Interesting idea - the debate about creationism might actually help us

With all the focus these days on creationism in religious quarters, in order to be able to dream up arguments against evolution, these morons actually have to learn about it.  This may end up paradoxically helping us by exposing many more of these religiosi to evolution than would have happened without the controversy.  Eventually some or even many of them might not be able to continue to support absurd thinking when faced with the truth.

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I hope you're right Eric, but most people tend to skim looking for things that confirm what they think they already know (confirmation bias).  Research could expose many people to as much mis-information as correct information.  

I do however think the tide is turning; just the fact that it has become a big controversy and creationists acting like a racoon backed in corner proves we are winning.  I don't think you could point to any decade where a lower percentage of the population believed in evolution than the previous, that's pretty good progress.  


Not to jack your thread to another subject but I got into a discussion at work the other day on how awesome the internet is with the free expression of ideas, and how much it sucks because individuals don't seem to be pre-programmed to be able to sort out the bad from the good.

Most religiosi of the past never had their ideas or thoughts about religion open to criticism.  They were pretty private and insulated.  The internet is changing all that.
I think the evidence of that is occuring all around us.  I love the impact it appears to be having in the middle and far east.  Unfortunately the only thing holding back progress is access to the internet which is slimmest in the areas that arguably need it the most.
Evolution takes time.......
I HATE to be optimistic (optimists are so often disappointed,  while we pessimists are sometimes pleasantly surprised), but I think I agree.  Exposure to thinking is always good.

A nice idea, except for one thing: the "scientists" out there who want to take Intelligent Design and justify it scientifically.  Witness Michael Behe during the Dover, PA trial.  Whether he's a con man plying his trade or he actually BELIEVES his bullshit, he is attempting to subvert science to his purposes and those of the Discovery Institute.  There is a guy on another board that I work who, day after day, cuts and pastes crap from creationist websites under the title, "Science Disproves Evolution."  The atheists who work that board simply quit trying to rebut his arguments, because he plainly isn't listening.

I don't see that there is any hope for people with an agenda.  For those with an open mind, there is some hope, but there must also be in interest in LEARNING before we can actually accomplish something.

I've said it 100 times; I'll make it 101: belief is easy. KNOWING is hard.

Yeah, I'm feeling pessimistic when I see creationists studying science and rote memorizing just so they can say "see, I have the education and I'm still a creationist". It's easy enough to make yourself sound scientific and fool the general public.


I have to disagree.  Most of them seem to dismiss any evidence for evolution by running to the creationism websites to see how to "debunk" it.  They will buy whatever Ken Hamm, Ray Comfort, or Kent Hovind spout. 


I had a debate on a message forum with a creationist and I posted a link to a short video that discussed why a worldwide flood wouldn't have created layers of sediment like we find in the the geological structure.  In the video, the claim creationists make about differing layers of sediment being deposited simultaneously by the eruption of Mount St. Helens was explicitly refuted.  Yet, in his response, this creationist made the claim about Mt. St. Helens anyway.  When I asked if he had watched the video, he said, "No, I don't need to watch it.  I've already studied the evidence". 


The arrogance of this statement astounded me.  He said it as if to say that there is no further evidence to be considered and that his mind was unable to be changed.

I think you're overly optimistic, my friend. The crux of the issue is that there is no "debate" about creationism. By its very nature, Creationism disavows any attempt at reason or scientific discourse. One cannot have a debate without reason and they have chosen to do without that key element. By even using words such as "debate" we are implying that they have some ground to stand on, which they do not, and some may argue we even give them that ground. If you've ever engaged an IDer in an argument about evolution you'll find they're still using outdated arguments such as "well, I never evolved from a monkey." No one with an understanding of evolution has ever claimed humans evolved from monkeys and there is plenty of evidence to prove both monkeys and homo sapiens evolved from a shared earlier ancestor. They haven't updated their arguments since Darwin's day and in the mean time evidence for evolution has piled up incontrovertibly.

I've rarely been accused of being optimistic,much less overly optimistic.  I do however, think that over the long run (I'm 67 and used to long runs), reason and science must, when they shine a bright light on superstition and mendacity, prevail.  Sunlight, as they say, is the best disinfectant.


But y'all may be right.  Humans are stupid and ignorant and stubborn.  If so, we're friggin' doomed.  Not a bad thing: evolution makes many dead ends and side roads.




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