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Why I do not want to argue with creationists

By Paul So ~

Don’t get me wrong: I strongly disagree with any young-earth or old-earth creationists as much as the next person in this wonderful website. I think young-earth creationism is a failed falsified hypothesis since there are contrary evidences such as data from radiometric measurements that the earth is around 4.5 billions of years old or the vast amounts of data that supports evolution. Furthermore, I think young-earth is so clearly and demonstrably false that there is no further incentive to even bother debunking it. The only reason why I would probably want to debunk it is to show why young-earth creationism can never become a science. However, I do not want to argue with young-earth creationists. I do not want to argue with them for various of reasons but the main thrust of those reasons is that it is emotionally time-consuming for me. I simply cannot tolerate the amount of Bullsh*t that exists in creationism, and it baffles me that there is so much scientific ignorance among young-earth creationist. Nonetheless I think I want to give list of reasons why I don’t want to argue with young-earth creationists

eaten by creationism
eaten by creationism (Photo credit: reallyboring)
First, I cannot argue with young-earth creationists without feeling some anger, frustration, and impatience. This is in part because I feel like I am arguing with my former self who use to believe in those things and that I strongly dislike young-earth creationism for misrepresenting and unfairly disparaging evolution. A lot of the negative emotions I feel probably lies in certain attitudes I have: 1) I have little patience with ignorance that can easily be supplanted by going to the library, taking extra elective classes, watch documentaries, or simply talk to a professional scientists. 2) Anyone who tries to argue against science without having any scientific background or credential and believes that the person is correct nonetheless is an extremely pretentious person that pisses me off. My top seven deadly sins is pretentiousness. Maybe that’s because I’m narrow minded? Perhaps, but I don’t mind being narrow minded to those whose positions are already demonstrated to be wrong. How can I justify this? Well, an open mind is helpful when it isn’t obvious what the answer or solution is, you can’t simply presume an answer without any background knowledge and evidence. But when evidences starts to pile up indefinitely to support a certain view over others then there is simply no reason to keep an open mind. Once the evidence indefinitely supports a specific view you do not need to take other views into consideration. You only take them into consideration when there are strong evidence supporting theirs.

Second, I get really annoyed when young-earth creationists try to reference their evidence to support their views or falsify evolution. I get really annoyed because I have to do a lot more research for a view (namely evolution) that has already been establish by science but I have to do an extra more work on establishing it for that person. Also, from observing how young-earth creationists support creationism or argue against evolution, most of the time the argumentation are intellectually dishonest and seriously one-sided. They often read works from creationists authors who either aren’t scientists or happens to be a discredited scientist. I would have to read their works to find out what is true and what is false. I simply hate doing that, this is a waste of my time. I’m not a scientist, I’m a philosopher who studies philosophy both for academic pursuit and pleasure. I want to focus on philosophical problems but at the same time I don’t mind educating myself on the matters of science on occasion, but I don’t want to overexert myself doing more science than I need to.

Third, for me the debate simply is not worth it. Perhaps it is important for other people which I think is great. I think it’s wonderful that they find a sense of purpose in trying to spread the truth (or facts), I think that they will make a beautiful dent in our society (no sarcasm intended). However, I don’t want any part of it because I don’t think there should have been a debate on this issue in the first place. Scientists are competent and qualified to settle the issues on Evolution, Big Bang, Global Warming, biological Inheritance of homosexuality (as well as environmental influences), and stem-cell research. But stupid politicians, clergymen, televangelists, and religious parents always have to hijack a topic to make it into a controversy when in fact there should be no controversy when scientists have already established what is most likely true. To me this is simply ludicrous. I especially hate it when they try to make this into a “political” issue that can be resolved by politics and religion, when in fact it can only be solved by doing science! Politics can try fix political problems of laws, crime, budgets, taxes, and policy-making but stop going beyond that! Churches should focus on their own community members but they should stop invading schools, white houses, capital hill, and the laboratories.

I’m going to educate myself on what evolution and big bang theories are, but I don’t want to argue with creationists because for me it’s a big waste of time. Fourth, a pattern I think most of us realize is that there are so many bad arguments made by creationists. They argue that there are so many missing links which is true but they haven’t considered the significant progress in finding those missing links which consequently further supported the predictions evolution made. They argue that evolution can’t be real because complex things require intelligent design; sorry to break it to you but intelligent design has been falsified by evolutionary biologists from Dobzhansky to Kenneth Miller! There are so many bad arguments that I can’t begin to count; it’s stupidly amazing. I have no patience to argue with someone who continues to throw bad arguments or assertions from books that I would have to read. What even pisses me off more is this attitude from creationists: “If I win this argument, then I have successfully defended my faith! If I lost then it’s ok because I’m still right!”. The problem with this attitude is that they want to win an argument but they don’t want to educate themselves. Why can’t creationists just go to the library to find a book on evolution to read it? Why can’t creationists go to documentaries that explains what evolution is? Why can’t creationists take courses on evolution? I know some who did those things, but STILL did not believe, and continues to misunderstand what evolution is!

I personally get tired of this. I’m going to educate myself on what evolution and big bang theories are, but I don’t want to argue with creationists because for me it’s a big waste of time. Arguments for me are mostly valuable when we are arguing about issues which there are not obvious solutions or answers to, it is when the issue itself is controversial or contentious. But thing like evolution or big bang are not contentious, disputable, or controversial. They are well establish by scientists but they are still in progress for better details. When I engage in an argument with someone about evolution or big bang I feel like I am to some extent granting the assumption that evolution and big bang are controversial! Sure, it is controversial to the other side, but so what? It’s controversial to them because they are uninformed and uneducated. It doesn’t matter if you get bachelor’s degrees or if you know how to read and write: I consider you uneducated if you stubbornly refuse to accept something that has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

All I can say to those of you who do argue with young-earth creationists is this: “Good luck” While the human mind is flexible it can be very stubborn because of a lot of emotions and cognitive biases that are at work. Especially since most of us acquire and develop beliefs which we associate with our community, we value those beliefs too much that we ignore the evidences. When you are inside of academia and science, the story is a bit different since there is the norm that you must provide arguments and evidences for your view, but outside of the scientific community it’s the wild west of tribes who are in all out war against each other without an arbiter. I’m not saying that this can’t be done, it can, but it’s a lot of commitment and I’m simply not up or it, I simply want to educate myself and explore ideas.