Creationism requires a global conspiracy of lying scientists and/or a lying God

The results from the annual Gallup survey on creationism are out, with the numbers right about where they’ve been for the past 30 years.

Finding yet again that 46 percent of Americans do not “believe” in evolution remains, to me, “dismaying.” (The link there is to my post responding to a similar survey in 2009. The results of the survey haven’t changed much, and neither has my reaction to them.)

Kevin Drum tries to console himself by exploring the idea that perhaps “The Fight Over Evolution Isn’t Actually All That Important.” Drum writes:

Belief in evolution has virtually no real-life impact on anything. That’s why 46 percent of the country can safely choose not to believe it: their lack of belief has precisely zero effect on their lives. Sure, it’s a handy way of saying that they’re God-fearing Christians — a “cultural signifier,” as Andrew [Sullivan] puts it — but our lives are jam-packed with cultural signifiers.

But “Creationism isn’t innocuous,” Amanda Marcotte responds. She quotes from PZ Myers, who says, “A well-informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.” Myers notes that “it’s our public schools that fill the pipeline leading” to our higher education biology departments and medical research labs, and that a rejection of science in those public schools certainly does have a very significant “real-life impact” on the ability to do the science we depend on.

Ryan Cooper weighs in, saying that “Science Denial Is a Large and Growing Problem.” He provides a concrete example of how a rejection of the facts of evolution is resulting in tangible harm:

A lack of wide understanding of evolution is hurting the country, most obviously in the form of antibiotic resistance. Industrial feedlots grow their animals stewed in powerful antibiotics to shave their operating costs, which is leading to bacteria evolving past them and resistant infections cropping up in humans. It’s a classic case of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs, which are tough to overcome in any case, but an understanding of evolution makes the situation immediately and alarmingly obvious, while disbelief can cloud the situation. Witness hack “scientists” at Liberty University, who publish work quibbling with the details of the evidence and thereby muddy the conversation. I’m not saying that’s the only factor, but surely if 80 percent of the country had a strong understanding of evolution, it would be easier to horsewhip the FDA into outlawing antibiotic use in non-sick animals.

I think my favorite response to Kevin’s post, though, comes from Katha Pollitt at The Nation.What’s the Matter With Creationism?” she asks. Well, for one thing, it promotes a delusional, paranoid view of the world that requires tinfoil-hat belief in a global conspiracy of malicious scientists:

Rejecting evolution expresses more than an inability to think critically; it relies on a fundamentally paranoid worldview. Think what the world would have to be like for evolution to be false. Almost every scientist on earth would have to be engaged in a fraud so complex and extensive it involved every field from archaeology, paleontology, geology and genetics to biology, chemistry and physics. And yet this massive concatenation of lies and delusion is so full of obvious holes that a pastor with a Bible-college degree or a homeschooling parent with no degree at all can see right through it.

This is important. This “fundamentally paranoid” belief in a vast scientific conspiracy is not optional for belief in creationism. It’s a mandatory, necessary component of creationist ideology. To be a creationist — as 46 percent of Americans claim to be — means that you believe that universities, libraries and laboratories are evil places filled with evil people.

There’s no getting around it. Creationists may prefer not to think to much about the conspiratorial implications of what they’re arguing, but creationism just won’t work without the actual existence of such a “fraud so complex and extensive it involved every field from archaeology, paleontology, geology and genetics to biology, chemistry and physics.”

Consider, for example, this recent story: “Aboriginal rock art shown to Australian scientists dated at 28,000 years old.”

Human artifacts from 28,000 years ago are not something creationists can allow themselves to accept. They believe the universe itself is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. So what do they make of this story?

Broadly speaking, creationists will respond with one of two theories. Either way, someone is lying to us. And either way, there’s a massive conspiracy aimed at deceiving us.

Theory No. 1 involves the global conspiracy of scientists Pollitt describes. This usually involves the claim that the carbon dating used on this rock art is unreliable. The theory — and I’m not joking here — is that scientists relying on carbon dating refuse to account for the way Noah’s flood accelerated the radioactive decay of carbon-14.

The conspiracy won’t admit this, because it would threaten their conspiratorial plot to profit from the lucrative teaching that the universe is more than 10,000 years old. All those archaeologists, paleontologists, geologists, biologists, chemists and physics Pollitt mentions must know this, but they refuse to admit it or to allow others to expose their secret.

So that’s the first theory: The scientists are lying. All of them.

Theory No. 2 doesn’t blame the scientists. It blames God. This conspiracy theory says that God is lying.

This involves some variation of the Omphalos hypothesis, meaning the belief that the apparent age of the world is not its actual age. The idea here is that God simply created the world to appear far older than it is.

The word “Omphalos” is Greek for “navel,” a reference to the idea that Adam and Eve were created as mature adults, complete with belly buttons. So too, the theory goes, God created the rest of the universe in a state of maturity, complete with relics — such as those belly buttons — of a past history that never actually occurred.

This theory has the merit of not being falsifiable. It is impossible to prove that the universe was not created 6,000-10,000 years ago and only appears 14 billion or so years older than that. The problem, of course, is that it is also impossible to prove that the universe was not created 6-10 minutes ago and only appears older than that. Hence the derogatory nickname of “Last Thursday-ism.” (Please don’t bother showing us that receipt from your breakfast last Wednesday. It proves nothing. When God created the universe last Thursday, God also in the same instant created you and your wallet, with that receipt already tucked in there next to your library card and your memories of that breakfast already tucked there inside your brain.)

There are variations of both of these theories but, generally speaking, those are the options for creationists. To believe in creationism, either you must believe that there is a global conspiracy of scientists intent on lying to you, or you must believe that God is intent on lying to you.

That 46 percent of Americans believe one or the other of those is, as I said, dismaying.

 

  • phantomreader42

     Do you have anything, anything at all, that even vaguely looks like the slightest speck of evidence to back up any of this?  No, of course not, the very idea of evidence is against your religion and beyond your feeble mind’s comprehension. 

  • isalcordo

    It is not how much we have read or how much spiritual bits and pieces we have collected that matters. It is what we have read and what we have decided from our readings to live by that truly matters. Choose your God or god, hapax.

  • AnonymousSam

    A living example of the Omnidisciplinary Scientist!

  • isalcordo

    The so-called scientists in this website must have uniquely NARROW minds, arrogantly dismissive of a Creator while absolutely failing to induce one simple distinct specie of a mutant. 

    I suggest you take the position of Tonio. You will never find what you refused to search. As Jesus said, “Search and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.” And Jesus referred to spiritual truths.

  • phantomreader42

     What a surprise that isalcordo, who worships his own willful ignorance above all else, has not the slightest understanding of anything on this blog where he has been babbling nonsense for days!

    Really, isalcordo, are you functionally illiterate?  That’s not even sarcasm at this point, I’m genuinely wondering if you’re capable of comprehending written English, or any other language for that matter. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I tried to get a copy of his thesis, but it’s so old it hasn’t been electronically scanned, so no PDF for me. I might go to the trouble of an interliberary loan for it, though.

    /morbid curiosity

    PS. No law says some dorkus can’t be masquerading as the real I. Alcordo. O.o

  • isalcordo

    What ignorance? That I failed to call you “mutationists” that you really are? What a big deal!!!  I believe the time to part ways has come. I have planted the seed of “faith in God.” Stump on it or live by it. The choice is yours.

  • phantomreader42

    PS. No law says some dorkus can’t be masquerading as the real I. Alcordo. O.o

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least, expecially after that idiotic whine about pseudonyms.  Constant, shameless, pathological lying and breathtaking levels of hypocrisy are standard operating procedure for creationists.  Faking credentials even when they’re hopelessly irrelevant fits the profile perfectly too. 

  • phantomreader42

    isalcordo the delusional willfully ignorant pathological liar babbled: I have planted the seed of “faith in God.” Stump on it or live by it. The choice is yours.

    You may think you’ve planted a seed, but all you’ve done is drop a pellet of shit.  It’s not at all surprising that you’re too stupid to tell the difference.  If you are an example of what comes from faith in god, then you are living proof that no god worthy of worship can exist.  

  • AnonymousSam

    I don’t know about others, but I would rather be blessed in ignorance than agree with someone making excessive use of ad hominem.

  • Tonio

     Again, you’re making a sectarian argument, since many people who hold that a single god exists do not believe that the god is found through searching. I can appreciate the deist approach of dealing with the god concept wholly apart from anything that might be deemed spiritualism or philosophy, and I’ve encountered plenty of atheists who are philosophical. But the starting point of your argument is that Christianity is right and all other religions are wrong. You haven’t proved the latter, which is almost a requirement to prove the former. That’s not even arguing, it’s simply advertising. I’m not trying to prove anything except the merit of skepticism, which is neither blind rejection nor acceptance.

  • isalcordo

    I am not against all atheists, only athesists who are dismissive, abusive, and contemptible of the object of faith -  God the Father, the Ctreator of heaven and earth and everything therein –  of the millions upon millions of humans and despising their fellow humans as being mentally retarded for believing in someone that they cannot, by scientific/material  evidence be demonstrated to exists.

    YET  these same atheists will insist that they have MINDS which they have not proven to one another by presenting weighable or dimensionally measurable evidence except by inference – from the intellectual products of one’s mind. 

    So is God as the Bible proclaim in  Ro 1:18-20: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

    Non-Christian theists and deists who are not dismissive of the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, whether they believe in Jesus’ divinity or not, I respect.  Islam is another matter. Islam demands “absolute slavery to Allah” calling for the death of “infidels or non-believers of Allah” even for the slightest of slights against their god, his prophet, or the koran.  The True God does not need man to defend Him. He can defend Himself.

    Tonio, you are an agnostic as you claim. But one day you will come to have to make a decision. I hope it not be on the side of Islam.

    I answered your post because were one person who had not been abuse to anyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arthur.paliden Arthur Paliden

    Creationism Gives Man Dominion Over God
    —————————————-

    If you believe in Creationism you must reject the underlying science that supports the Theory of Evolution.  This includes the rejecting the fundamental principles of chemistry and physics.

    If you reject the fundamental principles of chemistry and physics then you must believe that God preforms each and every chemical reaction in the Universe.

    Now according to the Bible Man has free will. This means that God does not know what Man is going to do nor when he is going to do it.

    So if I have a glass of vinegar and a spoon full of baking soda, it is up to me alone if and when I put the baking soda into the vinegar to to produce CO2. God does not know either because I have free will.

    Yet when I do put the baking soda into the vinegar the expected reaction happens. Which, according to Creationism, can only happen if God is doing it.

    Therefore I have summoned God to do my bidding. I have dominion over God.
     

  • emarkjones .

    I must know, where did you go to school?

  • The_L1985

    A church-run private school that averaged about 200 students total across pre-K-12, and hasn’t existed for about a decade.

  • emarkjones .

    Thank you for your reply. I was interested to know. I live in England and I am fairly sure that it is not legal for a school not to teach science, even if it is a church school. I was amazed that this could be the case.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Is there some way that we could consider the giant cruciform phallus to be a sufficient show of how big a cock our nation has and therefore not feel the need to bomb Syria too?

  • Richard Peachey

    Evolution is a religion, not science. Evolution is not repeatable, testable, falsifiable, no experiment can show our genesis. The Christian religion is based on God’s revealed word. We accept that by faith. But the data we can study, in the world all around us, is the same for evolutionists and those of us who know the Designer. What does the hard evidence point to? An honest look at real, observable science will never lead to a belief in the nonsense, all over the map, ever-shifting ‘just-so’ stories of microbes to man.

    Secular scientists, like creationist scientists, start with an accepted (generally non-negotiable) philosophical foundation. Neither type of scientist is totally “objective.” I discussed this fact in one of my articles that were published in 2009 as advertorials in the UFV Cascade: (Richard Peachey)

    http://www.creationbc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&Itemid=62

    http://gerdapeacheysviews.wordpress.com/a-smorgasbord-of-quotations/

    xxxxxxxxxxx

  • Alex Harman

    There’s a third option, worse than either hopelessness or proud defiance: the gleeful, unreflective, self-congratulating sadism of monsters like Pat Robertson, Bryan Fischer and The Liar Tony Perkins — or, for that matter, Osama Bin Laden and his ilk. Or Verdi’s version of Iago, on a slightly different view of a maltheistic deity: “Credo in un Dio crudel che m’ha creato simile a sè” (“I believe in a cruel God who created me like himself.”)

  • Alex Harman

    Ravenloft is a freaking meat grinder — good luck getting characters far enough to learn the first clue toward the big reveal before the inevitable TPK.

  • Matri

    Nice try, creationist. Trying to hide your strawman in a year-old post, well past everyone’s bedtime when you think nobody’s around to refute your points.

    But that’s nothing new for your kind.

  • dpolicar

    An honest look at real, observable science will never lead to a belief in [..] stories of microbes to man.

    This turns out not to be the case.

    The philosophical foundation on which secular science depends is adopted for reasons… for example, the desire to predict and affect future events and to build models of how real world systems come to exist and how they function which are as coherent and require as few untestable assumptions as possible.

    The philosophical foundation on which creationist accounts of the origin of life depend is also adopted for reasons, although these reasons are of course different… for example, the desire to build models of how real world systems come to exist and how they function which are as consistent with Biblical accounts as possible.

    Both of these things can be done honestly. Of course, that’s not to say everyone doing those things is doing them honestly.

    When you say that no “honest look at real, observable science” supports evolutionary biology, for example, and thereby suggest that students of evolutionary biology are either dishonest or not looking at all, you implicitly suggest that they are not doing secular science honestly.

    Similarly, those of us who are skeptical of creationist accounts of the origin of life which label themselves as “creation science” believe that advocates of those accounts are not doing creationism honestly.


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