You might argue with a Creationist, I wrote, or at least give him or her (but it always seems to be a him!) something to mull over, by framing the discussion in a Biblical, Christian context and seizing the high ground.
Merely citing scientific consensus to a True Believer is a mostly inadequate tactic, but an insistence on Biblical inerrancy is the foundation stone to the entire Creationist position.
In fact, that’s all they have.
So– I suggested that even accepting the Bible as divinely inspired, you don’t have to go whole hog, with a literal interpretation of Genesis.
That Biblical book itself contains two mutually contradictory accounts– it could, I maintained, be properly seen as a parable, or story– like those the incarnate Jesus used in the New Testament for rhetorical emphasis.
After all, just as I don’t wish to cede the flag and patriotism to Republicans, I’m equally unwilling to relinquish the Bible, which underlies much of literature, to slavering tub-thumpers.
They’re often not even readers– what seems the profession of support of their religion is more a piece of a political brand, pure and simple.
But, if a Bible-based argument may be too distasteful for many to enlist in the service of argument, perhaps there can be still another angle of approach.
Starlight that has been traveling for many millions of years, for a length of time comparable to geological eras, reaches us here on Earth– and we can thereby see the Universe’s most distant objects and primordial galaxies.
We are seeing into remote time.
Time aeons before the ostensible date of the first Creation. There it is, for anyone to behold who has access to the equipment. In the digital age, that’s everybody.
This, like carbon-dating to establish a date in paleontology, gets no respect from your hard-core Young Earther or “Creation scientist.”
Whoever speaks for so-called Creationism is likely to say that the supposed distant objects are actually no more than a mere 6,000 light years away– or that the Universe came into being with photons already en route from its farthest edges. There are also those who try to make the case that God is somehow testing our faith, by presenting an apparent paradox…
And once again we’re stopped cold. If they respected proved facts in the first place, they wouldn’t be trying to make their case.
How about an emotional argument?
Why not say, if you’re wrong, you, not I, are showing impiety and disrespect to God. The Almighty Spirit has given you the means to see some of His mystery, something like the partial vision given to Moses toward the end of his life as a reward for his faith– and you deny Him as you deliberately turn a blind eye to His majestic cosmos.
Yes, you, actually not a Creation apologist as you see yourself but rather a denier of the works of the Lord, are thereby also denying Him and ignoring the actual living Creation.
Remember, Man is a being made in the image of God, which includes some of His powers of understanding. Others– the scientists whose work you’re choosing to reject– are following the program, and coming to know a part of the divine plan.
You, on the other hand, are goofing off, and, worse still, muddying the waters of wisdom to prevent others from attaining their own knowledge of God’s works.
You think God is “testing” you by portraying an apparent untruth? Hmm… now it seems you’re calling God a liar.
Satan, the actual Father of Lies, ought to be pleased with all you’ve done.
Nice job, Buddy!
In the afterlife, you will certainly receive your reward.
[Detailed fantasy galaxy core in far deep space via Shutterstock.com.]