Pinkoski’s book is actually reasonably representative of the majority opinion held by creationists; the arguments in this book aren’t what you see openly presented by most of the Intelligent Design creationists, but do reflect what you’ll see in most of your small town church meetings and your big city mega-church revivals. Informed Christians are, of course, a bit embarrassed by the foolishness and don’t endorse this stuff, but unfortunately the kind of nonsense peddled by Gish and Hovind and Ham and Pinkoski is exactly what drives the creationist activists to get out and poison our public schools.
Which brings up a problem…if these are the people we want to persuade, we face a near-impossible task. Pinkoski’s book is 56 pages long, and every page contains a shocking array of falsehoods and outright stupid crap. There’s no point in pussy-footing around it; creationism in all of its forms is nothing but ignorance, misconceptions, dishonesty, credulity, and sloppy logic. I don’t think it helps the cause of reason to be gentle with fools, nor should we be trying to persuade creationist activists—all we can do is dissuade, by showing others the bankruptcy of their position.
And wow, but is A Creationist’s View of Dinosaurs and the Theory of Evolution an example of a foolish position.
Part 1 opens with this image:
Have you ever seen a monument to evolution anything like this? I sure haven’t. It’s kind of offensively stupid; it’s just not the way most members of the “scientific community” would think. We don’t need monuments to scientific concepts, especially not ones that enshrine bogus ideas like that annoying series illustrating human progress.
What we have here is an example of projection. Creationists view their beliefs as great solid monoliths of carved stone, the bigger and heavier the better, so they imagine scientists must do the same, practicing some form of idolatry. Maybe the world’s sacred scientific community needs to come up with a competing monument.
The reason Pinkoski represents scientists as worshipping monoliths is that he is about to explain why we accept evolution as a reasonable explanation of how the world works. He has to admit that most scientists favor evolution (with the false caveat that they are beginning to reject it), but he has to somehow come up with a reason for why everyone doesn’t think the way he does.
Nearly every major university in the world currently favors the theory of evolution, but the pendulum of truth is now swinging back to the Biblical story of creationism! Why is it taking so long? Why is it so difficult for people to “change their minds” and accept this?? Perhaps there is one reason…
And that reason is so simple: people are stupid.
That’s right, Pinkoski believes we only use 10% of our brains. This isn’t just a casual gaffe, either—he goes on for several pages about it, brings it up in a couple of places in the book, and wraps his conclusion around this concept. When my 14 year old daughter saw this, her first comment was, “But that’s wrong! It’s a myth!” That’s right, it’s completely false. I’m sure Mr Pinkoski will also be shocked to learn that all the cylinders don’t fire simultaneously and constantly in a V8 engine, either, so they must be generating only 1/8th of their potential power. This won’t be the first time that Pinkoski erects an elaborate story on something that is completely wrong.
He goes on and on about this 10% myth, and his reasoning is bizarre. Nobody can know everything, and we all have limited, stupid brains, including scientists. Therefore, the ideas of creationists are just as valid as those of scientists (creationists are amazingly dedicated to relativism, as long as they can apply it to everyone else). Also, since scientists can’t know everything, but we know for sure that Jesus Christ will give us eternal life, they are wrong.
He concludes this section with some assertions about salvation, and this summary of “science” (the word science is often put in scare quotes in this thing, I’m not sure why):
One of the main premises of “science” is this:
The more we learn, the more we realize we DON’T KNOW
This would be the “honest” thing for scientists to admit, right?
Unfortunately, many of today’s secular scientists seem to have decided that they “know it all” in regard to evolution and science.
Scientists do recognize that there are a lot of things we don’t know—we’d be out of a job if we knew everything. We take it for granted that we don’t know everything.
If you thought before that science was certain— well, that is just an error on your part.
Actually, the only people claiming absolute certainty are the creationists. The last words of this tract are “WE NOW CAN PROVE THAT THE BIBLE IS TRUE!” I guess that means creationists must not be scientists, huh?
We can’t determine a complete and absolute truth, but we can recognize when someone is making up nonsense that is unsupported by any reasonable evidence, and we can also recognize logical fallacies. Not all assertions are equal: when someone tells us up is down and black is white, we’re able to say that he’s a crackpot. It’s the ones who precede their arguments by announcing that everyone in the world is completely wrong and all ideas are the same who are trying to set up a false equivalence and trying to bolster up some sort of unsupportable, unverifiable lunacy. Pinkoski knows that a bunch of eggheads who are better educated and more knowledgeable and just plain smarter than he is are going to come along and laugh at his outrageous claims, so the opening section is a pre-emptive strike…all those so-called smart guys who disagree with him only use 10% of their brains, so we can ignore their rebuttals.
Next: Part 2, Noah’s Ark and how God “evolved” changes into the animals.