The Stupid-Driven Life — Part XIII

It’s been three years since we added to our “Stupid Driven” series, in which we offer disconnected observations we’ve made while reporting on The Controversy between evolution and creationism. These are sometimes taken from our earlier articles, but all of them were inspired by reading and analyzing the “work” of creationists. And yes, our title is a crude spoof on The Purpose Driven Life.

For earlier episodes in this thrilling series, see: Part I, followed by Part II, and then Part III, and then Part IV, and then Part V, and then Part VI, and then Part VII, and then Part VIII, and then Part IX, and then Part X, and then Part XI, and most recently Part XII. Okay, here we go:

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Creationists claim that Darwin’s theory is responsible for all the evils in the world. With equal intellectual rigor, we claim that science-denial and creationism are responsible for theocracy, despotism, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, coprophilia, and cannibalism.

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Creationists claim that the alleged “fine tuning” of the fundamental constants of the universe and the laws of nature are evidence that the universe was purposefully designed for life — but they never tell us what things would have been like in the absence of fine tuning. Our response is that no supernatural meddling is necessary. Laws of nature and fundamental constants are observed because everything that exists has specific characteristics and acts accordingly — e.g., an electron always acts like an electron, and not a neutron. Things are what they are, and do what they do. It would take a miracle for it to be otherwise. The laws of nature are an inevitable corollary of existence itself — not a capricious, miraculous afterthought.

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Creationist often confuse evolution and cosmology, and they claim that scientists believe the Big Bang came from nothing, which is an impossibility. But if you begin — as creationists do — with the assumption that the universe didn’t exist before creation, you end up in a philosophical strait-jacket. Starting with a state of nothing, there’s nowhere to go. That’s a good reason to abandon the presupposition of nothingness — it gets you nowhere. To fix that problem, creationists need to make yet another arbitrary presupposition — that there was “Something” in that state of nothingness, and that Something somehow generated the universe.

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What’s the appropriate word to use when one understands a scientific theory and accepts it, based not only on the verifiable evidence, but also on the fact that in all the theory’s tests, it has never been disproved? Obviously, “faith” is inappropriate. Our preferred word is “confidence” — that is, one has confidence in the theory — which is justified as long as the theory is consistent with the evidence.

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Despite the endless claims of its advocates, so-called “creation science” has made no contribution to science, industry, agriculture, medicine, or any other rational endeavor — nor are any accomplishments likely in the future. It explains nothing, predicts nothing, and it doesn’t mean anything. But like astrology, flat-Earthism, geocentricism, and dozens of other crackpot beliefs, creationism persists. As the moth is drawn to the flame, the simpleton seeks the charlatan.

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We conclude with some Curmudgeonly poetry:

Mars is red, Uranus is blue,
Creationism is a pile of poo.

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Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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22 responses to “The Stupid-Driven Life — Part XIII

  1. “Creationists claim that the alleged “fine tuning” of the fundamental constants of the universe and the laws of nature are evidence that the universe was purposefully designed for life”

    Totally ignoring the major fact that the vast majority of the universe is actually hostile to life. They also get cause and effect backwards, life exists because some tiny aspect of the universe allows it to exist, the universe was not “created” for life.

    Backwards thinking has always been the creationist’s favored method since critical thinking never arrives at their intended fantasy result.

  2. In our fight of creationism we should latch on the last point. Creationism hasn’t contributed anything useful to our increased lifespan, comfort, technology etc. That is something the science-illiterate person in the street can grasp.
    A practical example is the mining industry: Why don’t they employ ‘creation’ or ‘flood geologist’ when they look for new ore or oil deposits?

  3. “Obviously, “faith” is inappropriate. Our preferred word is “confidence”
    “Trust” is another appropriate word. You native English speakers are lucky – the Dutch word for all three is the same: “vertrouwen”.

    ““creation science” has made no contribution to science, industry, agriculture, medicine, or any other rational endeavor”
    Once I remarked on Dutch creacrap site Logos.nl, when it still allowed comments, that oil companies never hire creationists. Sure enough one guy screammed “discrimination of religion!” After which I calmly replied “no, discrimination of scientific reliability”.
    Funny guys.

  4. There should be a special category for the chain of contrasts beginning with the design of the fine-tuning of the laws of the natural world for life. It would include, the examples given above and the following:

    The laws of thermodynamics make the generation of life impossible.

    The Law of Conservation of Specified Information makes the generation of life impossible.

    The Earth is a Privileged Planet, the only place where life is possible.

    God can make life no matter where, no matter what the laws of nature.

    We have no way of knowing what happens in the distant past, in particular, what the laws of nature were. Even more so, we have no way of knowing what goes on in an imaginary universe with totally different laws. (The only testimony of the only eyewitness, the Bible, does not tell anything about the laws of nature which we have only discovered in the last few centuries, from non-Biblical sources.)

    In order for the universe to be young get have the appearance of age, fundamental constants of nature must have been greatly different in the past: the speed of light, the ratios of the strength of the weak and strong nuclear forces.

  5. “As the moth is drawn to the flame, the simpleton seeks the charlatan.”
    Dear Curmudgeon, may I quote you on that?

  6. Sorry! But creationists are NOT piles of poo! Poo is very useful in the garden, creationist have no good use at all!

  7. @Hans W
    Geologists can’t predict earthquakes. Therefore the only possible prediction of earthquakes is a supernatural one.

    Which reminds me that Darwinism can’t predict earthquakes, either. Therefore Intelligent Design predicts earthquakes.

  8. Sure, Ted Lawry. Go ahead.

  9. Creationists are perfectly happy with “observational science” to find oil and cure disease. Just look at Hambo’s day camp. They just don’t like “were you there?” historical science. That false dichotomy sound-bite gives them traction with lots of folks. But, yes, reliance on a set of ancient texts doesn’t find oil or cure cancer (though kosher likely will keep some parasites away).

  10. Michael Fugate

    But they shouldn’t like forensics – reconstructing a crime scene is reconstructing the past.

  11. I just read this in an earlier post, (Part III) .”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. Therefore, creationist leaders are, by definition, drawn from the ranks of the morally depraved.”
    Boom ! The older ones in this series are full of precision guided creationist whacking munitions and thoroughly brutal realities enunciated by a remorseless SC. Check ’em out. ROFLVI (VI stands for very impressed).

  12. Michael Fugate

    Ham believes the universe was created about 6000 years ago so somehow people were already present at the time the universe was created; modern humans show up ~200,000 years or more ago. His “were you there?” rings hollow.

  13. och will “I just read this…”

    I always liked: “Honest, Intelligent, Religious. You can only pick two.”

  14. @Michael Fugate. Young earth creationists attribute the fossil record to sorting during the flood. They then accept the reality of dinosaurs and believe they coexisted with humans. But what they seem to ignore are all those hominin fossils that clearly aren’t modern humans. I guess they perished in the flood where Noah and his kin were the surviving human “kind”. They can’t have it both ways (well they can by ignoring data and obfuscation). It sure does look like the creator (designer?) experimented a lot.

  15. @Scientist
    On attributing the pattern of fossils to sorting during the Flood.
    This assumes that an undirected, natural process is able to produce an ordered pattern. Contrary to the creationist understanding of thermodynamics.
    This also assumes that we haven can know things about the past for which we don’t have eyewitness testimony. The Bible says nothing about sorting fossils.

  16. Michael Fugate

    And of course the sorting from a flood would look absolutely nothing like the fossil record…

  17. Tom B,,,I like it !

  18. Zetopan:
    [When creationists claim that the alleged “fine tuning” of the fundamental constants of the universe is evidence that the universe was purposefully designed for life, they totally ignore] “the major fact that the vast majority of the universe is actually hostile to life.”

    We might amend that to say “hostile to our form of life,” but yeah, if you count all the empty space in the universe in that “vast majority”, absolutely right — the universe is a hostile place. Hard to imagine how a vacuum can support anything that even remotely could be called “life.”

  19. TomS: “This assumes that an undirected, natural process is able to produce an ordered pattern.”
    MichaelF: “the sorting from a flood would look absolutely nothing like the fossil record…”
    Hence the natural process of sorting fossils was directed and the fossil record is evidence for an Intelligent Designer, whether identified or not. How often do I have to tell you stubborn folks? You can’t beat creacrap.

  20. There is the question about the Designers bothering with a design of sorting waters, when the design doesn’t work, it needs supernatural attention to keep the entropy from increasing, and to keep it looking like the result of change over time. And there is no eyewitness testimony for it.

  21. Rather than all those supernatural explanations creationists make up when the bible fails them, natural explanations are far simpler. But, clinging to ancient texts is time honored and a difficult thing to give up as continued existence of major religions shows.

  22. @Scientist: As to the continued existence of religion — IMO we will have religions for as long as we have leaders wishing to control the thoughts and behavior of others.