Debating evolutionists is one of the things we often have to engage in at the AiG ministries. Frankly, it can get frustrating when we constantly have to cover old ground, and time after time our beliefs and ideas are misunderstood (and sometimes misquoted). It is even more frustrating when Christians, who purport to believe the Bible, also fall into the category of having misconceptions about the book of Genesis.
In recent weeks, I have attempted over and over again to correct the false rumour that creationists believe that all animals have existed exactly as they are today since they were created. This is absolutely wrong. (See our article about biblical kinds and speciation at Natural selection and speciation.) Yet the numerous corrections we have sent through many channels (media interviews, books, web articles, etc.) seem to have had little difference.
Here is how it usually goes. The question I am frequently asked (including by the secular media) is still: “Why do you believe that species have always been as they are now, when we can see species change?” I sometimes wish I had my counter arguments on hand in a prerecorded form so I could save my breath!
Recently, another of the old chestnuts that was put to me recently reminded me of one of Ken Ham’s [AiG–USA president] talks. The conversation was with a Christian, and he was misinformed about what Genesis teaches about creation. It actually went like this:
Questioner [Q]: “Of course, a creation day can mean something other than an ordinary day.”
Me [M]: “But it can also mean an ordinary 24-hour day!”
[Q]: “Ah yes, but it can also mean something other than an ordinary day.”
[M]: “But it can also mean an ordinary day.”
[Q]: “Yes, but it can mean something other than an ordinary day.”
At this point, I thought to myself: “I’m sure I’ve read this script somewhere before!” Ken has referred to having exactly the same conversation many times.
What was so disappointing about the conversation (apart from the repetition of old familiar arguments) was that the questioner was obviously a man of great intelligence, but he was really ignorant of the clear biblical teaching on this topic. Yet, as I went through the logic of the use of the Hebrew word yom for day (see When Does “Day” Mean “Day”? and The Days of Creation: A Semantic Approach), he could not make the connection. He could not see why the interpretation of Genesis 1 had to be consistent with the interpretation of other passages. Eventually, as he had no answer to my logic, he came out with the classic English method of resolving differences: “We’ll just have to agree to disagree!”
It seems that the repetition of such false ideas about creation is acceptable to media organisations and skeptics...because it is acceptable in today’s climate to criticise biblical Christianity.Why do we find that such questions (usually reflecting misconceptions) are put to us in precisely the same sort of way over and over again? We especially have to wonder why the media, too, ask the same questions when the answers are a few clicks away on our 4,500-article website? They just need to take a little time to do their background research as they come up with their questions. When newspaper journalists repeat the idea that we supposedly believe in the fixity of species, we wonder why they haven’t done their research on this most basic of topics that relates to the creation/evolution issue! (Now, if such journalists, for example, showed similar ignorance of the policies of political parties whose members they interview, they would rightly be ridiculed.)
It seems that the repetition of such false ideas about creation is acceptable to media organisations and skeptics (and even compromising Christians) because it is acceptable in today’s climate to criticise biblical Christianity. The secular media/humanists it seems (particularly in the UK) can tolerate most viewpoints, except the view that the Bible is true and that Jesus is the only means of salvation. This underlines the importance of our mission as we bring the saving message of the gospel to a society that has lost its foundations in Genesis.