A different way of confronting creationists

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epochonaut
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A different way of confronting creationists

Post by epochonaut » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:12 am

Maybe using science to refute nonsense isn't always the best strategy. Science requires intellectual integrity and serious research and study. Scientific knowledge is hard won. But you can pull nonsense out of your ass all day long.

You can refute one creationist argument just to have ten more thrown at you. Creationists reserve the right to invoke magic & miracles, but expect biologists to live up to impossible standards of proof in defense of evolution.

I say that instead of refuting nonsense with science, we should fight nonsense with nonsense. I think we should invent a rival intelligent design theory that invokes polytheistic beliefs, like the Greek or Norse pantheon. It would be obviously tongue-in-cheek, but at the same time show them why their own arguments don't make sense.

We could mirror the arguments used by creationists, but in a pagan guise that they would be forced to reject. For example we could argue that the universe is too complex to have been the product of just one creator. They would be forced to attack their own arguments for creationism. And it gives us the same ability as they have to invoke magic and miracles with a sprinkling of science on top to make it sound, well, sciency.

I'd like to explore this idea because I sense some potential in it. Maybe some clever memes could come out of it. Does anyone have any thoughts on it? What would be a good name for it? "Polytheistic Design"?
Mirthomaniac
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Re: A different way of confronting creationists

Post by Mirthomaniac » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:22 am

A common rebuttal to the Creationist tripe falls along the lines of 'what about the faeries, then?' Or, one of my favourites, 'the invisible sentient dinosaur brigade'.

As I've said before, one of the major problems is that theists, however moderate, do not see how God and Dracula are one and the same.

I feel that we cannot debate them. They are quite simply brainwashed, such that every argument contrary to their beliefs is wrong before it is even formulated.
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Re: A different way of confronting creationists

Post by Ygern » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:27 am

we should fight nonsense with nonsense
That depends on who you are trying to appeal to.

If you want to amuse people who agree with you by creating a bit of satire, then fair enough.
But if you are trying make a point to the Creationist crowd, don't bother.

These people don't understand why evolution works as a theory; nor why Creationism / ID / Irreducible complexity don't work no matter how many times it is painstakingly explained to them. They are not going to understand satire.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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Re: A different way of confronting creationists

Post by funkyderek » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:37 pm

On similar lines, when a Creationist says something like: "It takes just as much faith to believe in evolution as it does to believe in God," pull the carpet from underneath them by wholeheartedly agreeing with them.
Then insist that if they only had faith, they would also be able to appreciate the true beauty and wonder of the natural world. When they argue (for example) that something as complex as the eye needs a designer, gently chastise them for their insistence on evidence and remind them that there are other ways of knowing.
Offer to read to them from the works of Richard Dawkins, and let them know that if they just let his words into their heart, they will experience the indescribable joy of being evolved.
I've never tried this but it would probably be fun, and could even be effective.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

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Re: A different way of confronting creationists

Post by Mirthomaniac » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:56 pm

funkyderek wrote:On similar lines, when a Creationist says something like: "It takes just as much faith to believe in evolution as it does to believe in God," pull the carpet from underneath them by wholeheartedly agreeing with them.
Then insist that if they only had faith, they would also be able to appreciate the true beauty and wonder of the natural world. When they argue (for example) that something as complex as the eye needs a designer, gently chastise them for their insistence on evidence and remind them that there are other ways of knowing.
Offer to read to them from the works of Richard Dawkins, and let them know that if they just let his words into their heart, they will experience the indescribable joy of being evolved.
I've never tried this but it would probably be fun, and could even be effective.
Believe it or not, I have done exactly this with an ex-girlfriend. It doesn't work, especially when the person you're talking with thinks that rainbows are God's reminder of his promise never to flood the earth again.

As I've alluded to in my essay/article (shameless plug #2), this failed relationship (due to religion and religion only) is a good example of why NONE of these 'tactics' can work. These people are brainwashed, plain and simple. Call it inculcation, indoctrination, or 'the passing on of values and traditions', I don't care. This belief system deserves to be mocked along with Scientology and the Jedis (even if I am a Star Wars nerd).
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Re: A different way of confronting creationists

Post by chemicals » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Mirthomaniac wrote: This belief system deserves to be mocked along with Scientology and the Jedis (even if I am a Star Wars nerd).
"Blaspheming you are young Manic"
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