Note to Creationists
Please stop trying to hijack science to disprove evolution — or at the very least, stop writing to me trying to pass off your astoundingly poor understanding of science as “proof” evolution didn’t happen. First, by and large, I know more science than you, so your attempt to use bad science on me just doesn’t work. Second, I know how to research, so things that I don’t know, I can learn quickly, which means attempts to use slightly more complicated science won’t work either. Third, I’m not at all impressed by your “experts” and their “books” — the next time a creationist writes me to tell me I should read Darwin’s Black Box I swear I’m going to strangle a cat. When one of your people publishes something that can withstand basic peer review (which is to say, peer review by scientists in the discipline your “experts” purport to write about), get back to me.
This note is precipitated by yet another e-mail from a creationist trying to save me from the dangers of evolution by doing the typical idiot creationist thing of piling on statement after statement of scientific “fact” that merely illuminates their own incomprehension of basic science and a reliance of the usual brain-dead creationist rhetoric: They haven’t found transitional fossils! Carbon dating can’t measure living things correctly, so why should we trust it with dead things? Evolution is against the Laws of Thermodynamics! And those are LAWS! I swear to God that if I were this pan-hit ignorant I wouldn’t be e-mailing people about it, as if I were proud of my inability to process science beyond the talking points handed to me by someone else.
It’s the “evolution is against the Laws of Thermodynamics” bit that really set me off, if you want to know. The basic “argument” is that evolution tends towards increased complexity but the Laws of Thermodynamics state that everything moves towards entropy — toward lessened complexity. So evolution is contravening these laws! Someone dig up Issac Newton and have him haul Darwin off to the clink!
What the dim-bulb creationists who use this line of reasoning fail to note is that closed systems tend toward entropy, and the Earth is not a closed system: Energy is constantly being added into it in the form of the energy from the sun, and it’s that energy being added into the Earth’s “system” that rather easily allows for increased complexity. Note that the Earth is gaining energy from an entity — the sun — that is in fact tending toward entropy, since the sun is burning through its nuclear fuel at the rate of millions of tons per second, and that eventually (we’re talking trillions upon trillions of years from now) all matter in the universe will devolve into thin particulate soup. But the Laws of Thermodynamics don’t say that everything tends towards entropy, always, in every instance without exception. You can very easily have localized, short-term (astronomically speaking) increases in complexity. Just like we do here on Earth.
Either the creationists who spout off about the Laws of Thermodynamics don’t know this, which means their understanding of science behind the Laws is molecule-depth shallow, or they do know this but choose to lie to the credulous about it, which means they’re (pun intended) fundamentally dishonest. If I have to choose between people being slack-jawed ignorant or unapologetic liars, I prefer to believe they’re slack-jawed ignorant, mostly because, ironically, I want to have faith in people. But either way, I don’t want them talking to me. It insults me that these people seem to be under the impression at either I am as stone ignorant as they are, or that I’m uncomplicated enough to be fooled by rhetorical sleight of hand. Neither is the case. Unlike creationists, I don’t revel in the idea of ignorance. So I am at a distinct advantage against those who do.
And ultimately, that’s the thing that positively offends me about creationists — not only do they rely on ignorance, it’s what they aspire to. And it’s the level they’d have the rest of us exist on, all so they can be comfortable with their own charmingly simplistic understanding of what God is. I can’t imagine having the sort of intellectual incuriosity that wouldn’t celebrate the desire to understand God’s creation in all its complexity — frankly, I think it’s an insult to God, who I would suggest wants us to know Him from the height of our intellect, not from the flatlands of the same. And I can’t comprehend the cynicism required to attempt to fool people with bad science in order to sway them from better science. That shows contempt for your fellow man, and that’s certainly not what the Bible teaches.
So please, creationists, stop bugging me with your bad science. Because when you do, not only does it reveal to me you’re ignorant as a fish, it also reveals to me that you’re not a very good Christian. I know you probably don’t care about the former, but I’m sure the latter must give you some pause.
Update: In the comments thread, Brian points out the MC Hawking site, which features some dude with a Stephen Hawking-like voice synthesizer creating science-based gangsta rap. Of particular interest here is the rap “F*** the Creationists,” which is hysterically rude, and is also very likely the only rap song in the history of creation that says “This one goes out to all my homeys working in the field of evolutionary science.” NOT something creationists will enjoy, obviously (and not safe for work, as they say), but fairly amusing for the rest of us.