Monday, 25 May 2015

So You've Decided To Be An Internet Creationist

So, you've decided you are going to campaign for creationism on the Internet. This handy, print-off-and-keep, handbook contains lots of tricks and techniques you can use to win arguments against scientists and people who have read books on evolution and so understand it.

The most important thing is that you must never accept any evidence which doesn't support one of the different versions of creationism, no matter how good it is or how well it's been proven. Always tell yourself that there is no such thing as scientific proof so science can never prove what it claims. This means that your beliefs are just as good as science and science is just another faith. Obviously, because yours is the only true faith that means science is wrong.

Stick to that at all costs and never admit that beliefs based on evidence are better than evidence-free beliefs. You are entitled to your own opinions so they are just as good as the opinions of people who study science.

Now, you need to decide which sort of creationist you are going to be because there are several different ones to choose from and the arguments you are going to try to get away with are going to be different for different versions. Of course, there is nothing to stop you being several different sorts of creationist depending on who you are debating with and it sometime pays off to keep changing arguments when you can't win with a particular one.

The main versions of creationism are:

  • Young Earth Creationism - all evolution is impossible.
    Main Belief: Because your favourite holy book says so, Earth is only about 6,000 years old and everything was created by magic exactly as it is today.

    Points to Emphasise: Evolution is impossible because something called the Second Law says so. All geology can be explained by a flood about 4,000 years ago.

    Points to Remember: Your task is to persuade people that the Universe was made just for them because this is the only way they can feel important enough.
  • Young Earth Creationism - very rapid micro-evolution happens.
    Main Belief: Because your favourite holy books says so, Earth is only about 6,000 years old but life has evolved extremely quickly since to give us all the different varieties.

    Points to Emphasise: Micro-evolution can happen at warp speeds but macro-evolution is impossible because of something called the Second Law. All geology can be explained by a flood.

    Points to Remember: Your task is to persuade even people who know a little bit about biology that the Universe was made just for them so they can feel important.
  • Old Earth Creationism - Evolution happens, so does geology, but God did it all.
    Main Belief: Your favourite holy book is allegorical but still literally true so a day can be millions of years when you need them to be.

    Points to Bear in Mind: Can be tricky to use because you have to accept some scientific evidence but not the evidence you don't like. Easy to fall into traps if you don't know much science.

    Points to Remember: Your task is to persuade even people who know quite a lot about science so can see Earth must be very old to still think the Universe was made just for them so they can feel more important.
  • Intelligent Design Advocate - Evolution is impossible so everything must have been designed by an intelligent designer.
    Main Belief: Your favourite holy book is literally true but that has nothing to do with who the Intelligent Designer is - got that!?

    Points to Bear in Mind: Intelligent Design claims not to be based on religion and to be a real science but always supports a literal interpretation of your favourite holy book, so it can be difficult to remember never to talk about 'God' or 'Allah' doing the necessary magic because science doesn't include gods - which is why it's wrong.

    Points to Remember: Your task is to get people to doubt science so religion can be taught as science in schools and people will vote for religious fundamentalist. Intelligent design is designed to make people with no hope for a better life feel they are so important that the Universe was made just for them, so they don't mind being at the bottom of the pile and will even vote for people who'll keep them there if they are pious enough.
  • Intelligent Evolution Advocate - Evolution happens but only when an intelligent magic entity allows it to and only in ways He it wants.
    Main Belief: Your favourite holy book is literally true but that has nothing to do with who is intelligently making things evolve - got that!?

    Points to Bear in Mind: Even though science has proved that evolution happens and even complex structures can evolve, there must be a place for an intelligence otherwise there would be no place for God an intelligent creator like your favourite holy books describes, so you wouldn't be important enough.

    Points to Remember: Your task is to make people who know a little bit about biology think they should still be religious because there is still a reason to think they have a close personal relationship with the creator of the Universe.

Remember, if you've decided you're going to flip between these different versions of creationism, you're going to have to remember which set of beliefs to drop and which to adopt as you flip. Some people prefer to stick to just one version but they then can't change arguments when they're losing.

Things to Avoid

  • Never give a direct answer to a direct question. Evolutionists will often try to trap you with this sort of tactic - which is cheating because they have lots of evidence and facts. Never answer them, because you may say something that can be shown to be wrong.
  • Never say what evidence you would accept as proof of evolution because a clever evolutionist might cheat and produce the evidence. You will then have a problem explaining why you told lies - something a lot of evolutionists and even some religious fundamentalists think is dishonest. Admitting you did it to try to make it look like you had an open mind will lead to all sorts of problems.
  • Although you can claim there is masses of evidence for creationism, never be specific and never ever say how it could be falsified. This is like presenting an evolutionist with an open goal.
  • Never be drawn into a discussion about what evidence you have that there is a creator. Remember, you are trying to get people to think creation is evidence for a creator even though there is no evidence for either so being sidetracked into discussing evidence can be tricky.
  • Never be drawn into discussing the contradictions and provably wrong claims in your favourite holy book. Just assert that there are no contradictions and that all the science is absolutely true, and change the subject as quickly as possible.

There are a couple of questions you should never answer because they are designed to expose your scientific ignorance. They are:

  • What do you think evolution is exactly?
  • How do you think the scientific Theory of Evolution seeks to explain the mechanism by which evolution occurs?

The problem here is that you might have to risk finding out about real evolution and real science and so having your faith tested, and if you answer them you will either show you don't know the subject you are posing as an expert in, or will be prevented from attacking all the usual creationist parodies of evolution later on.

When you find yourself in a corner, which will probably happen very often, there are several standard tricks and tactics you can use:

  • Use ad hominems. This is where you attack the person not their argument. Call then Satanists or say they have no morals, or say they are too stupid to understand the arguments you have put forward.
  • Accuse your opponent of using ad hominems. Tell them this shows they have run out of arguments and have conceded defeat, so you have won.
  • Demand answers to an irrelevant question before you answer theirs. Ignore any answers and repeat your demands. This often makes your opponent give up in frustration so you can claim a 'devastating victory'.
  • When faced with persistent demands that you answer a direct question, claim to have answered it earlier. Most people following a debate don't bother to check back so you might well get away with it.
  • Provide a random link to an Internet site, preferably a creationist one, and claim the question is fully answered there, or the point being made is refuted by it. Again, lots of people don't bother to check these links.
  • Become obnoxiously condescending and adopt an air of smug moral superiority. This can infuriate your opponent and might even make them become angry. You can then patronisingly ask them why they are so angry and if there is anything you can do to help. Offer to pray for them. A lot of evolutionists stop bothering to debate you at this point and you will have won.
  • Remember to use your god as a weapon by threatening your opponent with it. Or resort to passive aggression with phrases like "I'll pray for you", "Jesus still loves you even though you hate him", and the killer quote, "You'll be sorry one day!"

So, what arguments are you going to be able to use? Remember, because you don't have any evidence and can't refute the real scientific theory of evolution, you are going to have to attack parody versions of evolution, hoping the audience won't know enough to realise it's not the real thing. You can find lots of these parodies on creationist websites which specialise in giving creationists false argument to try on people. Generally, they are the same misrepresentations of science that they use to get scientifically illiterate people to give them money in return for making them feel more important.

Some useful parodies of evolution theory are:
  • The purpose of evolution was to evolve modern humans.
  • Evolution claims humans evolved from monkeys when a monkey gave birth to a human baby yet no one has ever seen this happen.
  • Evolution claims that when a species evolves into another species all the other species have to disappear, so monkey prove humans didn't evolve from them.
  • Evolution claims there should a complete fossil record of every step in evolution for every species, so any missing fossil proves evolution is false.
  • Evolution claims there were intermediates as one species changed into another, so there should be half crocodiles/half and birds, half fish/half dinosaurs or half monkeys/half humans. You can make this as silly as you want.
  • Evolution is a theory about fossils, so all the gaps prove the theory is wrong.
  • Evolution is just a theory which means it's just a guess without any evidence.
  • Darwin invented evolution because he was a Communist and hated God.

You can probably make up lots more of these parodies. The trick is to make them so silly that it looks like evolutionists must be mad to believe them and ignorant people can feel smug about being able to see the stupidity in the theory that those mad scientists who think they are so clever can't see. Remember, you have to make people you are trying to trick into being creationists feel smugly self-important and feel good about being scientifically ignorant. You're probably a creationist yourself because someone made you feel better about yourself with those same tricks.

Because you have no evidence, any arguments you use will need to be fallacies. Some people might feel uncomfortable about using arguments they know are false but remember your real objective here - to impress your invisible friend with your devotion and earn lots of Brownie points. Even if you are dishonest you can always say sorry later and it might well appreciate your willing self-sacrifice, just like it appreciates other martyrs. Worrying too much about things like personal integrity, moral responsibility, etc, is just selfish when you're devoting your life to Jesus/Muhammad. Anyway, even if you do trick people into believing something you don't believe yourself, they might not realise you've tricked them, so they might still admire you for it. And what could make you feel more important than being able to get people to believe something, even if it's not true?

Common fallacies you can try are:
  • Circular reasoning. Examples:
    • The Bible must be true because it says in the Bible that the Bible is true;
    • What the Bible/Qur'an says is science, therefore what the Bible/Qur'an says is science;
    • There must be a creator because the Universe was created by a creator;
    • There is no evidence for evolution so none of the evidence supports evolution;
    • A god gave humans a soul therefore the human soul proves there is a god;
    • Everything had a beginning therefore the creator didn't have a beginning therefore there is a creator.
  • Ad hominem. Attacking the sanity, moral character, intelligence or motives of your opponent discredits their argument, even if the argument is factual and doesn't depend on the sanity, intelligence or motives of your opponent for its validity.
  • Non sequitur. The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. Examples: "I believe in the Bible, therefore the Bible is true"; there is no evidence for evolution therefore the locally popular god did it; this small piece of science is wrong therefore all science is wrong; science sometimes changes its mind therefore all science will one day be proved false; a small number of biologists doubt some of the details of how evolution works therefore evolution is false and all the other biologists are either lying or are stupid; "I can't believe that's true therefore the science must be wrong and all the scientists must be mad".
  • The 'Taxicab Fallacy' fallacy. The argument that you can't use the errors in the Bible to prove there are errors in the Bible because you are relying on a document that you're claiming is unreliable. Fails to recognise that the evidence being relied on is the evidence of errors, not the reliability of the Bible, but this is considered a very clever argument by Christian apologists like William Lane Craig, so you stand a good chance of getting away with it like he sometime does. In any case, it'll leave your opponent dumbfounded at the stupidity of your argument.
  • The straw man. Where a parody of the argument, or a misrepresentation of the argument is attacked instead of the argument itself. As a creationist, you should practice all these straw man parodies because they work on people who don't understand the arguments well enough to notice. In many cases, your entire debate will consist of you trying to get away with the straw man fallacy so lots of diversions and assertions will be needed. You will often need to accuse your opponent of not understanding the subject.
  • Personal necessity and undesirable consequences. If we evolved and weren't created by the creator of the Universe, we're not important enough. There must be a god and an afterlife because the thought of death is too frightening otherwise. If evolution is true all my creationist beliefs are wrong. What the scientists say must be wrong because I wouldn't like the consequences if it were. This depends on the belief that the Universe was made just for you therefore reality is bound to be just how you would like it to be. As a creationist you probably find this a convincing argument and so you can depend on those you are trying to trick also falling for it.
  • Begging the question. Assuming the answer in your question so your opponent has to appear to agree with you to answer it. Examples: If evolution is true why do humans have souls? Why are there no transitional fossils? Who designed complex systems? How did everything come from nothing?

There are a few names you should memorise and learn to spell correctly as they can be confusing and are easily muddled up. They are Richard Dawkins (evolution, Atheism), Stephen Hawking (physics, Big Bang, Atheism) and Charles Darwin (evolution). Try not to say Richard Darwin or Stephen Dawkins because people might laugh. It's also worth making sure you spell Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Isaac Newton correctly. You can claim that Einstein was a creationist who believed in God if you need to, just like you can claim that Hitler was an Atheist. Be prepared to change the subject quickly or even break off with passive-aggressive condescension when you get given evidence that those claims are false, though. A lot of your fellow creationist can get quite a lot of mileage out of those false claims so don't dismiss them lightly.

Finally, here is a list of debating tactics commonly used by creationists of all varieties:
  • Repetitive assertion. Just keep repeating your claim and ignoring any refutations. Eventually your opponent will get bored and you will win.
  • Quote the Bible/Qur'an. Your invisible friend will really appreciate it and it can drive away serious evolutionists who'll conclude there is no point in continuing with you.
  • Change the subject. When you're stuck simply change the subject to something like morality, the Big Bang, the Declaration of Independence, Hitler, etc.
  • Demanding an answer to a non-existent question, or even one which has just been answered. A lot of people watching won't check.
  • Dismiss scientific evidence as 'sciencist' and therefor a 'faith'.
  • Claim that science support creationism even if you can't say why.
  • Dismiss any evidence as 'not evidence'.
  • Condescend, patronise, threaten, or question the motives of your opponent, especially when stuck.
  • On social networks like Facebook, block, especially just after asking a question.
  • Abuse. Too much personal abuse can get you banned from some Facebook groups or Twitter so remember to block your opponent first so they don't see it and complain. If your opponent has a blog you can often post lots of abuse there. Remember to get your friends to do the same. This discourages people from disagreeing with you and makes you feel good.

Remember, this is just a brief guide but it should be enough for you to impress your creationist friends with your debating skills and knowledge of science. You can always add to the lists of fallacies, parodies, debating tactics, etc. as you gain experience. Pay attention to how people like Ray Comfort and Eric Hovind use these techniques on gullible people and see if you can emulate them. If all else fails you can try my Fundomatic God ProverTM which generates random arguments for any deity and any holy book of your choosing. Make sure you use the right god and holy book - the arguments are the same but the names are different, obviously.

If you are at all worried about being dishonest or beginning to question the morality of trying to trick people, just look at how rich some of the professionals are. A very large income can go a very long way to helping salve what little conscience or remnant of personal integrity you once had, and remember you're doing all this to impress your friends, especially your invisible one, or maybe just to get that nice warm feeling of self-importance that comes from tricking people into believing things you know aren't true, or to support an extremist right-wing political agenda.

The end justifies the means, eh?

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  1. This is classic and should be required reading before engaging in religious or political discussions online!

  2. Don't forget that if you are going the YEC route, that everyone who claims to be a Christian and isn't a YECist is "not taking the Bible seriously" and is probably on a slippery slope into Rob-Bell-style liberalism or even atheism, but be sure to pray for them. If they start quoting John Walton, John Sailhamer or even just Hugh Ross, conclude that they're already captive to "man-made philosophies" and you will redouble your efforts to have them delivered lest they start reading NT Wright or even Karl Barth.

  3. Sorry, Katy Anders, but I think that I have just found my new internet girlfriend. Thanks for sharing her with me.

  4. I have no clue what he's saying, but hats off for persistence.

    1. I don't think he has either. It's like someone with Tourettes, mostly just one or two obscenities, scatalogical references or gratuitous abuse. I sometimes leave some up for people to see. Here's one example He appears to think this is how adults debate science.

    2. Here are some examples, right on cue. Yesterday, he promised he would try not to post anymore abuse here. He can never managed it for more than a few hours though. Mental health services in his town obviously leave a lot to be desired.

    3. Looks like even Tiny Tim was so embarrassed with his comments that he deleted them. At least this shows that at least some of the time he has a little self-control.

  5. Lovely work, thanks it had me laughing.

  6. Great stuff. Heads up - your God-prover link appears broken. This link works:


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