GDay World 392 – Guest: Mike Snyder on Evolution vs Creationism

Today my guest is Mike Snyder (@mambomike282), a listener of the show who owns a security firm in Washington state. As a Christian, he wanted to challenge me on the subject of evolution and religion, and so we went for it. πŸ™‚

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23 thoughts on “GDay World 392 – Guest: Mike Snyder on Evolution vs Creationism

  1. What a great podcast with Mike Snyder! You and Mike were very polite, which stopped this degenerating into a shouting match. Mike Snyder is a brave guy. He wriggled and squirmed and used all the specious arguments and non-arguments that I’ve heard many times before. By the end Mike was saying “I’m going to ignore all the scientific evidence until I find some that supports creationism”. What I found a bit sad was that you utterly demolished all his points, but he still didn’t budge.

  2. In response to Gary:

    I have to first correct both you and Cameron on a particular point which we never actually got into during our debate. I don’t really consider myself a Christian anymore. I can’t because I honestly don’t believe hardly anything other than the basic good moral principles that are taught, which don’t require belief in the rest. Not unlike Cameron, I hope one day there is more proof about even such basic things like that Jesus existed, etc… I even struggle with faith in God in general. I’m on the fence, but am leaning to the side of belief primarily because I’m too scared of leaning the other way. But on an intellectual level, I am completely open to the idea of evolution.

    We didn’t cover it as much as I would have liked and I certainly would welcome another opportunity for presenting more evidence, as Cameron caught me off guard when he was ready and I wasn’t at my computer. But despite my belief system completely changing from a very fundamental Christian to at best a Theist who is searching for level ground, I have seen what appears to be very strong evidence for contradicting views. Specifically, I’ve seen evidence that completely refutes the mainstream view of the geological record, the theory that dinosaurs died off millions of years ago and things of that nature. It doesn’t refute evolution directly, but what those things end up doing is creating a very different picture of our history which then puts some serious strain on foundational beliefs of evolution. Like Dinosaurs living just thousands or even hundreds of years ago and the possibility that some have survived even in the present day. Those are arguments for which there is very specific and compelling evidence that Cameron and I did not get into, but which I would like to one day.

    I’m not holding on to any belief system, but rather specific things from my former belief system that still hold scientific water and hoping that they end up leading to some very interesting answers at some point. I merely defended a position that many in the scientific community have just as strong and unfounded belief in evolution as Christians do of their view. They may be in the business of using the scientific method, but they still have biases towards their beliefs which keep them from finding the truth about some matters.

  3. For the sake of anyone else reading this and so you can get a jump-start on counter-research (which I welcome) some of it has to do with geological record, some with things like that hemoglobin found in a T-rex bound, but it all revolves around the idea that Dino’s (evolution aside) didn’t go extinct that long ago, which obviously changes everything about what the geological record actually means. Its a major game changer. I finish the research and get back to you asap.

  4. I’ll throw the links up here, but I’m going to first vet them better than Obama or McCain vetted their staff choices, because I don’t want something to come bite me in the arse.

  5. I just listened to this podcast and I just wanted to congratulate you both on the discussion. I think Cameron had the better case, but Mike made some good points as well, and the way you were both pretty civil to one another was good to see. Having enough time to thresh out issues like this is exactly what the mainstream media doesn’t seem to have, so it was great to hear a mature debate about these issues – hope to see more discussions like this in the future.

  6. This was hardly a debate.

    All I heard was a set of double standards. Science cannot be infallible, isn’t allowed to rectify its mistakes when it finds then, but the absolutism of religion is fine.

  7. Hi all,

    Firstly thanks for the debate. I think a debate is a great way of presenting ideas. Secondly, Cam, thanks for the live G’Day World last night. I know that there would have been a fair amount of preparation for the music (at least), so thanks, it is appreciated. Thirdly, I think a name change to the Cameron Reilly podcast is a good idea. If you ever consider something else, how about the Gallileo podcast as a tribute to someone persecuted for their scientific beliefs? Anyway, back to this podcast.

    One thing that I would like to see happen is that if a scientist claims to be a christian (or of any other religious persuasion), then they must submit an article of religious belief to scientific peer review before they can publish anything else.

    My evolutionary knowledge is a bit rusty, but does the christian arguement hinge on the absence of a missing link? I know that Mike referred quickly to the fact that he found it hard to believe that we are descended from apes. Has Uldavai Gorge or something more recent established our evolution empirically? If it has then it’s gameover. If it hasn’t, then this would be a great focus for evolutionists.

    And lastly, the thing that really does my head in about this topic, is not whether there is a creator or a big bang, but what came before? How can matter be created from nothing? Regardless of whether there is a God, a creator, or our universe appeared from a wrinkle in time, what came before the thing that we came from? And before that? How?

  8. Thanks Cam, I’ll check out the podcast and order the book.

    Another thought that struck me after thinking further on this podcast is an extension of your theme that there are millions of ideas in human history, we either beleive all of them or some of them and then choose how we believe some of them. Most people fall into the latter camp, and I think that these people then fall into 2 main schools for deciding what to believe. They either believe the ideas that they can prove or have demonstrably proved to them are true, or they believe because other’s believe. The second group can be summed up as the “well, 2 billion christians can’t be wrong, right?” group.

    This is also known as “social proof” and best written up by Robert Cialdini in his excellent book, “Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion” and summarises the research of Asch and Milgram. The classic experiment of a student standing on a sidewalk looking up at the clouds, attracting other people to stop and look up, about sums this up.

  9. I think the latter camp believe what is convenient and comfortable. Sure, they partly justify that belief with the knowledge that others also believe it, but that’s just herd mentality – they feel safer being part of the herd. I’m pretty sure there are evolutionary benefits to being being accepted by the herd, not rocking the boat, etc.

  10. I’m gathering my evidence as mentioned previously and I’ll post it as soon as I can, but I wanted to join this discussion again.

    I feel that most Christians fall into the category’s that you are all discussing. I don’t have any disagreement with that at all and I certainly used to belong to it. Unlike most Christians I’m on a real quest for truth regardless of where that truth leads. Cameron said he would love for the Jesus story to be true, but he just needs to see some real evidence and not the crap that most people fall for. I’m 100% in unison with Cam on that. I’ve literally lost my faith in Christianity (and Jesus for that matter) because of how flimsy the evidence is and how vast the corruption behind it all is.

    My point in this podcast was to discuss one of the alternatives, which is the Theory of Evolution and how I believe that those who believe in it and preach it, are doing the exact same things as Christians are. They are taking wild speculation on the part of a few and blowing it up into an entire new world view, when the evidence just isn’t there for this argument. Now this is where Cameron and I seem to differ. Cameron gives “science” and scientists a lot of credit for their work and feels my assertions are an affront to the honest, diligence and massive work done by scientists for 200 years. He feels there is overwelming evidence for evolution and practically nothing for any belief in God.

    I think there is strong evidence which disputes some very core and foundational evolutionary beliefs and that much of the scientific work done regarding evolution is flawed at its core and thus a lot of other work is rendered fundamentally flawed as a result. In some ways, these are diametrically opposed views. But I think its important to note that I have thrown off (for the most part) my former beliefs which are unfounded and that gives at least my search for truth some credibility. I am fully willing to accept evolution if that is what the truth is. I would rather find out the biblical account is true, but I will not skew evidence to make myself feel better about it.

    So I’ve promised to post some strong evidence to challenge some of the prevailing views involved in the theory of evolution and I will do that. My argument obviously can be best judged by what I am able to put forth and I WELCOME Cameron’s most critical assessment of what I bring. I just hope that Cameron is able to be unbiased in assessing it, as I really respect his critical assessment of things.

    One thing Cameron and I both agree on 100% is our feelings towards the Emporer πŸ˜‰

  11. Surely you don’t mean to infer that disproving the mainstream view of the geological record is easy?

    Actually, other than me being busy, I’ve been putting together a list of things to post and then looking for appropriate links. I don’t want to post a weak argument.

  12. I think you’ve got Buckley’s Chance (that’s an Aussie term, look it up) disproving anything, but you make it sound like the evidence against evolution is “strong” and “completely refutes” the mainstream view, so… ya know mate… surely it can’t be that hard to find. πŸ™‚ But hey, take your time. No hurry. πŸ™‚

  13. Cameron,
    As a scientist myself (one of these Geologist who “make things up”), I’d suggest you modify your definition of science.

    Science isn’t the process of proving something, it’s actually the process of disproving something. (which is what happens when someone publishes a paper in a pier reviewed journal).

    If you can’t disprove it then it must be true and becomes the accepted theory, but it is always open to be disproved at a later date.

  14. This guy is a perfect model for the argument from incredulity. “I don’t understand evolution and I went to Liberty University, so I have complete confidence in my utterly incorrect ‘facts’!”

    Most of these people went to school, they were taught this, and they simply regurgitate what they know. They haven’t done the research.” This is what he just said about scientists. Does anyone else see blatant projecting going on?

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