Crazy Creationist talking points

I found another example of stupid from South Dakota State University. Bernie seems to have an issue with a professor, but that’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is his silly Creationist catch phrases and other nonsense. I just couldn’t get to sleep before responding, so I left this comment…

I’m curious about this “Darwinian evolution” line. Granted, it’s better than the usual Creationist term of simply “Darwinism”, but still it belies an ignorance, real or feigned, of science and evolution. Evolution is a much further advanced theory today than when Darwin first published, so it’s nothing short of ridiculous to use his name to enhance or supplant “evolution”.

One clear reason why someone would use “Darwinism” would be to invoke the reflexive hate response many have when hearing “Marxism”. Along that same line, one might also try to imply that it’s some dogmatic belief rather than being a scientific theory which has not only withstood challenges but has been and continues to be fruitful in making predictions. Following further along that line, what else comes to mind when you speak of blindly following the teachings of a single man? Why religion of course!

And then we have it – “he is commendably open about his atheist faith”. Bingo. Indeed, that’s where Bernie is going with this, implying that atheism and evolution are some new age religion hybrid in an attempt to disparage both (which is quite amusing to think the religious would try to disparage something by implying it’s more like religion). Science, like atheism for most, are not faith based pursuits. Each require evidence to warrant hypotheses and claims, and when either are unsupportable, they’re dropped.

Furthermore, when something is unknown, the intellectually honest thing to say is “I don’t know”. It’s simply foolish to instead invent something as preposterous as a supernatural explanation and it’s even worse to defend that invention by attacking more plausible explanations with “I can’t understand how…” To think you’d challenge science with an example of the fallacy of personal incredulity by C.S. Lewis is nothing short of astounding.

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11 Responses to “Crazy Creationist talking points”

  1. It’s almost as if the fundamentalist Christian mind is unable to even consider an alternate view of the universe. His world is centered so totally on one book (okay, 66 books with an almost infinite number of variations) purportedly inspired by one being. The idea that anything can change is anathema to certain modes of thinking.

    Marx and Engels came up with an interesting view of history (part of which (history happens because of money and the thesis-antithesis-synthesis view of history) are defensible). Social revolutionaries in a completely different political, social and economic system took his ideas and created Marxism-Leninism. Other revolutionaries (Hohxa, Mao and Pol Pot) took the same idea and went in completely different directions. Yet, to the conservative mindset, it is all (including democratic-socialism) Marxism.

    The idea that Darwin’s glimmer of an idea could grow with the discovery of genetics, DNA and cladistics, and not only remain viable but actually expand goes against the very idea of one eternal Truth. By pinning the theory of evolution to one person, and denying that the theory has changed and denying that the theory has weathered every objection thrown at it, the fundamentalist conservative is able to keep his worldview intact. If he admits that Charles Darwin only created a rough outline, he then loses the singular and must then fight the plural.

    By forcing Marxism or the theory of evolution into a single-person single-idea box, it makes the idea both understandable and deniable.

    Sorry for the long comment. Allergy season and I am heavily medicated.

  2. That would explain the low parentheses to word ration.

    Anyway, good points. Bernie should know better, so I’d say he’s shortcutting like you describe, to attack a straw man because attacking real evolution is problematic. Most simply don’t know any better, and assume the straw is the actual, and get manipulated by the Bernies of the world.

    Speaking of that last point, manipulating the ignorant, I saw a quote yesterday that addressed that. It went something like…
    If you support the goals of the rich and you are not rich yourself, you never will become rich. Congratulations, idiot.Off topic, but funny.

  3. Good points all around there Philly.

    Calling Evolution as “Darwinian Evolution” is overlooking many of the brilliant discoveries made in the study for the last 200+ years. I suppose there are plenty of additional evidence for evolution besides just in the fossil record, there is in addition Biochemical, Microbiological, and Genetic aspects of evolution which were discovered well after Darwin’s own studies. Darwin, therefore, can’t be credited for all of the study that was done on Evolution over the last 200+ years. Furthermore, it is not merely by natural selection and survival of the fittest that evolution progresses, but there are many different categories of genetic mutations, and in fact genetic evolution does take place within a lifetime, as everybody knows that there is changes in the DNA structures of the immune system via gene transfer every time a virus infects somebody or somebody takes an antibiotic or gets a immunization vaccine.

    Then, the argument could also be made that evolution doesn’t strictly apply to life. How about planetary and cosmological evolution? There are recent discoveries made in the field of astrobiology observing complex organic compounds found in asteroids and in astronomical pillars of dust around nebulaes, which could be replicating in electrical anomolies such as in the Stanley Miller experiment. Furthermore, one could make the argument that evolution can occur with self replicating nanobots, or self replicating computer codes.

    On the larger scale, I bet somebody could define evolution of business and technology as a co-evolution with intelligent life. After all, hasn’t industry and business evolved right along with technology? Doesn’t the mind itself evolve over the the span of a lifetime too? For that last question, I hope it does or else the religious are in serious trouble.

  4. Your last, I think the churches know that one quite well. They just managed to disguise getting rich (well, the pastors (and bishops (and the pope) and preachers and ministers)) as holiness: give money to support your minister’s obscene lifestyle and god(s) will think you are holy.

    Which, actually, is not that far off from their straw-man treatment of evolution: they cannot contribute (or effectively argue against) something that does not actually exist (god(s) or Darwinism), so they create a strawman representative which they can deal with. Does that make sense?

    ((((((((((oh, right))))))))))

  5. I wonder what they think about influenza *evolving*. Idiots.

  6. I think they rationalize that by inventing new categories called macro and micro evolution. That’s how they get around things like viruses and dogs. Some even cite dogs as proof a designer is necessary for evolution!

    It’s become common vernacular to refer to things evolving, QF, but I don’t know what relevance that has for these people’s points. I wonder if they scrunch their faces then and mutter “evolution!” like the way Seinfeld would say “Newman!”

  7. Of course they do Philly, religious folks are a part of the oldest Beaurocracies around and that is why change scares them and especially evolution. Anything that means change is frowned upon because it makes their “unchanging” dogma look bad.

    I’m reminded of the blatant piece of illogical whiny religious bullshit from Ecclesiastes 1 which talks how people are predestined to be stuck in dead end jobs (Capitalism doesn’t promote this idea, it is clearly religion that does), how the Earth will remain forever (even after the sun blows up and despite the contradictory myth in revelation of “the New Earth”), how streams always return to the sea (as opposed to being damned up for making lakes and ditches dug irrigation), how all things are wearisome (as opposed to the obvious which says that there are things which aren’t wearisome), how there isn’t anything new under the sun (as opposed to technology), how nobody remembers dead people generations after they pass (as opposed to Confuscious and Plato?), how he had seen all the things under the sun (he never saw a big screen TV before), how twisted things can’t be straightened (they didn’t have shoelaces back then), what is lacking can’t be counted (obviously didn’t know about statistics), and how wisdom brings sorrow (as opposed to solutions to the world’s problems?).

  8. It’s almost as if the fundamentalist Christian mind is unable to even consider an alternate view of the universe.That’s very much the case. Christians have difficulty conceiving of the world without God. Even though atheists get sick of hearing the same old questions (If there’s no God, what happens after we die? I can’t just stop existing! If there’s no God, who’s in charge? No one?!!? And so on.) No-God answers to questions like these scare the shit out of Christians.

  9. Well, we can say, that after you die, you will see Santa in the flesh and will live happily for all eternity with Him. :D

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