A disturbing conversation with a YEC friend


(James McKay) #1

Has anyone else ever encountered anything like this?

I was speaking to a YEC friend in church on Sunday. I said that one of my main concerns about the creation and evolution debate is that when people come across material from Answers in Genesis and the like, they rush into the debate with all guns blazing, and just make it obvious to everyone that they haven’t a clue what they are talking about. I said to him that the things that people say can and will be fact-checked, so he does need to be careful.

He just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Doesn’t bother me.”

I’m not sure whether he realised the implications of what he was saying—but the whole point I was trying to make was that he could easily put himself in a position where he is spouting demonstrable and incontrovertible untruths. Ones that would portray not only himself but the entire church as reckless and dishonest on the matter.

People such as Glenn Morton have reported that you get this kind of attitude in the YEC leadership, but has anyone else encountered it among rank and file YEC supporters—an attitude that they simply don’t care that they might be found to be telling demonstrable lies?

It’s particularly disturbing in the current climate of concern about fake news and the “post-truth” society, but aren’t we as Christians supposed to be a bastion against all that kind of stuff?


(Nathan Scherer) #2

I don’t think he fully understood what he was saying. He obviously thinks that what he spouts from AiG is truth - otherwise he wouldn’t be “guns blazing.”

I know the feeling all too well. I was a blazing guns kind of guy (and still am on occasion). The feeling of elation when you find a peice of “evidence” that fits your worldview is empowering. When he says, “Doesn’t bother me,” what he means is that he knows what he is saying is true and he doesn’t see how any argument could persuade him otherwise. It takes YEARS of thought and consideration until you get to a point where it would “bother” you. It took me a VERY long time and a lot of embarrassing web forum posts to feel ashamed for thinking I have all the answers.

It is definitely disturbing, though, but at this point - with Trump gettting elected by 80% of our people going against previously held views about the morality of a president; all in service of causes like these - I don’t really know what you can do anymore.


(James McKay) #3

I guess you’re right.

Thing is, I wasn’t trying to tell him he was wrong—I was trying to tell him he needed to make sure he understood the stuff correctly. He only has a GCSE in science and despite the fact that he claims to be “passionate” about this stuff, he doesn’t seem to be inclined to explore the subject in any depth other than being spoon-fed videos from creation.com. He didn’t seem to be interested in taking it further even given the possibility that it might make him more effective at upholding the YEC position.

He also seemed very unwilling to listen to any of my concerns at all, but just kept interrupting to say, “In the end of the day it’s whether you believe the Bible.” I couldn’t even get through to him that there are lists of arguments that the YEC organisations themselves tell us to avoid.


(Phil) #4

It is always easier to think of a response at the keyboard instead of in the heat of the moment, but when that statement is made, it gives opportunity to voice agreement and say, “That’s right. What do you believe God is telling us about how we should live in the first chapters of Genesis?” and go from there, seeking common ground. It is better most of the time to pose questions and have others find the answers on their own rather try to argue a position.


(Jon Garvey) #5

James

There’s no accounting for folks - i remember meeting a guy doing a natural sciences degree who was sure Erich von Daniken’s version of history was incontrovertible. That was back in the 70s.

I think what’s happening now is less a reflection on Creationism than a reflection on attitudes to truth - autonomy, postmodernism, fake-news all seem part of the same idea of creating whatever reality you like. If your particular autonomous reality is adopted from facile biblical literalism, you end up in a different place from if it’s progressive liberalism, but by much the same process, it seems to me.


(Frank Cross) #6

How about giving a specific example of where in your opinion “they haven’t a clue what they are talking about?”


(James McKay) #7

When they trot out arguments that the YEC organisations themselves advise against using for starters.

Another one that gets me is “evolution is just a theory.” This facile sound bite implies that they think there’s no evidence for evolution whatsoever. It’s one thing saying that you think the evidence is fallacious, but to give the impression that it doesn’t even exist is either total cluelessness, complete recklessness, or flat-out bare-faced lying.


(George Brooks) #8

@jammycakes

You saw here some posts like that just recently, yes? Or did you arrive just as the two “not science” twins vacated the house?


(Frank Cross) #9

Okay, so exclude those arguments “they trot out that YEC organisations themselves advise against using” and give a specific example that is outwith those areas.

Incidentally have you noticed the contradiction in your statement?

When the personnel engaged by YEC organisations advise against using certain arguments you do see that those person recognize that certain arguments may not stand up to scrutiny, do you not?


(Steve Schaffner) #10

“Did you know that you’ve been lied to, and that human and chimpanzee DNA are only 70% identical, not 98%?”
“Evolution is only a theory.”
“Scientists have shown that junk DNA is a myth.”
“Fossils are dated from rocks and the rocks are dated from the fossils.”


#11

Believe it or not, I have. In the few cases when I’ve been able to press the person and have them explain WHY they could be so callous about truth, they put it this way:

“I may get some of the details wrong. Perhaps even completely wrong. But it is important that all of God’s people stand up for the Bible and that is what I’m doing.”

So, from what I could gather, when such people proudly defend an argument from a YEC ministry, even when they are shown that their claim is completely wrong and based upon a lie, they don’t care because (in their eyes) they are simply standing up for God and the Bible!

For them it is a matter of declaring their SIDE.

Identifying “sides” is very important to most adamant Young Earth Creationists. To many of them, “I believe in a young earth” is synonymous with saying “I believe in God” and “I believe the Bible is God’s revelation to sinners.” So if a particular argument for a young earth is completely bogus, many don’t care because their CAUSE is right.

I think you will find that this is usually a YEC’s reason for not caring if they have their facts wrong. Yes it is disturbing. But they consider it a matter where you are worried about “petty details” while they are focusing on the “big picture.” They are standing up for God. You are just quibbling about mere facts!


(Christy Hemphill) #12

10 posts were split to a new topic: Determining similarity statistics between the human and chimp genome


Determining similarity statistics between the human and chimp genome
Determining similarity statistics between the human and chimp genome
(James McKay) #15

No, there’s no contradiction. I’m talking about rank and file YECs, not YEC leaders here.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #16

The problem is not the facts. The problem is the attitude. Jesus said that Satan is a Liar and the Father of Lies.

YEC have made their view the foundation of their faith, which is utterly false.

Christianity is not about Genesis. It is about Jesus Christ. Changing the subject is what opened the way to Trump to the eternal shame to all Christians who spout this nonsense. They have fallen for the bait and switch of the Evil One.