Atomic collisions with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules are astrophysically particularly relevant for collision energies of less than 1 keV. In this regime, the interaction dynamics are dominated by elastic interactions. We have employed a molecular dynamics simulation based on analytical interaction potentials to model the interaction of low energy hydrogen and helium projectiles with isolated anthracene (C14H10) molecules. This approach allows for a very detailed investigation of the elastic interaction dynamics on an event by event basis. From the simulation data the threshold projectile kinetic energies above which direct C atom knock out sets in were determined. Anthracene differential energy transfer cross sections and total (dissociation) cross sections were computed for a wide range of projectile kinetic energies. The obtained results are interpreted in the context of PAH destruction in astrophysical environments.