Saturday, February 21, 2009

AiG Creationists

There is an excellent new post over at the blog "Panda's Thumb" which exposes the fallacies of creationist "presuppositionalism". Richard Hoppe writes,

"As I read those apologetics missives, one message is loud and clear. The core of AIG’s message is that one must choose one’s presuppositions and thereafter interpret the evidence in the light of those presuppositions. The creationist museum makes that very clear. An early display has two paleontologists digging in what looks like a sand pit, with one of them, the kindly-looking creationist, explaining that he and his evolutionist friend (who looks vaguely Asian and never speaks) use the same evidence, but that they interpret it from different starting points, Biblical creationism and “man’s reason.” Hence each interprets the evidence to support his presuppositions; the evidence is not a tool for testing presuppositions and assumptions, it is interpreted through their lenses.

Georgia Purdom, creationist geneticist in the employ of Answers in Genesis, is also very clear about it. She says

I had a friendly “debate” with a gentleman afterwards concerning the merits of presuppositionalism vs. evidentialism. This person believed there was “neutral ground” where evolutionists and creationists can debate the evidence and that the evidentialist approach was better to use with non-Christians. I tried to help him see that neutral ground does not exist because both sides have presuppositions–creationists start with the authority of the Word of God and evolutionists start with the authority of human reasoning. If we as creationists agree to “leave the Bible out of it,” then we are starting with the same presuppositions as the evolutionists and will not be effective."

Hoppe exposes this fallacious thinking with this:

"Now, the presupposition of the U.S. justice system is (purportedly) that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But if we adopt the AIG/ICR philosophical/apologetic position regarding presuppositions, no amount of evidence that seems to support guilt can alter the presumption of innocence. Hence if I’m ever charged with a crime, I want AIG creationists on the jury: I’m guaranteed an acquittal, because, you see, evidence doesn’t count in evaluating presuppositions! And doing CSI becomes infinitely easier: Decide who’s guilty beforehand and simply interpret the evidence appropriately."

I would like to add that

1. Even if AiG's philosophy is completely correct, How can a creationist assert that his or her presuppositions are any more likely to be right than an atheist's, a buddhist's, or a taoist's?

2. Georgia Purdom claims to be accepting God's word as superior to her own human reason. But how does she know that the bible is God's word if not through her own human reason? If she simly presupposes it, she has no right to criticize anyone who simply assumes that their own reasoning is correct. Besides, why would a creator make someone with such fallible reasoning? It would seem as though a creator would make human beings smart enough to find the truth no matter what their "presuppositions".

1 comment:

atimetorend said...

yuck, this type of reasoning drives me crazy, in fact I obsess over it. You show very clearly how the AIG use of presuppositional apologetics in reference to YEC ties directly to christian apologetics in general. I feel like it is fencing with an elusive figure, you think you are discussing evidence and facts with a christian, when really you are up against someone's presuppositions that in their mind rule all your evidence and viewpoints as rubbish. As soon as you press them on whether or not evidence can be used they start pushing back hard. At least the AIG lady you reference is up front about being unwilling to consider evidence in discussing things.