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Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:54 AM

What makes Creationism so special?

Creationism means "God did it. You want proof? Well, here's his personal account in the Bible."

Evolution has the downside, that it makes the creator, the demiurgos obsolete. That means, the concept of evolution is contradictory to the Bible and therefore wrong.

Why is Evolution dismissed, whereas the Bible-thumpers accept other theories with a shrug?
Germ-theory. No wait, it's God who decides whether you get sick from touching feces.
The vacuum. No wait, it's God who puts the dust in your vacuum-cleaner.
The atomic theory. No wait, it's God who makes diamonds shiny.
Quantum-mechanics. No wait, it's God who ruled that you can't shove your finger through your desk.
The CTR. No wait, it's God who put the celestial bodies up there and rules their movement.
Chemical reaction-kinetics. No wait, it's God who makes your pick-up go "vroom".
Thermodynamics. No wait, it's God who distills your booze.



Why do Bible-thumpers focus on "Creationism vs. Evolution", accepting so many other theories that make God obsolete without second-guessing them?
Why don't they demand "Teach the controversy" on those, too?

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:02 PM

1. I think one reason is: it's kind of the Last Stand for the "god in the gaps" arguments

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:16 PM

2. Their message is clear:

Ignorance is salvation; scholarship is immoral; curiosity and inquiry are blasphemy. There is enough wonder and mystery in the universe to occupy a trillion lifetimes, but to the New Pharisees, it is unapproachable. Why? Because it is sophomore-level physics.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:24 PM

4. +1

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:20 PM

3. supernaturalism

From the evidence of their own writings and teachings- supernaturalism has some pretty powerful paradigm defense mechanisms- the unfortunate fact is that so many intelligent people underestimate the virulence of this belief structure and some of it's adherents. Beware of the willfully ignorant and proudly stupid; they are the harbringers of the collapse of freedom and democracy.

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:35 PM

5. Demiurgos!

 

Gnostics call the Sky-Daddy demiurgos with many names, such as 'fool' and 'blind god' because he claims that he's The Creator and Only God. The Solipsist God.

On the other hand, concept of linear causality and Aristotelean "immovable mover" (Creator, Big Bang, etc. original cause to avoid infinite regress) is old idea that also scientific thought continues to struggle with. Current theory of evolution does not claim to explain origin of life (or universe), just how life adapts to and interacts with environment, constantly changing.

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Response to tama (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 08:56 AM

7. According to cell theory the story of biology begins "once upon a time there was a cell"

mechanisms for heredity and metabolism were present in it and it was set on a path that proliferated Life in which its descendants underwent micro and macroevolutionary change understood by most people to be 'evolution'.

As things go, that's a convenient exegesical level to begin a biologists' introduction to the study of Life.

It's a starting place, not an impassible boundary in the quest for evolutionary understanding

The question of the self-organization/emergence of properties of life from non-living matter and the origin of functioning cellular units of life -is- an area of investigation. It has been for a long time. And the findings of people working that part of the problem are, indeed, part of the stuff included in evolutionary theory.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:14 AM

8. It's a fascinating story

 

Since Galilei, scientific idea of time has been based on mathematical ideal of isochronic pendulum in perpetum mobile. And it's fascinating to watch, also in regard to our most basic geometric metaphor of biological life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=FuqAHhSRmbY

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 02:33 AM

6. They want to be separate from nature and floating above it

They just want to feel special.

Evolving along with every other life form on the planet doesn't make them feel special. Being made out of mud does.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:41 PM

13. If you're a theist, there's a slippery slope.

You can discriminate, hate, kill based on another's insufficient adherence to some moral or theological guidelines. Still, there's usually a counterbalance ensconced in the creed to correct this. Either way, there's a higher power of some sort that you're answerable to, and you will answer to it.

If you're an atheist, you can still discriminate, hate and kill based on another's insufficient adherence to some moral or ideological guidelines. There's usually a counterbalance ensconced somewhere in the ideology. But there's nothing higher to answer to. In fact, in 10,000 years all the things we think are important will be dust.

The oft-found solution is "history". Your reputation, how you help others or create their world. A 1000-year Reich, historical determinism, bending the arc of history are all ways of trying to get out of the uselessness and ultimately utilitarian problem that having no meaning besides those that we see around us creates. If there's nothing like that, the only reason not to kill 27 people in Newtown is that your own life will end. Altruism or selfishness, same thing in the end--you die and that's that.

It also becomes hard to find something to sacrifice for. The founding fathers like the first generation under Lenin and Stalin had a sense of sacrifice and its worth. Many find sacrificing for their kids to be worthwhile. If there's nothing worth sacrificing for, sacrifice becomes idiocy, whether it's the short-term sacrifice of denying yourself some temporary good or pleasure or the long-term sacrifice of working in drudgery so that the next generation can be better off or freer. The only escape from that trap is to say that helping ourselves actually is helping the future--then you get to have your cake and still say it's for the future.

Theists have a lot of the same problem. "Give me money and it's the same thing as giving it to God." It's easy for human saviors, secular and religion, to confuse their power and arrogance for altruism.

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Response to Igel (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:13 AM

14. Theist morals are a cultural dead-ender, based on white lies and unfit for future challenges.

You say, that it's bad that atheists do not have the corrective of being held responsible by some higher power.
I say, it depends on the kind of higher power.

Let's be honest here. The Gods of religion are too distant and aloof to be regarded as responsible watchmen. They don't talk back to you. For each prayer answered, myriads of prayers go unanswered. You give and give and give, but you can't hear them.
Then as a last resort, you have to use an old book, written uncounted generations ago in a time of far different circumstances and possibilities. And then you have to deduce which of those divine laws were meant literal, which were metaphors, which can be safely discarded because progress made them obsolete, and which have to be upheld at all costs.
What's the result?
YOU DECIDE HOW TO SERVE YOUR GOD.
YOU REMAKE GOD IN YOUR IMAGE.
And what if others come to different conclusions of what God really meant? Then we get schism, holy wars and the burning of heretics.

A divine watchman will ultimately cause more harm than suffering.
A mundane watchman on the other hand is relatable enough to prevent misunderstandings.
He is close enough to answer you.
You have the ability to criticize him.
You can hold him responsible if he fails in his duties.

And ultimately: What if there's no watchman at all?
Why does it have to be a hierarchical structure?
What if the watchman is in turn watched by somebody else?
What if we become each other's keepers?
What if we widen the scope, from sacrificing for my kids to sacrificing for everybody's kids?
What if we discard the comfortable leash of being watched and judged by some higher and abstract power and instead accept our responsibilities to be watchmen ourselves, for our peers, for our species, for every living being.

Mankind is about to mature and become denizens of the cosmos.
We can shape our own species by manipulating our DNA and if everything goes well, we will have a faster-than-light Alcubierre-Warp-Drive about a century from now.
It's time for humanity to grow up, to behave like a responsible adult and to question its barbaric roots.

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:52 AM

9. They seem have this idiotic belief that Evolution is incompatible with morality.

The irony is that they are OK with Social Darwinism.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 12:43 PM

10. They invested 2000 years in the idea of a soul.

It is just like the automobile industry during the Bush years: gasoline is expensive, but instead of focusing on making inexpensive cars that people want, they focused on pushing inefficient SUVs. Why? Because it's expensive to buy new tooling and machinery. So rather than building better cars, they spent their money on shaping public perception, until the truth finally caved in on them.

Similarly, the Christians are still cranking out plenty of zealots using their creaky old goat-herding manual. They could re-write the manual to reflect the world as we better know it, but why change the procedure when the truth itself can be attacked instead, at a greater profit?

Only when the religions realize that their "God" is a tiny and insignificant fantasy compared to the real scope and magnitude of the Universe will they change their tune, and as long as there is a large pool of ignorant people who experience no penalty for their unworkable beliefs, that aint' gonna change.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:59 PM

11. IIRC, US car manufacturers publically said it was because the big SUVs were profitable.

They claimed the smaller cars didn't generate enough marginal profit to pay for the medical benefits promised to their retirees.

If we were talking about the soul and empirical realities, I would think that physics of diffusion represents a more significant challenge than descent with heritable modification.

Whatever the stuff of soul is, lacking anything to contain or concentrate it, the extracoporal stuff simply mixes indistinguishably into the rest of the stuff.



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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:12 PM

12. There creation account is poetry

There are some scholars who even thought it was something that was read at a marriage ceremony of a man and woman because it culminates in the creation of man and of woman from man - at least in one account.

Its a way of understanding social and spiritual reality. I don't know that it was ever intended as a way of understanding physical reality.

Its easy to forgive those who had no other way of understanding physical reality for believing it literally. But for those who have other ways, its an abandonment of the enlightenment.

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