Thanks for raising this Jack,
The bigger issue is the very existence of the AiG site, in that it is an aggregation point for ignorance and misinformation. As has been said already in this thread, most people only gain a modest level of knowledge about a small number of things and so do not necessarily know enough to know what AiG says in incorrect. Some will fact check, but the majority will look to that site for the answer and sadly stop there.
What happens is that year after year, these ‘answers’ are built up and up to the point of being a vast database of ignorance that has the appearance of an authority. The YECs who have doubts or questions arising from experiences with atheists or watching a science video that shows evolution properly and how it works and explains things so well, can go to AiG and always find ‘information’ that calms them down and pulls them back into the cult of ignorance. Some escape, some see through it all, but many are kept in the cult by AiG.
But where is the corollary to this in the scientific world? Most science based websites are too technical, or don’t approach these sorts of questions with a theistic point of view, and don’t frame answers in the way that suits the questioner. Wikipedia is useful, although also not theistic in its presentation, and it isn’t structured in such a way as to quickly address the kinds of questions these people might ask.
The best site is probably talk origins. http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/other-links-evol.html and within this site you will see a menu options ‘Christianity and Evolution’ http://www.theistic-evolution.com/
This page discusses a Christian’s perspective and experience in dealing with the kinds of questions YECs have. Another resource is https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/search/topics.php?topic_id=13 which again is very informative but not necessarily framed in a theistic way that is very accessible to Christians.
Here is the problem. How do we get YECs to look to sites like this instead of AiG?
I know the point of objection you put was related to scriptural contradictions and historical facts, but all of the ‘information’ in AiG is equally distorted and misleading. What is needed is a more comprehensive effort by Christians that accept evolution, to reach out to those trapped in the YEC cult and get them to visit other sites like those above, and of course this site.
Lastly @Christy, I want to address your point about impugning the motives of people who are spreading misinformation. An atheist friend of mine says that if JWs come to his front door than they are not passive witnesses and therefore should be held to account for the accuracy of the ‘information’ they are broadcasting. The view is that in the same way that we would want a media outlet or broadcaster coming in to your home via the TV to fact-check, we would also expect the same from anyone coming to your front door. It is their responsibility to have done the research and independently checked that what they are saying is true.
I would argue the same when it comes to internet. AiG has a moral and ethical responsibility to get it right, but deliberately does not check the ‘information’ it publishes because that would not be in its interests. Its interests are not in the truth but in pushing an ideological agenda. But here is where I take it a step further, in that those who visit AiG and then take what they read and use it to proselytize as if they have the facts without doing any checking or really understanding the subject matter, are taking it upon themselves to be spokespeople for that site. These people are proxy broadcasters and carry an equal moral and ethical duty to checking their facts before broadcasting them as facts.
In my view, if you chose to do that, then you relinquish any right to object to people reacting adversely, including impugning your motives. I think this is valid because we are right to think that if someone has had the opportunity to approach legitimate sources and check the information but has declined to do so, there must be a reason for that. I think you have a responsibility to know your stuff and if you cannot be bothered or are too biased by your prior beliefs, then in my view you are fair game.
So I think it is precious of these people to cry foul when they are accused of deliberately misleading people or even of lying. If you don’t want to be accused of these things, then check your facts, bother to understand the science and the history, and bother to go to appropriate sources. Why must it be that we are all expected to be so polite and simply speak to the points they raise without a murmur? Why should we confer some quasi-legitimacy to their views by treating them like any other view? Not questioning their motives constitutes tacit acceptance of the validity of holding and espousing those views alongside people who have done the work to check their facts. Allowing these people’s motives to go unchallenged is to disrespect and devalue that legitimate efforts of those who do the hard work of researching things properly and challenging their own beliefs. Why should we not question the motives of people who are spreading ignorance and misinformation? There is value in community outrage and condemnation, and it is right in my view for us to point to people who are engaging in duplicitous behavior that comes as a result of failing in their moral and ethical duty to know their stuff.
The key is to understand that this is willful ignorance. It is a deliberate choice to not hear both sides, and to learn information that might lead them to change their minds. They know that they are pushing just the information that might convince the faithful to think a certain way, and avoiding presenting information - that they know is out there - that may be counter to their objective.
Hence I would say that it is within the biologos discussion guidelines that we have a right to at least suggest negative motivations on the part of those who seek to knowingly preach ignorance on AiG or on this site. On the biologos ‘What we believe’ page’ point 11 is as follows:
1. We believe that conversations among Christians about controversial issues of science and faith can and must be conducted with humility, grace, honesty, and compassion as a visible sign of the Spirit’s presence in Christ’s body, the Church.
There is no humility in pretending to know things that you don’t know.
There is no grace when these people are not meeting their moral and ethical responsibility to check their facts before pushing them into the minds of others.
There is no honesty in knowingly broadcasting one side of a story sourced from just one website
And there is no compassion, in my experience, towards those who disagree with them.
In summary therefore, while I will abide by the advise of the moderators, but I suggest it should be the policy of this site to allow a fair but of latitude when talking about the motivations of the AiG site and its salespeople. I bow to the will of the community of course.