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EvC Forum Side Orders Coffee House Creationist Shortage

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Author Topic:   Creationist Shortage
Member (Idle past 1486 days)
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 406 of 415 (669807)
08-03-2012 7:16 AM

Summary: Several reasons for the shortage on this site
There are several reasons that I personally list for the apparent "shortage"
  1. there are just not that many creationists that leave their "confirmation bias" bubble to visit sites like this, but stay in their comfort zones on creationist boards,
  2. many christians just are not so fundamentalist as creationists and do not have problems with age and evolution, and thus do not get into dissonance debate situations (and thus do not appear to be "creationists" here),
  3. some people believe in a different manner of creation than what is interpreted by fundamentalists as being portrayed in the bible,
  4. there just are not that many dedicated Young Earth Creationists - several years ago I figured that there were about an equal number of committed YEC as there are atheists in the US population, using polling data, but there are a lot of middle grounders,
  5. * the Dover trial took the wind out of the sails of much of the ID\Creationist movement and they are regrouping or morphing into a more ID less creationist form ...
I may add more by edit as I think of them.
And I would note that we probably have as many or more "reformed" creationists on this site than we currently have creationists, people who have been through the epiphany and disillusionment, and this may intimidate some new believers.
But the biggest issue is that we are dealing - imhysao - with a major cultural cognitive dissonance issue from the sidelines, waiting for them to come to us.
According to Cognitive Dissonance Theory, this is unlikely to happen, people do not like to leave comfort zones.
see Cognitive Dissonance and Cultural Beliefs for more on this issue.
Edited by RAZD, : * added to list

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Message 407 of 415 (669809)
08-03-2012 7:45 AM

Evolutionists are here to, presumably, expose others to their beliefs and hopefully to convince some to accept those beliefs.
Those who hold other beliefs, or who prefer to follow the Genesis record, continue to ask for observable evidence that evolutionist's beliefs are worth following.
Many evolutionists, and hence their followers, place a great value on abstract methodology which run counter to what is physically observed. Creationists who follow the Biblical record place a great value on physically observed evidence such as fulfilled prophecy, archeological research, human cultural, recorded history, etc. Biblical (I say "Biblical") creationists emphasise, corroborative evidence, whereas evolutionists, most often have nothing capable of corroboration.
Many evolutionists appear unable to accept any challenges to their beliefs. Too many resort to personal attack, demanding evidence, all the while denying evidence cited. If they admit to one cited evidence of the existence of the supernatural realm, it would refute their secularistic mindset.
Others post and then try to defend their beliefs against evidence brought up that contradicts those beliefs. (Biogenesis and the zero singularity, allegidly three and a half billion years ago are prime examples.)
They tend to persist in the face of supportive evidence cited by Biblical creationists. EvC, being an evolutionst board, they rarely ever question their beliefs by debating corroborative evidence.
Another category of evolutionists, of which we have a few prime examples, ignore all evidence that contradicts their beliefs. They post anything that may seem (I say "seem") to support their beliefs. When challenged they resort to evidence too often based on what is not physically observable.
The problem can be said to be one of worldview. One side emphasizes physical evidence while the other emphasizes what has been brain-washed into their minds throughout their schooling.
Edited by Buzsaw, : Tidy up message

The Immeasurable Present Eternally Extends the Infinite Past And Infinitely Consumes The Eternal Future.
Someone wisely said something ;ike, "Before fooling with a fool, make sure the fool is a fool."

Member (Idle past 938 days)
Posts: 1517
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009

Message 408 of 415 (669811)
08-03-2012 8:13 AM

I see that there are three main reasons for the shortage of creationists on this forum
1. The issues involved in this discussion are very complicated and it takes a layperson hours and hours of research to understand the details of a particular issue. Scientists have amassed an incredible amount of knowledge about the natural world and it is not just things you can learn by a cursory reading of a magazine article. Creationists seem to take their knowledge from a single (or a minimal number) source, typically from a creationist website, and try to defend their belief based on that. So many of the creationist arguments come from a complete misunderstanding of the actual situation. When the details of the issue are brought to light it can be overwhelming. A layperson who does not have the scientific background and training can feel completely confused and not know how to sort out fact from fiction. They then decide that they just can not figure it out for sure so they better stick with their faith.
2. This forum has become rather hostile towards creationists. I really liked dewise's analogy of plants grown in a hothouse and then being moved into the real world. Some of this hostile environment is unavoidable; when a creationist's beliefs are challenged with the actual evidence - that is hostile. Some of the hostility comes from the evo side needing to refute the same argument over and over and over. So often it seems the creationist will simply repeat the same misunderstanding without ever responding to any responses. It is understandable to become frustrated in those situations. Some comes as a response to the arrogant creationist who comes here thinking that his trite, silly argument is going to bring down the entire ToE. Usually this part of the hostile environment is unavoidable of understandable.
However, another source of hostility is one that I think should be addressed. Some on this site (although a small minority they seem to have a loud voice) appear to have the agenda of ridiculing and degrading any who believe in God or have religious convictions. I personally came to this forum as a creationist, but a skeptical one, because I liked the concept of "understanding through discussion". I would suggest that when we deal with creationists we keep that goal in mind. As I said, some of the hostility is unavoidable, but some of the hostility can be avoided by treating others with respect and applying a bit heavier moderation on those that don't.
3. Probably due to points 1 and 2, creationists have retreated to their own safe houses. In those safe communities, not only are their beliefs not challenged, but they don't need to be bothered with the nit-picky details of reality. When they make a point (that if brought up on a forum like this would be crushed into little tiny pieces) they can ignore the complete misunderstand that it is based on and pat each other on the back and declare what a good point it is. The whole idea that thousands and thousands of scientists working in the field every day have completely missed the truth but these armchair philosophers have it all figured out simply because they have the Bible (which, of course, explains all about the natural world) completely baffles me. It is so much easier to live in ignorance that understanding. Another favorite quote of mine from Francesco Petrarca is that "Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." This is the creationist "hothouse" mentality.

Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for. But until the end of the present exile has come and terminated this our imperfection by which "we know in part," I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca

Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 365 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 409 of 415 (669826)
08-03-2012 10:48 AM

Well, I think we can all see where Bolder-dash went wrong.
Yes, he keeps telling us again and again how the big problem is biased moderation. Which, to use his own analogy, is like the wife seeking a divorce explaining again and again that the problem is that her husband loves her less that he loves his flock of winged pigs. It's either a deliberate lie or a psychotic delusion.
That said, he may be right about why creationists steer clear of this forum. After all, the defining characteristic of creationists is that they suffer from similar delusions. That's what makes them creationists. I suppose it is possible that creationists look at these forums which offer them all possible indulgence, and they see that the evolutionists always get banned or suspended for getting out of line, and they are stupid and crazy enough to think --- OMG, this forum is sooooo hostile to creationists.
They do not apply similar reasoning to traffic lights being red and green, because when it's a matter of life or death they use the same reasoning as the rest of us.
As to Buzsaw --- as usual, he's so crazy that I hardly know what to say. His own personal sense of smugness seems to have made him forget that he's wrong about everything in particular. We have shown him, we have even convinced him, that every particular thing he says is rubbish, yet he still esteems himself one of God's prophets.
As to the shortage of creationists, it's clear that none of the creationists posting on this forum could really know why creationists don't post enough. After all, they do in fact post on this forum while their fellow-creationists do not. They do so in an obsessive, futile, and ridiculous manner, but they still post here. Also, they claim that this forum is moderated so that they will never be allowed to make their case, and they are allowed to shout this as loud as they please. We watch with derision while they shout at the top of their lungs: "I CANNOT SPEAK! I AM BEING SILENCED!"
In the end, it seems to me that by and large creationists don't want to engage in debate. If any creationist reads this and thinks it doesn't apply to him, then get over here. Bring us your best shot. Do what "Bolder-dash" and "marc9000" have so signally failed to do, and bring us an actual argument for creationism.

Posts: 22607
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.7

Message 410 of 415 (669833)
08-03-2012 1:02 PM

Closing Comment
Six years ago this site was 5 years old and very active. Today this site is 11 years old and not very active. So what has changed?
Moderation? I don't think so.
We're infamous among creationists now? Would that we were so well known, so again, I don't think so.
The creation/evolution controversy is receiving a lot less public attention these days? Sounds about right.

Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

Message 411 of 415 (669835)
08-03-2012 2:34 PM

Some thoughts on the shortage
In my personal experience, most creationist posters that come here have a quite narrow focus. They usually have one or a small number of issues that they really want to talk about.
This might be 'law and origins and purpose', 'whale evolution', 'haeckel's fraud', 'biblical prohecy', or 'biblical archaelogy'.
If I'm being kind, then I'd suggest that they start fine. They'll find a relevant thread or make a PNT on their favourite subject. The one that drove them to register. Their argument is almost immediately descended upon by 'evolutionists', keen to take on some fresh debater.
At this point, some simply give up and leave. They might rationalize it by referring to the hostility they received or the terrible moderation. But one way or another, they don't want to stick around.
Some stay, they air some of their other focuses.
But then trouble starts to brew. They begin to repeat themselves. At first its in the appropriate threads. Its as if all those refutations had never been written. When people react angrily to this, the creationists react angrily back - usually but not always, escalating things beyond any acceptable level.
That's their first set of suspensions.
But then they start to bring their favoured line of arguments into threads where it is off topic. They react to criticism of this by ramping up the invective. This is their second set of suspensions.
Usually that's sufficient to invoke voluntary exile from EvC. Some stick around, but after a few rounds of the above, they soon leave.
Some of the longer term creationists have been through this cycle numerous times, but I think breadth of interest helps tremendously. Buz, for example, has his favoured subjects of course, but he dabbles in other topics too.
There may be some creationist lurkers though, I guess. They may be deterred by the perceived treatment of those that take the step of posting in a thread.
There is another effect, that comes into many communities: Earn Your Bullshit. Longstanding members tend to get more leeway as they are community mates, possibly verging on friends. And since most longstanding members are evolutionists... This effects creationists too - people complained about Faith's indefinite suspension, and I think they would if Buz received the same.
I feel sorry for the creationists, but not too much. I've managed to stick mostly within the rules for my duration here, so I know it isn't difficult. But maybe the creationists are being hard done by. It's not difficult to see why people who think something like 'fuck you' (such as in Message 229) is acceptable might get suspended. But maybe there really is a terrible culture at work that I'm blind to. I would like for any creationist that has a genuine problem with a poster, to alert the moderators to it in the thread we have specifically designed for that purpose. We might well disagree that a problem exists, but at least you'll be doing the right thing - and it will be on the record (perfect for citing evidence later). The correct way to handle an abusive or disruptive poster is not to become more abusive and disruptive than they are. That will result in suspensions if its seen.
Finally, I agree with Percy. There is no shortage of creationists, so there should be no shortage of creationist posters. While the perception around here may deter some, the fact is that most creationists aren't really thinking about it enough in their lives to start looking for forums to post in. Without it being in the news, its in the back of their minds. Evolutionists on the other hand, are aware that creationism is still a threat that deserves at least some consistent attention.
A good number of creationists these days seem more concerned with discrediting atheism. So if they're going to sign up somewhere 'hostile' to argue their points, it'll be a skeptics or atheist website/twitter feed.

Posts: 9531
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.9

Message 412 of 415 (669892)
08-05-2012 11:27 AM

Mirror Image
I've just spent a happy hour lurking on the evolutionfaiytales forum where the discussion there is exactly the same as here. They are bemoaning the lack of evolutionists to defend their questions about, for example, the evolution of the eye:
Bot Verification
There's no-one there to take it on because anyone who tries, get's banned.
They dogpile, abuse and ridicule and demand evidence in exactly the same way as we do here. (And we shouldn't underestimate how offputting and difficult that is to anyone wishing to present a case.)
There is one big difference though; their 'moderation' is anything but moderate - it's totally fascist. Ron is extraordinary viscious. Here he is telling a newbie the rules:
Just to insure there is no misunderstanding, ALL THREE of the above rebuttals are misconceptions FOR (i.e. in favor of) evolution. Further, attempting to promulgate macroevolution as anything but hypothetical is not only disingenuous, but a flagrant violation of forum rules as well.
First - There is absolutely NO empirical evidence adduced to provide that man and chimpanzees (or any other ape, gorilla etc...) share commonality of lineage. And it is "intellectually dishonest" to claim there is.
Second - There is absolutely NO empirical evidence adduced to provide that ANY living organism has macro-evolved at all, therefore it is "intellectually dishonest" to make such a claim.
Third - There is absolutely NO empirical evidence adduced to provide that humans have provided anything other than intelligence; further, there is absolutely NO empirical evidence adduced to provide intelligence as not having ALWAYS been a human trait; AND there is absolutely NO empirical evidence adduced to provide that intelligence "evolved" from non-intelligence. Therefore it is "intellectually dishonest" to claim intelligence adapted from anything else (powerfully or not).
Consider this a warning
Well at least she got a warning - most, like me, get banned permanently without warning for the offense of trying to give an answer. Apparently it's a violation of the forum rules to discuss macroevolution in anything but hypothetical terms.
Anyhoo - we seem to have reached a position where the two camps are unable to meet in a forum where the rules of engagement are considered fair by both entitities. We are both left preaching to the choir whilst both requiring opposing views in order to have a discussion.
It's a curious stand off which doesn't seem to have an easy solution. I have in the past suggested that the owners of EVC and EFT get together to allow a jointly moderated fora so that equal teams, playing to the same rules can meetand fight. Unless a move like that can be made, I suspect both fora will dwindle and eventually die for lack of oppositional debate.
{This same idea was suggested in some other thread recently. I've mentioned this possibility several times over there, never got even a nibble of interest. I wonder if any of their moderators would be interested in becoming moderators over here. --Admin}
Edited by Admin, : Add comment.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

Member (Idle past 249 days)
Posts: 6174
Joined: 06-23-2003

Message 413 of 415 (669905)
08-05-2012 6:48 PM

Fred posted here for a while. I bet he has no interest in a forum where he doesn't have total control. Dunno any of his moderators, but Fred picked them...

Posts: 9531
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.9

Message 414 of 415 (669930)
08-06-2012 10:52 AM

Maybe it's a forlorn hope?
Personally I use these type of sites to learn about people views and to learn more myself. I think EVC promotes this and at least attempts to run a very fair site. (And I think it achieves it.) It has few and fair rules and applies them objectively. It's very hard to get banned from EVC.
The deletion of posts is not practiced here, and editing of posts is practiced only rarely. The exception is spam, which is usually either edited or deleted.
Moderators will try to be helpful, but the moderator staff is small and they do not have the time to coach members toward proper participation. Persistent violations can result in restricted permissions or even suspensions that can range from hours to days to permanent. Permanent suspensions are relatively rare.
The creationist fora have a different purpose - they seem to need to meet to re-inforce their beliefs and practice their arguments against each other - not outsiders. Here's Fred's - the evolutionary fairy tales owner's - guidance to his flock:
My number one warning to Christians is this: do not let evolutionists lead you into endless arguments that will only serve to waste your time where it can be better spent elsewhere. We know from the Bible that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) One of the tactics of the enemy is to get you to waste your time. So please keep this in mind as you pick your battles. We need to know when to shake off the dust and move on (Mark 6:11). Not only is there other ministry work you may be being held from, I also consider lost family time is often not worth the limited benefits a forum may bring to God’s kingdom.
Not exactly the objective, impartial and encouraging tone you'd expect from a site whose expressed goals are:
The primary goal of this forum is to provide a place for honest, educational, civil, and fun debate on the topic of origins.
They spell out their intent to remove debaters they dislike without concerning themselves with whether by doing so they may be making their goals to provide a place for honest, educational, civil, and fun debate on the topic of origins, actually impossible to achieve.
make life easier for the moderators, our goal is to weed-out the troublemakers early, which should also lessen interaction from moderators. We want to have as little editing or deleting of posts as possible, so instead we will seek to edit people.
The bottom line is that only the intellectually honest need apply to participate in this board. Our moderators will be primarily looking to identify those who give even the slightest inkling that they are here to waste people’s time, consciously or otherwise. We will be looking for repeated cases of red-herrings, quibbling over terms (equivocation), strawmen, false allegations, and other devices contrary to honest debate. If this is your style of debate, then this forum isn’t for you. For a top-10 list of common time-wasting tactics, please see the Evo-Babble Percher Alert page.
Following are the forum guidelines. The various moderators and Admins can cut or ban without notice or appeal or explanation.
Bot Verification
So in short - it maybe impossible to attract and keep creationists here because creationists and 'evolutionists' totally conflicting goals for debate. Creationists are at best disingenuous about their desire to debate and learn but it's probably worse than that - they just dislike and distrust us.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

Itinerant Lurker
Member (Idle past 2737 days)
Posts: 67
Joined: 12-12-2008

Message 415 of 415 (670169)
08-09-2012 7:25 PM

Of course, there's also the possibility (however remote) that creationists are in short supply because you are converting them. While I'm sure this doesn't happen often, it does happen. Case in point, this was me parroting ID bullshit just a short five years ago:
The evidence we have today about the Cambrian Explosion, about Irreducebly Complex systems, about the high improbablitliy of mutations to account for speciation, and the complete lack of observable examples of macroevolution, all point out significant holes in evolutionary theory.
Again I return to my original post referring to the statement "evolution did it" in referring to the IC system of the motile cilia. The processes and molechular makeup of the cilia is intimately known in the smallest minutae, yet macroevolutionary theory cannot account for it. In such a case it is not enough to say, "evolution just did it" as many have, because the evolutionary mechanism is not known. Neither is it scientific to say that "god just did it" because the mechanism of creation is unknown. What is scientific to say is that we don't know but there are differing untestable theories out there. The difference between the creation mechanism and the evolution mechanism is that the evolutionary mechanism should be testable, because according to the theory it is a never ending process that continues to this day, while the ID mechanism makes no such claim beyond that life is designed.
The consistent and prolonged destruction of my arguments (often in quite harsh, Dr. A-esque style) drove me to learn more and more about these issues. Until I finally learned enough to realize I was wrong. Much of this took place on other forums, but I spent a huge amount of time just reading through past debates here which addressed the points I was trying to make.
I'm sure I'm in the minority, but it does happen.

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