Thursday, March 29, 2007

Creation "Science" Is the Christian
Right's Trojan Horse Against Reason

From AlterNet:

The danger of creationism is that, like the pseudo-science of Nazi eugenics, it allows facts to be accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained ideology. Creationism removes the follower from the rational, reality-based world. Signs, miracles and wonders occur not only in the daily life of Christians but in history, science, medicine and logic. The belief system becomes the basis to understand the world. Random facts and data are collected and made to fit into this belief system or discarded. When facts are treated as if they were opinions, when there is no universal standard to determine truth, in law, in science, in scholarship, or in the reporting of the events of the day, the world becomes a place where people can believe what they want to believe, where there is no possibility of reaching any conclusion not predetermined by those who interpret the official, divinely inspired text. This is the goal of creationists.

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Last Christmas, my younger brother, a conservative Christian, was saying that high school biology classes ought to "teach the controversy" over evolution and creationism. My response was that such a topic, which I do consider worth teaching to high school students, is much more suited to a religion or philosophy class. He persisted, so I observed that within science, there is no controversy, and including creationism in biology is tantamount to undermining science education in general. Nothing I said was persuasive to him.

This is pretty much the attitude among all creationists, as far as I can tell. They don't really appear to understand how science functions at its most elementary levels, which for them is just as well, I suppose, because such an understanding would make their religious belief in "creation" all the more difficult to maintain. And that's the problem. Creationism, and its advancement in the public sphere, isn't really about individual spiritual belief: creationism is a direct attack on how we, as a people, understand knowledge itself. Allowing creationism the same kind of social legitimacy as science would essentially be the end of science and reason as organizing principles for human knowledge and understanding.

The essay goes on to paint a very bleak picture of the ramifications for creation-triumphant, but I'll try to sum it up in a single sentence: adopting an authority driven method for understanding the universe over the observation and experimentation driven method that created the civilization we now enjoy would be a return to the Dark Ages. Seriously. We'd be burning witches within two generations.

And that's fucked up.