What Is Dawkins’ Real Motive for Not Debating Creationists?

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Something I’ve noticed about many evolutionists is that they don’t like to debate biblical creationists. A few years back, one of the editions of the Reports of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) was dedicated to convincing evolutionists why they should not debate creationists. (NCSE is an anti-creation organization headed up for many years by atheist Dr. Eugenie Scott.) In one of the articles, the author disparaged biblical creation and accused creation scientists of telling lies during debates:

This is another reason not to debate creationists: in the scientific community, theories do not rise or fall based on debate and rhetoric, but on the strength of evidence. . . .

Since there is no evidence to support a young earth, a sudden creation, or a global flood, one must be prepared for the main rhetorical devices of the creationist: out-of-context quotations and straw-man arguments. Creationists . . . have raised this tactic to an art form. This works because the audience cannot believe that a “Christian” is going to lie, and nothing the opponent says will convince them otherwise. It is a tremendous waste of time for the scientist to wade through half-truths and urban legends before even touching upon the science.

This charge is typical of many evolutionists. They cannot find enough support for their ideas and they cannot refute the creationist view, so they just call biblical creation a “lie” and refuse to debate! I’ve blogged about this issue before.

Well, famed UK evolutionist Richard Dawkins recently explained why he doesn’t debate biblical creationists—and his reasons are just as inflammatory. The Christian Post reported that Dawkins doesn’t believe biblical creationists are real scientists, and therefore don’t deserve to be debated:

“They want to be seen on a platform with a real scientist, because that conveys the idea that here is a genuine argument between scientists,” Dawkins continued. “They may not win the argument—in fact, they will not win the argument, but it makes it look like there really is an argument to be had.”
Now, Dawkins is confident that a biblical creationist will not win an argument with an evolutionist—so why wouldn’t he debate a creationist? It’s not debates that give scientists credibility. We have many scientists on staff at Answers in Genesis who have the highest degrees in their fields—and they can perform observational science just as well as any scientists who believe in evolution. But Dawkins confuses operational (observational) science with historical science:
“Just as I wouldn’t expect a gynecologist to have a debate with somebody who believes in the Stork-theory of reproduction, I won’t do debates with Young Earth creationists,” he said.
Really, no reasonable person would expect a gynecologist to debate someone who believes in the Stork-theory. Human reproduction falls into the category of operational science. It’s testable and repeatable. But ideas about origins are not testable or observable—they fall into the category of historical science. So Dawkins’s claim of comparing the “Stork-theory of reproduction” to young-earth creation is patently false.

We need to understand that we’re all looking at the same “evidence.” But it is our worldview that affects our interpretation of this evidence in relation to the past. Claiming there is no evidence for biblical creation is not sound, respectful reasoning. It’s merely an unfounded excuse to escape having to debate a scientist with a view that happens to contradict their evolutionary view, which they hold as fact (even though they have no eyewitness account of the supposed billions of years of earth history)! In reality, evolution and millions of years are their way of explaining their religion of life without God.

These are just the same old arguments. The claim that biblical creationists aren’t real scientists is similar to some atheists—like Dawkins—who resort to calling the teaching of creation “child abuse” and creation science “pseudoscience.”

If there is no evidence for biblical creation and the debate really is settled on evolution, why not debate creationists? The evolutionists should be able to win easily, right? But what we’re really seeing is just the manifestation of the atheists’ real motive—an anti-Christian bias and intolerance of Christianity that’s growing in our culture. They are in rebellion against God and so they work hard to “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1).

I urge you to pray for Richard Dawkins that he will hear the gospel, repent, and believe—before it’s too late (Hebrews 9:27).

By the way, we will soon be announcing a (rare) creation-evolution debate with an evolutionist that almost all of you know about. I will be debating him in our Legacy Hall at the Creation Museum in a couple of months. Compared to all the creation-evolution debates that occurred in the ’70s and ’80s, it’s rare today when evolutionist scientists will debate creationists. My debate opponent is not a scientist, however (and I, too, don’t have a doctorate degree in science as opposed to many of our AiG staff). But he is often seen in the media defending evolution and criticizing creation. Watch for more info to come soon.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying, Ken

This blog post was written with the assistance of Steve Golden.

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