Should Scientists Dialogue With ID, YEC, and OEC?

Are they ad hominem? :slight_smile:

Actually no. :slight_smile:

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Let me ask you a question. Let’s say you and are are having a discussion and I fire off at you that “you are not a scientist.” Do you think that is ad hominem?

How about this rather famous one, “you are anonymous.” Is that ad hominem?


You can read about the ad hominem fallacy here. Here is a verbatim description:

Attacking the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself, when the attack on the person is completely irrelevant to the argument the person is making.

When Ann argued that Art “doesn’t understand anything about bacterial genetics”, implying that his comments were suspect because of this oddly-conceived hyperbole on her part, she gave a fantastic example of the ad hominem fallacy. I’m done with this odd side-conversation now, feel free to continue without me.


You know it is dangerous to ask me a question. I’m like the “man on the street” interview where the reporter jams a microphone into the face of some dude filling his tank at the Chevron, and he just, nervously, blurts out the first thing that comes to his mind. Then he regrets saying anything for the rest of his life. :slight_smile:

Seriously, I think that, as to your earlier point, it is not just name calling that makes something ad hominem, but it is a deflection from the real issue toward the personal that is so.

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That’s my conclusion as well. The Ken Ham type of creationism requires a massive wall between the followers and the information that is all around us. With the advent of the internet it is all but impossible to keep that information out. Millenials are quite adept at finding things on the internet. There will always be a YEC community, just as there will always be a Flat Earth society, anti-vaxxers, moon landing conspiracists, and the like. Apparently, there is a certain percentage of the population that is drawn to contrarian positions and conspiracy theories. However, those communities will continue to shrink and lose relevance. YEC is going the way of Geocentrism.


I view it more as a challenge to demonstrate your expertise. Afterall, if you get medical advice from the homeless guy on the corner and from a medical doctor with 40 years of experience, which advice holds the most weight? Is it possible that the homeless guy is right and the doctor is wrong? Absolutely. However, there is nothing wrong with giving more weight to experts unless there is evidence that swings it the other way.

I think that is a fairly weak example of ad hominem. Technically it is because it attacks @Art and not the argument.

I agree with this but I feel the reasons for the theatrical outbursts are not that hard to understand: see the thread ID at War for the Soul of Western Civilization?.

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To me:


I think it’s a perfect example of ad hominem.


But none of the “why” part made any sense.


One way to understand how Christians in science think, in broad terms, is to note what the Bible has to say about the natural world, God’s “role” in it, and the nature of our response to those things in our testimony about God.
Witness the commentary on all these issues in Acts 14:15-18, viz.:
“and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways;and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.’ Even saying these things, with difficulty they restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.” --Acts 14:15-18 NASB
According to Paul here (who has just been backed up by a miracle), natural history itself is a witness to God’s role as a living and good Creator, Who is personally involved in administrating the earth on behalf of its faithful inhabitants.
Theologians speak of the active will of God, versus the things He simply allows, and the Scriptures make it clear He is able to redeem any situation which seems to be only a hopeless tragedy.
In that light, even the worst of nature “red in claw and teeth” is under God’s administration and serves a larger, good purpose.


Not in my opinion. It may look that way to you, but to me it was pure avoidance.

No, it’s completely different because with Behe, the scientific criticisms are completely justified.