Duane Gish, one of the most infamous young earth creationists in the world, passed away a few days ago at the age of 92. Gish was known for inventing the classic creationist debating strategy known as the “Gish Gallop” (or as I prefer, the Hovind Hustle). Answers in Genesis, unsurprisingly, greatly inflates his personal attributes:
On this website earlier today, we shared the sad news that famed creationist debater Dr. Duane T. Gish had passed away this morning. This great defender of the Christian faith was a tireless and bold defender of the book of Genesis. The same courage that marked his service during WWII in the Pacific Theater of the war was seen in later years as he appeared about 300 times at venues around the world as he took the stage to debate prominent evolutionists, sometimes facing a hostile audience who jeered his defense of Genesis.
Oh, of course. Because facing an audience of people, some of whom disagree with him (in fact, the audiences usually were stacked with bused-in churchgoers), is just like facing Japanese troops that want to kill him. Going to war takes courage; spouting nonsense does not.
I see no reason to piss on anyone’s grave, but I likewise see no reason to play pretend. Duane Gish was, first and foremost, a liar. Time and time again he was caught reusing an argument that he knew was false because he had admitted it in a previous debate. He may not have been consciously lying. He may have been so fanatical that he buried the cognitive dissonance behind religious fervor. But the claims he made were still distortions and falsehoods.