Saturday, February 04, 2012

You Can't Use Science if You Deny its Methods

Since right-wing, fundamentalist Christian reactionaries believe that the universe was created about 6,000 years ago and that life on Earth was all created within seven days, despite all the piles of real, empirical scientific evidence that the earth is billions of years old and that life evolved, the fundies are the penultimate science deniers of the 21st century. Therefore, here are some things that, from now on, Christian fundamentalists are not allowed to do, say, or participate in.

Fundamentalists are not allowed to seek medical help when they become ill or have an accident. Medical science is part of biology and the cornerstone on which biology is built is evolutionary theory. This is especially true with regards to medicine. Some fundamentalists already refuse medical help, even refusing to take their sick children to the doctor. But now this rule applies to all fundies. No more visits to the physician for any of them. They can't have it both ways; either believe in the science of biology or don't. All science follows the same rules, so if you believe in medical science you have to believe in evolutionary science, too.

Fundamentalists are no longer allowed to use scientific concepts such as the second law of thermodynamics or the law of conservation of angular momentum as fuel in their debates with the non-science-deniers. A common argument put forth by those who do not believe in science is that the second law of thermodynamics says that evolution can't happen because it causes entropy to decrease instead of increase. Of course, the laws of thermodynamics apply only to closed systems. The earth is an open system. They also apply to the average condition of a closed system; local and momentary increases in entropy are allowed. And in cosmology, momentary can mean billions of years. Some also claim that if stars and planets were caused by an explosion, such as the Big Bang, then the law of conservation of angular momentum would mean that every planet in the universe would have to spin in the same direction. This shows a striking lack of understanding of science as well as math. Angular momentum is a vector quantity, so as long as the total angular momentum of a system is conserved it doesn't matter which direction the individual components are spinning.

Christians have a list of things that the bible says about science, things that were written, they claim, long before science discovered them. They can no longer do that, because it's all bogus. It's a con game. There is nothing in the bible, not a single phrase, that the ancients could not have known about at the time. Blood is the giver of life, which was obvious to anyone who had ever watched someone else bleed to death. The bible does not say that the earth is a sphere; it says it's a circle, like a coin. You know - flat. The bible also speaks of cleanliness of food, but there is not a word about why food should remain clean, not a word about germs. There was not a culture on Earth, contemporaneous with the ancient Middle East, that did not also know about these so-called scientific facts that the bible supposedly speaks about. And even if it were the case, fundamentalists are science deniers, so why do they care about scientific facts of the bible? They can no longer use that argument, because they don't believe in science.

Fundamentalists can no longer claim that "creation science" or intelligent design are at all scientific. Creation science is an oxymoron. The biblical account of creation is the opposite of science. And intelligent design is just "creation science" repackaged so that it can be better sold to schools. If fundamentalists deny the basic premise of the scientific method, they can't make up their own non-scientific method and then call it science. Again, they can't have it both ways, either they believe in the scientific method, in which case they would accept evolution and the Big Bang, or they don't believe in it, in which case they need to stop calling their supernatural contentions scientific.

Fundamentalist Christians believe in science when it is convenient for them. They don't accept any part of science that might go against their precious, 2000-year-old book of superstitious nonsense. But since they cannot accept scientific facts and evidence that runs contrary to their beliefs, then they, in all fairness, should stop using science in any way at all. But, they treat science the same as they treat the bible: They pick and choose what they want to believe. They're fundamentalists; it's in their nature. And most of them are not intelligent enough to realize the fallacy of their ways.


Beth said...

I find it amusing to see creationists try to get all "sciencey" in their arguments. They'll cite scientific papers without having the first clue what the true implications of the paper is, or what the data mean. They deny established methods when they don't jibe with their own notions.

If they weren't so dangerous to the state of science education in this country, it would be laughable.

Jerry Wilson said...

What really saddens me is that so many intelligent, college-educated people with good critical thinking skills buy into the creation nonsense. I was talking today to a couple of teachers after school about the Senate bill 89. One of them obviously felt a little timid about the subject, then she asked if I'd seen Ben Stein's Expelled. She said that maybe ID should be given equal time. And this is from a young math teacher, fresh out of college. She, and so many others, are getting their information about science from Ben Stein.