We here at the seminary have enjoyed kicking Ken Ham and his ridiculous ideas about science around. Today, I came across a twelve year old post from his organization of dipshits, Answers In Genesis. Poke around, they’re hilarious if you have a smattering of understanding evolution and the scientific method.
The post is titled, “Do Creationists Reject Science?” The answer, of course, is yes. They don’t expect their ignorant readers to know any better, though.
Let’s take this baby paragraph by paragraph. I may ignore one or two if they bore me.
“Anyone familiar with the creation/evolution debate should know that anti-creationists love to lob the accusation that creationists are “anti-science” or that they “reject science.” Evolutionists frequently label creationists “flat-earthers” and even go as far as suggesting that consistent creationists should deny the law of gravity!”
There is no such thing as an “evolutionist”. It is a scientific theory that is 100% accepted by scientists who study the natural world. The dichotomy is clear: you either believe the bullshit in the Bible, or you believe in what science has proven to be true, which makes you a scientist. Our early writers of the creation hadn’t a clue about what was above or below them. It’s really not much of a stretch between them and flat-earthers of today.
Much of the problem stems from the different starting points of biblical creationists and Darwinists. Everyone, scientist or not, must start their quests for knowledge with some unprovable axiom—some a priori belief on which they sort through experience and deduce other truths. This starting point, whatever it is, can only be accepted by faith; eventually, in each belief system, there must be some unprovable, presupposed foundation for reasoning (since an infinite regression is impossible).
What the fuck is a Darwinist? Again, this is ridiculous terminology, science isn’t arguing his theories anymore. These idiots can’t even get the idea of a hypothesis correct. You begin not with something unprovable- why the fuck would you bother doing an experiment if your conclusion would never waver from the hypothesis? You begin with something falsifiable-something that is subject to disproof, but could, through the rest of the steps in the scientific method, be shown to be true, or come to a conclusion that requires more hypotheses. That is how it is done. This has nothing to do with faith. If we are simply talking about cosmology and physics, then we must work backwards through the evidence to get the clearest possible picture of what is happening in the universe and what has happened. We’ve gotten so good that we know what happened a ten thousandth of a second before the creation of the universe. And we’re not guessing at that point-we’re observing and using theories of energy and matter distribution that prove to be correct every time. Some of us are answering the question of how what seems like nothing became something. We’re doing exciting work, exciting thinking-not this boring-ass Biblical shit whose writers were consumed by superstition 2000 years ago.
You can’t ask a question, fail to get your answer, and just go “God must have done it. It says so right here in this Bible”. It’s a particular Christian prejudice they will never unlearn. God exists because the Bible says so, and the bible is the word of God.
Holy fucking circular logic.
But they do it anyway:
For Bible-believing Christians, God’s Word is our starting point: our presupposed foundation through which we interpret and balance fallen man’s ideas, including those derived scientifically. Although some may consider this a foolish faith, everyone has such faith in something. But which is foolish: faith in the unmovable Word of the omniscient creator God or faith in man’s fallible, changing ideas?
A-ha. You motherfuckers ARE anti-science, because our fallible changing ideas are what help us move on to more advanced experiments. When we developed things like lenses, the whole world was new. Nothing was as it seemed, small or large. You couldn’t ignore the previous fallibility if you tried. It’s the nature of science to keep questioning and looking, unless you are up against something like evolution, which has been impossible to disprove. Evidence piles up for it constantly, through the fossil record, through direct observation of organisms, and our ability to look at the genomes of any creature we wish. That is why it has special status as a theory, like relativity, like gravity. It remains the same no matter how many whacks you take at it (this is not totally true for some of these but for simplicity’s sake let’s leave it alone).
Also causing confusion is the simple distinction some try to make between “faith” and “science.” Answers in Genesis believes this dichotomy is in error, because some form of faith (in a religion) is required to believe in creation or evolution. Both creation and evolution make claims about an unrepeatable past that was not observed by humans. Thus both creation and evolution fall under the category of historical science.
The old “you weren’t there, so how could you know” argument. Well, that pretty much kills both science and religion, doesn’t it? Only belief in a magic book can get you out of this conundrum. I’ve already addressed the fact that there’s plenty of the observable past inside and outside our bodies.
This author goes on to extol the work of Gregor Mendel, a monk who taught us a lot about breeding and genetics by studying butterflies; and to disparage the work of Darwin, who merely made up a “story” about what he “thought” might be true. Mere “philosophizing”. In the author’s mind, these are different things, and one is of no use. But we do what Darwin did all the damn time in science; we see something interesting, and begin formulating hypotheses and creating ideas. And like it or not, Darwin has been right on the money every time. Indeed, we are all related, from the protozoan to the human. This is a process that has taken billions of years to occur. Religious weirdos always think that evolution must always mean a jump to another rung on the species ladder. No. Things evolve all the time. Every time something reproduces, an evolution can occur. Could be a negative one. There are so many factors that can contribute to an evolutionary change-even mere chance and error. It takes time we often can’t comprehend for life to order itself in a radically different macroevolutionary manner. The similarities between all creatures, though are simply impossible to ignore. But we have to be “special” in the religious mind, so people like Ken Ham won’t really engage Darwin’s actual theories, merely present cartoon versions of it. It’s easier to demolish a strawman than have an actual argument.
They end thusly:
We believe that the evidence, when speaking for itself, attests to the faith required to assemble a viewpoint on origins. When students have access to both sides of the argument, we have no doubt they will see that evolution, like creation, is a position supportable only through faith. When they see that many of the “evidences” for evolution are simply suppositions, they will understand that only God can give an eye-witness account. And, as we know from science, first-hand experience is much more reliable than just-so stories.
Do these people see the things they write? Is there anything more story-like than the creation myth? Talking snakes? Whole people made from ribs? Magic apples? Punishment by a deity just for knowing stuff? Light being created before the sun? The moon as a light source? Flaming swords and angels? And that’s just the first three idiotic chapters of the Bible. But somehow that’s more convincing than what science, always wondering, has shown us how things really are. And it will continue to find itself incorrect and improve upon itself and that is OK.
Uncertainty is what the religious mind cannot handle. We who are done with silly superstitions are fine with the unknown. You can’t know what you can’t know. So it goes.