Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

I'm looking for succinct yet reasonably accurate analogies that can be understood easily

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#1  Postby mingthething » Apr 15, 2017 8:36 am

Particularly those that can be put in meme form. Countless bad arguments for creationism are out there which rely on a whole lot of obfuscatory, dishonest techniques that are unfortunately snappy and seem intuitive enough for the unwary. To counter this without referring to a whole lot of intimidating scientific literature references and arguments ( I am but a puny medical professional and not a true hardcore scientist, unlike Calilassea and Rumraket) , I'm trying to compile a list of short succinct analogies that are similarly intuitive and snappy, with the distinction that the latter are true.

1. Molecular phylogeny:
Creationist: You can't just use indirect evidence to speculate on the tree of life! That's just God using common design to make all ot the life we see.
Counter-argument: How do you think paternity tests work? Can a lawyer argue that your son is a coincidental result of 'God using the same design' ?

2. Inference:
Creationist: The fossil record is inference only! You can't see x turning into y.
Counter argument: (show photo of some event in the 1800's. ) Are all the people in here dead? Yes? Did you see all their funerals? How can you be so sure if you didn't see them die with your own eyes, and you have no certificate of death? Did you see their body being lowered into the grave? Then how do you know.

Additions are welcome. I'm off to make some dinner now.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#2  Postby Pebble » Apr 15, 2017 2:57 pm

I would simply go for Occam's razor. God is superfluous to the explanation, therefore should be disregarded.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#3  Postby theropod » Apr 15, 2017 3:13 pm

Why bother? Seriously. The chances of getting a rational thought into the head of a hard core creationsts is vanishingly small. Anything and everything presented to them which counters their preconceptions will be rejected out of hand. They will not consider any source, reference or fact. Even if you make a little headway they will run to their spirit guide and have these thoughts prayed right out.

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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#4  Postby mingthething » Apr 15, 2017 4:01 pm

3.Probability
Creationism: The probability of life occurring spontaneously is x (some ridiculously small number)
Counter-argument: Show them a dice. Roll out twenty rolls and ask them what the probability of those twenty numbers occurring sequentially was. When they do so, (yes, it's a really small number too), gasp in mock amazement and say that it was a miracle, because the probability was so small, and God must have had a divine intervention to make those exact twenty dice rolls occur.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#5  Postby laklak » Apr 15, 2017 4:30 pm

Point at your argument - This is Shinola.
Point at theirs - This is shit.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#6  Postby Pebble » Apr 15, 2017 5:35 pm

theropod wrote:Why bother? Seriously. The chances of getting a rational thought into the head of a hard core creationsts is vanishingly small. Anything and everything presented to them which counters their preconceptions will be rejected out of hand. They will not consider any source, reference or fact. Even if you make a little headway they will run to their spirit guide and have these thoughts prayed right out.

RS


Alternatively: That explains the size of the universe! God knew the chances of life arising was so small he had to create the entire universe to have greater than a 50/50 chance that life would exist on just one planet. Didn't realise he was so wasteful.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#7  Postby Manticore » Apr 17, 2017 10:50 am

Just say: "Did you know it's now possible to get a brain implant?" then walk away while they're still going "Duuuh....".
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#8  Postby Gila Guerilla » Apr 18, 2017 2:11 am

Evolutionist: "Such and such an evolutionary line split off from such and such else evolutionary line, X hundreds of thousands of years ago".

Creationist: "That's wrong - were you there ??? (Sucker)."

Evolutionist: "How can you say it didn't happen - were you there ??? (Back at you)."
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#9  Postby Tzelemel » Apr 18, 2017 3:44 pm

Gila Guerilla wrote:Evolutionist: "Such and such an evolutionary line split off from such and such else evolutionary line, X hundreds of thousands of years ago".

Creationist: "That's wrong - were you there ??? (Sucker)."

Evolutionist: "How can you say it didn't happen - were you there ??? (Back at you)."


That's a terrible counterargument, because they'll just point to the Bible, then you have to waste time debating the Bible.

My counterargument would be, "So, are you saying that we should let all the murderers free? After all, none of the detectives or prosecutors were there to witness the crime."
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#10  Postby mingthething » Apr 19, 2017 3:00 pm

Tzelemel wrote:
Gila Guerilla wrote:Evolutionist: "Such and such an evolutionary line split off from such and such else evolutionary line, X hundreds of thousands of years ago".

Creationist: "That's wrong - were you there ??? (Sucker)."

Evolutionist: "How can you say it didn't happen - were you there ??? (Back at you)."


That's a terrible counterargument, because they'll just point to the Bible, then you have to waste time debating the Bible.

My counterargument would be, "So, are you saying that we should let all the murderers free? After all, none of the detectives or prosecutors were there to witness the crime."


Then they'd bring up examples of wrongful conviction occurring to justify their argument that nobody knows for sure because 'you weren't there'. Then the argument from Rashomon etc. Then comes the argument of 'The facts are the same. Just that we interpret the facts differently'. I don't know if I've got a snappy, vivid argument that demolishes this in one or two sentences.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#11  Postby Tzelemel » Apr 19, 2017 4:27 pm

mingthething wrote:Then they'd bring up examples of wrongful conviction occurring to justify their argument that nobody knows for sure because 'you weren't there'.


Sure, they would, but instances of wrongful conviction do not negate the instances of correct conviction, so they haven't actually justified their argument at all. By focusing on wrongful convictions, they're shifting the goalposts. Now instead of saying, "Oh, but you weren't there," they're saying, "You can't interpret the evidence correctly all the time." Effectively, they've lost the argument, and are now trying to distract from that, by trying to counter your arguments.

Gila Guerilla's argument doesn't force them to shift the goalposts. In fact, pointing to the Bible was the punchline for that particular argument. By retorting, "No, I wasn't there, were you?" you're walking into their trap. You're effectively saying, "I agree with you, but you also weren't there." Then you have to counter their arguments.

When debating a Creationist, never debate the Bible. It has nothing of substance to debate with, so you don't want to be drawn into an argument about it, because you're effectively wasting your time arguing over nothing. Furthermore, if you start debating that, you're effectively saying that evolution is directly opposed to Christianity, which is patently false.

Evolution and Christianity are perfectly compatible. What's incompatible is a literal interpretation of the Bible and evolution.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#12  Postby Manticore » Apr 19, 2017 4:49 pm

The thing is, hardly any of them have ever read most of the bible. They have read only the parts they are told to read by their preacher. These tend to be mainly the parts which give the preacher justification for extracting money from them. (Which is inevitably spent on big houses, expensive vehicles and prostitutes.)
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#13  Postby theropod » Apr 19, 2017 5:29 pm

Tzelemel wrote:
mingthething wrote:Then they'd bring up examples of wrongful conviction occurring to justify their argument that nobody knows for sure because 'you weren't there'.


Sure, they would, but instances of wrongful conviction do not negate the instances of correct conviction, so they haven't actually justified their argument at all. By focusing on wrongful convictions, they're shifting the goalposts. Now instead of saying, "Oh, but you weren't there," they're saying, "You can't interpret the evidence correctly all the time." Effectively, they've lost the argument, and are now trying to distract from that, by trying to counter your arguments.

Gila Guerilla's argument doesn't force them to shift the goalposts. In fact, pointing to the Bible was the punchline for that particular argument. By retorting, "No, I wasn't there, were you?" you're walking into their trap. You're effectively saying, "I agree with you, but you also weren't there." Then you have to counter their arguments.

When debating a Creationist, never debate the Bible. It has nothing of substance to debate with, so you don't want to be drawn into an argument about it, because you're effectively wasting your time arguing over nothing. Furthermore, if you start debating that, you're effectively saying that evolution is directly opposed to Christianity, which is patently false.

Evolution and Christianity are perfectly compatible. What's incompatible is a literal interpretation of the Bible and evolution.


Bold edit by me.

Evolution negates the entire premise of the Bible and therefore Christianity. Christianity is based on mythology. The only valid interpretation of evolution is that it is an observation of reality and a fact. I am challenging you to defend your assertion.

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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#14  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 19, 2017 8:02 pm

Gila Guerilla wrote:Evolutionist: "Such and such an evolutionary line split off from such and such else evolutionary line, X hundreds of thousands of years ago".

Creationist: "That's wrong - were you there ??? (Sucker)."


I don't have to be. Physical processes leave behind evidence of their occurrence, much of it persistent. You are persistent evidence that your parents had sex.

That'll shake them. :D
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#15  Postby Tzelemel » Apr 19, 2017 8:07 pm

theropod wrote:
Tzelemel wrote:When debating a Creationist, never debate the Bible. It has nothing of substance to debate with, so you don't want to be drawn into an argument about it, because you're effectively wasting your time arguing over nothing. Furthermore, if you start debating that, you're effectively saying that evolution is directly opposed to Christianity, which is patently false.


Bold edit by me.

Evolution negates the entire premise of the Bible and therefore Christianity. Christianity is based on mythology. The only valid interpretation of evolution is that it is an observation of reality and a fact. I am challenging you to defend your assertion.

RS


Evolution cannot negate the entire Bible, because it only pronounces on the creation of species. It therefore only negates the bits of the Bible that talks about the creation of species, and even then, I'm stretching the definition of evolution to include abiogenesis.

The Bible is a piecemeal document, written by several different authors. To prove Genesis wrong, does not prove the rest of the Bible wrong, unless you believe that the entire Bible is God's uncorrupted, divine word. If you believe the Bible is God's word, filtered through flawed, and maybe politically biased, humans, then it'll take more than evolution to prove the entire Bible wrong. The former is the fundamentalist's viewpoint. The latter is the more moderate Christian's viewpoint.

Now, it could be argued that we just need to target the fundamentalists, in which case, evolution is indeed all you need to negate the Bible. If you wish to target all of Christianity, however, then evolution is not enough.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#16  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 19, 2017 8:54 pm

Tzelemel wrote:
theropod wrote:
Tzelemel wrote:When debating a Creationist, never debate the Bible. It has nothing of substance to debate with, so you don't want to be drawn into an argument about it, because you're effectively wasting your time arguing over nothing. Furthermore, if you start debating that, you're effectively saying that evolution is directly opposed to Christianity, which is patently false.


Bold edit by me.

Evolution negates the entire premise of the Bible and therefore Christianity. Christianity is based on mythology. The only valid interpretation of evolution is that it is an observation of reality and a fact. I am challenging you to defend your assertion.

RS


Evolution cannot negate the entire Bible, because it only pronounces on the creation of species. It therefore only negates the bits of the Bible that talks about the creation of species, and even then, I'm stretching the definition of evolution to include abiogenesis.

The Bible is a piecemeal document, written by several different authors. To prove Genesis wrong, does not prove the rest of the Bible wrong, unless you believe that the entire Bible is God's uncorrupted, divine word. If you believe the Bible is God's word, filtered through flawed, and maybe politically biased, humans, then it'll take more than evolution to prove the entire Bible wrong. The former is the fundamentalist's viewpoint. The latter is the more moderate Christian's viewpoint.

Now, it could be argued that we just need to target the fundamentalists, in which case, evolution is indeed all you need to negate the Bible. If you wish to target all of Christianity, however, then evolution is not enough.


At this point, we're into the territory of "what does the mythology in question actually assert?". Once you know the nature of the assertions contained therein, you then move on to the question of which assertions enjoy something resembling external corrobration, which ones are bereft thereof, either through absence of data or through being untestable even in principle, and which ones are actively refuted by external data. The moment you find just one assertion that is actively refuted by data, you do not refute the entire work, but you certainly cast doubt upon its provenance as a source of verifiable fact. At that point, the assertions of fundamentalists can be discarded with ease. Since this has already been achieved with respect to the assertions in Genesis 1 & 2, it's Game Over for fundamentalism as being anything other than a bizarre reality-denial cult.

However, we have to take into account, the manner in which mythological assertions are considered to be linked by the theology crowd. Most astute theologians don't regard Genesis 1 & 2 as essential to the core tenets of Christianity, but they certainly regard Genesis 3 as essential, because without the concept of Original Sin, the whole edifice falls apart. Without the concept of Original Sin in place, the rest, including the entire New Testament, is effectively null and void.

As a consequence, my view is that much of the furore about evolution is a sideshow erected by the fundamentalists, to distract people from thinking the killer thought "is the Original Sin assertion wrong?" Because the moment that assertion is given a kick in the nuts, it's Game Over for all the Abrahamic religions. That's the one assertion the Abrahamic religions have to keep alive in order to persist. However, evolution becomes a central target for those concerned with that assertion, the moment one starts finding evidence that our capacity for ethical thinking didn't magically appear because of some conjuring trick with fruit, but was actually a shared inheritance with other primates. That evidence is starting to grow in quantity, at a rate that is alarming for any theologian that has contemplated the issue, and as a corollary, evolution will probably become a dog-whistle topic for those outside the fundamentalist camp as well, once that data and its implications start hitting home in a big way. Not least because theologians don't have an answer to this one. If they cannot point to a defining moment, when our capacity for ethical thought appeared in an instant, and connect that to mythological assertion, but instead are supplied with data telling us that said capacity for ethical thought was a common primate inheritance, one that in our case expanded over evolutionary time, then the whole Original Sin assertion is fucked. The data is increasingly pointing in this direction, and as a corollary, the killer weapon against Abrahamic mythology isn't the work of Darwin, or for that matter anything that concentrates on phylogeny as a general concept, but that one particular phylogenetic result centring on ASPM and FOXP2, and how those genes launched us onto the path of being ethically aware beings in the abstract realm.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#17  Postby theropod » Apr 19, 2017 8:58 pm

Tzelemel wrote:
theropod wrote:
Tzelemel wrote:When debating a Creationist, never debate the Bible. It has nothing of substance to debate with, so you don't want to be drawn into an argument about it, because you're effectively wasting your time arguing over nothing. Furthermore, if you start debating that, you're effectively saying that evolution is directly opposed to Christianity, which is patently false.


Bold edit by me.

Evolution negates the entire premise of the Bible and therefore Christianity. Christianity is based on mythology. The only valid interpretation of evolution is that it is an observation of reality and a fact. I am challenging you to defend your assertion.

RS


Evolution cannot negate the entire Bible, because it only pronounces on the creation of species. It therefore only negates the bits of the Bible that talks about the creation of species, and even then, I'm stretching the definition of evolution to include abiogenesis.

The Bible is a piecemeal document, written by several different authors. To prove Genesis wrong, does not prove the rest of the Bible wrong, unless you believe that the entire Bible is God's uncorrupted, divine word. If you believe the Bible is God's word, filtered through flawed, and maybe politically biased, humans, then it'll take more than evolution to prove the entire Bible wrong. The former is the fundamentalist's viewpoint. The latter is the more moderate Christian's viewpoint.

Now, it could be argued that we just need to target the fundamentalists, in which case, evolution is indeed all you need to negate the Bible. If you wish to target all of Christianity, however, then evolution is not enough.


Thise bits of the Bible about creation also are a central tenet of Christianity. Without the original sin, for which the Christ provided the perfect sacrifice to attone for this sin, there is no need for forgiveness and no need for the Christ. If there is no need for the Christ there is no defense of Christianity. Of course you could be referring to a flavor of Christianity where no association to said sacrificing is needed, but no such Christianity can then be called Christianity.

Abiogenesis does not apply in any way as evolution makes no such claims about how life arose. Since it is a fact that man was not created, but rather is the result of purely natural, and unguided, processes evolution counters even the most secular versions of Christianity. One could employ the teachings of the Christ as a guide for living without a speck of faith in the supernatural aspect, but this would require ignoring the parts of these very teachings and negate the ability to claim such as Christianity.

Cali, I see, has beaten me to the punch yet again. Also, in his usual style, has made the case in a much more succinct and thorough manner than I could ever hope to.

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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#18  Postby mingthething » Apr 20, 2017 2:58 am

Calilasseia wrote:
Gila Guerilla wrote:Evolutionist: "Such and such an evolutionary line split off from such and such else evolutionary line, X hundreds of thousands of years ago".

Creationist: "That's wrong - were you there ??? (Sucker)."


I don't have to be. Physical processes leave behind evidence of their occurrence, much of it persistent. You are persistent evidence that your parents had sex.

That'll shake them. :D


In this day and age of reproductive technology, I'd try to prevent him from going off on a tangent of 'Aha! You don't know whether I was a test tube baby or not! were you there? ' I'd rephrase that as: 'You are persistent evidence that your biological father's spermatozoon penetrated your mother's ovum and resulted in you'. Thanks. One more to add to my arsenal of succinct one-liners :grin: :grin:
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#19  Postby Tzelemel » Apr 20, 2017 8:19 am

theropod wrote:Thise bits of the Bible about creation also are a central tenet of Christianity. Without the original sin, for which the Christ provided the perfect sacrifice to attone for this sin, there is no need for forgiveness and no need for the Christ. If there is no need for the Christ there is no defense of Christianity. Of course you could be referring to a flavor of Christianity where no association to said sacrificing is needed, but no such Christianity can then be called Christianity.


Yes, there's those types of Christians but there's also Christians who believe that Genesis 3 is also metaphorical. They believe Original Sin is a result of our natural base desires, and that Jesus's sacrifice was still required. You could argue they're undergoing tortured mental gymnastics to maintain their views on both reality and Christianity, but that's just the type of people we're dealing with.

Admittedly, I don't understand their viewpoint rather well. My dim view on religion means I didn't really look into it that much. I just know they exist, and that evolution is not a problem for them.

I can't further any arguments for this, so I'll automatically cede to you when you make your inevitable follow up post to this.
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Re: Real world analogies when using to countering creaionism

#20  Postby John Platko » Apr 20, 2017 6:40 pm

:coffee:

I don't think I've ever met a creationist in real life. I've got to get out more - I don't even know where I'd look for one. :scratch:
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