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Author Topic:   Do creationists actually understand their own arguments?
Percy
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Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


(3)
Message 3 of 136 (631890)
09-04-2011 7:39 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
09-03-2011 11:32 PM


It seems pertinent, so here's the text of my Message 329 in the The problems of big bang theory. What are they? thread.
--Percy

Hi BFT,
You keep trying to engage with IAJ, so I want to finally say a few words about this.
The creation/evolution controversy has a long record of attracting loons. IamJoseph is just one of many here. Dawn Bertot, Robert Byers, Bolder-dash and John 10:10 are others who have posted recently.
Before Dover the presence of the certifiables was balanced by others who could articulate a position and argue it rationally, but after Dover their numbers gradually dwindled until today there are almost none here. ID disgraced itself at Dover and is no longer effectively promoting itself, and creationism has decided to keep a very low profile, refraining from any overt actions that might bring it into court but working hard to influence school boards and individual teachers. The result of the cessation of overt efforts to convince the public of their views is that the creationists who come here are either woefully unprepared, or they're seriously disconnected from reality, or they speak English so poorly they understand little that is said (by themselves or anyone else), or all of these and more.
There seems something about holding beliefs contrary to reality that forces disassociation. Just look at TrueCreation, an early and highly active YEC participant in EvC Forum's early days who performed his own intense and highly detailed research. He now says he is no longer YEC, but he can't answer a direct question and has become highly circumspect in all his replies, almost like he's waging an internal battle to keep himself from thinking about certain things.
What originally drew me in to the creationism/evolution controversy was creationism's inability to articulate a rational position while insisting it deserved inclusion in public school science programs. It was the legal battles that first garnered my attention. In the old days many creationists who came to sites like this could muster very strong arguments for their position that required careful attention, but today we get a lot of creationists who seem crazy right from their first post.
I've taken the long way around to say something simple: some of the creationists here who seem crazy really *are* crazy, at least in this discussion board context. Probably in real life they're not really crazy, but religious devotion and sincerity combined with a complete ignorance of science seems to produce the appearance of complete irrationality. Long experience has taught me, and many others here, that's there no point in arguing with a crazy person, and besides, onlookers often can't tell the difference.
There's one key sign, not always exhibited but still helpful, that tells you when it's time to disengage. When you find yourself explaining the interpretation of simple English, head for the hills.
I fully understand the impulses pressing you to engage with IAJ and straighten out his confusion, which seems simple and straightforward and easy to resolve. It appears to you that the presentation of a few simple facts and the walking through of a few logical inductions should straighten everything out. But it doesn't work that way with creationists. When they exhibit a few simple and fundamental errors it isn't because they've just accidentally picked up a few incorrect facts that can be easily corrected, but because they have a whole pathology that prevents them from ever connecting evidence to any ideas contrary to their central beliefs.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Taz, posted 09-03-2011 11:32 PM Taz has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-04-2011 8:57 PM Percy has replied
 Message 130 by Phat, posted 11-07-2011 11:28 AM Percy has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 8 of 136 (631921)
09-04-2011 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Wollysaurus
09-04-2011 1:30 PM


Re: A Newbie Observation
Message 1 isn't about all creationists. It's about the creationists here at EvC Forum. We would love it if creationists who can both express themselves in English and construct rational arguments would come here more often. We used to have a lot of them, but no more.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Wollysaurus, posted 09-04-2011 1:30 PM Wollysaurus has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Taz, posted 09-04-2011 7:29 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


(3)
Message 14 of 136 (631955)
09-04-2011 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Dawn Bertot
09-04-2011 8:57 PM


Hi Dawn,
I don't think I know how to include a creationist in this discussion. We're not trying to be exclusive, but this thread is evolutionists talking about our shared perceptions of creationists, and since you don't share those perceptions I don't know how you could participate.
But if there is a way you could join the discussion, I dont think uncivil behavior is it.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-04-2011 8:57 PM Dawn Bertot has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


(5)
Message 26 of 136 (631997)
09-05-2011 5:53 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Wollysaurus
09-04-2011 9:48 PM


It is my position that not only can these creationists not make their views comprehensible for evolutionists, they can't do it for anyone, even each other. I would like to see a thread where IamJoseph, Dawn Bertot, Robert Byers, John 10:10, Marc9000, Bolder-dash and others try to explain their positions to each other, followed by assessments of how successful each has been.
I'm not sure how to define the criteria for success. A response of, "Yeah, I get what you're saying," would be insufficient. Perhaps the position would have to be described back to it's originator (not using the exact same words - no parroting), who would have to agree that it is correct. Even better would be if evolutionists could quiz creationists on the positions of other creationists to see if the information had been successfully communicated.
For example, there's Dawn Bertot's Does ID follow the scientific method? thread which posited that there is the Scientific Method (SM), Intelligent Design (ID), and the Intelligent Design Method (IDM). I'd love to see Dawn use an example of ID research to explain to IamJoseph how SM and IDM are the same. Or switching topics, successfully explain his position on order and law to any creationist. Or for IamJoseph to explain how "evolution was first recorded in Genesis." (Message 342). Or for Robert Byers to explain how there are no divisions like mammals and reptiles, only minor differences (Message 434).
Remember guys, your job wouldn't be to successfully explain your positions to us evolutionists, but to fellow creationists. Evolutionists would only assess whether a position had been successfully communicated or not. Convincing anyone, whether evolutionist or creationist, that the view is correct is not part of the criteria. It is sufficient for a creationist to have successfully made himself understood by another creationist.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Wollysaurus, posted 09-04-2011 9:48 PM Wollysaurus has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Chuck77, posted 09-05-2011 6:15 AM Percy has replied
 Message 35 by Taz, posted 09-05-2011 2:06 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 36 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-05-2011 7:58 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
(1)
Message 29 of 136 (632007)
09-05-2011 7:30 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Buzsaw
09-05-2011 12:10 AM


Re: Let Creationists Be Creationists
Buzsaw writes:
The thread went many pages. It wasn't long after that that I received my 2nd permanent banning., the first being not long after my win in the EvC's first debate with Jar on Biblical creationism & the LoTs.
The thread is here:
And the post mortem thread is here:
Who judged you the winner?
Not that this is on-topic, of course, as AdminPD noted. This thread is about whether creationists understand what they're saying, not about whether they make things up.
But I do think this portion is on-topic, because it is an example of creationist lack of understanding:
Buzsaw writes:
Let them debate CREATIONISM. Don't expect a Biblical creationist to think or debate the secularist science methodology. What sense does that make?
If creationists concede up front that "creation science" is not science then there would be no point in debating them. This debate only exists because of creationist insistence that creation science is every bit as scientific as the science taught in public school science classrooms, the science taught at non-religious universities, and the science pursued in research laboratories around the world. Once creationists accept that "creation science" is not science in the way the rest of the world understands it then the debate is over.
I think you, and Chuck77, don't understand the implications of your own arguments.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Buzsaw, posted 09-05-2011 12:10 AM Buzsaw has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Buzsaw, posted 09-05-2011 9:38 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 30 of 136 (632009)
09-05-2011 7:58 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Chuck77
09-05-2011 6:15 AM


Chuck77 writes:
It could maybe put the Creationists on the same page on more detailed issues. How would you go about implimenting this?
I think it would be great if one or more creationists would volunteer to explain one of their positions that they've been unable to communicate successfully to evolutionists to other creationists. We'd set them up with their own The Great Debate thread, and we could have a parallel thread in Coffee House or Creation/Evolution Miscellany for comments/discussion for the rest of the members.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Chuck77, posted 09-05-2011 6:15 AM Chuck77 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Chuck77, posted 09-08-2011 1:03 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 49 of 136 (632336)
09-07-2011 7:06 AM


An Example of Creatonist Writing
Robert Byers (a native speaker of English? French, maybe?) just posted a couple messages in the Meyer's Hopeless Monster thread. Since they're not long I include them here in their entirety:
Robert Byers in Message 204 writes:
The evidence is what is here.
The universe.
thats evidence it came into being by mechanisms and not out of nowhere.
Then one examines the evidence of nature.
Then conclusions.
ID or YEC do better or as well on the different subjects dealing with origins as the old school of evolutionism etc.
Its spot on to first discredit the reigning error and then make your case.
ID and YEC have done so well, despite being denied audiences by a hostile establishment, that they are dominating the conversation about origins as shown by evolutionism need to desperately react.
Robert Byers in Message 206 writes:
Evolutionists complaint would be that creationists ARE invoking scripture.
I don't except as basic presumptions.
I deal with particular subjects or general themes without much verses because i attack on the evidence and the reasoning and investigation capability.
I deal a great deal with mechanisms in nature and I guess not much with scripture.
however scripture is the boundary and if so it would make a better product for the one who obeys it.
Creationism starts with a witness but evolution etc is all about the quality and quantity of evidence from nature.
Thats the problem with modern evolutionism.
Its coming under great and aggressive forensics.
I do think I understand what Robert is saying, but he's making some relatively simple points. The problem is that this writing style becomes unintelligible as soon as the subject matter moves beyond the simple, at which point it becomes doubtful whether anyone, including the author, understands what was said.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Fix message link.

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 64 of 136 (632487)
09-08-2011 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Larni
09-08-2011 8:44 AM


Re: Irony or bollocks?
I think Dawn is making a reference to a character I've never heard of ("Joey") on a show I've never seen ("Fullhouse", by which I think he means, "Full House", and I've never seen that either). He referred to Joey and the show and the phrase "You say this guy's name was Bill?" a couple days ago in Message 11 in the Logical Question: | willing | not[willing] |able | not[able] | thread. Dawn is making the point that some people have inadequate comprehension skills and so are unable to identify the key points, in this case, Dr Adequate in attempting to understand Buzsaw.
What I'd like to see is Dawn Bertot interpreting Buzsaw for us.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Larni, posted 09-08-2011 8:44 AM Larni has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Coragyps, posted 09-08-2011 10:42 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 69 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-08-2011 11:49 PM Percy has replied
 Message 70 by Buzsaw, posted 09-09-2011 1:35 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 71 of 136 (632646)
09-09-2011 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Dawn Bertot
09-08-2011 11:39 PM


Re: Irony or bollocks?
Dawn Bertot writes:
I was not foking pun at my friend Buz, I was simply agreeing with DA that I did not understand his statement. It does not mean that Buzz's statement does not make sense, only that i did not understand the verbage
The situation that I think we evolutionists find most puzzling is when a creationist makes an argument that none of us can make sense of and that reads to us like nonsense, but from creationists it receives attaboys (e.g., "Keep up the good fight!") or "like" votes or complaints in other threads about treating the creationist unfairly. When this happens we'd really like to see some evidence that these other creationists really understood what that creationist said, because we really *are* convinced that creationist was talking nonsense.
Buz just offered up another example in Message 70:
Buzsaw in Message 70 writes:
I'm trying to correlate the first paragraph of your message. Would you please explain it to me so as to correlate the sentences in it?
Correlate? CORRELATE???
My guess is that Buzsaw didn't understand something about my first paragraph, and he's asking me to clarify, but he's not specific, and after reading that paragraph over several times I'm unable to identify a place where I was unclear or ambiguous. I might have been wrong in my conclusions, but I think I was very clear.
In the Opening Post of this thread Taz asks if anyone else is having as much trouble understanding what some creationists are saying as he does, and I responded by claiming that these creationists are as unintelligible to each other as they are to us. The evidence we've seen so far in this thread would seem to support this. No creationist has offered to explain Robert Byers' word salad that I posted in Message 49, and now you say you don't understand Buzsaw, either.
We evolutionists are often told we're just too dumb or too biased or too immersed in our world view to understand what you or IamJoseph or Buzsaw or Robert Byers or John 10:10 or Marc9000 (etc., etc. and so forth) are saying, but the evidence of this thread so far indicates that you creationists have just as much trouble understanding each other as we do.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-08-2011 11:39 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-09-2011 9:00 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 79 by Buzsaw, posted 09-09-2011 7:38 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 72 of 136 (632647)
09-09-2011 8:38 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by Dawn Bertot
09-08-2011 11:49 PM


Re: Irony or bollocks?
Dawn Bertot writes:
I would be more than happy to do this if you are serious and would like to present a statement or comment made by Buzz
Is your intimation that Buzz is incomprehensible?
Oftentimes Buz is incomprehensible, and you just indicated in Message 67 that you do not understand him either ("I did not understand his statement."). Since we all agree his statement isn't open to ready interpretation there's no point in asking you to interpret it.
What would be interesting would be if a creationist said, "Why are you evolutionists jumping all over Buz? What he said was perfectly comprehensible." This is the creationist we would like to interpret Buz for us, mainly because we believe he's just blowing smoke and has as little a clue of what Buz is trying to say as we do.
I should add that aside from Buz's weak grasp of terminology when he's talking about science, his command of English is excellent, and he is able to make perfectly understandable but completely nonsensical statements in perfect English. This is why some people have commented that they'd prefer to debate Buz because whatever he says, at least his grammar (if not his spelling, "imperical" being his most persistent example) produces easily recognizable English sentences.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-08-2011 11:49 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-09-2011 9:04 AM Percy has replied
 Message 96 by Buzsaw, posted 09-17-2011 4:15 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 78 of 136 (632671)
09-09-2011 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by Dawn Bertot
09-09-2011 9:04 AM


Re: Irony or bollocks?
Dawn Bertot writes:
Do you think it would help to ask (axe)him to clarify and simplifiy. It should become very clear then if what he is saying is valid from any perspective
Some of the longest threads in EvC Forum history began this way.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-09-2011 9:04 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-10-2011 7:18 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22705
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 81 of 136 (632806)
09-10-2011 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Dawn Bertot
09-10-2011 7:18 AM


Re: Irony or bollocks?
To you and Larni, I find it hard to believe after such a period of time you still cannot understnad his points
The primary problem in this case is not meaningless word salads (though he has a knack for that, too). As has been said a couple times upthread, Buz produces high quality writing, and I did not include Buzsaw in my list of most incomprehensible creationists. I guess it would be more accurate so say that it's not so much a problem understanding Buz as much as it's Buz understanding everyone else, e.g., Message 79 where he doesn't understand the "Joey" explanation, and evidently couldn't or wouldn't follow the link to Message 11 in the Logical Question: | willing | not[willing] |able | not[able] | thread.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Dawn Bertot, posted 09-10-2011 7:18 AM Dawn Bertot has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by hooah212002, posted 09-10-2011 3:37 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 83 by DrJones*, posted 09-10-2011 3:41 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
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