Two weeks ago I found these two booklets from the Creation Research Society called Questions for Evolutionists and Questions for Creationists in my church’s mini apologetics library. (Click here and here to follow along in the booklets or read them on your own. This PDF has been shared with the permission of the Creation Research Society.)
As an atheist, it can probably go without saying that I disagree with the claims about origins made by creationists. While reading these booklets, there were many times when I found myself questioning what was said and remembering what I’ve learned about evolution in order to refute the claims made. I obviously don’t share most of the beliefs of the Creation Research Society, but my biggest problems with these booklets wasn’t even what was told in them, but rather the way in which the information was presented.
I was intrigued by the way that both booklets, Questions for Evolutionists and Questions for Creationists, were both written by creationists. At the very least, it would have been fair to include evolutionists’ best responses to their questions in the booklet of questions for evolutionists. After reading both booklets, however, I realized that it was even less fair to evolutionists that I had initially realized.
The booklet Questions for Evolutionists was published in 2012, and Questions for Creationists was published in 2017. Questions for Evolutionists is composed of questions aimed at evolutionists that they supposedly have no coherent answers to; it was written with a condescending “gotcha!” tone. No answers, or even best guesses from evolutionists, for the questions, are included or mentioned. Plus, most the questions are at best tangentially related to the truth of evolution. There is a whole section dedicated to “Who discovered X that sounds like it has to do with origins,” as well as questions about the Big Bang and the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. (No, they do not disprove evolution.)
What bothers me is that Questions for Creationists is written by the same people who are upset by the “gotcha” questions that evolutionists are presenting to them about their own beliefs. But this booklet, rather than leaving the questions unanswered as the other one did, is filled with creationists’ best answers (and excuses). If these booklets had been written fairly, then Questions for Creationists would be written by creationists answering evolutionists’ questions, and vice versa.
The deceiving names and contents of the booklets weren’t the only hypocritical things about them. Questions for Creationists is filled with accusations of evolutionists as close-minded and cherry-picking information that supports what they already believe, but throughout the booklet (starting on the first page) is the confession that all its authors have a prior commitment in believing the Bible and a literal interpretation of Genesis.
Although not a conflict of belief, one thing that irked me is the way that the authors referred to the big bang theory and evolution. Rather than calling them by their names, the big bang theory was referred to as the BB theory and the theory of evolution was abbreviated as the TOE. As I’ve never seen anyone abbreviate these terms this way before, I saw it as a subtle and unnecessary way of disrespecting these groundbreaking scientific theories.