Episode 20: Interview on Combating Creationism as a High School Student
Recap: One of the big "think tanks" for young-Earth creationism is the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), now located in Texas in the United States. Half a world away, a high school student, Peter, takes on nearly all their daily articles, blog posts, and other output. I interview Peter to learn more about what it's like taking on the ICR from his viewpoint.
- Peter's Blog: Eye on the ICR (Institute for Creation Research), and Selected Posts
- Relevant Posts on my "Exposing PseudoAstronomy" Blog
Peter and I talked about how he got started taking on the ICR, which came about when he would argue with religious education leaders at his school, and one happened to also be his neighbor. But, according to Peter, creationism isn't nearly as big an issue in New Zealand as it is in the US.
We next talked about how Peter started his "Eye on the ICR" blog, and he did it almost as an endurance test: Could he put out an article a day, for a full month, discussing their arguments and pointing out the fallacies? No one else was doing it that he could find, so the door was open.
I next asked Peter whether he knew if anyone from the ICR knew about his blog, and the answer was a "yes:" They changed the way they put out videos to prevent him from embedding them in his blog, and someone with an IP address registered to the ICR has visited his site. In addition, someone who has directly written to the ICR has included Peter's blog in the communication.
We next talked about Peter's approach to critiquing the ICR's articles: He reads what they write, looks for the facts, and then compares the two, going into detail on his blog. His goal isn't just to do this because he has a bunch of free time. He hopes people will use his writings in their own argument with creationists, such as on internet forums.
We next talked about common forms of arguments and common arguments. After all, Peter has been looking into these now for eight months on a daily basis. One of the main threads he's found is they will "do anything" to disprove evolution, and they are also big on catastrophism with Noah's flood - the idea that a huge, non-uniform in time, event occurred to account for everything that "evolutionists" claim takes "millions of years" (to quote Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis).
Moving forward, Peter plans on slowing down a bit as he concentrates on his last year of high school that starts in February, but he plans to continue to write about creationism and creationist claims.
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10:25am on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012