Absence of unicorns is not unicorns of absence… or something

I tend to shy away from young-earth creationists on this blog (at least in the moderately recent past), mostly because I want to focus on intelligent design proponents, which I see as a much greater threat to evolutionary biology and the teaching and practice of science in general. However, when something priceless comes up, it’s impossible to resist.

Check out this marvelous quote from Answers in Genesis, one of the world’s premier creationist organisations, on the existence of unicorns (via this article on the upcoming “Ark Encounter” creation museum in Kentucky:

The absence of a unicorn in the modern world should not cause us to doubt its past existence. (Think of the dodo bird. It does not exist today, but we do not doubt that it existed in the past.).

To be fair to Answers in Genesis, they aren’t claiming that the unicorn of popular fantasy is being described in the Bible, but a different creature:

The importance of the biblical unicorn is not so much its specific identity—much as we would like to know—but its reality. The Bible is clearly describing a real animal. The unicorn mentioned in the Bible was a powerful animal possessing one or two strong horns—not the fantasy animal that has been popularized in movies and books. Whatever it was, it is now likely extinct like many other animals. To think of the biblical unicorn as a fantasy animal is to demean God’s Word, which is true in every detail.

So no, it’s not quite the goldmine of crazy that some people have been hoisting it over their heads as, but it’s still fairly humourous. And it just goes to illustrate the epistemological path you’re taken on once you uncritically accept that a book written thousands of years ago is the unquestionable truth. No need for any other justifications – if the Bible says it, it must be true!

Do you now see why I tend not to take creationists seriously?

5 thoughts on “Absence of unicorns is not unicorns of absence… or something”

  1. A perfect example of how they use half-truths to lend (an albeit extremely stretched) plausibility to their claims: comparing the unicorn to the dodo. Ok, so both may not be extant anymore… except one actually has evidence of existing (skeletal remains, for instance). The other only has a passing mention in a book. One horn, two horns, a hundred horns (and STILL baring the name "uni" corn) they still don't manage to produce fossil evidence for such a… oh bugger it, why bother even trying to argue the point.

    All we'll get in the end from these creatards is the argument "The Bible is God's word and God doesn't lie, so if He inspired Moses to write it down in the bible, therefore it must be true, and if you say it isn't, then you're going to Hell, and you're persecuting me on religious grounds which is illegal, naninani-nar-nar". Excuse me while I strip down to my birthday suit and run off into the mountains to blather in a cave for the rest of my days.

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