Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Logical Fallacies: Straw-Man Fallacy

by: Dr. Jason Lisle, AiG–U.S
It’s a fallacy that just shouldn’t happen—but it does all the time. The straw-man fallacy is when a person misrepresents his opponent’s position and then proceeds to refute that misrepresentation (i.e., the “straw man”) rather than what his opponent actually claims.1 Here’s an example:
“Creationists do not believe that animals change. But clearly, animals do change. So, creationists are mistaken.”
Since creationists do indeed believe that animals change (just not from one basic created kind to another), the argument is a straw-man fallacy. The argument does not refute what creationists actually claim.
Such a misrepresentation could be unintentional; it could be that a particular evolutionist simply misunderstands what a creationist is teaching. Or the fallacy could be quite deliberate. That, of course, is a dishonest approach, yet it is quite common in origins debates.
Even in cases where the misrepresentation is unintentional, there is still a degree of liability. After all, the arguer should have done sufficient research and studied what it is the opponent actually teaches. We would certainly be willing to overlook minor misunderstandings, particularly where a position is complex or nuanced (though the critic should still be corrected on the issue). However, there are a number of cases where the creationist position is so clear that misrepresentations by evolutionists are simply inexcusable. The following are a few examples.
If an evolutionist were to claim, “Creationists don’t believe in science,” this would be a straw-man fallacy.2 Creationists do believe in science. There are several full-time Ph.D. scientists on the Answers in Genesis staff. I’ve argued on this website, as in my book (The Ultimate Proof of Creation) that biblical creation is what makes science possible.
Someone may claim, “Creationists believe in the fixity of species.” However, this is certainly not the mainstream biblical creationist position. There may be a few individuals that hold to such a concept, but it is not the position advocated by most creationists. Thus, the generalization “creationists believe . . .” is false.
Likewise, the claim, “Creationists say there are no good mutations” is not representative of what biblical creationists teach. Generally, we say that mutations do not add brand-new, creative information to the genome and are thus in the “wrong direction” to make evolution happen. But we do believe that mutations can result in traits that increase survival value under certain conditions.
“Answers in Genesis is pushing to get creation to be taught in public schools alongside evolution.”
This is definitely false. Answers in Genesis as a ministry is not about political or legal change. Rather, we are about defending the Bible from the very first verse and teaching other Christians to do the same. Although this may eventually result in a changed political and legal situation, we do not (as a ministry) attempt to change laws or get involved in politics.
“The Bible teaches that the earth has literal pillars and corners and cannot be moved. It is clearly wrong.”
This is a misrepresentation of Scripture and therefore constitutes a straw-man fallacy. The Bible uses figures of speech (just as we do when we say, “Tim is a pillar of the community”) and poetic language at times. Referring to the cardinal directions as “corners”3 or the stability of the earth as not able to “be moved”4 is not an error. It is entirely inappropriate for a critic to take the poetic sections of the Bible as literal—or the literal historical sections as poetic. Many objections against Scripture turn out to be straw-man fallacies.
The claims that creationists believe in a flat earth, that we deny laws of nature, or that we take every verse of the Bible in a wooden literal sense are all baseless assertions. Nonetheless, claiming that creationists believe in such things makes the creation position easier to discredit—but it is not a rationally cogent way to debate. Granted, not all evolutionists do this; some do accurately represent their opponents. But ignorance of biblical creation among those who oppose it is a serious problem: one that Christian apologists must be prepared to face.
We must gently encourage our opponents to find out what it is that creationists actually teach. This is not a difficult task. Our positions on the most-asked questions are well-summarized in the New Answers Book series and to a great extent on this very website.
Creationists must also stay educated on both sides of the issue so that we do not commit the very same fallacy.5 Watch for misrepresentations of creation or other Christian teachings and be ready to point out that such straw-man arguments are fallacious; yet always do so with gentleness and respect.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What a busy day I had yesterday!I had the second part of my show clinic to attend. We had the first one two weeks ago which allowed for practice in between the clinics. My horse did awesome! The best he has ever done in the four years I've owned him!! It was so awesome!!! As I wrote earlier I bought a new bit which has greatly helped out!! The clinic was yesterday from 1:00 to 5:00. After I arrived home I turned Hot Shot out then after I fed, did some work around the barn, I plowed the arena. One of my horses has dry itchy skin which she rubs raw but I did some research and hopefully found a cure without calling the vet out! Her skin is looking better!
Tonight we have our new washer and dryer installed!!! Also more dogs were brought out to search for our missing neighbor! Nothing was found. Please keep praying everyone! Now it doesn't matter if she is dead or alive just as long as she is found! Of course we would MUCH RATHER HER BE ALIVE BUT IT'S BETTER TO KNOW EITHER WAY! PLEASE KEEP PRAYING!


Another Story....



Here is my latest story. It may sound familiar to some of you(especially heather).

Coat of Many Colors

Thinking back through the years, I allowed my mind to wander to a time when I was a young girl living in the great Smokey Mountains. We were poor like everyone around us, but one thing we had was love. I remember a time when winter arrived and I didn’t have a coat to wear. Mamma had a box of old rags that someone had given us so she decided to piece together a coat for me. Each rag was a different color but as long as it kept me warm that was all that mattered. Love flowed from her hands as she carefully sewed each piece together. As she sewed I would quietly sit by her while she told me of a story from the Bible. It also was about a coat of many colors worn by Joseph just like mine. When she finished I was thrilled to wear my new coat which was blessed with a kiss from mamma. My coat of many colors was made from only rags but oh how I wore it so proudly. Although we had no money back then, well….I was as rich as I could ever be while wearing my warm coat of many colors my precious mamma had made for me. With patches on my britches and holes in both of my shoes I hurried of to school to show everyone my brand new coat. Wouldn’t they be surprised. Upon arriving I was devasted to find the others laughing at my beautiful coat. Well I just couldn’t understand for I felt unbelievably rich. I decided to tell them of the love my momma had sewn in every stitch and the story she had gently told me. They didn’t understand as I tried to make them see that one is only poor only if they choose to be. I knew we had no money even though I was small but while wearing my brand new coat of many colors, I was as rich as I could be.
~Written by Kat .... This story outline is from Dolly Parton's song Coat of Many Colors....I took it and rewrote into a story.


When was the last time...?

- You read your Bible?
- You talked to God?
- You praised God for all of His creation?
- You thanked God for the problems you have been having, even though you didn't feel like it? (God know what trials you personally need to face for the future.)
- You told your family you loved them?
- Your family all ate together at the same table for dinner?
- You played with your siblings instead of getting on the Internet?
- You thanked a sibling for something they had done (even if it was a really easy fast job for you)?
- You encouraged instead of bringing down?
Maybe you don't suffer with the ones above but what about these?
- You made your bed?
- You cleaned your room?
Take some time today to work on these. Don't be afraid to ask God for help- He is always there and is always waiting.
In Christ Jesus,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Well unfortunately I had to get rid of my dog today. I thought it over and I don't have the money to spend for shots etc. on a puppy. It would be one thing if it was a full grown dog that only needed shots once a year but..... it being a puppy they require more care. So....goodbye Winchester.

~ Kat

Friday, September 25, 2009

Faith and Trust in the Lord's Will

It amazes me when the Lord will answer a question that I had been pondering for a couple of days! I think what amazes me is how He does it!
Here lately I have been thinking about faith and trust in the Lord's will. This morning when I got up and read our day by day devotional I thought I should share with you this man's testimonies.

Andrés Noriega
My wife and I were very confused when our third child was born. A baby without a hope of staying alive. Each day he lived was an agony.

We felt our world had been turned upside down. We were confused, upset and full of questions. The more so because I experienced a great revival in my church. People were saved, delivered from all kind of addictions, healed from various kinds of diseases. The people in my church were glorifying God. So did I ... until our child was born. "Why Lord? Why?" we cried.

The next eighteen days were like one long nightmare. We cried, we prayed, we fainted, we argued with God until we were left without strength. It was then that we realized that we were selfish, proud and stubborn. I thought I heard the voice of the mockers saying, "Doctor, heal yourself." So I said, "Lord, your will be done. If you decide to take my child it will not change my obedience to you." That very day a miracle happened ... the peace of God entered our hearts. We had won the battle.

PS: Late that night our child came back to life and has been healthy ever since. What a bonus.

What a secret. Put your hope in God and surrender to His love and sovereignty even when "the miracle" does not take place.

Like Andres, said the miracle you want to happen may not, but God performs miracles in many ways different ways! If we ask he will open our eyes like he did Andres. The Lord is so amazing and loving! It is so comforting to know that I don't have to worry about anything! If the Lord sends me somewhere, I don't need to worry about it because if the Lord wants it to succeed then it will.
Yesterday as I was thinking about this matter I thought "Mac, remember what the Bible says in Matthew,when devil is testing Jesus in the desert: Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple "If you are the Son of God, " he said ,"throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. ' " Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ' Do not put the Lord your God to the test' " Matthew 4:5-7. I thought you know what sometimes there are situations that need to be thought through instead of testing God." I am still working on when is it testing God and when do we need to rely on God.
In Christ Jesus who saves,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hello all! Wow! The first day of fall was much cooler than the last day of summer!
Today I went with my grandpa to purchase a new bit for my horse. Other than that, school and riding it was pretty much a slow day. Our washing machine went out the other day so my parents have gone to purchase a new one. Our little puppies are so cute! There names are....Winchester, Remington, Granite, and Annie.

Sorry for the inconvenience but Kat posted her rainbow pictures before I had finished the post with my vacation pictures! So down below this one and her rainbow pictures I have posted my vacation pictures.


Yesterday evening God placed this gorgeous rainbow outside our house!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Sorry it has taken awhile to get these pictures up! I hope you enjoy looking at them! I like looking at them but they don't always bring back the most pleasant smells.
Yellowstone National Park

The mud pots were really neat!

Old Faithful! The bottom picture has a rainbow in it! I couldn't believe it came up on the computer!
I can't remember this ones name but we (my family and the family we went with.) all liked it because there is a little bacteria mat that floated down into the geyser! We all laughed and said, while we watched, that we were probably the only people that would ever see that bacteria mat again!

This guy desided to get in the HOT tub!
This one and the three above it are at Mammoth Springs, Yellowstone.
This one is going to cover the road in a couple of years!
I love small little geysers like this!
This is the Opal Pool.

This picture and the one above it are of the Grand Prismatic pool, which is probably the most commonly seen.
Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon! WOW! I thought there wasn't another canyon that could be as lovely as the Grand Canyon! But it proved me wrong. Each canyon has its own unique difference and design.
I thought this guy was really cute!
Zion National Park

If you haven't noticed by now I really enjoy running water!
I love taking pictures of flowers. I think flowers show us God's creativeness that is shown in the variety of colors He uses!
Grand Canyon

I have now been to the Grand Canyon twice and it still takes me by surprise!
I really liked the Indian drawings!
I love going on vacation and seeing all of the Lord's handy work! This was one of the verses we read while we were on vacation:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1, that is so true it does though we may not always take the time to stop and look His mighty works are there!
In Christ Jesus,
P.S. I took 400 pictures so if you want to see more I have plenty! =D These are probably the best though.
I LOVE taking pictures! Here are some I have taken then edited!!

~ Kat

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vacation and Pictures!

I don't know were to start!!! I guess I have to start somewhere. First I want to say that God blessed with the most awesome weather! You couldn't have asked for better! I suppose I should post some pictures!
The Badlands

Mount Rushmore.

The Big guy was telling us to leave his girl alone.
We had to let the bison cross the road before we could continue driving!

The sound of the geysers was amazing! but the stench... WOW!

These waterfalls were magnificent!

Now so far I have been the one taking the pictures but I am going to post a picture that my daddy took.

At night you can here the elk bugling! It sounds AWESOME! I wish I could have recorded it! I didn't get to see it because I was still getting dressed.

I will post more pictures later and things I did but I have to go. I keep remembering stuff! It is going to take a long time to say it all! I will try to get a picture from my daddy of the moose we saw! Don't worry I will post more pictures.

In Christ Jesus who by his grace we are saved,
~ Mac

These are some books I enjoy reading! Of course the number one book is the Bible! from left to right they are: The Grand Ole Opry Picture History Book, Bruchko, Regina Silsby 1&2, Roy & Dale, Do Hard Things, and Night.


Here is a chair my grandma and I recovered! It's so awesome!!