The Truth Project and critical thinking

The most dangerous shyster is the one who has convinced himself to believe his own pitch.

Over at The Creation of an Evolutionist, Mike is continuing to blog through his weekly viewing of The Truth Project. He just completed Lesson Five. More so than the previous lessons, Lesson 5 focused on a critique of mainstream science, and evolution in particular. Bear in mind that Mike is about as fair-minded as they come, but he is shocked by Del Tackett’s blatant misrepresentations of clear facts and doesn’t hold anything back in his detailed analysis. Make sure you check it out, especially if you’ve seen TTP and didn’t notice anything wrong!

(Thinking about what Mike has told us about Lesson 5 has really gotten my dander up. You’ve been warned.)

In all honesty, it moves me to disgust to think of all the churches that purchase and publicize viewings of The Truth [sic] Project. I can just picture the viewers congregating, hoping to see the scientific disciplines and those who accept their consensus belittled in favor of their own half-baked, long since outdated, and yet completely unquestionable alternatives. I see them in my head, looking just like so many similar audiences of which I’ve been a part: sighing in relief at their growing confidence in their preset beliefs, grinning at one another as Tackett mocks his opposition with convenient lies and half-truths, laughing at all those simpleton atheistic outsiders as though their ears were being tickled with a feather reminiscent of his arguments’ combined intellectual weight.

This is what gets me: so many of these truly precious people live lives of humility and self-sacrifice out of genuine love for one another and for others in need, and yet here, in contradictory condescension, they accept wholesale dismissals of the virtual entirety of the scientific community and those convinced by their arguments.

Christians, self-professing lovers of truth, do you think “the church” is all about getting together to reaffirm your consensus just-so stories that you somehow suppose to be more valid because non-Christians cite actual evidence to the contrary? Despite the fact that hosts of other honest, truth-loving Christians acknowledge that evidence? Do you judge what’s true by what bolsters your inspired, inerrant, and infallible views on Scripture? Is it too much to ask that you examine all things to see if they are true?

I can understand believing in something despite a lack of evidence, something we all do in one way or another, believer and unbeliever alike. But it’s another thing entirely to invite people like Tackett into your churches and to uncritically accept all of his convenient “evidence” and characterizations of the opposition, disregarding even the mere possibility of actual contradictory evidence. Even if your predetermined conclusions are actually accurate, do you want to believe the right things for the wrong reasons? You can’t assume what these guys say is true any more than the Bereans blindly accepted what Paul said was true. This goes for much more than creationism/ID/evolutionism — it goes for anything your Christian teachers tell you. If you’re not going to fact check what they tell you, at least don’t dishonor the truth by gleefully accepting only what jibes with what you already believe and then feeling more enlightened than those who don’t.

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  • Uh oh! Yet another blog for me to follow. So many blogs. So little time. To me, there is no conflict between faith in science. There is, however, a conflict between faith and evolutionary biology. There is a big difference.

    If you believe that in the beginning God created . . . and that on the sixth day he created man in his own image, chances are, you will reject evolutionary biology, to the extent that it holds man evolved from a common ancestor with lower forms of life.

    On the other hand, if you are passionate in your view that we evolved from something that does not resemble a human, then chances are you will reject the Genesis view of creation.

    I have a hard time finding an honest meeting in the middle of the two views.
    .-= R Bradford´s last blog ..He Makes All Things New =-.

  • Uh oh! Yet another blog for me to follow. So many blogs. So little time. To me, there is no conflict between faith in science. There is, however, a conflict between faith and evolutionary biology. There is a big difference.

    If you believe that in the beginning God created . . . and that on the sixth day he created man in his own image, chances are, you will reject evolutionary biology, to the extent that it holds man evolved from a common ancestor with lower forms of life.

    On the other hand, if you are passionate in your view that we evolved from something that does not resemble a human, then chances are you will reject the Genesis view of creation.

    I have a hard time finding an honest meeting in the middle of the two views.
    .-= R Bradford´s last blog ..He Makes All Things New =-.

  • Mr. Bradford,

    If you believe that in the beginning God created . . . and that on the sixth day he created man in his own image, chances are, you will reject evolutionary biology, to the extent that it holds man evolved from a common ancestor with lower forms of life.

    For me, this was true. Within my young-earth creationist paradigm, I couldn’t exegete evolution out of Genesis 1 legitimately. Eisegesis didn’t work either.

    On the other hand, if you are passionate in your view that we evolved from something that does not resemble a human, then chances are you will reject the Genesis view of creation.

    This, however, was not true for me. In fact, it was quite the opposite. My understanding of God’s creative acts in Genesis 1 changed first. It was only when I felt that I had arrived at a superior reading/understanding of Genesis 1 that I became open to examining the scientific evidence for biological evolution and common descent.
    .-= Mike Beidler´s last blog ..An Evolutionary Creationist’s Declaration of Independence (Apologies to Mr. Jefferson) =-.

  • Mr. Bradford,

    If you believe that in the beginning God created . . . and that on the sixth day he created man in his own image, chances are, you will reject evolutionary biology, to the extent that it holds man evolved from a common ancestor with lower forms of life.

    For me, this was true. Within my young-earth creationist paradigm, I couldn’t exegete evolution out of Genesis 1 legitimately. Eisegesis didn’t work either.

    On the other hand, if you are passionate in your view that we evolved from something that does not resemble a human, then chances are you will reject the Genesis view of creation.

    This, however, was not true for me. In fact, it was quite the opposite. My understanding of God’s creative acts in Genesis 1 changed first. It was only when I felt that I had arrived at a superior reading/understanding of Genesis 1 that I became open to examining the scientific evidence for biological evolution and common descent.
    .-= Mike Beidler´s last blog ..An Evolutionary Creationist’s Declaration of Independence (Apologies to Mr. Jefferson) =-.

  • I agree with Mike. Whether or not human evolution occurred, I find the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narratives to be unbiblical. Is seems clear to me that this is not the best way to understand these passages. Rather, the literal interpretation is biased toward our modern categories of history, “truth”, etc. The original text has to be translated from Hebrew to English; it also has to be translated from an Ancient Near Eastern worldview to allow us to receive the truth of the narrative.

  • There is a lot of deception going on in the Truth Project science sessions. It is likely that Del Tackett and the creators of the series really believe what they are presenting is true. But that does not excuse them. They obviously did not put forth any effort to consider other Christian perspectives that differed from their own. They had to be aware of the existence of other positions such as theistic evolution, yet chose to ignore them. And the claim that evolution is the prevailing theory in science only because atheist scientists refuse to believe in God is ridiculous – and frustrating, because so many accept this characterization because it is what they want to hear.

    As I posted in my review, there is a Christian way to seek truth, and TTP did not use it. In fact, TTP did not seek truth at all. They believed they possessed the truth from the start, and simply constructed superficial arguments to arrive at their predetermined conclusions.

    • Thanks, Kyle, well said. I have the same impression. It’s am step to assure
      creationists of things they already believe.

    • hgb

      You posted a response to TTP 5 years ago but I just read it. Your right. there is a lot of deception going on. Example: Jesus said “They were acting like children of the devil.” Not that people were children of the devil.

  • Amd525

    I’m an engineer

    my issue with evolutionary biology has remained unchanged ever since I was in junior college, and asked my biology teacher about the evolution of the Escherichia coli propeller system.it’s an all or nothing system:it either works right the first time, or the bacterium is dead in the water.it is now thirty years later, and my question as it to how the system could have evolved when the owners of the earlier version of the drive were rendered immobile by a drive which didn’t work.unless it works, it fails, and would have been selected out according to evolutionary theory.I don’t know what your background is, but as a mechanical engineer, I can tell you that something this complicated is not the result of random chance or mutations..your opinion may differ.

  • D Court

    For me too many people are falling into the same trap as Focus on the Family and Tackett himself. It involves the simplest of strategies the devil has employed forever but is still effective. I call it simplism. It basically involves adopting a view that something or someone is one thing or another… good or bad mostly. Tackett seems to take issues, ideas and even evidence and apply the simplism test of good or bad. Then those who listen to Tackett apply simplism to Tackett’s views and decided whether he’s good or bad. Unfortunately simplism in my view is folly and the world is abound with evidence of it. Indeed who could argue the bible is simplistic? The reality for me is very obvious… the world is complex. The proliferation of sin over generations has made things more and more complex to the point it is very difficult to discern good or bad simply because many things including ideas are neither. Indeed without the creator’s wisdom and the Spirit’s guidance we will be unable to determine truth within the complexities of half truths and lies. That’s true for Tackett’s series as it is for what I think, believe and say. Therefore I view Tackett’s work like many works; good for stimulating thought, bad for simply accepting. That’s why the Lord instructed us “to test everything” 1 Thessalonians 5:21