The goat charmer returns

Our charming friend Tony Breeden, of Defending Genesis, continues to be a fan of my work.

Here are parts 1 and 2 of his — so far — three-part (!) attempt to respond to my “10 theological questions” post last week.

It seems to consist primarily of put-downs, spiritual one-upmanship and liberal uses of the special pleading fallacy, which isn’t all that surprising. It has long been Breeden’s specialty to present a Bible passage that only supports the young-earth view if one has already assumed a priori that the young-earth view is correct, and he does nothing different or unexpected here.

I think I can objectively say it’s not nearly as funny or fun to read as the original, but it is certainly thorough (exhaustively so) and does make efforts to be biblically based. Breeden responds to most of the questions about as well as you could expect anyone to, even though he actually seems to think he has answered the first question by … admitting he can’t answer the first question.

I include the links here in fairness, so you can see what I imagine would be the pretty standard YEC responses to the questions I posed, and offer your own thoughts if you wish (the few responses he has received thus far are from like-minded folks breathlessly praising his fine work).

Personally, I have no intention of engaging Breedon, because my one previous encounter with him was one of the most astoundingly unpleasant interactions I’ve ever had, and I write about a controversial subject that intersects science and religion. On the Internet.

If you follow my Facebook page, you may recall Breeden was the guy who responded to one of my comments with this heart-warming display of preschool fundie name-calling:

“I weep for your congregation! If we were only sentenced with spiritual death, what hope have we of physical resurrection? You undermine our Blessed Hope with your bleating, goat. You’re translating it wrong to confirm your own biases, Bible doubter.”

Yeah, he’s a real mensch. I guess when folks have got the love of Jesus way down in their hearts, it can’t help but shine through.

Tyler Francke is founder of God of Evolution and author of Reoriented. He can be reached at tyler@godofevolution.com.

  • Seth

    Yeah, I loved the first answer also, basically that it only seems illogical because God works in mysterious ways, not very intellectually satisfying.

    Most of the items are over my head theologically, but also got a kick out of #6, where he relies on a wildly variable interpretation of ‘day’, even when said interpretations are completely counter-intuitive (how can you have 24 hour days before the sun exists), and “in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” would mean to any reasonable person to mean right away. He almost comes out and says that God was being deceptive in his words to Eve. I find AiG’s explanation similar, though slightly better, but still not terribly satisfying. https://answersingenesis.org/death-before-sin/genesis-2-17-you-shall-surely-die/

    • Yeah. I mean, the purpose of the orginal post was to illustrate the YEC theology is bad. Am I crazy, or could you basically sum up this guy’s responses as, “Nuh uh! And besides, your theology is even worse! (Blows raspberry.)”?

      • Seth

        That seems like a reasonable summation to me.

      • Tony Breeden

        Yep, you’re crazy. Or you just skimmed it. Or both.

        • Well if it isn’t the man himself! I don’t know, Tony, you seem to be outnumbered here. But that’s never stopped you before, right?

          • Tony Breeden

            Nope

      • YEC are cartoon-like in their nature they claim to win souls but resort to witness wear and Jesus Junk t-shirts to show their young earth claims. Theistic Evolution is a philosophical angle to both theology and science as Old Earth Creationists have a hard time pinning down TEs as they’re the most controversial of the Old Earth view. My insult to Kent Hovind was explicit as I called him a cartoon. God showed me the way to refute YECs as I use darker takes on allegorical arguments for a blackly humorous effect like the author of Awkward Moments in the Children’s Bible. I will share this link with you as it would piss off YEC claims as it shows the darker side of the Good Book as this has a dinosaur floating like a dead goldfish. I commented on this page with the quip addressing “Dr.” Hovind and Ken Ham, “We found your f-bombing dinosaur.” Here’s a page you can use on King James Onlyists as The Old Testament in the King James Bible has some vulgar phrasing.

  • ashleyhr

    I could not readily see the Breeden ‘sheep and goats’ Bible Putdown at your Facebook link but it appears here (dated 19.2.14):

    EDIT: this website, link the ibj.com one I’ve mentioned under Tyler’s preceding blog post, is stupidly refusing my link. It is to Breeden’s 2012 blog post entitled ‘God Rested: How the Sabbath Day Destroys a Critic’s Argument Against Young Earth Creationism’ at Defending Genesis’.

  • ashleyhr

    I see that Breeden has now written a Part 3 and promised a Part 4 as well. Due to the recent technical problems, I’ve not attempted to attach the link.

  • Tony Breeden

    Tyler,

    I have provided reasonable answers to each of these allegedly unanswerable questions in a manner consistent with a Biblical young earth creationist view. In brief I note that some of these questions have actually been answered a ridiculous number of times and that most of your objections are false dilemmas that fail to take into account some other portion of Biblical revelation in order to make your case. You were right about one thing and one thing only: an exchange with me on this matter would have been neither pleasant nor effective in converting me to your compromise, precisely because you are wrong and you’re really bad at argument. My summary of responses can be found at https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/10-theological-questions-theistic-evolutionists-think-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer-the-final-insult/

    And “goat herder”?? really? That’s the best you could do? You continue to disappoint me.

    Siriusly Yours,
    Tony Breeden, DefGen.org

    • Ah, Tony. Your intelligence and wit is matched only by your winsomeness and keen sense of civility. We “compromisers” are so blessed to have you.

      And it was “goat charmer,” not ” herder.” Sheesh, it was in the headline, even. The least you could do was get that right.

      • You sneer a lot.

      • Tony Breeden

        Tyler,

        Like ‘goat charmer’ demonstrated any less imagination on your part…

        As for your crack about my winsomeness and keen sense of civility, you merely demonstrate that you would have offered the same snark to Jesus for his “tone” in addressing the Pharisees and the Sadducees. I’m not trying to win you over. I personally think you’re a lost cause, but I keep hoping I’m wrong about that.

        After all, I once told people that I supposed God could have used evolution and that we had to allow for the possibility of long ages in the days of Genesis, just in case. Since then, I came to realize that I had to either be consistent in my rejection of every supernatural aspect of Christianity per the all-natural authority of modern science, submit my thinking to the ultimate authority of God’s Word no matter if the context demanded I reject modern scientific consensus, or make myself the ultimate authority over the Bible and science. Well, I realized that I wasn’t God so the latter option was ultimately as untenable as it was arbitrary and if I believed the ultimate authority of either science chained to pure naturalism or the supernatural revelation of the Bible, I needed to be all in. After all, no man can serve two masters. My hope is that you’ll have the same epiphany.

        In the meantime, I’m just warning people that you’re one of those well-meaning fresh scrubbed religious folk who teaches error according to the latest modern fad rather than the faith once delivered.

        As for my “winsomeness” and “keen sense of civility,” I imagine that some passages regarding Jesus’ actions and words to the religious folk of his day are theologically problematic to your sanitized, stained-glass version of what Christianity should look like. Of course, if you really believed snark and insult were unbecoming of a man of God, most of your site would not exist…

        -Tony

        • Like ‘goat charmer’ demonstrated any less imagination on your part…

          I think you meant to say, “Like ‘goat charmer’ demonstrated any more imagination on your part…”

          It’s not a big deal. It’s just that, you know, maybe the fact that you failed to get a simple put-down right (twice) is an indication of how seriously and thoroughly your response really engages with my arguments in the first place.

          As for your crack about my winsomeness and keen sense of civility, you merely demonstrate that you would have offered the same snark to Jesus for his “tone” in addressing the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

          No, I wouldn’t. Hate to burst your bubble, but you’re not Jesus, bro.

          I’m not trying to win you over.

          That’s good. You won’t be disappointed, then.

          I personally think you’re a lost cause, but I keep hoping I’m wrong about that.

          How very touching.

          After all, I once told people that I supposed God could have used evolution and that we had to allow for the possibility of long ages in the days of Genesis, just in case. Since then, I came to realize that I had to either be consistent in my rejection of every supernatural aspect of Christianity per the all-natural authority of modern science, submit my thinking to the ultimate authority of God’s Word no matter if the context demanded I reject modern scientific consensus, or make myself the ultimate authority over the Bible and science.

          It’s a shame you fell for such an empty and poorly reasoned false dichotomy.

          My hope is that you’ll have the same epiphany.

          I really wouldn’t bet on it.

          In the meantime, I’m just warning people that you’re one of those well-meaning fresh scrubbed religious folk who teaches error according to the latest modern fad rather than the faith once delivered.

          Well, I’ll be! Part of that almost sounded like a compliment. Tony, there may be hope for you yet.

          As for my “winsomeness” and “keen sense of civility,” I imagine that some passages regarding Jesus’ actions and words to the religious folk of his day are theologically problematic to your sanitized, stained-glass version of what Christianity should look like.

          I imagine there are passages regarding regarding the words and actions of God in the flesh that would be theologically problematic to any mortal man or woman’s “version of what Christianity should look like.” The day you think you have Jesus figured out is the day you’re not dealing with the real Jesus anymore.

          Of course, if you really believed snark and insult were unbecoming of a man of God, most of your site would not exist…

          Very true.

          • Tony Breeden

            That’s it? That’s all you got?

        • ashleyhr

          “Latest modern fad”. Since at least 1859 …

          • Evolution was being talked about way before Darwin, and the ancient age of the earth was already well established in his day. “On the Origin of Species” helped popularize evolution, and proposed the principle of natural selection, but he was far from the first to conceive of common ancestry.

            So, yeah, calling it the “latest modern fad” is like describing the earth being round as a “cutting-edge idea.”

          • Tony Breeden

            Oh, so you’re saying you accept the same version of the grand theory of evolution as the one Darwin described in Origins, Ashley Haworth-Roberts?? Are you sure about that, Tyler Francke? Cause I seem to recall reading that book and I’m pretty sure no one affirms gemmules and pangenesis. You sure you don’t want to qualify that statement? You sure you don’t also affirm saltations or cladistics or anything else beyond 1859?

          • Dude, do you have the spiritual gift of obnoxiousness or something? All I said was evolution is not a new idea, and Charles Darwin wasn’t the first to propose it.

            Sheesh. And you seriously wonder why I’m not interested in having a discussion with you?

          • Tony Breeden

            Tyler, you ARE having a discussion with me, both here and on Facebook. And who’s fault is that, Tyler? One of your very first posts was a recommendation that theistic evos not engage with creationists at all. Looks like you were never quite successful in following your own advice. C’mon, what is it that you really want?

            A spiritual gift of obnoxiousness? You really don’t like being contradicted, do you? Bwahahahahaha!

          • Tyler, you ARE having a discussion with me, both here and on Facebook. And who’s fault is that, Tyler?

            I suppose it would be the person who started both discussions.

            Looks like you were never quite successful in following your own advice.

            It’s true. I’m not great at ignoring falsehoods and insults when they’re posted at my doorstep.

            A spiritual gift of obnoxiousness?

            I thought that was pretty funny, actually. Leave it to you to take it seriously and personally.

            You really don’t like being contradicted, do you?

            Yes, I can’t stand being contradicted. That’s why I write about controversial topics almost exclusively, and allow people of all different views to post on this site.

          • ashleyhr

            I have nothing to add to my previous comment (which in fact did not explicitly mention evolution) other than to admit openly that the theory of evolution has indeed morphed and become more detailed (some would say evolved) since Darwin published ‘Origins’.
            I was not of course attempting to provide an encyclopaedic definition of evolution – I was merely pointing out that evolutionary theory and the reality of deep time are scarcely the ‘latest modern fad’ (not even within science only). But people like Tony tend to dismiss anything considered unbiblical and proposed since the Bible was written as being a ‘modern fad’.

          • Tony Breeden

            Actually, it’s just you, Ashley. I dismiss you. But given our history together, I think that’s pretty understandable.

          • ashleyhr

            Yes, I’d noticed that. You ran out of arguments in recent email exchanges (as you did here by trying to make my very brief comment ‘suggest’ that we have learnt nothing scientifically since 1859) so you resorted to calling me a ‘fascist’.

          • Tony Breeden

            Didn’t run out. Just stopped casting pearls. I called your organization fascist because you were trying to protect a theory of science by law, undermining the self-correcting nature of science in the process. Wait. I may have called you fascist too, but you’re kind of the ringleader behind that outfit, so yeah, I stand behind the accusation, Ashley.

          • ashleyhr

            They were not ‘pearls’, Tony.
            And – if you are referring to the BCSE where I post regularly at the community forum though I have no formal involvement with them and am not on their committee or anything – then you are LYING about YOUR words copied to OTHERS by email. You wrote on 9 June (within a discussion about ‘Lucy’): “You need to grow up and realize that just because someone disagrees with the party line doesn’t make them a liar… but calling those who disagree with the party line liars does make you a fascist!”. You NEVER mentioned the BCSE! And thus your mud is not sticking. You should do proper research instead of making up your own ‘facts’. (If I had Tyler’s email address I would forward your message to him as well.) BCSE details: http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/HomePage If they are opposing the teaching of creationism in science lessons in UK schools, and they are, I have NO direct involvement with that.

          • ashleyhr

            PS This site is yet again mangling links. My link is to the homepage of the British Centre for Science Education website, where the current committee members are named. I am not a committee member. You have been there in the past, so you really should know this already.
            http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/

  • AmbassadorHerald

    For anyone who didn’t know, a new response to these falsely claimed “unanswerable questions” has been uploaded at the links below:

    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131175697 Part 1 – Intro & Q1
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131177283 Part 2 – Half Q2
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131178982 Part 3 – Half Q2
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131180329 Part 4 – Q3 & Q4
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131181439 Part 5 – Q5
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131182893 Part 6 – Q6
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131184465 Part 7 – Q7
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131185813 Part 8 – Half Q8
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131187584 Part 9 – Half Q8
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131189164 Part 10 – Q9
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131190333 Part 11 – Half Q10
    http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2131191304 Part 12 – Half Q10 & Conclusion