Thursday, August 25, 2005

Fuck The Creationists

It may seem that I'm hostile to religion in general, but I'm normally just being a facetious cunt. I don't understand how rational people can make the cognitive leap to believe in any particular religion, but accept that there are personal reasons for doing so. But fuck do I hate Creationism, whether thinly veiled as Intelligent Design or not. Until today I thought such backward thinking was confined to the more stupider portions of American rednecks. I was wrong.
I heard a group of fine-looking young gentlemen at this University of Otago reciting the argument (and I use that term loosely) of 'irreducible complexity' put forward by Michael Behe. The argument is that many biological features, the eye for example, require multiple components to work. Since evolution can produce and preserve mutations only one at a time, it is argued, these irreducibly complex features can't have evolved - what use is half an eye?. By the process of elimination God created the universe at it now exists. It worries me that our education system is so poor that university students can think that this 'proves evolution is wrong and that God created everything.'
I'm not going to argue against the claim as, frankly, I can't be fucked. I will simply say that there are plenty of examples of simpler forms of eyes in nature and that the ability to detect light is useful in many ways other than simply 'seeing' in the strict sense. Jellyfish, I think, orient themselves with simple light-sensing equipment for example.
Why do people need to distort the facts in order to defend their faith? Why are evolution and God thought to be mutually exclusive? Evolution does undermine Paley's 'Watchmaker' argument for theism, but surely theists realise they're on pretty shaky logical and scientific ground. Why isn't faith enough for these people?
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