GODDIDIT: The ultimate cop out

Long ago when peoples were first questioning why they were there and what or who made Earth and the Universe, some individual—a primal self-proclaimed holy man?—answered with the equivalent of “God did it”.

Such superficiality can be excused because they were very early times, devoid of science; but what is wholly inexcusable is that so many people in the scientifically advanced, highly-educated countries of the world still resort to “Goddidit”.

This week tornadoes have been tearing to pieces thousands of homes in America's bible-belt. For those who thankfully survived, "Goddidit."  


Wiktionary is cynically mocking:

“Goddidit”, as now used, “is a sarcastic assertion that because something has not been satisfactorily explained by science, it is therefore evidence of God”.


Some  early references to Goddidit:

December 7, 1997, Chris Kennedy: Fighting something that doesn't exist, alt.atheism:

“Yes, well, I'm not surprised. I'll bet a lot of things are puzzling to you. But you can just say goddidit and forget about them, can't you?”


April 28, 1998, Kevin Jaget: Either God or matter has existed for eternity, talk.atheism:

“Anything we can possibly observe can be explained by Goddidit, after the fact. If it rains, goddidit. If it didn't, goddidit. If the Earth is round, goddidit. If the Earth isn't round, goddidit. It explains everything, but predicts nothing, and is therefore a totally content-free statement”.


September 10, 1999, Al Klein: Recreating the Origins of Life, alt.talk.creationism:

“How did whales survive in a fresh-water ocean for a year? Goddidit. How did any totally impossible thing happen?”


2003, Leslie G. Howarth, Genesis 2.0: The Search for the Truth Continues, p. 188:

“The search for the truth is not over yet. In the previous chapter I described how creationism believes the opposite and tends to argue against science rather than providing answers to critical questions, usually falling back upon its untested and unproven "Goddidit" hypothesis”.


Then we find, on looking at www.rationalwiki.com/ 

“Goddidit is essentially the simplest possible explanation for the universe. It is the answer to every and all religious questions taken to their extreme end. If you're wondering how speaking the universe into existence actually works, you're a heretic . . . The concept of 'God did it' can be used to create unfalsifiable theories. A creationist need never doubt creation because God could have made anything.”


Yes, but no more than the Flying Spaghetti Monster though.

And so today, ‘Goddidit’ continues to evoke the same old fictions drawn from the Book of Futility that is creationism and unintelligent idiotic ‘intelligent design’.


PHYSICSEXPLAINSIT is the all-conquering unchallengeable real answer to GODDIDIT


After all “God is only a theory”


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Actually, I doubt that "god" qualifies as a theory in the purely scientific sense.  Certainly, lots has been written about him/her/it, and there has been much hand-waving and chest-beating about the topic, but where is the data, evidence, experimentation and peer review which I would associate with such a theory?

Further, if god were a theory, we could build on it, develop new understanding, new theories, new knowledge.  Quite the contrary, it seems that the second someone says, "goddidit," learning STOPS.

No, god is not a theory but a badly posited hypothesis, unsupported by any rigorous discipline I am aware of, and really, I don't think it deserves even THAT designation.


[Sorry, Terry, but the whole theory / hypothesis business pisses me off sometimes! {GRIN!}]

Hello Loren, Among alternatives, read Michael Shermer's article on "God is only a theory" and subsequent correspondence of two years ago at:  


    I stuck the five words (god is only a theory) in parentheses to the end of my little piece as an impulsive afterthought because I had Shermer in mind for it being a challenge to throw at godbots with their crass expletive that "evolution is only a theory" as highlighted by Ronald Reagan and others from many years ago to the present day.

    As a lifetime scientist I am aware of what 'theory' means to a scientist, and point out that, as always, word definitions crucially matter in any debate. You are right about the precise scientific use of words like theory and hypothesis, but I was pointedly following instead the sloppy use of such words as often used by the general public, including Reagan, Palin and others, whereby they see 'theory' as having a meaning more like 'assumption, conjecture, guess, presumption, or supposition' which I have just taken from my Collins Thesaurus. 

    But we have strayed from my intention of considering such omnibus words as 'goddidit', and 'physicsgetsit' or 'physicsexplainsit". 

I think falsafyability is a required characteristic of something being a proper theory so "god did it" isn't even a theory.

But anyway, the amount of knowledge we now possessing to explain things compared to how little we used to know us amazing. Still tho, what we don't know is greater even still. So what is currently amazing (baffling is more like it) is why anyone would think "goddidit" is a preferable or superior response to Idk.

There is an article or a YouTube video out there somewhere where Dr. Richard Feynmann talks at length about the glory of NOT KNOWING, about the willingness of a physicist (or any scientist for that matter) to simply say, "I don't know."  While I don't think he says so bluntly, I think his implication is that, once one says, "I don't know," the very next words you'd expect them to say are, "Let's find out!!!"

I think religion misses that in scientists amidst the seeming cold objectivity of scientific study: the EXCITEMENT of scientific discovery, the exploration, the process of sleuthing until that wonderful Archimedes moment comes: "Eureka!  I have found it!"  Shoot, even as a troubleshooter, I've enjoyed the experience of investigating a difficult customer problem and reveled in finally getting it by the short hairs.  It's more than just solving the problem; it's discovering something I didn't know before, and That ... is ... SOMETHING!

I would guess that the theists would say that they have a similar experience in discovering their deity, but while the excitement is the same, the effect is 180 degrees out of phase.  Where a scientist, having learned something new and true and useful, looks to learn even more, the believer has supposedly found the ultimate ... and what more is there to do after that?

In that regard, religion cultures static complacency, where science is almost dynamic by definition.  I've frequently told others that I want to learn something new every day, however small that learning may be.  "When I quit learning," I tell them with a smile, "call the coroner!"  In large part, that's the difference to me between "goddidit" and "physicsexplainsit" - the willingness to first admit that "I don't know," then to say, "Let's find out!!!"

In that regard, religion cultures static complacency, where science is almost dynamic by definition. Loren


And that's exactly what you want in a slave. The guy who asks questions like, "Why the hell are we cutting and hauling stone blocks every day?" is a blasphemer.

Unless we all conform, unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free.

-- Major Frank Burns, 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital


"Frank Burns" was a fictional character, and his statement is meant to be comedy.  Personally, I have a problem laughing at it, as there are entirely too many people who are stone-dead serious about that same statement.

Loren: "I've frequently told others that I want to learn something new every day, however small that learning may be."

Me too: I am never so happy when I am learning something useful every day. 




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