Creationism v. science: Laughable? Pitiable? Innocuous?

July 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm 3 comments

The Springboro, Ohio school board recently heard both sides in the “Teach the controversy debate.”   That is, should public schools teach both “theories?”   The science is evolution.   The more questionable theory is usually termed Intelligent Design.

Are these archaic attempts at keeping creationism alive the last vestiges of an earlier era?  If you think it is innocuous, read on. The Dayton Daily News has solicited comments.  Here’s mine.

Nobody in science says anything should be taken on faith.  A healthy skepticism should always be our mode.  Not fearful doubts, but defiant intellectual doubts.  Those of faith fear losing their faith to doubt.  If it was religious knowledge that they had, there’d be no fear.  Interestingly, the process of losing one’s faith usually entails gaining some knowledge.

In a faith tradition,  the believer believes they know something (when applied to the real world proves they are largely incorrect).  Can they approach it with a healthy intellectual doubt?  Is any part of their theory revisable?  They typically take the position that theirs is a sacred truth, beyond doubt.  To have any doubt is tantamount to sin in their book (there an ample history of persecuting dissenters).

The various argument’s Christians go through in trying to get creationism taught in the schools follows a predictable pattern.    1. We are a Christian nation.  The country was founded on it.  Yes, the grip religion has on humanity was too strong even for the founding fathers to free us.   2. It should be Christianity’s myth because that has been our tradition in this country.  Slavery was a tradition in this country, too, as was every form of bigotry and oppression.  3. (Implied but not stated) Evolution is only a theory.  Yes, like the atomic theory or theory of flight and like them, you can challenge and revise any part of it and IF THE ARGUMENT YOU PROPOSE STANDS UP TO THE LIGHT OF REASON  IT BECOMES PART OF THE SCIENCE.   What’s the review and revision climate like among Christian fundamentalists?

Creationists call it the Wedge Strategy.   They know they have to get to the children before their worldview solidifies in their teen years—college is too late and besides they know there’s a conspiracy among almost all scientists and university educators to spread atheism and humanism so the children have to be exposed well before then.  So it is a part of the mission to continue to hammer away at the schools to teach creationism and plant that wedge.  If nothing else, the kids may get the impression that school boards have an agenda and are unfairly suppressing an alternate theory.  Just the discussion of it serves the Wedge Strategy.

Finally, the vocal among them wants to denigrate those who’d like public education to be free of religious bias.   Those voices happen to belong to one narrow band of just one single religion, a religion  that permeates our culture and monopolizes our politics and yet whose followers think they are a put upon minority.   I guess it should be of little surprise when those folks try to foment hatred by dehumanizing those who would free our minds and saying they “are evil to the core.”  That’s the hallmark of the imprint of religion when applied to the child too young.

Entry filed under: atheism, atheist, freethought, Humanism. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Authentic Spirituality “Religious Freedom” a malapropism for the military

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Pinky  |  July 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Being heavily indoctrinated throughout the young years and then facing ostracization during adult years if they did not look and act like their neighbors does not a tradition make.

    As for the argument ‘teach both “theories?”’, I say – fell free to teach that crap at home or in churches, it does not belong in public schools wasting precious science teaching time.

    I find it strange Christians feel such a drive to push their creation myth on us especially since their bible has two creation myths that contradict each other. How do Christians know which one is correct. It must be disappointing to find their deity made such a mistake.

    For that matter if its thought reasonable to teach Christian creationism, which many Christians have better sense to believe, as a part of a ‘Christian culture’ then it follows that all the hundreds of creation myths should also be given equal time.

    How much classroom time should we give other creation myths just as provable as the Christian one?

    I am vastly disappointed in my species. Homo Sapiens Sapiens have had plenty of time to grow up, or at least to have made more of an effort to mature, but the religious keep busy squashing forward movement.

  • 2. Douglas Falknor  |  July 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks for that Pinky and thanks for the link to KITTYSNEEZES.

    One promising thing I’ve found is that most Christians don’t think like the Fundies do. In fact, many of them think the Fundies’ ideas are as bizarre as we do. So why don’t they come out and say it instead of leaving the impression that fundamentalists are Jesus’ current spokesmen?

    I think they try to ignore it. Maybe they don’t want to be on the receiving end of a hatchet job. Maybe the blogosphere is doing something about that. (See the recent comments from Amy on this blog apologizing for the treatment an atheist received on a Fundie friendly radio show in the southern part of the Bible belt.)

    It may be vaguely like us not Criticizing Richard Dawkins for something he said. As one of the New Atheists he can be a little strident. But, I think we can and do criticize him and the other New Atheists as we see the need for it.

    WELL, BELIEVERS, we need you to speak up a little more! Those crazy, rabid Fundies of yours, entertaining though they may be, are putting all believers in a bad light. You’d like the New Atheists to tone it down. Curb your Fundies.

    You want to know why atheists are so angry. You’ll find the majority of cases have a fundamentalist at the root of the problem.

    KITTYSNEEZES has a story of “disbelief” on the page that comes up with the link, above.

  • 3. Douglas Falknor  |  July 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm


    As I re-read your post it dawned on that that is one of the “translations” of the title of the book I just published.

    Pinky: “I am vastly disappointed in my species. Homo Sapiens Sapiens have had plenty of time to grow up, or at least to have made more of an effort to mature, but the religious keep busy squashing forward movement.”

    The book title: Religion is God’s Way of Showing Us it’s a lot Earlier in Human Evolution than We Thought


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I write for agnostics, freethinkers, atheists and humanists. In my nonfiction, the purpose is the celebration of our noble human spirit. The general pursuit may be Evolutionary Theology, though believers seem to populate that field (so maybe it's evolutionary Humanism). By looking at who we are and where we came from, we can derive much meaning, and perhaps more importantly, understanding, as well as some sense of where we could go.

Religion is God’s Way of Showing Us it’s Earlier in Human Evolution than We Thought

This title is an upcoming book at the publisher's now. I'd like feedback on this title. It's meant to make people think and feel something. And to hint at things for both believers and non- on multiple levels. The book is of a wider scope, though, one which is ultimately a way to grasp more meaning for ourselves. Believers are always telling us our lives don't have meaning without a god. We often counter that it's more meaningful to be looking for our own meaning than to be arbitrarily ascribed it by an imaginary supernatural being. Ultimately, and this is what I think is unique about this book, you'll see how we can be just as spiritual in our own way. Since we've inhertited a capacity for religion (some more than others) as an evolutionary adaptation, believers and non- are both potentially spritual in the same way--but it is an earthly, secular spirituality in which we all can share.

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