In another thread in "Origins" Adriana Heguy wrote: "What has changed since 1976 is that the ignorant creationists, intelligent designers or whatever they chose to call themselves, have made more of a push than ever before, and we run the risk of creating a generation of kids even more ignorant of science and the scientific method, a generation of kids for whom critical thinking has been substituted by indoctrination and pseudoscience. The stakes are high. No wonder Dawkins is getting more vocal. We must get our message across or we will be failing the new generations and we will fall into obscurantism once again. The best ally the creationists have is religion. This is their weapon of choice to blunt the senses and the mind. This is why we must combat religion and other supernatural nonsense."

In short, seeing that Adriana Heguy is right in highlighting the grim situation that we may be in danger of partly losing the present struggle against the "ignorant creationists", we need to take the fight to them more pro-actively.
Darwin began so well.
150 years later and a billion supporting scientific experiments later, we have all the evidence, but are we not surrendering some of our solid ground by default through not attacking creationism and supernatural nonsense with better-directed arrows and arguments?

Seeing that over the centuries, ignorant religionists have sneered at us at best and slaughtered us at worst, we should raise the stakes by publicly ridiculing and mocking them for their superstitions and dishonest use of, and premeditated avoidance of, good science.

This is their Achilles heel.
Can we suggest that disdain, derision and scorn is the answer?
This could be our weapon of choice.

After all, their attempts at faking up stories or studies that satisfy themselves and their gullible followers stand and quiver on the quaking quicksands of unintelligence.
Their fraudulent reinterpretations of good science hurt us unfairly. Their stance is nothing better than unintelligent illogical trash.

How best to act?
At every opportunity one could pour scorn on silly superstitions, at the same time emphasing the solid scientific evidence for what it is. Religion is laughable and should be laughed at. We have been quiet and polite for too long.

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Replies to This Discussion

I am initially polite and non-combative with those who profess faith or attack scientists with baseless claims. I do not, however, have a three strike rule... it is more like a one strike rule. I want to be civilized and respectful of people, but as soon as you mention Hitler or Darwinism or my 'faith', I will call you on your bullshit.

I do not calmly try to put out a forest fire with a garden hose or fight back with my own fire, I demand justification for the misuse and abuse of my oxygen and if none is given, I do not let that fire take any more of my oxygen away.

P.S. I also remind those people that I too want to believe there is more purpose, more love, more vastness than the amazing vastness we already have, but I need some sort of evidence. If you can provide me with actual evidence, I would be thrilled...this seems to force them to lower their tone or shut up completely.
The first thing I would suggest is taking a greater role in school board elections. I was once a history teacher, but now I see the Texas Board of Education distorting American history just as they do science. I will never vote for any school board member who distorts or falsifies any subject. Should he or she attempt to push ID, refuse to endorse actual history, seek to began abstinence-only sex education, or advocate banning books, I will vote against that individual. Of course, that means I must keep abreast of candidates' position, but it's one way to fight the insanity. I suppose I could call my state legislators as well on such matters and stress that I will not vote for them should they support such views. I call my federal congressional representatives so frequently they sigh when they hear my voice.

Some of you could even run for your own local school boards. Also run for school counsel membership, and stress your views at teacher-parent meetings. Ask teachers about what they actually teach and question your children about what their teachers teach about various subjects. Believe it or not, I have encountered creationist teachers and principals who have taken it upon themselves to teach this view despite guidelines to the contrary.
I would agree to this. Just look at how influential comedy has been for a loot of free thinkers. We see how for instance the Daily Show is getting political points across, and they are listened to. More people like George Carlin would be great, in every sence. I will however advocate to reach out to kids in school, not by hammering in views, but by just showing facts and the wonders by nature. Does not hurt to throw in the ridiculousness of their consept of time, or basic fackt for that matter.
From The Onion: Sumerians Look On In Confusion As Christian God Creates World
You might have to click through an ad to get to it.
Scorn maybe good and well, but some of us have to live in the real world with real jobs, real in-laws etc.

"Growing a pair" doesn't necessarily bring food on the table, sad but true.
I've been of the persuasion for a while now that mockery is proper in certain circumstances. I think creationism/intelligent design is definitely one of those circumstances.
Interesting point. I agree that the leaders are certainly an easier target for ridicule since their words are public record. However, I still like to make my little digs at my friends. I love breaking their religion down to "God sacrificed himself to himself in order to appease himself." They can't say I'm wrong. It's fun. Who was Jesus talking to on the cross? Himself? I like to point out that Jesus was a horse thief and other fun facts like that. Fun is had by all. I have fun anyway.
This is today's 'quote of the day' on Atheistweb:

"Why are these devout believers so desperate to have everyone believe as they do? Are they so insecure in their unfounded beliefs that they must compel others into them, no matter what, including being arrogant, conceited and condescending?" D.M. Murdock

Yes, many devout believers are
arrogant (proud [thinking they are right], imperious, cocky, presumptuous)
conceited (opinionated, self-righteous)
condescending (disdainful, 'superior')

---but wrong.

Against such idiocies, I do not want to be arrogant, inconsiderate and high-handed

... although, seeing that we are in the right with our atheistic worldview,
we can surely make effective pre-emptive strikes at every opportunity
when about to be confronted by some bible-thumper---especially thumpers who wilfully ignore the proven truths of evolutionary science.

Scorn and mockery of the fallacies of unjustifiable creationism and baseless supernatural beliefs is a good way to attack before being attacked.

Intelligent design has never predicted anything of any use to our wonderful world, and never will---being only a synonym for creationism whereas we have centuries of scientific evidence supporting us. Let's make fuller use of the power of this evidence. Pre-empt the familiar boring opening strategies of the godbots with anticipatory belittlement and reproach: "So you come to my door as a believer in talking donkeys (Balaam's ass), talking snakes, ...... and the other absurdities invented by Bronze Age goat-herding desert dwellers". . . . . . and so on.
I also love pointing out the atrocities as well like the Canaanites' slaughter and the disagreement between all the Genesis stories. They can't really fix those. I also mention that the burden of proof is on them and that I will be happy to believe in god whenever he decides to show up and show me some miracles.

I have also been doing a lot more research into evolution. I had always wondered about the evidence for evolution so I began to speak with different professors from different disciplines and it is amazing what they all say. I just wish I could change my field of study. Right now, I am working on a Master's in Criminal Justice but I really want to study evolution or religion. However, I would have to start all over and I think I will do that after I complete this one. The problem is that I can't stop reading about the different sciences. I am so concerned about this topic that I devote a lot of time to learning more about it. Of course, I also worry about law enforcement and the courts being influenced by their religious beliefs as well, but I feel I need to arm myself with some graduate studies in these different fields.

I love to go to "Answers in Genesis" and learn their ridiculous arguments. They actually have a list of arguments bible-thumpers should not use anymore! I love to see the look on their faces when I show them some of the "transitional fossils" we have. Fossils like Deinonychus and the whole sub-family of dromaeosaurids which show the transition from dinosaur to birds. We have fossils that show fish evolving limbs. Embryology which shows that all embryos look very similar. Studying the genome which has provided proof of how inter-related we all are. I just love talking and learning more about this. I know I am just a fledgling now, but even with my limited knowledge I seem to be well beyond most of the fundies arguments. Then they hit you with the fallback of "thinking too much" or God deliberately put the fossils there to make it look like the earth was old.

Some people are just going to hang onto their beliefs no matter what the evidence says. People will believe anything. I remember thinking that Scientology might be the religion to go with because it might be based on science. That didn't work out so well. Apparently Xenu doesn't care much about science either. That's why I believe the most important battles will be in the courts.
I think that before we can truly educate the kids to be critical thinkers, we need to find a way to educate the teachers, other staff in schools, and school board members. Obviously, there are good teachers (etc.) who are critical thinkers and free from superstition. However, ever since I have started working in education, I have been shocked at not only the number of teachers, principals, etc. who not only subscribe to religion, but whose fervent beliefs are imposed on others in the workplace and affect the way they do their jobs. In a public school, have been in staff meetings where the principal led a prayer for all of us. In the school, we are constantly being asked to pray for the students, families, and other staff. I see many staff members' Facebook pages that have strong religious messages (many of whom accept minor students as Facebook Friends). I have also seen some instances where the staff members religious beliefs have obviously affected the way they do their jobs (i.e., how homosexual students are treated, types of things students are being told, etc.). I have heard horror stories that are even worse, but I only know for certain what I have observed myself.

Maybe we need to start intense critical thinking and logic training in college programs that educate future teachers.
I mock them more and more. If I see one of my friends saying grace, I'll casually ask them to tell their imaginary friend I said hi. I am currently involved in a debate with our Battalion Chaplain about evolution. I told him they could start teaching creation when we can test it. I don't have a problem with teaching a mythology or comparative religion course in schools as an elective, but creation in no way belongs in Science Class.

We had this debate in a class I took at NC State about pseudo-science verses real science. The professor was reticent to calling anything pseudo-science. I wish I could remember the text we used, but it seemed to say that science was in the eye of the beholder and thus I was the only one arguing from a "if you can't test a hypothesis using the SCIENTIFIC METHOD it's not science" argument. No one could see that just because you believe a thing to be true doesn't make it so. I got so frustrated. Of course, if you openly mock them, they just get more belligerent and start burning us at the stake. I think we have to be ready to go to the courts whenever religion starts to eek it's way into the schools. We have to win the legal battles.

I do think that mocking them will work in the long run. Especially with the younger generation. They are not particularly logical, but they do hate to be made fun of.




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