A Baty Dinosaur

Related Pages

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FaceBook:

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https://www.facebook.com/Creationism-101-Critical-Thinking-Exercise-1423957481165720/

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INTRODUCTION

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My Creationism 101 Critical Thinking Exercise has a long and storied history.  I developed it for us tyros who are not particularly well qualified to properly address complex, scientific matters that are often presented in the popular public debate over the merits of the claim that “nothing is more than a few thousand years old” as popularized by Kent Hovind and similar sorts.

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Anyone is welcome to complete the Exercise which involves an argument and several simple questions that go to illustrating why it is that “young-earth, creation-science” promoters have lost the scientific debate over the age of stuff and that without having to get bogged down in the complex, scientific details.

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I will, as becomes necessary and I get the time, try to post further information about the Exercise here.  For now, you can find the argument, stipulations, and simple questions “pinned” to the dedicated FaceBook page at:

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https://www.facebook.com/Creationism-101-Critical-Thinking-Exercise-1423957481165720/

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Update February 15, 2020

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QUESTION

If some stuff really is more than a few thousand years old, would you:

(a) consider that the Bible is wrong,

or

(b) consider the young-earth interpretation wrong.

The Argument, for purposes of the Exercise, is different depending on how that question is answered.  My answer is (b) and so I will proceed based on the Argument that goes along with that answer.

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THE EXERCISE ARGUMENT

Major premise:

IF (A) God’s word (the text) says
everything began over a period
of six days, and

IF (B) God’s word is interpreted by
some to mean it was six 24-hour
days occurring a few thousand
years ago, and

IF (C) there is empirical evidence
that some thing is actually older
than a few thousand years,

THEN (D) the interpretation of
the text by some is wrong.

Minor premise:

(A) God’s word (the text) says
everything began over a period
of six days, and

(B) God’s word is interpreted by
some to mean it was six 24-hour
days occurring a few thousand
years ago, and

(C) there is empirical evidence that
some thing is actually older than a
few thousand years.

Conclusion:

(D) The interpretation of the text
by some is wrong.

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Basic Stipulated Definitions

“God’s Word” – communications from God in
words that are not wrong.

“Interpretation” – what one thinks the words
mean and which thinking might be wrong.

“Few thousand” – less than 100,000.

“Empirical evidence that some thing
is actually older than a few thousand
years” – some thing is actually older
than a few thousand years and we
can so determine from evidence and its
interpretation independent of “the text”.

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QUESTIONS

Rule: If you can’t bring yourself to answer “yes”, your default answer will be “no”.

Discussion to follow answers to questions, where appropriate.

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EXERCISE QUESTION #1

Do you think the Exercise Argument is so constructed that if its premises are true its conclusion will follow as true therefrom?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #2

Do you think the major premise is true?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #3

Do you think the minor premise, part (A) is true?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #4

Do you think the minor premise, part (B) is true?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #5

Do you think the minor premise, part (C) is true?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #6

Do you think the conclusion is true?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Update February 16, 2020

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If your answer to the introductory question was (a), it will look like this:

THE EXERCISE ARGUMENT

Major premise:

IF (A) the Bible (the text) says
everything began over a period
of six days, and

IF (B) it really means
that it was six 24-hour days
occurring a few thousand
years ago, and

IF (C) there is empirical
evidence that some thing is
actually much older than a few
thousand years,

THEN (D) The Bible is wrong.

Minor premise:

(A) the Bible (the text) says
everything began over a period
of six days, and

(B) it really means
that it was six 24-hour days
occurring a few thousand
years ago, and

(C) there is empirical
evidence that some thing is
actually much older than a few
thousand years.

Conclusion:

(D) The Bible is wrong.

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Basic Stipulated Definitions

“Few thousand” – less than 100,000.

“Empirical evidence that some thing
is actually older than a few thousand
years” – some thing is actually older
than a few thousand years and we
can so determine from evidence and its
interpretation independent of “the text”.

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QUESTIONS

Rule: If you can’t bring yourself to answer “yes”, your default answer will be “no”.

Discussion to follow answers to questions, where appropriate.

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EXERCISE QUESTION #1

Do you think the Exercise Argument (see below) is so constructed that if its premises are true its conclusion will follow as true therefrom?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #2

Do you think the major premise is true?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #3

Do you think the minor premise, part (A) is true?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #4

Do you think the minor premise, part (B) is true?

Robert Baty: No!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #5

Do you think the minor premise, part (C) is true?

Robert Baty: Yes!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Exercise Question #6

Do you think the conclusion is true?

Robert Baty: No!

Name: (To Answer Yes or No)

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Comments

Creationism 101 Critical Thinking Exercise — 3 Comments

  1. I presented the Exercise to Mark Stoney, one of Kent Hovind’s
    men and conpound residents.
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    That exchange is on FaceBook at:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/kenthovindsworstnightmare/permalink/1466646463504478/
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    Mark’s first response is:
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    (Begin quote.)
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    You present a false dichotomy with your question.
    Neither A nor B are valid answers because your premise is flawed.
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    God’s word does say that He did it in 6 days. (See Exodus 20:11)
    He (God) literally wrote it in stone.
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    That is not an interpretation.
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    That’s what He says and scripture itself demands no private
    interpretation can be applied.
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    We must exegetically allow scripture to interpret itself,
    which it certainly does.
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    There is no empirical evidence that some thing is older
    than a few thousand years.
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    THIS is where you messed up.
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    Evidence does not speak for itself.
    It must be interpreted.
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    If flawed man’s interpretation of evidence contradicts
    God’s infallible word, it is man who is wrong and in
    need of re-examination, not God’s word.
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    While your exercise is logical, and well thought out,
    your premises are false, making your conclusion errant.
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    (End quote.)
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    .
    I responded with:
    .
    (Begin quote.)
    .
    Thanks Mark Stoney for following so many before you
    and managing to flunk the Exercise by refusing to openly,
    honestly engage the Exercise.
    .
    However, the Exercise remains open for your further
    consideration, and Kent’s.
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    Mark, you are all over the place in your evasion of what
    involves, really, rather uncontroversial matters.
    .
    So, let’s do what Kent would recommend, and slow you
    down and take it one reasonable step at a time.
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    QUESTION
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    IF SOME STUFF REALLY IS MORE THAN
    A FEW THOUSAND YEARS OLD, WOULD YOU:
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    (A) CONSIDER THAT THE BIBLE IS WRONG,
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    OR
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    (B) CONSIDER THE YOUNG-EARTH INTERPRETATION WRONG.
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    I would go with (B).
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    How about you, Mark Stoney; (A) or (B)?
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    Are you going to demonstrate you don’t even understand
    how it is that hypotheticals/conditionals operate when
    it comes to such things?
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    You certainly wouldn’t be the first.
    It has been a common short-coming of many of my “Goliath of GRAS” critics.
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    (A) or (B), Mark?
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    Once you answer that, we can proceed to the 6, simple,
    “yes” or “no” questions in the associated Exercise.
    .
    (End quote.)

  2. I followed up with Mark and posted the following:
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    (Begin quote.)
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    Mark Stoney, maybe this will help you state your
    position for purposes of this Exercise.
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    Really, it’s not that difficult.
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    It’s not a “wife-beating” question, Mark.
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    If you cannot bring yourself to answer (A), your
    default answer will be (B).
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    If you cannot bring yourself to answer (B), your
    default answer will be (A).
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    (A) or (B), Mark?
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    Alternatively, since I do try to adapt the Exercise
    to the individual needs of the student/participant,
    I will even let you skip that question all together
    and proceed with the 6, simple, “yes” or “no” questions
    for each Argument, and you can pick, for whatever
    reason, which Argument you want to consider.
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    We can take up the remaining Argument and its 6 questions
    afterwards if you wish.
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    So, Mark, do you want to answer (A) or (B) or skip the
    question altogether and proceed to the remaining 6,
    simple, “yes” or “no” questions?
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    (End quote.)

  3. After some additional back of forth, Mark Stoney wrote:
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    (Begin quote.)

    Robert Baty you don’t get it.
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    Your exercise is designed to make Christians
    deny what God himself has declared as truth.
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    Such as he did, in exodus 20:11.
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    I have examined your exercise, and while it is
    logically sound, it’s premises are false.
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    Yet you accuse me of lacking critical thinking skills.
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    I hold to my answer that you are presenting a false
    dichotomy.
    .
    Fix your fallacy and I’ll play your game.

    (End quote.)

    And so I responded with:

    (Begin quote.)

    You are just lying about that, but your demonstrations
    indicate you are the one that doesn’t get it and aren’t
    interested in getting it, and that you are lacking in
    the basic critical thinking skills necessary to
    successfully complete the Exercise.
    .
    That’s a valuable contribution to the long history of
    my “Goliath of GRAS” and Creationism 101 Critical
    Thinking Exercise.
    .
    I can thank you for that, but had hoped you were a
    better man than that.
    .
    You can whine all you want, Mark, and heap all the
    more coals of fire on your unworthy head.
    .
    You can’t handle the truth, and the truth about my
    Arguments and Exercise are really quite uncontroversial
    and you lying about them is quite unseemly, cowardly,
    and indicative of your lack of basic skills.
    .
    Let me know if you change you mind and wish to openly,
    honestly progress to the successful completion of the
    Exercise.
    .
    You know how to reach me.

    (End quote.)

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