Saturday, January 5, 2013

Denial 101: Hopelessly Clinging to... Something

This is another post in the series of trying to understand stupid people.

I found this today: a paper proving that dinosaurs were not real, and it's just a huge hoax.  This, of course, is full of logical fallacies and is based nearly entirely on the premise that the religious text of Genesis is undeniable fact.  Further proof is the picture below.  One can only hope murieljcompton is an instigator commonly known as a troll.  But this is probably, and sadly, legit.

The overwhelming belief in Creationism is of course responsible for this fringe conspiracy theory actually gaining considerable support in the face of rational thought. Creationism, and the inability to understand how petrification and fossilization works. It is also interesting to note that according to this board, even the crazy conspiracy theorists think Creationism is nuts.

I can understand how indoctrinated hate works, I can understand Pro-life.  I can even understand the fear, misunderstanding, and misinformation that leads to racism, homophobia, and the oppression of women.  What I can't understand is Creationism.

These statistics give a pretty clear picture on Creationism in American. And no huge surprise, there is a correlation between education and belief in Creationism. I am actually impressed that there are people out there living and participating in a society that is arguably the strongest post industrial nation on the planet, who still cling to the theology of the Middle Ages. These people vote in national elections, and yet have made the choice to dismiss much of the science that allows modern humanity to understand our world and universe. Creationism's essential belief, that the world is only between 5 and 10 thousand years old, was rejected by theologians as early as Philo (50 CE) and Augustine (430 CE), and by the majority of serious scholars by the 18th century.

How can you go through 12 years of grammar school and, at the end of it all, deny everything you learned in science classes as not legit? You'd have to be either incredibly stubborn, incredibly stupid, or when confronted with the seemingly incompatible ideas of science and religion, instead of trying to reconcile the differences and find meaningful ways for them to coexist (like the Catholic and Anglican churches have) you just threw up your hands and ran screaming from the room.

I guess it all comes down to some people unable to think for themselves. They must have been absent the day the schools taught how to make an informed opinion. These are the same sorts of people that try and ban books, change textbooks in school, handle poisonous snakes and believe god will keep them from being bitten, do these sorts of things, and ban dancing until Kevin Bacon saves the day.

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