Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Creationism" - an insult to any Creator worth seeking.

Properly, I should have created a really impressive looking "Master's Degree" certificate as the proper header - perhaps with an abstract background executed in crayon and finger-paint - but there are depths to which I cannot descend even in jest.

To me, it's an insult to even have to consider this matter, much less have to stoop to mocking it. And yet, here it is, a steaming pile of stupid, communicated in an incredulous tweet.

- Texans, please don't let this flat-earth BS happen - bill proposed to grant Master's in Creationism.

Twittering about twittery of this sort has been a House Blend Special since before twitter existed. :)

Oh. My. God. The inmates are running the asylum in the Lone Star State legislature:

Bill Would Allow Texas School to Grant Master's Degree in Science for Creationism.

State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) proposed House Bill 2800 when he learned that The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), a private institution that specializes in the education and research of biblical creationism, was not able to receive a certificate of authority from Texas' Higher Education Coordinating Board to grant Master of Science degrees.

Berman's bill would allow private, non-profit educational institutions to be exempt from the board's authority.

"If you don't take any federal funds, if you don't take any state funds, you can do a lot more than some business that does take state funding or federal funding," Berman says. "Why should you be regulated if you don't take any state or federal funding?" HB 2800 does not specifically name ICR; it would allow any institution that meets its criteria to be exempt from the board's authority. But Berman says ICR was the inspiration for the bill because he feels creationism is as scientific as evolution and should be granted equal weight in the educational community.

"I don't believe I came from a salamander that crawled out of a swamp millions of years ago," Berman told "I do believe in creationism. I do believe there are gaps in evolution.

I've linked first to the House Blend because there, the discussion is of fairly high caliber while the source Pam cites, Oliver Willis - well, there it is being treated with the respect it properly deserves.

"Texas Engages In A Whole New Breed Of Stupid: Master's Degree For Creationism."

Now, speaking as a Theist who does believe that there is a Prime Cause - I cannot bear the stupidity that is creationism. I don't think that if there is a Creator, that we would be created with critical facilities in order to not apply them and I cannot begin to tell you how utterly farcical Creationism and ID is.

Any proper scientific theory, indeed, even a respectable theological hypothesis must first, last and always deal honestly with facts in evidence. Even theology has standards of evidence and, as a discipline, puts a high value upon critical review.

When you try and simply dismiss facts that incontrovertibly exist (whatever you may make of them) while making naked assertions, such as the claim in ID that each species was created as it is, just as it is now, with the expectation that they should be taken as seriously as, say, transitional fossils in the geological record, the proper response is not to "consider the evidence." An assertion is not evidantary. A rationalization of scripture is not even an hypothesis, much less a theory.

If the goatherd's creation myth differs from the geological record, if it's proposed timeline does not match the data gathered by cosmology and paleontology, if it's modern expression is contradicted by experiment - then the goatherd's story loses. The goatherd's Rabbi would have told you, had you a time machine and could have asked. Who the hell do you think developed and founded the whole search for The Meaning Of It All? Who sharpened and codified the tools of the intellect? Who developed the idea that this sort of thing was worth writing down and discussing? These are the people who's efforts and thoughts created and defined the scientific method itself!

The abomination that is ID, Creationism, and more boldly, the bankrupt and ignorant theology that is what has become known in general as "American Conservative Protestantism," from it's thin white skin to it's bitter core of intolerance is founded upon a denial of the whole root, branch, tree and fruit of the genuine spiritual explorations of the last ten thousand years. It is a most damnable counterfeit, and their first response to anyone resembling Jesus would be to waterboard him to find the rest of his terrorist sleeper cell.

The absolutely proper response is to treat it as an impertinent fraud upon the public. And that's how it is treated by people smart enough to tell shit from shinola.

Moreover, let us take this further; the sheer, mind boggling contempt for intellectual rigor and critical thought will absolutely ensure that nobody associated with "creation theory," anyone foolish and deluded enough to invest a scintilla of their life-path into this onanistic cargo-cult mockery will, by definition, never approach any understating of creation or Creator worth having - any more than the associated social understandings and political imperatives have contributed in the slightest measure to a nation worth living in.

I say this while being personally convinced that the Universe is pervaded with intelligence, that there is, for want of a more precise concept, a God/Essence; one who is ultimately knowable and that we must certainly be intended to make the effort. We have, after all, been given the tools. And at the very least, if you believe in intentional Creation, must not the tools imply the task?

Don't bitch about what that hearty shovel digs up. There it is. Cope.

Truth is truth and facts are facts; the understandings of primitive goat-herders cannot be assumed to be superior to our own, if we are achieve progress toward knowing what is yet unknown, embracing the unknowable implications of such discoveries that may present themselves.

And that, of course, is the problem. When you achieve a a greater understanding, one often has to come to terms that one's previous worldview was limited, childish, possibly even a tad delusional.

Well, faced with such a fate - and such a potential loss of revenue and influence over the willful fools that prefer comforting lies to uncomfortable truths, lies will be produced. Evident lies, lies that are an insult to fine, professional liars of all ages.

The utter, batshit, false-to-fact, hysterical assault on reason and critical thought that Creationists have mounted underlines this. Treating them with respect traduces the very concept of "respectable."


Phil said...

Tell Berman there are gaps in Creationism, too, the widest of them being the gaps that exist between "true believers'" ears.

Bob King said...

I'm not in communication with Berman, but I'd tend to agree with you. Young Earth Creationism is particularly silly.

My beliefs are respectably non-specific and include evolutionary biology as the obvious means, cheerfully accepting the time required. It is also not a system that believes that our particular sort of intelligent life is the point to it all.

Ultimately, my viewpoint on all of this is "well, soon enough, we will know." Until that time, I think the point is about what we do while we are here, how we live and how we treat those around ourselves rather than exactly how we got here or worrying about whatever hereafter there might be.

Although I would say that if you are really worried - perhaps you should be. It may indicate a subconscious awareness of ethical slippage.


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