Answers in Genesis responds to my 4thought slot

Answers In Genesis, the bonkers Young Earth Creationist website headed by Ken Ham (who gets special mention in my book Believing Bullshit), singled out my Channel 4thought slot for comment. Go here and scroll a little over halfway down. I am very pleased.

All I need now is to be attacked by "Mad Mel" Melanie Phillips and I can die happy.

P.S. This guy at "They Don't Fool Me!" has also got cross about the Channel 4 thing, after reading the above Answers in Genesis post. Apparently anyone who thinks the world is older the 6k years is a "leftist". I just posted this comment (which I suspect won't ever appear):

Stephen Law December 8, 2011, 8:04 am Reply
Your comment is awaiting moderation

Yeh, let’s string up this leftwing atheist commie punk for insisting the Earth is older than 6 thousand years.

P.S. 12th December: As I predicted above - They Don't Fool Me! blogger refused to put up the above comment and instead put this up in a post: "Today in the House of Horrors, we have the Christian hating philosopher Stephen Law responding to my post that included “Are Christians Mentally Ill?” in comments saying something nutty about ‘stringing up atheists’ and linking to a youtube video."

Seems They Don't Fool Me! is not too keen on me posting a link to William Lane Craig Lane explaining why the universe is very probably 13.7 billion years old and Young Earth Creationism is implausible.


Anonymous said…
He says:

"The theory of evolution, after all, is not a fact, it is a theory."

Yes, in the same way that there is a theory of electromagnetism or a theory of gravity. Perhaps we should teach alternatives to these in the classroom too; after all, it's only fair to hear all 'points of view' :-(

Maybe these people really do know that a "theory" in the scientific sense doesn't mean a guess or hypothesis, but a body of knowledge which has predictive power and is based on hard evidence, they just choose to equivocate because it suits their agenda.
Debunkey Monkey said…
You should be careful when dealing with such idiotic people like AiG. On the one hand, they are wrong and thus should be exposed. However, you don't want to put yourself in a position where you rebut their arguments seriously.

So, as far as I can tell, ignoring them seems rude and scrutinizing their arguments or having an exchange with them gives them too much credibility. The best thing to point out how silly they are and laugh, I guess. Laughter is good.
Stephen Law said…
Thanks Debunking Monkey. Rebutting their arguments - or rather, revealing the absurd nature of their general intellectual strategies - in a book called "Believing Bullshit" is OK, I think.
Mark Jones said…
The 'They Don't Fool Me' woman may be a Poe; on her About This Blog page she writes:

"The world has turned upside down, and I’m capturing some of that insanity here, while trying to hold onto my own."

Funny stuff.
jestanton said…
Mr. Law,
I have just listened to an interview you gave for a podcast; in it, you were very anti-Christian. Not to say you are anti-religious just anti-Christian, you did not elaborate on any other religion. To preface this posting, I was born and raised as an Irish Catholic, I lived for 2 years with a Protestant aunt and uncle, most of my friends are Jewish and I have been around Muslims most of my adult life.
So please let me ask you a short question, you need an open mind to do this. Is your mind open? On the other hand, has it been closed by your anti-Christianity?
I want you to close your eyes, now imagine a mighty oak tree growing in a field. I want you to visualize the roots, see them reaching down through the soil seeking nutrition. See the massive trunk as it supports its limbs; imagine the branches as they reach for the sky. Can you see the leaves, vibrant and green as they rustle in the wind? Can you see it, this mighty and majestic oak standing alone in its field? Can you comprehend its existence in your mind? Can you see it in all its glory?
Now create it from nothing, cause it to be in the real world. Can you do it? Can you, the philosopher, create anything from nothing?
To have doubts is natural, to question God is natural, and I do it all the time. However, to call people who have a belief I God stupid, that is not natural. That is your own insecurity rising to the top; even I who have a firm grounding in different belief systems will not do it. Your argument fails when you sink to the level of name-calling and derision.
Best of luck to you in the future,
Jack Stanton
Stephen Law said…
Hi Jstanton - is anyone who rejects the view that the universe is 6k years old anti-christian. What about William Lane Craig and the Pope?
Steven Carr said…
'Can you, the philosopher, create anything from nothing?'

Neither can the idol your worship.

As for name-calling, atheists are rank amateurs compared to the New Testament writers with their talk of 'hypocrites', 'blind fools', 'nest of vipers', 'synagogue of Satan', 'children of the devil' etc etc

Don't play the victim card, when your alleged Good Book contains the most vicious abuse and insults its authors could think of.
Debunkey Monkey said…

You realize trees come from seeds, nuts, etc... They do not come from nothing. Most every macroscopic object is contingent upon previous states. Now at the quantum level, things are different, and things pop into and out of existence all the time.
theObserver said…
Speaking of name calling :-

Bill Bonohue at the Catholic League has started an Adopt and Atheist campaign because :

They may be resistant at first, but eventually they may come to understand that they were Christian all along.
If we hurry, these closeted Christians can celebrate Christmas like the rest of us. As an added bonus, they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing.”

Adopt an Atheist Campaign

Meanwhile the Irish Roman Catholic newspaper Alive! labed Atheists ‘no-hopers’ and ‘ultimate losers’ :

Atheists, however, believe that this is the only life there is, and while they have passing hopes in this life, they see death as ending everything. They do not hold to the most fundamental of all hopes, the hope of eternal life. In that sense they are no-hopers, as they themselves can recognise. Again, the deepest driving force, so to speak, in each of us is the yearning for happiness, a happiness that will last forever, and where all our desires are satisfied. Only God’s offer of himself could give us this complete, definitive fulfilment. Even atheists can know that from reason alone. And they can recognise that without such fulfilment all is lost, that they are the ultimate losers.
Alive! :- Editors Jottings

Atheists and Theists will be at each other throats until the leaky ship of the Abrahamic religions finally succumbs to cultural waters.
Congratulations! Getting AiG to post that video clip on their site is a coup.

Everyone needs to realize the mindset of the kind of people who regularly visit AIG. They are not stupid. They realize all too well that the overwhelming weight of scientific consensus leads to the conclusion that their theological beliefs are hogwash. That is why they fete people like intelligent design proponent William Dembski, author of The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design (InterVarsity Press, 2004). I read it so you wouldn't have to.

Probably the best example I have seen this year of the intellectual contortions to which Christian apologists will bend is Douglas Groothuis' Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (InterVarsity Press, 2011). Groothuis (like Dembski, a very bright boy) describes this book as his magnum opus and a cumulative argument for Christianity based on natural theology. I wish everyone would read it. His treatment of what he describes as "Darwinism" is juvenile and he accepts microevolution (because he has to) while denying macroevolution. However, despite fairly admitting that evolution by natural selection would defeat the Biblical theory of creation, Groothuis does not even bother to tackle a simple question such as why we can observe speciation between different birds of the same species who become geographically dispersed. Nor does he even bother to offer an argument to rebut how the tracing of mitochondrial DNA allows us to trace human antecedents all the way back to primordial bacteria. This is how apologetics is done: apply superficial skepticism to scientific claims that cannot be irrefutably proven (eg. "how do you know dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, you weren't there to see it").

Groothuis' treatment of young earth creationism (which he accepts with luke warm resolve) is just as entertaining.
jstanton, I want you to close your eyes. Imagine standing in a line with your maternal antecedents. You holding your mother's hand and she holding her mother's hand (i.e. your grandmother), and so on. Do you have any idea how far that line would stretch until it reached our common ancestor with chimpanzees? "Allowing one yard per person, we arrive at the ancestor we share with the chimpanzees in under 300 miles" Richard Dawkins, A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003).
This comment has been removed by the author.
To Atheist Missionary:

I do not accept young earth creationism.

Further, I give genetic and palentological arguments against macro-evolution, ignoring nothing of significance.

If limited speciation occurs within a broader category of life, that does nothing to refute my argument against Darwinism as explaining all of life (given the first life, which Darwinism cannot explain in principle, since it requires a replicating organism to get started).
jestanton said…
Where did the atoms in the seed come from, where did the first cell to be recreated come from?
Again, create something from absolutly nothing. Noone can answer the question. However my premisis was not arguing creation vs whatever, it was the fact Mr. Law called anyone with a christian belief was, stupid or idiotic.
Paradox O'Clock said…
"Again, create something from absolutly nothing."

You have no evidence that there has ever been a state of absolute nothingness, and therefore there is no requirement to create something from nothing.
kkinett said…
As a Christian, I've listened to your multiple appearances on the radio program Unbelievable?. You were nothing less than extremely gracious and polite. It is absurd to describe you as an anti-christian. I wish more people were open to engaging in debate.
Prof. Groothuis, I am glad you dropped by. I really enjoyed your book and commend it far and wide.

I was going to ask you why you refuse to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that evolution by natural selection best explains the diversity of life. However, I already know the answer to that question - because it directly contradicts the Biblical story of creation.

The reason why I referred to bird speciation is because is it one of the rare opportunities to see evolution at work in real-time. It's also so simple that someone like myself without scientific academic credentials can understand it. Birds of the same species become geographically dispersed and, eventually, lose the ability to breed with one another. Over the course of geological times, this process has seen life evolve from eukaryotes to non-chordates to sea squirts all the way up to humans (assuming that we see ourselves as the current apex of evolution). This isn't a guess - it can be traced through mitochondrial DNA with such precision that we have now reached the point where reliable predictions can be made about the discovery of new fossils in specific stratas in specific geographical locations. To be blunt, this is mind blowing corroboration for what you and Mr. Dembski derisively refer to as "Darwinism".

I have no idea how the first biological replicator came into being and we may never know. However, if abiogenesis can be achieved in a laboratory setting, would you be willing to admit that there is no longer any room for your god of the gaps or would you simply observe that we have discovered how your god did it? Best, TAM.

P.S. I apologize if I have misrepresented your position with respect to Young Earth Creationism and will now go back and re-read your chapter on that point.
Stephen Law said…
Thanks kkinett - the aim is to be polite and gracious though admittedly I don't always succeed. But of course I don't hate Christians.