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Author Topic:   Ignorant, stupid or insane? (Or maybe wicked?) (ZenMonkey and Dr Adequate only)
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3449 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 1 of 8 (548306)
02-26-2010 5:44 PM


Richard Dawkins writes:

It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).

Over in the How do scientists explain the cause of the Ice Age(s)? thread, among numerous digressions, Dr Adequate and I had a friendly disagreement about just what is going on in some creationists' minds, beginning with Message 15.

Dr Adequate writes:

I myself prefer the belief that creationists are halfwits, and will defend this view against the proposition that creationists are deliberate liars in despite of anyone who prefers that opinion.

ZenMonkey writes:

I'll accept that debate challenge. Before I came here I spent a year visiting the blog of a certain mustachioed Kiwi charlatan. Having witnessed the amazing level of deception of both self and others on display there, I assert that very few people could mouth the utter nonesense of creationism and not know on some level that they were full of shit.

Dr Adequate writes:

Very well. I maintain that the vast majority of creationists are sincere, and I shall argue for it. Start a thread.

And so here we are.

If we follow Dr Dawkins's schema above, it appears that Dr Adequate is arguing for ignorant and/or stupid, while I appear to be arguing for the unsavory choice of wicked. Insane is up for grabs.

We'll take for granted the most of what creationists accept is, to be charitable, not supported by the evidence. It could be that they simply haven't been exposed to evidence (ignorant), fail to grasp it if it is presented to them (stupid), or in my view, deliberately choose not to understand it (wicked/liars). I'd go so far as to say that on some level they really do know that what they're saying is simply not true, but will not accept it for reasons of their own.

Exhibit 1, "Dr" Kent Hovind.

Looking into "Dr" Hovind's glassy eyes, do we think that he really believes this stuff? Does he just not know any better? Or one way or another, does he know perfectly well (or at least suspect) that what he's saying is simply not true? While only Jesus knows what's really in his heart, what does the available evidence tell us?

Edited by ZenMonkey, : Clarity (always needed).

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add the "(ZenMonkey and Dr Adequate only)" to the topic title.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Adminnemooseus, posted 02-26-2010 9:32 PM ZenMonkey has responded

ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3449 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 3 of 8 (548328)
02-26-2010 10:21 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Adminnemooseus
02-26-2010 9:32 PM


Re: A 1 on 1 debate with Dr Adequate?
My own preference would be to throw it wide open, perhaps as a Free For All. I suspect that the Dr and I would agree far more than we'd differ. Also, he'd quite likely whup me in a mano-a-mano. But since the topic originated in the form of a debate, I'd agree to that, too. Dunno what Dr Adequate would most enjoy.

This should be fun, regardless.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Adminnemooseus, posted 02-26-2010 9:32 PM Adminnemooseus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Adminnemooseus, posted 02-26-2010 11:16 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3449 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 6 of 8 (548623)
02-28-2010 5:50 PM


Calling the Dr - shall we play a game?
I'd rather not see this conversation die, as I still appreciate its potential for entertainment.

I'm not sure if I'm following Great Debate protocol exactly, but I'll start with a couple of observations, and then see if Dr Adequate is interested.

I contend that each of us has our own positive claims to support. On Dr Adequate's side, he'll have to offer evidence that outright stupidity is a dominant trait among creationists, and that they are indeed creationists just because they can't grasp even simple concepts when they are presented with them.

Basic ignorance is only the starting place, and as far as I'm concerned, it isn't that significant a factor. Creationists, like anyone else, may just not be very educated. They may have passed through the public school system or been homeschooled, but either way, it's common enough for high school graduates and even college students to be deprived of huge chunks of real learning. It's what they do when they are presented with the facts of the Theory of Evolution that matters.

Dr Adequate should show that creationists' dimwittedness is not selective. In other words, they have to be dumb in more areas than just science. If they can't understand math or English grammar either, then lack of intelligence may indeed be factor in their insistence on substituting belief in simple stories for facts.

I have a somewhat more difficult position to defend. I have to show that creationists are indeed capable of understanding Evolution, but that they choose not too. Further, I think that I'll have to show that they not only flee opportunities to learn, but that they commonly repeat falsehoods even when they've been shown many times over why they're wrong. That counts as lying as far as I'm concerned.

We might want to draw a distinction between active promoters of creationist nonsense and those who simply repeat what they're told. Take Ray Comfort. (Please.) It would be a slam dunk for me to make a substantial list of the lies that he spews out over the course of just one week of his blog. Of course, he's also a demonstrable dim bulb, but still. He's a liar, through and through.

Maybe we could take a recent example as a starting place. I'm thinking of herebedragons and his latest post, Are mutations truly random or are they guided?. He's what I think of as a typical creationist. He's come out with a fairly standard creationist position, been told that his assumptions and/or understanding are faulty, and most importantly, he's been told why he's wrong and where to go if he actually wants to learn something about natural selection's role in evolution. Now let's see what he does. So far his only post in the thread has been the OP. Will he actually go read something factual? Will he return with nothing to offer but restatements of his original position? Or will he just run away? Let's see.

Next?


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

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