Over time I have come to find numerous similarities between creationists and the 9/11 truth movement. One of the most glaring problems with both groups is the use of quote-mining, otherwise known as selecting sections of a quote that seem to support the opposing viewpoint, when in reality it supports the other viewpoint.
The most famous example of quote-mining within the creationist movement is the following from Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species: To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
Taken alone, this quote seems like damning evidence against proponents of evolution. Here we have the man responsible for the theory of evolution and natural selection apparently having a hard time coming to grips with his own theory. However, further reading of The Origin of the Species shows the above quote is not only deceptive, it is downright contemptible. Here are Darwin’s actual words:
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dex, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certain the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.
Darwin then goes on to point out all these small gradations across the animal kingdom, helping to establish the theory of evolution.
The truth movement is also fond of removing parts of quotes that contradict their viewpoint. Here are a couple examples:
The following is from Danielle O’Brien, an air traffic controller who was on duty on 9/11: The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought… that it was a military plane.
The full quote is this – The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane, O’Brien said. You don’t fly a 757 in that manner. It’s unsafe.
It’s obvious after reading the full quote that O’Brien was talking about how the 757 was being flown in an unsafe manner. She did not say that it was a military plane, only that the manner in which it was moving was reminiscent of a military plane.
Firefighter Craig Carlsen is often quoted as saying the following, … you just heard explosions coming from building two, the south tower. It seemed like it took forever, but there were about ten explosions. At the time I didn’t realize what it was.
Now here is the full quote: You just heard explosions coming from building two, the south tower. It seemed like it took forever, but there were about ten explosions. At the time I didn’t realize what it was. We realized later after talking and finding out that it was the floors collapsing to where the plane had hit.
It does not matter if Creationists and 9/11 truthers are deliberately removing the contradictory sections of quotes or if they are simply ignorant of the true intent of the quote. Either way, the fact that quote-mining is a persistent problem in both movements shows that the truth which they seek to establish is erroneous because it is filled with incompetent research.
Creationists and the 9/11 truth movement undermine their own efforts to find the truth by either deliberately or unwillingly ignoring and denying contradictory evidence. The fact that creationists and truthers use misleading quotes to support their theories lessens their credibility.
Delusion is defined as: a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact. Some synonyms for delusion include deception, blunder, mistake, misconception, error, and fallacy. Because creationists and truthers rely on provably false quotations, their beliefs can only be described as delusional.