The Curmudgeon’s Theory of Everything

ACCORDING to the Salem hypothesis, engineering types — and that often includes computer scientists — have a tendency toward the creationist viewpoint.

And according to the Curmudgeon’s Conjecture of Dental Destiny (the CCDD), which we announced here: Creationism, Darwinism, Dentistry, & the Devil, the study and practice of dentistry corresponds with a strong likelihood of being a creationist.

We’ve made a few other attempts to describe the creationist motivation. See The Mind of a Creationist — Inductophobia, and also see Creationism: Purity of Essence, and our attempt at satire: The Theory of Abominable Befuddlement.

We are now moving beyond those early attempts to understand the mysteries of the creationist mind. Today, dear reader, your Curmudgeon is going where no man has gone before. We are announcing to a stunned world our latest hypothesis about the creationist disorder.

Here, as we have done in the past, we distinguish between: (a) someone who believes in a creator; and (b) someone who also believes in creationism. The former is likely to be a gentle soul and doesn’t concern us. 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. Creationists are reality-deniers, and the malignant ones (the only creationists who concern us) want to impose their ideas on everyone else.

Some of the background for this comes from an earlier post: Creationism, Socialism, and Intelligent Design, where we summarized our thinking about creationism and economics. We said:

THE intellectual connection between free enterprise, political freedom, and the theory of evolution is an old subject for us. We’ve previously discussed Darwin’s theory in connection with free-market economics. For example, see: Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand and Charles Darwin’s Natural Selection. And this: Economics, Intelligent Design, and Evolution. We like this one too: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Barack Obama.

We recently expanded on that in Creationism’s Missing Link, in which we said that a certain creationist whose essays appear in Pravda clearly illustrates that creationism’s advocates and apologists are all the same — whether they’re in Seattle or in Russia. They promote their irrational nonsense using the same tactics (i.e., lies) for the same purpose — which is power. We pointed out the unspoken unity that exists across all political boundaries to motivate creationists — blind hatred of reason and all its works. We even identified the common ancestry of both William Jennings Bryan and Vladimir Lenin — the ancestor is anti-Enlightenment insanity.

Our thinking has now progressed to the stage where we can confidently announce the Curmudgeon’s Conjecture Connecting Creationism with a Craving for Compulsory Conduct Controls (the CCCCCCCC).

This properly avoids claiming that all creationists are socialists, because some of them aren’t. Nor do we claim that all creationists are “family values” types who want to control everyone’s private life. Again, some creationists aren’t like that (but the overlap is impressive).

What we do suggest is that the person who finds creationism appealing — that is, one who is obsessed with the idea that some intelligent agency planned and caused our existence — is the same kind of person who is attracted to the idea of governmental controls over the population. Such controls may be imposed over private relationships, economic activities, education, religion, or whatever. For some it’s all of the above.

The common thread that unites the statist tyrant and the theocratic creationist is that they’re both authoritarians. Such people are the opposite of those who advocate reasoned liberty and all the other benefits derived from the principles of the Enlightenment — including limited government, free enterprise, and freedom of scientific inquiry.

To put it another way: Anyone (the engineers and dentist we’ve discussed before are trivial examples) who is convinced that he knows best how everyone should behave and live and think, and who further imagines that his vision is so magnificent that it should be imposed on everyone, also has a tendency to believe in creationism — or intelligent design.

To put it a third way: The theocrat, the autocrat, the technocrat, and the despotic bureaucrat, although their religious ideas may differ, aren’t very different at all. And none of them is a friend of liberty.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “The Curmudgeon’s Theory of Everything

  1. the thought police, that is what they wish, so they think it must be , and therefore they are compelled to force their weak minded thoughts on everyone else. They are one of the scariest elements in our society, the great truth of America is that we are a nation of free thinkers and they wish to deny us that ability.

  2. Recommended reading: “The Authoritarians,” freely downloadable pdf here.

  3. Thanks, Cheryl. I’ll check it out.

  4. Curm for some reason says: “Thanks, Cheryl. I’ll check it out.”

    I says, for some other reason: You won’t like it.

  5. Tundra Boy predicts: “I says, for some other reason: You won’t like it.”

    I read some chunks of it. I obviously agree with what he says about evolution. I read all of his last chapter, “What’s to be done?” It’s obvious that the author and I don’t agree politically, but he still has a lot of interesting things to say. It’s worth looking at.

  6. You never fail to surprise me, my friend.

  7. I’m a wild and crazy guy, Tundra Boy.

  8. Gabriel Hanna

    I’ve only just started the book, but so far I’m not impressed, especially by this:

    In North America people who submit to the established authorities to
    extraordinary degrees often turn out to be political conservatives, 2 so you can call them “right-wingers” both in my new-fangled psychological sense and in the usual political sense as well. But someone who lived in a country long ruled by Communists and who ardently supported the Communist Party would also be one of my psychological right-wing authoritarians even though we would also say he was a political left-winger. So a right-wing authoritarian follower doesn’t necessarily have conservative political views. Instead he’s someone who readily submits to the established authorities in society, attacks others in their name, and is highly
    conventional.

    In other words, “right-wing authoritatians” are people he doesn’t like who support the wrong authorities. And he never seems to consider that so many of the “established authorities” in the United States are left of center–like academics, for example, who certainly must be considered a traditional source of authority. (Otherwise why do people buy things from people who wear lab coats on commercials?)

    I’m learning a great deal about the author’s prejudices, however.

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    I’m really not sure what the point of continuing to read further, when so many of the author’s opinons are presented as unassailable facts which you’d have to be crazy to disagree with.

    This is the third time I have referred to George W. Bush, his administration, or his supporters, and we’re only half-way through chapter 1. I am running a risk, in a book I hope will have some lasting value, by anchoring it so much in the here-and-now. I’m doing so partly because the here-and-now naturally appeals to contemporary readers. But mainly I am doing it because the past six years have provided so many examples of authoritarian behavior in American government. There has never been a more obvious, appropriate, and pressing time for this discussion. The threat that
    authoritarians poses to American democracy has probably never been clearer. It is just a coincidence, but human affairs have provided the foremost example of how badly right-wing authoritarianism can damage the United States at the same time my work has come to an end and I am telling everyone what I’ve found. George W. Bush has been the most authoritarian president in my lifetime, as well as the worst. And that’s not a coincidence.

    Tip for scientists, social or otherwise: if you, in a book ostensibly relying on science, cannot go for three pages without ranting about WHAT BUSH DID; your readers may find themselves questioning your objectivity just a bit.

    The last popular science book that I read that sounded like this was written by a physicist who is now a 9/11 Troofer.

  10. Gabriel Hanna says:

    I’m really not sure what the point of continuing to read further …

    You’re reading it more systematically than I did. First I looked at the table of contents (which has no page numbers). I figured it was worth a little time. I did a search on “evolution” and read those sections. That was okay.

    Then I found the last chapter (with no help from the TOC) named “What is to be done?” and there I stumbled early over his reference to RWA. I searched on that and discovered it meant “Right Wing Authoritarian.” In my humble post I referred only to “authoritarians” because I know that type infests both left and right.

    Okay, I knew what I was dealing with — but unlike you, I didn’t realize that it meant anyone who follows the rules. I missed that. The final chapter wasn’t much, but hey — in response to his question, there isn’t anything to be done.

  11. Was an interesting read if you can get past the politics. Most of it already been covered by Curm, in one place, or another, though. It just goes into details of why it is.

    Why the debate of creationists is pointless. The ones after power, mostly, know they are lying, but do not care, because their intended audience will not check them out. The followers themselves are not interested in the reasoning and evidence, except as sound bites (which is why we always see the same stupid things, like its only a theory) to be trotted out, its the conclusions they look at. Those conclusions just have to agree with what they already believe, and they use it as reinforcement.

    One thing I did like his his exploration, of why RWA’s are more likely to be racist, is that they already brought up in an environment of us versus them, in regards to religious belief, and so it far easier to extend that attitude to many other things especially if connected to the bible, like homosexuality.

  12. Gabriel Hanna

    @Flakey:

    One thing I did like his his exploration, of why RWA’s are more likely to be racist, is that they already brought up in an environment of us versus them, in regards to religious belief, and so it far easier to extend that attitude to many other things especially if connected to the bible, like homosexuality.

    Except that he’s already defined hardline Communists to be “right wing authoritarians” and they were not religious… You see the problem? Everybody he disagrees with is a “right wing authoritarian”, regardless of what they actually believe. And so he contradicts himself.

    When you have defined a group of people this way, you can’t describe them meaningfully. Suppose I wrote about a book about ‘non-Presbyterians’? What qualities do they have in common? None. And if I give them a different name, like amphibolitarians or some such, it still doesn’t give them anything in common.

    He’s playing fast and loose with his terms. Sometimes a RWA is a personality type and sometimes it’s a person with the “wrong” politics.