Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why do evolution deniers deny evolution?

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of 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."
-- Isaac Asimov

The denial of evolution requires denial of the bedrock of two centuries of biology and geology. That is quite a feat.
-- Sean B. Carroll

For all of those who do see the overwhelming evidence of natural selection and life's descent from ancestors, and the immense span of time over which the story of life unfolded, it is, to put it mildly, baffling how so many still do not. It is absolutely astonishing and often infuriating that some take it so far as to deny the immense foundation of evidence and to slander all the human achievement that foundation represents.
-- Sean B. Carroll

They call themselves creationists because they think their fairy (god, allah, jeebus, designer) waved a magic wand to make every species out of nothing. This childish fantasy conflicts with the facts of evolutionary biology therefore evolution is false.

To a normal person (atheist) a religious fantasy seems like an awful poor excuse to throw out two centuries of scientific progress, but there's nothing normal about Bible thumpers (and their terrorist friends). A small minority of the victims of religious indoctrination can recover from their disease, but virtually all thumpers and suicide bombers are incurably insane.

Mr. Asimov explains part of their problem. Americans have this strange idea that they know as much about everything as the experts. Their total ignorance of science is equal to the education and experience of all the world's scientists. Why do they think this? I don't know. How can I read the minds of idiots?

Probably all biologists agree with Sean B. Carroll. After more than 150 years of accumulating evidence for evolution, evidence that is undeniable, powerful, overwhelming, and growing faster than ever, how can there still be evolution deniers in the world? How could so many people be so breathtakingly stupid?

Since creationists are absolutely certain they are right about magical creation and since they are absolutely certain evolution (the strongest and most important basic fact of science) is a myth, they make no effort to study the evidence, and they have no idea how much evidence they are denying. For example with every fossil announced in the newspaper they read, they just automatically reject it. Why bother to understand something that couldn't possibly be true?

Of course there's evidence for evolution many thousands of times more powerful than fossils, but they know nothing about this evidence, and even if they did know about it they would reject it without making any effort to understand it.

Their logic is their god of the Bible wrote the Bible, therefore the Bible is true. How can a few thousand scientists possibly be smarter than their all-knowing fairy?

Curious creationists might want to understand why biologists laugh at them, but creationists are creationists because their natural curiosity was sucked out of them during several years of child abuse called religious indoctrination. Curiosity, what a terrible thing to lose, but creationists have lost it.

Just in case a creationist is reading this perhaps I should try to be polite about their problems, but I'm just too honest to do that. My honesty requires me to tell creationists they have a terrible disease, and their mental illness is incurable for one reason and one reason only, they are just plain stupid.

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