Monday, December 10, 2007

If You Were a Creationist, You'd Be Homeschooled by Now

I love Creationist videos. They're my favorite type of YouTube content, barely edging out hilarious trailer remixes, Tourette's Guy and 2 Girls 1 Cup. (No link on that one...consider yourself lucky...)

In the past, I've linked to such wacky Fundie hijinks as "Moron Uses Woeful Banana Metaphor" and "Moron Confuses Evolution with Spontaneous Generation." Now, I'm pleased to present to you: "Huge Moron Confuses Evolution with Cosmology."

This one is really something special. I'm not sure a single thought expressed in this 3 minute documentary makes any logical sense or holds up to any sort of scrutiny.

I mean, you don't need to actually know anything about astronomy to know this makes no sense. A child would understand that it's completely, bafflingly wrong.

Of course, all of these videos attempting to validate Creationism by poking holes in specific scientific theories are fundamentally flawed. This video opens with a whopper of an assumption - either the universe was created by a Big Bang, or it was fashioned by an intelligent, Judeo-Christian God. Surely, there are other possibilities. Maybe the universe is just an elaborate computer program, a la The Matrix. Maybe we all exist inside a tiny particle of a wholly different universe. Perhaps the universe is actually cyclical, and it breaks down and then reforms as part of some far larger mechanism too elaborate for us to grasp.

Naturally, if you can only comprehend circumstances in this limiting, binary fashion - God or Bing Bang - you would get confused and fail to make clear, concise arguments. This way of thinking is just wrong, so it would lead to wrong conclusions. Under this method of reasoning, if you could disprove the Big Bang Theory, you would then PROVE the alternative - God. But of course, science doesn't work that way. If you disproved the Big Bang Theory, you would just move along to the next-most-reasonable hypothesis and start testing it out. You wouldn't just throw up your hands, say "God musta did it!" and get back to praying.

Most complicated answers in the world of science do not come wrapped in neat little black-and-white, this way or the other packages. It's an ongoing learning process, with each generation getting a bit smarter than the last.

This disembodied narrator just makes outlandish claim after outlandish claim, with no support for his contentions whatsoever. There's no scientific journey of discovery here; just pure authoritarianism. It's this way cause I says so! Just listen to the language:

"Since about 98% of the Sun is hydrogen or helium, Earth, Mars, Venus and Mercury should have similar compositions."

SHOULD? Who uses "should" in this way when referring to natural phenomenon. Using an innately human, frequently foolish "common sense" mechanism, yes, I can see how one would assume that the sun and the surrounding planets would have similar chemical compositions. But there's nothing scientific about that assumption...That's why it's called "common sense." It's common to all of us, even those with no background in these sorts of questions.

Someone who's a bit more educated and well-read on the subject might try to figure out why the Sun is made up of different chemicals than Mercury, hoping the answer gets us a bit closer to understanding all our fundamental questions about the nature of things.

I'm just saddened by the kind of mind that works the other way, that attempts to erase these questions out of existence by falling back on an easy answer. ("God done it!") A mind that, in fact, gets upset when others try to answer these questions, and posts videos online about how these questions should be ignored or ascribed to a childish fantasy.

I also don't find this answer any more satisfying than not having any answer at all. Why is it impossible that the universe would have formed like this, with Mercury being composed of different substances than the Sun, but a thoughtful God would have arranged things this way? Oh, some planets orbit clockwise and others counter-clockwise? That must have been God! Huh? Are we really so insecure as a species, that we need to pretend to grasp all this stuff right now? We need to make up answers to fill in every gap left by our imperfect understanding?

Also, the video says that the formation of a large gaseous planet like Jupiter poses an insurmountable obstacle for "evolutionists," which may be the silliest sentence I have ever heard, ever.

First of all, evolutionists don't really give the formation of Jupiter much thought. I'm pretty sure Darwin had absolutely nothing to say about Jupiter's formation. These guys hate Evolution so much, it's literally spilling over into every other scientific discipline.

Also, as far as I know, an observation ("Jupiter is a large, gaseous planet located relatively far from the Sun") cannot be an "insurmountable obstacle" for scientists. If an observation genuinely violates a scientific principle, and the observation can be demonstrated reliably, then the original principle will be amended. This is why you rarely meet any phrenologists. The fact that THIS HASN'T HAPPENED yet to our present understanding of the universe does not indicate that it is 100% absolutely definitely true. But it does mean it is the best theory we have at the present time.

I suppose a certain simplistic mindset can't handle that level of uncertainty, so they have to make 3 minute videos assuring all of us that uncertainty doesn't exist. But of does. Fucking deal with it.

[Hat tip: Sadly, No!]

1 comment:

Jolly Roger said...

Flip answers are just the Jesusistan way of sidestepping actually coming up with an answer.

Positing on what the planets "should be" made of is a lot like trying to explain how your aunt would behave if she'd been your uncle. Jesusistan does it better than anyone though-their "answers" are so far out it really is just about impossible to come up with a rebuttal.