Why I Fight

I sometimes get asked why I post so often at Right-Thinking about creationism (although once every now and then doesn’t seem very often to me). Am I beating a dead horse?

Perhaps. But I’m passionate about science. I have always loved science, knew I was going to be some kind of scientist and have spent the last 15 years of my life doing science for far less money than I could make in industry. I love to teach science. Seeing the excitement that science creates in people; sharing that sense of wonder; seeing how excited they get when science works and makes sense; this is special.

To me, science is, if you like, the very voice of God. Our attempt to understand the universe in which we live is the great endeavor of our race.

I’m not interested in dissuading people from their religious beliefs. I’m sympathetic to religious views. I’ve repeatedly slammed Hitchens, Dawkins and other idiots on this blog for ignorantly criticizing religion and proclaiming ultimate enlightenment. I read the Bible, have a mezzuzah on my door and light candles on fridays.

Moreover, I understand that in a world gone mad, many people have a need to fall back on the familiar. And nothing is more familiar than the Bible.

I have no problem with people believing in whatever myths they want. What I object to is pretending this is science. What I object to is using the trappings of science to indoctrinate people to what is, at its base, a religious view.

Creationists are classic pseudo-scientists. They know the words, they wear white coats, they spin their fancy theories. But they are not scientists. They ignore evidence they don’t like. They make things up. They misread. And, most importantly, their theories are not falsifiable. Any theory that can not be disproven is, by definition, not scientific (note, this applies to pseudoscientific multiverse and string theories as well).

What really gets my boxers in a bunch, however, is the demonization of science that is illustrated in things like Ben Stein’s ignorant blog post and the Creation Museum. I think religious people are wrong, but I don’t think they are evil — that’s the difference between Hitchens and I. But, for creationists, it’s not not enough that science is wrong, it has to be evil. And not just evil in the ignorant way — but evil in a leftist, atheist, secular humanist cabal attempting to destroy society and make gays marry way.

So yes, I will respond to this poison. And yes, I will ridicule their pseudo-scientific garbage, the same way I ridicule Michael Bay’s pseudo-movie entertainment, Joe Morgan’s pseudo-sports-analysis and the LA Dodgers’ pseudo-managing of a baseball franchise. Ignorance and dogmatism annoy me.

Update: One last thing. The main reason creationism annoys me is that it illustrates the greatest cost in the human experience — opportunity cost. The time that kids spend learning religion-based pseudoscience is time they aren’t spending learning useful things like physics and chemistry.

The Creation Museum is very well done. But just think if all that money, passion and effort had been invested in a planetarium. Or a Museum of Paleontology, Archeology or Anthropology.

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