Why can’t I just leave them alone, eh? Why can’t I keep my mouth shut?
Ok . . . because some of them think I’m going to hell, think I have no morals, and think my life is meaningless until I open my heart/wallet to Jesus/Allah. I find that fundamentally impolite. It’s hard to say who casts the first stone in these cases, but since I tend not to take issue with the fuzzy sort of believers – y’know, the nice ones who believe in love and redemption rather than bigotry and scientific wank – I only ever attack someone as a result of something they’ve said.
Then the issue was raised of “who’s to say who is right? Creationists take things on faith, atheists take things on scientific proof. Who’s right?”
It’s generally about this point that my brains start to drop out of my ears. Science is right. It has even been suggested to me that, since I haven’t analysed the data myself, scientists are feeding everyone bullshit.
Two words. Peer review.
Before a hypothesis can even be accepted, it has to be reviewed, and counter reviewed, and verified, and then published, and then re-verified for fritching years before it’s accepted. The idea that the data needs to be analysed after such an exhaustive process suggests that the entirety of science is an enormous conspiracy created to feed everyone false notions, which is frankly a little too Orwellian for my tastes. Aside from anything else, if science really was a conspiracy dedicated to feeding lies to the public . . . you really have to wonder how things like cars and spaceships work. If it was a conspiracy, we wouldn’t have a modern technological civilisation.
Now, the “who is right?” attitude fails entirely with creationists, and it is with creationists that my beef is largest and hardest. Creationists promote intelligent design as SCIENCE. There is either faith, or proof. You can’t have both existing concurrently within the same hypothesis. In any other scientific circle, an unprovable and falsifiable hypothesis would be shot down, end of story. So why is that is creationism, which is promoted as a science and therefore can be utterly destroyed be real science, should be any different?
I’ll tell you why; it’s because creationism as a concept is so f*cking laughable that it has to be dignified with the suffix “science”. It matters not that the collective hypotheses of creation science can be disproved almost instantly. Creationism is touted as science, but is still faith, and has somehow attained a status of near-untouchability despite masquerading as a science that can be dismantled within the space of five minutes.
I was asked why this is an affront to me. Why do I care what other people believe? Well, I’ve touched on this before, but I’ll be very clear about this, now:
Creationists want their shit taught in schools as science. On an equal or superior footing to actual scientific theories, like evolution. Creationism is not a science, though – as I keep saying, it is a loose collection of hypotheses taken from the bible that try to prove themselves with scientific knowledge despite being diametrically opposed to current thinking.
ANY OTHER scientific hypothesis is subject to peer review and exhaustive research before it is accepted. Creationism can not be, since it is provably false.
Therefore, if it gets taught in schools it undermines the values on which scientific education – and hence scientific endeavour and progress – is based. It is a threat to the continued ascent of the human race. It sounds idealistic but it can easily happen if creation science – a hypothesis at odds with irrefutable physical laws and proven knowledge – gets recognised as a science PURELY because it is a religious conviction that is somehow divorced from conventional scientific peer review.
These people think science is wrong and proves nothing, except the bits that prove them right. They think scientists believe we evolved from monkeys despite this being something that Darwin never said. They think scientists believe that life evolved spontaneously from chemicals despite that theory being debunked for decades.
They think that if the numbers are big enough, there’s just no point in trying and you way as well attribute everything to god.
And therein lies my issue. It’s not too difficult to understand.