Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thinking about anti-evolutionism

Responding to my essay on antievolutionism at CFSI, a reader wrote:
Although I think that you ... have a great point, I also believe that you may be missing a larger point. ... I believe that organizations like the Discovery Institute play a very valuable role. Although they may or may not contribute much scientifically to a better understanding of origins, they do provide great moral support to believers who feel overwhelmed by the secular scientific challenge to their faith. We are all part of the same body, after all (at least most of us are, lol). Perhaps each unique part of the body has its own unique role. Your thoughts?
I think you're absolutely correct about different goals and perspectives, and that's a perspective I think we all need to keep in mind when thinking about AIG's new Ark Encounter project. Some readers yesterday thought I was being too smug or judgmental in my comments about the Ark Encounter, but I want to assure you that I was entirely sincere when I said that the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum will inspire a new generation of creationists. In less than a month, it will be 2011, the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Whitcomb and Morris's The Genesis Flood. Regardless of what I think of the content, that book inspired my generation to think beyond the evolutionary perspective and think more carefully about the importance of the doctrines of creation as revealed in Genesis. I firmly believe that the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter will be The Genesis Flood of the next fifty years. For that, I am genuinely thankful and sincerely praying for these projects.

Back to my reader's question: I guess if I have a concern about pure anti-evolutionism, it's this: Too frequently, antievolutionists get carried away in their zeal to oppose evolution. I think this is true across the board, no matter what organizations we might or might not represent. Too often antievolutionists simply want to criticize evolution, and they grab onto any argument to do that. Take B.H. Shadduck for example: his stuff doesn't even make sense. Others misquote or misrepresent scientific papers (Hugh Ross and Fuz Rana). Others just repeat arguments that have been discredited over and over and over again (moon dust, Paluxy tracks, Zuiyo maru carcass, etc.). Still others object to useful concepts that just aren't worth objecting to, like the geologic column or speciation.

Now I'm not saying that people are doing this on purpose or maliciously. I'm absolutely NOT accusing antievolutionists of being liars. My point is that there must be a good balance between antievolution and creation. We must counter error only with truth, and until we know the truth, we need to be very careful about how we approach technical issues and arguments. If we oppose error with error, or worse if we oppose truth with error, what good is that? You speak of getting "support" or maybe encouragement from antievolutionists, but what good is that when you find out your encouragement was wrong? I've written about this issue before, and I haven't changed my opinion. We need to be very careful how we construct and present our apologetic arguments.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.