We’ve previously discussed this topic in a general way, for example: Creationism and Morality, and also Atheism, Science, and Darwin; but we realize that we’ve been writing those essays on the defensive — refuting creationists’ charges of “Darwinist” immorality.
It makes no sense for science advocates to be in that posture. It’s time we turned it around and provided some specific examples of the evils of creationism. Let’s start with a trip down memory lane:
Kristin Maguire: Porn Queen and creationist.
Dale & Leilani Neumann, creationists and child killers.
Kent Hovind, creationist jailbird.
Louisiana state senator Ben Nevers: “This is strictly about teaching science in the classroom. It has nothing to do with religion.”
Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids): “The misreporting of the evolution issue is one key reason for this site.”
There are also several creationist preachers who have fallen, one way or another. Merely mentioning a few of their names should be sufficient, without recounting their misdeeds: Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, and Jim Bakker are relatively recent and highly-publicized examples.
Are we being unfair in pointing out a few high-profile failures out of many otherwise worthy preachers? No, we’re being very fair, because we acknowledge that most clergymen seem to lead exemplary lives. However, if the creationists’ claims are true, there shouldn’t be any failures — certainly not among creationist denominations.
Conversely, were the creationists correct about the evils of what they call “Darwinism,” there should be an embarrassingly long list of prominent biologists who have been moral failures — but we’re not aware of any, at least none remotely comparable to the creationist clergymen.
So what do we make of this? Unlike the creationists, who thrive on inventing the most outrageous falsehoods about the evil consequences of science (see: Debating Creationists: The Big Lie), we won’t even suggest that creationism causes crime and perversion.
We can’t do that because we know there are many people who lead honorable lives, although they don’t know any science and believe the nonsensical claims of their creationist preachers. Therefore it’s clear that merely believing in things like Noah’s Ark won’t lead one to depravity. (The creationists won’t admit it, but not believing such things doesn’t lead to depravity either.)
However, considering people like Haggard, Swaggart, and Bakker, it’s a flat-out undeniable fact that preaching creationism doesn’t guarantee morality. In fact, we suggest it’s a sign of moral weakness. Why do we say that? It’s because no one can be a promoter of creationism unless: (1) he is incapable of distinguishing truth from falsehood; or (2) he is willing to lie. Thus we see that creationist leaders are, by definition, drawn from the ranks of the morally depraved. The consequences are those we observe.
Do we have any other examples linking creationism and depravity? They’re not hard to find — all one needs to do is to Google for “disgraced preachers.” We’re not interested in listing everything such a search would turn up. Not all of them are creationists, but they’re very well represented — amazingly so if we ignore the “choir boy” problem which is unrelated to creationism. We think our point has been made.
And now we’ll risk a prediction. How about Phillip Garrido, the religious nut-case who kidnapped that 11 year old girl and kept her as a slave for 18 years? Does anyone out there think he was influenced by reading Charles Darwin? If so, raise your hands. [Curmudgeon looks around, but sees no hands.] Right, there’s no “Darwinism” there. But it’s a 99% probability that he’s a creationist.
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