Monday, January 24, 2011

Reader email about help with creationist

I have a few emails I've received over the last few months that I still need to answer, but I'm going to do this one first.  I'm sure that he would appreciate any additional advice readers can provide for him in the comments section.

"Dear admin, I once told you about my batchmate who is preaching stuff. Now he has called me out to have a discussion because when he preached to me he had a very surprising encounter. He wishes to "discuss" this is his definition of debate in which if he loses he wont lose face. I need topics to bring up. He is a creationist and follows only parts of the bible. A total jesus freak. The arguments he used last were the watchmaker arguments, thomas acquinas philosophy (though he didnt know who he was) and gave me the burden of proof by giving the hypothetical problem of disproving the existence of gold in china. I really want to put him in his place because he has been attacking other religions in my school and no one is taking action. I want to shut him up and show his followers that theyre following an incompetent person. Ive been spending a lot of time on your website for 2 years now and i am only ready enough to defend myself, not make him shut up so if you could take your time to help me, please do"

First of all, biblical creationists have already abandoned rationality.  They believe in talking snakes, etc., and require no evidence at all to believe any of this actually happened.  They reject modern science and its findings.  It's very difficult to deal with them, and many are a complete lost cause.  Often all you can do is ridicule them and hope they wake up some day.  The Answers in Genesis website writes in its statement of belief that any evidence a person can provide against the biblical version of events is false, and should be rejected.  AronRa of YouTube fame had a conversation with a creationist in which he asked her how she would react if he could prove her god wasn't real.  She responded that she hoped her faith would be strong enough to reject his evidence and to continue believing.  These people have no interest at all in what the truth is, they want to continue believing, even if it isn't true.

It's often said that what creationists do in debate is drop two armfuls of steaming shit on the stage, and the atheist/scientist is then left to sort through it.  That is what is going to happen.  In formal debate, the creationist counts on his opponent not having access to the full collection of human scientific knowledge and published papers.  Bringing up actual facts is difficult.  Saying that magic did it is easy.  Almost any claim he can come up with to support creationism is going to be false and has already been proven so (by actual scientific means) if you know where to look.

I'd start with the following:

1.  The TalkOrigins.org Index to Creationist Claims

2.  Iron Chariots Wiki

3. YouTube videos by scientists such as the Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism series by AronRa, the Why Do People Laugh At Creationists Series by Thunderf00t and videos by DonExodus2 (who was a non-fundamentalist Christian when he made most of his videos).

4.  It's not a rebuttal, but I enjoy this witty post by the handsome Admin at AtheistPropaganda.com.

5.  Have him call the Atheist Experience TV show one of these Sundays.  They give priority in the phone queue to religious believers, and would love to speak with him.  They deal with this shit all the time, and we, their audience, really enjoy watching Matt Dillahunty dismantle them.  Matt is a former fundamentalist preacher, is very well-read and knowledgeable of the history of the Bible and Christianity, as well as logic and has a decent understanding of the state of modern science.  He's the best debater I have seen who would be easily accessible to a putz like your friend there.  He is one of the creators of the Iron Chariots site I linked to above.  If nothing else, it will provide some good laughter for you and the others on your side.  If he won't call them, some ridicule and chicken dances with insults of cowardice might help.  (flaps arms) Baaaaawk, bawk bawk bawk bawk.

Any other advice for the youngster, readers?

3 comments:

David McNerney said...

I know this is intellectually dishonest, but if this guy says anything that sounds like bullshit then the right thing to do (unless you have talkorigins.org at your fingertips) - say it's bullshit and that science has demonstrated as much - even though you don't know it to be true.

Mainly because there are no stumbling blocks that evolution theory has - or at least with respect to creationist claims.

Wing it at bit - although being rock solid with talkorigins.org is a good foundation.

ANTZILLA said...

I found this question that NO Christain have ever accknowlegded let along try and anwser.

I asked this question to a Christain after all his circle areguement rely on 'revelation' ("god can show you things that you can be certain")

We all know this is a 'god of fake gaps' aguement.

So... make the Christain claim that they only know for anything certain is because of 'revelation/s' (christian presupposition bullshit)

Then laugh..

Then ask,

How do you/anyone/everyone verify a revelation to be real?

...No anwser

continue to laugh

"you believe WHAT?"

Landothedead said...

If he tries to give you the burden of proof tell him you want the $20 he owes you. When he claims he doesn't owe you $20, tell him to prove it.