It will be interesting to see if the tactics employed by the mainstream science organizations actually work -- which requires that one first define "work". If your goal is to demonstrate to the rest of the world that you feel that your attendance might accidentally lend some credence and legitimacy to their idiocy, that goal may be achieved. If your goal is to make sure that snake-handling nonsense isn't taught to gullible schoolchildren in the guise of reputable empirical fact -- eh, not so much.
One problem rational people face, when dealing with fundamentally irrational people, is that they instantly assume that the argument requires a rational solution. Not only is this not necessarily so, it is quite frequently untrue. People who are already operating on a shithouse-rat-goofy level are not just going to come around because you dazzle them with logic and reason. They clearly have already abandoned logic and reason; those things do not serve their purpose, thus they do not understand how or desire to apply logic and reason to assess what rational humans might refer to as a "conundrum".
I have read up a bit over the past year or so on "intelligent design". I have said this before, but it well bears repeating: Science class is about much more than just putting forth a theory, and forcing students to accept said theory as gospel. Science is all about inquiry, and methodology.
Intelligent design is just a glossed-over revision of creationism -- it completely predicates itself upon an assumption of a Greater Power. Whether or not this Greater Power actually exists is irrelevant, from a purely scientific angle. There's no way for scientific method or inquiry to benefit from the assertion of a Greater Power. None whatsoever.
The creationism idjits think that the exclusion of their superstition is a slap to their beliefs and their questions. It is not. It is just common sense. Obviously, if science has to include your creation myth, then it has to include everyone's creation myth. That's how we do shit here, and that is just an unconscionable clusterfuck of a rotten idea.
The crux of the problem, what these thick-headed knuckle-draggers can't seem to get through their alarmingly low foreheads, is really this: it is perfectly fine to ask Great Questions like, "How did we get here?", and "If God loves me, why did He let my puppy die when I was seven?", and "What are these painful, warty polyps on the shaft of my penis?". People can and should ask those questions to their little hearts' content.
Just don't ask them in science class (except for that last question), because they're a waste of everyone's time. It's not a scientist's job to answer those metaphysical questions; that's the job of a theologian. Is that plain enough for you, you fucking morons? Quit wasting everyone's time and money with your stupid bullshit and go back to marrying your cousins, if you're not going to read something other than the latest Left Behind bumwipe and learn how the world actually works.
The primary mistake being made here is the ongoing well-meaning, but misguided, attempts to present all this as just another way of viewing the world. Well, duh, that's exactly what it is, and again, that's perfectly fine. What it is not, and never will be, is science. Why the fuck is this so hard for otherwise sensible people to understand?
This is a scary statistic, if true. There's no other way to put this -- any society that is this much at odds with empirical reality is clearly being kept aloft for only so long. At a certain point, our enormous mass will fall prey to this cultural inertia, and we will fall -- hard.
This may be the most pernicious part of what is indeed a tremendous scam. First of all, the evidence at hand supports the exact opposite of what these idiots assert. The geologic record shows that, based upon the age and tumultuous physical history of the planet, it literally took hundreds of millions -- indeed, billions -- of years to get all these complex conditions just right, so that current forms of life could be supported. There is absolutely no reason to suppose that any of this was set in motion deliberately at all. One could more logically make the argument that climatic and geologic conditions have been wrong for much greater periods of time than they've been right for life to flourish.
This is a very important facet of what science empirically demonstrates, over and over and over again: the earth and the universe are all in a constant state of flux. Conditions refine or degrade in an impossibly complex and intertwined sequence of interrelated events and pre-existing factors. Any competent scientist will readily admit that the surface has hardly been scratched, much less comprehended.
Only a complete jackass would take all that to mean that the earth was created in six days by a vengeful, spiteful humanoid sky-god. Only a fool would think that Levantine tribesmen from several millenia ago somehow knew and understood more about the physical universe and the laws of nature than modern man does.
And they know all this damned well. The purpose here has never been to seriously contest the validity of scientific inquiry; they know they can't. It's the usual end-run around common sense and logical reasoning, because they just won't be happy until we all believe the same brand of mumbo-jumbo they do.
Well, you know what? It's not going to happen, folks. Ever. You cannot win this battle, and even if you somehow maintained a political plurality, it would surely doom the nation. It would almost instantly usher the US away from a burgeoning technocracy, and back to an agrarian, culturally stultified oligarchy. Indeed, we may be already on our way back there; we just don't feel the rising heat of the water we're steeping in.
He's right. This is ass-backward science at its absolute worst. This is dangerously, arrogantly ignorant snake-handler pseudo-science. It is on a par with phrenology or astrology. (Although, being a Gemini with Libra ascending, I'm naturally skeptical of such things to begin with.)
Although scientific method does indeed start with the hypothesis, and then works to provide evidence to support it, honest scientific method brooks no cheating; that is, even if you find some disconnected bits that may support your initial hypothesis, but the preponderance of testable empirical evidence debunks your theories, you must record it as such and adjust your hypothesis to something a bit more aligned with reality.
This is precisely where ID/young-earth creationism advocates fail, and fail miserably. It's not even close.
Exactly. Science is impartial and dispassionate. When it encounters anomalies, it identifies them as such, places them in the overall context of the scientific discipline at hand, and moves on to the next empirically-testable hypothesis.
Prove it, asshole. That's what scientists do. But Lloyd Anderson is not a scientist, he just plays one on TV. He's a rabble-rousing chump whose main purpose is political.
I thought God didn't like liars, Lloyd.
Yeah, it's just the gift that keeps on giving, isn't it? It's nice that Forest had his questions answered to his personal level of satisfaction, but again, that's not science. Science attempts to get to the empirical fact of things. More often than not, this raises more questions.
Forest, and the rest of these goobers, are fooling themselves into thinking that they wish to be scientifically literate. They do not. They want people like Lloyd Anderson to provide comfortable answers with which they can remove doubt and internal conflict. They have deceived themselves with the notion that if they believe that the earth is more than 10,000 years old, and that evolution might be for real, that they have betrayed the God of their Bible. And jerkoffs like Lloyd Anderson have deliberately encouraged these internal conflicts in their flocks, inciting them to ultimately political actions, like infesting school boards with their superstitious nonsense.
This is ridiculous. Even if God does exist, any man attempting to divine the nature of such a being would be as reckless and ignorant as an ant telling itself it knows all about humans. There may indeed be a greater power out there, somewhere. It may even be humanocentric after all, though what would then be the purpose of populating the universe with billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, most having at least several planets orbiting? Do these people really contemplate the sheer mathematical improbability of this? There's a better chance of them winning Powerball every week for five years straight, than this being the only planet in the entire universe with any intelligent life.
Then again, the more they win, the more these people reinforce their own argument -- maybe Darwin was wrong. Clearly these people are not evolving intellectually.
Insulting as that is, I mean it quite literally -- evolution is nothing more than adapting to either existing or fluctuating conditions in a systematic, consistent fashion. That's really all it is, and it's a very simple, easily observable premise.
These people ought to be ashamed of themselves, when you get right down to it. There is more than enough room for a person to be both religious and believe in evolution. They are not intellectually inconsistent; for that matter, they're not intellectually consistent either -- one merely has to reach the rather obvious understanding that you can't take the Bible literally any more than you can take Greek mythology or the Epic of Gilgamesh literally. They are tales meant to reinforce cultural mores, and as such, they have practical utility. For the thousandth time though, they are not science, and never will be, no matter how hard you pray and pretend otherwise.
I couldn't agree more. Start a nice comparative religion course, make it a requirement for graduation, and go with God on that.
In the meantime, we all have a serious decision to make, as to what side we're on here -- either we believe in logic, reason, and empricism, and reality-based scientific inquiry; or we keep letting religious grifters and purveyors of superstition and fake science infect our educational system, the very foundation on which we build the intellectual capacity for the next generations.
It's time to draw the line, and it's time the media got responsible and quit putting every dressed-up myth forward as if it deserved some serious credence. You wouldn't give this sort of legitimizing treatment to Scientology, so why the hell would you give it to Lloyd Anderson? Because he can read demotic Greek aloud in a basso profundo?
Everybody's got their backs up already, so might as well get our hands dirty and accomplish something in the name of scientific and human progress.