Your Curmudgeon has learned many things while observing and reporting on the evolution-creationism controversy, and we’d like to share them with you. There will probably be more posts on this topic. Each — like this one — will consist of a few seemingly disconnected observations, sometimes taken from our earlier articles, but all of them are inspired by reading and analyzing the “work” of creationists.
Our first point is probably the most important: Virtually everything that allows you to lead a meaningful human life is due to the Enlightenment — particularly the Scottish Enlightenment. For a quick illustration of what we mean, see: Salem and Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Cities.
Our second point is that when we speak of creationists, you should bear in mind that there’s a big difference between someone: (a) who believes in a creator; and (b) who also believes in creationism. The former is likely to be a gentle soul and doesn’t concern us here. The latter is a “creationist,” who not only believes things for which there is no evidence, but who insists on beliefs that are contradicted by readily observable evidence, and who denies tested, well-supported scientific theories.
Our third point is about the importance of “the controversy.” We don’t care if someone is personally convinced of the historical reality of Noah’s Ark, or if he imagines that the universe is only 6,000 years old, or the earth is flat, or if he believes he’s in contact with aliens from Uranus. As long as such people mind their own business, why should anyone care? But if they attempt to establish a theocracy and force their “scientific” doctrines into our government, our laws, and our schools, there is only one rational response to such aggression. Implacable resistance is imperative. Any compromise with such people is a huge step backwards. There can be no middle course when dealing with aggressive creationists. No cease-fire agreements. None, not ever.
There are three kinds of scientifically ignorant people: (1) Those who are interested in the subject and who want to learn; (2) Those with no interest and who don’t want to learn; and (3) Those who know nothing but who imagine that they know all.
How to identify a creationist: All “social conservatives” are creationists. Any politician who advocates increasingly strict laws about the “proper” use of your genitalia is a creationist. Any organization with “family” in the title is creationist (but maybe not if it’s an abortion clinic).
Being anti-evolution (and thus anti-science) is purely a denominational issue. Join one church and evolution is no problem. Join another and evolution is the devil’s work. The so-called “controversy” about rival “scientific theories” is really just a sectarian squabble. It’s pure priestcraft.
In conclusion: Trust, but verify. Don’t debate with fools. Always be respectful of the local gods. Don’t sleep with your host’s wife. Never defend a criminal on a contingency fee. Read the instructions. Don’t talk with a mouth full of food. Always use the spell-checker. Never leave the seat up. If the gods grant you a gift, accept it without guilt.
[See also: The Stupid-Driven Life — Part II.]
Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.