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Author Topic:   Here's another one for you creationists to think about

Message 1 of 6 (15118)
08-09-2002 10:32 PM

Here's some more food to chew on. If it is redundant, well then, I apologize for that. Some questions cannot be emphasized enough.
Again the things that were set forth in the previous new topic, still applies to this one. Enjoy.
Have a nice day.

Questions directed to scientific creationists, young-earth creationists and others in opposition to conventional science:


This is a collection of questions which many people who support conventional science wonder about when confronted with those who oppose conventional science in the name of creationism. The questions are grouped in these categories: what is creationism; what is conventional science; how does creationism explain the evidence for conventional science; theological questions. Within each category there are numbered specific questions, surrounded by introductory or other explanatory material. These questions are repeated at the end of each category (sometimes paraphrased) for emphasis.

We begin with the more important questions, and answers to them are greatly desired in order to promote communication. Later questions may be considered to be about details.

A few comments about some terminology

The expression "conventional science" is used here as it is a neutral expression, and many people object to misunderstandings surrounding such expressions as "evolutionism" or "theory of evolution".

The other side is referred to as "creationist" as that appears to be the self-description of those opposed to conventional science in the ways of interest here. It is not intended to include all people who believe in creation.

What is creationism?

Many people find that the most important part of a theory is a clear description of what the theory says and does not say.

(1) Give a comprehensive statement of creationism. (There are questions below about conventional science, so please restrict your discussion here to the positive aspects of creationism.) This is the one question of over-reaching importance, so much so that you might consider many of the following questions merely asking for certain details of what makes up a comprehensive statement of creationism. It should be noted that many people prefer quantitative details where appropriate.

It is often a great help to communication if each party understands what the other means by certain critical expressions.

(2) Define technical terms and other words or expressions that are likely to be misunderstood.

(3) Include the evidence for creationism (please remember that merely finding problems with conventional science does not count as support for creationism, as there may be other theories which differ from both conventional science and creationism). A good example of evidence for creationism would be some observation which was predicted by it. That is much better support than merely giving an explanation for observations which were known before it was formulated. Far less convincing is evidence which has an alternative explanation.

In order to decide between conflicting theories, it is important that not only must the conflicting theories be well described, and that the evidence supporting the conflicting theories be proposed, but also that there be established some rules for deciding between the theories and evaluating the evidence.

(4) Can you suggest principles for so deciding and evaluating?

There are many alternatives to creationism. Some of the alternatives are: theistic evolution and old-earth creationism.

(5) Distinguish your theory of creationism from some of these alternatives and give some reasons for it rather than the others.

Many people find a theory which is open to change in the face of new evidence much more satisfying than one which is inflexible.

(6) Describe features of creationism which are subject to modification. Another way of phrasing it is: is there any kind of observation which, if it were seen, would change creationism? Is it open to change, and if so, what criteria are there for accepting change?

Exposition of creationism.
Definitions of terms.
Evidence for creationism.
Rules of evidence.
Distinguishing characteristics of creationism.
Evidence which modifies creationism.
How do creationists describe conventional science?

It is helpful in any discussion that both sides understand what the other is talking about. In answering the questions above, you have helped us in understanding your theory. Often communication is helped if each participant explains what he thinks the other person is saying. It should also help those who support conventional science to clarify their exposition. These questions are in a sense parallel to the questions asked before about creationism.

(7) Explain what you think some of the terms used in conventional science mean. Here are some which seem to lead to misunderstanding:

natural selection
(8) It would also be helpful if you could give a brief description of your understanding of conventional science. Please do not state here what your objections are to conventional science - that can be talked about later. Just say what conventional science says.
(9) It might be helpful if you explain why you think that conventional science came to its present position, and why people hold to conventional science. (And once again, please restrict this to a description, as debate can come later.)

Many people who support conventional science feel that those who oppose it do so because of unwelcome consequences.

(10) What are the consequences of accepting conventional science?

What are the meanings of the terms used by conventional science?
What is does conventional science say?
What is the evidence for conventional science?
What are the consequences of accepting conventional science?
How does creationism explain the evidence for conventional science?

In answering the earlier questions, you have described your theory and given us evidence for it. Now we ask for your opinions on the evidence for conventional science.

Many people hold to conventional science because they believe that it has been developed over centuries, driven by discoveries. They wonder how any person could explain the evidence any other way. Here is a very brief list of questions about evidence which many people find convincing.

(11) Why is there the coherence among many different dating methods pointing to an old earth and life on earth for a long time - for example: radioactivity, tree rings, ice cores, corals, supernovas - from astronomy, biology, physics, geology, chemistry and archeology? These methods are based on quite distinct fields of inquiry and are quite diverse, yet manage to arrive at quite similar dates. (This is not answered by saying that there is no proof of uniformity of radioactive decay. The question is why all these different methods give the same answers.)

(12) Explain the distribution, seemingly chronological, of plant and animal fossils. For example, the limited distribution of fossils of flowering plants (which are restricted to the higher levels of the fossil record). Here we are considering the distribution which conventional science explains as reflecting differences in time - the various levels of rock.

(13) In the contemporary world, different animals and plants live in different places. Why is there the present distribution of animals and plants in the world? For example, how is it that marsupials are restricted to Australia and nearby islands and the Americas, monotremes to Australia and nearby islands, and few placental mammals are native to Australia? Or why are tomatoes and potatoes native to the Americas only? (This is not a question merely of how they could have arrived there, it is also of why only there.)

(14) There is a large body of information about the different species of animals and plants, systematically organized, which is conventionally represented as reflecting genetic relationships between different species. So, for example, lions are said to be more closely related to tigers than they are to elephants. If different kinds are not genetically related, what is the explanation for the greater and less similarities between different kinds of living things? That is to say, why would special creation produce this complex pattern rather than just resulting in all kinds being equally related to all others?

Coherence of many different dating methods.
Chronological distribution of fossils.
Spatial distribution of living things.
Relationships between living things.
Theological questions

It is the impression of many people who support conventional science that many people who are creationists are so because of religious reasons. This is puzzling to people who consider themselves to be religious, yet accept the findings of conventional science.

For example, some people feel that it is necessary to give naturalistic explanations for the wondrous events described in the Bible. Other people are curious as to why there should be a search for naturalistic explanations for these events, rather than acceptance of these events as signs from God, outside of the normal.

(15) If you feel that the events of the Bible must be explained as the normal operation of natural phenomena, please explain why.

Some people who believe in God find it difficult to accept that God would mislead people by giving evidence for conventional science.

(16) Why is there all the evidence for an earth, and life on earth, more than 100,000 years old, and for the relationships between living things, and why were we given the intelligence to reach those conclusions?

Why should the wondrous events described in sacred writings be given naturalistic explanations?
Why does the plain reading of nature seem to support conventional science?

These questions are intended to clarify the debate about creationism versus conventional science. As mentioned above, many of the questions are intended to explore what creationists think about the issues in a way that allows each side to understand better what is involved. I believe that they are fair questions to ask in achieving that end, but if anyone has objections to the content, tone or presuppositions, comments are certainly welcome.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by TrueCreation, posted 08-10-2002 12:51 AM You have taken no action
 Message 3 by Tranquility Base, posted 08-11-2002 9:59 AM You have taken no action
 Message 4 by Quetzal, posted 08-12-2002 3:31 AM You have taken no action
 Message 5 by nos482, posted 08-29-2002 8:33 AM You have taken no action
 Message 6 by Brad McFall, posted 08-29-2002 12:48 PM You have taken no action

Inactive Member

Message 2 of 6 (15120)
08-10-2002 12:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006
08-09-2002 10:32 PM

Wouldn't you like to give a your reference rather than a seeming project of your own original inquiry?


--Also, it is not all too fun to rebute an entire article which branches into such a diversity of topics. Maybe you could pick your favorite 1-3 or so and we can go from there.


[This message has been edited by TrueCreation, 08-09-2002]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006, posted 08-09-2002 10:32 PM acmhttu01_2006 has taken no action

Tranquility Base
Inactive Member

Message 3 of 6 (15196)
08-11-2002 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006
08-09-2002 10:32 PM

I agree with TC - some of us have day jobs!

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 Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006, posted 08-09-2002 10:32 PM acmhttu01_2006 has taken no action

Member (Idle past 5104 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002

Message 4 of 6 (15251)
08-12-2002 3:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006
08-09-2002 10:32 PM

Anne: This is NOT a good thing. I have to agree completely with our loyal opposition here. In this forum, you're much more likely to receive cogent responses if you pick one or two questions that you feel are the most compelling (or damning, in this case), and post them with your comments as to "why" you feel they are compelling. It's just a different approach than many fora - and a very good one, IMO. [Don't feel bad - I say the same thing to creationists that come in here with massive "refute this!" posts.]

Welcome to EvC Forum. I hope you enjoy your stay.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006, posted 08-09-2002 10:32 PM acmhttu01_2006 has taken no action

Inactive Member

Message 5 of 6 (16231)
08-29-2002 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006
08-09-2002 10:32 PM

I find that whenever I have a discussion with Creationists is that they spend more time trying to refute the science in evolution than in defining the dogma of Creationism.

I also see many Creationists concidering word and logic games as evidence in and of itself without further need for any physical proof. That all they need is faith. They also keep trying to assert that Evolutionists base their findings on faith as well.

[This message has been edited by nos482, 08-29-2002]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006, posted 08-09-2002 10:32 PM acmhttu01_2006 has taken no action

Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 4265 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001

Message 6 of 6 (16248)
08-29-2002 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006
08-09-2002 10:32 PM

Yes, yes by my reckoning there would be opposite materials and two ways they WENT in but that there were two paths is not clear whether the orination of this materially will continue to go in or out so I continue to assert there is in no practical (only philosphical) sense that there is an "opposition" between creation and evolution. With respect to Humans there does seem to be some kind of unworked division at work here but when diversity is considered this is difficult to see and from that common glance talk about.

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 Message 1 by acmhttu01_2006, posted 08-09-2002 10:32 PM acmhttu01_2006 has taken no action

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