. . . and a little more rope for creationists


A fellow named Daniel J. Lewis asked for a debate with P. Z. Myers on . . . well, it’s difficult to say, really. Lewis is a creationist, affiliated with the group “Answers in Genesis” — Ken Ham’s group that has a museum in Kentucky ready to open, touting the hypothesis that Hanna-Barbera was not far off of reality with “The Flintstones” humans and dinosaurs coexisted (go to the link, click on exhibit #19). Anyway, PZ asked the regulars to lie low for a while at let Lewis expound. Not likely to happen on a blog that has tens of thousands of readers daily, right?

The premise that Lewis wants to start from is problematical, so I invited him to come by here someday and have a more leisurely chat, where there are far fewer people waiting to pounce on every error. If Lewis ever drops by, this is the thread. This is what Lewis said at Pharyngula:

Then if the blog administrator allows it, I’m available to publicly discuss creation vs. evolution if we can do so on level, intelligent grounds without childish attacks. You can start with your belief system (naturalism), and I can start with mine (the Bible).

I find that a problem because it assumes that science requires a specific belief system contrary to Christianity, and it assumes the Bible establishes a complete philosophical foundation for Christians, which seems awfully narrow to me. Plus, I don’t trust a creationist to define what “naturalism” means as a philosophy, or that science must be bound by that definition. So, in the discussion thread, I said:

Nothing in the Bible contradicts anything Darwin proposed, unless and except we insist on a Darbyist interpretation of scripture only. Is there any tenet of Christianity, especially one based in the Bible, which suggests God couldn’t have created an evolutionary system to make life diverse? Is there any tenet which requires any opposition to evolution or any other finding of science?

When you’re done here, Mr. Lewis, if you’re ever done, c’mon over to my blog and start in again.

Meanwhile, there is some rational discussion on the issue over at a fellow Texan’s blog, A Nerd’s Country Journal (tip of the old scrub brush to Carnival of the Godless #54). That’s a neat summary of my view, consistent with the error debunking goal of this blog: Creationism is bad religion not keeping with the tenets of Christianity, in addition to being really, really bad science.

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6 Responses to . . . and a little more rope for creationists

  1. edarrell says:

    elbogz laments the schoolyard nature of some discussions between creationists and the more science-minded. The discussion at Pharyngula shows another phenomenon, I think. Mr. Lewis answered with a couple of posts, but even with the Pharyngulans holding back, there were a hundred other posts against his claims, many with solid science that it appeared he had never been exposed to. Mr. Lewis begged off, hoping to take the discussion to his own blog, which he probably hopes would be a more favorable venue. The sad story of Mr. Lewis continues here: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/11/daniel_j_lewis_has_left_the_bu.php

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  2. edarrell says:

    From my experience, 7th graders are the toughest there are, kindergarten through masters. Middle school teachers are saints, even when they don’t feel like it.

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  3. jasonwrites says:

    No, there is no such creationist. Because creationists with a semblance of intellectualism transformed into proponents of intelligent design, which is a pseudo-scientific theory rather than a non/anti-scientific one.

    Thank you for the comment on my site. Perhaps I don’t suck. But I don’t really know how to reduce the grading load– 7th-graders don’t tend to invest in learning for its own sake.

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  4. edarrell says:

    The conversation at Pharyngula has already turned to cover these issues, but it appears that Mr. Lewis has lived down to Myers’ expectations of creationists.

    I wonder whether there is, anywhere, a creationist whose intellectual and academic chops merit serious consideration.

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  5. elbogz says:

    Somehow these debates end up sounding like a Pee Wee Herman I know you are but what am I? I know YOU are but what am I? I know YOU are BUT WHAT AM I? I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

    Like

  6. bernarda says:

    “bad religion”? I didn’t know that there was anything such as “good” religion. The first is a pleonasm and the second is an oxymoron.

    Like

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