Friday, January 30, 2009

The Discovery Institute Fraud (Creationism)

The Discovery Institute racket – the Christian extremist organization that rejects evolution and believes that the Earth was created spontaneously by a grand wizard in vacuous darkness in a matter of seven days and is only several thousand years old, laughably, placing creation 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Summerians developed techniques for brewing beer – has called for an “Academic Freedom Day” on the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, a day being celebrated by conscious and educated human beings with radio shows, documentaries and exhibitions.

The depth of deceit and hucksterism inherent in the very phrase “Academic Freedom Day” as espoused by the same sects of Christian extremists who many times spawn abortion doctor murderers is absolutely breathtaking. Academic freedom has nothing to do with the fact that first century religious barbarism isn’t to be taught in the science class room. If people want to wear prairie dresses and ride around in horse drawn buggies teaching their children that science is of the devil and that human beings were created from dirt by a fatherly wizard in the sky, that’s fine with me, the Amish seem like decent people. People should be able to live however they want so long as it doesn’t harm others. They can stay in their isolated, archaic villages out in the wilds, or the desert, if they’re with the Latter Day Saints, so long as they don’t rape minors (despite polygamous preaching that it’s alright by god), murder people, or try to force their religious hucksterism and idiocy into the science rooms of the secular public educational system.

The truly baffling aspect of this movement is that they aren’t a bunch of religious fanatics living out in the wild. They live in modern suburbs, drive cars, enjoy modern medicines and vaccines developed through medical knowledge only made possible with an understanding of the evolution of viruses and diseases and yet they still fervently cling to a myth created through the ignorance of the human species at a time when people thought that, rather than bacteria or viruses, invisible demons and spawns of Satan were possessing people (in a manner similar to the way in which “body thetans” attach themselves to people in the crazed space opera of Scientology) thus making them ill.

These people believe that the universe shows intelligent design, the same universe that is absolutely seething with dark matter and black holes, unable to support life anywhere but in the most miniscule galaxy on a tiny planet that is still cooling while the tectonic plates continue to shift, causing earthquakes and volcano eruptions, not to mention the hurricanes, tornadoes, mud slides, wild fires, thunder storms and other natural catastrophes that maim and kill millions without much if any warning at all.
To choose only one example of the human body, the means of taking in air for the lungs and liquids and food for the stomach all funnel through the very same place, many times causing people to choke, gasp and actually suffocate and die. That doesn’t strike me as anything like intelligent. Furthermore, 99.9% of every species that has ever existed has gone extinct. That doesn’t to me suggest intelligent design, if anything it strikes me as malevolent design.

The creationist demand to teach biblical myth alongside and as an alternative to scientific theory, specifically, Darwin’s theories of natural selection and evolution, is predicated upon neither evidence nor logic generally, but rather upon faith. As Christopher Hitchens, who can be insufferable, as I’ve written about, asks, where would this end and why? Why just the biology class room and Christian extremist dogma? Why not in conjunction with chemistry also teach alchemy? Or how about astronomy followed by astrology? The straightforward answer is because that would be absurd and insulting to the intelligence of the teachers, the students and the general public (religious extremists notwithstanding), not to mention stultifying of the intellectual growth of American children already ranked rather poorly internationally.

As comedian and columnist for the Independent, Mark Steel wrote, “[i]f all theories are given equal status, teachers could say: ‘Your essays on the cause of tornadoes were very good. Nathan’s piece detailing the impact of warm moist air colliding with cool air, with original sources from the Colorado Weather Bureau, contained some splendid detail. But Samatha’s piece that went ‘Because God is cross’ was just as good. So you all get a B+,’” thus humorously illustrating the “god of the gaps” fallacy as well as the sheer craziness and stupidity of the creationists.

8 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

The fundamentalist approach is taking a pounding. Evangelicals have been shown to be smaller, and less powerful, than what Karl Rove had people believe.

The View from Steeltown said...

Thank God (the pun was intended) Canadians, or at least a majority of them, don't believe that nonsense...

http://theviewfromsteeltown.blogspot.com/search?q=evolution

America cannot move towards a better society as long as it is prisoner of Christian fundamentalism.

JDHURF said...

Renegade:

You're right about that, the Christian extremists have been on a serious losing streak and they are, politically, less homogeneous and powerful than conventional political understanding assumed.

Steeltown:

I agree with you, America and any other society held hostage by a significant number of religious extremists must first deal with such extremist religiosity before it can truely move towards a better society.

a very public sociologist said...

I hope Renegade is right. We don't have to put up with a large fundamentalist movement here like you folks do, but we do watch with interest what they're up to across the pond.

Generally speaking have they been galvanised or cowed by Obama's victory and some of the measures he's introduced?

JDHURF said...

Renegade is for the most part right. The Evangelicals have been losing most of their high priority battles - creationism has always and continues to loose terribly, making abortion illegal, especially by loading the Supreme Court, has been loosing – but have been unfortunately effective about opposing gay marriage. It’s more of a mixed bag, but they lose more than they win it seems to me.
With Obama some segments of the Evangelical movement have been split, with the obvious result of weakening the extreme right within it and that is encouraging.
Rational Evangelicals realize that they are being pounded by the Republican party on issues such as the economy, healthcare and so on while the Republicans, for the most part, never make good on their socially reactionary promises.

gla22 said...

I have had the pleasure of meeting some "christian scientists" who seriously believe they can use prayer to fight diseases and infections and ignore modern medicine. The world is still a very backward place, socially and politically.

JDHURF said...

gla22:

Indeed the world is. The Christian Scientists are extremists of the dangerous sort, refusing to seek medical treatment for easily treated ailments for their sick children, leading to the deaths of innocent children every year; many of their practices are an abomination, although the Christian Science Monitor is of value I find.

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