Jonathan Sarfati's Posting on No Answers in Genesis' Guestbook
Dr Sarfati's critique also appears on a creationist web site here
Name: Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M.
Website: Answers in Genesis
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
Time: 1999-03-04 23:42:47
Comments: What do John Stear and his fellow Skeptics really believe?
As some astute signatories to this guestbook have pointed out, John Stear's 'No Answers in Genesis' is short on substance but long on rhetoric against creationists. Not surprising really, since there is no hard evidence that particles have turned into people by themselves. All the evolutionists normally do is cite trivial examples of 'change' which generate nothing new, and hope that people won't realise that they haven't proven fish-to-philosopher evolution in the slightest, nor have they challenged creation. Now, unlike Stear's scurrilous little site, the Answers in Genesis site majors in issues, not personalities. But I can certainly play Stear's little game of ad hominems, beginning with Stear himself.
Q: Who is John Stear anyway?
A: According to his beloved Australian Skeptic journal describes him as a 'retired public servant' (Skeptic 18(4):74, 1998) or 'retired bureaucrat' (17(3):74, 1997). What, do you mean that although he pontificates about science, he is not a scientist himself? Sir Humphrey Appleby, eat your heart out! (Of Yes Minister fame for those deprived of decent comedy)
Q: What does John Stear really think about religion?
A: Surely, with posts on his site purporting to show that evolution and religion are compatible, he must have a benign attitude towards it. But no, in a book review entitled 'Religion as a Health Hazard' he rails against 'religion' in general and Christianity in particular for their 'deleterious effect on society' (Skeptic 17(3):60, 1997). Also, when a fellow atheistic skeptic, John Snowden, pointed out the many shortcomings of organised humanism, our dear John was quick to defend the humanistic faith. In the process he referred to something called the 'Christian myth' and 'the hazards of religion' and made this absurd statement: 'Christianity has some deleterious effects on the well being of society' (Skeptic 18(2):52-53, 1998). Never mind the deleterious effects of atheistic evolution-based Communist and Nazi regimes, who have killed more people this century than all the religious wars in history put together.
What's happening here? Are there really two John Stears, both members of the Australian Skeptics, one having a benign view of Christianity and the other a rabidly anti-Christian bigot? Is it a case of 'Will the real John Stear please stand up?'
Q: Where does John Stear really stand on the compatibility of evolution and Christianity?
A: On his website, John is concerned not to give the impression that evolutionists are anti-christian bigots, by citing a few Christian evolutionists. But in the Skeptic 16(2):62, 1996, Stear wrote: 'If evolution is fundamentally correct, then there was no Adam; no Adam, no fall; no fall, no atonement; no atonement, no reason for Christ to have died on the cross. If Christ died for no reason then he was not divine and Christianity has no basis in fact. Is there really any need for scientific proof in order to debunk Christianity?' He goes on to fulminate against monotheism, and to chide Skeptics that it 'could be seen by some as less than honest' not to attack religion directly.
Again, are there really two John Stears with diametrically opposed views?
It is tempting to speculate that John got a good telling off by some of the Skeptic hierarchy for giving the game away. 'Don't you realise that it's terrible strategy, given that blatant atheism still repulses most people? Much better to follow Lenin's strategy of cultivating "useful idiots", who can promote our cause without realising that they are undermining their own position. We skeptics need people in the Church to convince Christians not to believe their own book, all the while under the impression that evolution is no threat to Christianity. Eventually we can tell them that evolution really is diametrically opposed to Christianity, and have a good laugh about their gullibility. But for now it's too early to reveal our strategy (obvious as it should be to any discerning Christian), so take it easy, John, please!'
On the other hand, Answers in Genesis has most fields of science covered by highly qualified scientists.
The CEO, Carl Wieland , a medical doctor, who is thus properly called 'Dr'. But Stear dishonestly refused to do so, unfairly juxtaposing 'Dr Max' with plain 'Wieland' in one of the articles.
Don Batten, a Ph.D. plant physiologist and expert tropical fruit researcher.
Jonathan Sarfati, a Ph.D. physical chemist (and former New Zealand national chess champion).
Pierre Jerltröm, a Ph.D molecular biologist, whose high credentials were unreasonably doubted in the Skeptic.
Tas Walker, a Ph.D. engineer who recently gained a 1st Class Honours degree in geology, specialising in radiometric dating.