Self-deception as a coping strategy for Christians

On EvolutionNews, Casey Luskin posts that:

Casey Luskin wrote:

Late last night I posted my final rebuttals to the NCSE on This makes 12 total rebuttals for the pro-ID side and zero for the anti-ID side (though Americans United did post a sur-rebuttal tellingly titled “You Lost the Case – Get Over It”).

I responded: Over 375 comments, mostly showing the vacuity of ID, the NCSE need not respond. Casey’s description of the NCSE’s position is as usual full of empty accusations and yet fail to address the simple fact that:

ID is scientifically vacuous.

As to the title read SELF-DECEPTION AS A COPING STRATEGY FOR CHRISTIANS which explains how we Christians deal with contradicting evidence.

We slip into self-deception by means of tiny steps, each one of which is so small that we can in a sense ignore it, excuse it, not notice it. We creep up on ourselves gradually, thus enabling the story to evolve so slowly that we can justify ourselves in noticing the development. The techniques used are:

(i) Screening. This means that we select from all the information available to us that which is consistent with the beliefs we would like to have. We fail to hear the discordant notes.

(ii) Weighted evidence. We give greater weight to the evidence which supports what we want to believe about ourselves, and we discount the evidence which points in the other direction. Evidence that supports our self-interest is seen as logical and compelling.

(iii) Confirmation. Our attention is quickly drawn to little bits of evidence which confirm us in our false beliefs. Events which confirm us become significant and are remembered whilst those which might appear to have disconfirmed the event are quickly forgotten or regarded as insignificant.

(iv) Gradualism. We do not take too big a step at once because this would be difficult to deny.

(v) Refusal to review the evidence. We do not subject our preferred beliefs to periodic review in order to update them, and thus face the possible risk of invalidation.

(vi) Habit. These tricks of thinking and judging become habitual with us so that we gradually lose the very skills of self-critical knowledge. We become habituated in patterns of thought which contribute to and maintain us in our self-deception.

as well as

On folk science and lies: Back to the basics

As a Christian, I am scandalized and sickened by nearly all creationist commentary on evolution. But I’m not a misanthrope, and so I find it hard to believe that so many people could be so overtly dishonest.

So I proposed the term ‘folk science’ as a way to refer to belief-supporting statements that sound scientific but do not seek to communicate scientific truth. I have two goals in my practice of using this phrase: 1) I recognize folk science as a particular type of argumentation, and I want to be able to accurately identify it as such; and 2) I want to create space within which I can identify falsehood, and especially falsehood that seeks to mislead, without making unwarranted accusations.