Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Polite request to creationists

As a former believer in the young earth theory (created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago), I found this essay by Peter Bowditch to be very interesting:

Polite request to creationists
by Peter Bowditch

In June, 2005, I took part in an online debate on behalf of Australian Skeptics against Answers in Genesis to answer the following question: "Did the universe and life evolve, or was it specially created in six days?". At no time did the other side ever mention six days, although they had a lot to say about why science and scientific theories could be wrong, therefore making creationism right. After the debate, I posted the following to the online forum where bystanders had been discussing the arguments offered by both sides.


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Because I was writing the statements for Australian Skeptics, I deliberately kept out of the discussion. Now that the formal debate is over, I would like to make one last request of the creationists, a request directly related to the question that started this debate.

Please provide some unambiguous, positive evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Please do not offer uncertainties in the 13.7 billion year estimated age of the universe, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Do not tell me that humans and pineapples share a large proportion of their genes in order to allow humans to eat pineapples, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Do not say that atheists lack a moral perspective because they do not believe in God, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Do not say that the Grand Canyon might have been made in eight months (just look at Providence Canyon in Georgia!), because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Please do not bring up that old canard about how you can’t understand how an eye could evolve so therefore it must have been created, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Please do not tell me that the creation story in the King James Version Genesis 2 is wrong, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

An opinion poll about how many people believe in special creation is irrelevant, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Do not suggest that the rates of radioactive decay may have been millions of times greater in the past unless you are prepared to offer evidence, because wishful thinking is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago. (Also, remember that saying that decay rates were much higher is the same to a physicist as saying that the speed of light was greater, and, as we all know, AiG have a statement on their web site commanding that slowing of the speed of light should no longer be used as a creationist argument.)

Do not tell me that something is true because you said it somewhere else in the past, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Do not misquote Stephen Jay Gould about the probability of finding transitional fossils, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Do not tell me that Darwin was completely wrong because On the Origin of Species was published in the same year as The Communist Manifesto and On Liberty, and Marx, Darwin and Mill probably used the same photocopier at the British Museum. (That was a joke, by the way.)

Do not tell me that Darwin was completely wrong and then tell me that natural selection is how evolution works unless you want to be accused of sophistry and hypocrisy, and in any case that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Please don’t say that everything looks designed and therefore there must have been a designer, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Please don’t make any comments about whether Adam possessed any or all of nipples, a navel, a pelvis appropriate for bipedalism, or even a penis, because none of this is evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Please do not misrepresent the work of Claude Shannon and information theory, because even if Shannon were to be proved wrong and all global communications systems, including the Internet, stopped working tomorrow it would not be evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Do not say that the fossil skeleton nicknamed Lucy is really the skeleton of a monkey, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago, and please don’t say that you don’t know whether Archaeopteryx was a bird or a lizard but it must have been one of them, because that again is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Please do not say “God did it”, because that is not evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Please provide some unambiguous, positive evidence that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.

Can’t do it? I didn’t think so.

As I have been declared by the other side to be an atheist and by their reckoning that makes me amoral, I lose nothing by ignoring where I said “I would like to make one last request of the creationists”, and I now make a second request.

Please tell me what evidence it would take to prove your beliefs wrong?


(Used here by permission)

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Peter Bowditch has a number of very interesting websites:

The Millenium Project

Quintessence of the Loon

Full Canvas Jacket

The Green Light

Australian Council Against Health Fraud

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