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Second Rebuttal for the Affirmative

(Saladin, 5 minutes)

Moderator: We now have one more set of rebuttals. These rebuttals will be five minutes and we will begin with Dr. Saladin.

Saladin: Well in the mere five minutes remaining I can only answer a small fraction of Dr. Gish's comments but I would [inaudible word] if you'd bring issues up in the question and answer period that I'm not able to answer. Uh, I won't pretend that I'm going to be able to answer all the questions in the upcoming Q and A. Ah, my interest is in the behavior of invertebrate animals and I can't stand up here and pretend to be an expert in astronomy, geology, genetics, paleontology, embryology, physics, biochemistry and so on. But I do make the offer to all of you which I know number of you have already availed yourselves of. There are some forms up here on stage, where if you have any question that goes unanswered tonight, or if you'd like copies of any of the literature, ah, that I cite within reason --- I can't send a thousand pages --- but, or if you want the truth, the black and white truth of how Dr. Gish has misquoted the literature, I'll be happy to send it. You just write what you want, give me your name and address, and I'll get back to you, I promise.

Ah, in fact there's a new paper I can send you that was recently compiled by a man named Ed Friedlander, who is a Franciscan brother and an evangelical Christian, who has put together a compilation of Dr. Gish's misquotes, and what he has done is particularly graphic because he has taken Evolution? The Fossils Say No!, xeroxed that page or that part out of that book, gone and looked up Dr. Gish's reference in the library, xeroxed the original reference, put one of them right next to the other, and you can see for yourself how honest that book is. And this is not coming from an atheist or anybody, this is coming from an evangelical Christian {1}.

Now, notice again Dr. Gish has given nothing but negative evidence. I still haven't heard any positive evidence for his view that the earth is probably not more than 20,000 years old, or that all life originated at once. Now, let's just suppose that I were to go teach evolution, using the same technique that Dr. Gish does, that if you disprove one side you've proven the other. I could teach an evolution course using only little book, the Holy Bible. If I were to use his tactics I'd just go into the classroom, and debunk this book, and say there, I've proven evolution. You can see how fallacious, how false that tactic would be, and that's what Dr. Gish relies on.

Now Gish argues that I have resorted to ad hominem criticism or personal attack. It may seem like that. But, ah, let me point out, it is true that I have personally criticized him, and I think he's richly deserves it. But this should be distinguished from ad hominem attack. When you try to cover up a weak case by ad hominem attack, what you do is you introduce irrelevant material about a person's character. For example if I had heard, say, that Dr. Gish were running around on his wife or beating his children or something --- I'm not saying that he does, but if I had heard something like that through the grapevine, and I introduced that into a debate, that's what ad hominem attack would be, because those things would be irrelevant his expertise on evolution.

But believe me. If I had established the kind of pattern that Dr. Gish has of disreputable, of deliberately misquoting reputable authorities in the field, leaving out key words to change their meaning, I would fully expect to be exposed, to be humiliated, and especially if I were so persistent and unrepentant about it, I would expect to be driven out of my profession.

I---- Dr. Gish has challenged me --- I forget in reference to which example now he said, I ought to be able to show you slide by slide his book and what he quotes and then show you the original source right next to that and what it says. Well in 1984 when we debated at Auburn University at Montgomery, he did kinda catch me with my pants down a little on that, because I didn't bring all that literature with me. So he just denied everything and I really didn't have the proof. Tonight, I brought the proof, and I invite any of you after the debate to come up here on the stage and I will do exactly what he just said, I'll show you side by side his book and the original source. I will show you in black and white {2}.

Now, part of the inspiration for my approach tonight came on the drive over here. I had one of my students drive for me so I could do a little preparation. And I read nearly all of the Book of Proverbs on the way over. And I drew some inspiration from the Book of Proverbs. It said, Proverbs 24, verse 25---- uh, chapter 24, verse 25, "Those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will be upon them." So, I felt that someone who deliberately misquotes the literature, especially in defense of a Christian viewpoint, deserved rebuke. Proverbs [19:5] also says, "A false witness will not go unpunished and he who utters lies will not escape."

Now a snowflake has a lot to do with thermodynamics. It may not be directly illustrative of evolution but it has a lot to do with thermodynamics. It may go to a lower energy state in the sense that it's cold, but Dr. Gish has twisted that around. It does go from disorder to order without God having to sit there personally planning it.

There's a lot more to be said but I'm out of time. But please, if there's anything he said that you want answered that I haven't answered, bring it up in the question and answer period and I'll do my best.


Annotations

1. I did not mean to imply that the opinion of an atheist would be less trustworthy or meritorious. I stressed that Friedlander is an evangelical Christian in order to show that Christians themselves find good reason to expose Gish's duplicity, and that doing so is not an atheist tactic to discredit Christianity (as these debates and anticreationist polemics can easily be misinterpreted). In his "Postscript," Friedlander explains:

"I am a medical doctor and a Franciscan brother. When I've shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others, I've heard over and over, 'I am not a Christian because Christians do not believe in evolution.' Of course this is not true.... But Dr. Gish has done his work well. The existence of ministries such as his has persuaded many of my scientifically literate neighbors that they must discard the Christian religion.

... Whatever Christians understand to be the doctrine of creation, we all agree that lying is a sin. Many honest scientists have faith that God had a hand in our biological origins. But charlatans like Dr. Gish have done much to make scientists, and other educated people, believe that Christianity is archaic and dishonest. Dr. Gish has not only done harm to science education, he has done serious harm to what he claims to be his own faith -- Christianity."

(Edward B. Friedlander. 1986. "An examination of Duane T. Gish, Ph.D.'s use of scientific references in Evolution? The Fossils Say No!" Privately distributed manuscript.)

2. See my examples in "First Negative Rebuttal," note 6.

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