Devious Arguments

Introduction: smart man + false reasoning = devious argument

Instead of presenting scientific evidence, Dr. Denis O. Lamoureux promotes evolutionism with devious arguments, several of which we will examine in this section. But first, we must heed the admonition of Voltaire, who said: "If you would debate with me, first define your terms."

Biological evolution is the theory that all living things are modified descendents of a common ancestor that lived in the distant past. So if Lamoureux’s "goo-to-you-via-the-zoo"1 scenario actually happened, then millions of individual atoms had to first organize themselves into the almost infinite complexity of a “simple” single-celled organism. To prove evolution, Dr. Lamoureux must show that this can and did happen. After this new life spontaneously appeared, innumerable beneficial new traits had to be encoded with billions and billions of atoms in the genomes of successive generations of animals. To prove evolution, Dr. Lamoureux must show that this can, did and does happen. Finally, since this “evolution” supposedly took place over hundreds of millions of years, fossils in the earth’s crust should show the gradual appearance of new traits and new “kinds” of creatures.

Does Dr. Lamoureux’s “overwhelming evidence” deal with the real issue of evolution as outlined above? Not likely; evolutionists prefer to describe variation within kinds. They like to show how natural selection can shift the predominant color of populations of moths, or modify the shape of bird beaks. But there are genetically defined limits to such variation. Evolutionists usually ignore the fact that mutation and natural selection cannot “write” new DNA code. The origin of complex information is a can of worms that the smart evolution promoter does not open.

The Lamoureux approach is a clever strategy. Pretending to be a peacemaker who is above the fray, he assures us that evolution is established “scientific” fact. Then he attacks creationists with his fallacious reasoning. It may seem unfair to label his arguments “devious”, but when a smart man refuses to join the debate and uses deceit to promote his philosophy, what other word is appropriate? Please consider the following examples.




Notes:

  1. The phrase “goo to you via the zoo” is taken from an article by Jonathan Sarfati at www.answersingenesis.org.




Red Herring

Escaping prisoners, who expect to be followed by bloodhounds, smear vile-smelling fish on their shoes after the break-out. They hope that the dogs, which are following the prisoner's scent, will be confused by the herring smell and lose their way. Similarly, the red herring argument is intended to deceive and confuse.

Dr. Lamoureux's attacks on the Bible, and all of the devious arguments that we shall examine, are "red herrings" in that they distract us from the real issue. He tries to persuade us to believe in evolution, but he neither publishes nor presents scientific proof for his dogmatically asserted beliefs. Why doesn't he slay the "anti-evolutionist" monster by publishing his "overwhelming evidence"? If you analyze Lamoureux's message with this idea in mind, you will smell something very, very fishy...




Euphemism

Euphemisms are used to deceive people by making that which is unpleasant sound more acceptable. Sometimes they are not easy to recognize, so let us first consider a familiar example from the abortion debate. Abortion promoters often say; "A woman should be free to choose what she does with her own body." This is a "euphemistic" way of expressing the very ugly proposition that: "She should be permitted to kill her unborn baby." Dr. Lamoureux claims to be a "conservative Christian". Yet he attacks the Bible with a list of purported errors that have been taken from the writings of Liberals, Roman Catholics and atheists1. Naturally, this master of euphemisms does not call them "errors". Instead, he says that Scripture uses "ancient science" to convey a message of faith. Presenting himself as a "conservative Christian creationist", Dr. Lamoureux is welcomed in many Christian venues. His message is supposedly one of reconciliation between science and religion, but in fact, he promotes evolutionism without giving proof and attacks the Bible with recycled, bogus arguments.

To recognize more of his sophistry, we should first consider another illustration from the abortion debate. Pro-abortion2 activists want to be called "pro-choice" while they refer to pro-life advocates as "anti-choice." Generally, we like to have choices, "choice" is good, but in this case, it usually means "dead baby". This particular euphemistic use of labels has the added bonus, for abortion promoters, of putting them on the positive side of the debate while right-to-life advocates are on the negative.

Dr. Lamoureux plays similar word games. He does not want to be called an "evolutionist". People might expect him to present evidence and we know that he is loath to do that. So even though there is a well-known label for his position "theistic evolutionist"3, he wants to be called an "evolutionary creationist". This means that he calls himself a "creationist" and refers to the real creationists as "anti-evolutionists."




Notes:

  1. We list several sources of his material in the section titled "The waters above the firmament".
  2. The label "pro-abortion activist" is not quite accurate, but if we call them "abortion-rights activists" we are using another euphemism. Abortion is not a "right". It is a great wrong.
  3. See www.theistic-evolution.com.




Straw Man

With a wave of his devious rhetorical wand, Dr. Lamoureux dismisses Bible-believing Christians as "literalists" and "flat-earthers". Since you cannot reason with these people who are too simple-minded to recognize obvious imagery in Scripture, Dr. Lamoureux does not respond to their rational challenges to his evolutionism. He scores points by deriding creationists for ideas to which they do not subscribe. And that of course is the definition of a "straw man" argument.

According to Lamoureux, the Bible teaches that the earth is flat. (It doesn't.) This supposedly shows that God speaks to people using "ancient science" and this, of course, means that the events of Genesis 1-11 are myths. Since this purported flat-earth teaching is at the heart of Dr. Lamoureux's attacks on the Bible, we shall give a detailed response, but we will do so in the section titled "Purported Errors in Scripture." For now, please note that straw man labels such as "literalist" and "flat earther" are meant to discredit, deceive and distract. The real issue is his evolutionism. Why doesn't Dr. Lamoureux overwhelm us with his evidence?




False Analogy

Dr. Lamoureux's brand of evolution is almost exactly the same as that of the most ardent atheist. It proceeds from the chaos of the Big Bang through an infinite number of random changes to fish and eventually philosophers. He says that he does not believe in a "god of the gaps"1. By this he means that he does not invoke "God's working" to explain the gaps in our understanding of evolution. For example, the simplest living organism is almost infinitely complex2. No one can conceive of how or why atoms would organize themselves into the first life form, but Dr. Lamoureux does not fill this gap by saying that God created that first cell. Instead, he has faith that some day evolutionists will come up with an explanation. As we noted earlier, his evolution is exactly the same as atheistic evolution, except for one thing. He says that the universe is "teleological"3; by this he means that God infused matter with the tendency to organize itself.

Image from www.righttolife.org.uk
To try to explain this idea, he frequently repeats a false analogy. He compares the development of a child in the womb to the development of the universe and all life4. He says that God does not intervene in the process of "knitting" the child together to attach a nose here or a leg there. Similarly, God does not intervene in evolution. Both the universe and the baby start with a big bang and after that everything just unfolds according to naturalistic principles.

The analogy fails because babies develop according to the plan that God encoded in the enormous complexity of the DNA molecule. There is no similar ordering mechanism to take the universe from chaos to the spectacular complexity of even the "simplest" living organism. So Dr. Lamoureux's "teleological evolution" is not science, it is nonsense. His analogy is only appropriate in that he uses a bogus analogy to describe a bogus idea!

Since Dr. Lamoureux cannot point to a "teleological evolutionary" mechanism which produces life from chaos, the analogy is just another of his devious arguments.

The bogus analogy attempts to obscure one of evolution's fatal flaws: neither he nor any other evolutionist can explain the origin of life. That this statement is true is evidenced by the fact that one evolution-promoting group is offering a $1,000,000 prize to anyone who can produce a credible hypothesis for the origin of life. The offer is outlined at www.lifeorigin.org.

The problem, for the evolutionist, is that the ordered complexity of even the simplest organism shows the fingerprints of a Designer... May we suggest that the Designer of the simplest organism also created the "heaven, earth and all that is in them" 5, and that He did it in six days!




Notes:

  1. From his web lecture "Evolutionary Creation" available at www.ualberta.ca.
  2. Writing in The Encyclopedia Britannica, Carl Sagan tells us that the DNA in E. coli bacteria contains 1013 bits of information. For a more thorough discussion of the complexity of single-celled organisms, see www.wasdarwinright.net.
  3. From his web lecture "Evolutionary Creation".
  4. ibid
  5. Exodus 20:11




Statement of Conversion

Dr. Lamoureux tells us that he was a creationist who was "overwhelmed" by the evidence for evolution. Such statements are vacuous unless supported by sound reasons. And as we so often remind you, Dr. Lamoureux does not give evidence.

By contrast, Dr. Dean H. Kenyan co-authored a book titled "Chemical Predestination". For twenty years it was a best-selling university text describing how primitive life might have evolved. Despite his success, this prominent evolutionist has become a creationist. On the DVD "Unlocking the Mystery of Life", he explains that as he came to understand the spectacular ordered complexity of even the "simplest" organism, he was forced to abandon his evolutionism. This video includes a computer animation showing how the DNA molecule, together with a number of molecular machines, produces the parts of the bacterial flagellum motor.
Image of flagellum motor from www.reviewevolution.com
The fact that biological systems contain countless examples of this kind of irreducible complexity is a most powerful evidence of special creation.

If you compare Dr. Kenyan's clearly explained statement of conversion to Dr. Lamoureux's unsubstantiated "overwhelming evidence", you will see why we say that his statement of conversion is meaningless.




Appeal To Fear

The microscopic bacterial flagellum "motor" is a very big problem for evolutionists. With about 40 independent parts, it is an example of what Michael Behe1 calls "irreducible complexity". All parts of the "machine" must be present, or it will not work. For this reason, it could not have developed gradually. This "motor" and thousands of other molecular machines, marvels of biological engineering, "declare the glory" of their Designer!

Image from www.reviewevolution.com
Recognizing the threat to his evolutionism, Dr. Lamoureux has responded to the idea of irreducible complexity with two essays that are posted on his web site. Neither essay attempts a reasoned scientific response. In "Charles Darwin and Intelligent Design", he warns Christians that by insisting on creation, they are putting a "stumbling block" in front of non-Christian scientists. According to Dr. Lamoureux's essay, it was because of this insistence on design that Charles Darwin failed to develop a "personal relationship" with his Creator. This line of argument is called an "appeal to fear". It may not frighten many, but since God tells Christians they should not do things that place "stumbling blocks" 2 in the way of others, some Christians may be swayed by this devious argument. Please note what is happening here. Michael Behe, an agnostic scientist, gives us hard evidence that evolution is impossible and Lamoureux responds with sophistry, not science.

In the second essay, "A Black Box or a Black Hole? A Response to Michael Behe", Dr. Lamoureux says that with time, evolutionists may be able to explain this apparent "irreducible complexity". In the meantime, he tells Christians that they should not accept this proof of creation "lest they embarrass the Church by rash and intellectually (in this case scientific [sic]) unsubstantiated claims." This is another "appeal to fear".

What is unsubstantiated or unscientific? Does Dr. Lamoureux deny the existence of the flagellum motor? Other scientists, using electron microscopes, had studied the motor before Behe used it to refute evolution. Its structure is well established, so tell us Dr. Lamoureux, why is Behe's conclusion unscientific? Again, please note what is happening here, a hostile witness provides us with solid evidence of design and Dr. Lamoureux responds with sophistry, not science.




Notes:

  1. Michael Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box," gave a significant boost to the "Intelligent Design" movement and is often quoted.
  2. Romans 14:13. This passage tells Christians how to decide whether or not to engage in questionable activities such as eating meat that had been offered to idols or drinking alcohol or going to the dance. In this chapter, Paul tells Christians that when they exercise their liberty, they should not do something that might cause another Christian to fall into sin ("stumble"). The passage has nothing to do with eviscerating God's word to make it more palatable to nonbelievers.




Bluffing

"The fossil evidence for evolution is very solid." So says Denis Lamoureux in an interview with www.canadianchristianity.com1. This bold statement does not accord with the published comments of many prominent evolution promoters.

  • Image from The Natural History Museum
    Charles Darwin acknowledged that rock strata do not contain transitional fossils showing change between species. He states; "This is the most obvious and serious objection that can be raised against my theory."2
  • David Raup, curator of the museum that houses the world's largest fossil collection, said; "We are now 120 years after Darwin and knowledge of the fossil record is greatly expanded... ironically we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we did in Darwin's day. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be modified or discarded."3
  • Steven J Gould, the most prominent paleontologist of the last thirty years, said; "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology."4,5

These men believe in evolution despite a lack of fossil evidence; but they are honest enough to acknowledge the fossil problem. Gould and Raup use a creative intellectual contortion known as "punctuated equilibrium", to maintain their evolutionist faith. This, now widely accepted explanation for the "extreme rarity" of transitional fossils, was suggested by Gould and his former student Niles Eldridge. Supposedly evolution happens "quickly" in small isolated populations, therefore fossilization of transitional forms is very rare. To us, this looks like a story made up to explain the lack of fossil evidence. But Denis Lamoureux says, "the fossil evidence for evolution is very solid."

Does he know something that these paleontologists do not? Will his "overwhelming evidence" solve their problem? Or will he trot out the usual short list of highly questionable supposed transitions? Will he fill the big gaps in the fossil record? Or is he bluffing?

The fossil record contains another philosophical problem for evolutionists. The "Cambrian Explosion" is the phrase used to describe the sudden appearance of complex life, supposedly 600 million years ago. Jeffrey S. Levinton, writing in "Scientific American" (Nov.'92), notes that; "Most of evolution's dramatic leaps occurred rather abruptly and soon after multi-cellular animals first evolved, nearly 600 million years ago, during a period called the Cambrian." George Gaylord Simpson, who "Scientific American" calls "the greatest paleontologist of the twentieth century", calls this sudden appearance of complex life, "the major mystery of the history of life." In his book "The Meaning of Evolution", he says that two-thirds of evolution is over by the time we find the first fossils.

When asked about the Cambrian Explosion in the www.canadianchristianity.com interview, our bluffing emperor sloughs off the question saying, "...the creatures that evolved6 are very simple." Why does he say "evolved"? These creatures suddenly appear, without ancestors. That's why it's called the Cambrian "Explosion." Dr. Lamoureux knows that there are no "simple" creatures, and he also knows that the presence of almost all animal phyla in the Cambrian is an enormous puzzle for evolutionists. Levinton says, "Evolutionary biology's deepest paradox concerns this strange discontinuity. Why haven't new animal body plans continued to crawl out of the evolutionary cauldron during the past hundreds of millions of years? Why are the ancient body plans so stable?"

The sudden appearance of complex life is not a "paradox" for creationists. What is paradoxical is Dr. Lamoureux's behavior. Why does a man who calls himself a "conservative Christian creationist" tell people that the fossil evidence for evolution is very solid while atheistic evolutionists admit that the Cambrian Explosion is a mystery? Does he know something that they don't, or is he bluffing?

In the www.canadianchristianity.com interview, Lamoureux makes another interesting statement. "In the light of new developmental biology, gradual genetic change can result in dramatic morphological change." The verbiage obscures the meaning, but this sounds like an endorsement of the "hopeful monster theory". This theory is another attempt to explain the fact that the fossil record does not show big changes like legs turning into wings, or scales turning into feathers. According to this theory, changes can accumulate in the genome, which are not evident in the appearance of the animal. Then, in one generation, a "dramatic morphological change" occurs. Or to express this absurd idea more concisely... the first birds were born to lizard parents.

If such things happened in the past, isn't it strange that we do not see them happening today? And isn't it just as strange that a man who calls himself a "conservative Christian creationist" tells us that "the fossil evidence for evolution is very solid"? We're inclined to suspect that the emperor is bluffing, but perhaps he will prove us wrong by describing some new kinds of animal, which have appeared recently where "gradual genetic change" has produced "dramatic morphological change". If he can do so, he will resolve a developing crisis in evolutionary biology.

As scientists have come to understand the degree of specified complexity in genes, proteins, and cell types, many have concluded that mutation and natural selection cannot produce new body types. In a 2004, peer-reviewed journal of the Smithsonian Institution, Stephen Meyer states; "In the last decade a host of scientific essays and books have questioned the efficacy of selection and mutation as a mechanism for generating morphological novelty."7 He goes on to list seventeen such articles. In particular, he paraphrases Muller and Newman from the Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology (2003) as saying; "...evolutionary biology has not yet identified a specifically causal explanation for the origin of true morphological novelty during the history of life."

The fossil record is characterized by what Eldrige calls "stasis" (no change), and the "Cambrian Explosion" is a paradox. Now, prominent scientists are doubting the efficacy of mutation/selection as the mechanism of evolution. Dr. Lamoureux, the other emperors of evolution need your help! They lack evidence that evolution happened and now, they can't even imagine how it might have happened. Please publish your "overwhelming evidence" and resolve this problem once and for all. Oh, and while you are at it, don't forget to explain how the first life got started... they're having trouble with that one too.




Notes:

  1. The interview with Dr. Lamoureux is titled "Evolution Under Fire?... part 5".
  2. Charles Darwin, "On the Origin of Species or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Survival" (Yes, that is the full title of his famous book) Chapter 10. Available at www.darwin-literature.com
  3. David Raup: you can read a brief biography, including this quote at http://www.palaeos.com/Evolution/People1.html.
  4. Steven J. Gould: An article titled "Evolution is Supported by the Fossil Record" at emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/fosrec.htmexposes another emperor caught in duplicity.
  5. An article titled "Fact, Fable and Darwin" at www.taemag.com quotes several more paleontologists and shows how they are wrestling with this embarrassing "trade secret".
  6. The full quotation is as follows: "Regarding the Cambrian Explosion, the fossil evidence is very impressive for the appearance of many new body plans. However, this occurred over 10 million years, and the creatures that evolved were very simple. For example, the cordate body plan was in a worm-like animal, from which all creatures with a nerve cord in their back later evolved -- like humans."
  7. Stephen C. Meyer "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories" available at www.discovery.org.




Appeal to Authority: Science

The discoveries of science and the technological innovations that have flowed from them are indeed awesome. When Dr. Lamoureux proclaims; "Evolution is science," he steals for his philosophy the honor that rightly belongs to pure science. Many pretenders usurp the power and authority of the word "science" so we should distinguish between pure science and pseudo-science.

The scientific method, as enunciated by Francis Bacon, proceeds from observation to hypothesis and to repeatable experiment. When Isaac Newton observed an apple fall, he hypothesized that all objects attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. He performed an experiment that involved suspending masses from a tower. The experiment proved the hypothesis and his theory, now known as "the law of universal gravitation", explains planetary motion and is used to plan space voyages. Contrast this with evolution pseudo science.

Charles Darwin observed plants and animals and hypothesized that a lucky mix of chemicals got the first life started and then environmental pressures caused gradual changes. Supposedly hundreds of millions of years of descent with successive slight modifications produced all of the diversity of life on earth today. Darwin did not suggest any experiment by which to test his hypothesis, and in the years since he presented his theory, none of his disciples have been able to experimentally demonstrate real evolution.1

They can easily show natural selection producing variation within kinds. But this is not evolution. To show real evolution, the experiment must show that mutation and natural selection can add complex, beneficial, new information to the DNA of an organism. No such experiment has ever been performed. Firing a bullet through a book is unlikely to rearrange the words and letters so as to improve the story. Similarly, exposing DNA to toxic agents does not "write" complex new code.2

In the last forty years, scientists have come to understand that even the "simplest" living organism is almost infinitely complex. At least one prominent scientist, who understands the ordered complexity of DNA, has rejected the "lucky mix of chemicals" hypothesis for the origin of the first life. Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, believes in what he calls "directed panspermia".3 This is the idea that long, long ago a vastly superior civilization in a galaxy far, far away decided to send the first life to earth. This quaint little story moves the problem to a distant imaginary place. But this untestable hypothesis is not science. Similarly, evolution is a story about origins that is outside the realm of empirical science and as such is what we have called pseudo-science.

Image from library.utmem.edu
Dr. Lamoureux knows these facts, yet he likes to say; "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."4 As a counter example, consider the work of Gregor Mendel. This creationist, and father of genetics, discovered and experimentally verified the laws of inheritance. His pure science destroyed Darwin's "pangene" idea and is the reason that modern evolutionists call themselves "neo-darwinians".5



Instead of the obviously fallacious statement; "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," perhaps Dr. Lamoureux could consider the following more accurate statement: "No technological development and no discovery of pure science is predicated on the assumption of evolution6."




Notes:

  1. A group called "The gene emergence project" is offering a $1,000,000 prize to anyone who can offer a plausible explanation for the origin of life. The prize described at www.lifeorigin.org will not be awarded to anyone who gives the correct answer.
  2. Innumerable experiments in which fruit flies are exposed to radiation and chemicals and then selectively bred for various mutant traits, have shown that genetic information can be scrambled to produce hopeless monsters. But flies with extra, nonfunctioning wings, or flies with wings in their eyes, are not improvements. If released, these mutants are quickly eliminated by natural selection. Fruit flies remain fruit flies. Despite Herculean efforts, Darwin's disciples have not been able to add beneficial new information to the genome using mutation and natural selection. In the section titled "bluffing", we deal with this issue and we offer this quote from the Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology: "Evolutionary biology has not yet identified a specifically causal explanation for the origin of true morphological novelty in the history of life."
  3. Francis Crick "Is Anyone Out There?", "New Scientist" August 16, 1973
  4. He is quoting Theodosius Dobzhansky. The article in "The American Biology Teacher" March 1973 is titled "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution".
  5. See "Neo-Darwinism: the Current Paradigm" at www.panspermia.org.
  6. Where "evolution" is defined as more than mere variation within kinds. See our definition discussion in the introduction.




Appeal to Authority: The Pope

Are we products of plan and design or time and chance? The Bible and evolutionist teachings on the subject of origins are diametrically opposed to each other, but Dr. Lamoureux says that the problem can be resolved by allegorizing the Bible. We need to do this, he says, because evolution is true. He does not support this claim with evidence. Instead, he "appeals to the authority" of the Pope. People buy Nike shoes because Michael Jordan advertises them; similarly Lamoureux wants us to buy evolution because the Pope endorses it.

Without a doubt, the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope promote evolution.1 But, were they forced into this position by the weight of overwhelming evidence, or did they adopt it for other reasons? Is the papacy a staunch defender of Biblical Christianity, or is the Bible a problem for Catholicism? Consider the facts...

For centuries, the Roman Church suppressed public access to the Scriptures. For example, Church leaders were so incensed with John Wycliffe, the man who first translated the Bible into English, that they dug up and burned his bones. Presumably this was done to intimidate those who might be inclined to read the forbidden text. Wycliffe's followers, the Lollards, were severely persecuted and disappeared from history, but a few decades later, Bible teaching precipitated the Roman church's biggest catastrophe: the Protestant Reformation. Since the key slogan of the reformers was "sola Scriptura", it should be no surprise that the Bible was number one on the Church's "Index of Forbidden Books". To be caught reading Scripture during the time of the inquisitions meant excommunication or much worse.

Why, you might ask, is the Bible a problem for Roman Catholicism? May we suggest that much of the teaching and practice of that Church is contradicted and forbidden by Scripture? For example, the commandment that forbids idolatry is omitted from Roman Catholic lists of the Ten Commandments. Perhaps this is because Mary statues are common and Roman Catholics pray to her and to saints as mediators between God and man. The Bible says, "There is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." 2 All religious icons and prayers to anyone other than God are idolatry. For more information on the tension between the Bible and the Roman Church, read "Roman Catholicism" by Loraine Boettner.3

Throughout the Old Testament, Israel's most frequently mentioned sin is "idolatry". Yet somehow, it gets omitted from Roman Catholic lists of the Ten Commandments! See Exodus 20:4, which forbids the making of idols.

It wasn't until 1966, that the Roman Catholic's "Index of Forbidden Books" was officially abandoned.4 The Church now has a strategy far more effective than censorship. It calls into question much of the Bible's teaching by saying that it conveys "God's message using the science of the day." Please note that this is also the view espoused by Dr. Lamoureux who was raised a Roman Catholic and teaches philosophy at a Roman Catholic subdivision of the University of Alberta. Also note that since the Bible is a threat to Roman Catholic dogma, the Pope's motive in endorsing evolution may not be entirely pure.

Why does Lamoureux use the Pope to promote evolution? Why doesn't he simply publish his overwhelming evidence?




Notes:

  1. See "Evolution and the Pope", an essay by Mark Brumley at www.catholic.net
  2. 1 Timothy 2:5
  3. See "Loraine Boettner" at www.tracts.ukgo.com.
  4. See "Vatican Archives Reveal Bible Was Once Banned Book" at withchrist.org. This is a sensitive topic... also see "The Index of Forbidden Books" at www.catholicexchange.com and "The Congregation of the Index" by Albert Van Helden at www.cnx.rice.edu.




Tautology (Circular Reasoning)

Speaking at a Teachers' Convention in 2004, Dr. Lamoureux said, "All scientists believe in evolution." At the time, it seemed like innocent hyperbole. However, in the carefully crafted words of his web lecture, he repeats the same thing. He says "Evolution is the only theory of origins in the scientific community." Yet he knows that many fully credentialed scientists describe themselves as "young earth creationists." He also knows that many prominent scientists have abandoned evolution and turned to "intelligent design".1 So, how can he say that; "All scientists believe in evolution"?

Many evolution promoters use a tautological trick to hijack the word "science". They first define science as the search for naturalistic explanations for all phenomena2. Then, they say that anyone who believes in a Designer is not being scientific. Or to express the circular reasoning more concisely, "Scientists are people who refuse to acknowledge their Creator." Therefore, "All scientists believe in evolution".

In fairness to Dr. Lamoureux, he is not on the record clearly enunciating this silly tautology; but is his statement that "All scientists believe in evolution" any less silly?

At the North Central Alberta Teacher's convention in 2005, Lamoureux had a tense exchange with a member of his audience when he insisted that the "anti-evolutionists" do not publish in peer reviewed science journals. The man in the audience said that they do. An article posted at www.discovery.org and titled "Bibliography of Peer-Reviewed and Peer-Edited Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design", should settle the issue. Despite Dr. Lamoureux's adamant statements to the contrary, the truth will prevail. All scientists do not "believe in evolution" and evolution is not the "only theory of origins in the scientific community."




Notes:

  1. In response to a PBS series that promotes evolution, 100 prominent scientists signed the following statement; "I am skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." The listing of their names, degrees and Universities is posted at www.reviewevolution.com. The article is titled "100 Scientists, National Poll Challenge Darwinism".
  2. For example: The Kansas education system is wrestling with the creation-evolution issue. Robert Dennison tries to exclude creation information from classrooms by arguing for a naturalistic definition of science. You can read his presentation; "Review of Proposed Revisions to Kansas Science Standards Draft 1", at www.ksde.org. May we suggest that an honest definition of "science" should include the idea that it is the search for truth without preconditions, regardless of where it leads?




Ad Hominem

Books written by Henry Morris have ignited and sustained the modern creationist movement. He and the scientists that work with him have produced solid evidence and clear arguments that make the emperors of evolution squirm. One might expect our "expert on origins" to present a rational response, but that is not Lamoureux's style. Instead of science, he gives us sophistry. He tells his audiences that Henry Morris believes that the science faculties of our universities are practicing "satanic science". Then, having portrayed Morris as a kook, Lamoureux ignores the questions that he cannot answer!

For another example of Dr. Lamoureux's use of the "ad hominem" response to duck reasonable questions, I will describe a personal encounter. My daughter's experience in two of Dr. Lamoureux's courses was not positive. She asked many times, but he would not present his "overwhelming evidence for evolution" and he was unwilling to give a rational response to her questions. Soon after she completed his courses, he was featured on the front page of the "Edmonton Journal". I wrote to the editor, challenging Dr. Lamoureux to answer three of my daughter's questions. The professor did not respond.

I decided to ask the same questions at Teachers' Convention, but I did not want to ambush him, so an hour before the lecture, I gave him a copy of the letter and asked his permission to distribute copies to the audience, which included about 40 people. He agreed. The lecture ended early, leaving lots of time for questions and answers. Instead of a rational response to my letter, Dr. Lamoureux had a prolonged tantrum! In his angry tirade, he repeatedly stated, "Your daughter is a liar and I am outraged by your unprofessional attempt to embarrass me."

I withheld the obvious question: "Why would a triple-PhD, expert on origins be embarrassed by questions about the origin of life and the origin of genetic information?"

According to my daughter (the "liar") Dr. Lamoureux consistently responds to creationists' arguments by attacking their academic credentials and their integrity. His classroom behavior is beyond our scrutiny, but we can see him in action in an interview with www.canadianchristianity.com. Asked about people with legitimate academic credentials who attack evolution, he responds; "...many of these anti-evolutionists are professional academics, and they should know better than to misappropriate their academic authority outside of their discipline. Clearly that is breaking the 9th commandment."

Actually, what is clear is that Dr. Lamoureux uses personal attacks to evade questions that he cannot answer. He wants us to believe that scientists who do not agree with his evolutionism are "bearing false witness". But this seems illogical. Why would so many real, conservative, creationist Christians violate God's law while defending its integrity?

There is something very peculiar about his charge that creationists "misappropriate their academic authority outside of their discipline... they bear false witness." A discussion of origins must draw ideas from many fields of learning. Lamoureux often does this himself. For example, he is not an astronomer, a paleontologist or a Hebrew scholar, yet he says, "The universe originated with the Big Bang." And "The fossil evidence for evolution is very solid." And "The word 'raqia' means 'solid dome'" When he makes these unsubstantiated, authoritative pronouncements on controversial subjects, isn't he "misappropriating his academic authority" to derive credibility for his bluff? Perhaps, in some peculiar way, his seared conscience compels him to accuse others of his own sins! When he says, "I have overwhelming evidence for evolution." Isn't he "misappropriating his academic authority" to run this con too?

While we are discussing the "ad hominem" we should respond to a charge that some might make. "Isn't this whole web site an ad hominem argument against Dr. Lamoureux?" The answer is: "No" and "Yes". It depends on how you define the term. Dr. Lamoureux uses the ad hominem to avoid a rational exchange of ideas. Certainly we are not doing that. We stand ready to respond to his "overwhelming evidence" if it is ever produced. But in another sense, this is an ad hominem because we are warning people of his false teaching by drawing attention to the devious nature of his arguments. In this case, in our opinion, the argument is legitimate. The fabled emperor of old, arrayed in garments woven from the finest gold, knew that only fools would be unable to see his beautiful new clothes. He decided to ignore the little boy who pointed to his nakedness. Will emperor Lamoureux publish his overwhelming evidence, will he ignore us or will he disparage us?




Conclusion

Devious arguments do not contribute to the search for truth.

The Bible says do not be;
"... blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming." Ephesians 4:14
Denis Lamoureux says; "I am a conservative Christian creationist."
The Bible says;
"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15
Denis Lamoureux says; "I have overwhelming evidence for evolution."
The Bible says;
"Test all things. Hold on to that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Jesus says:
"If you continue in my word... you will know the truth, the truth will set you free." John 8:32