Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Insult to Reason: Creationists

I've been away from the blog for a while, largely due to the acquisition of a pair of sai (or zai, to be precise) which I've been obsessing over and training with until my arms turned to jelly, rendering me incapable of actually typing at a keyboard for prolonged periods of time. Having recovered the use of my arms, I came across two little things that renewed my interest in the reason I bear the atheist 'A' upon my blog, the first is this video:

Please bear with comrade Thunderf00t's apparent tone of exasperated superciliousness - this is the 27th video in the series and, as this video shows (and I've pointed out somewhere on this blog before) there's no logical limit to the amount of comforting fiction a true religious bigot will fabricate in order to justify his beliefs.

The second is this essay at Talk.Origins which dealt with the exceedingly common Creationist claim: "Evolution is just a theory, so it's not necessarily true."

Now, it was on encountering these two little things that I was harshly reminded of the sheer mind-numbing obscenity of the Creationist stance. No, I really don't think I'm exaggerating here and here's why.

There is, quite literally, more evidence in favour of evolution than one can shake a stick at. There is more documentation on it than you'd find in an audit firm (accountants out there will nod sadly and knowingly at the forests that have died for their profession), fossil evidence to fill natural history museums across continents, it is manifest in every aspect of life from behaviourial science to bacteriological warfare. It is the mighty bastion upon which our understanding of life on earth has come to be based on, yet it is so very fragile, for all it takes is for one little piece of fossil evidence to turn up in the wrong place and time, one aberration outside of the tree of life to send it all crashing down and have biologists scratching their heads for years to come. As yet, that has not happened nor is there any reason to believe it will any time soon.

Evolution IS. Like Mt Everest, it IS. But just as we can know that Mt Everest is, yet not quite know the precise location of every nook and cranny or the number of snowflakes adorning it, there are of course unexplored realms to evolution that are yet to be revealed, minute details that need fleshing out, but the overarching theory holds fast: That living organisms can and will evolve over time, changing minutely to better suit their environments, with the overall effect over many, many generations turning out descendants radically different from the ancestors.

Yet, in the face of these simple truths, the Creationist chooses to reject the physical evidence! The egotism of their God, which really is a proxy for their own egotism, simply doesn't allow the possibility that life could exist without divine intervention. In the sciences, you do get die-hard radicals who defy the prevailing theory and set off on their own path, and as long as their search is ,voluntarily or not, empirically honest and strikes close to the truth, a new truth will reveal itself, and science is stronger for it.

I understand that in France, there is a certain turn of phrase to describe something difficult to digest which translates: "So hard they could choke a Christian." In defense of a fictitious entity, they will do anything, believe anything. The oppurtunistic will churn out any amount of drivel for their flock to swallow, and the flock remain, grunting and and pawing about in the abyssmal darkness of their chosen ignorance, shying away from the light of reason like dwellers in deep caverns who have never seen the sun.

This is the darker half of modern religion. Behind the facade of faith, hope and charity is a world of empty promises, false hopes, exclusivism and wilfully perpetuated ignorance. If you're a believer in human dignity* one may well be inclined to ask why we continue to tolerate this absurd state of affairs any longer.

But, this is not about dignity, it's about the cancer afflicting untold millions of human minds that should know better. It about their delusions impeding scientific progress. It is their flawed logic that leads to a greater number of inferior decisions. It is their blind adoration for a fairy tale wasting insane amounts of time and money better spent on eradicating poverty or researching green technologies.

And it is on this front, this so-called Evolution vs Creation "debate" that the truly delusional make themselves known. Here, clear as day, we see the ridiculous affront to reason that is religion. I for one am offended by the continued existence of religion, especially the Abrahamic ones, and you should be, too.

By the way, note I choose "Creationists" as opposed to "Creationism" in my title. This is because Creationism is simply an idea, a fiction, like unicorns, Optimus Prime or Harry Potter. Fantasies are of great entertainment value. It's the Creationists, those who deny evolution and put forth silly fantasies as truth that are the true insults to human reason.

* I'm not sure I am, actually. Almost all of us came into this world getting pushed screaming out of a punani so I don't quite see what there is to be all dignified about.

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