Monday, November 19, 2012

Yawn: My Response To Creationists

I've been putting off writing about the phony "evolution versus creationism" debate in this little series mostly because wading in to the cesspool of creationism makes me feel stupid.  I suppose I could link to the "Institute for Creation Science" or the Creationism museum in Kentucky, which is supposed to have a display of primitive human beings living cheek by jowl with dinosaurs (who, apparently, didn't get Noah's memo to show up at the ark?).

Instead I decided to link to this guy.  In a post entitled "Science Already Recognizes Intelligent Design" we read:
It has for a long, long time.  As Greg Koukl notes, consider archaeology, forensics and the search for extra terrestrial intelligence. All infer, with good reason, that you can detect whether something happened without being caused by another agent or whether there was an intelligent being behind the creation of something.
The movie “Contact” was a shining example of the self-parody of materialists.  While mocking those who believe in Intelligent Design, their litmus test for extraterrestrial life was whether patterns they viewed had evidence of design.
Forensics is all about looking for evidence of design. And archaeology correctly infers design.
Earlier today, a friend of mine posted a link to a "Surrealist Letter To The Rectors of European Universities".   In comments, someone wrote the following: "How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?  Answer: Fish!"  That makes far more sense than the preceding, while standing as a model of logic compared to what follows.
We agree there is a gap in understanding some things about the universe. The Darwinists plug it with the “naturalism of the gaps.”  They don’t know what caused it, but it definitely wasn’t an intelligent designer. They have no argument other than blind faith.  We don’t have the same gap.  We logically infer from the evidence that some things — such as life and the indescribable complexity and design of the universe — had to have come from a powerful designer.  Even atheists like Richard Dawkins concede that the universe appears to be designed.
There are some folks who take the time to deconstruct nonsense like this.  I refuse, preferring to treat people who write this way much the same way one professor invited to "debate" the issue responded to his interlocutors.
Academic debate on controversial topics is fine, but those topics
need to have a basis in reality. I would not invite a creationist
to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite
an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a
Holocaust revisionist. These ideas have no scientific support, and
that is why they have all been discarded by credible scholars.
Creationism is in the same category.
Instead of spending time on public debates, why aren’t members of
your institute publishing their ideas in prominent peer-reviewed
journals such as Science, Nature, or the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences? If you want to be taken seriously by
scientists and scholars, this is where you need to publish.
Academic publishing is an intellectual free market, where ideas
that have credible empirical support are carefully and thoroughly
explored. Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying
to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or
scientific proof of the existence of a god. That would be Nobel
Prize winning work, and it would be eagerly published by any of the
prominent mainstream journals.
“Conspiracy” is the predictable response by Ben Stein and the
frustrated creationists. But conspiracy theories are a joke,
because science places a high premium on intellectual honesty and
on new empirical studies that overturn previously established
principles. Creationism doesn’t live up to these standards, so its
proponents are relegated to the sidelines, publishing in books,
blogs, websites, and obscure journals that don’t maintain
scientific standards.
Now, the person to whom I linked will probably cry "Foul!" because he writes about Intelligent Design, rather than creationism.  To which I will only copy and paste what Federal District Court Judge John Jones wrote in his opinion tossing out the Dover Area, PA School Board's requirement to teach Intelligent Design alongside evolution:
The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory. 
You can call it "creationism" or "creation science" or "Intelligent Design", but it all comes down to the same thing: demonstrating not only a magisterial ignorance both of the creation stories in Genesis as well as the traditional Doctrine of Creation alongside an almost comical ignorance about what science is and how it works.  There is no need to "respond" or "rebut" what are not "arguments".  The constant demand from creationists for attention should be met with silence broken only occasionally by the laughter from those who understand that every time a creationist writes something, they again demonstrate exactly why they aren't taken seriously.

I will stipulate, however, that the very notion that scientists "believe" something demonstrates how little allegedly faithful Christians think of their own faith, willing as they seem to be to strip the word belief of any real meaning this way.

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