Simple Answers to Simple Questions

This fellow, who is apparently a fan of Intelligent Design, tut-tuts disapprovingly at my entry about my visit to the Creation Museum, and its attendant Flickr set (he apparently missed the LOLCreashun thread), and asks:

As I’ve stated before: If the natural process evolutionary scenario is so obviously correct, then why must they continue to attack the creationists? Why not simply let their model, through reason alone, win?

The answer: Because the wanton mockery of stupidity is fun. I thought that was pretty obvious.

There are other answers to this question, mind you. But this is the one I think the question, and creationism in general, deserves.

28 thoughts on “Simple Answers to Simple Questions

  1. By the way, do me a favor: If you go over there to comment, be polite. This answer wasn’t polite; that’s why it’s here.

  2. Well, according to that logic, I should have gotten all A’s in high school math classes, because even though I was woefully, irresponsibly, stupidly wrong, my teacher should have had the grace to just let it go. I’m starting to come around on this creashun thing.

  3. The critical problem is the rule he proposes: “by reason alone.” Usually with creationists of all kinds, that means that evidence is irrelevant… because it’s not reason alone.

    I wonder what Descartes would say about that use of reason?

  4. The Riddle of Epicurus….

    If God is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to
    Then He is not omnipotent.

    If He is able, but not willing
    Then He is malevolent.

    If He is both able and willing
    Then whence cometh evil?

    If He is neither able nor willing
    Then why call Him God?

  5. Because creationists aren’t interested in using “reason alone”. Are they just mad that we’re stealin’ their flava? Hey, you can’t use emotional arguments, that’s *our* job?

  6. Right….that’s why creationists are willing to teach evolution in schools….after all, kids should look at the creationism vs. evolution and let it stand on reason alone.

    Anyway, we were applying reason. We were just doing it with an extra helping of snark.

    Honestly, did they pay ANY attention in science class? First you observe, then you come up with the hypothesis…not first you read Bible, then you write fan fic and call it science.

  7. I like the implication that the two models are still in any kind of competition. It’s similarly cute when the media portrays evolution (or global warming, for that matter) as a “debate”.

  8. Honestly, did they pay ANY attention in science class? First you observe, then you come up with the hypothesis…not first you read Bible, then you write fan fic and call it science.

    I have had an unfortunate accident. Ahem.

    The correct answer, however, is that we make fun of them because their “reason” is laughable.

  9. Bah, I say. You were just LOLing at what was already there. Silly, silly man, unable to see the humour for the religious prattle.

  10. Because mockery is a form of social pressure by which we encourage others to conform to our societal norms for the good of the tribe.

    Intelligent, reasonable discourse based on provable* scientific data serves the good of the tribe.

    Or if that’s too scientific an answer, we can go with “Because the flying spaghetti monster told us to. You’re not questioning our religion, are you?”

    *using ‘prove’ in its form as a synonym for ‘test’

  11. Fairly typical of the jeezmoid loon brigade: they expect the other side to abide by rules they refuse to. In other words, if creationism is so obviously right, why has it not, through reason alone, won?

  12. Would it be impolite to go over there and drop him a link to the LOLCreashun contest?

    Naw, that would too evil.

    (Now, do I get cookies for my restraint?)

  13. “If the natural process evolutionary scenario is so obviously correct, then why must they continue to attack the creationists?”

    If creationism is so obviously correct, then why must they continue to attack the evolutionists?

  14. The natural process could be allowed to stand on its own, if we didn’t have a shrill gang of logic-free idiots constantly preaching that all scientists are wrong and all true science comes from the bible. That’s why they don’t want evolution taught in school. Because their version can’t stand the competition.

  15. I find myself wondering if this righteous warrior for ID would defend someone mocking Haw Par Villa (AKA Tiger Balm Gardens) which has graphically illustrated sculpture dioramas of the various Chinese hells, with lists of who goes where for what sin.

    Just as valid as the creationist museum, right?

  16. I propose a new “ism” (if no one else already has) “Snarksim “ or perhaps “Snarkural Selection”. I define it as the process in human discourse by which easily “snarked” nonsense becomes less “common” and eventually completely disappears.

    Unfortunately it is not a natural process. So it behooves the snarky among us to weed out any and all of the pretentious nonsense and ignorant blather for abject mockery, in hopes that it will wither away. While I know many of us have been pursuing this goal for some time, I feel the time is ripe to put it into words.

    Steve

  17. Well, I tried to post this over there, but he has a very aggressive spam filter, so I’m post it here instead. Whee!

    Rusty,

    Your question “If the natural process evolutionary scenario is so obviously correct, then why must they continue to attack the creationists? Why not simply let their model, through reason alone, win?” is probably not the right question to be asking, and shows some hostility toward people who believe in evolution. Perhaps a better question would simply have been “If evolution is so firmly supported by evidence, why do those who believe in it feel like they have to resort to personal attacks on those who don’t?”

    The “natural process evolutionary scenario” as you call it, is actually not “obviously correct”, The whole process of evolution is in some ways very difficult to get your head around. There’s nothing obvious about how a sea creature could turn into us over the course of millions of years. People who believe in evolution know it’s not obvious, which is why there’s a process of education around it that takes place in school science and biology courses. While we know it’s not obvious, we also know that it’s supported by a mountain of evidence. Obviousness is not necessarily a good test for what is happening in reality.

    As other commenters have pointed out, reason is not the chief faculty for decision making in humans, as much as some of us would like it to be. Plenty of people make bad decisions all the time based on a variety of factors, which include ironically, brain structures put in place by evolution which actively run counter to reason. The modern intellect, along with consciousness is still a fairly new trait for us, and there are lots of competing imperatives in our brains.

    Science long ago realized how poorly our brains function as objective observers of our world. We are far too influenced and biased by too many things to ever gain an accurate picture of our world and environment without the help of processes that take into account our failings. Scientific method is one of these processes.

    When evolutionists attack creationists, the attacks are generally not aimed at confronting the bad ideas (which are often so laughably poor as to not merit serious consideration), they are aimed at confronting poor thinking and poor decision making processes. This is not to say that creationists specifically are stupid. We’re all pretty stupid when it comes right down to it. That’s why science and scientific method depend so heavily on peer review, repeatability, consensus and evidence. We’re not defending the model, the model defends itself. We’re defending a way of thinking and interacting with the world that demands more than personal feelings and superstition.

    It’s easy to say, “well if we have this belief and it’s not hurting anyone, who cares?” We care not because we feel you (not you personally as you’ve stated) have a wacky belief, but because we feel that belief issues forth from a poor thinking process. When asked to defend that process (i.e. the attacks you see), there simply isn’t any, other than to resort to common logical fallacies or by claiming that evolution is a belief comparable to ID, which it simply isn’t.

    Like earlier in these comments, mockery is a form of challenging bad beliefs and thought processes. It’s a way of making you defend your bad ideas. When you find out you can’t, you hopefully start thinking differently, or you get mocked some more. This continues until you can defend your ideas, or you stop trying to include them in our culture.

  18. The other obvious answer is that if I use my fingers as a model to show you a thousand times that 2+3=5 and you continue to insist that 2+3=90,000 is equally plausible, you shouldn’t be surprised when I eventually curl those fingers into a fist and start punching you in the head with them.

  19. …not first you read Bible, then you write fan fic and call it science.

    Now I get it! Looking at all their, ah, literature as fan fic makes it so much easier to understand!

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