Sadly, Another Honest Creationist

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Richard Dawkins has a classic essay on Kurt Wise’s beliefs titled Sadly, an Honest Creationist. Dawkins wrote

Kurt Wise doesn’t need the challenge; he volunteers that, even if all the evidence in the universe flatly contradicted Scripture, and even if he had reached the point of admitting this to himself, he would still take his stand on Scripture and deny the evidence. This leaves me, as a scientist, speechless. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a mind capable of such doublethink.

Now another creation “scientist,” trained in a secular university with a legitimate science Ph.D., has acknowledged much the same thing in a little stronger terms.

Todd Wood is Director of the Center for Origins Research and an Associate Professor of Science at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Virginia and is a member of AAAS, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the Society for Systematic Biology. He is an active participant in BSG: A Creation Biology Study Group, the Baraminology Study Group founded to do research on discerning the original Biblical “kinds,” mostly via hybridization studies.

Now Wood has made a statement similar to Wise’s but stronger. Wise said only that

Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.

Wood goes further. In a post titled Give an exegetical answer he wrote

I have hope because I’m a sinner saved by grace. That’s my whole reason. It’s not because I can refute evolution (I can’t) or because I can prove the Flood (I can’t) or because I can make evolutionists look silly (I don’t). (Italics added)

He can’t refute evolution, he can’t prove the Flood, but nevertheless he believes. (I strongly doubt he can make evolutionists look silly to anyone but a flock of ignorant believers.)

Yup. Sadly, another honest creationist. Would that Ken Ham and his house “scientists,” people like Georgia Purdom and Jason Lisle, were at least that minimally honest.

521 Comments

Kurt Wise and Todd Wood are religious addicts and I don’t think “honesty” is something to be admired if you are addicted to something, whether it be drugs or religion. An alcoholic who never tells a lie can still kill someone while driving drunk.

From Wood’s statement:

Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth…

Say what? I’d like to hear them.

Another interesting point about Wood, as reported by John Lynch, is that he refuted a creationist claim that Darwin plagiarized Wallace…in a paper he published in Answers Research Journal. I wish there were some switch in his mind that could be flipped that would let him believe what he evidence shows.

James F said:

From Wood’s statement:

Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth…

Say what? I’d like to hear them.

Translated From Creationisese:

“Because the Bible said so, and you’re going to burn in Hell forever and ever and ever while God and I laugh and point at you. That’s why.”

Well, you know what they say: Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

FUG said:

Well, you know what they say: Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Actually, admitting that you need to do something about your problem is the first step: Wise and Wood both admit that they reject Evolutionary Biology because of their blind faith, but the problem is that they have never bothered to do anything about that.

These people are paragons compared to the typical creationist or IDer, but there can’t be honesty without humility. And they have no real humility when it comes to science.

Sad. Acceptable, but very sad.

The sad thing is that the intellectual lobotomy these guys give themselves is not necessary. While I’m not one of the faithful, I do understand the core gospel these fellows believe in. It doesn’t require a narrow or literal interpretation of the Bible. Simply put, it is a) acknowledgment of a personal fallen state (I am a sinner) and b) forgiveness comes from faith in Jesus’ atonement for my fallen state. Creation/evolution is as relevant as eating pork.

But this is one of my core concerns about religion. It always seems to require its adherents to accept a lie. Getting someone to accept something like a global flood, a young Earth, or 2+2=5, seems to useful to religion somehow. Perhaps it is part of the power structure of religion…

In the end, people like Wise and Wood have compromised their basic faith with a lie. They have so tied the lie to their faith that they will accept the lie even when shown that it is a lie.

Wood and Wise are a cut above when it comes to YECs, to be sure. Their publications also make for excellent material to hand out to fellow believers when all else fails. “Ok, so you think everything in science is poisoned by the evil atheist evolutionary worldview? Here’s a paper from a respected YEC source that will show you where the strength of the evidence is.”

My favourite papers: Wood’s on the chimp genome problem, and Wise on pre-Cambrian fossils as the result of pre-fall animal death (!!) and the one showing how there really are transition forms in the fossil record.

These papers should be in every biologist’s syllabi.

sorry, that should be “transitional” above. It’s getting late…

They don’t know their religion very well.

There is no requirement in the bible to believe impossible things or deny evolution. Evolution isn’t mentioned anywhere.

Salvation is by faith, faith and good works, or good works depending on which part of the NT you quote mine. Most fundies say that all you have to do to be saved is believe jesus is a supernatural god being, faith.

Most xian worldwide don’t have a problem with science and reality. By Wise’s and Wood’s reasoning, they are Fake Xians and will go to hell. Might just as well sleep in on sundays as it is a waste of time. Also by their reasoning, xianity is an almost dead cult, with most adherents Fake and an exodus of members from the fundie cults.

They are also inconsistent in their fanaticism. According to the bible, the earth is flat and the sun orbits the earth. The sky is just a dome held up by 4 pillars and the stars are just lights stuck on the dome.

I doubt they believe that. Oddly enough some fundies do. In Texas some guy speaking at a fundie meeting got in trouble. His crime was claiming that the moon reflects light from the sun. Bad move. According to the bible, the moon is lit from within, Genesis. This doesn’t explain why it has phases and goes dark once a month much less eclipses and why the astronauts that walked around up there didn’t notice light coming from the ground. Whatever.

It isn’t worth spending too much time trying to figure out why these guys behave the way they do. People aren’t robots and do and think strange things. There are far worse delusions.

See it all the time, unfortunately, and these delusions can and do kill.

A SZ, anorexic, dead in 40’s from starvation and irreversible organ damage.

A SZ, dead in 50’s. Locked himself out of his own house in a residential neighborhood and died of hypothermia on a cold but not very cold night.

SZ, brought into a psychiatric lockup. Believes satan has won, rules the earth, and everyone he knows has been replaced by identical looking beings that are really demons. Potentially violent or suicidal.

This could go on for pages but you get the idea. At some point, you just say, people can be or go crazy and leave it at that.

Todd Wood Wrote:

Exegetically, I Peter 3 seems to be telling us to endure the insults of mockers graciously and gratefully, knowing that it is better to suffer for doing good than evil. When they demand an answer, tell them the truth, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (I Peter 3:18). God will bless you for your faith, and that’s a better reward than anything else I can think of.

What is interesting is how they bend this to the assumption that, any time they are laughed at, it means they are a martyr.

What they overlook is that they can be laughed at for being obstinately stupid.

I’ve seen this behavior a number of times. It becomes the excuse for never thinking about anything or ever learning anything. But it also reinforces the image in their minds that everyone else is evil.

Hermeneutically sealed and air-tight.

It all boils down to brainwashing; it can be done to you, or DIY. Deprogramming comes much harder. Where there ain’t no will there ain’t no way.

if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it

Good. Three cheers for Tony Wood. It’s not that creationists believe something, or even that they want others to believe it, that I object to. It’s that they will try and censor, distort, subvert, poison or fabricate scientific evidence to favour their beliefs.

Freedom of belief isn’t limited to be in accord with the evidence. You can believe in God, the FSM, the IPU, Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Teletubbies for all I care, as is your right and whatever the facts say on these subjects. But none of these things belong in a science classroom, and no amount of belief makes them worthy of scientific credence.

Mark M said:

The sad thing is that the intellectual lobotomy these guys give themselves is not necessary. While I’m not one of the faithful, I do understand the core gospel these fellows believe in. It doesn’t require a narrow or literal interpretation of the Bible.

Yeah it does. People can make up whatever “core gospel” they want. Theirs requires a narrow or literal interpretation of the Bible. Go ahead and ask them. I mean, it’s not like the other “core gospels” aren’t a bunch of made up crap too!

Mark M said:

The sad thing is that the intellectual lobotomy these guys give themselves is not necessary. While I’m not one of the faithful, I do understand the core gospel these fellows believe in. It doesn’t require a narrow or literal interpretation of the Bible. Simply put, it is a) acknowledgment of a personal fallen state (I am a sinner) and b) forgiveness comes from faith in Jesus’ atonement for my fallen state. Creation/evolution is as relevant as eating pork.

“Forgiveness comes from faith in Jesus’ atonement for my fallen state.” Yeah, no intellectual lobotomy is necessary for that one! Makes complete sense…

Here’s an even better quote from Kurt Wise:

“I am a young-age creationist because the Bible indicates the universe is young. Given what we currently think we understand about the world, the majority of the scientific evidence favors an old earth and universe, not a young one. I would therefore say that anyone who claims that the earth is young from scientific evidence alone is scientifically ignorant”

See: this forum post

Registered User will be upset.* He doesn’t think honest creationists exist. So, either they do or Dawkins is wrong.

(*Could be jfx. Honestly after reading their posts I had a hard time remembering which one of them was arguing what.)

David B. Wrote:

Good. Three cheers for Tony Wood. It’s not that creationists believe something, or even that they want others to believe it, that I object to. It’s that they will try and censor, distort, subvert, poison or fabricate scientific evidence to favour their beliefs.

Well put, but only half of the story. They also increasingly censor, distort, subvert, poison or fabricate scientific evidence - and quotes that they incessantly mine - to favor beliefs that contradict theirs as long as they share a common goal of misrepresenting evolution.

Richard B. Hoppe Wrote:

He can’t refute evolution, he can’t prove the Flood, but nevertheless he believes. (I strongly doubt he can make evolutionists look silly to anyone but a flock of ignorant believers.)

Yup. Sadly, another honest creationist. Would that Ken Ham and his house “scientists,” people like Georgia Purdom and Jason Lisle, were at least that minimally honest.

And yet Ham et. al. are far more honest than the “don’t ask, don’t tell” scam artists at the Discovery Institute. But the DI is free to prove me wrong by refuting “Baraminology” and young-earth arguments. That’s the least they could do to back up the empty-at-best words “ID is not creationism.”

Tony wrote:

“If all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it.”

I’m waiting.

Oh well, at least Wood has admitted he has not one single scrap of evidence to disprove evolution or prove the literal truth of any of those Bible stories. We can remember that next time some less honest asshat claims otherwise.

Raging Bee said:

Oh well, at least Wood has admitted he has not one single scrap of evidence to disprove evolution or prove the literal truth of any of those Bible stories. We can remember that next time some less honest asshat claims otherwise.

My usual reminder to the group:

“Disprove (actually ‘falsify’) evolution” and “Prove (actually ‘support with evidence’) any of those Bible stories (specifically ‘any of the mutually contradictory literal interpretations of Genesis’)” are two different things. The DI claims only the former, while YEC and OEC groups claim both. Yet here we have a genuine YEC (technically an “Omphalos” creationist) - not even a “mere IDer” - admitting that both claims are unsupportable.

So how about it IDers? Put your money where your nonstop mouths are and challenge Wood directly, or stop pretending that you have a prayer against evolution (other than a successful record of fooling your followers).

Yup. Sadly, another honest creationist

Actually, that’s not sad, that’s good news.

1. Richard Dawkins thinks there is one honest creationist

2. Richard Hoppe thinks there are two honest creationists

I think that’s a prominising start. Anyone care to try for three honest creationists?

Mark M said:

…one of my core concerns about religion. It always seems to require its adherents to accept a lie. Getting someone to accept something like a global flood, a young Earth, or 2+2=5, seems to useful to religion somehow. Perhaps it is part of the power structure of religion…

It’s a control thing. Fundamentalists have been taught (i.e. brainwashed) that the Bible is to be interpreted literally. That it, interpreted literally as defined by the “interpretation” of the Fundamentalist hierarchy!

Fundamentalist believers are not permitted to exercise free will. The Bible says what we tell you it says! Dissent, free will, personal interpretation, and debate is forbidden.

They are told that creation is the truth because the Bible says so. Any attempt to exercise free will is considered blasphemous. What would happen if the minions actually started to “think”! Just imagine the repercussions!

So, Sal, you admit that Wood is being honest? Does that mean you agree that there’s no evidence to disprove evolution, or to prove the literal truth of any of those Bible stories? Are you admitting that young-Earth creationism is indeed based on nothing but religious belief and, contrary to your own assertions, has no grounding in empirical evidence?

And while you’re admitting that you were wrong about everything else, can you also bring yourself to apologize for equating my arguments to the (alleged) surgical mutilation of innocent children?

Ummm, the author of this article forgot to mention the part where denying fact based theories based on a book makes any sense at all. You have yet to explain why Dawkins doesn’t have a good point. As a man of science, I am shocked to see hear both of the theists mentioned in this article say things like that, regardless of degree. There are plenty of stupid people in this world, having a PhD doesn’t necessitate you being smart. It just means you went through a lot of college work and if you deny facts, you clearly didn’t pay enough attention in your class. Denying facts drops all credibility one has.

They don’t know their religion very well.

That’s not for us to say. We can say that we think their religion is a crock on general principles, or that we can’t tease out their particular religious ideas from our own reading – or, indeed, any reading that seems half-way reasonable to us – of what they identify as their holy book. We can say that the religion they profess makes no damn sense. But unless the people in question adhere to a creed with an identifiable, authoritative body of doctrine and get it wrong, like a professed Catholic who declares a belief in consubstantiation versus transubstantiation, or a professed Muslim who believes in the divinity of Christ, we can’t say people are “wrong” about their own religious beliefs.

But unless the people in question adhere to a creed with an identifiable, authoritative body of doctrine and get it wrong, like a professed Catholic who declares a belief in consubstantiation versus transubstantiation, or a professed Muslim who believes in the divinity of Christ, we can’t say people are “wrong” about their own religious beliefs.

Perhaps not, but we CAN observe whether or not one believer honestly assimilates relevant doctrinal information (i.e., does a certain Christian show signs of understanding the teachings of Jesus?); or whether he is willing to listen to other believers, past or present, when they try to talk to him about doctrinal issues (i.e., how does a YECer respond when a fellow parishoner changes his mind about creationism?).

Salvador Cordova said:

Yup. Sadly, another honest creationist

Actually, that’s not sad, that’s good news.

1. Richard Dawkins thinks there is one honest creationist

2. Richard Hoppe thinks there are two honest creationists

I think that’s a prominising start. Anyone care to try for three honest creationists?

No point in fishing for that honor, Sal of Several Shallow Degrees. You will never make the cut.

Wayne F said: It’s a control thing.

Call it control call it brainwashing. But I see their behaviour as a very strong indication of a particular selection strategy. Fundamentally there are two strategies.

Strategy A: Try to be as true and as close to one’s parents. They lived long enough to reproduce at least one offspring. Shoot for that same success level.

Strategy B: Try to mutate as fast as possible and try as many different things as possible.

A works fine but leads to, eventually, living fossils. Roaches, fish and crab that have not changed for millions of years. B works where the environment changes rapidly, but very rarely these lifeforms evolve beyond microbes. As organisms evolve more and more and are adapted more and more, any large deviation from the parents, is likely to land you in a sub optimal part of the fitness landscape. For highly evolved organisms the maximum allowable deviation is pretty small.

As highly evolved primates and apes, the line of H sapiens have been following strategy A for 500 million years. We are not living fossils but the allowable maximum deviation has been narrowing for ages and it is very small now. These “honest” creationists are simply people who are just victims of their genes. Their genes instill in them this terror at the idea of deviating from the behavior of their parents and their clan.

So pity them, for they know not what they are doing. We do.

Ah; wrong thread.

Sal,

Look I’m really sorry that Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto beat you up too many times on J. J. Abrams’s set. Maybe you ought to give it a rest now:

Salvador Cordova said:

Dale Husband wrote:

It’s obvious that the photons of the CMBR were traveling for at least 13.7 billion years.

So how far have they travelled before they reached us. No one here (except me) has provided an answer, not even an estimate. You all seem to be clamming up.

Why doesn’t Mike Elzinga, PhD in physics, provide an answer.

How about Stuart Weinstein? How far have CMBR photons travelled? Still no answers.

It appears you all can’t come forward and admit you made a mistake. You all are just giving the perception you would rather save face than admit an error. Nice!

Dale Husband wrote:

It’s obvious that the photons of the CMBR were traveling for at least 13.7 billion years.

Does anyone here disagree with Dale, is he wrong?

Live Long and Prosper (as a DI IDiot Borg drone),

John

Salvador Cordova said: So how far have they travelled before they reached us. No one here (except me) has provided an answer, not even an estimate.

.

A) Getting the answer requires some significant math.
B) The answer doesn’t affect anything
C) I don’t care.

Your answer was wrong. Ridiculously wrong in a manner that demonstrates you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Do you acknowledge that your answer was wrong, Sally me boy?

Salvador,

I think there is a way you could get everyone here to engage you to your satisfaction.

Write a paper on this matter and get it published in a reputable physics journal. That way, your supporting evidence, mathematical analyses, etc. would be made available in a succinct format.

Once all have perused this peer-reviewed work, mutually profitable discussion could ensue.

Besides, if what you propose is convincing to the world’s top physicists and results in a significant paradigm shift, you might be up for a Nobel Prize.

Don’t encourage him, please. He’s probably liable for concluding that there is some String Theory out there that is consistent with his GOD and, of course, Intelligent Design:

Dean Wentworth said:

Salvador,

I think there is a way you could get everyone here to engage you to your satisfaction.

Write a paper on this matter and get it published in a reputable physics journal. That way, your supporting evidence, mathematical analyses, etc. would be made available in a succinct format.

Once all have perused this peer-reviewed work, mutually profitable discussion could ensue.

Besides, if what you propose is convincing to the world’s top physicists and results in a significant paradigm shift, you might be up for a Nobel Prize.

Salvador Cordova said:

So how far have they [CMB photons] travelled [sic] before they reached us.[?]

In their own reference frame, they traveled zero distance, and it required zero time.

But you still haven’t explained the relevance of this discussion to “Sadly, Another Honest Creationist.”

Salvador Cordova said: So how far have they travelled before they reached us. No one here (except me) has provided an answer, not even an estimate.

Torbjorn answered you. “The answer is that the photons have traveled a distance that will have to be calculated by a rather complex integral due to the expansion.”

What about his response is insufficient?

And to toot my own horn (only in creationist psychology, not cosmology which is a much harder subject) thank you for confirming my hypothesis:

Slight addendum to my previous post. Now that Torbjorn has answered Sal’s question, we have an opportunity to test my hypothesis. If I’m right, Sal will ask another cosmology question rather than returning to a discussion of speciation.

eric,

One minor quibble, your hypothesis was that upon having his question answered Salvador would ask another cosmology question. In fact, he simply repeated exactly the same question.

So, it would appear that in formulating your hypothesis you were being overly generous.

Sad, but true IMHO:

Dean Wentworth said:

eric,

One minor quibble, your hypothesis was that upon having his question answered Salvador would ask another cosmology question. In fact, he simply repeated exactly the same question.

So, it would appear that in formulating your hypothesis you were being overly generous.

Seems as if Sal has activated his personal Romulan Cloaking Device.

There is no mystery here - this is an age old phenomena. Religion is an associate behavior derived from our suite of social genes. For some people the ineluctable logic of non-belief in a supernatural dispensation is outweighed by the social dimension inchoate in religious belief. Just another bell curve, nothing to see, move along.

Chris Ashton said:

I will speak as a Christian and a scientist (understanding that there are those here who deny the possibility of this state) that the saddest part of statements like Woods’ is that it essentially limits the actions of God to human understanding. My “accommodation” if you will is that we just don’t have perfect understanding of the universe, and probably never will. Woods seems to be saying that God cannot act in a way that is beyond his (Woods’) understanding. To me as a Christian that is the essence of hopelessness, and as a scientist it is indefensible. I feel bad for him.

Chris

thank you, chris

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on April 29, 2009 10:36 PM.

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