts from Dr. Purdom and Mr. Ham:

quote:
Libby seems to have things backwards. It’s not that “we know the Bible is true because young earth creationism is true,” but rather because the Bible is true we can believe what God said in Genesis about the time frame in which He created. Although she read AiG resources, attended AiG conferences, and came to the Creation Museum, I have to wonder how much she really understood what she was reading and hearing. The very idea of God creating in six literal days, 6,000 years ago, and the global flood comes from Scripture (and of course the scientific evidence confirms it)!--Georgia Purdom

So the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true, and Libby should have remembered that. Oh, and the evidence backs it up. Why not just say that the Earth is young because that is what the evidence says? I think Dr. Purdom is revealing more than she may want to with this statement.

Also, if you read Libby's response it is more than apparent that she did know her stuff, perhaps even better that Dr. Purdom does. It's not that Libby did not understand the arguments, it's that the arguments are WRONG. Creationists just can't understand that.

quote:
As we train our children, we need to do much more than just expose them to resources like those produced by AiG; we need to make sure they understand them correctly and are taught to be able to answer questions logically. . .

We can undermine a lot of what we have done if we send our children to the wrong institution (e.g., a compromising Christian college or even a theologically conservative one that does not teach them why they believe what they do—and how to logically defend the Christian faith and so on).

--Ken Ham


Both Dr. Purdom and Ken Ham seem to agree on this point. The solution for creationism failing in the face of criticism is MORE INDOCTRINATION. As Libby Anne puts it:

quote:
And the solution Ken Ham and Dr. Purdom make? Double down. That’s pretty much it. Teach the same things, just more. Oh, and isolate yourself and your children from other points of view – oh the dangers of the state college or “compromised” Christian college!

Creationists, is this really the new strategy? When it becomes apparent that creationist arguments can not stand up to criticism is it really the right move to protect creationism from any type of criticism? Is this why creationists are fighting so hard to get evolution out of the classroom?

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3844
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 2 of 79 (663582)
05-24-2012 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taq
05-24-2012 2:05 PM


It is news, but not a debate topic
It is an interesting piece of news, but...

All I see coming out of making this an open topic, is a massive pile of snark.

Even if a real debate managed to come out of this, it would have no focus. Anything having to do with creationism would be "on-topic".

Other admins may think otherwise, but I'm not going to promote this one.

Adminnemooseus

ps: Regardless, a better topic title would be nice. Something like "Answers in Genesis responds to a "Why I am an atheist" message".


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Taq
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Posts: 7421
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 3 of 79 (663583)
05-25-2012 12:12 PM


I changed the title and have attempted to make the post more conducive to discussion. If it is still not up to snuff that's fine, just let me know and I will reformat for the Links and Info forum.
  
Adminnemooseus
Director
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Message 4 of 79 (663585)
05-25-2012 2:55 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the AiG's Strategy: Indoctrinate and Isolate thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
nwr
Member
Posts: 5579
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 5 of 79 (663615)
05-25-2012 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taq
05-24-2012 2:05 PM


I can never make up my mind on whether Ken Ham is seriously deluded, or whether he is a con-man, running a huge scam operation.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

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subbie
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Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 6 of 79 (663621)
05-25-2012 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by nwr
05-25-2012 4:01 PM


I can never make up my mind on whether Ken Ham is seriously deluded, or whether he is a con-man, running a huge scam operation.

A common dilemma that people studying creationists have grappled with for at least 30 years. As it was presented to me, the question is are they knaves for fools?

Given the number of conversion stories that I'm sure we've all heard, obviously some of them genuinely believe. However, that's certainly not to say that none of them are hucksters.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

Howling about evidence is a conversation stopper, and it never stops to think if the claim could possibly be true -- foreveryoung


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jar
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Posts: 30161
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 7 of 79 (663622)
05-25-2012 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by nwr
05-25-2012 4:01 PM


Is there any likelihood that something like the 'Creation Museum' could be built in Australia?

Didn't Willie Sutton say something about "That's where the money is"?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
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Posts: 10481
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.9


(1)
Message 8 of 79 (663624)
05-25-2012 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taq
05-24-2012 2:05 PM


So the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true, and Libby should have remembered that. Oh, and the evidence backs it up. Why not just say that the Earth is young because that is what the evidence says? I think Dr. Purdom is revealing more than she may want to with this statement.

I read the Drs. position a bit differently.

I read him as saying the following:

That the Bible is true is a given. So what the Bible says is right. The evidence, when interpreted correctly also supports the Bible, but it is possible to become confused.

The process for getting unconfused, according to Ham and Purdom, is to read the Bible, and then, only for those who understand science at all, to get a Creation Scientist to explain what the science really says. Other, secular sources may be wrong or lying.

Perhaps the above seems little different from your take. But it does not require that the Dr. Dino and Dr. Purdom are lying or trying to isolate. They are trying to innoculate, but they honestly do see their vision of the Bible as the absolute truth.

I really don't see anything new about the strategy.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5579
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 9 of 79 (663629)
05-25-2012 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by jar
05-25-2012 4:45 PM


jar writes:
Is there any likelihood that something like the 'Creation Museum' could be built in Australia?

I doubt it.

Sure, it could be built with enough private money. But nobody would do that, because they would not have enough customers for it to pay off.

I'm told that Queensland, the part of Australia that Ken Ham comes from, is the Australian Bible Belt. It is also the one part of Australia where there once was slavery. That makes one wonder.


Jesus was a liberal hippie

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Taq
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Posts: 7421
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.3


(2)
Message 10 of 79 (663630)
05-25-2012 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by NoNukes
05-25-2012 4:56 PM


I read him as saying the following:

That the Bible is true is a given. So what the Bible says is right. The evidence, when interpreted correctly also supports the Bible, but it is possible to become confused.

Then why even look at the evidence? Why does AiG spend so much time discussing the evidence? If you already believe that you are right and can not be wrong, then why do you need evidence? From Libby's blog:

quote:
In other words, if evidence didn’t matter, shouldn’t Answers in Genesis just stick to “the Bible says it, so you should just believe it”? But that’s not what they do. Instead they wave around evidence that supposedly disproves evolution and speak of creationism as though it confirms the Bible.

AiG really does point to evidence as justification for a belief in creationism. They are trying to have their cake and eat it too, at least in my view.

Perhaps the above seems little different from your take. But it does not require that the Dr. Dino and Dr. Purdom are lying or trying to isolate. They are trying to innoculate, but they honestly do see their vision of the Bible as the absolute truth.

I am going to have to disagree on that one. Dr. Purdom included a link to this book. In it, they tell parents which christian schools teach evolution and which do not. Clearly, this is a guide of where to send your kids so their beliefs won't be challenged. Also, Ken Ham says the following:

quote:
We can undermine a lot of what we have done if we send our children to the wrong institution (e.g., a compromising Christian college or even a theologically conservative one that does not teach them why they believe what they do—and how to logically defend the Christian faith and so on).

Shouldn't christian students going to college already know why they believe as they do? The undermining that Ken Ham is talking about is exposing kids to the evidence, which will happen in secular and "compromised" christian schools.

Their cries that Libby did not "understand" creationism are hollow. Deep down, the real mistake that Libby made was exposing herself to an environment that challenged her beliefs.

I really don't see anything new about the strategy.

I agree. It is more of the same. They are "doubling down" as Libby put it. However, I am seeing a new move towards isolation. AiG may be pitching more towards the home school crowd than toward the general evangelistic population.

What I find morbidly fascinating is the futility of their strategy. It's as if they are trying to break through a 5 foot thick wall of concrete by running full blast into it. When they come to, their new strategy is to try and run even faster. Never does it dawn on them that it just isn't working. When faced with someone who was clearly let down by their arguments their only response is to make those same arguments, but with extra feeling this time.

Frankly, the only way they can "win" is to never play. That seems to be their strategy. If creationism is never challenged then people will go on believing it. That is why they are pushing their followers towards christian colleges that they approve of, and I would assume they would be pushing them away from careers in the sciences.


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5579
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 11 of 79 (663631)
05-25-2012 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by subbie
05-25-2012 4:40 PM


subbie writes:
As it was presented to me, the question is are they knaves for fools?

I didn't mean to imply that those two are mutually exclusive.

subbie writes:
Given the number of conversion stories that I'm sure we've all heard, obviously some of them genuinely believe. However, that's certainly not to say that none of them are hucksters.

Yes, I concur with that general view. However, there is something very huckster-like in Ken Ham's style.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

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Taq
Member
Posts: 7421
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 12 of 79 (663632)
05-25-2012 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by jar
05-25-2012 4:45 PM


Is there any likelihood that something like the 'Creation Museum' could be built in Australia?
Didn't Willie Sutton say something about "That's where the money is"?

I really don't see anything wrong with that. It was apparent from the start that the museum was not going to survive on grants or donations, so they needed money from admissions. To do that you need to build it where your target audience is.


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jar
Member
Posts: 30161
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 13 of 79 (663634)
05-25-2012 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Taq
05-25-2012 5:45 PM


As Willie Sutton knew. You need to go where the money is and there is gold in them thar Creationists.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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subbie
Member
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


(2)
Message 14 of 79 (663635)
05-25-2012 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by nwr
05-25-2012 5:45 PM


I didn't mean to imply that those two are mutually exclusive.

Nor did I. And, upon reflection, I find nothing inconsistent with the idea that they genuinely believe their nonsense and, at the same time, are intending to bilk other believers.

Yes, I concur with that general view. However, there is something very huckster-like in Ken Ham's style.

You know, I always got the same impression from Duane Gish.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

Howling about evidence is a conversation stopper, and it never stops to think if the claim could possibly be true -- foreveryoung


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 Message 11 by nwr, posted 05-25-2012 5:45 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 1856 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


(1)
Message 15 of 79 (663648)
05-25-2012 8:28 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by subbie
05-25-2012 6:00 PM


Nor did I. And, upon reflection, I find nothing inconsistent with the idea that they genuinely believe their nonsense and, at the same time, are intending to bilk other believers.

hey when 99% of creationists lie, knowing lying is wrong and they have been told they are lying, i wouldn't put it past them to also steal from each other.

You know, I always got the same impression from Duane Gish.

they all seem to be like that, it must come with the fake ph,d's they get.
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