A while back we wrote The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Creation Science, where we concluded:
Genuine science seeks to observe and explain the world in terms of mutually consistent, comprehensible, and verifiable principles that lead to testable observations. Creation science, on the other hand, seeks to describe an impossible reality in which Genesis is an accurate account of the world. In other words, creation science isn’t science at all — it’s a mental disorder. There’s no other way to describe it.
We are not alone in that conclusion. An article published in 2010 in Psychology Today by Robert Rowland Smith, Creationism as a mental illness, reaches the same conclusion. It’s brief and very good. Highly recommended.
The Discoveroids have just learned about Smith’s article (as did we, through them) and although they steadfastly insist that they’re not creationists, they are nevertheless offended. Their new article is Now Creationism Is a “Mental Illness”? It’s written by Stephen A. Batzer (we won’t make jokes about his name), who has contributed about ten articles to the Discoveroids’ creationist blog since 2010. He’s described in his first article (about a month after Smith’s paper was published) as:
… a forensic engineer with licensure in Michigan and Arkansas. His expertise includes the fields of materials selection, design, and failure analysis. Dr. Batzer frequently gives invited lectures and short courses on a variety of topics, to include evolution, forensic engineering, and expert witnessing. He has testified nationally regarding disputes large and small. He has over 60 peer-reviewed technical papers. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Batzer is a retired US Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel of Ordnance.
In other words, the adjunct assistant professor and forensic engineer has no background in biology. Here are some excerpts from Batzer’s Discoveroid article, with bold font added by us:
There truly is nothing new under the sun. In arguments, the same logical fallacies are committed again and again. Two textbook examples — “poisoning the well” and “false dichotomy” — are floridly on display in a single brief article from Psychology Today by Robert Rowland Smith …
His title? “Creationism as a Mental Illness,” in which Smith indicates that creationism not only is “contrary to massive scientific evidence” but that — well, read that title again. He compares believing in creationism to suffering from psychosis and, for good measure, autism as well. So, Smith’s two errors are that 1) he poisons the well, demonizing those who disagree with him, going so far as to diagnose them as mentally ill, and 2) he divides all viewpoints on the question of origins into two camps: Bible-based creationists, and evidence-based scientists. Which is a false dichotomy, as if there were nothing intermediate or alternative to it.
Despite the Discoveroids’ endless claims to the contrary, there isn’t anything in between creationism and science. See Kitzmiller v. Dover: Is ID Science? Well, there are various flavors of creationism — young Earth, old Earth, flat Earth, and the Discoveroids’ allegedly non-religious “theory” about the wonders performed by an unnamed intelligent designer. But they’re all science-denying creationists.
Aside from that, we’re confused. If Batzer’s claim is that the Discoveroids aren’t creationists, then Smith’s article has nothing to do with him. Smith may as well have been talking about Moon-landing deniers. So why is Batzer upset? Let’s read on:
[T]he majority of Americans are highly skeptical of the Darwinian narrative, at least as it pertains to humans. Gallup has a running poll, asking respondents for their view on that topic. The opinion that humans evolved without any outside intervention consistently garners the least support, with the opinion that the human species was created providentially beating unguided evolution by 5:1. What a blow to science! Not to mention our national pride. A full 78 percent of the population is mentally ill!
Science isn’t done by popular opinion polls, and if the public is ignorant about evolution, it’s not a “blow to science.” It’s an educational failure and a national embarrassment. He continues:
Maybe some introspection is warranted for Smith and his allies, since heaping scorn on your enemies clearly isn’t doing the job. Perhaps it is time to spend more time discussing and debating with opponents and less time poisoning wells.
Yeah, we’re the ones who are Poisoning the well. Never mind the Discoveroids’ incessant repetition of their dishonest and disgusting mantra that Darwin is responsible for Hitler. There is no reason to debate such people — see Debating Creationists is Dumber Than Creationism.
The rest of Batzer’s article is his advice to Darwinists, gleaned from his experience as a witness testifying in court. Hey, Batzer — thanks for the advice. To show our appreciation, here’s some friendly advice from your Curmudgeon: Instead of ranting that the “Darwinists” are well-poisoning and using false dichotomies, consider the possibility that Smith may be right.
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