Thursday, July 3, 2008

Interview with a Fundie

I don't usually post comments on Youtube, for fairly obvious reasons, if you've visited Youtube enough. Anyways, I was bouncing along from video to video as I do, and came across this one, responding to VenomfangX:

Not the most eloquent response yet, to be brutally honest, but:

i) His facts are very much in concordance with the digging I've been doing on evolutionary biology and molecular genetics as of late; and

ii) It's a hell of a feat to even respond to the sheer astronomical inanity of a VenomfangX video. Not kidding. Go see if you're really curious, but be warned that it's not easy viewing if you've been educated past the age of 5.

Anyway, some silly bugger had made a profoundly ignorant comment. Not surprising on Youtube, but I felt inclined to reply. The ensuing conversation came as a valuable insight into the fundie mind. I've copied it out below, in all it's uncensored glory. Strongly recommend checking out the New Scientist guide to evolution before reading:

*Transcript starts*

Him: you are right there isnt much of a debate evolution is mathematically impossible therefore false. we've found tons of advanced animals older than unadvanced ones lol you never reading outside of outdated text books is astounding, you dont know what you are talking about so dont talk. Thins have become less complicated and less sophisticated if anything.

Me: Name one.

Him: all dating is unrealiable only proof their is , is we got stuff dying out like crazy now

Me:You ignored my very simple question. What a surprise. It takes one piece of fossil evidence to send evolution down the crapper. You say you've found tonnes. Name one.

Him: mega fauna have dated back to precambrian and just been claimed as a mistake , because evolution is a bunch of lies.

Me: Really? And who told you that? Kent Hovind? Perhaps you will be so kind as to provide a link to a peer-reviewed journal backing up your claim?

Him: why would something be peer reviewed that is puposely buried , look around on the internet do enough google scholar searches and youll find it eventually, you believe a failed hypothesis of darwin which is academically bankrupt to do. The hypothesis died when 100 years passed and there was no missing link. It was pushed by the globalist to try and destroy God in order to eventually usher in a one world government.

*I must confess, I'm not sure how a one world government would be a bad thing.*

Me: Putting something up on the internet doesn't make it true. You're claiming there is evidence against evolution, the onus is on you to bring forward this evidence. You claim Darwin's work is academically bankrupt, but I doubt very much indeed you've actually read his work, let alone Gould or Dawkins. You have offered nothing thus far but empty words. Show us evidence. One piece of peer-reviewed documentation. That's very little to ask for in academic circles.

Him: ive read evolution of species and read quotes of darwin saying to disregard it if it wasnt proved in 100 years, it wasnt accepted by anyone until the government forced it into class rooms. I am a better darwinist than any evolutionist because he told me to disregard it so i did.

Me: I assume you mean The Origin of Species. 150 years has passed and no evidence has arisen. Speaking of which, I see you still haven't offered any. Unless you've anything solid to offer, I suggest you do some reading before you embarass yourself any further. New Scientist has a very readable guide on their website. Unless, of course, you don't really subscribe to empiricism, in which case you really don't have anything on you but empty words.

*GAH! I just spotted my typo! I meant to say, "150 years has passed and no evidence has arisen disproving evolution."*

Him: im still waiting for one shred of evidence for evolution , everything said to be evidence is heresay or a flat out lie

Me: Ah, I see you're a Mormon... That explains a lot. I've really no more time to waste on you. Good day.

Him: no im not, if you looked at my video channel the video is a response to a mormon

Me: So it is! My bad, and I do apologise! But you've still yet to produce evidence against evolution. As for evidence in favour, just take a look at the British Museum of Natural History. Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through for a hoax, yes?

Him: the same reason atheist dont believe in God, you cannot provide evidence to meet my criteria.

Me: And what is that criteria?

Him: atheist wanna see God i want to see a dogbrid, or a catlizard, or something to that extent.

*The sheer magnitude of the stupidity of this statement damn near gave me a stroke, but I soldiered on anyway...*

Me: You clearly have no idea at all what evolution is. Really, the nonexistence of the critters you speak of is actually evidence FOR the present understanding of evolution. Please, just go check out the New Scientist FAQ. No meaningful discussion of evolution can occur if you don't actually know what it is.

Him: it doesnt matter i have to see something alive, born and inbetween 2 species to believe in evolution

Me: What you're asking is the equivalent of an atheist asking to see Xenu in order to believe in God. It is NOT a part of evolutionary theory. Stop spouting nonsense and read for a bit.

Him: so if your saying things dont change species ever then i believe in it to haha

*Transcript ends*

At this point I just couldn't go on. This is a conversation I've had quite a few times before, having had a few fundie acquaintances. I know a few moderate and agnostic friends don't feel as passionately about the cause of reason and science as I do, and it's hard for me to explain why. See this conversation? This is why. This is the price of faith.

It is one thing to deny the wonders of the material universe, to ignore the dazzling beauty of the stars, the grandeur of evolution and the mysteries of quantum mechanics. It is another entirely to subscribe to a belief system that seeks to dismiss or even destroy knowledge based on evidence. This hick I was talking to? He's 23 years old, American and just one amongst a horde of fundies who are out there to tear down the works of great minds who came before us and pray our asses back into the Stone Age.

I know from RDF and Skeptical Inquirer, among others, that I do not stand alone. And we do not do what we do out of spite or hatred against religion. They have a good word to spread, so do we! BUT we have EVIDENCE. We have consistency. We have the might of empiricism and fundamental mathematical truths to back up what we say and do. Which is to say, that by any reasonable academic standard, the educated atheist has a firmer grasp of truth than any clergyman will ever know.

All they have are empty words and faith. Faith in Jewish Zombies, Arab paedophiles, genocidal maniacs, charlatans, hypocrites and an invisible man watching everything you do, hearing everything you say, and keeping tabs so he can either give you eternal torment or eternal bliss for all eternity AFTER you're dead. *sigh*...

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