Saturday, May 9, 2020

They Are Not The Same

Do I really need to say it? I shouldn't, but then again, if people were able to be convinced by facts and logic, we wouldn't have flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers or neo-Nazi's, so I suppose I'll have to.

Creationism is not science.

Thankfully, while the majority of my Christian friends accept that the Bible is not meant to be a science book (though they will crow when a headline comes out that seemingly indicates that the Bible got something right), there is a rabble-rousing minority that have lost the argument so bad that it invites riducule, and that rabble-rousing minority are called by a variety of names: Intelligent Design Proponents, Science Skeptics, Biblical Literalists, whatever, but their collective beliefs all come under the umbrella terms Creationist and Creationism.

It's not that I want to dismiss Creationists out of hand - I try to listen to both sides of the argument to try be as intellectually honest as I reasonably can be, and as well as evaluate points directly contrasted against each other. But after considering their points and their modus operandi, I have no choice, but to dismiss them.
You see, if you're anything like me you will have spent too much time on YouTube, and one of the things I do in my YouTube time is listen to the comparative arguments between Creationists and atheists - I do this because I want to give myself reasonable room to see if I am wrong, and to see if Creationism can explain reality better than non-Creationist explanations.

After some time thinking, I've come to a few conclusions that I believe sum up the Creationist side of the argument, to the point that it exposes their fatal flaws:

1. Creationism is not a tool to gain knowledge. 

Creationism is not a tool for finding out more about the natural world - it is an assumptive stance that railroads you to a predetermined conclusion based on one particular interpretation of one particular religion's scripture.


Unlike science, Creationism is not open to new and contradictory information. It is not self-correcting. It considers it cannot be wrong in any way (because it already has the answers, you see!). It has no predictive capabilities. And because it can't explain the mechanisms of the natural world, it is useless.

No Creationist has ever said "because the universe is 6000 years old, we know where to find oil reserves!"

No Creationist has ever said "because Noah and his family survived a year with a boatload of animals, this is how we should engineer cargo ships to hold up to 23'000 TEU's!".

No Creationist has ever said "because God created all the animals after their kinds, this is how we should prevent outbreaks of preventable diseases!".


2. Science isn't a worldview or a belief system.

One of the common tactics of Creationists is to say that the way science is practised is merely because of a worldview (they especially do this when science shows the Bible is wrong about something). They do this to try make the argument about a comparison of belief systems instead of what we can demonstrate about the natural world, as if the point at hand was about something comparable like chocolate vs vanilla ice-cream. 


Then because Creationism loses every single scientific argument it finds itself in, Creationists then shift the argument to that of worldviews. And at this stage they will then state that atheists are immoral because atheism is inherently evil, and any science that shows the Bible is wrong has a foundation of evil and immorality - the well has been successfully poisoned.

But science isn't a worldview. Science is two things - one, it is a methodology for finding out facts, and two, it is a collective body of knowledge that the methodology has verified that can be used to find out more about what is being studied (be it rocks, outer space, the genome, etc).

Creationism, however, is a worldview. It is a worldview that informs how data is interpreted, up to the point that it explicitly rejects anything that tells them they're wrong. Furthermore, Creationists proudly state for all the world to see that if a scientific or historical discovery can prove the Bible wrong, they don't want to know about it.

3. The comparative goals.

The goal of science is that we understand more about the world around us, which in turn informs the decisions we make, how we treat people and what technology we produce to make our lives more productive and safe.

However, the goal of Creationism is to either appease a deity, or to make you think that the deity is happy because that deity psychically read your thoughts and he liked what he saw because you glorified him. This is why the number one place Creationists talk at is churches, hardly ever in university science faculties (and even when they do, their own universities present disclaimers! Michael Behe, anyone?).

They are not the same!

4. What would happen if every scientist was a Creationist instead?

If everyone who studied nature did so through a Biblically-Literal, Six-Day Creationist mindset where the Bible is the ultimate truth on any and every topic, we would see the following:

First, we wouldn't even know that other planets existed, let alone know that there are literally billions of them. The Bible simply does not mention anything other than the sun, the moon and 'the stars' which are woven in to the fabric of the night sky as if they're as close as the moon is.

Gamma rays? Asteroids? Gravity? Black holes? Nup. They don't exist in the Bible.

Second, treatment for mental health and neurological issues would consist either of exorcisms, or intense one-on-one shepherding, because in the Bible, mental health issues are caused either by demons or by the sinful nature, and are cured by expelling either.

And this one I can attest to personally - no-one in any church could tell me I had anxiety disorder, but they did tell me that I was under the control of a spirit of rebellion. Numerous times.

Third, because electricity doesn't exist in the Bible, there would be no computers, no refridgeration, no life-support systems, no automated external defribilators. Nothing that has improved our life in the last 200 years.

In Creationism, if you have a heart attack, all you're getting is a group of faith healers.

5. The contribution of Creationists.

When Creationists have contributed to science, it can only be considered coincidental at best. History has shown us that people can come to the right conclusion for the wrong reasons - take the ancient Hebrew aversion to consuming swine, for example. Does God hate pigs, or was the ban on pork a blunt tool to avoid trichinosis?

So when someone like Isaac Newton or Blaise Pascal claim they did what they did because he saw a divine order to things, if Creationists are correct in asserting or implying that theology is indeed an important part of science, this should mean that no atheist should be able to make world-changing discoveries.

Nobel prize laureates such as Curie (all three of them), Niels Bohr, and Einstein - all confirmed atheists - should be enough data to defeat the Creationist argument.

So when both an atheist and a Christian study nature and they both make new discoveries, what does that mean? It means that the study of nature doesn't care about your religious beliefs. 

6. Creationists have ridden the coat-tails of science.

It is hilarious to think of the paradox that Creationists find themselves in.

Creationists will happily accept the findings of every field of science that has made their life healthier, safer and more productive, such as that of medical science (I've never met a Creationist who never went to hospital), electrical science (every Creationist I know has used a computer or turned on a power point), engineering (every Creationist lives, works and worships in a building of some sort) and even chemistry (I'm sure even Creationists have applied sunburn lotion, painted a house or washed their hair at some point in their lives).

But when it comes to the fields of science that unequivocally say that a literal interpretation of the Bible is completely incompatible with reality, then all of a sudden, the excuses come out:

That science was produced by an atheist who hated God!

University science faculties are corrupt professors who are full of pride and refuse to listen to alternate opinions!

Were you there? I have the word of someone who was!

That is NOT a God-of-the-gaps fallacy, and I'm offended by what you said.

I'm open to the evidence, but I'm yet to see any evidence for evolution!

Atheism has contributed nothing to science!


If these people weren't trying to get in to classrooms and textbooks, it would be hilarious.

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Long story short - I don't feel bad for dismissing Creationist arguments.

A Creationist explanation for a particular natural phenomenon has always been trumped by a naturalistic one.

When a Creationist quotes a scientist who seemingly makes a contradictory finding, it is almost always a quote-mine.

But most of all, the data we have collected has already been looked at and studied as objectively as possible, and there was no god and no God anywhere in it.

Bottom line: science and Creationism are not the same.

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Stay safe, keep warm, and if you can, stay home to prevent the spread.

Regards,

Damien (quiterationaldad@gmail.com)

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