An illustrated response to young-earth creationist author Darek Isaacs

Prepare for your mind to be blown (photo via The Independent).

Meet young-earth creationist author Darek Isaacs.

If you’ve never heard of him, he got some headlines last year for a book in which he argued that the dragons of legends and folk lore (you know, those enormous, winged, fire-breathing monstrosities that occupy the same realm as the Sphinx and the Questing Beast) are actually just slightly exaggerated human encounters with extant dinosaurs. Initially, the claim was so extreme it seemed fringey even within the uber-fringey world of young-earth creationism … until we all realized that Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis were saying the same things.

Even if these ideas were remotely true, of course, it would do absolutely nothing to the theory of evolution, any more than did the 1938 rediscovery of the coelacanth, a rare order of fish thought to have been extinct for millions of years. There’s actually a term for such finds — Lazarus taxa — and if anything, they simply provide further evidence that the fossil record is incomplete (which isn’t exactly news to paleontologists).

But anyway, that was last year. This year, Isaacs — who fancies himself a philosopher, or so we’re told — has a new argument against evolution. According to The Independent, the bizarre but certainly not wholly unique or original syllogism goes as follows: If evolution is true, then it is OK for men to rape women. It is not OK for men to rape women, therefore, evolution must not be true. The claim was also presented in the form of a question, “If evolution is true, is rape wrong?”

Though Ken Ham, another of our good friends, found this a devastating argument against science, we thought it left a lot to be desired.

And we thought we would respond in our favorite way that we respond to such things: a snarky meme! The only problem is that we had too many ideas, and we couldn’t decide which one we liked best. So, we’re presenting a whole series.

This first one is just what we felt to be a loose translation of Isaac’s original query.

Darek Isaacs meme 1

Second is a slightly different question, but one that makes every bit as much sense as the original.

Darek Isaacs meme 2

Then, we brought a similar line of thinking to different fields of inquiry.

Darek Isaacs meme 3

Darek Isaacs meme 4

Darek Isaacs meme 5

For our last quandary, we took a tenuous step into the strange and unpredictable world of young-earth theology:

Darek Isaacs meme 6

Feel free to share around, and let us know which meme you liked best.

Tyler Francke

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  • Larry Bunce

    If Mr. Isaacs is a philosopher, perhaps he is testing us to see how many people can recognize a false syllogism.
    Even if his first statement were true, it would not necesarily follow that the reverse must also be true.
    The first objection to Darwin was that if we evolved, humans are ‘merely’ animals, and therefore not under any obligation to behave in a moral way. The real statement assumes that if evolution is true, God does not exist, and therefore any rules laid out in the Bible are not valid. GoE is making the statement that evolution does not rule out God, so Mr. Issacs’ statement is false. The recognation of moral law does not depend on a belief in God, (the communists punished murder and robbery) so accepting that some actions are wrong has no relation to belief in God, and we have allready established that bellief in God does not preclude acceptance of evolution.
    If YECs are moral simply because the Bible says to be moral, I would hate to be around a YEC when a tragedy causes one of them to lose his faith.

    • I understand why this argument exists, but it doesn’t make it any less dumb. Religion (theoretically) holds most people to a higher moral standard than not being religious does. For example, were I single and an atheist, there would be nothing morally wrong with me going to a bar meeting a woman and having sex with her within 5 minutes (provided she consents). However, as a Christian, that is something I am forbidden from doing. It wouldn’t make me any worse of a person if I lived a life like that, and so there is nothing immoral about it from a secular standpoint, but from a Christian standpoint it is immoral (and with reason, wanton sexuality has actually ruined several lives).

      Essentially, morality outside of God has to do with not being a jerk (or worse), but religious morality (particularly christian) has to do with not only the state of one’s soul, but also being a shining light in the world. We’re not supposed to “just get by” with being a good person but go above and beyond and be the best person we can be. Jesus is supposed to be the example by which we live and so many Christians don’t even try to live that way (I try, but I don’t succeed a lot of times). The problem with Mr. Isaacs and K-Ham, and a lot of Christians is that they are trying to tie basic morality to God and that’s not necessarily true. That’s why so many atheists push the “Good without God” mindset, because they are just as good as Christians but they do it without the threat of hellfire, so that makes them better… and honestly, in this case I agree.

      • Larry Bunce

        Atheists might not fear hellfire, but morality does not consist of obeying arbitrary rules to score brownie points with God. If we think it is OK to steal and cheat, we can expect others to do the same to us, so we would spend our lives protecting what we have instead of being able to enjoy it. Sexuality in humans goes far beyond mere reproduction, so indulging in sex wantonly robs us of the deeper satisfaction we find in a committed relationship. Adultery violates the trust our partner has placed in us, and hurts our partner deeply. (And adultery can go both ways.) Any lesser standard reduces sex to just another bodily function, just as demeaning, and a lessening of what it means to be human, for the atheist as for the religious.
        I think a lot of ‘mating behavior’ in animals would be called rape if practiced by humans.

        • Good thoughts here, guys. Thanks for being part of the discussion!

          Re: animal “rape,” Larry, how would you define that? Animals cannot give “consent” to sexual activity, can they?

          • Larry Bunce

            Females select which male they will allow to mate in many species, a means of natural selection that ensures that only the most fit males reproduce. It also sets up elaborate plumage in male birds anf antlers in deer. I saw a newspaper article about horse breeding that said an unwilling mare can kick and destroy a stallion’s ability to breed again.

          • Many animals go through elaborate mating rituals in order to attract a mate. I am no zoologist so I have no idea how often “rape” may or may not occur in the animal kingdom (other than dolphins… they apparently rape. Though they are, from what I understand, the only other species to derive pleasure from sex), I just know that animal reproduction rarely relies on rape.

        • Agreed, but it can be argued that there are two different definitions for adultery. Most religious people refer to any sex outside of your “life partner” is adultery. However outside of religious circles adultery simply has to do with cheating on your spouse. And even married people having sex with someone other than their spouse is becoming more and more acceptable with more and more people coming to the belief that humans should not be monogamous (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vicki-larson/why-men-need-to-cheat_b_1170015.html and http://bigthink.com/videos/why-monogamy-is-ridiculous)

          And I even know people personally who push this idea, my girlfriend’s sister-in-law is proud of her sexual exploits prior to marriage and even has elements of their lifestyle set up for an easy divorce “if it ever becomes necessary” (which, with that mindset, I am already calling that it will happen). I have several friends who have no problems with sleeping around when not in a relationship. Regular sex is thought of as a biological need as opposed to a desire (I mean, I would argue that sex in and of itself is a need, but not as strong as people make it out to be, and marriage more that fulfills that need).

          And don’t even get me started on porn. Either way, social consensus is that sex is good wherever you can get it and the only ones who push for sexual morality are stogy religious morons who are stuck in the last century. I’m not saying I agree with that mindset, just that it exists and tends to be the rule as opposed to the exception. Hell, if the tide continues turning the way it is, I wouldn’t surprised if in the next century marriage is considered the immoral thing to do.

    • Yeah. I suppose I never really got around to responding to the argument outright. It was just so bad I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But you’re right, of course. The bottom line is that a scientific theory is neither vindicated nor falsified by its supposed philosophical implications. Even if evolution actually did mean rape is OK, that would not make the scientific evidence for common descent vanish into thin air.

      If YECs are moral simply because the Bible says to be moral, I would hate to be around a YEC when a tragedy causes one of them to lose his faith.

      Agreed. That would not be pretty.

  • Aceofspades25
    • Thanks, Ace, I appreciate the links! “Argumentum ad consequentiam” — I’ll have to remember that.

  • A Young Earth Creationist asked me “if we evolved from apes, when did God give us our soul?” My response was “When does anyone get their soul? From the moment of intercourse (i say that because there is a period of time between intercourse and actual conception) to birth, at what point does a growing fetus get a soul?” The response, of course, was “At the moment of conception.” That got me thinking about what scriptural basis for when a human gets a soul is. All I can find is Jer. 1:5 where God talks about knowing Jeremiah before he was formed in the womb, but that has no real commentary on any moment when the soul is introduced. I don’t know, its a small thing I have been chewing on a bit and thought it had an interesting allegory when it comes to the question of the soul and the concept of Theistic Evolution, so I decided to share the thought.

    • Great thoughts, Alex! Thanks for sharing! You’re right on, in my opinion. Some Christians think this is some huge theological weakness of evolutionary theory, but the fact is, that the Bible DOES NOT SAY when or how the human race became ensouled. It does not even really say what a soul is, simply that it exists. So, yes, the theory of evolution does not explain when or how humans received our souls, but neither does young-earth creationism, or any other Christian philosophy. It’s ultimately all speculation no matter how you slice it, because the Bible isn’t clear.