Thursday, July 18, 2013

Creationism Apologia in the Guardian

Andrew Brown summarizes the the topic: "Virginia Heffernan, has just outed herself as a creationist. As she is currently earning a living writing on technology for Yahoo! News, this is a brave thing to do and has been greeted with obloquy, bemusement, and patronising explanations about the difference between facts and stories." Expressing imbecilic views is not bravery by any definition, how many land mines have homeopaths dismantled lately? Brown and most of the CIF writers would love to define bravery as being ignorant and deluded by that standard most guardian contributors are superheroes.

Brown finds the subject "fascinating, but there are lots of things that fascinate me, from fly fishing to philosophy, which I don't expect the rest of the world to take an interest in." While he admits that Virginia is wrong he tries to cast her in the best light possible: that she's brave or its just matter of interests. A bit like telling a witch doctor trying to cure a headache with human sacrifice that we can all agree to disagree.

 He tells readers if they "want to know why an educated American might decide evolution is untrue, spend some time at the website Why evolution is true, run by the Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne. The science there is great, but the tone of voice is something else: hectoring arrogant mansplaining with sputtering outbursts of extraordinary viciousness. If you don't much care whether the science is true, this would convince you that there must be something wrong with it." I would be exceptionally polite if I were to describe the non-argument that believing in mythology over science is okay because of a snarky website as something other than moronic even by CIF standards. Conclusions are made based on facts and reasoning, not on whether or not you care for someone's tone: Brown does not seem to understand logic and the scientific method.

Brown cannot understand "why anyone should care about the truth of evolutionary theory." If someone cannot understand why someone should care about the truth of the origins' of life they are beyond all hope and forfeited any right to be treated as something other than an amusement. Andy tries to defend himself by arguing that " point this out goes against our self-image, and our belief that we ought to be generally curious about the world. But even if it's granted that we ought to be omnivorously curious..." An interest in the origins of your own species is not curiosity about everything; its an interest in the fundamentals of reality.

He complains that the "argument has been framed is that it is one of facts versus stories" which is the simple truth. Apparently "both sides are missing an important point here. In popular culture, arguments about evolution are not clashes of facts against stories." I don't see a point in stating the obvious about that, a non-argument that idiotic speaks for itself. The Guardian publishes a dullard who thinks that evolution is a story!

Brown writes that the "great scientist is often one who can design wonderful experiments, rather than the drone who carries them out." A man who thinks evolution is a tale is in no position to say who is a great scientist and who is not. The drone part is libelous slander of countless brilliant people who strive to advance our species while the Guardian promotes everything that holds us back: prejudice, theocracy and scientific illiteracy.

He whines that people think the "the scientific story is better, more wonderful, more uplifting, and so on, than all the others" which he dismisses as "all balls" which only proves that is ignorance is as unfathomable as a bottomless pit. What evidence does he provide for dismissing science as a "story?" None he just doesn't like it as he asks "does any adult really want to believe in a meaningless universe which is given sense only by our own heroic efforts?" That only affirms that he's a manchild who wants everything to have 'meaning' whatever that is.

Andy Lauds Virginia for  wanting "stories where people find hope and courage in the events of the world around them, and she finds them in religion, not in science." Isaac Asimov wrote a condemnation of the anti-intellectualism championed by Brown and the Guardian. He said that anti-intellectualism "has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

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