Essay:What is creationism?
The reality of creationism
Let us be perfectly clear. This is not an essay to enumerate the varying definitions and guises of creationism, and its attendant corollaries. It is assumed a priori that the reader will know these things (there is an introduction here). Thus one is left with the patently obvious question, “well, then what is the meaning of titling your essay in such a declarative way?” And the answer is equally obvious, for I mean to introduce creationism and the intellectual detritus which accompanies it. At this one might puzzle as to how you do that without defining it, so allow me to clarify. I mean to introduce creationism’s real agenda, and strip it of the sanctimonious shrouds of religious piety and scientific purity that it so loves to seek refuge in. No academic treatise on the varying points of opposition to evolution will be offered herein, this is a passionate attack on one of the most deceitful, fraudulent, and sloppiest lies to ever be put over on the civilized world.
Creationists claim true science & true faith
Creationists, regardless of which particular brand of creationism they enjoy claiming allegiance to, are united in two basic assertions. They can be effectively encapsulated in the following statements: that they are the ones practicing true science, and that it is they and they alone who are the guardians of true faith in the written and revealed word of their deity. Both are of concern as surely as they are false, but it is the first which must particularly concern the scientific community, and the general public.
Creationism is assumed to be valid
The argument goes something like this. Creationism is real therefore evolution is false and if evolution is false creationism must be real. To any intelligent person the circularity and philosophical bankruptcy of this standpoint, central to all creationist pontifications on science, is obvious. They literally beg the question, presuming to be true the very thing they wish to prove. Creationist “science” consists of rejecting every fundamental precept upon which science is constructed, from empiricism to falsification. On philosophical grounds, it would take a healthy dose of Thorazine to convince anyone with even a modicum of brains about them, that creationism meets the minimum requirements of science. But scarcely take my word for it; let us examine creationist arguments themselves.
How creationists derive their beliefs
First and foremost how do they arrive at their conclusions? Scientists do so by the Scientific Method, a process so fundamental to scientific inquiry that I will not elaborate on it here. Do creationists adhere to this method? Absolutely not. They arrive at a priori conclusions and then seek to mold reality to their warped view thereof. This is an attempt to define the world, not describe it. At best it could be referred to as philosophy, but the name of that discipline would be sullied by such a referral and thus I shall abstain. In so doing creationists reject empiricism, the very heart of science, and instead erect a twisted edifice to subjectivity and rhetoric with which they proceed to formulate the most farcical concepts ever imagined.
Falsification ruled out
Thus, falsification is automatically ruled out. Anyone familiar with the work of the great philosopher of science, Karl Popper will realize that the ability to falsify a hypothesis is pivotal to its recognition as scientific as opposed to philosophical. Consider for instance, the opinion that the author has an invisible friend next to him twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. Can this be falsified? Of course not, as some convoluted explanation can always be thought up to explain away any discrepancy between reality and my assertions that, yes, I have an invisible friend next to me. Creationist “hypotheses” are much the same. They are so obscenely malleable, so devoid of factual basis, that they can take shape to engulf any new data brought to light to refute them, incorporate these data, and claim that the hypothesis was congruent with these data all along. If creationists unilaterally reject empiricism and falsification, the two central tenets of scientific thought, then on what grounds can we possibly call creationism science, if we mean to keep a straight face?
Deities invoked to explain discordance between theory & reality
To this, the worthy creationist will object that they defend their ideas on the basis of their scientific merits. Yet this is curious, as creationists must inevitably invoke a deity of one sort or another to explain the significant discordance between reality and their theories. Now what makes this particularly interesting, is that you do not see scientists calling upon their respective deities to explain flaws in their research, or similar problems. Why is this? Simple, because that is not how science works. If creationism cannot meet the basic requirements by which science is defined it therefore follows that it is nothing more than opinion without basis in reality, held on faith alone.
Creationists claim a monopoly of profound religious faith
And on matters of faith, what of the tireless and rather agitating creationist claim that they have a monopoly on the most pious and profound religious faith conceivable? It has always struck me as an odd claim, for a variety of reasons. Historically, those with the deepest and most truly profound faith have been those for whom faith alone was enough. Consider Gandhi. Did he feel compelled to try and bend science to the defense of his faith? Not at all. For the truly pious are secure in their faith and need not invoke crusades against reality in an attempt to reassure them that their faith is merited. Thus creationists strike me as the most insecure, faithless, and impious adherents of religious teachings ever to exist.
And yet at the same time, they have the temerity to pontificate on what their respective deities can and cannot do, in an attempt to define not only nature but God or the gods (or goddesses, or whatever). Assuming for a moment that there are such deities, I cannot help but think that they would find it rather distressing that their characters were being redefined by a naïve lot of mortals on a lonely planet in a side-arm of the Milky Way. The temerity of such a gesture is astonishing, and it naturally makes one wonder just who these creationists think they are, preaching to the divine. And, when one thinks of that, it leads inescapably to a cleverly hidden and far more disturbing idea. Perhaps they have no religious aspirations at all.
Creationists manipulate religion
Perhaps this is a rhetorical farce to use religion as a lever through which to gain political and personal power. Creationists exploit the faith of well-meaning Christians (and those of other religions) to further their own purely political, financial and otherwise selfish goals at the expense of reality. They have not the slightest interest in true theology, the meaning of faith, or service and fidelity to the God they claim to so cherish. Creationism is a tool crafted to a very specific end; it is nothing more than the regurgitated claptrap of an ideology bereft of merit, and loathsome in its intentions.
For there can be no mistake that creationism means to destroy science, and replace it with a hollow shell of lies and deceit. And why, you might ask? The answer is not hard to fathom. Religion has ever been a crutch of despots and all those who seek to secure their eminence at the expense of all others. History is quite unequivocal in teaching this lesson, and yet as blind as we are we seem to have failed to learn it.
Creationists seek to destroy scientific thinking & American democracy
Creationists aim to not only destroy science in an effort to bolster their claims, they mean to redefine the United States of America, eviscerate the Constitution, and effectively dismantle American democracy, by instituting religious indoctrination in the schools and halls of public policy making. They mean to supplant all of these things with a form of oligarchy wrapped in the shrouds of science and religion redefined. And if one doubts this, one need only consult the publications of such notable creationist organizations as ICR, and the Discovery Institute to name but a few. Creationists are quite explicit in their stated goals, and there is little room for doubt as to what they wish to do, if allowed the chance. This is what creationism is. And thus revealed, the need to fight it on all fronts, scientific, philosophical, theological, administrative and judicial, is made all the more clear. There is no higher imperative if we mean to preserve intellectual freedom in this country.