I didn’t bother to watch the ‘debate’ between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. It would be like watching a ‘debate’ over which is the better school — Harvard or Hogwarts. One is real, the other is imaginary. I don’t care if there are people who actually believe in Hogwarts so long as they don’t claim there’s a rational and scientific basis for that belief.
In the same way, I don’t care if some folks believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old, or that there’s no such thing as evolution. But if they put forth an argument that science supports that idea, then I’m left with no alternative but to assume those people are just stupid.
Case in point: Matt Stopera of Buzzfeed asked some of the creationists at the Nye/Ham bunfight to write a message to, or ask a question of, evolutionists. Here are some of them:
Yes. Yes, it’s completely illogical. Why are you even attempting to bring logic into this? You’re talking about a supernatural being you believe created…well, every single thing in the entire universe and universes beyond, and you’re relying on human logic? You’re talking about an omniscient and omnipresent entity whose mind ‘surpasses all understanding’ and yet you’re talking about logic?
But yes, even considering that, it’s still completely illogical.
Uh…the rotation of the Earth on its axis? See, this is where science comes in handy. The Earth was formed from the slow collapse of an asymmetrical cloud of dust and gasses and other crap leftover from the Big Bang. Since the cloud wasn’t symmetrical, the collapse wasn’t symmetrical either, and that imparted angular momentum to the process, which set the newly formed planet spinning. Since all this took place in space (where nobody can hear you scream and there’s no source of friction other than the nearby moon) the planet continues to spin. Unless you choose to believe that the Sky Magician creates a continuous light show to amuse his humans.
Also? Learn the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’ and ‘they’re.’
If one existed, you’re damned right I’d be scared. I mean, this is the Divine Creator who said “I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers. Their streets are now deserted; their cities lie in silent ruin. There are no survivors—none at all. I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now! Surely they will listen to my warnings. Then I won’t need to strike again, destroying their homes.’ But no, they get up early to continue their evil deeds.”
If there was any truth in Zephaniah 3:6-10, then I’d be scared out of my fucking wits. And that’s just one of dozens of genocidal urges your Divine Creator gave into. That dude is totally scary.
Dude. Okay…the theory of evolution is a theory. The phenomenon of evolution is a fact. It seems nobody taught you what a theory is. Basically, a theory is just an attempt to coherently explain a phenomenon. Here’s an example. In the ancient Greek region of Magnesia ad Sipylum some folks discovered stones that would attract iron. Their theory was that the stones emanated tiny particles that swept away the air between the stone and the iron, and the consequent suction drew iron forward.
We no longer believe magnetism works that way. Why? Because people tested that notion and found it to be wrong. That’s how science works. You observe a phenomenon, you come up with an explanation, then you try to prove that explanation is wrong. If you succeed in proving it wrong, then you adjust the explanation — the theory. Science does NOT attempt to prove a theory is correct.
Our theories about magnetism are more sophisticated now, but we still don’t completely understand it. And yet nobody thinks magnetism is ‘just a theory.’ Magnetism is a fact. It’s what keeps your kid’s artwork stuck to the refrigerator. And evolution is a fact as well.
Seriously, the only thing more stupid than the previous question is the next one.
How did you ever get out of school? Seriously, how can you be so smugly stupid? If somebody taught you that evolutionists believe humans ‘came from monkeys’ then you were lied to. If you believed it without question, then you’ve been played for a sap.
This is really sad. This guy probably wasn’t born stupid. He was trained to be stupid. Somebody told him “Evolutionists believe humans came from monkeys” and he probably thought to himself, correctly, That’s a totally stupid thing to believe. But did he ask himself Do they really believe something that stupid? Apparently not. He didn’t bother to learn what evolution actually means — and nobody encouraged him to. In fact, they probably actively discouraged him from learning about evolution. And he just believed what he was told.
Here’s another place where science comes in handy. Science never believes what it’s told. Science always challenges. Science always demands evidence, and is never completely satisfied with it. That’s why theories — theories of gravitation, of magnetism, of evolution — continue to change over time.
The problem isn’t that some folks believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old or that they believe a Divine Creator cobbled humankind out of “the dust of the ground.” People believe all sorts of ludicrous and stupid stuff, and for the most part no real harm comes of it. The problem is that science is under attack. Not just the results of scientific research, but science itself — science as a system of understanding the physical world. Does it really matter that this guy thinks evolution means humans evolved from monkeys? No.
What matters is that he’s the product of a system that keeps people stupid. Stupid people are easier to control.
Reblogged this on Gorgeous and commented:
Especially for my friend Paul
Pingback: Many Ways to Answer Creationists’ Questions | Cryptic Philosopher
Do you ever seriously question your own ideology? Are you not also a product of a system that keeps people stupid? Why do you think that science as a system can’t be challenged? Why do you think it’s the only way of knowing about what exists? Why do you think that the question of whether or not God is good affects the existence of God?
Some of the questions you attack here need attacking. But the guy you call illogical for asking, “is it completely illogical that the earth was created mature?” is actually being completely logical. He’s not saying scientists screwed up. He’s saying you’d get those results even if the world was created, because science assumes no creation and can’t account for it.
Do you ever seriously question your own ideology? Yes, I do. I think it’s important to question your own beliefs and ideology.
Are you not also a product of a system that keeps people stupid? No, I don’t think so. But, of course, if I was a product of such a system, I might not recognize that I’m stupid.
Why do you think that science as a system can’t be challenged? Science as a system is designed to be challenged. That’s what make it more reliable than faith.
Why do you think it’s the only way of knowing about what exists? Why do you think I think that? There are lots of ways of understanding the world, but only science is grounded in tested observation.
Why do you think that the question of whether or not God is good affects the existence of God? I don’t think the question of whether or not god is good really matters — if you assume that god exists. What should matter, though, is how that god behaves. The god of the Old Testament does some pretty nasty stuff.
And yes, it IS illogical to believe an omniscient and omnipotent supernatural being created a mature earth — if only because applying human logic to an omniscient and omnipotent supernatural being is, by definition, illogical. But beyond that, IF there is a god and IF that god created a mature earth, then it must have been done to fool humankind — and that makes your omniscient and omnipotent supernatural being a con artist. And if you’re omniscient and omnipotent and supernatural, you shouldn’t have to con the beings you created. It’s…well, illogical.
Of course, that’s just my opinion.
I think you think science is the only way of knowing about what exists because you say that IF there is a god and IF that god created a mature earth, then it must have been done to fool humankind. That conclusion only follows if you assume that science is the only valid way to understand the world. Don’t forget that, from the Christian point of view, God also left an oral tradition and eventually a book, which essentially flat out tells you what you need to know. And it happens to begin with an account of creation. That doesn’t seem like a lie to me. Given his interest in beauty throughout the Bible, I think God had more aesthetic considerations in mind when he created the world.
As for applying human logic to an omniscient and omnipotent supernatural being, it isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t necessarily = illogical, particularly if you’re talking about the God of the Bible, who created man in his image. Nor are omniscience and omnipotence illogical ideas – in fact they seem of the same order as the concept of infinity to me. It would be illogical to say you could completely understand God. But it’s a knee-jerk reaction to say that therefore you can’t understand him at all. Why should supernatural be equivalent to anti-natural? Any hypothetical supernatural being that has an interest in creating things and then forming some kind of relationship with them at least appears to be doing something humans can identify with.
I agree with you that it matters how God behaves (which is not the same as whether or not he’s good? I’m confused), assuming he exists. I know that the OT God is harsh; Sodom and Gomorrah, the curses for disobedience, striking down Uzzah for steadying the ark, stoning for the sin of adultery, eternal hell for everyone who doesn’t believe, wiping out a lot of the Canaanites and the like bothers me. But I don’t think it makes sense, having already believed that God exists, to say, oh, well, he’s terrible, so I don’t believe he exists anymore.
And, if you’re going to read for the harshness, you should read for the context, the justice, and the mercy, too. I can’t explain everything, (perhaps because I can’t completely understand God?), but I think the Bible gives a more complex and positive account of God’s character than you give it credit for in this post. What were the people of Zephaniah 3:6-10 doing? Didn’t it include everything from oppressing the poor to murdering the innocent? I notice that in verse 8 God says he’ll consume everyone with the fire of his wrath, but in verse 9 he speaks of a remnant from all the nations: a paradox that makes verse 8 sound less like a genocidal urge to me than justice for oppressed and innocent.
And that’s my opinion. I’d like to think it isn’t stupid and illogical. I know it wasn’t formed without serious questioning and forethought.
you say that IF there is a god and IF that god created a mature earth, then it must have been done to fool humankind. That conclusion only follows if you assume that science is the only valid way to understand the world.
I don’t think that’s correct. I think ‘to fool humankind’ is a valid response to the question ‘Why would an omniscient and omnipotent supernatural Creator deliberately leave false evidence to suggest the earth is older than it actually is?’ I suppose you could also posit that god wanted to provide humankind with a test of sorts — to distinguish non-believers from believers. But, again, why?
I’m trying to imagine a creator who’d say ‘I shall create humans and give them free will and the power of reason; I will provide these beings with false clues to suggest the world is older than it is; I shall do that in order to determine if they truly believe in me or in their own power of reason; those who use the power of reason I gave them and believe my false clues will be punished by eternal damnation.’ What sort of god is that? That would make god an omniscient and omnipotent supernatural jerk.
applying human logic to an omniscient and omnipotent supernatural being, it isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t necessarily = illogical
I kinda think it does, though. I mean, we wouldn’t apply human logic to, say, a house cat — a much less complex creature than an omniscient and omnipotent supernatural creator. We’re often at a loss to understand the reasoning of our fellow humans. To suggest that we can apply our logic to a being capable of creating the very world in which we exist seems absurd to me. And if you believe the Bible, then the Bible tells us we can’t understand the mind of god: ‘God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.’
that’s my opinion. I’d like to think it isn’t stupid and illogical
The people who asked the questions in the body of the post show a profound ignorance of evolution and how it works. They show a profound ignorance of how science works. It’s not that those people are inherently stupid; it’s that they belong to a socio-cultural system that encourages them NOT to understand how science works — a system that keeps them functionally ignorant, which is indistinguishable from being stupid.
We do NOT come from monkeys. Creationism is NOT science. A Divine Creator IS scary (to me). We can explain sunsets quite easily without invoking a supreme deity. And yes, I’m sorry, but I’m convinced it IS illogical to believe that deity created a mature earth.
I love it when people get together and share views.
Great site, stick with it!