This isn’t a good time to be a creationist. The science of evolutionary biology has been making tremendous strides. For example: List of transitional fossils, and Evidence for evolution, and List of human evolution fossils.
The courts have been utterly unsympathetic to creationism’s attempts to displace science, or to be treated as an equal of science, or to cross-dress as the “theory” of intelligent design and pretend to be science, for example: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, and Edwards v. Aguillard, and 10 Significant Court Decisions Regarding Evolution/Creationism.
Many mainstream denominations have publicly made their peace with science, for example: Pope Benedict’s 2007 Statement on Evolution, and the Church of England marks Darwin’s contribution to science as bicentenary approaches, and Statements from Religious Organizations. There are also the 11,000 clergymen who have signed on to the Clergy Letter Project.
On the other hand, creationists have their websites, their silly museums, their Jack Chick comic books, and their public relations operations (which they amusingly call think tanks). Additionally, creationists have produced a number of pop-culture books; but similarly worthless volumes exist to exploit a gullible public’s acceptance of myths like the Bermuda Triangle, alien abductions, crop circles, etc., all having the same scientific standing as creationism. Astrology has an even larger and older literature, and that too is an intellectual wasteland.
Creationist propaganda and political agitation has provided them with a vocal, faith-based network of fellow-travelers and useful idiots in the media and elsewhere, who tirelessly promote the fiction that there is a scientific “controversy” over evolution. But except for a few anti-science actions taken by profoundly ignorant fools on rural school boards and their counterparts in state legislatures — which so far have been laughable and short-lived episodes — there has been no “progress” at all for creationism.
Despite all the noise they make, creationists have had no impact on science, industry, agriculture, medicine, academia, or any other rational endeavor. We often fail to notice what doesn’t exist, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that creationists have failed to accomplish anything of any substance whatsoever. Nor are any such accomplishments likely in the future. Creationism is the pathway to intellectual oblivion.
So what will become of the creationists? We see three possible futures: (1) they persevere with their teachings, like astrologers, becoming increasingly marginalized from Western Civilization; (2) they gradually wither away, as have the believers in so many false teachings before them, like the Geocentric model of the universe, and the Flat Earth model; or (3) — and this one is the problem — they refuse to accept either a marginalized existence or a humiliating exit, and instead they adopt the tactics of the Taliban to compel acceptance of their beliefs by force.
The choice is theirs. Our course is clear. We shall continue with what we do here. It’s necessary.
Update: For more on this, see: Does Creationism Have a Future?
Another update: See Creationism: Making Sense of Unreason.
And another update: See Intelligent Design — The Next Level.
Copyright © 2008. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.