Re: [asa] Advice for conversing with YECs

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Sat Oct 25 2008 - 09:06:04 EDT

A correction to the below - a careless typo. I should have said

Whatever evidence
> you provide, or rebuttals to certain "Creation Science" claims, they
> always just switch the subject and hit you wit more "claims", along
> the lines of "ah but what about this .... xyz", without acknowledging
> that your previous point was CORRECT.

In other words, when shown to be wrong they just switch to another
topic without conceding that THEY were wrong on the first one. It's
extremely frustrating to try and debate in this way - usually it's not
difficult to find a clear rebuttal of so-called YEC "science" claims (
the "Index to Creationist Claims" on Talk Origins is pretty good
here), but when someone is pumped up with a whole load of stuff they
got from AiG or similar, you end up swamped out with things to chase

I did recently get a YEC colleague (non-scientist) to agree that it
was just not acceptable to promote false science, and yet he still
thinks AiG is the best thing since sliced bread, and that the job of
science is to "verify the Bible's claims". (ie verify the claims that
his interpretation of the Bible imply).

A friend of mine was "converted" away from YEC by a thoughtful friend
who gave her a book about the Geology of Oxfordshire (where we live).
She in turn has, she says, managed to persuade a YEC friend of hers to
accept an Old Earth, with various bits of evidence, including,
apparently, an article that I wrote for the local Church magazine on
the Creation/Evolution/Intelligent design debate.

But amongst these rare successes, there are way too many folks who, as
you say, are not interested in looking at evidence.


On Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 8:57 AM, Iain Strachan <> wrote:
> Hi, Dennis,
> I'm afraid if your person is not interested in looking at evidence
> there's not a great deal you can do. I have attempted to debate in a
> reasoned and gentlemanly fashion with various YEC's and I've found it
> to be by and large a pretty frustrating experience. Whatever evidence
> you provide, or rebuttals to certain "Creation Science" claims, they
> always just switch the subject and hit you wit more "claims", along
> the lines of "ah but what about this .... xyz", without acknowledging
> that your previous point was incorrect.
> On another occasion one YEC pastor told me "if I believed, as you do
> that the world is billions of years old, then I would leave the faith
> and become an atheist". It didn't give me much incentive to go on and
> try and persuade him the earth was billions of years old!
> For a while I was deluded by the YEC message, and would have called
> myself a YEC when I first joined this list. I can tell you what I
> found helpful and what I found wasn't helpful.
> What was helpful was gracious people who explained the scientific
> point of view without in a reasoned manner. What I did NOT find
> helpful was the insulting comments that were thrown out, in an
> apparent attempt to humiliate me. I was accused of being
> "incompetent" at one point, for example. There are certain people on
> the list who seem to froth at the mouth at the sight of a YEC, and who
> think it's perfectly acceptable to indulge in ad hominem attacks.
> Careless comments such as were complained about on this list only
> today do NOT ease tension and just get peoples' backs up. Bombastic
> bullying, attacks on peoples' personal morality etc etc should be
> avoided - indeed I think disciplinary action should be taken against
> list members who engage in this kind of behaviour.
> But the most helpful thing to me was just thinking about scripture.
> My own turning point came when out on an evening walk when I came to
> thinking about Nicodemus - asking about entering his mother's womb a
> second time to be "born again". It was made clear to him that it
> wasn't that kind of birth ( ie literal/physical), and hence that Death
> (arising from the Fall) by the same token wasn't that kind of death.
> It was an immense relief to come to the realisation that "no death
> before the fall" didn't mean you had to be YEC, in the same way that
> Nicodemus was told he didn't have to go back into his mother's womb in
> order to get born again.
> Iain
> On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 10:00 PM, Dennis Venema <> wrote:
>> I seem to be something of a lightning rod for YECs in my local church
>> sphere. At present I am discussing these issues with a gentleman from my
>> congregation, but I am not making much progress in having him try to
>> understand my point of view. We can't even get past the age-of-the-earth
>> issue. He is not interested in looking at any evidence, either.
>> I am interested in what advice folks might have I am especially interested
>> in hearing from those of you who used to be YECs but now accept an old
>> earth. What was useful to you as you made the transition?
>> Thanks, all.
>> Dennis
> --
> -----------
> Non timeo sed caveo
> -----------

Non timeo sed caveo
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Received on Sat Oct 25 09:06:44 2008

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