Friday, October 11, 2013

Why do creationists think their ignorance is just as good as a biologist's knowledge?

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

I asked this question at another website and a reply from an Australian was so perfect I have to publish it here.

The rest of this post was written by "Intrinsic Random Event" from Melbourne.

Well, the reasons that these people have for believing what they do are not logical, they are emotional.

Without wanting to insult anyone, the reality is that a stance of anti-intellectualism allows uneducated people to put their opinions on equal footing with experts, at least in their own mind, and that is the core appeal of anti-intellectualism. It is quicker and easier than educating yourself, and if enough people do it, they can make a lot of noise, enough noise to get the attention of politicians in search of voters.

If someone chooses to prioritise superstition and devalue science, then this behaviour is generally motivated by community peer-group pressure, and/or a resentment of those that have better and more broadly-informed grounds on which to formulate their opinions, and/or outright fear of that which they deem too difficult to understand, or that which may destabilize their fluffy ill-conceived perception of the Universe.

If a scientist is proven wrong, they are glad of it. Glad to be one step closer to understanding. If a religious zealot is proven wrong, they are offended, resentful, and in denial.

Religion is a safe, quick, easy way out of taking on the challenge of thinking for yourself, and being critical about the world... to be able to say "Everything is in God's hands", could there be a more comprehensive ticket out of the world's problems than that?

If only more people could see, education is not about burying your head in complicated textbooks, it's about being willing and able to think critically about everything around you, and go on an honest quest for information. Nothing can be taken for granted, not my opinion, not anyones. Critique my opinion, by all means, but do it honestly, and with a willingness to hear any opinion on the matter. You will not be struck down by divine lightning, I promise. Everyone needs to be free to think rationally and critically. That is the path to a better world. If people can do that, then they will educate themselves.

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