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Why do People Laugh at Creationists? July 1, 2008

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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Why do people laugh at creationists?
Only creationists don’t know why.

There is the punch line to a great series of 24 (so far) videos on YouTube entitled “Why do people laugh at creationists?” by a YouTube poster called Thunderf00t.  They highlight the very worst logic that creationists have to offer and offer well thought out and insightful counterarguments to the nonsense.  

Now I am fully aware these videos do not constitute a thorough destruction of the creationism position or even a fair representation of their views.  Nonetheless there are some big names in the creationist movement represented here making some very daft points and the rebuttal is both eloquent and educational.

With that in mind these videos are really more in the nature of educational entertainment: watching idiotic statements getting eloquently shot down amuses me for some reason, and some of the counter arguments are actually very interesting (I even learnt quite a bit from them).  It also bugged me that I could never remember which video covered which points so I am also using this post as an index to the videos, and hopefully a useful resource. 

Here are the 24 parts and a brief discussion of what they cover:

Part 1: 

The Grand Canyon could have been formed in about 5 minutes, scientists have been desperately trying to find water on other planets, perfectly spherical orbit around the sun, Habitable zone around sun.

Part 2:

Hydrogen cannot turn into another element, moon covers sun exactly in an eclipse, chance of moon covering sun is 1 in a trillion

Part 3:

Kent Hovind’s giant ice meteor theory

Part 4:

Kent Hovind says one drop of water could cover the earth

Part 5:

Kent Hovind’s theory about a canopy of water above the atmosphere.

Part 6:

Kent Hovind argues that clouds stop x-rays and that x-rays cause aging.

Part 7:

Kent Hovind claims evolution says we started off tiny and we’re getting bigger, stronger, smarter etc.  Then he discusses hunter-gatherer tool making.

Part 8:

The “bogus improbability argument”.

Part 9:

Newton & Einstein quoted as believing in god, Ray Comfort’s buildings need builders, paintings need painters argument from the RRS debate.

Part 10:

Privileged Planet’s argument about fine tuning argument, Lee Strobel’s argument that changing the force of gravity by a tiny amount is catastrophic for life.

Part 11:

Noah’s ark, rate of change of salt content of sea, spiritual death and souls.

Part 12:

Kent Hovind garbles genetic biochemistry (badly)

Part 13:

William Dembski’s claims about complexity and design in DNA.

Part 14:

Various creationists use Bill Gates quote about DNA, random coverage of the Dover vs Kitzmiller trial.

Part 15:

Jonathan Well’s points about the cambrian explosion of life

Part 16:

Radiometric dating methods.

Part 17:

Kent Hovind explains how the code in the chromosomes is more complex and holds more information than all the computer programmes ever written combined.

Part 18:

Discussion of free speech and some creationist views of it.

Part 19:

Evolution is evil, microevolution is possible but macroevolution isn’t.

Part 20:

Moon recession rate from earth, a great cynical response to a mathematical error (3*4=1200)

Part 21:

Discussion of free speech/censorship based on banning of a creationist from youtube.
 
Part 22:

Ben Stein points out that Darwin didn’t know much and that there hasn’t been much progress since.

Part 23:

Ben Stein shows his ignorance of evolution.

Part 24:

Ben Stein explains how science leads to killing people.


I’ll update this list if more videos are added.

Enjoy!

 

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Comments»

1. Peter - July 1, 2008

the only thing that i would say is that kent hovind and ray comfort are probably not the best advocates for creationism, as hovind is in jail for tax evasion and ray isnt even a scientist at all.

with that said, check out some of the stuff put out by institute for creation research. all of the authors/scientists there are experts in their various fields. and they have much more competent things to say about why they believe in creation because of the scientific evidence.

peter

2. Ian - July 1, 2008

Welcome Peter.

Indeed if I was a creationist I would probably be attacking Hovind and Comfort myself lol. Still, many of their arguments are frequently parroted by various apologists who are more respected (Harrub for example uses many of those mentioned in these videos) so the counter arguments are somewhat useful. And the amusement value cannot be underestimated 🙂

3. A.J.Chesswas - July 2, 2008

i remember harrub usuing comfort, and i remember cringing at what confort said… fact is, comfort is an evangelist, not a scientist… he is a damn good evangelist, but seems to be easily persuaded by simplisitic creationism…

4. A.J.Chesswas - July 2, 2008

ps i watched the anti-probability video… i just wonder what is the probability of the electromagnetic laws of chemistry emerging in the first place…

5. Ian - July 2, 2008

Why would you say comfort is a good evangelist? (just curious)

i just wonder what is the probability of the electromagnetic laws of chemistry emerging in the first place…

The chances are probably considerably higher than the probability of something that could define them emerging 🙂

The real problem is that we have no basis to answer your question. To answer it we need to know how many possible forms the laws could actually take and the influences on it taking various forms. I don’t think we even know where to start to find values for either of those parameters.

6. A.J.Chesswas - July 2, 2008

i think comfort is a good evangelist because he brings a timely reminder that true conversion will only come when a person has some light shed on their true spiritual condition, and that the exposition of God’s laws is a highly effective way to do this – ie use of the 10 commandments as base, building on that Christ’s exposition at the Sermon on the Mount… This all builds on the assumption that God’s nature is evident to all, in a 6th-sense sort of way, that his law is written on our hearts and that we all know we fall sure of him… he talks about how people use “science” etc in a sophistry-style way to avoid an introspective approach to the human heart… he often quotes Paul “the law was the schoolmaster that brought me to Christ”…

I think we may have touched on this topic before, and regrettably it comes down to having to take peoples’ word for it re their own spiritual condition, but at the same time there are indicators to tell what is the true state of a person’s heart…

Bill Craig made a good point when he said he doesnt know of any, and doesn’t see how, an atheist could truly live out his life as an authentic expression of atheist convictions…

7. Ian - July 10, 2008

Oops, missed this comment 🙂

Fair enough on Comfort (personally I have very little respect for his communication skills or knowledge).

As I mentioned in another post I am quite keen to hear about people’s personal experiences in terms of possible explanations. Most that I am aware of have a hazy layer of interpretation between the actual observation and the conclusions made.

I am going to take your last point and write a post about it at some stage because I think that view is fundamentally flawed so I’ll leave it for now.

8. Mike Beidler - January 1, 2009

Ian,

Thanks for the link to these videos! It’s only been in the last few years that I realized how cognitively dissonant I really was as a young-earth creationist. I look back on my journey from YEC to evolution (which is the topic of my blog) and sometimes laugh out loud. It wasn’t so much a level of my intelligence that made me a YEC, but rather a misguided understanding of the fundamental nature of the Bible.

That’s all sorted out now (for the most part).

Happy New Year!

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