“It’s Only a Theory” – Creationist Garbling Part 1

What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”

-Christopher Hitchens

Could there be a more oft quoted saying among creationists than “evolution is just a theory”. Is there anything else that a person could say that would reveal such profound ignorance and simple-mindedness?

Creationists are the embodiment of belligerence and willfull ignorance. Their minds firmly closed to the alternative, far more satisfying and superior ideas that we know as evolution and cosmology. This is hardly surprising given they submit their minds to non-thinking faith, thereby unhinging their beliefs from reality.

So how do you argue with this? What’s the point of arguing with a creationist? Here are my thoughts on why there is no point and why you should avoid arguing with a creationist:

  • Creationists don’t engage in argument to discover the truth. To them the truth is a major inconvenience.
  • Arguing with a creationist lends them and their ideas undeserved credibility.
  • Creationists won’t argue within the bounds of reason and logic (their position necessitates that they can’t) and they will happily change the rules as they please.
  • They accept their claims without the need for any evidence at all while demanding an impossibly high standard for evidence of the opposing view (evolution, cosmology).
  • Creationists will unload on you in the form of logical fallacies and set impossible rules for what they consider evidence for evolution (all the while happily accepting something for which there is no evidence and that is flatly contradicted by ALL the evidence).
  • Because creationists are using faith as “a way of knowing” they will come from a place of ignorance and argue on that basis.
  • Their views are primitive and not contingent to evidence (they will do their level best to skew, pervert and denounce real evidence).
  • Creationists cannot see the flaws and weaknesses in the human reasoning faculties they are exploiting in defending a demonstrably false claim. This includes confirmation bias; distorting and filtering out contrary data; cognitive dissonance; and confusing value-based arguments (emotion) with rational argument.

A debate with a creationist is not an equal exchange of ideas. While you argue from scientific observation and logic, your adversary sees both as “hindrance” to their prior beliefs so is quite happy to invent whatever they like (after all their views are not based in reality). You don’t have that luxury and therefore you argue in vain.

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