Anti-Creationist Overgeneralizations

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

During my years on teh interweb, I've seen many things and encountered a passel of things presented as arguments — many are dreadful. Something that really burns my prairie schooner is the way anti-creationists and atheists use prejudical conjecture, and make sweeping generalizations about biblical creation.

One example is the controversial Ica stones that supposedly show dinosaurs, which some creationists have used as possible evidence for dinosaurs existing with humans. Although the jury is still out regarding the authenticity of the Ica stones, scoffers boldly assert that they are fake, claim that we commonly use them as evidence for our views, and then use this assertion against biblical creation science as a whole. Although some of the stones are undoubtedly fake, such a sweeping generalization is logically fallacious.

Anti-creationists tend to find a flaw, real or imagined, and overgeneralize against biblical creation science as a whole. That's the opposite of rational thinking.
Ica stones image credit: Brattarb / Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
How about the Loch Ness Monster? I'll allow that although this is tangential to creation science, it is occasionally discussed in cryptozoology presentations and the like. The most famous photo of Nessie was revealed to be a fake, so that apparently gives some people license to overgeneralize, discarding 1,500 years of reported sightings, including those of reputable people in more recent times. Again, such "reasoning" is fallacious.

Some creationists have used the idea of rock art depicting a pterosaur as evidence that man and dinosaurs lived together. This was debunked, so we move on — again, it was not a major pillar of creation science, but we encounter tinhorns that gleefully generalize and mock creationists (see previous link, and the one that follows). While being fallacious, the author of this article admits that the rock art was endorsed by a minority of creationists. Then he ridicules all of us. If you're looking for logic, look elsewhere. Meanwhile, there is a great deal of other evidence that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time

Those three are nowhere near the primary evidence for a young Earth and against evolution, but they help illustrate the point that people jump on the small things to discredit the whole of biblical creation science. More common is to see anti-creationists disputing scientific evidence against evolution (some sidewinders even call us "liars" when they dislike what creationists present), and find online material to "refute" the creationists' material. Some even cite abstracts from scientific journals (often with material much older than the creationist evidence being challenged), even though they show no ability to understand such material. (I believe scholarly evolutionists are not likely to be trolling the Web on a secularist jihad like the village Darwinista is wont to do.) The overgeneralization here is that since creation evidence is not proven to an individual's satisfaction, none of it is valid.

I reckon that much of the anti-creationist complaining is based on argument from personal incredulity, a form of argument from ignorance. That goes something like, "I cannot or will not believe what the creationists' say, so it must not be true, so I'll reject all possible evidence supporting the peripheral possibilities that an individual presents". Some presuppose that it's not possible to give evidence for recent special creation, so they seem to use personal incredulity along with the genetic fallacy to reject creation science.

Another example is based entirely on personal experience, and I am not going to track down the lecture that I heard this from, so no supporting links, no naming names. A somewhat popular Christian apologist expressed hatred for the biblical creationist position. This old Earther quoted a creationist who was not exactly in a leadership position, claimed that he was wrong (or may have even accused the creationist of lying, I disremember which), gave cherry-picked "evidence" against him, then wrote off all biblical creation science. And this guy dares to teach about logic and honesty? Even if the cited creationist was wrong or lying, that's just one guy.

Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes people find exceptions to possible evidence, sometimes they reject it out of hand because it threatens their a priori evolutionary and old Earth paradigms. Overgeneralizing to dismiss creationists because of rejected information is completely irrational and disingenuous. How about being intellectually honest and examining the strong evidence that biblical creationists present instead of going after the low-hanging fruit?