December 28, 2008

Therapeutic Rant on Science and Evolution

Yes, I'm in a holiday funk. Spent some great time with family and friends, awesome X-mas gifts, Maggie just got a new job, we're all healthy and I have every reason to be happy. But the news is getting me down. And most of it isn't even the entertaining kind you can rant about, what with all the fraud and turmoil.

Not the sort of stuff I generally want to amplify by echoing the depressed sentiments on my own blog.

Instead, I'm going to do what makes me happy and just rant at some random thing. I know it is no real contribution, but it makes me feel better and that's good enough at the moment. Here's something!

You probably already read the story (if you follow science blogs).

U of M Morris prof: You got creationism in my zoology

When University of Minnesota-Morris biology professor PZ Myers heard that the Cincinnati Zoo and the infamous Creation Museum were offering a joint ticket deal to lure in customers, he took his outrage to the blogosphere.

In the end, the Zoo gave in to pressure and dissolved the ticket deal. I think Myers and crew were right to raise a stink. If people want to waste their money on the Creation Museum, that's their business. But there is really no need to encourage people to fill their heads with that nonsense, and there very well may be many people who support that Zoo and do not want to be supporting creation bullshit.

Me, I just want to respond to one of the comments on that news story.

So much for "free thinking".

Anything one disagrees with, we make fun of and smear. We protest what we do not believe ourselves.

Okay, free thinkers, why must you smear others? Why can't your logic and merit stand on it's own foundation? Then again, to have a "logical" argument, then you'd have to actually investigate history, and fact from a Biblical perspective.

Oh, what the ? It is so much easier to just toss it all out than to do the work. Besides, if you don't agree with me, then you are a bigot, ignorant, worship faith.... even if it is the faith of the Big Bang.

Oh, one more point.... science and logic once said that the world was flat. So now who has faith that science is indeed fact?

Posted by: John at December 27, 2008 9:08 PM

John,

"Anything one disagrees with, we make fun of and smear." That's quite true. The solution is to grow a pair. If you can tell the difference between plain ridicule and a logical argument then take each for what it is. My advice to you is that you're not going to get anywhere whining that your ideas are ridiculed, so you may as well drop it. It makes you all the more of a target of ridicule.

You ask "why must you smear others?" At the heart of it, it's probably just a human reaction. After all, you don't stick to logic in your comment. I think that people are fed up. You see there are plenty of logical responses to the people who cling to the faith of creationism, but those fall on deaf ears. Creationists have no need to stick to rational arguments because they're not trying to contribute scientifically. It's a social/religious endeavor.

It's almost ironic to hear someone complain about non-logical attacks on creationism. Put a scientist and a creationist on a debate stage and the creationist will play to the crowd every time. This is why scientists don't like to get into those situations; creationists can easily avoid logic whenever they want and revert to muddying tactics. (There are decent bits of advice if you want to debate creationists) Scientists deal in research, and are not usually experts at playing to a crowd.

In terms you'll understand: you reap what you sow. Creationism is not a science, so it isn't going to be treated like a science. And if you ignore the science, then don't expect to be respected on a rational basis.

But, really, bottom line: grow a pair. Ridicule happens. Have you seen the cartoons of Darwin's head on a monkey's body? Do evolutionary biologists cry themselves to sleep over that shit? No, they sleep well and get up in the morning and do more research. They do their thing.

Your thing is not to do anything constructive, and that makes sense, because creationism is not constructive in the scientific sense. Although it is constructive in the fantastical sense.

Technorati : , , , ,

Posted by James at December 28, 2008 1:32 PM
Create Social Bookmark Links
Comments

Sheesh, what'll they think of next? Maybe they'll try to push a nationwide day-long creationist propaganda scheme in our schools under the guise of Academic Freedom.

Posted by: Bull at December 28, 2008 4:44 PM

John lost me with the misplaced apostrophe. (JP, you had me at "hello.") :D

~mj

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at December 28, 2008 9:11 PM

You wrote:

Creationism is not a science, so it isn't going to be treated like a science.

I think I would argue exactly the opposite. Treat Creationism as a science - put it to the same test that you put any scientific theory to. It will fall apart quickly under its own weight.

Posted by: Greg at December 29, 2008 5:20 AM

Done and done. But some people seem to have not gotten rhat memo. It has failed that standard many times over and now deserves to be relegated to the ridicule bin.

Posted by: James at December 29, 2008 9:21 AM

My favorite is the inconsistency argument. The idea that because religion hasn't changed over the years (yes, obviously it has), that it's valid, and because science has "changed its mind," it's invalid. Just a complete misunderstanding that you throw out the ideas that no longer hold up under evidence.

Posted by: Maggie at December 29, 2008 9:44 AM

Sorry, still on that theme -- science guides us in our decision of when to revise our beliefs. Does the commenter still believe in Santa Claus? On what basis did he revise that belief, and why and when, in his opinion, is it appropriate to revise belief?

Argh. It's really best not to argue with them because they are inconsistent and just plain irritating. But I'll bet he doesn't believe in many things that he once believed in.

Posted by: Maggie at December 29, 2008 9:47 AM

Copyright © 1999-2007 James P. Burke. All Rights Reserved