Creationism sub-thread

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Tyndmyr
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:30 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Go on, survey them, if you want more data than we have.
You're the one wanting to call them dangerous, not me. You aren't using science any more than they are. I think they are silly. But the question I was speaking to was about YEC's spanking their children.
speising wrote:What i'd like to know is why so called christians are so keen on using the violent old testament in their argumentation. You'd think they rely more on the 2nd edition, where jesus basically taught love and harmony.
Look, they believe in magic, why would you expect good sense? And anyway if they see the Bible as inerrant then what choice do they have?


Data has been provided, by others as well as by me. You've ignored it all, and provided precisely none.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:54 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
speising wrote:What i'd like to know is why so called christians are so keen on using the violent old testament in their argumentation. You'd think they rely more on the 2nd edition, where jesus basically taught love and harmony.
Look, they believe in magic, why would you expect good sense? And anyway if they see the Bible as inerrant then what choice do they have?


Note: Biblical inerrancy is actually a different viewpoint than Biblical Literalism. The former believes that the teachings and underlying meaning of the Bible are correct, while the later believes that the Earth was literally created in 6 days approximately 6000ish years ago.

IE: Someone who only believes in Biblical Inerrancy will admit that there can be scientific or historical errors in the Bible. But the purpose of those scientific errors (or historical errors) was to tell some moral / story that is at its core perfect.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:57 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:56 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Note: Biblical inerrancy is actually a different viewpoint than Biblical Literalism. The former believes that the teachings and underlying meaning of the Bible are correct, while the later believes that the Earth was literally created in 6 days 6000ish years ago.


I've never met a literalist that did not also believe in inerrancy. This seems a purposeless distinction. It would be strange for someone to believe in following every single instruction in the bible, while also beliving that some of it was wrong.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:58 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Note: Biblical inerrancy is actually a different viewpoint than Biblical Literalism. The former believes that the teachings and underlying meaning of the Bible are correct, while the later believes that the Earth was literally created in 6 days 6000ish years ago.


I've never met a literalist that did not also believe in inerrancy. This seems a purposeless distinction. It would be strange for someone to believe in following every single instruction in the bible, while also beliving that some of it was wrong.


I am Catholic, and therefore believe in Biblical Inerrancy.

I am Catholic, and Catholics reject biblical literalism.

IE: my mind is not going to explode when you note that the order of events in Mathew differs from the order of events in John regarding say... the first Easter. Well yeah, the four Gospels have different stories and differ slightly. Duh. In particular, the Gospel of John is written in a slightly different style than the Mathew / Mark / Luke gospels. So you'll see minor inconsistencies if you focus on John vs the other three books.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:02 pm UTC

Nobody is talking about that interpretation, I don't think.

Calling that inerrancy is also a bit strange outside of religious circles. Mostly, we view four witnesses telling different stories as a reason to find out which stories are in error.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:06 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Calling that inerrancy is also a bit strange outside of religious circles. Mostly, we view four witnesses telling different stories as a reason to find out which stories are in error.


Ehh... it is what it is. For whatever reason, "Inerrancy" means that while "Literalism" means something else. Just pointing out a technicality there.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:12 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Calling that inerrancy is also a bit strange outside of religious circles. Mostly, we view four witnesses telling different stories as a reason to find out which stories are in error.


Ehh... it is what it is. For whatever reason, "Inerrancy" means that while "Literalism" means something else. Just pointing out a technicality there.


Also, at least some denominations that follow inerrancy believe it only applies to the original texts in their original languages, not necessarily to translations or copies. I think the major sects of Islam are the same, to the point of discouraging translating the Qu'ran into other languages.

Tyndmyr wrote:I've never met a literalist that did not also believe in inerrancy. This seems a purposeless distinction. It would be strange for someone to believe in following every single instruction in the bible, while also beliving that some of it was wrong.


Literalism is a subset of inerrancy.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Cradarc » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:03 pm UTC

I've been hesitant to say this because I'm not sure how it would be accepted, but I think it couldn't make things worse at this point:
I am a Christian (but not a YEC).
One thing that is impossible to communicate to atheists is that there are people who genuinely have a relationship with God, and there are those who simply seek Christianity as a way to make themselves feel better. To atheists, there is no difference because the former is a deluded version of the latter. However, it makes all the difference when I consider why Christians do the things they do. Some people are misguided, biased by their own prejudice, seeking what is godly in a way that is ungodly. Other people are doing the opposite. They are engaging in harmful behavior to satisfy their need to feel superior and righteous.

People often like Jesus because they like the idea of love and caring for others. What they miss out is that Christianity is ultimately about loving God, not people. The greatest commandment is to love God above all else. The second greatest is to love others with God's love. Christians don't love people and love God. Christians love people because they love God. God's love is merciful, but also just. Evil must be shunned and abhorred while people must be loved and brought to redemption. It seems like a paradox at first, but it really isn't. It's all about the intention and heart behind every action. It's about seeing the world through God's eyes instead of through the eyes of a fickle human.
Society could very well find it offensive when confronted with a Christian that disagrees with its moral principles. People could very well interpret it as a personal hatred, and Christians must be able to deal with it. Unfortunately, it is very possible that a personal hatred is driving the Christian. A "good" Christian would constantly check themselves for these faults. It is only human to develop disdain toward those who constantly put down something you value.

This is why this thread makes me sad. I see people who clearly want to see less hate and ignorance from certain Christians, while actively supporting a mentality that makes it harder for those Christians to like and engage in conversation with them. The discussion went from disowning science, to homophobia, to corporal punishment, to interpreting the bible. In all of this, what have you learned? What new perspectives have you obtained? Frankly, it just sounds like a list of reasons why it is logical to hate creationists.

The driving force behind fundamentalist Christians is not their religious beliefs, but an us vs. them mentality. "Creation science" didn't exist until science did. Sexuality realignment (don't know technical term) didn't become widespread until the publicity of homosexuality did. Their actions are defensive, not offensive. They are trying to protect what they feel is valuable and under attack. They are afraid of what they don't know.
You can tell them there is nothing to fear, that they aren't being threatened, and hope they will eventually venture out and discover that is indeed the case. Alternatively, you can beat them into the corner because their presence is a pest to the modern world.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:35 pm UTC

Cradarc wrote:The driving force behind fundamentalist Christians is not their religious beliefs, but an us vs. them mentality. "Creation science" didn't exist until science did. Sexuality realignment (don't know technical term) didn't become widespread until the publicity of homosexuality did. Their actions are defensive, not offensive. They are trying to protect what they feel is valuable and under attack. They are afraid of what they don't know.
You can tell them there is nothing to fear, that they aren't being threatened, and hope they will eventually venture out and discover that is indeed the case. Alternatively, you can beat them into the corner because their presence is a pest to the modern world.
Pressuring confused teens into gay conversion programs is not being a 'pest'. Making their children attend 'Jesus Camp' -- where they undergo ritualized psychological and emotional abuse, to the point of having a room full of sobbing, screaming children -- is not being a 'pest'. Preventing a significant subset of our population from forming loving, legally binding relationships and rearing their own families is not being a 'pest'. Working to disrupt science-based curriculums in public schools -- and replace them with Bible-based curriculums -- is not being a 'pest'.

Letting someone run amok until they realize how terrible they're being isn't always a bad strategy -- but it prioritizes that person above everyone they're inflicting their terribleness on. While we're waiting for creationists to calm down and grow up, what would you like to tell all the teenagers who committed suicide because they grew up in a community of Biblical literalists who refused to accept that sometimes girls like girls and boys like boys? Oh, wait; you can't tell them anything -- because they're dead.

I value kindness, compassion, and gentleness over resentment, anger, and all-around nastiness. That being said, my patience for cruelty is very short -- and I'm not so sure your call for patience and understanding will be heard very clearly by all those who have suffered significant harm at the hands of creationist and fundamentalist ideology.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Quercus » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:35 am UTC

Cradarc wrote:This is why this thread makes me sad. I see people who clearly want to see less hate and ignorance from certain Christians, while actively supporting a mentality that makes it harder for those Christians to like and engage in conversation with them. The discussion went from disowning science, to homophobia, to corporal punishment, to interpreting the bible. In all of this, what have you learned? What new perspectives have you obtained? Frankly, it just sounds like a list of reasons why it is logical to hate creationists.

I don't hate creationists, I hate the aspects of creationist doctrine that are harmful to others, as I hate all such harmful doctrines whoever espouses them. I'm a bisexual, genderqueer geneticist who has carried out research using embryonic stem cells. Unless and until someone like me (or with other identities/lifestyles that are considered unacceptable by creationists) can be treated with respect and dignity by creationist organisations, even if they disagree with the way I live my life, it is difficult to see how much meaningful dialogue is possible. I am directly at risk from the policies promoted by creationist organisations (though thankfully much less so due to living in the UK), my modes of personal expression, my medical care, my relationships and my field of study are all under direct attack by such organisations; as are the freedoms of communities I am part of or that I care about deeply. It is not just creationists who have their reasons to be fearful.

Yes, absolutely, dialogue and compassion is the best way forward, but to be meaningful that has to come from both sides. That may happen in individual cases, and I hope that it does, but I see very little of it happening from the major creationist organisations and well, it's hard to be open to groups that have hurt people that you care about very badly, and still continue to, deliberately and systematically, do the same things to others.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:38 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Note: Biblical inerrancy is actually a different viewpoint than Biblical Literalism. The former believes that the teachings and underlying meaning of the Bible are correct, while the later believes that the Earth was literally created in 6 days approximately 6000ish years ago.
I apologize. I'm so use to having it bandied about that way. My parents attempted to raise me as a Jehovah's witness who are poster children for that. They believed that they could pick the end day. It didn't take. My narcissism prevented it.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby LaserGuy » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:43 am UTC

Cradarc wrote:I've been hesitant to say this because I'm not sure how it would be accepted, but I think it couldn't make things worse at this point:
I am a Christian (but not a YEC).
One thing that is impossible to communicate to atheists is that there are people who genuinely have a relationship with God, and there are those who simply seek Christianity as a way to make themselves feel better. To atheists, there is no difference because the former is a deluded version of the latter. However, it makes all the difference when I consider why Christians do the things they do. Some people are misguided, biased by their own prejudice, seeking what is godly in a way that is ungodly. Other people are doing the opposite. They are engaging in harmful behavior to satisfy their need to feel superior and righteous.

People often like Jesus because they like the idea of love and caring for others. What they miss out is that Christianity is ultimately about loving God, not people. The greatest commandment is to love God above all else. The second greatest is to love others with God's love. Christians don't love people and love God. Christians love people because they love God. God's love is merciful, but also just. Evil must be shunned and abhorred while people must be loved and brought to redemption. It seems like a paradox at first, but it really isn't. It's all about the intention and heart behind every action. It's about seeing the world through God's eyes instead of through the eyes of a fickle human.
Society could very well find it offensive when confronted with a Christian that disagrees with its moral principles. People could very well interpret it as a personal hatred, and Christians must be able to deal with it. Unfortunately, it is very possible that a personal hatred is driving the Christian. A "good" Christian would constantly check themselves for these faults. It is only human to develop disdain toward those who constantly put down something you value.

This is why this thread makes me sad. I see people who clearly want to see less hate and ignorance from certain Christians, while actively supporting a mentality that makes it harder for those Christians to like and engage in conversation with them. The discussion went from disowning science, to homophobia, to corporal punishment, to interpreting the bible. In all of this, what have you learned? What new perspectives have you obtained? Frankly, it just sounds like a list of reasons why it is logical to hate creationists.

The driving force behind fundamentalist Christians is not their religious beliefs, but an us vs. them mentality. "Creation science" didn't exist until science did. Sexuality realignment (don't know technical term) didn't become widespread until the publicity of homosexuality did. Their actions are defensive, not offensive. They are trying to protect what they feel is valuable and under attack. They are afraid of what they don't know.
You can tell them there is nothing to fear, that they aren't being threatened, and hope they will eventually venture out and discover that is indeed the case. Alternatively, you can beat them into the corner because their presence is a pest to the modern world.


I know that Christians just love this idea that they're a persecuted minority and the big bad atheists and gays are out to destroy their Biblical life and Christian nation, but, can we be realistic here for a moment? Polling consistently puts the number of Young Earth Creationists at around 40% of the population. This is not the view of some tiny, persecuted minority; it's a view of a huge plurality, if not majority, of Christians. Society isn't offended by Christian values; society embraces, extols, supports, and enforces Christian values. Christians are, and always have been, the dominant power group in the United States. They occupy an overwhelming majority in Congress and the Senate; every president since Hayes has been openly Christian; the sitting Supreme Court is Christian majority, as has every past Supreme Court since the founding of the country. 46 out of 50 state governors were Christian as of 2012. Leaders of major Christian churches have direct, private access to key government officials, up to and including sitting presidents. And this is all reinforced by a huge network of politically active, tax-exempt churches working to advance their worldview. Fundamentalism isn't a "pest"; it's a pandemic.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:04 pm UTC

Cradarc wrote:The discussion went from disowning science, to homophobia, to corporal punishment, to interpreting the bible.

It started as "that's not how science works". It expanded to "this kind of doublethink and anti-rationality attitude is why promoting Creationism is dangerous". Homophobia and Corporal punishment were further examples of why teaching Creationism can lead to bad results, with interpreting the bible as a sideline on how Creationism isn't even sticking to its own principles.

The only ones who've been derailing the original topic were the ones consistently putting their fingers in their ears and saying "nope, Creationism never leads to anything abnormally negative, nope, it's all good here."

Frankly, it just sounds like a list of reasons why it is logical to hate creationists.

It's pretty consistently been a list of reasons why promoting Creationism is dangerous.

But let's be honest here, this isn't the first time Creationists have interpreted "I disagree with you" as a personal attack.

Alternatively, you can beat them into the corner because their presence is a pest to the modern world.

When their response to being disagreed with is to launch the very attacks they pretend they're under?

No one (in America, at least, before someone pulls a Communism card) is going out and arresting (Christian) Creationists for being creationist. That is not, at all, the environment we have here, or in pretty much anywhere in the Western world. No one's talking about taking away their rights. But they are doing that, with a goal-oriented agenda and everything.

It is incredibly disingenuous to meet sourced, evidenced accusations of "these people are attacking us" with "you're not being very polite to them, maybe they'd be nicer to you if you liked them more". It's not our duty to like them. It's their duty to live up to any of the worthwhile principles they profess to believe.

Disclaimer: I'm a Roman Catholic, tempered with some Episcopalianism. I talk at God pretty frequently, and believe he's real and that he loves me, etc. I'm not coming into any of this as "those dumb Xtians believing in their wizard sky daddy", I'm coming into this as "you corrupt AntiChrists and false prophets are blaspheming against the holy name of our Lord by taking his name in vain to such an abominable degree".

Oh, wait; you can't tell them anything -- because they're dead.

Exactly. Not only that, but there is a Commandment against taking the name of the Lord in vain -- against committing sins in his name. It's an abomination for any Christian to defend such intense blasphemy as "simply misguided". We're allowed to try to rehabilitate such people, to still love them as God loves them while recognizing that what they're doing is monstrous, but to try to sweep it under the rug simply because these people are on the same "team"? The Lord has turned people to salt for less. The Christian establishment should not be defending what Creationists do simply because "the enemy of atheists is my friend".
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:32 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:It started as "that's not how science works".
Science seems to be doing quite well no matter the interference of the Religious Right Wing. LGBT issues are in the national consciousness, and are moving forward. The courts have recognized that marriage should be available to anyone. The issue comes down to one on tone. If I want to adopt their tactics, it implies that I think like them. I want them challenged in court and at the ballot box. I want to wrap a box around them and restrict their ability to do what they want to do. That need not involve labeling them as dangerous. It feeds their paranoia and makes it harder to engage them. And they are declining ever so slowly.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby icanus » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:49 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I want them challenged in court and at the ballot box. I want to wrap a box around them and restrict their ability to do what they want to do. That need not involve labeling them as dangerous.

If you actually think they're harmless, then why would you want to stop them doing what they want?

Personally, I'm ambivolent about calling them dangerous because of their attitudes on LGBT issues, corporal punishment, etc (when debating creationism itself), but only because it plays down the core threat posed by their assault on science, rationality and education, which is the bigger fight - with science we can show that praying the gay away doesn't work and leads to suicide, we can can show that legalizing gay marriage doesn't destroy society, we can show that corporal punishment results in increased behavioural problems, mental illness and substance abuse - if we abandon evidence and reason then we also cede any argument stronger than "I disagree" in any of these areas.

morriswalters wrote:It feeds their paranoia and makes it harder to engage them.

Engaging creationists themselves is secondary to mobilising everyone else to limit the spread of the infection.

I'm of the opinion that convincing people to vote against them with the friendly lie "These people are trying to take over your school board, and they're harmless!" is less effective than the truth: "These people are trying to take over your school board to render your children unfit to be doctors or scientists, or even to believe their doctor when she tells them why they need to finish the course of antibiotics when they get sick."

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:44 pm UTC

I don't think that what they want is harmless. And I haven't said any such thing. But they are a significant portion of the population, and closely related to a less religious portion of the population. You win this fight on the edges from others who are watching and listening. As I said it is a question of tone. And at the end of the day you have to live next door to them. I've paraphrased your quote.
icanus wrote:I'm of the opinion that convincing people to vote against them by shouting with the friendly lie "These people are trying to take over your school board, and they're harmless dangerous!" is less effective than the truth: "These people are trying to take over your school board to render your children unfit to be doctors or scientists, or even to believe their doctor when she tells them why they need to finish the course of antibiotics when they get sick."

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:34 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Science seems to be doing quite well no matter the interference of the Religious Right Wing.

If you mean "science is able to find out what the answers are", sure, active scientists are not having their knowledge repossessed, or something.

If you mean "Science's warnings on how to prevent our society destroying itself are being heeded"...no. At least, not in the US. The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has three climate-change deniers on it who, as far as I can tell, are also creationists. Definitely religious right wing at the least. That's not helping our species any. Now, the far-left has its own share of anti-science hippyism (anti-GMO, anti-nuclear power, anti-vaccines, etc.), but the point is that that kind of indoctrination should be combated as well.

...

In response to the persistent tone policing in this thread -- can any of the posters actually point to a creationist they've witnessed being deprogrammed? At least in my own experience, I was one (never young earth, but definitely "this couldn't possibly be random, natural selection doesn't account for this"), and I was deprogrammed by entering an environment where my denialism was not welcome, being told it was not welcome, and being pointed at pretty basic evidence that it was wrong. I don't want to say that you have to be combative with creationists to get them to see sense, but I'd at least like some evidence that I'm a fluke before hearing another "you're never going to convert a creationist like that". Because I was.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:06 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:If you mean "Science's warnings on how to prevent our society destroying itself are being heeded"...no. At least, not in the US. The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has three climate-change deniers on it who, as far as I can tell, are also creationists. Definitely religious right wing at the least. That's not helping our species any. Now, the far-left has its own share of anti-science hippyism (anti-GMO, anti-nuclear power, anti-vaccines, etc.), but the point is that that kind of indoctrination should be combated as well.
Welcome to a democracy. Maybe the founding fathers were right and everyone shouldn't have the vote.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby icanus » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:58 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I don't think that what they want is harmless. And I haven't said any such thing.
Then why repeatedly object to anyone describing it as harmful or dangerous?
Welcome to a democracy. Maybe the founding fathers were right and everyone shouldn't have the vote.
Of course they get a vote, but so does everyone else and as you said
You win this fight on the edges from others who are watching and listening.
I don't see how that's achieveable if we take your advice and self-censor any criticism of creationism.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:07 am UTC

I haven't rejected harmful, just dangerous.
icanus wrote:Of course they get a vote, but so does everyone else and as you said
So if they fuck with the textbooks issued in Texas it's because they played a better political game than you, not because they are dangerous. They are there because the are motivated and prepared. Our side isn't. Whose fault is that?
icanus wrote:I don't see how that's achieveable if we take your advice and self-censor any criticism of creationism.
Criticize all you want. But don't demonize.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:20 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:So if they fuck with the textbooks issued in Texas it's because they played a better political game than you, not because they are dangerous.
No one's saying that's because they're dangerous. Rather, it's one of the reasons why they're dangerous.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby icanus » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:24 am UTC

I haven't rejected harmful, just dangerous.
Danger means "risk of harm".
morriswalters wrote:So if they fuck with the textbooks issued in Texas it's because they played a better political game than you, not because they are dangerous. They are there because the are motivated and prepared. Our side isn't. Whose fault is that?
Fucking with textbooks is dangerous. We haven't done enough to make the public aware of that danger, so they haven't been motivated to oppose it. Avoiding the word isn't going to help with that.
Criticize all you want. But don't demonize.
I'm not demonizing anyone. They're trying to do something harmful and I'm saying that's dangerous.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:25 pm UTC

Dangerous is a loaded word with subtexts. ISIS is dangerous, trigger happy cops are dangerous. These people are insular and ignorant. Even self deluded and bigoted. They are a lot of things I don't like. They are also my next door neighbors and coworkers.
icanus wrote:Fucking with textbooks is dangerous. We haven't done enough to make the public aware of that danger, so they haven't been motivated to oppose it. Avoiding the word isn't going to help with that.
Fucking with textbooks is ill advised and counterproductive. It isn't dangerous in any direct sense. And if we haven't made the public aware of this(and I'm uncertain to the truth of this) that lies on us, not them. The Texas book thing is a economic catastrophe as much as a national crime. They buy enough textbooks to have an outsize effect on the national market.
gmalivuk wrote:No one's saying that's because they're dangerous. Rather, it's one of the reasons why they're dangerous.
OK, I stand corrected. But the difference is minimal.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby icanus » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:59 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Dangerous is a loaded word with subtexts. ISIS is dangerous, trigger happy cops are dangerous.
I think that baggage is something you're bringing to the word. Lots of things are dangerous. Fatty foods are dangerous. Cars are dangerous. Quadcopters are dangerous. Too much butternut-squash is dangerous.

Again, dangerous means "risks causing harm". You accepted describing creationism as harmful (which means "causes harm") but shy away from saying that it creates a risk of causing harm.
Fucking with textbooks is ill advised and counterproductive. It isn't dangerous in any direct sense. And if we haven't made the public aware of this(and I'm uncertain to the truth of this) that lies on us, not them.
It causes harm, hence "dangerous" - both direct, immediate harm in denying children education, and long-term harm in creating a shortage of people with the necesary prerequisites to become doctors* or scientists.

I'm sure we'd do far better if we said ill-advised instead of dangerous...
The Texas book thing is a economic catastrophe as much as a national crime. They buy enough textbooks to have an outsize effect on the national market.
Yes, which is why events in texas aren't just dangerous to texans.

Also, I note that you don't think calling it a crime is loaded.

*Yes, I'm aware that creationists do become doctors. They become bad doctors - if you don't believe in evolution, you don't understand drug resistance. If you don't accept that humans evolved from quadrapeds, you don't understand back pain. This might not be a day-to-day problem provided someone who does understand these things is writing the instruction manual and you don't attempt to make any decisions, but you won't be as good as someone who does understand.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:41 pm UTC

icanus wrote:Again, dangerous means "risks causing harm". You accepted describing creationism as harmful (which means "causes harm") but shy away from saying that it creates a risk of causing harm.
How you use words is just as important as what the words are. I agree that you could use the word and that it is valid in the context. However I choose not to because the subtexts appear to me to have results above and beyond the apparent ones. What I want at the end of the day is to be able to live with my neighbors in peace. And if I look you in the eye and call you dangerous, that may cross a line which makes living with you impossible.
icanus wrote:It causes harm, hence "dangerous" - both direct, immediate harm in denying children education, and long-term harm in creating a shortage of people with the necesary prerequisites to become doctors* or scientists.
I'm going to disagree. We apparently have a glut of PHD's. It's more "dangerous" to be poor in terms of education then to be the child of a YEC. Again this is not to say that this doesn't help, but neither is it does it rise to a level I consider dangerous.
icanus wrote:Also, I note that you don't think calling it a crime is loaded.
Guilty as charged.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:15 pm UTC

icanus wrote:*Yes, I'm aware that creationists do become doctors. They become bad doctors - if you don't believe in evolution, you don't understand drug resistance. If you don't accept that humans evolved from quadrapeds, you don't understand back pain. This might not be a day-to-day problem provided someone who does understand these things is writing the instruction manual and you don't attempt to make any decisions, but you won't be as good as someone who does understand.
To be fair, you can probably still be a good doctor without understanding why back pain happens, or why we have drug resistance -- just as you can probably still be a good mechanic without understanding how a fuel injector works (you just need to know how to fix and/or replace them). But your competence exists despite your ignorance, not because of it; the only reason you can be a good doctor is because another doctor out there did understand these things, and was nice enough to figure out methods to address them -- methods you must use to qualify as a "good doctor".

I realize that's more or less what you said; I'm just a little wary of calling doctors who don't understand stuff like drug resistance "bad". Ridiculous, sure -- but "bad"? Maybe not!

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby icanus » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:06 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I'm just a little wary of calling doctors who don't understand stuff like drug resistance "bad". Ridiculous, sure -- but "bad"? Maybe not!

Fair enough - providing that their rejection of evidence doesn't spill over into their practice, and where there's a conflict they'll defer to the science.

That's a big "if", though - maybe it's selection bias, with the loudest creationists being the most hardcore - but I've encountered very few who are willing to leave their beliefs at the door in this way.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:55 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:In response to the persistent tone policing in this thread -- can any of the posters actually point to a creationist they've witnessed being deprogrammed? At least in my own experience, I was one (never young earth, but definitely "this couldn't possibly be random, natural selection doesn't account for this"), and I was deprogrammed by entering an environment where my denialism was not welcome, being told it was not welcome, and being pointed at pretty basic evidence that it was wrong. I don't want to say that you have to be combative with creationists to get them to see sense, but I'd at least like some evidence that I'm a fluke before hearing another "you're never going to convert a creationist like that". Because I was.

It was a gradual thing for me. My parents managed to create an insular enough environment that my only understanding of biological evolution was the one believed by Creationists, the whole tangle of strawmen that they convince themselves science is talking about. Once I was in college and had some access to looking out a damn window, Creationism, Christian belief in general, homophobic sentiments, and the whole lot fell apart over a course of a couple years.

I don't think it's the ideas exactly that are dangerous - I'd stick to saying that the Creationists are. Deep enough into the religious right, you get a culture with a way of thinking about and deciding truth that is fundamentally antiscience, and they color every daily decision they make and experience they have through that framework; confirmation bias and misunderstanding probability make up the source of their spirituality and the bedrock of their faith. For anyone who might accidentally be exposed to scientific thinking and not simply reject it as the Enemy, they have a vast array of antibodies to scientific ideas, so that Creationists can listen to an argument and hear its strawman double instead.

And the thing they're ultimately trying to protect is a cultural conformity that does not allow for the existence of anything in the world that might make them uncomfortable. They want a simple, small world specially created for people like them to live lives like theirs. Their faith is a part of that thing they're defending in some sense, but it's also a tool to that end.

In absence of their opponents, they would still "struggle" to "keep the faith," because it's at odds with reality, and they implicitly expect that. People who don't believe what they believe offer handy targets for ridicule, and it's easy enough to turn them into anecdotes to keep others in line.

So I think that once you have this idea that in spite of all evidence, x thing must always be held true, that's inherently dangerous, and in this case, it's tied to this wildly regressive ethos and culture and need to have this simple world the adherent is at the center of. Either or both of those things can be the driver, the method of the delusion or the reassurance of the delusion itself, and if the person really wants to keep those things, no, I don't really think you can deprogram them. What you can do is to chip away at the insular environment that makes the method possible, particularly for the present adherents' children and grandchildren, make it impossible to program them in the first place, which is basically ... yeah, continuing to fight the culture war.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Zamfir » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:26 pm UTC

Fair enough - providing that their rejection of evidence doesn't spill over into their practice, and where there's a conflict they'll defer to the science.

That's a big "if", though - maybe it's selection bias, with the loudest creationists being the most hardcore - but I've encountered very few who are willing to leave their beliefs at the door in this way.


When I was in the uni, one of the most prominent scientists there turned out to be a creationist. If you asked, who around here do you give the best odds to win a Nobel prize, that was the guy. He worked on quantum computing and biophysics, if I remember well. He was not a full young earth creationist, but deep into the 'irreducible complexity' side, definitely where I would call it mumbo jumbo. This came from his religious background. He clearly wanted ID to be true, more than just being convinced by its arguments. Eventually he turned away from it, saying he was disappointed in its results. This was later on, he had done a lot of science work by then.

As result, I am careful before I believe that creationists can't be good at job X. There must be many more who keep quiet - this publicity must have hurt his career. People are just very good at compartmentalizing. You can be gullible in area 1, while being razor-sharp and inquisitive in area 2. Even if there's not that much distance between the areas. I bet there are plenty of excellent doctors who are also creationists, up to the full 7 days, 6000 years ago.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:30 pm UTC

Cradarc wrote:I've been hesitant to say this because I'm not sure how it would be accepted, but I think it couldn't make things worse at this point:
I am a Christian (but not a YEC).
One thing that is impossible to communicate to atheists is that there are people who genuinely have a relationship with God, and there are those who simply seek Christianity as a way to make themselves feel better. To atheists, there is no difference because the former is a deluded version of the latter. However, it makes all the difference when I consider why Christians do the things they do.


*shrug* Reasons and the how they approach things definitely matter. I've tried to be clear that creationism is the domain of christian(and muslim) extremists, not everyone, I hope. Plenty of folks don't take it to that level, and still define themselves as Christian or whatever.

Which seems to be almost entirely overlooked by those who see creationism as essential for Christianity, and evolution as intrinsicly opposed.

Cradarc wrote:The driving force behind fundamentalist Christians is not their religious beliefs, but an us vs. them mentality. "Creation science" didn't exist until science did. Sexuality realignment (don't know technical term) didn't become widespread until the publicity of homosexuality did. Their actions are defensive, not offensive. They are trying to protect what they feel is valuable and under attack. They are afraid of what they don't know.


I agree that they have an Us v Them mentality. However, I do not agree that their actions are defensive. Yes, that's how THEY see their actions, but that's not the case in reality. Often, they are pursuing change toward a theological goal that isn't even historical. That goes well beyond mere defense of a belief.

We ain't putting Creationists in camps to change their mind. Nobody's even supporting that. So, no, they ARE the ones of the offensive, regardless of what they claim.

LaserGuy wrote:I know that Christians just love this idea that they're a persecuted minority and the big bad atheists and gays are out to destroy their Biblical life and Christian nation, but, can we be realistic here for a moment? Polling consistently puts the number of Young Earth Creationists at around 40% of the population. This is not the view of some tiny, persecuted minority; it's a view of a huge plurality, if not majority, of Christians. Society isn't offended by Christian values; society embraces, extols, supports, and enforces Christian values. Christians are, and always have been, the dominant power group in the United States. They occupy an overwhelming majority in Congress and the Senate; every president since Hayes has been openly Christian; the sitting Supreme Court is Christian majority, as has every past Supreme Court since the founding of the country. 46 out of 50 state governors were Christian as of 2012. Leaders of major Christian churches have direct, private access to key government officials, up to and including sitting presidents. And this is all reinforced by a huge network of politically active, tax-exempt churches working to advance their worldview. Fundamentalism isn't a "pest"; it's a pandemic.


This is true, but we have to be somewhat careful here. Not all christians are necessarily seen as "us" by some of the more extreme factions, and goodly chunks of christianity are also not fundamentalists(catholics, for instance, are a fairly large block that's usually somewhat more moderate). They're significant, sure, and hardly just one or two cranks, but fundamentalist influence is still somewhat less than overall christian influence.

The fact that they view this still fairly significant power as persecution is strange, though.

Ya'll defending the Creationist viewpoint are welcome to view my other threads. I routinely take a fairly generous view of religious freedoms. You want to not make wedding cakes for gays because of your religion? Fine. I won't lobby for a law against that. I'll merely opt to not purchase from those sorts of places.

But there's gotta be a line, and it's gotta be short of overt religious beliefs enshrined in law, or being forced on others, or society being outright dismantled in service to religious beliefs.

morriswalters wrote:Welcome to a democracy. Maybe the founding fathers were right and everyone shouldn't have the vote.


If you're going to have a democracy, your results are going to be constrained by the knowledge of the public. If you have a scientifically illiterate populace, well, one can only expect so much from their representatives.

This makes anti-scientific attacks on education all the more dangerous.

morriswalters wrote:Dangerous is a loaded word with subtexts. ISIS is dangerous, trigger happy cops are dangerous. These people are insular and ignorant. Even self deluded and bigoted. They are a lot of things I don't like. They are also my next door neighbors and coworkers.


I'm sure trigger happy cops have neighbors who would happily say they are nice people too.

Just because they're not dangerous to YOU doesn't mean they're not dangerous at all.

Is the word "dangerous" now too politically incorrect to say? What next? Shall we forgo more descriptive terms for those who cause harm, simply because the people doing them dislike them? Murderer, for instance. Oh my, very perjorative. Shall we cease using that term? Even when factually true?

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:45 pm UTC

No. And it may well be that they are. I just don't think anyone has shown it to this point. Which of course is a personal opinion. As I said physicists have produced very dangerous devices for the establishment. Knowledge itself has been advanced by war. Science has plenty of blood on its hands. But we don't call science or scientists dangerous.
Tyndmyr wrote:I'm sure trigger happy cops have neighbors who would happily say they are nice people too.
And this comment misses the point. I didn't say I had nice neighbors, I said that at the end of the day I have to live next to them. Some of them may well deserve a bullet to the head. But up until that moment I try and find a way to live with them.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:53 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I agree that they have an Us v Them mentality. However, I do not agree that their actions are defensive. Yes, that's how THEY see their actions, but that's not the case in reality. Often, they are pursuing change toward a theological goal that isn't even historical. That goes well beyond mere defense of a belief.

It's defensive in the sense that their whole cultural construct is on notice. Every advance made by progressive thinking of any kind is damage to their power base. They don't necessarily see it that way, but I'm not really talking about what each individual actually sees and does - all the little actions have a sum effect. "Persecution" is obviously a very silly way to try to spin it, but that's how religious leaders attempt to flavor the attacks their power is beset with without acknowledging just the what and the how of that power. They certainly don't want to think of themselves as an establishment of that kind of power.

And at least a part of the motivation is built into the narratives of the religion; Jesus himself is a figure who opposed religious law and taught compassion and due compliance to civil authorities, and the beliefs he taught were persecuted by existing religious and other establishments. They're left in a funny place by the fact that Christianity isn't really compatible with being a state religion.

I do think of it as defensive, though. Even where they're trying to claim new ground, it's either to replace lost ground elsewhere or imagined as such. So those are the mindsets they're coming from. The church as an entity may not have ever had the kind of unilateral control they want, but individual churches and religious interpretations have had at one or another point in US history. Since the '60s, Protestant churches in the US have been getting into politics fairly aggressively, and that's new, but it's also a response to the loss of cultural power in the religion itself in the twentieth century as a whole.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:19 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:When I was in the uni, one of the most prominent scientists there turned out to be a creationist. If you asked, who around here do you give the best odds to win a Nobel prize, that was the guy. He worked on quantum computing and biophysics, if I remember well. He was not a full young earth creationist, but deep into the 'irreducible complexity' side, definitely where I would call it mumbo jumbo. This came from his religious background. He clearly wanted ID to be true, more than just being convinced by its arguments. Eventually he turned away from it, saying he was disappointed in its results. This was later on, he had done a lot of science work by then.

As result, I am careful before I believe that creationists can't be good at job X. There must be many more who keep quiet - this publicity must have hurt his career. People are just very good at compartmentalizing. You can be gullible in area 1, while being razor-sharp and inquisitive in area 2. Even if there's not that much distance between the areas. I bet there are plenty of excellent doctors who are also creationists, up to the full 7 days, 6000 years ago.
I appreciate you providing this anecdote, if only because it validates my suspicion -- that very competent, intelligent people can believe very silly things.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby leady » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:53 am UTC

It should also come as no surprise that a lot of Indian doctors pay somewhat more than lip services to their pantheon too.

Yes people compartmentalise to hell, thank god

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby mcd001 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:We ain't putting Creationists in camps to change their mind. Nobody's even supporting that.

Actually, you are. They're called 'public schools'. Why do you think the battles over curriculum are so fierce?

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:03 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:We ain't putting Creationists in camps to change their mind. Nobody's even supporting that.

Actually, you are. They're called 'public schools'. Why do you think the battles over curriculum are so fierce?


Public school is not strictly required. Private schools and homeschools exist(and, not coincidentally, creationists loooove home schooling). These can be perfectly valid options.

I also don't consider the purpose of public school to make someone stop being a christian. It's pretty obviously NOT for that. And equally obviously, plenty of folks in public schools are christians, and we're not trying to beat the christianity out of them or anything.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby mcd001 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:46 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I also don't consider the purpose of public school to make someone stop being a christian.
You are correct of course, and I was being a little tongue-in-cheek. But while most Christians send their kids to public school without the fear that they will stop being Christian, I don't think the same is true for most creationists. In fact, if I were a creationist, I'd think long and hard before sending my kids to a public school.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Drumheller769 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:37 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Public school is not strictly required. Private schools and homeschools exist(and, not coincidentally, creationists loooove home schooling). These can be perfectly valid options.


Private schools are pretty much off the board for a sizable portion of families due to how expensive they are, and home schooling it a completely different beast as well, I dont feel its comparable to what you get from public school, not just the learning, but social interactions as well.
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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:48 pm UTC

Drumheller769 wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Public school is not strictly required. Private schools and homeschools exist(and, not coincidentally, creationists loooove home schooling). These can be perfectly valid options.


Private schools are pretty much off the board for a sizable portion of families due to how expensive they are, and home schooling it a completely different beast as well, I dont feel its comparable to what you get from public school, not just the learning, but social interactions as well.


It's a different beast, sure. But one that they embrace wholesale.

So, they're really not all that persecuted by public school if they can do what they prefer instead, and avoid public school altogether.

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Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Drumheller769 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:52 pm UTC

Home school curriculum is still set by the state and you have to prove that you finish each module. IMO homeschooling has too many trade offs to make it a workable option.
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