When it comes to the denial of evolution, or trying to discredit the Theory of Evolution, a number tactics sit in their arsenal of science destruction. The goal for these people is not truth, but to try to buttress their worldview against the mountains of conflicting evidence against it. They are trying their hardest to undermine some area of science that conflicts with their worldview. The biggest problem for these people is that even if the aspect that they are attacking is actually wrong it often wouldn’t make their worldview any more correct. The earth ancient, it’s not flat, and life has evolved from simple to more complex. These are well accepted facts within science.
To the denier it doesn’t matter that the vast majority of experts, upwards of 97% of scientists, accept the Theory of Evolution as the best current explanation for the diversity of life. To me it’s a bit like going to 100 mechanics asking for an opinion on the state of your car, and when 97 of them tell you that your care is a dangerous clunker that is unsafe to drive, the denier will simply point to the handful who say that it might be safe, and feel assured that their assumed conclusion is correct. There are always some experts who agree with us.
It also most definitely not about the evidence that the experts have used to come to the conclusion that the Theory of Evolution has great support. That evidence can simply be denied, as they already believe that what is being claimed is possible. In my experience the actual evidence is something that is to be avoided, and the focus is put into muddying the waters as much as possible. Better to dispute how good the evidence is, or to quote mine some expert, than to admit what the fossil record actually shows. As far as they’re concerned the evidence is nowhere near as strong as what it actually is. It helps to support the lie that they have been told and that they continue to tell themselves.
Listening to what real experts have to say, rather than somebody with dubious credentials like Ken Ham, or Kent Hovind, is simply not in the interest of preserving their beliefs. It’s difficult to get people to honestly evaluate a topic when their religiously based worldview depends on some particular status of that topic. Showing them the evidence and arguments that convinces experts will never be enough for somebody who simply doesn’t want to hear it. Unless a person is willing to be honest with the evidence they will never be convinced otherwise.
As an interesting side note, I think everything I’ve said about the evolution denier also applies to the people who deny Donald Trump’s (and other Republicans) involvement in inciting the insurrection of January 6th. Protecting the belief that Donald Trump is going to save America doesn’t hold together well when he’s the one trying to destroy the Republic.
I’m also working on a page of short responses to the nonsense that creationists love to trot out. Not that I expect anything there will ever change their mind. It does make me feel a little better to address their tripe.