It’s been a while since we added to our world-famous Compendium of Curmudgeonly Concepts. Today, however, we have formulated a new theory to add to that impressive collection. It came to us in a most mundane way — we received some spam email. Here it is, with its original punctuation, spelling, and grammar left intact:
Receiving email like that is not an unusual occurrence, but today we stopped to think: What kind of fool takes such things seriously and then eagerly responds, expecting to receive some gigantic reward in exchange for nothing? Then it hit us — it’s the same kind of mentality that responds favorably to creationism. Once before we considered this issue (see Nigerian Spam? No, It’s Jack Chick!), but we didn’t pursue the thought.
Today is different. Upon deep reflection, we’ve discovered the equivalence of Nigerian spam and creationism. We call it The Curmudgeon’s Conjecture of Concurrence of Consciousness Concerning Creationism and Internet Scams (CCCCCCIS). This may be our most astounding intellectual accomplishment ever!
Think about it. The Nigerian spammers are charlatans and their victims are fools, just as it is with creationism. When we examine such behavior — either creationism or internet scams — we ask: (1) who could be dumb enough to fall for such a scheme; and (2) what kind of slime-ball would be heartless enough to do this to people? In both schemes we end up with the same description for the victims and the same (but very different) description for the perpetrators.
Think of the spider and the fly. The fly blunders into a web and the spider pounces. So it is with both creationism and Nigerian scams. The victim of creationism thoughtlessly registers at some nonsensical website, or purchases a book or DVD, or even makes a contribution, and then the spider-like charlatan pounces. He’s ensnared another victim and he’ll suck him dry. So it is with fools who respond to Nigerian scams. The master of the con has the mentality of a spider, and his victim is as unsuspecting as a fly.
In one sense we don’t care all that much, because such things will never bother us (except for the maniacal creationists who want to make their “thinking” compulsory), but in another sense we know that people — even foolish, uneducated people — are more than mere flies. We find such activity exceedingly disturbing, in the same way that we’re offended by those who practice cruelty to animals. We can’t help but think: This is just wrong!
What’s to be done about it? Well, those who perpetrate internet scams are properly considered criminals, albeit difficult to catch. The day may come when creationist scammers will be regarded the same. That seems a long way off, but it’s not impossible. We punish those who inflict cruelty on horses and dogs. Perhaps one day we’ll deal appropriately with creationist scammers.
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