Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Most creationists don't really believe in creationism

One of the most startling things that I have learned in my many years of debating creationists is, someone surprisingly, it appears that even creationists don’t really believe in creationism.

I base that statement on the axiom that actions speak louder than words.

For one thing, if creationists really believed in creationism they would search diligently for things that could test – and possibly confirm – their beliefs.

To see that this is something that people really do, try challenging something that you know someone believes. For example, tell someone that if they let go of their car keys, the keys will float up rather than fall to the ground.

After the person is done laughing and if you are able to convince them that you are serious, what will they do? I absolutely guarantee that they will do one thing and one thing only: they will pull out their car keys and let go of them. That’s because everyone knows – with complete and total certainty; with their heart and mind and soul and strength – that things fall down rather than up.

So do creationists look for things that might confirm their beliefs?


I describe this to many creationists. One specific test that could be performed is finding an out-of-place fossil around Mt. Ararat.

Note that the Bible says that the Ark of Noah had pairs of all living “kinds” of animals and that the Ark came to rest on or around Mt. Ararat in Turkey. From that point all of those animals spread out to their current living places.

But the majority of those animals had to travel very far under precarious conditions ideal for fossilization.

After all a global flood has just occurred! All of the Earth had [supposedly] been under water for a bit more than a year. Whatever mechanism allowed the water to recede, as the water did so it would have left the surface of the Earth in a condition that would have been perfect for causing and creating fossils. The Earth’s surface would still have been wet and therefore prone to mudslides. Tide pools and other forms of residual water would have been everywhere. Creationists are fond of mentioning how floods are the ideal conditions for creating fossils. The largest flood of all time had [supposedly] just taken place. Our expectation should be that lots of animals would have expected to have been killed and fossilized in those precarious conditions.

Moreover, imagine the impact of finding the fossil of a kangaroo in Turkey. Or finding the fossil of a Gila Monster there. Or a chimpanzee fossil. Or any sort of such out-of-place fossil somewhere within a few miles of Mt. Ararat. Such a fossil would be stunning evidence confirming the Biblical account of the flood.

There is also little risk if such a fossil is not found. Fossilization is a relatively rare event even when conditions are ideal. That fact could always be used as an explanation if no such fossil evidence is found.

Evolutionary paleontologists are looking for hominid fossils in large parts of Africa. They do so because they are certain that such fossils exist there.

Surely we should expect to see creationist paleontologists looking for a single out-of-place fossil in Turkey.

Shouldn’t we?

How many such creationist expeditions are taking place to find such a fossil?

The answer is: zero!

That would be none.

With so much to gain and so little to lose, how can that be?

The answer is apparent and simple: creationists don’t really believe that a global flood took place. In other words, creationists don’t really believe in creationism.

Another example that supports this claim involves the “water canopy” that is mentioned in the Bible and that most creationists feel was the source for the water for the flood of Noah.

But this water canopy provides a hypothesis for another claim in the Bible. In the pre-deluvian world people lived to be very, very old. According to Genesis 5, Adam lived to be 930 years old. Methuselah set the record, living to be 969 years old. Even Noah lived to be over 700 years old.

What is the reason that people could live to be so old? According to many creationists, it is this very same water canopy!

Here is how one creationist web site explains it[1]:

Genesis 1:6-7 tells of a canopy of "water above the firmament." Many people believe this canopy provided greater air pressure and a shield from the sun's harmful rays. These factors could explain the great age and size of man and animals before the flood. After the flood, the canopy was gone and the life spans dropped off rapidly in the next few generations.

Let’s think about that for a second. Medical researchers willingly invest many millions of dollars to find a cure for some disease that will allow a small subset of the human population to live for a few additional years. Here we have a hypothesis that increased air pressure and shielding from the sun can allow people to live about ten times longer than now! That’s all people. That includes you and me! If this suggestion had any validity at all, maybe we could duplicate a portion of those effects by mimicking that environment in our homes and offices. It might not allow us to live to be 969, but if it just added 10 or 20 years to our life spans on average, wouldn’t that be wonderful? Wouldn’t it be worth millions or even billions of dollars to research?

With such immense potential, surely someone is doing exactly this sort of environmental research[2].



No one is actually seriously researching anything like this. So creationists are suggesting this as though it was a serious idea, but their actions show us that even they don’t believe that it is true.

Certainly their words tell us differently. Each and every single creationist will insist that they truly believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and that the Flood of Noah is a real, historical event. But the actions of the creationist community tell us something quite different.

Even the actions of individual creationists tell us that they don’t really believe in creationism.

Over the years, I’ve suggested various things that creationists could be doing to test their beliefs. The specific challenges I’ve offered aren’t that important. But here’s a real response that I received from a creationist when I made such a challenge:

> It's becoming a kind of theme with you - if creationists
> really believed in creationism they'd be out there looking
> for evidence that challenges their beliefs. Yeah, right.

This creationist completely misses the point. There are two possible results for each challenge: you can meet the challenge or fail the challenge. In other words, it is really possible that the challenge could be met if creationism is true. There really could be the fossil of a kangaroo around Mt. Ararat if the Ark actually landed there. Finding that fossil really would provide stunning evidence supporting the flood account. In the same way that a challenge of someone’s belief in gravity will be immediately followed by a test of gravity by the person whose beliefs are being challenged, my challenges of someone’s belief in creationism should be immediately followed by a test of those beliefs by the very person being challenged if they really believed in creationism.

The reaction instead: yeah, right.

It should be noted that people who believe in evolution continuously test those beliefs. The paleontologists laboring in Africa to find hominid fossils demonstrate that.

Creationists don't do those things.

That's why I say that most creationists don't really believe in creationism.

[1] http://www.invitation.to/dance/evidence-timeline.htm, referenced on January 30, 2009
[2] There are things called “hyperbaric chambers” that create an environment with higher air pressure than is present in the normal environment. But these are used to treatment of decompression sickness and air embolisms. My own investigations told me that no one is doing research to see if such an environment allows people to live longer. If hyperbaric chambers have shown that increased air pressure does not increase life spans, then creationists should stop making this claim.

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