Is it fair to refute evolutionists’ claims with their own words?1,2
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”3
Yes, it’s fair to counter and judge someone’s argument by their own words. As Christ’s admonition quoted above shows, people invite condemnation by their own words. This applies to controversies involving evidentiary apologetics.
Like other creation scientists, ICR founder Dr. Henry Morris routinely quoted evolutionists’ statements to 1) contradict evolutionary teachings and/or 2) provide evidence supporting creation science, corroborating what Genesis teaches about God’s creation.4
However, some evolutionists criticize creationists for using evolutionist quotations to impeach Darwinian teachings. Such critics claim that “hijacking” (i.e., harnessing) such quotations unfairly distorts the initial intention of the quoted evolutionist. But that’s like saying that a message’s content can never be used to refute its own author. Authors are not immune from accountability. Rather, by teaching others, they incur extra accountability.5
Holding speakers and writers accountable for their own words in the context of a courtroom is illustrated by the “statement against interest” rule—an evidentiary exemption to the general rule prohibiting hearsay testimony. This time-honored forensic evidence rule is routinely applied by trial judges so that witnesses can be self-impeached by some of their own words.6,7
Specifically, Federal Evidence Rule 804(b)(3)(A) governs the admissibility of verbal evidence in litigation and administrative law contexts, defining a statement against interest as a hearsay-exception if the quoted statement is one that
…a reasonable person in the declarant’s position would have made only if the person believed it to be true because, when made, it was so contrary to the declarant’s proprietary or pecuniary interest or had so great a tendency to invalidate the declarant’s claim against someone else or to expose the declarant to civil or criminal liability.6
In other words, what a declarant says is credible, and is rebuttably presumed reliable, if a reasonable person would not admit it unless it were true. Thus, whenever an evolutionist admits something like Darwinism’s “missing links” are still missing, that admission is a reliable statement against interest.1,6
Evolutionary geneticists often use information communication terminology such as code, transcription, decipher, translation, program, instruction, messenger RNA, edit, alphabet, etc., to describe the bio-informational workings of human genes. Their very words betray that they are clearly observing a form of programming much more sophisticated than anything IBM ever invented.8,9
In fact, even the word “selection,” as in “natural selection,” is an evolutionist’s telltale admission against interest, because only intelligent beings can “select” whether and how to adjust to the changing conditions of the outside world.2,8,9
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.10
Perhaps Darwinists need a warning from Dragnet’s Sergeant Joe Friday before they publish their evolutionary imaginations, because phrases like “natural selection” and “hopeful monsters” can and will be used against them by creationists debunking their “science falsely so called.”11
- Clarey, T. 2017. Local Catastrophes or Receding Floodwater? Global Geologic Data That Refute a K-Pg (K-T) Flood/Post-Flood Boundary. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 54 (2): 100-120. On pages 113-114 and 117-118, Dr. Clarey debunks unwise “saltationist” advocacy of “hyper-evolution,” including Harvard-credentialed Darwinist advocacy of terrestrial quadrupeds morphing into cetaceans.
- Guliuzza, R. 2011. Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: Natural Selection’s Idolatrous Trap. Acts & Facts. 40 (11): 12-15. On page 12, Dr. Guliuzza debunks animistic “natural selection” claims of so-called beneficial mutations in bacteria.
- Matthew 12:37.
- Morris, H. M. 1997. That Their Words May Be Used Against Them. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
- James 3:1 refers to teachers (didaskaloi).
- Federal Evidence Rule 804(b)(3)(A). Similar rules, cloned from the Federal Rules of Evidence, are applied in state courts and administrative law tribunals.
- Besides “statements against interest,” behaviors can also be used to impeach what declarants say. See DeVoe, G. A. and J. S. Valliere. 2018. On Camera: The Texas Supreme Court Solidifies Strategic Use of Surveillance. Texas Bar Journal. 81 (8): 606-607, citing Diamond Offshore Services v. Williams, 542 S.W.3d 539 (Tex. 2018).
- Johnson, J. J. S. 2011. DNA and RNA: Providential Coding to “Revere” God. Acts & Facts. 40 (3): 8-9.
- Guliuzza, R. IBM’s Watson: Designed to Learn Like a Human. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org March 19, 2014, accessed September 20, 2018.
- Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 489-489, 471, 479 (1966) (majority opinion).
- 1 Timothy 6:20-21, KJV.
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.