Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Creationists turn to guerrilla tactics


Once again, the fundies remind us that they believe in creationsim.

And only creationism.

Pope Francis, leader of one of the world's largest religions, announced that he believes the theories of evolution and the Big Bang to be real scientific fact. This isn't really news to most Catholics. I grew up and now teach at a Catholic college that is perfectly at ease teaching evolution along with theology. Not every person of faith feels this comfortable compatibility. 

Cue the fundies.

Ken Ham, director of the Creationism Museum or whatever the hell it's called, not only tackled Pope Francis for this statement but for a previous comment, namely, "God is not afraid of new things." Ham said:

"In this instance, Pope Francis, like so many other religious leaders, is putting man's word above God's Word. And not only that, he's also going so far as to say that only a magician with "a magic wand" could create the way that God said He created in Genesis! Frankly, this shows a lack of understanding of who Scripture claims God is."

Where was Ham when Pope John Paul II, one of the most revered figures in religion, made a similar comment? The Pope was quoted as saying, "Scientific discoveries are not a threat to god. Nor are they news to him."

Then there's some guy named Snyder. He wrote an article called "44 Reasons Why Evolution is a Fairy Tale for Adults." His comments are as follows, arguing that Francis is amending beliefs to make them more palatable to a modern market:

"And all of that "unscientific stuff" about God creating the world in six days and creating mankind out of the dust of the Earth? Well, all of that is just going to have to be thrown out. If all of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, that is because this is exactly what Pope Francis has been doing."

Right. The Pope is pandering. All of those pesky fossils put in the rocks by Satan to tempt us are the root cause. Come to think of it, might Pope Francis even be an agent of the devil as well? Sent here to lead us all astray? Would fit the reasoning of most fundies.

So if you are a fundy, what kind of action do you take in the face of such a statement from such an eminent religious leader? Well, you could hold a surprise "creation summit" at a major university. That's what's happening this week at Michigan State University. It appears that an Oklahoma-based creationist group hoodwinked their way into booking facilities on campus. Among their discussion topics: Why the Big Bang is a fake, how Evolution is not what we think it is, and the ramifications of Hitler believing in Evolution.

Oh awesome. I was hoping for a good ol' "comparison to Hitler" (reductio ad Hitlerum) logical fallacy. That's a sure sign you've lost the debate.

Sigh. It is very difficult for me to discuss this topic calmly, maturely, and intelligently. On the one hand, you have a population of enlightened individuals who believe in the weight of evidence and the scientific method. On the other, you have people mentally enslaved to a book written thousands of years ago by a group of guys. And these folks will swear every single word of it is true. Best of all, this line of thinking is so persuasive and so appealing that you actually have to ambush people with it and shout to get your points heard. Such pusillanimous tactics are always an intellectual means of persuasion.

I suppose I should be happy. By the fundy line of reasoning, Batman is real. Why not? I've got it right here, printed in a book. Hundreds of them as a matter of fact. With so many books about him, Batman must be real. It says so.

I would try to laugh. That is if these people weren't so dangerous. They're not looking for the truth, no matter how they try to couch it as such. They are perfectly willing to ignore evidence in order to further their dogma and belief system. If you can convince others to push aside scientific fact, what else can you get them to do? And it's all in the name of evangelism.

Hence why I have such a difficult time trusting so-called "people of faith."




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