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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Catch 22 of Human(e) Thought

Argueing against creationism is equal to trying to break down a brick wall by smashing your head into it repeatedly. Not going to work unless maybe you have a few million heads and alot of time.
Creationism is a theory like "the world was shat out by a yellow-bellied sapsucker last sunday" is a theory, and it has just as much empirical weight behind it.

Evolution is a scientific theory, such as gravity. We don't know what causes gravity but we know if you let go of a pencil it will fall, or the monumental/ overwhelming mass of a black hole and the gravity created by it 'eats' anything close. It is an explanatory framework that makes sense of the literally millions and millions of individual pieces of evidence that support and are explained by it.

Pop Quiz

I.   I want to build a spaceship. For fuel I can use:
a) Dinitrogen Tetroxide
b) Faith

II. I just found out that the drugs I use to combat malaria are not working anymore. What happened?
a) God did it
b) The disease evolved and became harder to suppress

It's all about practicality. Physics helps us build computers, chemistry helps us make fertilizer, and evolution helps us find medical cures. What is the use of creationism?

The only people who think that there's any kind of "debate" between creationism and evolution don't know they lost 150 years ago. Some communities in the United States even tried to ban Pokemon because it features evolution.

Wandering around through life all moon-eyed and relativistic isn't very helpful though, is it?

Yes, both religious people and reality-based people have a point where they'll be forced to say "I don't know" if you keep questioning regressively.
The strength of science is that it thrives on "I don't know" - every "I don't know" is a pathway opened to new advancement and new understanding. For a religious person "I don't know" is filled by the gap of "god did it". This is what makes religion a useless means of interpreting the world - it's closed, masturbatory, and dogmatic.
Basically, you're claiming that if you can't know everything, you can't know anything. I call enormous motherfucking bullshit on that. Sure, we don't know everything about how the universe works. There are vast, unimaginable mysteries out there for us to discover. That doesn't mean we don't know enough to build a fucking space ship. Building a space ship is how we get closer to finding and understanding those mysteries.

The same way, science may not be able to answer questions of abiogenesis or universal origins completely, but we have enough solid, empirical evidence RIGHT NOW to say that the creation story, as it exists in the bible, is absolutely and completely wrong on all counts. Hell, we've had that for over a century; it just keeps getting stronger.
Don't be mistaken and be under the impression that both science and religion are things people retreat to to avoid having to say "I don't know". On the contrary; science is for people with the wisdom to say "I don't know", and the courage to look for answers.


bluemoon said...

Good to see you flexing your Mind-muscle there Alan! ... yes, Creationists are a bit dim really aren't they!

Once the i-Magi-Nation finally gets round to popping the poles of Theism and Atheism (there never seems to be enough hours in the day lately!) ... daleks will be launching some subversive forays into Atheist blogs - Atheists are much more fun than Creationists, at least they put up a fight!

cc'd said...

"you're claiming that if you can't know everything, you can't know anything"

awesome quote - great analysis and bullshit calling... i'll have to use this more often when debating the subject to Thumpers...

i think the more we develop patterns and relations to gene structure and development, the more science will continue to disprove magic... Evolutionary Anatomy is a relatively young field (compared to Astronomy) and the results could be revolutionary...

atheist have tunnel vision and see pose the question, "where is the light coming from?", theist have tunnel vision and only see the light... atheist are far fun...

Alan (my planet is mars) said...

Thank you both for your comments. Going back to theism, i've been like scully from the x-files for a long time. "I want to believe" but the contradicting evidence is under spotlight.