The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 22, 2014: Will Creationists Never Get It?

In case you didn’t already know, I’m an Atheist, and happy and proud to be one. I believe that our portion of the Space-Time Continuum came into being as the result of a Big bang, an explosion of matter and energy that rapidly expanded, and eventually formed the many, many galaxies of which our own is just one. I said “Space-Time Continuum” instead of “Universe” because I believe there are many, many Universes, spread far apart from one another. The Space-Time Continuum is just the framework within which everything happened, happens, and will happen. It is infinite in size, and infinite in time. It has always existed and it will always exist, but the matter and energy within it will constantly change. It was not brought into existence by anything, it was already there. Matter and energy may be turned into each other, but the infinite framework will still be there. Many religions that believe in a God have a Creation Myth. The one in the Christian Bible is not the only one, but that’s the one that religious conservatives want to see imposed on everyone. Their Creation Myth begins with three simple words, “In the beginning…” And that’s where the Bible and I part company. Because as far as I’m concerned, there was no beginning. People erroneously believe there MUST have been a First Cause, some kind of Force that brought everything into existence. I disagree. You want to tell me that the Space-Time Continuum Framework was entirely empty before some kind of Deity decided to start making stuff in it? For how long must that Deity, that all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing Deity, have sat around in a whole bunch of Nothingness? That makes absolutely no sense at all. None. What makes much more sense is that there was no beginning, that it was always there in some form or another. And it will still be there long after we all turn to star dust. Wouldn’t that imply that Life has no purpose? Yeah, but so what? In the wise words of Peter Falk in The Princess Bride, “Who said Life is fair?”

Which brings us to the Creationists of Answers In Genesis. They still don’t understand the concept of Science. They’re upset because Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the revival of “Cosmos,” won’t allow “balance” and present the view of the anti-Evolutionists. They seem to think that any effort to educate the public about things like the Truth, using such controversial tactics as citing Facts, must be balanced by teaching things what could only be described as “Falsehoods” and “Lies.” They seem to think that young people should be taught all points of view, no matter how absurd or demonstrably false, and then let them “decide” what they want to believe. This is how you raise a generation of stupid people. And stupid people tend to be conservative in their thinking (a well-documented fact), and stupid, I mean, conservative, in their voting. This has always been part of the long term strategy of the Right. People who don’t understand how Science works, who think that every point of view is valid, tend to be easily manipulated emotionally into being afraid. And people who are afraid make bad decisions, like voting for Conservatives to govern them. Which is why the Conservatives let the Religious Right have their way, no matter how wrong, no matter how intellectually void of merit their ideas, no matter how unconstitutional their proposed legislation.

Creationists continue to insist that their views be given equal weight with Scientific viewpoints and Theories. But there is absolutely nothing scientific about Creationism or Intelligent Design. They start with the premise that God exists, and assume that anything that isn’t understood is the Will of God and Not For Mere Mortals to Understand. That is not Science. How can you test any hypothesis when you hope the result is that you can’t discern the answer, so it must be God’s work? Even more, Creationism isn’t even a true Theory in the scientific sense. It’s nothing more than a belief that things happened a certain way, on the whim and time scale of a Power we can’t hope to understand, with no allowance for any belief otherwise. Why should that be given equal weight with the culmination of hundreds of years of scientific discipline and pursuit of the Truth? Especially when it’s been long proven that the Religious views on the nature of the Universe have been proven wrong time and again? The Sun does not revolve around the Earth. The Earth is not the center of the galaxy, let alone the Universe. We are no more important in the Grand Scheme of Things than the people living on a planet circling Alpha Centauri. And they probably think the same thing about us. And you know what? We’re both right.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Creationism, real Science, Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson, or anything else about Neil deGrasse Tyson that you like.

38 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 22, 2014: Will Creationists Never Get It?

  1. Krystal Ball in for Kornacki is a winner in my opinion. If you have to be totally bored by meaningless speculation over another ‘debris sighting’, might as well enjoy looking at the host.

  2. People [conservatives] erroneously believe there MUST have been a First Cause, some kind of Force that brought everything into existence. [. . .] They start with the premise that God exists, [etc]

    I like to ask them from what ‘first cause’ did god come, and their answer is always the same: “God is eternal.”

    The next query (last one, usually) is “if you accept an eternal entity, why the extra step? Why ‘god’? Why not simply the Space-Time Continuum? It’s a lot simpler, and is devoid of baggage as well.”

    Then comes silence.

  3. Who cares what these ignorant brainless idiots think?
    Oh wait, THEY DO!
    then there are others who write these freaks off.

  4. In reading comments on the various stories about the creationists outrage I think the best idea I’ve seen is to agree to give them equal time as soon as Marion “Pat” Robertson and his ilk agree to give scientists and fraud attorneys equal time on their shows.

    On the multiverse in general. I read a fascinating paper on dark energy that postulated said dark energy was the gravitational pull of contracting universes outside our own expanding universe. These outside universes are akin to a big bag of balloons. The bag is the total gravitational pull that keeps these universes in proximity. When the shrinking universes reach a tipping point they collapse into a singularity, the singularity reaches a tipping point where the outward pressure exceeds the gravitational force and, boom, the singularity spawns another big bang that causes another expanding universe to start the whole process over again.

    • Here’s some more ‘new’ stuff which, if a creationist could learn to read and comprehend, would likely blow his mind (which wouldn’t make much of a bang, of course):

      First direct evidence of cosmic inflation

      Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of our best telescopes. All this, of course, was just theory.

      Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence for this cosmic inflation. Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.” Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.

      “Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today. A lot of work by a lot of people has led up to this point,” said John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, leader of the BICEP2 collaboration.

      These groundbreaking results came from observations by the BICEP2 telescope of the cosmic microwave background — a faint glow left over from the Big Bang. [. . .]

  5. Ah, the irony! A true and genuine FOOL speaks (actually, lots of them do) here!

    Saturday nutpick-a-palooza: Heavens we’re being maligned!

    “The danger to America is not Barrack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with no accomplishment or qualification to give any hint that he would or could execute the duties of the world’s most important job.

    It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of this President than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved uneducated electorate looking for handouts thus willing to elect such unqualified men for their president.

    The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

    The Republic can survive a Barrack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president. “Victor David Hanson.

    Yup. The Republic is doomed to a citizenry that can access affordable health care and marry the persons they love. If we can get our shit together, we might even doom it to better income distribution and a more robust social net. Here’s hoping!

    • The man worships WAR. Eat, sleeps, drinks WAR, of course he has a sour taste about giving assistance to those not at war (read: social programs such as safety nets for food and housing).

      I’m with you Frugal about all the positive ‘foolish’ actions taken by the President and the ‘fools’ who voted him in to do these things!

  6. Why do Republicans hate America’s National Parks?

    After 108 years of presidents using the Antiquities Act to save some of the nation’s most critical natural areas, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) says that the creation of this new national monument was an egregious overreach by President Obama. Of course.

    This is after the Republican government shutdown cost the National Parks 7.88 million visits during the 16-day shutdown, resulting in a total loss of $414 million in the communities around the parks.

    Republican hostility toward parks isn’t anything new—they see them as great big government barriers to what should be happening on that land: drilling and fracking and logging and mining. But this is the first time they’ve actually voted specifically on ending them forever.

    • You’re not too far off, Wayne. Fresh water is the key phrase.

      Of all the water on Earth, 97.5% is contained within the oceans, while the remaining 2.5% is freshwater lakes and frozen water locked up in glaciers and the polar ice caps – almost 69% of the fresh water on Earth is ice. If you could melt all the water on Earth, and the Earth’s surface was perfectly smooth, the water would rise to an altitude of 2.7 km.

  7. hmm…

    Jesus’ “Crown of Thorns” shown at Notre Dame

    A crown of thorns which was believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX in 1239 is presented at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

      • (wonder how much King Louis paid for he ‘crown’)

        god wouldn’t allow any of that ‘nonsense’ to be left on the crown –
        “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing…”

          • Are you no longer computerless? It’s a little late for the library to be open.

            • Is Ms G all settled in, and has you trained to her liking?
              That is the cutest, most ‘innocent’ looking face on that kitty in the gravatar!

            • We’re still battling over the right chair arm, on my recliner. I think I ought to get to keep my arm and the computer mouse there, and she thinks she can lay down across arm and mouse so they can’t move the cursor.

  8. I missed nonewhere’s 12 favorite albums on friday night. 55 years of seriously listening to music I found that to be a daunting task. Whatever 12 albums I pick would leave another 30+ demanding to be heard. However the task was fun, albeit short of being complete. So here’s my late entries.
    Charlie Musselwhite – Stranger in a strange land

    Paul Butterfields Blues Band – East west
    Robert Cray – Strong Persuader
    Fred Neil – The many sides of Fred Neil
    Bonnie Raitt – The Bonnie Raitt collection
    Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
    Beatles – Sgt.Pepper
    Errol Garner

    • I couldn’t even begin to tackle that task…
      too many to choose, ergo I just listen to music all the time!

    • That was weird. To continue…
      Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
      Bob Dylan – Freewheelin
      Bob Dylan – Blond on Blond
      Santana – Blues for Salvador

    • Nonewhere said to name the 12 most influential albums, so I stuck to music that I felt was special to me, while I was still learning what I liked. If I had included favorites, then the list would have gotten too long too.

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