Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Danger of Creationism and Self-Imposed Ignorance

Subject: Question
From: sspeer@richmondhill.org
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:11:09 -0400
To: eternal-earthbound-pets@msn.com

Just wondering why you guys serve in food banks, animal shelters and such? If you are atheists then you believe in some form of evolution. With all forms of evolution you believe in survival of the fittest. The work you are doing in those service organizations is actually working against what you believe is best for humanity. Doesn't fit your belief system. At least be consistent.

Sent from my iPhone

My reply follows:


I imagine you spend very little time "wondering" and even less time thinking.

Your confusion and lack of understanding of what evolutionary theory is; its basic precepts; and its non-relationship to morality, humanism, and ethics is startling and dangerous.

While this is a business and not a teaching website, considering your frightening lack of understanding I will give you a simplistic explanation for “Survival of the fittest.” The term refers to random mutations of a species that best promote its survival in the environment in which it exists. That is, those animals who are best adapted for the climate, food supply, predator avoidance, etc., have a better chance of existing, and thus continuing those “best traits” through procreation with successive progeny carrying on those traits in their genetic make up. Those who do not possess those traits (i.e. are “less fit” to exist) tend to become extinct/ die out, taking their less suitable qualities for the species with them. Thus, the most “fit” qualities / characteristics of the species permit it to survive.

While morality and ethics do in fact evolve as cultures / civilization advances (i.e. which is why we eventually outlawed slavery in the 19th century; and why you opt not to fuck 12 year old children, which was the norm in Biblical times up to the Dark Ages), evolutionary theory as it relates to origin of species is unrelated to the cultural evolution of morality and ethics.

But here’s what’s troubling about your question, Scott:
obviously you've never cracked the cover of source material on the subject, preferring to glean your remarkably stunted concept of evolution from Creationist/ Christian apologetics websites who likewise have effectively avoided actual reading and absorption of evolutionary theory. Then, you take your utterly convoluted concept and regurgitate it to your own children, and to fellow congregants in the “1st Baptist Church of Self Imposed Ignorance.” You likely attend school board meetings where you dismiss evolutionary theory as “morally defunct,” an insidious danger to the youth of your town. Your own ignorance is responsible for promulgating stupidity - effectively shutting down any possible interest in education, exploration of science ... the “wonderment” and beauty of natural selection ... and condemning the children in your area to religious non-think and medieval rejection of reason.

If anything could be classified as immoral it would be your own actions, the product of your own ignorance.

I'm going to make the educated assumption that you're a Southern Baptist from the Deep South, to whom literal Biblical interpretation, rejection of scientific evidence, and the denigration of science and reality is not so much a hobby as it is a veritable avocation.

That said: I hope this reply helped you in some small way, albeit, I do not hold out much hope. This is a business site. Since we have no business to conduct subsequent communications from you will not be welcomed nor replied to.


tiNstAg said...

Methinks Scott likely got lost after the word "precept" :-)

An' thar was ay thanking that suvival of the fitest ment u had to be able two run farst... darn it. :-)

BeadKnitter said...

The stupid, i burns! I like your answer.

flyz4free said...

Hump....I believe you may be missing a business opportunity. Let him reply but charge him $50.00 a pop for your corrections of his errors. Maybe limit comments to 25 words or less and say a 5 intercourse maximum... I think it would be both entertaining and instructive viewing for fellow Humpsters as well.

verukka said...

Hump, GREAT response to a very narrow look at a very narrow mind. Aiding your rebuttal (not that you need it, you smarty camel you,) Social Darwinism, popular in the late 1800's proposed that while survival of the fittest was the expected outcome of civilization, (certain segments of current US population appears to confound that belief); those who have the opportunity to share their wealth should help the less fortunate, and NOT rely on the government for handouts. Laissez-faire in business, and in charity.
Ergo; those of us who choose to volunteer at food banks, shelters, or any organization of our choice solely for the benefit of our fellow humans, and not for glory in a church newsletter or website are practising Darwinism as Charles envisionned it. So, Scott, if that is indeed your real name, choose another battle.

David said...

Debating such issues with a fundie is like playing chess with a pigeon. You can be the greatest player in the world, but that won't stop the pigeon from knocking over all the pieces, shitting on the board and strutting around triumphantly.

NewEnglandBob said...

I doubt that Scott has the ability to read all of your terrific response.

Chatpilot said...

If laughter is the best medicine then theistic ideas about reason, logic, and evolution are more than entertaining. Some of the responses or challenges I get on my blog to my unbelief sometimes just blows me away. I guess if you're a theist then ignorance is indeed heavenly bliss.

sd555 said...

I assume that Scott believes that arguing that the Theory of Evolution has immoral implications is an argument that the theory is wrong. Clearly, he doesn't understand anything about the nature of truth. Evolution is true, no matter what the implications of the theory may be. It's true because of the vast amount of data supporting it.

At the same time, I've always been bothered by the ideas inherent in Social Darwinism. I am a physician. It seems to me that it could certainly be argued that scientific medicine, by allowing people to survive and have children who might otherwise have died from genetic diseases first, is working counter to evolution, and is actually weakening the genetic makeup of our species.

Don't get me wrong - I still treat my patients first, and I'm not arguing that we should do anything differently. It's just that I wonder where this is headed in the long run.

I would be very interested in comments.

Mike Meyers said...

What I like to say to people like Scott is to remember that pet shelters and rescue groups are not interfering with evolution and survival of the fittest, because that would imply a natural event causing these animals to show up abused and abandoned. Instead, it is humans that have caused these events to occur. If it weren't for humans, maybe the dodo would still be here today, and that is a perfect example of interfering with the natural order. But people like Scott don't understand that. I guess he would rather you leave all those former pets wandering the streets, looking for food in his garbage, and those that can dig up enough scraps will survive.

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks for your comments all. BTW... "Scott" is indeed a southerner and southern Baptist. I looked him up on facebook before replying ;)

TO sd555... good point here's my take:
Social Darwinism is a perversion of a scientific theory. Where evolutionary theory is driven by nature/natural selection, social Darwinists co-opt those natural realities and use them as justification for their objectives to satisfy man-made social engineering - often of the most malodorous type.

A corresponding analogy that I might use with Xtians would be this:
Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist church's actions - since they are an outgrowth of Biblical doctrine- discredits the entirety of Judeo-Christian doctrine.

Does Phelps' existence and mentality and one might say extremist perversion of judeo-christian doctrine render judeo-christian doctrine false and defunct? And if it does, does it thus credit ancient Egyptian or Hindu creationist myths more genuine than Genesis?

Thus a freethinker would say to a Christian: "As believer in Christianity and Christian values for you to be consistent with your belief system you must picket soldiers funerals, carry hate signs against America, and teach your children to despise homosexuals as worthy of death."

The Christian replies: "But that's not true Christianity; Phelps is not practicing what Jesus would have us practice...he wouldn't recognize it as Christian"

My answer: "Nor would Darwin recognize the co-opting of his natural theory as a justification for man's immoral action."

It's not a perfect example, of course, since religious doctrine is not science; but it helps them understand the fallacy of their erroneous perception of evolutionary theory.

Marie said...

In fact, “evolutionist/atheist/humanists/liberals” are far more likely to volunteer at shelters and humane societies, as well as donating to them. Christian fundamentalists still believe the mistranslated ‘man has dominion over the animals’ of Genesis. In fact, ‘dominion’ should read ‘responsibility for.’ Not that it matters, for it’s all mythology anyway. But if the Fundamentalists are going to believe that stuff, they’d probably ought to get the original text correctly. But then, that would involve believing that animals have physical and emotional sensations. Believing that would make them feel um, responsible, for the welfare of these animals, so they choose to think/believe/claim that animals are simply some sort of automaton , thus reinforcing their myth of unique superiority over all forms of life in the universe. Now they are comfortable ignoring the plight of mistreated, abandoned, and neglected animals, whether in homes, on the street, or in labs. It’s easier to think that their suffering is all part of god’s plan and that it doesn’t really matter anyway, because animals can’t feel their own suffering. Consequently, it’s we atheists who tend to the humane care of those animals.


Joe said...


Nice take-down of the simpleton Scott. Also, a nice, reasoned response to sd555's query; I rather like the analogy and will be filing it away for later use when the time is right!

Anonymous said...

I can never understand these people. Evolution is a theory based on nature, period. It says nothing nor has anything to do with people and how societies are formed. I can't imagine Darwin, with his research would ever use it to explain civilization. I'm sure he would be appalled at that. Social Darwinist were rabid racist and xenophobes who didn't like immigrants coming into the country. They wanted to find ways to justify their racism. This Scott character shows what happens when the philosophy of reason is is removed from thinking.

Bookish Babe