Thursday, June 28, 2007

I still don't get it...

Okay, maybe it's because I've been raised by science geeks and started reading my Dad's Discover magazines well before I knew what half the words meant. Or, the childhood interest in archaeology.

But, I'm trying. I'm really trying to wrap my head around how anyone can believe in Young Earth Creationism. I'm trying because I have relatives who are otherwise perfectly (well, mostly) rational people who do believe in Young Earth Creationism. Short of a heavy duty conversion experience (probably would take more than a trip to Damascus, folks), I'm not buying into it, but I'm just trying to understand how anyone could. (And supposedly, the relative in question is a science person.)

I've seen an argument for discrediting science that goes like this: scientists believed things that we now know are bunk 250 years ago, so modern science will probably be viewed as bunk in 250 years.

Okay. Science is a process continually refining itself. I'll give them that. In all likely, some theories that are today considered the best explanation for whatever will be considered total bunk in 250 years. But, how in the name of Holy Wisdom do you make the jump from that to, we can't trust the science of today because the science of 250 years ago was partly wrong, so lets throw it all out and go back to a oral tradition from roughly 3000 years ago. That makes perfect sense -- no, actually, it just makes my brain hurt. Why not go back to frigging Aristotle if you're going to do that?

And, what is up with the love affair with Darwin these people have? Yes, Darwin concocted the basics of the theory of evolution. Shitty, shitty things were done uses Darwin's theory. Other people have since modified it. And for pity's sake, claiming that Darwin teaches female inferiority is a reason to reject evolution is a horrible argument when the text one is promoting teaches female inferiority repeated and explicitly. (Note: Feminism isn't incompatible with the Bible, but for me, it is incompatible with strict Biblical literalism.) The negative impacts of Social Darwinism -- oh yes, they were legion! But would you like to have a chat about the Biblical defenses of racism, the continuing use of the Bible to justify the oppression of women at the "weaker vessel?" Honey, honey, let he who is without sin throw the first freaking stone! This is a logical fallacy on crack.

I decided to poke around the Answers in Genesis site. And it made my head hurt. Not in the good my head is hurting because this is just a little beyond me and I need to reread that paragraph -- three years in, I know that well. This is a different hurt. A hurt caused by trying to force connections that aren't there. Strains caused by trying a long jump into a conclusion that just doesn't follow.

And what on earth is up with their list of "scientists" who support creation? An associate professor of statistics -- my god, everyone who has taken a stat class knows you can make statistics say whatever you want. And what how does statistics make you an expert on evolution/creation/etc. Oh, oh, better yet, a dentist! And the fact that they don't have real curriculum vitae's handy for any of these folks is interesting. So, they got a Ph.D. from somewhere. Great, find me a legitimate college that hired them. No, Union (of the Jackson, TN) variety doesn't count, at least, not for biology. Publications? Oh, no, I'm wrong, this guy has an actual CV. But, please, note, his articles published in peer-reviewed journals aren't declaring, at least from that the earth was created in six days. Oh I'm sorry, he must have been discriminated against in the peer-reviewed journals. Well, gosh darn it, so I have, I was certain that my article on the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster should have been published!

No comments: