Hate Mail

Joshua McCarthy

[Editor's note: I found this one amusing. His very first sentence is "I'll be honest" and then he launches into a lie about how he has been attempting to disprove creationism and failing (presumably despite his best efforts), even though he will make an about-face in his next message and admit that he is actually a staunch creationist]

I'll be honest. Personally, I'm a Christian, specifically, a fundamental Southern Baptist from the Southeast U.S. I am a biology major intending to go into medicine. Right now I am spending my free time trying to prove creationism wrong. I've met a roadblock in a book entitled "Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions about the Christian Faith" by Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino. If you've read it, can you find any fault with there logic or evidence? If you haven't read it, would you mind taking the skeptic-side and me taking the Christian-side and we "debate" over e-mail. I understand your time constaints and would not feel snubbed. But your writings haven't beaten their logic yet. Thank, you for your time. Josh.


Monday 20 September 2004 04:42 pm:

I'll be honest. Personally, I'm a Christian, specifically, a fundamental Southern Baptist from the Southeast U.S. I am a biology major intending to go into medicine. Right now I am spending my free time trying to prove creationism wrong.

No offense intended, but the idea of a fundamentalist Southern Baptist who is not also a creationist seems rather bizarre to me.

I've met a roadblock in a book entitled "Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions about the Christian Faith" by Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino. If you've read it, can you find any fault with there logic or evidence? If you haven't read it, would you mind taking the skeptic-side and me taking the Christian-side and we "debate" over e-mail.

Sure, I don't mind. Just keep each exchange to a reasonable length, ie- 2500 words or less. I haven't read that particular book, but I've seen a number of anti-evolution Christian books and I've never seen an argument that wasn't either self-contradictory, grossly inconsistent with the scientific method, predicated upon painfully obvious logic fallacies, or based on preposterous misconceptions about how evolution really works.

I understand your time constaints and would not feel snubbed. But your writings haven't beaten their logic yet. Thank, you for your time. Josh.

No problem.


Before I get started in the book's line of reasoning. If you have the time, would you please define exactly what you mean by the Big Bang Theory, and what a secular humanist atheist is. And as we begin this debate, please forgive any typos and bad grammar on my part. English is my worst subject. As soon as I know your exact, defined position on these two ideas, I will write my side of the argument. Thank you, Josh. And to clarify my first mistake. I, at the moment, am a complete fundamentalist in all respects. Including the fact I respect you believe what you do. Though until proved philoshpically and scientifically incorrect, I believe you are wrong. My arguments will be from the book mentioned in the previous e-mail. The book itself is based on science, law, history, philosophy ( and the branch of logic specifically), and the first principles of each. Thanks again. I will await your reply.


Monday 20 September 2004 06:03 pm:

Before I get started in the book's line of reasoning. If you have the time, would you please define exactly what you mean by the Big Bang Theory, and what a secular humanist atheist is. And as we begin this debate, please forgive any typos and bad grammar on my part. English is my worst subject. As soon as I know your exact, defined position on these two ideas, I will write my side of the argument. Thank you, Josh.

Ah, I see. So you are actually a full-blown young-Earth creationist. Sorry, but if you don't know what Big Bang Theory is, I don't see why I should have to explain it to you. Will you ask me to explain the concept of evolution next? Part of your task, if you wish to prove that biology, geology, astrophysics, and cosmology are all wrong, is to show that you actually know the material. Because if you don't, and you are therefore arguing from ignorance, then you have no basis whatsoevre for your claims against them. It is a matter of simple logic that you cannot say a theory is wrong if you don't know what it is.

As for the term "secular humanist atheist", that's a simple matter of dictionary definitions. A secularist opposes the influence of religion in government, a humanist promotes the principles of humanism including the concept of human rights and the idea that ethical systems should benefit mankind, and an atheist does not believe in God. However, I don't see what that has to do with proving evolution theory wrong. Are you familiar with the phrase "attacking the messenger, not the message?" What difference should my lack of religious beliefs make to my arguments? Suppose the same words were uttered by a Buddhist? A Muslim? A Catholic? A member of the United Church? Would this have any bearing on the validity of the arguments?

And to clarify my first mistake. I, at the moment, am a complete fundamentalist in all respects. Including the fact I respect you believe what you do. Though until proved philoshpically and scientifically incorrect, I believe you are wrong. My arguments will be from the book mentioned in the previous e-mail. The book itself is based on science, law, history, philosophy ( and the branch of logic specifically), and the first principles of each. Thanks again. I will await your reply.

Ah, I see. Please try to be more direct in future. It is rather obvious that you were being quite disingenuous when you claimed that you were actively attempting to disprove creationism. Dishonesty is no way to open a discussion.


I'm sorry if I gave the impression of not knowing the Big-Bang Theory. I know it, not in the "every detail of it sense," but in the main tenets and good evidence. I happen to agree with it. I was just asking for a little more depth than what's on your definition page. I specifically want to know if you believe the universe is finite or infinite; and to be even more specific, which view of the Big-Bang's first moments do you agree with. I have read about something-out-of-nothing, this universe out of another, etc. Your exact thoughts were my intents.

And the secular humanist atheist definition in the email was a little more clear cut, I just wanted your definition.

And I agree about the message and the messenger. As of right now, you are a messenger for s.h. atheism, and I am promoting Christianity. I also agree on the dishonesty. I see where my words were misunderstood from a lack of better communication on my part. I was raised Southern Baptist and have been taught that the fundamental view of creation was true. And to be honest, so far, your's is the best kept website saying otherwise. I am actively trying to prove it false. That I did not lie about, or intentionaly lie about anything else. It was the not being clear that I failed at. It is much easier for me to communicate in person. I will try to more clearly lay out the thoughts and intents behind statements and questions. I hope you do not feel I have wasted your time.

If there is anything else unclear, I would be happy to clarify. With that, please send your answers at your convenience. I am thankful you are taking the time to help me logically think through atheism and Christianity. Josh.


Monday 20 September 2004 10:25 pm:

I'm sorry if I gave the impression of not knowing the Big-Bang Theory. I know it, not in the "every detail of it sense," but in the main tenets and good evidence. I happen to agree with it. I was just asking for a little more depth than what's on your definition page.

Hint: see Google :)

I specifically want to know if you believe the universe is finite or infinite; and to be even more specific, which view of the Big-Bang's first moments do you agree with.

To be honest, the minutae of the events of the first moments subsequent to the Big Bang are still something of a mystery, and not of particular concern to me, nor do they relate to evolution theory in any way.

I have read about something-out-of-nothing, this universe out of another, etc. Your exact thoughts were my intents.

That kind of speculation is somewhat pointless; everything in the universe (including time itself) began with the Big Bang. So there was no "before", hence no need to question what the universe was before the Big Bang or where it came from. It simply is.

And the secular humanist atheist definition in the email was a little more clear cut, I just wanted your definition.

OK.

And I agree about the message and the messenger. As of right now, you are a messenger for s.h. atheism, and I am promoting Christianity. I also agree on the dishonesty. I see where my words were misunderstood from a lack of better communication on my part. I was raised Southern Baptist and have been taught that the fundamental view of creation was true. And to be honest, so far, your's is the best kept website saying otherwise. I am actively trying to prove it false. That I did not lie about, or intentionaly lie about anything else. It was the not being clear that I failed at. It is much easier for me to communicate in person. I will try to more clearly lay out the thoughts and intents behind statements and questions. I hope you do not feel I have wasted your time.

OK, just so we are both clear on what is going on here.

If there is anything else unclear, I would be happy to clarify. With that, please send your answers at your convenience. I am thankful you are taking the time to help me logically think through atheism and Christianity. Josh.

Well, since my arguments are laid out on my website, and you have not yet made yours, I think that the ball is now in your court. Please present a reasonably brief argument stating your logical or scientific objections to evolution theory. If you cannot do so in a reasonably brief post (<2500 words), focus on one or two particular areas of disagreement. I am more than aware that creationist literature often attempts to disprove everything from geology to nuclear physics, cosmology, and even organic chemistry in its zeal to attack science, but it is not practical to simultaneously debate every conceivable area. As you have stated that you have logical objections with evolution theory, it seems best to start there.

[Editor's note: unfortunately, after the initial rapid-fire series of exchanges, he went silent for more than a week after this last message, and I still have not heard from him]


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