Molotov Mitchell is the president of something called Illuminati Pictures and he creates videos of himself ranting for the Worldnetdaily. Both he and WND clearly believe that he’s incredibly smart and clever, not to mention hip (he claims to specialize in reaching the “under 40 demographic”). In reality, he’s a textbook case of virulent ignorance combined with the kind of arrogance that can only come from having total confidence in one’s ignorance. His latest video is a perfect example.
The premise of the video is one of those fake conversations between a Christian and a strawman atheist that evangelicals are drawn to like Donald Trump to a TV camera. It’s like catnip for morons. And when I say he’s created a strawman, I mean he’s used enough straw to feed half the horses in the world for a year. He starts by showing that he has no idea what an atheist or an agnostic is:
He was telling me that he’s an atheist and I told him you can’t be an atheist. You can’t be an atheist because you’re a smart guy. An atheist is someone who says that the existence of God is impossible — not unlikely but impossible…And I said Mike, this is crazy. I mean look, we haven’t explored our entire planet, I mean we haven’t explored even 10% of our oceans, God could be at the bottom of the ocean, right?…I mean, maybe God is hiding in my pocket. And he says no, God is not in your pocket. And I said how do you know what’s in my pocket, Mike? You don’t know. You are woefully ignorant concerning the contents of my pocket. Mike concedes, okay, maybe God exists, but it’s extremely unlikely. And I’m all like, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have just witnessed a transformation, Mike has just gone from an atheist to an agnostic before our very eyes…There is a huge, massive difference between an agnostic and an atheist. By definition, an atheist is someone who denies that God can exist. An agnostic, on the other hand, acknowledges the possibility that God could exist. They’re humble enough to know that they don’t everything, that there may be something out there that they can learn about life, God, the universe and everything. But atheists are infamously arrogant about this, insisting that it is impossible that God could exist when we all know that it is entirely possible…Maybe God rules a planet that is light years beyond our solar system, or maybe, like I believe, God exists in an alternate dimension. But atheists have the same level of creativity as the average suicide bomber, they’re completely closed off, completely blind in their faith.
All nonsense that has been refuted a million times before. The overwhelming majority of atheists do not claim that the existence of a god or gods is impossible, only that there is no compelling evidence for their existence. Even Richard Dawkins, the arch-atheist himself, admits that there’s some tiny little chance that a god exists. He invents this strawman because it’s so much easier to argue against than actual atheism. And then he presents a ridiculous caricature of evolution and the scientific method.
The debate continued and naturally, Mike and I moved toward evolution. Darwinian evolution is a theory. No one insists that it’s a law, people act like it’s a fact but we all know it’s not a scientific law, it’s a theory. And the problem that I have with it, the biggest contention, is that we cannot apply the scientific method to it, we cannot test the theory. Ray Comfort has a great question that he asks people on this topic and I decided to pose it to Mike. I asked him if he, or anyone else for that matter, has ever witnessed a KIND of animal turn into another KIND, i.e. a cat turn into a monkey…
Scientists expect us to apply the scientific method to any and every theory, but with this one instance, Darwinian evolution, they say let’s make an exception, this one time we will set aside the scientific method and just believe it blindly. We’re expected to believe this theory because people with PhDs and MDs in front of their names are telling us to trust them, but I’m not convinced…
My point is that the scientific leaders of today have convinced people to set aside the scientific method so they can create not science, but a cult masquerading as science. They’re basing everything on faith…Macroevolution is all about belief, it’s all about faith. We’re told to believe it because these leaders of science tell us so, but nobody has witnessed it happening, no one can test it happening.
This is exactly what I talked about in my speech on C-SPAN in 2007: virulent ignorance. The problem isn’t just that Mitchell is ignorant on the subject, which he clearly is. The problem is that he believes a whole bushel full of false claims and nonsense that gives him the illusion that he understands the subject. Combined with the overwhelming confidence with which he repeats those false claims and misunderstandings, the effect is utterly laughable. Where does one even start?
First of all, he has no idea what the terms “fact,” “theory,” and “law” mean in a scientific context. He thinks “theory” means something that hasn’t been proven, that is speculative and essentially a blind guess. That is, of course, quite wrong. There isn’t a ladder that goes from theory at the bottom to fact in the middle to law at the top in some linear progression of certainty. A theory does not magically become something else when it is confirmed, it will always remain a theory.
The scientific method in his head is so overly simplified as to be cartoonish. His position is apparently that if you didn’t actually witness something happen, you can’t test it or use the scientific method on it, but that is simply inane. We convict people of heinous crimes every single day by applying the scientific method to events with no witnesses. Geologists, archaeologists, anthropologists and scientists in many other fields apply the scientific method every single day to events with no witnesses.
Historical theories are quite scientific and quite testable. Theories make predictions about the nature of the evidence; if the theory is true, data set X must be there. If we see data set X, we know we’re on the right track. When a theory makes thousands and thousands of predictions and those predictions are shown to be accurate over and over again over a long period of time, the theory is confirmed. Closely related to this, a theory is tested by its explanatory power, its ability to account for our observation and the evidence.
The theory of common descent — it’s actually a bundle of theories that are integrated into a general model of the natural history of life on earth — makes a huge number of predictions and explains a huge range of data in multiple fields of science. If common descent is true, the evidence from paleontology, anthropology, molecular biology and several other fields simply must like they do; if the data looked any other way, the theory would be falsified.
If the fossil record did not show a gradual change from simple to complex forms, common descent would be falsified. If the first birds to appear in the fossil record did not look like feathered dinosaurs and then become gradually less dinosaur-like and more like modern birds, the theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs would be unsupportable. But that is exactly what the fossil record shows. If the first amphibians to appear in the fossil record did not look like fish that lived in shallow water with a primitive ability to get around on dry land and then show that group getting more diversified and less fish-like over time, the theory that amphibians evolved from shallow water fish would be falsified. But that is exactly what the fossil record shows. Lather, rinse, repeat with every major animal group in the history of the world.
Mitchell doesn’t know this because Mitchell is an ignoramus. But he thinks he understands it because he has this cartoonish strawman version of evolution and the scientific method in his head and that’s far easier to attack than actual science. And he delivers his pronouncements with such confidence that it can seem quite credible to those who are equally as ignorant and committed to the idea that evolution must be false and therefore it is.