Why The Genetic Fallacy Matters

Does where that idea came from matter? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

On Facebook in the span of 24 hours, I have seen two posts arguing against evolution making the exact same mistake. The first one was claiming that Darwin was a member of a Masonic lodge and was involved with Luciferian practices. The other one was claiming that evolution was used in the history of racism. Now you should know that my stance is to neither argue for or against evolution. I’m not a scientist. However, I am opposed to bad arguments. That includes bad arguments against positions I oppose, such as when I have worked to take to task conservative memes against liberals here that are based on falsehoods.

This is simply called the genetic fallacy. It says nothing about the position itself. Let’s suppose that Adam Smith, who is considered the father of capitalism, was a colossal jerk to everyone he met. That would not change anything about capitalism whatsoever. I have a friend who considers Marx the most wicked man who ever lived. Even if that is true, that says nothing about Communism being true or false.

Now with the claims we have here, I am extremely skeptical of the former claim, but I am open to the latter. I have seen some writings that lead me to think that there was some racism involved in Darwin. There are some people who also think this was involved in the holocaust of Hitler. That is a question for historians of science and World War II to discuss. For the worst case scenario, I will grant that these claims are true.

None of this says anything about evolution being true or false. It makes no difference. If you are a Christian sharing these arguments, you are not doing our side any favors whatsoever. If anything, you are further embarrassing us. I don’t doubt you mean well. I don’t doubt you do this out of zeal for Christ. However, Paul warned us in Romans about a zeal that is not in accordance with knowledge.

If you want to argue against evolution, and I have no problem if you do because if it can be shown to be bad science, we should reject it, then you are going to have to argue against it on scientific grounds. Let’s consider some parallels in our own field of interest.

I am not a KJV-onlyist, but I have heard claims before that King James who was behind the KJV was a homosexual known as a flaming queen. Let’s suppose that was true. What does that say about evolution? Absolutely nothing. The KJV will have to be critiqued on the grounds of the translation.

Recently, we have had the Ravi Zacharias scandal break out. I understand people not wanting to use Ravi’s material and books anymore. That is a matter of wisdom. That being said, let’s consider the arguments. Are they false because Ravi turned out to be a pervert? Not at all.

I consider myself to be a Thomist and a Protestant. Are you going to refute Thomism by telling me that he was a Roman Catholic? Not a bit. Is Aristotle disproven just because he didn’t use the Bible? Not at all.

Mark is portrayed in Acts as a Momma’s Boy who left the team of Paul and Barnabas early and caused a division between the church’s two first great missionaries. Does this mean his Gospel is not reliable? Not a bit.

The only time pointing to the character of the person matters is if the claim is centered around the reputation of the person involved. If a person is testifying to something in a court of law that they have seen and it can be shown that the person is a compulsive liar, for example, then you have grounds to doubt their testimony. Outside of that, none whatsoever.

As I said each time this came up, let’s suppose Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, was a complete jerk. Let’s suppose he was a satanist who molested children and ate cats for breakfast. None of this is true, of course. However, if it was, it would not make a difference to the residents of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The bombs still worked regardless of his character.

Please don’t make embarrassing arguments. They’re not worthy of Jesus.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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