To: All Msg #18, Jul3093 05:43PM Subject: Re: The problems of creationism (longish) Creati

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From: Sami Kukkonen To: All Msg #18, Jul-30-93 05:43PM Subject: Re: The problems of creationism (longish) Organization: Helsinki University of Technology From: kukkonen@niksula.hut.fi (Sami Kukkonen) Message-ID: Newsgroups: talk.origins,sci.skeptic >Creationism (by and large) is filled with factual and scientific errors >and distortions. Somebody has probably made this point several times during this thread, but I'll give it a go anyway... If creationism includes a belief that a deity created the world "finished" X years ago, this is essentially Last Thursdayism. LT cannot be scientifically proved, so our friendly creationist could happily believe in LT and never bother anyone. For some reason our friendly creationist isn't happy with this, (s)he wants proof to back up the belief. Because creation itself cannot be proved (nor disproved), something else is needed. Well, the Bible is sometimes enough to convert unbelievers. But our friendly creationist wants more, something with which to convince people who don't care for the Bible that much. A scientific theory with scientific proof would do it. Alas, the core of creationism has this LT belief which can never be proposed as a scientific theory. Our friendly creationist has a big dilemma now. How can (s)he create an aura of science around a belief that is most un- scientific? What if (s)he attacked the most popular scientific theory that touches creationistic issues, maybe some of the science glamour would rub off? So, our friendly creationist starts criticizing evolution. It sounds cool, (s)he gets to use fancy words like "micro- evolution" and "macroevolution"...maybe even "punctuated equilibrium". But there are problems. The theory of evolution is too damned good to be dismissed easily. You need to know a lot to be able to criticize it in a sensible manner. Learning new things is a pain, maybe there is an easier way. And there is one: using misquotations, selective memory, ad hominems, gross generalizations, emotional arguments and biblical quotes. But this is where our friendly creationist turns unfriendly. An unfriendly creationist is also profoundly unscientific, so the quest for scientific aura fails. Unfortunately this seems to be the road of choice for many creationists. However, let's assume our friendly creationist stays friendly. Furthermore, with an incredible feat of scientific genius (s)he manages to disprove the current flavor of evolution. Lots of rejoicing and self-back-patting follows. Unfortunately this fine effort is wasted, (s)he never realized that disproving a scientific theory will NOT prove a religious belief to be true. If it did, it would also make true my firm belief that Great Pumpkin created the universe 3 seconds ago. And that is certainly not what our friendly creationist wanted to prove. So...I see no way out of the creationist's dilemma. (S)he has no way of turning a religious belief into science. But if someone knows a way out, please let me know. -- kukkonen@niksula.hut.fi/ Everything in this article is factual, and any kukkonen@unda.fi / resemblance to actual persons, places or organizations < Ardbeg > / living, dead or drunk, is purely intentional.

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