Beginners Guide to Creationism

Found this hanging around my drafts section. This was originally published on the official RationalWiki blog. It is reproduced here for, well, just for the sake of it. Minor stylistic changes added.

What is it?

Creationism most generally means the belief that the entire universe was created by a deity in a supernatural incident. Most commonly it refers to the Christian one but almost all religions in the world have some sort of creation myth that explains the origins of the universe. What we’re most interested in, however, is the branch known as “young earth creationism” (YEC). Not all creationists are YECs, and there are a few alternative forms, but 99% of the time skeptics will use “creationism” and YEC interchangeably – mostly because other forms are less interesting to skeptics and de-bunkers.

YEC specifically proposes that the world was created literally as described in the Bible, only 6,000 years ago according to the chronology deduced by Archbshop James Ussher in the 17th century – with the creation occurring October 23rd, 4004 BC, in fact. Yes, this is after some recorded written history and milestones such as the domestication of the dog.

It’s primarily a Christian doctrine (fundamentalist Islam, for instance, opposes evolution but doesn’t insist on a “young” Earth) and in its modern form is common to North America, where as much as 45% of the adult population believes it.

Erm… why?

Put simply, people believe this because it’s exactly what the Bible tells them. No one is quite sure why it persists as a belief, but it seems to be due to the fact that if you can challenge the literal Genesis creation story, you can accidentally invalidate the rest of the religion with it. Hence why attacks on young earth creationism, which is a falsifiable (and falsified) hypothesis, is continually conflated with an attack on religion, or an attack on Christianity in any and all forms.

(For instance, here, which is a protracted rant against YEC and anti-evolutionists that doesn’t at any point really talk about God or Christianity – but nevertheless is attacked in many comments as something to do with an anti-God atheist that hates Christians.)

It’s worth remembering at this point that in most of Europe and in other, non-literalist forms of Christianity, the idea of an old earth and of evolution is not assumed to be in conflict with the basic tenets of the religion. The Catholic Church, for instance, has “officially” accepted evolution since 1950 and human evolution since 1996 and makes no demands that Ussher’s chronology is correct. Back on the other side of the pond, organisations such as Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis refer to such things as “compromise” – as in “compromised“, as if such acceptance of modern evolutionary theory and geology is somehow an infection in the purity of the true church.

What’s the evidence?

In the last 50 years or so, the Creationist movement in the US has branched out into “scientific creationism“. Skeptics often lambaste this as an oxymoron, but it does mean that they’ve been increasingly using “evidence” to support their claims. Here’s a brief run-down of a few of the common ones.

  • The ordering of fossils is due to Noah’s flood. The animals found near the top of sedimentary strata escaped the rising waters, the “primitive” ones at the bottom did not.
  • The Bible. Yes, this is actually used as evidence.
  • The Grand Canyon is evidence of a drainage channel caused by Noah’s global flood.

This list is actually difficult to populate because the thing that is most common to YEC “evidence” isn’t evidence for a young earth, but usually a list of (mostly imagined) grievances against evolution and deep time geology. In fact, one of the approaches put forward by skeptics for dealing with creationists is to hypothetically grant them all their grievances and ask “so what positive evidence do you propose?”

This is particularly important because the evidence for the planet being formed billions of years ago is far more extensive than positive creationist evidence.

And the evidence against evolution?

A list of grievances against evolution is easier to generate. Some basic ones are listed here without refutation because they are mostly PRATTs (Points Refuted A Thousand Times) or Not Even Wrong.

  • “Micro” evolution, which is small changes in varieties of animals, has been observed – while “macro” evolution, which is the change of animals into completely different ones, has not.
  • Radiometric dating is flawed because it is calibrated circularly with fossils.
  • There are no “transitional” fossils found between organisms.
  • DNA contains complex information that “cannot” have evolved because evolution cannot increase information.
  • Thermodynamic laws don’t allow life to become complex and ordered.
  • Science can’t explain the origin of life – also known as “molecules to man” evolution.
  • Science can’t prove that things evolved because it wasn’t there.

This is just a random sample of points, the lists often go into the hundreds.

Who are the main players?

The same names do crop up repeatedly in the YEC world, here is a brief list.

  • Kent Hovind – founder of ‘Creation Science Evangelism’, got a ‘PhD’ from a diploma mill. Currently serving 10 years for tax fraud and evasion. (as an update on this, has recently as of 2014/15 been attempting to sue anyone who calls his crime “fraud” or “evasion”, even though it is. He’s attempted to sue RationalWiki over it, but can’t seem to get his act together enough to properly serve the papers to the RMF. Most people attribute this to him getting some spectacularly bad advice from someone in prison who is as mentally ill as he is.)
  • Eric Hovind – the fairly charismatic but immature son of the above, now runs Kent’s ministries and hosts the “Creation Today” and “Creation Minute” webcasts.
  • Ken Ham – current head of Answers in Genesis. Tends to evangelise to children in order to capture them young, most famous for his “were you there?” argument. (further update, you will know him from his debate with Bill Nye the Science Guy where both parties were famously asked “what would change your mind?” – Nye replied “evidence”, Ham replied “nothing”. There you go.)
  • Ray Comfort – the infamous bananaman. Mostly concerned with (terrible) Christian apologetics but uses anti-evolution tropes to further this.
  • Duane Gish – now deceased vice president of the Institute for Creation Research. Notable for having the Gish Gallop named after him.
  • Jason Lisle – notable for having an actual legitimate PhD in astrophysics. Has a tendency to use very circular logic in his religious apologetics, and has attempted to solve the starlight problem.
  • Jonathan Sarfati – like Lisle, has a legitimate PhD and knows it. Also known for being a bit of an obnoxious one.
Creationism is certainly associated with some weird shit...

Creationism is certainly associated with some weird shit…

William Dembski and Michael Behe are also names that repeatedly crop up, but these two are most commonly associated with Intelligent Design, rather than YEC. Which brings us to…

What about Intelligent Design?

Intelligent Design (ID) is an offshoot from creationism that, nominally, has nothing to do with it – technically, it is just an anti-evolution position, and therefore distinct from YEC beliefs as it does not mandate a young earth. However, it’s often associated with creationists and overlaps significantly (see cdesign proponentists and the Wedge Strategy), leading to the very justified accusation that it’s used to make creationism “respectable”, and tries to hide the “God” aspects in order to sneak it into schools in the US – where separation of Church and State is legally enshrined. ID is often called “creationism in a cheap suit” because of this.

And so what?

Creationism forms the bedrock of the anti-science movement in the US. It’s almost political suicide to speak against it, as such a thing is perceived as an attack on religion, which is absolutely sacred. As a result, it infiltrates a lot of the political sphere – which, importantly, controls funding for science programs. Creationism is also heavily associated with the Religious Right, and their attempts to get it taught in schools are readily associated with attempts to establish Biblical teachings in schools (along with their other depressing aspects including homophobia, misogyny and racism). In short, while it is a fundamentally silly and easily refuted, the way it’s played as a “freedom of religion” issue or as part of a persecution complex against Christianity, should be very worrying.

Spectacular Quote Mining

I was digging through a few of my older bits of crap from the internet, and found a side-by-side article I wrote in early 2012. To be honest, it’s a bit long and cruddy, but the inanity of the article being critiqued – especially towards the end – doesn’t fill me with the impetus to have another shot at it.

Anyway, I rediscovered this quote from the original, written by Philip Vander Elst:

Richard Dawkins, for instance, describes the idea of God as “a very naive, childish concept,” and has explicitly expressed his relief that Darwinism enables him to be “an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Earlier Darwinists made similar comments. In 1943, for example, Professor D.M.S. Watson wrote: “Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists not because it has been observed to occur or…can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” (Quoted in “Science and the BBC”, Nineteenth Century, April 1943). But if Darwinism is being embraced because of an unexamined philosophical (or emotional) prejudice against God and the idea of creation, why should it be accorded any respect as a scientific theory?

Elst’s point here is that evolution has been almost invented entirely to get rid of God – even where the data clearly doesn’t fit. Evolutionists are out to disprove God, and that’s their one and only motive. And look, he has the quotes to prove it! Right there! Look!

You know what I call it? Shameless. Truly shameless. Truly fucking shameless. It’s a quote mine that is so common, so mundane, and so over-used by creationist asshats, that it even has a Wikipedia section dedicated to it – not that I’m accusing Philip Vander Elst of being a literal, Ussher-chronology young earth creationist, but his work does fall into the black pit of the worst apologetics I’ve read. Actually, that could be misleading because calling it “worst” implies that I’ve found apologetics that are reasonable.

It takes little-to-no effort to track down the source, as I did in the original side-by-side of Elst’s oversized derp-wagon. For instance, you can find the original sourced to a 1929 article in Nature, while Elst had clearly only gotten as far as taking C.S. Lewis’ word for it when he wrote that bullshit above – it’s almost word-for-word how Lewis quoted and described Watson’s position. Indeed, how apt for someone who is somewhat of a scholar of C.S. Lewis (if such a thing can be a genuine academic occupation) and for a post that is mostly a quasi-plagiarised rehash of C.S. Lewis’ own apologetics.

This is Watson’s original quote from his article (Lewis/Elst’s extract is highlighted in douche-y green):

Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists not because it has been observed to occur or is supported by logically coherent arguments, but because it does fit all the facts of taxonomy, of paleontology, and of geographical distribution, and because no alternative explanation is credible.

Look carefully at the quote-mined version, you’ll spot an ellipsis – as clearly Watson’s paragraph there only looks a little like the Elst/Lewis’ extract. In fact, most of the sentence is removed. This isn’t just clearing up some extraneous detail for brevity – this is actually hiding things. The second part of the quote mine comes a page or so later, and combined with the above clearly makes the point that “incredible” is being used in a literal sense (meaning “not credible”). It is presented as so:

The extreme difficulty of obtaining the necessary data for any quantitative estimation of the efficiency of natural selection makes it seem probable that this theory will be re-established, if it be so, by the collapse of alternative explanations which are more easily attacked by observation and experiment. If so, it will present a parallel to the theory of evolution itself, a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.

It’s pretty clear putting all of Watson’s comments together that he’s simply heading off the usual anti-evolutionist objections that evolution cannot be observed. Indeed, how can it, per se? We live, at best, 100 years; can a single person observe the evolution of a shrew-like creature into a primate? Of course not. But we have much more evidence for it than that – and such “direct” evidence isn’t required. Further, the alternative anti-evolutionary views suffer from a complete lack of evidence or any logical founding that makes them plausible. Of course D. M. S. Watson would say this, and not offer some tacit admission that he thinks evolution is wrong but likes how it destroys God – the man had expertise on the subject and amassed a list of accolades I doubt I’ll ever achieve. Why would anyone think for a moment that such a person would say “evolution is wrong”? It’s this sort of behaviour that really makes some apologists the lowest of the low in terms of honesty, intelligence and general credibility both scientific and academic. They are, literally, incredible.

C.S. Lewis, the originator of the quote-mine, put it as so – and, in doing so, shamelessly invented the page-long ellipsis to go with it.

More disquieting still is Professor D. M. S. Watson’s defense. “Evolution itself,” he wrote, “is accepted by zoologists not because it has been observed to occur or… can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” Has it come to that? Does the whole vast structure of modern naturalism depend not on positive evidence but simply on an a priori metaphysical prejudice. Was it devised not to get in facts but to keep out God?

So, what did Elst want to achieve in 2003 by citing a quote originally made in 1929, using a quote-mine first published in 1941? Back when I wrote that original side-by-side, I described this as “intellectually vacuous”. I still can’t think of a better term to sum it all up.

Top Five Dumb Things Creationists Say

Inspired by a search term that apparently drove traffic to this blog (let’s, erm… not do many others), here are my personal Top Five dumb things creationists say. This is effectively “part 1” – “part 2” is here, and covers the Top Five of the dumbest things creationists have ever said. It involves nostrils and bukakke.

5. “That’s just an example of microevolution, it’s not macroevolution.”

The thing about “macro” and “micro” evolution is that these are terms creationists have effectively made up. They have definitions within evolutionary biology; microevolution being a reference to allele frequencies at a local level and macroevolution being evolution over separated gene pools, kind of like evolution at a species level versus evolution at a genus or family level.

But this usage bears little, if any, resemblance to how creationists use it. They use it as if they’re two different things; and that one can happen, and the other cannot. Yet the only reason that could ever be the case is if certain mutations and allele exchanges within the genetic code were allowed while others weren’t. We know of no such mechanism, and creationists don’t suggest one either.

The reason this is genuinely stupid is that the distinction is arbitrary. It’s malleable. It’s basically an excuse for creationists to shoehorn any glaringly obvious evidence into “microevolution” and still say that their fabled “macroevolution” doesn’t happen. Even clear cases of speciation, where we can demonstrate groups diverging so that they can no longer interbreed, is a case of “micro” evolution. Eventually, what creationists accept as microevolution will merge to be an exact replica of modern evolutionary synthesis.

4. “There are no transitional forms.”

This is literally just a creationist mantra. Repeat it often enough, and they’ll assume it’ll come true.

crockoduckAs with the previous example, this is dumb because it’s yet another example of creationists just making up a brand-new concept because they don’t understand how it’s implementation works in reality. Philosophically speaking, in an evolutionary framework every creature is a transition; a transition between its own parents and its own offspring. In a narrower sense, a transitional fossil exhibits some higher-level feature in partial development or alteration. To a creationist, however, the term means “half-duck-half-crocodile”. So, at least by their own bizarre and ineffective definition they’re right, but trivially so.

What makes it really, really stupid, though, is the fact that there are a metric fuckton of examples in the fossil record. They just pretend those don’t exist.

3. “Flooddidit.”

Everyone knows the response “Goddidit”. It’s a glorious handwave that lets sheer madness happen because you have a supernatural deity fucking about with the laws of logic on a daily basis. “Flooddidit” is the slightly more naturalistically bound cousin of the famous “Goddidit”. For a creationist, there is nothing we can see that can’t be explained by there being some whopping great-big flood four thousand years ago. Even completely contradictory things. The Grand Canyon in Arizona? Flood. The lack of a Grand Canyon in not-Arizona? Flood.

…under cataclysmic Flood conditions, explosive blooms of tiny organisms like coccolithophores could produce the chalk beds in a short space of time.

There is no real logic or explanation behind this stuff. Just… flooddidit.

2. “Evolution is a religion.”

chick_religionThis is a painfully common retort, and can spew from Ken Ham’s mouth almost like it was some automatic Tourette-like reflex that he suffers from constantly. I even imagine him shouting it when waking, in a cold sweat, from a dream where he’s being chased by PZ Myers riding a triceratops.

Now, I’m sure I could go on and on about the linguistic ramifications of treating evolution as a religion, or how if you simply “define” evolution as a religion you can make it perfectly true, but only in a trivial and inconsequential way… but in reality even then it’s still stupid. If you’re going to conflate a branch of scientific study and well-explored theory with mass cultural identity, worship and faith, based around non-falsifiable assertions about the nature of reality, then you’ve broadened your use of “religion” so far as to make it completely useless as a word.

Then again, it makes sense to creationists. They think evolution is a religion because it is an unfalisifiable worldview. And of course it’s an unfalsifiable worldview because evolution is a religion! We know this because evolution is an unfalsifiable worldview…

1. [Insert rant about “religious freedom” here]

Once you’ve totally exhausted all reasonable pathways to proving a point, the last resort is to declare your freedom to believe it anyway.  It’s confusing to the reality-based community that this is some kind of virtue, but hey, it’s still technically allowed – even if it is a tacit admission that you really have no fucking evidence at all that it’s factually true. And that’s the problem; when someone is making a statement about reality, something that can be seen, tested, looked at, examined, and should constrain what we expect to see with our own senses, then it’s not up for debate. It’s up for looking at and testing, and seeing if the world conforms to that, but it’s not really questionable.

Yet, this insidious little non sequitur gets creationists so many free passes. They can get their organisations to be tax-exempt via religious ministry, they can pass on their terrible thinking skills to their children based on religious freedom, and they can brainwash and guilt-trip thousands of well-meaning people into into believing absolute crockoduck, and then paying good money for the DVDs.

Creationism shouldn’t be given a free pass on religious freedom grounds. It’s a scam designed to line the pockets of preachers and evangelists. It promotes climate change denial, and encourages parents to trust in magic over medicine, and is forever intertwined with the same misogyny, homophobia and racism prevalent in the Religious Right. It’s certainly not harmless.

How Do You Tell if Someone is a Real Scientist or Not?

Jay Seegert recently wrote a guest article titled “How Do You Tell if Someone is a Real Scientist or Not?” Being riddled with so much derp that just cannot be allowed to stand, I thought I’d write a response. Alas, I was beaten to the punch by one of my partners-in-crime on Facebook. Here is what he had to say on the subject:

Nice strawman, Mr. Seegert. You really are a class act, here, knowing full well that your target audience will have no inclination or desire to overcome their internal confirmation bias to either confirm or deny your claims.

Consider the following exchange…

Please source this “exchange”, or admit that you made it up entirely. No one who seriously engages a creationist on terms of defining “science” or other terms would make the careless misstep of circular reasoning that you portray here. Science is not something to “believe” in, in the first place. It is something to be observed, tested, and questioned, even when one thinks that they know all there is to know about a given subject.

Creationists, one the other hand, such as Eric Hovind, Paul Taylor, and Sye Ten Bruggencate are on record numerous times in print and video admitting that their worldview not only RELIES but is ENTIRELY BASED ON circular reasoning (i.e., Creation is true, because the Bible says it and the Bible is true, because it’s the word of God, and the Bible is the word of God because it says so in the Bible, which also says that Creation is true, …)

Publication:

Produce a single publication refusal stating “We can’t publish anything from you… You’re not a real scientist!”

A high school dropout could, theoretically, publish in a major peer-reviewed science journal without a credential to their name IF the science is sound and passes peer review. The problem with creationist articles is that they cannot pass peer review because they are bad science. Any field of science needs to take into account the observations and data from related and often disparate fields of science that impact the hypothesis being tested.

“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”:

Please. Citing a propaganda film of that nature is on par with using “Super Size Me” as a dietary guideline. You insult the intelligence of your readers by using it. Instead, perhaps you could post some links to scanned copies of rejection and censorship letters that explicitly say words to the effect of “This journal will not publish your article because you believe in God”? My guess is that such documents don’t exist, because the rejections are based on fundamental scientific errors that are readily apparent upon reading, even to novices in the appropriate field.

Kirschner quote:

My good sir… This is a BREATHTAKING example of a “quotemine”. Absolutely stunning. I marvel at your ability to take a quote so far out of context as to mean exactly the opposite of what its speaker intended. This quote ignores the fact that the ENTIRE ARTICLE was about a shift in biology away from reductionism (e.g., the way that Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, etc.look at individual parts of life to study their intricacies) and toward an interdisciplinary approach to describe and study evolutionary processes on a macro scale.

To wit:

For too long, they say, researchers in its different domains-from evolutionists in the field to cell biologists in the lab-have remained isolated. ‘I wouldn’t call it an antagonism as much as one not knowing anything about the other,’ Gerhart offers.

Kirschner likes to invoke the much-quoted declaration of famed 20th-century biologist Theodesius Dobzhansky that ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’ (the title of a 1973 essay). ‘In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself,’ Kirschner declares. ‘Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.’

As a result, scientists working on genetics, cells, and molecules-a background Kirschner and Gerhart share-have not always considered how components of an organism reveal both its physiological properties and evolutionary properties and provide a window into the history of the organism. Evolutionary science, argue Kirschner and Gerhart, will advance as more biologists place their lab research within this evolutionary framework.

Nonetheless, many scientists think a convergence of biology’s disciplines is now at hand. Whereas evolutionary biologists have famously debated whether the gene, organism, or even species is the proper unit of natural selection, current research increasingly integrates these things. ‘This is where it’s happening,’ says Daniel Hartl, an evolutionary geneticist at Harvard. ‘Evolutionists and others in the field are not arguing about reductionism any more. What’s exciting is putting it all together, from the genetic level to the organism.

http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/58104:missing-links

Relevance to medicine:

You provide an orthopedic surgeon’s response. Ask a pathologist, epidemiologist, or virologist the same question and see what kind of an answer you get.

Founding of disciplines of science:

So? Algebra was founded by Muslims. Does that mean that mathematics owes its existence to the Koran? Geometry was founded by polytheistic Greeks. I guess we should thank Zeus for the value of Pi (which the Bible gets wrong, by the way)! Pagan druids founded astronomy. That’s why telescopes require the sacrifice of a virgin goat in order to work properly.

Do you see how silly you sound yet?

Those are the major points and I think I’ve made my case clear. You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. You should be ashamed of yourself. Not on some theological “God vs. The Haters” level or even a “Creation vs. Evolution” one, but on the simple fact that you would even attempt to publish this tripe in defense of your creationist view when your points are so easily and readily rebutted and debunked.

So where are the millions of these?

Note: I found this image copy-pasted to a popular Facebook page – although they did decide to edit out the “stupid” from “stupid questions”, which I think is a travesty as “stupid” is a relatively honest assessment. However, they didn’t link back here for the fuller description (that’s okay, I could do without the hundreds of notifications of new derperific comments). Reading through the Facebook comments revealed several dozen rebutal to the effect that the image is “wrong”. Of course it’s “wrong”. It’s wrong for the reasons laid out in the rest of this blog post. But the page owners decided not to link to this blog post, and so no one could read all of these additional thoughts and caveats. Thus, they were all left thinking the image was “wrong” in a much more absolute way, and that the author was an idiot. I’m sure there’s a moral in this story somewhere…


This is apparently quite an old meme, but it cropped up somewhere recently and I thought I’d have a shot at de-bunking it in a single image. Creationist ideas are depressingly easy to debunk, but the problem with truly bad arguments is that it’s time consuming to refute them – so if you can do it in one image, why not try for the efficiency?

So where are the millions of these?

So, that’s it. The intermediate forms are dead, idiots. What next?

Actually, the original is wrong on a further level – which I suppose technically classes it as Not Even Wrong. It mis-identifies the starting animal in the linear ‘Descent of Man’ image as a chimp, and so infers that there are millions of them – although that number is off by an order of magnitude or two. This is wrong.  That starting animal, the common ancestor, is not alive today. There definitely are not millions of them around. Even that creature is dead along with the transitional forms connecting it to us.

While that makes it wrong from the very start, I think it’s important to also dispel the idea of linear evolution – instead of a straight line it’s a criss-crossed tree of inter-breeding, separation, diversification and extinction-driven pruning that’s unbelievably complicated. But I suppose that’s the price we have to pay for the nice, fun and clear ‘Descent of Man’ image. It gets the main message across – we evolved from ‘lower’ life forms, but it’s a simplification. Any simplification, where the nuances of the real picture are compressed to save space and get a message across, is prone to misunderstanding when people try to decompress it again without the right knowledge. And this is what happens here; creationists have taken the ‘Descent of Man’ image, unpacked the cute little diagram to figure out what it means, but made the wrong assumptions about the identity of the first creature in it. And so, “how come there are still monkeys?” remains a frequently asked question – and “where are the ones in the middle?” is the next logical question to ask.

It’s possible that modern chimps are relatively unchanged from the common hominin ancestor (not a completely unforgivable assumption, I’m sure, but it might be a tad awkward) making the idea that we are evolved “from” them have some degree of truth to it. Evolution is driven by environmental factors that make adaptation necessary; if you lack those factors, then only a minor amount of genetic drift will occur and so our closest living relatives may have a lot more in common with our common ancestor than we do. As a result, we can throw some caution to the wind about assuming that there are millions of chimps that we evolved from, and wonder where we can find the intermediate species that connect us. In this case the answer is still the same: they died out a long time ago. The branched species went extinct (as do the vast majority of species) while the surviving line eventually evolved into us.

So where are they? They’re buried under tons of rock, that’s where. Mostly crushed and eaten away by time.

We could reinterpret the question in a different way, though, and ask why there aren’t countless extant intermediate species today. Why are species alive today so diversified into the concept of a “species”? Why isn’t there a living continuum of different species that blend nicely from one related animal to the next? Why do we have discrete species rather than a continuous species? Now that is an interesting question, but it would be for another time.

Five points

Found on Google+

There are at least five – (probably more) assumptions made by evolutionists that cannot be proven. The whole theory rests upon these assumptions.
1. Life from non-life.
2. ALL varieties from a single cell.
3. Time – Billions of Years.
4. Physical Universe (where did matter itself come from ?)
5. Order in the Universe from Chaos.

Now, I’m not necessarily answering this because it’s easy (even though it is) but because the person who said this had read the Uber Rant of Death and thought that it meant I couldn’t defend any positions – and then thus went on to write the above quote, proving that, as I said in that rant, creationists aren’t terribly bright, nor particularly original in their thinking. I’ll put the kettle on, and I bet I’ll get this finished by the time it takes me to have one cup of NATO standard.

1. Life from non-life.

This is real easy. The trouble is that “life” isn’t some magic thing. There are a lot of properties common to what we might call “alive” that aren’t shared with things that are “dead” (or “not alive”) but the actual category has very, very fuzzy edges. The reason we think it’s a real thing is because the rough category is extremely useful to us – it splits the world neatly into things we can eat or could eat us, and things that don’t. “Life” used like this is a fallacy of compression, not a real argument that makes sense in the context of abiogenesis.

The rough edges come in the form of degrees of what we might call “life”. For instance, we can class replicating polymers as “alive” thanks to their ability to undergo descent with modification – i.e., exactly what DNA does in living organisms. Or there are viruses, prions and independent mitochondria that blur the edges even more. And that goes all the way up to the emergent properties that form a consciousness.

But, in short, the origin of life is not a magic, single-stage event. It’s a process. At one end we have “not alive” chemicals, and at the other end we have “alive” highly organised chemicals. There is no single point where a magic spark occurs to create life from not-life. Given this approach and the evidence used to back it up, there’s neither a great logical nor physical leap that “life” can spawn, eventually, from “non-life” – material in the universe can easily creep from one to the other by degrees.

2. ALL varieties from a single cell.

Not entirely sure what this means but I assume it means common descent from only a single-celled organism. I don’t see how this is an assumption. Barring the discovery of a second genesis any time soon,  the fact that all life runs on the same chemicals and same basic cellular structure is pretty strong evidence for a single ancestor of all life. We can see varieties of bacteria emerge and evolve from single cells quite reliably, just as we see varieties diverge from larger organisms.

I really, really don’t see how this is an assumption. It’s logically inferred from evidence.

Though, I do want to point out that this loose and poorly defined use of “varieties” here is pretty much a standard creationist talking point. They get to hide behind their lack of detail.

3. Time – Billions of Years.

If I’ve missed anything else out, it’s probably on this list. Seriously, unless you’re going to propose Last Thursdayism, this is a fact. There’s really no getting around it. We don’t “assume” the world is old enough for this to occur, we damn well know it.

Though, amusingly the rate of evolution required by baraminology (the YEC equivalent of taxonomy) would be able to get around this. Seriously, creationists believe in a type of Super Evolution that, if true, would be demonstrable by all sorts of monkey-giving-birth-to-zebras weirdness that we don’t actually see. The irony of this is that many really crappy creationist arguments involve saying evolution involve straw man monkey-giving-birth-to-zebras weirdness and admit that this doesn’t happen. Yes, they claim they have evidence against evolution and evidence for baraminology – but present evidence for evolution and against baraminology in its place. And people still wonder why creationists get called idiots…

4. Physical Universe (where did matter itself come from ?)

This is just a case of “back at ya”, really. Ex nihilo (“from nothing”) creation is actually most commonly found in supernatural, creationist proposals for the beginning of the universe. It’s not necessarily a proposal common to modern cosmology, which proposes an ex materia (from existing material) creation based on a singularity.

Ex nihilo creation is also not particularly logical. It would require “something” acting upon literally nothing (and I’ve yet to find a coherent argument for why this isn’t semantically identical to “taking no action”) to create everything. That alone breaks the concept of causality and sort of wrecks the idea of a “creator”, because you can’t have a creator without cause-and-effect to identify the cause.

I find that to be slightly more interesting than the common case of replying to it with the more usual response that “the origins of the universe have no bearing on evolution”. This much is true, though. We could have been sparked into life by a wizard fidgeting with a magic field and it would literally not change the physical laws that govern descent with modification and natural selection. Once those laws are in place, they operate as they operate; their origins don’t particularly matter because the operation and nature of those laws are what we can see now, independent of their origin. So, I’m going to have to have a hell of a lot more detail about why it should.

5. Order in the Universe from Chaos.

Now, this is interesting. Because, actually, order is something of an illusion here. The order that life creates is, in fact, very localised. Order isn’t coming from chaos, and in fact, disorder is constantly increasing. This is simple thermodynamics. But before the creationists start thinking that this is some tacit admission that evolution is impossible (or whatever) they need to realise that this isn’t actually a problem. Indeed, it’s really a benefit and what makes it possible.

Chemical reactions are driven by order turning to disorder. We call it entropy. Entropy is a property within thermodynamics that always increases, and never decreases. BUT, and this is a big all capital letters BUT, only within an enclosed system. The only truly enclosed system is the universe itself. Providing the overall entropy of the universe increases, a reaction is thermodynamically “legal”.

So, consider life – yes, yes, what our compression fallacy says is “life”.

It converts ordered molecules into heat. It slowly mashes up cells into waste. Protein folding is driven primarily by the increase in entropy of all the solvent molecules surrounding the unfolded protein suddenly being released. Even where it doesn’t balance, it’s caused by the energy input (in the form of heat and radiation) from the sun – which is caused by thermodynamically legal actions within the star itself. So there are no violations of this principle at all involved in evolutionary biology. Indeed, following this to the letter is what makes the system work.

And, as I figured, responded in a fairly short-and-sweet manner all in the space of a single up of tea (and yes, it was still warm at the end). It’s not difficult.

tea

Fallout

There’s this phrase about being careful what you wish for. If only someone had been around to remind me of it when I said to David Gerard “Aw hell, just drop it on Reddit to make sure that prophecy of it biting me in the ass comes true”. Because, for a blog that ticks over with between 0 and 5 views per day, shooting up to around 20 when I link it to Facebook, I’ve just had it hit with around 17,000 27,000 31,000 35,000. For a day or so, I was surfing through a tempest in a Reddit-shaped teapot. A small blip in grander terms of what gains traction on the internet (and now consigned to a bin of forever-forgotten blog posts), but quite the Black Swan event from my perspective, since I thought it would never gain any traction at all.

What have I learned?

Well, frankly, that most people “liked” the overly-verbose, profanity-ridden, borderline-psychotic rant that came to me after seeing one-too-many Creationist “refutations” of what I was trying to say (the individual post that triggered it wasn’t even a refutation). People mostly grokked the point; that it was wild venting, intentionally and ambitiously offensive, and that the over-the-top ego-boosting was, in fact, an act. This is reassuring. It was written for those people more than the hypothetical recipient(s). Writing like a character from The Thick of It is arduous, I’m pleased the effort wasn’t wasted.

I do like some of the calls of “you’re my new hero”. That’s nice. Though, while I’m sure you’re being rhetorical, please don’t put me up on a pedal stool, I’ll only disappoint like a damp squid.

But there are negatives. About 20% or so, which is not insignificant. I’ll quote or paraphrase them below.

That was a long verbose self-aggrandizing way to just say “creationists are stupid, I’m really smart.”

Yes, yes it was.

This reads as tripe designed to inflate the ego of the writer at the supposed expense of the Creationist. All of the–I can only call it wanking–doesn’t further any logical end, nor does it reveal anything about the ridiculous nature of today’s Creationism.

Complaining that publishing a venomously cathartic rant doesn’t further a logical end is like complaining that J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy does nothing to further our knowledge of the social structure of 16th Century Mongolia. If creationism today is ridiculous, then I merely added to the ridicule. Vehement and rather disgusting, if slightly ad hoc, ridicule, but ridicule nonetheless. This was intentional – and, if I remember rightly, noted as such.

As for the ego-inflating or self-aggrandizing parts, well, that accomplished two things. Firstly, personal catharsis; I suffer the same impostor complex as practically every other grad student in the universe, I have to get it out there that I’ve done something with my life if even just for personal benefit. Secondly, to demonstrate I do have the qualification to know what I’m doing when it comes to science. So many angry rants exist out there just come across as pathetic because at no point do we get a feel for why the author should have a right to feel so superior.

Wow, you really need to get laid…. and for goodness sake, get a girlfriend(or boyfriend, I do not judge).

Argumentum ad cellarium. Usually employed by people who almost certainly have less sex than their targets. Though, quite clearly this person is judging, because their comment is highly bigoted towards asexuals. That’s not very nice, you know.

[from someone who copy-pasted the rant] The internet is public domain… when a person lists their thoughts on that public domain and someone else thinks “Right on” and promotes that thought in some way… well… I’m expanding his audience free of charge.

Actually, copyright infringement is a strict liability offence, meaning that all cases of unlicensed replication of intellectual property is an illegal infringement upon the right of the originator to control the copy and distribution (and modification) of the original work. BUT, as no money is involved and no loss of income (as much as I would love to be paid to rant like an arsehole all day) can be demonstrated, such an infringement would be a civil, rather than criminal act. In short, I’d have to sue for it to mean anything. But I don’t care, I really don’t. Have at it. Translate it, do what you like. I should release this stuff under CC-BY-SA or something, but I’m not sure that’s entirely appropriate for my purposes.

I will point out that “in a public place” is not the same as public domain. That’s a very specific legal term that an author needs to expressly release their work into. People need to stop mixing these up. Please.

Then again, having read the comments on that article… well, I’m kinda pleased it was a copy-paste job, I just couldn’t have dealt with that much derp appearing here.

when steam is coming out of your head, is exactly the time when you should NOT be writing and publishing, unless you want to do severe damage to your own cause

Writing coherent vitriol is actually quite difficult. You need to be in a mood of sorts, sure, but you also need to be focused. I’ve had experience of losing it, and then writing and submitting quickly, and suffering the fallout and regret of it. This was not one of those times. The first draft was, I’ll admit, but that was saved and then worked on. In reality everything was said in a (relatively) calm and deliberate fashion; building up layers, expanding insults further, and challenging the boundaries of my own personal taste. I wasn’t hammering away at a keyboard like a lunatic – I simply can’t keep that sort of thing up for more than a paragraph.

Live and let live provided no one forces their views on you.

Well, I don’t force my “views” on people. A view is like “The Phantom Menace was terrible” – okay, bad example as The Phantom Menace is terrible, but still. So, sure, I can let another view live easily enough. Arguing about opinions, which have no objective basis in reality, is an embarrassment to human intelligence.

What I prefer is for people to honestly appraise evidence for something where it’s presented. If you can present evidence for something, it’s not really an opinion. The universe doesn’t care what we think or believe – we can stop believing in things and it wouldn’t automatically make them untrue, and on the other hand there are other things that would outright disappear if we stopped believing in them. Consider “gravity pulls things towards the Earth at about 9.8 ms-2” and “we should wear clothes because nakedness is shameful”. That’s the difference.

But there are people who flip this around. They conflate fact and opinion, and make it look as if actual facts – the things that “are” regardless of our belief in them – are subject to opinion, or a vote, or are malleable with respect to this bizarre concept of a “worldview”. They pass or try to pass legislation to help them with this. To deny the existence homosexuality and to brainwash kids into thinking it’s objectively wrong; to say that evolutionary biology is “just a theory” and that their personal specific religious story is equally valid in scientific terms; or to put God in schools with no room for other beliefs; or to remove funding from climatologists because they discovered an inconvenient truth. None of those things are opinions that we should “let live”. I won’t apologise for treating such people with the contempt they bring on themselves.

The first post is the one that grabs my attention, and his/her use of the word “atheistists?” In correlation of the word evolutionist. What a dumbass. If you are trying to “prove” a point, use real words you ignoramus.

I’m just adding this one because, pray tell, what is a “real” word? After all, “evolutionist” isn’t a “real” word – there is no -ism behind evolutionary biology so I can’t be an -ist, it’s not an ideology, it’s not an optional personality cult. Clearly, the writer of this particular comment understood this absurdity, otherwise they wouldn’t have spotted the correlation between the unnecessary -ist on the end of evolution and the doubly unnecessary -ist on the end of atheist.

Now, if you want to deride a rich tradition of manipulating arbitrary vowels and consonants in a creative way to demonstrate points in new ways, in favour of a rigorous and unyielding prescriptive use of words in only their arbitrarily decreed “correct” way, then you’re not only reading the wrong blog, you’re using the wrong language – as this is simply how English as we know it today… hmmm, how do I put this… evolved.

Also, the use of “dumbass” here triggers the red squiggly line in my spell checker, so please, use “real” words if you’re going to try making a point!

Oh, and it’s ignorami, obviously…

seems like a sad rant from someone with anger management issues. I begrudge no one their beliefs (lest they hurt others), but to brand all creationists as slack-jawed yokels who deserve to die seems brazenly ignorant and vile.

I can’t see anywhere in the rant where I say people “deserve to die”. In fact, if you really want to know, I don’t think anyone deserves to die. My views on killing and intentionally causing death are based around the necessity of the act, not the apparent worthiness of the victim. If you care (which you almost certainly don’t) you can read a more thorough opinion on the subject here.

 it would actually be more powerful and funny if he went back now and edited it so that less profanity etc.

You’re fucking kidding, right? That was, like, the entire point.

can’t spell mechanics, though

Only really including this to introduce Skitt’s Law. And a rather nice example of Skitt’s Law it is, too, as this particular complaint lacks capital letters and a full stop! (well, it’s funny if you’re me…)

But seriously, I like to make a distinction between “can’t spell” and “typo”. Writing “mechaincs” rather than “mechanics” (corrected with an edit button, just like, you know, science corrects itself) isn’t quite in the same vein as the egregious errors I was thinking of. I’ll mock when people make horrific errors and repeatedly do so, I’m not actually a Grammar Nazi most of the time. I leave that to someone else I know, but I always get my own back on him by intentionally mixing up “clip” and “magazine”.

I want to meet this guy and give him a big, sloppy kiss straight on the mouth… He’ll probably run away, severely disturbed, but it would be worth it.

I’d only feel disturbed if I felt that, at the time (I can’t guarantee anything in advance), I felt my personal space was disturbed without my informed consent. I’m fairly open and liberated, so I wouldn’t be necessarily disturbed by the thought nor action of hot, sweaty, saliva-drenched, sloppy, stubble-on-stubble, man-on-man snogging. I’m straight, though, so it just wouldn’t mean anything. Sorry.

I’m sure it was therapeutic to write, but regarding ignorance vs. stupidity he’s wrong – almost always, creationists are ignorant of evolution and some of them would accept it if they were introduced to it correctly…

I contest this heavily. No matter how many times we try to say “no one says evolution works like that” and post either a correction or a link to a correction, the same thing will crop up again later. Often immediately in response. The fact that “ducks don’t give birth to zebras” doesn’t disprove evolution – and, in fact, is an actual demonstration of it – hasn’t percolated down at all. There are countless people who have ventured into Ray Comfort territory to correct him on basic facts. The sheer weight of numbers suggests at least one person will have phrased it in such a way for him to understand. He clearly doesn’t understand, or, as I would argue, doesn’t want to understand. As I said in the original rant, there’s a difference between ignorance and wilful ignorance. I only take issue with the latter. Once you’re actually keen to learn why there are still monkeys, you’re fine. This is emphatically not something we see coming from the top brass of creationism.

Interestingly enough, religious people generally don’t score lower on measures of intelligence from the population average. Somehow even intelligent people can believe wrong, strange, unlikely or superstitious things.

This is true. Though I wasn’t really aiming it at religious people. I was aiming it specifically at creationists, and creationists that use long refuted arguments or intentionally misrepresent evolutionary biology to further their cause.

I can bring this briefly back to the IQ test; this is a test that is designed as a statistical proxy to measure the general intelligence of a population. Every single qualifier in that last sentence is very important, and once you step outside that, the test fails. Scoring highly doesn’t indicate much (everyone on the internet seems to have an IQ of 135). You still need to do a lot of reading to get to grips with complex ideas – they don’t just magically come to you for scoring highly on the IQ test. You need more than just that “raw brain power” associated with a high IQ, if the IQ test even means just “raw brain power”.

Consider as an analogy the reasons why the Ariel Atom (500 bhp) went around the Top Gear test track faster than the Bugatti Veyron (987 bhp). You’ve got to get that power and apply it to the road. With good handling, a good weight-to-power ration, a good transmission and so on. Now, enough petrolhead metaphors. In this case, if you think the planet is 6,000 years old because cats don’t give birth to zebras despite scoring highly on a thinking test, then solving the nine-dot-problem clearly hasn’t helped your thinking skills.

Heh, I get it….sigh Even though I agree with them entirely I still feel like they’d look down on me too because I’m not all that smart either, religion or no religion. ._.

I don’t actually.

Ugh. I hated this. Just mean for the sake of mean. If you consider that religions have been around for a very long time and that most people have been followers of one or another, then you realize that plenty of religious people have been very smart, intelligent, and capable.

What part of this being aimed at creationist – and young earth,  Biblically literalist ones at that – have some people out there been incapable of understanding? I really don’t understand this. Seriously, go to that rant, use “ctrl-F” for the find function and look up all the instances of “god”, or “atheism”, or “religion”. There is nothing there bashing the merely religious. I should know, I wrote it.

Sure, intelligent people have been religious, and more intelligent people than me have been religious (Copleston comes to mind).  But this is not even remotely related to the deceitful and willfully ignorant nature of modern creationism. Was Isaac Newton (I’ll straw man a typical example) a believer and a creationist? Yes, sure. But Isaac Newton died in 1727. I would no more lambast him for being ignorant of modern geology and evolutionary biology than I’d lambast him for being ignorant of quantum mechanics. I’d lambast him for his crackpot alchemy days, but that would be because even by Newton’s time alchemy was pretty much the discredited hokum we know it as today.

If you want to find me ranting at the religious in general, it’s probably out there somewhere for you to froth over. But please, cite those examples and be specific to them, rather than make up an entirely imaginary slight against religion that has nothing to do with what I wrote in the piece that gained all the attention.

Well, at some point back in time the entire human species came from a single male and female at one point, somehow the inbreeding didn’t kill us.

This was in response to the fact that Adam + Eve = inevitable incest. The thing is, the Biblical story states that only two humans were alive at the time, and so the breeding population must, if not line-bred back with the mother, be all brother-sister relationships. This is not the same thing as being able to trace ancestry back to the same two individuals in an evolutionary system. I don’t even want to take the time out to correct it, but here it is: Imagine a single person has two children; each of those two kids pairs off and has two kids, each of those does too… and so on. Eventually a single person will have 4, 8, 16, 32… descendants until this number explodes exponentially to be greater than the whole population. In short, statistically speaking that original person is an ancestor of every living human (in fact, this only takes just under two millennia or so). BUT, we do not instantly conclude that the original person was part of the only couple on the planet and that all of their offspring took part in direct brother-sister incest. In fact, because we worked forward in the example, we know it isn’t.

There should be more dicks. I would love to stand at the door of every church in my town and hand this rant out as leaflets to all who enter…

I don’t think this is a good idea. A big sweary rant from me is a rare thing. In the countless pages of tripe I’ve submitted to the world, big sweary rants have happened 3 or 4 times. And not without good reason; it would get stale and boring if everything I wrote was “fuck this” and “fuck that”. At best, people would just learn to ignore it and no matter what you said you’d slide into irrelevance pretty quick. Such things don’t convince, they alienate.

I’d like to, sure. But I’d like to do a lot of things. I would like to have a week-long S&M orgy with Anne Hathaway, Mila Kunis, Emilia Clarke, Samantha Barks and Eva Green, but that’s neither realistic nor am I taking any steps to make it realistic. So while I’d like to just stop thinking and just viciously call out creationists for the moronic bullshitters that they are, the simple fact is that I am not doing that. I’m not posting this rant on multiple creationist Facebook pages, or emailing it to them at every opportunity. That wouldn’t accomplish anything, and I hope no one attempts to do this in my name.

If I were

The sources I can find say that the were/was distinction is more a case of being formal/informal, than absolutely incorrect. “Was” seems to be considered a colloquialism used mostly in speech, whereas “were” should be used formally in writing where off-the-cuff colloquial speech patterns don’t limit what you tend to say and how you pronounce it (such as how people pronounce “then” but mean “than”, although at least was/were is the same verb rather than a different thing entirely). Further, the distinction doesn’t damage the semantics in the transfer of an idea from one brain to another; meaning is preserved through either variation and so the linguistic prescription isn’t necessary. See also the distinction between prescriptivist and descriptivist linguistics.

But frankly, in a blog post with that much swearing and psychotic piss-taking, this should be the very least of your worries. If this is the one problem you find so weighty as to bring it up, then you have some Issues that need addressed.

But you ARE a dick … you have issues … you’re full of hate…

I’ve saved this one for last because it’s a general paraphrasing of multiple things and is something I’m about to sermonise about.

That was one post. It was 3,000+ words (I feel bad…) but it was one post. Trying to use that one post to infer anything about me is, well, being a bit silly at best, and being a fundamentally hypocritical, judgemental moron at worst. The majority of people saying this sort of thing fall well between those extremes, though.

Sure, it’s a fair accusation that I acted in the manner of a total douchebag by writing a rant (I recommend E-Prime for these kinds of problems). I’ll throw my hands up and admit it, because it was mostly the point – the point being that this is precisely what I do not do at every opportunity. You have an entire blog to peruse to find out more (I know from the WordPress stats that people haven’t, nor do I blame them), or a substantial number of contributions to RationalWiki to judge me on. For all you know, I could have been writing in character (many people do that; the Nostalgia Critic, the Pub Landlord, Stewart Lee, Miranda Sings, just to name a few off the top of my head) and you would have still extrapolated an accusation from a single data point and made a generalised assumption based on it.

Anyway, I hope you got something out of it.

What I would say to creationists if I was more of a dick

Remember… You may not be able to “fix” stupid, but you sure can hit it with a bat until you feel better.

The title says it all, really. This is what I would say to creationists if I were more of a dick. I would say it to their faces, email it to them, drop it on every comment on every blog. Yet, alas, my confidence wanes and I simply cannot bring myself to be this impolite in person. I have a particular standard to uphold; one that avoids pointless personal attacks, egregious insults, or foul-mouthed idiocy of my own. I want to avoid being that snooty asshole who shouts and screams and makes witty but unfortunately content-free remarks, even if it gets me the adoration of the “evolutionists” and “atheistists” around me. Okay, so I’m occasionally snide-as-all-fuck, but I try to at least keep it on topic.

But… a constant barrage of insults, bad arguments, accusations of endorsing racism and outright absurd remarks that cease to even begin to understand the simplest basic fundamentals of science itself, all takes its toll. One can snap. I apologise if any of this sounds exceptionally snooty to non-creationists, but frankly that’s the effect I’m after. Here, I have a safe space to vent. So, I am putting my “dick cap” on; a whopping great big 12 inch dildo is being strapped on to my head and it’s ready to fuck. If you’re easily offended, please don’t read this and then complain. Don’t be that much of an idiot, I beg of you. You have been warned.

(As this is still ticking over with quite a lot of Facebook/Google+ views, I want to drop a memo that there’s a follow up post that answers most points that have been raised and save you the trouble of looking like an idiot in a comments section somewhere)

Here it is.


Dear Creationists,

You are stupid.

Genuinely stupid.

By every conceivable metric that we can assess intelligence, intellect, mental ability, reasoning and sense, you’re stupid. Even the very ability to string words together in coherent ways, you’re stupid. You fail at all of this. You are fucking stupid. There is no way of getting out of this accusation; it is as close to an absolute, proven fact, that an honest assessment of the situation can get.

Not ignorant; no, that’s something else. Ignorance is merely the lack of knowledge. That’s fine. I cannot blame someone for merely not knowing some random piece of shit, or not being exposed to information. You don’t get a choice in ignorance and merely not knowing. For a start, you’re born ignorant of everything in the entire world. New born babies don’t even know what things in the world are part of their own fucking bodies and what things aren’t – they really do have to learn this for themselves. So, no, you’re not just ignorant because if you were, I wouldn’t be here writing this.

No, this is something fucking different, far fucking worse. What you stand not only accused of, but proven guilty of, shits and pisses all over the innocence of simple ignorance and goes into the dark territory of deceit and fucking lies. This is wilful ignorance. This is prideful ignorance. You take your fucking ignorance and wave it around at every opportunity to say “hey, look at me, I’m so fucking stupid” and expect people to give you some kind of shit-hot respect for it.

Do I want to blame you for it? When your elders, and priests, and preachers, and the unqualified crank pseudo-scientific quasi-philosophers they get to back them up, have all conspired to brainwash you into thinking this is a good thing? Yes, I fucking do. You have made a choice to stay ignorant, and be happy with it. You’re a fucking idiot, and you damn well know it.  You’re probably a right-wing homophobic little shit as well, so probably think being gay is a choice. So here’s one for you; being a fucking fruit-loop imbecile is a choice, a choice you made when you decided that thinking was too much fucking effort and just let some cockend from Answers in Genesis do it for you.

"We don't see ants coming out of peanut butter, therefore evolution is wrong." - you're a bunch of fucking idiots.

“I tried opening this peanut butter jar, and I accidentally got my penis trapped in a lettuce instead.”

You know it. You know it, and you Just. Don’t. Fucking. Care.

Why do I bother with you? Just why? Why do I drag myself down to that sort of level? I continually drag myself down to the level of creationist cock-ends but just can’t figure out why.

Let’s look at some clear facts here.

I have a fucking masters degree. I took four years out of my life learning quantum mechanics; management; nuclear physics; organic, inorganic, analytical, green, environmental, atmospheric chemistry; mathematics; and a fuck-ton of life skills and problem solving skills possessed by a tiny fraction of people. Oh yes, now that’s some fucking catharsis right there.

I can write, I can draw, I can play and compose music, and I can program a computer to do a little fucking jig.  Importantly, I know the difference between “there”, “their” and “they’re” – and fuck knows that’s a rare skill. I can do most of that without getting my cock trapped in a blender, too. I’m even nice on occasion and, if I try, even likeable. I’m just going to blow a trumpet and say I have most talents bar singing (le sigh).

I wrote a whopping four-hundred-fucking-page book to get a doctorate. It’s sat there on a table right now, all bound and shiny with gold letters and my name on it, looking thick enough to bludgeon someone to death with. To get that far, I was locked in a room with two experts who read it and who spent nearly three hours ripping it to shreds and finding any excuse they could not to give the final award to me. At the end of it all, half a dozen people with the same level of qualification and beyond have all conspired to say “you’re good enough to be one of us”. I fucking starved. I fucking wrote ’til I dropped. I stayed up late and got up early. All to get that. And as blasé and modest as I try to come across in public, I wouldn’t have done any of that if I didn’t think it was all worth it.

And I’ve taught students. People even better than me, who have fought their way through the same shit and more, have said I’m good enough to be their proxy or their replacement to teach the next generation. I’m actively passing on knowledge, whether established or cutting edge, to students who one day will grow up to be the next me. Some days I hate those little shits, but to be fair to them, one day a good chunk of them will also be locked in that room with a pair of experts, shitting themselves and wanting to all go away. They will come out of it alive, as One Of Us, and they will fucking well deserve every bit of it. I am a cog in that academic and scientific machine, and damn well proud of it.

In short, I’m smart. I’m intelligent. I’m rational. I’m reasonable. I’m “brainy” as fuck as some might want to put it and have the paper to prove it. By every conceivable metric, I am at the top of the grey matter tree. In pleasant company, of course, but it’s still spacious at the top. If I believed in the absoluteness of the IQ test, I’d be bragging my ass off about being in the 98th percentile (I dunno, actually, last time I took one I was, like, 15 – who gives  a shit?).

That’s me.

"There are no transitional forms. There are no transitional forms. There are no transitional forms." - This is the face of stupidity, the kind of stupidity there is no excuse for outside of having your brain removed.

“There are no transitional forms. There are no transitional forms. There are no transitional forms.” – This is the face of stupidity, the kind of stupidity there is no excuse for outside of having your brain removed.

You, however, as someone who thinks the planet magically poofed into existence 6,000 fucking years ago, you’re at the bottom of that tree. Right down there in the grim dark bottom amongst the detritus, the worms and things that couldn’t even pull on a fucking pair of trousers without falling arse-over-tit to the floor. I may well be in the 98th percentile or wherever, but you, you dumb fuck, wouldn’t even know what “percentile” means without Google – which, by the way, has been built by the kind of people who know what “percentile” means without using Google. Because they had to have some way of knowing what it meant before they fucking built the thing – since you, you dumbfuck imbecile, need every little fucking thing explained to you in small words that don’t tax your brain too hard. Got that one? Need it dumbed down further? Fuck off.

You, because you manage to be mentally retarded in such a way that it’s actually offensive to those with genuine learning difficulties, couldn’t fucking understand the mere basics of anything I could possibly teach you about anything. Chemistry, biology or physics; it’d be all like fucking magic to you, and all the research and understanding would be like something that just happens to other people. Even the fucking basics of logic, or language, or how to frame an argument, or what evidence is, or why it’s important, or how science even works would be something beyond your tiny brain to fathom for even a second. Hell, the hurdles I would have to leap just to get you people to the point of discussing actual evolutionary biology, or actual geology, or actual radiometric dating would require me to type thousands of words, spend months of my life and back-up to the basics of how if you have two beans and then two more beans you have “some beans”. We’re talking some seriously fucking basic shit, here, that I’d have to cover first.

"The Grand Canyon could have formed in about five minutes" - in your fantasy world were physics doesn't exist.

“The Grand Canyon could have formed in about five minutes” – in your fantasy world were physics doesn’t exist.

And after all that effort and time and even sincere attempts to get your fucking brain to learn something, it still wouldn’t be worth it. You would ignore it anyway. You’d just let it go in one ear and out of the fucking other as if the squishy shit between them that others take for granted was just a gloopy transparent mess for you. You wouldn’t even address the fucking basics of what I could tell you. I could try to exemplify every nuance, meaning and deconstruction of, say, the phrase “evolution is a religion”, and you’d zone out as soon as I broke into fucking polysyllabic words and then, just as a little bit of drool came out, you’d say “but evolution is just a religion”. It’s all just fucking voodoo shit to you, something you’re actively scared of and don’t want to understand. You’ve rendered yourself physically incapable of understanding and basic comprehension and so I find myself almost constantly, every time I see one of you dumb shits opening your fucking mouths, struggling not to outright scream from the rooftops shouting “Fuck. This. Shit!”. Every single word in this extensive rant has been compressed in my head into a single thought; a thought that fires in my brain every time I see you slack-jawed fuck-tards speak, or type, or even making a motion to open your mouths or put fingers to a keyboard.

You sit and worship people like Kent Hovind, whose entire thesis wouldn’t even count as a winning entry in NaNoWriMo (which requires 50,000 words in a month) and has a Flesch reading age of a pre-teen (by contrast, the Flesch-Kincade reading complexity for my own thesis goes to the part of the scale where “reading age” stops being a meaningful concept, and a single chapter is larger than Kent Hovind’s entire derp-fest, and there’s fucking diagrams to boot – fucking suck it). Or you shout “amen” after every little tiny piece of faeces that oozes out of the mouth of Ray Comfort – a man, lest we forget, who thinks the word “bibliophile” is a fucking insult derived from “paedophile”. These aren’t just people amongst your ranks, these are your fucking experts. Your fucking experts can’t even wrap their heads around the simple shit understood by even the amateurish of Internet Atheists or pop-science enthusiasts. Hell, I know people who would faint at the sight of an integral, but hey, that shit ain’t for everyone and they’re still fucking smarter than you, since they’re not so stupid as to think evolution requires goldfish giving birth to zebras.

"Hello, my name is Kent Hovind." - Opening sentence of Kent Hovind's "doctoral" dissertation. "The C-H and H-H bonds are two of the most neglected structures in classical chemistry, despite the fact that the C--H bond is ubiquitous in organic compounds and dihydrogen is one of the most common substances in the universe" - the opening sentence of mine.

“Hello, my name is Kent Hovind.” – Opening sentence of Kent Hovind’s doctoral dissertation.
“The C-H and H-H bonds are two of the most neglected structures in classical chemistry, despite the fact that the C-H bond is ubiquitous in organic compounds and dihydrogen is one of the most common substances in the universe” – the opening sentence of mine.

You repeat mantras that have been refuted countless times. “Evolution is a religion!” “How do you know? Were you there?” “If we evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?” What the fuck do these things even mean? Really, it proves nothing. I means nothing. It’s bollocks, the lot of it.

Even if you ever get around to addressing any of the countless refutations to this simplistic fucking bullshit, all you can ever come up with is restating the point again, or whining about some other pathetic and irrelevant detail, or – and with fucking depressing regularity – spouting some bullshit about how people like me are suppressing your freedom. You know what? Go fucking jump off a bridge, and test your freedom to not believe in gravity. Literally, go do that now. I’ll wait.

I’m not even going to bother with refuting any examples here or going into specifics about evolution myself. I’m breaking plenty of my usual rules about dealing with you stupid-as-fuck individuals already, so I’m going to break another and tell you to do your own simple cursory fucking research on this. Not that you’d manage that, as anything you ever cite must always come from an approved source like “CreationWiki” – a site, may I add, that actively makes a point, and a proud point at that, of stifling any potential disagreement by not allowing any edit that is “pro” evolution. Do you see that bullshit on skeptic or “evolutionist” websites?

Target demographic; white Christian males, somewhere between the ages of 35 and 42.

Target demographic; white Christian males, somewhere between the ages of 35 and 42.

No. You fucking don’t.

You want to know why? Because we want the world to see the best you dumb-fucktarded intellectual rejects have come up with, in all their mundanely pathetic glory, just so everyone can see how fucking terrible each and every one of your so-called “arguments” are. Sometimes, we don’t even bother responding, we just quote you verbatim (that means “unaltered” (which means “we didn’t change it” (ooh, look, nested parentheses (that means “brackets”) I bet that’s blown your tiny fucking mind))) because even casual scrutiny makes your points look terrible; and frankly, a full refutation just isn’t worth the fucking effort. Not because we can’t, but because – as I said above – I’d practically have to teach you the English Fucking Language from scratch to point out the flaws.

You, who thinks a fucking single man and rib-clone woman and their two sons populated the entire earth without any freaking-frakking-fucking incest occurring because “hey, don’t ask awkward questions”, hold in high regard people who aren’t even worthy of pissing in the academic shadow of people like me. So where does that place you in that pecking order? You intentionally refuse to understand simple things; like how irrelevant evolution by natural selection is to abiogenesis; like the fact that “macro” and “micro” evolution are just things you made up (at least in the way you morons use those terms); or like how natural selection has nothing at all to do with eugenics. It’s all OH-YOUR-FUCKING-GOD-IT’S-HITLER all the fucking time. I mean, seriously, you intentionally avoid learning. You avoid understanding. You actively train yourself to not understand and you fucking revel in all this. You memorise your silly little one-sentence replies that mean sweet fuck all, and, by some magic, expect educated people like me to bow down to your right of free expression; well this here is my “free expression” in response you fucking lunatic, you’ve damn well driven me to it over the years.

You have no intellectual rights to this “debate” at all because you cannot even speak the language it requires. Even worse, you seem to think this actually qualifies you more.

How the fuck does that logic work?

"Have you ever told a lie?" - evidently selectively editing your interviews, re-recording questions to replace the context of the answers, or pretending that your most embarrassing moment had "always" been satire really, doesn't count.

“Have you ever told a lie?” – selectively editing your interviews, re-recording questions to replace the context of the answers, or pretending that your most embarrassing moment had “always” been satire really, doesn’t count.

Hint; it fucking doesn’t. It never will.

Get with the fucking programme already; if you cannot comprehend basic facts, you cannot expect to be invited to the debating table as an equal. It’s like you’re coming into a boardroom, full of people with projections and presentations and graphs and calculations, and then you start smearing the table in bullshit (actual shit, actual bull’s shit) and rolling around in it, flinging it at people, painting the window with it, flailing your arms up and down to make a little bullshit angel in the faeces-strewn floor, and then standing up to shout “Ta-da! Give me a Nobel Prize”.  You’re not my academic equal. In terms of intelligence and knowledge you’re fucking scum rotting at the bottom of a dark and forgotten barrel while I’m basking in the sun. I would love, genuinely love, to help raise you up to being on my level. I would love it. But you wouldn’t listen. That’s not really a prediction, it’s experience. I’ve seen you fucks talk under a Ray Comfort Facebook update. You just don’t listen. It’s a fact. I would tell you to read X, Y and Z. Hell, I’d even write my own summary of X, Y and Z, but you wouldn’t listen or even care. It would fall on intentionally deaf ears. As I said earlier, you’re not merely ignorant, you’re fucking wilfully ignorant.

Le sigh

But you know what the worst thing is?

The worst part is that some creationist out there, probably you because it’s being addressed to you, is probably going to find this rant and say “oh look at the little evolutionist, running out of points and resorting to insults”. Well fuck off.  Fuck the fuck off. Fucking fuck the fucking fuck off. Lube up some vegetables in your own bullshit and cram it. You think this is my attempt to prove you wrong?

No. Not at all.

It's funny because it's true.

It’s funny because it’s true.

This is my attempt to insult you.

This is my attempt to degrade and belittle you, your beliefs and your reasons all in one. They’ve already been shown to be wrong. I don’t need to add to that. It’s done, it’s dusted – there is no fucking debate you morons. The world ain’t 6,000 years old, women weren’t made from ribs, dinosaurs didn’t go onto a big boat to escape a flood, and natural selection doesn’t mean bacteria turning into chickens in a Petri dish overnight so that Hitler could kill Jews. You lost this good and hard the day science started digging through the geological column. If you want to complain that I’ve ran out of legitimate responses by writing this, then that just proves every single point that I’m making in this profanity ridden rant; that you don’t fucking listen, and are even proud of the fact that you’ve left yourself bereft of the ability to do so.

You’re not stupid because you believe the world appeared out of nowhere sometime more recently than the domestication of the dog – and no, I’m not going to tentatively say something like “evidence suggests that” it’s more recent than the domestication of the dog. No, it’s a Fucking Fact that the dog became domesticated in the tens of thousands of years ago. I don’t really give much of a shit that you believe it, that doesn’t concern me. You’re a fucking shit-faced idiot because of why you believe it. If you haven’t got the gist of this already; you’re proud of being stupid, you actively refuse to learn, you don’t examine anything critically, you fall for any piece-of-shit “evidence” your masters tell you. You don’t question them. You don’t realise they’re just out there wanting to keep you stupid, to keep you ignorant and to keep you not wanting to learn about the universe from sources that actually took the time to look at the universe. They want to keep you that way because you buy into their shit, with money. Your actual hard-earned money. You actually value these people with your working time. You go out, slog away in some backwater burger-flipping hell hole and actually give part of your monetary reward to people who want to keep you stupid. That’s galling to the rest of us who have a working and fully functioning brain that we deign to actually use.

You pay them. You donate to them. You buy their books and DVDs that they produce for fuck-all money and sell at a premium. Seriously, how much money does it cost Ray Comfort to show up to a college campus with a cheap camcorder to make one of his derp fests? Fuck all. Yet you’ll pay him $15 plus postage for the privilege of sucking his cock and reassuring yourselves over it – meanwhile he practically fucking swims in cash. Your cash. And it’ll keep going because he wants you to be stupid. Follow the fucking money, right? It’s in their best interests to trick and con you’ wake the fuck up to it.

You show this crap to your kids so they grow up stupid and buy more DVDs and books by the Comforts and the Hovinds and the Hams and the Gishes of this world. You show them Jesus riding a fucking dinosaur and pictures of Noah mucking out a boat that’s chock-full of animals that somehow managed to survive and reproduce to form every living thing we see on the planet in a geological blink of an eye (breathe…) and you think this is right? You don’t think this is the most ridiculous idea in the world? If it wasn’t for the coincidental fact that you’re backed by a non-falsifiable belief shared by a significant proportion of the population, you would actually be declared clinically insane. No fucking joke here, there are actually people with more coherent and rational beliefs in their head being secured in mental health wards.

Despite being as embedded as you possibly can in the evidence for it, you don’t realise that there’s an entire industry that makes a fortune from retarding your ability to think. You accept this, and refuse to actually exercise your innate abilities to think, question and explore so long as you say the magic words “but I am thinking, questioning and exploring”. No you’re fucking not. If you were, you’d be in my position. You, too, would find yourself locked in a room, actively battling and fighting with people tearing your ideas apart and demanding that you defend them and stand by them and justify every single thing you say. But you’re not. You never will be. Though, let’s be fair to the non-doctorate holding, non-creationists reading this for a brief moment; you don’t even have to be in that position of getting an academic qualification, you just want to be in the position where you’re willing to explore, and learn, and discuss and adapt. You don’t have to have any pieces of paper to be my equal; you just have to have the curiosity and a bit of genuine passion for learning. That alone more than qualifies you.

"The Tyrannosaurus Rex was created to eat plants" - the only reason AiG employs Paul Taylor is because his vaguely English accent makes him sound sophisticated next to Eric Hovind. It can't possibly because he has a functioning cortext.

“The Tyrannosaurus Rex was created to eat plants” – the only reason Creation Today employs Paul Taylor is because his vaguely English accent makes him sound sophisticated next to Eric Hovind. It can’t possibly because he has a functioning cortex.

Creationists, on the other hand, they refuse even that… and worse they think it’s a good thing.

There are a lot of people I think are stupid. Really fucking stupid. I mean, you might think it’s a long way down to the shops, but that’s peanuts compared to this stupid. There are people who think the World Trade Centre wasn’t hit by planes, but by holograms. There are people who think the skies are filled with mind-altering chemicals that can be dispersed – from miles away, no less – by spraying vinegar in the air. There are people who think we’re not being faced with a potential disaster of epic proportions because of how our society has polluted the planet. There are people who think vaccines cause autism and will find any old piece-of-shit evidence to prove it no matter how many times even the mere correlation is disproved. There is serious fucking stupid out there in the wide, dark and idiotic world.

But creationism is something else. It has that industry supporting it and perpetuating it, and it has people who buy into it so willingly. And you, because you think that everything came from nothing in a fucking click of a magic man’s fingers, are part of this. You’re out there derping on daily about something that we, using the entire knowledge collectively gathered by the human race, know is a lie. Honestly, though, you probably think it’s a lie too – but you’re both too damn proud of yourself and too damn proud of your stupidity to admit it. That’s your problem. It’s not about fossils, or genetics, or radiometric dating, it’s about your unwillingness to learn and better yourself. And it always will be.

In conclusion. Fuck you. Go fuck yourself. And may the god you believe in have mercy on your pathetic, idiotic, morally and intellectually bankrupt soul.