Death didn't exist until Eve's stupid husband went off-diet. The idea that anything died
before then is stupid, and you're stupid for thinking that.
Last night saw a live, You-Tube-streamed debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy (TV host, president of the Planetary Society, and popular Internet person) and Ken Ham (no relation to Ham Rove), the CEO of "Answers In Genesis," who actually describes himself as a creation apologist. The event was held at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.
It's pretty long, and is half science and half even-more-boring-not-science. Just sayin'.
As the Daily Dot also points out, the highlight of Mr. Ham's talks were his cartoonish, morbid, kind-of-terrifying slides. Before we go on to mock those slides, though, we should point out that Creationists are just one (very bitter) flavor of Christianity, and that to attack one is not to attack the other.
It usually says "The Bible" on the side... this is already not going well.
Ham was polite, had a charming Australian accent, and he delivered a PowerPoint presentation that looked like a parody of creationist teachings, except that it's hard to parody creationist teachings because parodies are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Let's not make fun of them as if they have no influence, however, because they are spreading that influence every day in public and charter schools:
It's almost like different environments are favoring different species of schools... (via)
If you think the earth is 6,000 (or any number less than ten digits) years old, you're not going to enjoy this post. If I've learned one thing about conservatives, though, it's that they don't like political correctness. So don't worry, I won't sit here and pretend to think your viewpoint is valid just to be PC. I'm not attacking Christians. Heck, even Pope John Paul II personally affirmed the Catholic Church's belief in the Big Bang. So, let's look at this Creationist clip-art and try to appreciate them for their horrifying beauty without blaming all religious people for them:
Ah yes, the old secular "mystery marriage."
1. Evolution is wrong because it will ruin our morals. Let's just leave aside the fact that even by creationist standards, this has nothing to do with facts, evidence, science, measurements, or even evolution in particular. This just says that as far as creationists are concerned, if God (or whatever) set up a universe of natural laws that resulted in humans, rather than creating them from whole cloth, they cannot imagine a reason not to slaughter their children or the elderly, have sex they don't want to have, or commit genocide. The Bible is the only thing standing between them and the orgiastic slaughter of everything on Earth, and that should scare you.
If only we weren't required by law to obey a 1914 biology book.
2. Evolution is wrong because we would have no choice but to be Nazis if we embraced it. Yes, actually, we do. It really sucks that a lot of the first people who wrote about evolution were racist, and that it filtered into their writings and sparked horrific psuedo-science movements like eugenics and social darwinism. You know who else was racist? Almost everyone all the time ever. It's an evolutionary trait that aids group cohesion, but whatever. Point being: you can believe evolution is real and still believe humans are one species. Well, creationists can't, because apparently they can only take it on faith that people who have higher levels of melanin in their skin cells are genetically similar to them. So they believe in this:
Look at the monkey they drew. Every animal in the science version looks stupid on purpose.
Eve is looking pretty happy for a lady who literally brought death into the world.
But apparently, If they ever doubted their faith, Creationists would have no reason to believe that non-whites, despite having the same anatomy and genes, were actually human. So they would become really racist shortly before slaughtering all of them in a horny bloodbath (see point 1).
That blue line in the "orchard" trees is The Flood, which was way cooler than a meteor.
3. We do believe in evolution. We just believe a really ludicrous version of it. Yeah.... so you know what would happen if you zoomed in on any of the branches in the regular evolutionary tree? They would look like the creationist "orchard." This is just insisting that there were a fixed number of unrelated prototypes 6,000 years ago. Those can evolve, apparently. It's just that evolution previously can't be possible because it ain't in the Book.
Whoah, 69 whole feet down?! There's no way it might have been exposed 45,000 years ago!
4. This effing thing. Someone found 45,000-year-old wood in 45 million-year-old layer of basalt. Nye dismissed this by saying the basalt (an igneous rock) must have "slid over" the wood and picked it up on the way. What would have been a better note to close out on, though, is the fact that this entire story is creationist b.s. made up by a guy who locked the evidence away and won't let anyone else examine it.
I choose to think of this as a fun PSA: "A lot of beings died to make humans. Don't dishonor
their sacrifice by forgetting to wash the pesticides from your apples before you eat them!"
5. The parts of Creationism you just can't fix. The creationists can't figure out how I think it makes sense that proteins self-assembled from reactions in mineral-laden water in either high heat or the presence of electricity, kicking off a process that eventually formed RNA, DNA, and everything else. They also don't get why I can't get on board with "There was nothing, there was a week of heavy activity on God's part, then there was paradise, then we ate the apple we weren't supposed to, and since then we've lived shorter and shorter lives as death has spread across the world because God is angry." Ultimately, one of us is going to have to just replace the other. Fortunately for creationists, evolution doesn't say the smarter, better species wins the race; it just says those who reproduce better in their environments do. And I'll be damned if creationists don't reproduce well.
It took Adam and Eve 130 years to get around to doing it?!
6. Bible History. Human life was really, really, really long for the first few thousand years. Shame no one can remember the dinosaurs then. The most common explanations for this are a.) it's fictional and b.) some possible confusion between months and years (or tenths of years) in the translations (which would add up to pretty normal lifespans).. Also, virtually every single agricultural society sprang up around rivers that flood, because they're more fertile. This is why every culture has a flood story; because every human on Earth who wasn't a nomad grew up on a flood plain. It should be noted, also, that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of Mesopotamia were among the most unpredictable and violent of flooding rivers, and also gave rise to the culture that produced the Bible.
Wait, what are that guy and horse doing in the picture labeled "consummation"?!
7. Once again, we do believe in evolution, but an even more ludicrous and terrifying version of it. Maybe this is more like divine recycling? The bottom line is that Creationists think a.) everything around today is a pale shadow of the ideal versions of things that lived in Paradise before being corrupted by that sweet, sweet apple, and b.) think this whole thing is going to be wrapped up pretty soon. This idea of corruption and that God created a lot of things he didn't keep are key to Creationism. Leviathan and Behemoth were destroyed by God and are therefore obviously dinosaurs. But ultimately, if you think the timescale for life itself is not only a mere 6,000 years in the past but will be ending within the next 2,000 years at maximum, evolution is pretty stupid. All of existence will have come and gone in 8,000 years, during which God created us, got angry, punished us, and now has forgiven us again...which means we will cease to exist again.
I didn't mean to write all of this, but it turns out its hard not to debate creationists even when they're not around.
Check out these messages creationist kids wrote to their science-believing peers after the debate. Then, go sit somewhere with a nice cup of tea and try not to wonder whether the creationists are out-reproducing you.
(by Johnny McNulty)