Saturday, 6 October 2012

Is it lying if you don't know you are wrong?

This is the conclusion of a piece in the Guardian.
Regardless of whether they are consciously lying some good has come out of debate with creationists. As pointed out by geneticist Shane McKee in his blog, some of the most persuasive evidence in our possession for evolution has been perfected for clear communication to the public by scientists attempting to tackle anti-scientific claims. Claims like those made in the presentation of dinosaurs in the Creation Museum. Most people are not scientists and cannot be expected to be aware of all of the latest evidence and competing viewpoints of evolutionary science. And of course we shouldn't just believe scientists either. Good scientists should welcome questioning and an exploration of their evidence. Those who previously believed in creationism but have engaged with this abundance of scientific evidence and changed their minds should be applauded as should those who are willing to even consider the evidence. For while technically you can believe and argue creationism has scientific merit without lying, you cannot do so without being wrong.
It is also worth recognising that many who used to be creationists learned that they did not have to chose between science and their faith.  We have plenty of examples as members and contributors on our forum and a recent study in Glasgow actually found that all the ex-creationists in the small group studied cited the realisation that they could accommodate their faith with science as the reason they now accept science, when combined with comprehensive and accessible communication of the scientific evidence this offers some hope for some creationists.

PS Shane is a BCSE member.

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