A review of some of the fears that control
Creationists’ behavior and some ideas about how to combat their
attempts to stifle the advance of knowledge.
“Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity,
and I am not sure about the former.” - Albert Einstein
While scientists, research journalists, etc. tend
to be thinking, logical, follow-your-curiosity people,
Creationists are governed by their emotions. Throughout most of
evolutionary history, human survival depended on quick, simple,
emotional responses to perceived threats. E.g. “Climb the tree.”
/ “Throw the spear.” (Which have evolved into the all too
familiar, “God did it”.) The emotional
characteristics of Creationists are holdovers from these
Over the last several thousand years,
research, discoveries, and misc. inventions have advanced our
standard of living. These advancements in our standard of living
have encroached on this ancestral emotionalistic response, but
the ancient, instinctive reactions are still present -
especially in those individuals who are not yet capable of
following a logical thought process. The current “Creationism
vs. Science” conflict is a product of a society that is
gradually evolving from reactionary emotionalism to rational
We will take a look at the emotional fears that
drive the Creationists - and suggest some methods for combating
them. Creationists’ fears tend to fall into 5 categories.
1) Fear of
Creationists tend to be White Supremacists. They
consider themselves superior to other “races” - and in
particular, superior to blacks. The classic example is the
history of Bob Jones University. Please see:
“Bob Jones’s True Colors”
“It's Official! Racism is an Integral Part of Creationist Dogma”
and multiple other links at http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/creation_and_racism.htm
Creationists are prone to emotional outbursts
regarding other “inferior races”. Please see
“Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic remarks cited in
official police report”.
In reality, genetic DNA studies confirm that we
have all evolved from a common ancestor, and there are no
“races” that are separate/superior to other “races”. For
example, see National Geographic’s “Genographic
Creationists fear racial equality.
2) Fear and
hatred toward gays/lesbians
Creationists tend to have sexual
fears/hang-ups. They try to divert attention to a “Focus on the
Family” structure that they can hide behind, but in reality,
they tend to lack the self confidence that a stable sexual
relationship requires. Their actual sexual behavior may be very
different from the “Focus on the Family” image that they try use
as a false front. They fear losing this structural “Focus on the
Family” crutch, and try to offset this fear by declaring war on
other lifestyle modes. In practice, they tend to cover-up their
own secret lifestyles. Examples include:
Corollary: “Atheists have 'better sex lives than followers of
religion who are plagued with guilt'”
(Run a Google search using the quote for other references.)
The “buzzword” for abnormal fear of homosexuals and
gays is “Homophobia” For example, please see: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/homophobia
“irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against
homosexuality or homosexuals”
In some instances, this fear of “alternate life
styles” has led to “Hate Crimes” - including murder. Please see
“Hate Crime Victims” at http://www.hatecrime.org/index.html
for more information.
3) Fear of
(Closely related to (2), above)
The Creationists’ world is characterized by male
dominance. In their world, men are suppose rule the world. Women
are suppose to be submissive, prepare meals, have babies, remain
barefoot, etc. They pray to “The Father, The Son, and to the
Holy Ghost - all male. God is “Our Father”.
In the Creationists’ world, women are not allowed
think. Woman are not allowed to make a decision as to whether
they want to give up their careers, social life, friends, etc.
(and in the past - to vote) The Creationists are afraid of
losing their structured male dominated world. According to the
Creationists, women should not be allowed to make decisions.
Creationists conduct an impassioned campaign
against abortions and a woman’s right to freedom of choice. A
corollary to this extends to women already trapped in the
Creationist world. They want to destroy the lives of other women
that do have this freedom.
Creationists fear sexual equality.
4) Fear of
Most animal species have a natural fear of
premature death at the hands (and fangs) of a predator. Over
geological time, members of species that did not have this
particular fear became meals for predators. Consequently,
animals that did not have this fear were duly eliminated from
the gene pool. Meanwhile, surviving members, having witnessed
what can happen, have taught their offspring to develop a fear
of death by predator. Thus, an instinctive fear has been
reinforced over millions of years, and passed down from one
generation to another.
Creationists have an abnormal fear of what happens
after death. It is inevitable that at some time each of us is
going to die, but Creationists have a fear of facing this
inevitability. Thus, they have invented a fantasy destination
where they can live forever. Their “soul” will be raptured to a
“perfect land” where they can live forever in a land where fears
do not exist.
They are convinced that the requirement to gain
access to this “perfect land” is to believe every word in the
Bible. They fear that if they don’t believe every word in the
Bible, then they will lose their entry ticket. This emotional
fear of losing their entry ticket overwhelms any evidence that
you might present. They will believe in talking snakes since the
Bible asserts that a snake talked to “Eve”. They will believe in
“Noah’s Flood” even though you present reams of evidence from
Physics, Geology, all other sciences, etc. that such a flood is
impossible and couldn’t have happened. This fear of theirs is an
emotional factor which blocks out and overwhelms any possibility
that they could deal with reality.
Creationists have an abnormal fear of death.
5) Fear of
losing their “All Powerful Father”
Creationists have a psychological need to believe
in an all-powerful father who will protect them from their own
fears. They fear losing their all-powerful father.
This “psychological need” for an all-powerful
father also explains why Creationists continue to support
popular evangelists despite continuing scandals - why they vote
for politicians despite policies that can not succeed - and why
they persist in blindly following anyone who can supply a
“simple answer” to questions/problems that the average
Creationist is not capable of understanding. Creationists are
not capable of recognizing defects in their father figureheads.
The overriding factor is their need to believe in an
Creationists identify themselves with their
all-powerful father. They have an emotion-based belief that “my”
father, religion, political party, flag waving, “race”, etc. is
better than “your”
all-powerful father, religion, political party, flag waving,
“race”, etc. This leads to their persistent efforts to force
their beliefs onto everyone else - and hatred toward (and fear
of) anyone who does not comply.
Studies of Creationists’ Fears
There have been deeper scholarly studies into
Creationists’ Fears beyond what is outlined above. The following
is an abstract of an article that was published in “The
The Psychoanalytic Study of
Society. XIV. 1989
Creationist Resistance to Evolution: The Patriarchal
Unconscious as the Key.
Robert Bates Graber and Ladelle McWhorter.
Abstract by: John J. Hartman
The authors propose that the theory of
creationism and the resistance to the theory of evolution can
be understood as the product of profound fears rooted in early
development. They argue that Darwin's theory originated, in
part, in repressed parricidal wishes associated with oedipal
strivings. They believe evolution has this same unconscious
meaning for many individuals who believe in a Father God as
opposed to a Mother Nature. They feel that a "patriarchal
unconscious" develops, which equates power with maleness and
nurturance with femaleness; it is a product of fantasies about
the relations between the sexes as well as of the anatomical
differences. Those who retain a persistent fear of female
empowerment may see creationist theory as a means of defending
against these fears.
“Don’t pray in our schools, and we won’t think in your churches”
Creationists are scientifically
ignorant and fear reality.
Religion and the Belief in God(s)
Why do religious beliefs exist? Why have people
believed in God(s) throughout history and in virtually every
culture that has ever existed on planet Earth?
There is no historical record of when religious
worship and/or a belief in God(s) began, but religious beliefs
go back at least 11,600 years. (See “The Birth of
Religion”, National Geographic http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2011/06/gobekli-tepe/mann-text
No one has a photograph of a “God”. Nor is there
any physical evidence that one or more Gods ever existed. All we
have are paintings – such as Michelangelo’s – “Creation of
See Wikipedia “The Creation of Adam” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Creation_of_Adam
Of note, “God” is depicted as an all-powerful father figure.
While no one will ever be able to give a definitive
answer to these initial questions, there is a logical argument
to the “Creationist” origin of religion, and especially, “God”.
Most animals have a fairly short “learning period”
where their parents teach them how to live – find food, water,
learn how to hunt, etc. Humans are an exception. It takes us at
least a dozen years to learn the basics of life. Additionally,
if we are going to learn a “trade” (or some other skill that
enables us to earn a living), we can add at least another 10
years or so onto this figure.
During this 20+ year period of learning, we are
completely dependent on our parents. If we get into some kind of
trouble, we turn to our all-powerful father to solve the
problem. When we need emotional support, we have a loving mother
who provides comfort. Thus for our formative years, we are
dependent on “All powerful and loving parents”.
This same dependency existed for our parents, their
parents, etc. for many thousands of generations back into
prerecorded history. We and our ancestors grew up with this
dependency. Most of us never outgrow this dependency. Most of us
(and our distant ancestors) have a built in psychological
dependency on an “all-powerful father” who will protect us,
reward us if we are “good”, punish us if we are “bad”, etc.
Even when our parents die, we still have a
psychological craving for “an all-powerful father”. So, what did
our ancestors do when their mortal parents died?
Answer: As a replacement for their parents, our ancestors
“Created” an “All-powerful and loving God”. Their “All-powerful
and loving God” had the same traits as their memories of their
parents. (In early human history, civilization consisted of
clans instead of a single family structure. Thus we created
multiple gods to substitute for the multiple members of the
How to combat
1) Long term
solution - Education to overcome emotion-based
Here in the United States, we assume a pompous but
erroneous attitude that our students receive the best education
in the world. In practice, the vast majority of Americans are
arrogant idiots. For example, please see:
In U.S., Not Much
“Dr. Miller's data reveal some
yawning gaps in basic knowledge. American adults in general do
not understand what molecules are (other than that they are
really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to
heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One
adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the
Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century.”
The “Programme for International Student
Assessment” (PISA) gives an examination to 15-year old students
to measure their knowledge/abilities in mathematics, reading,
and science. The exam is given to students in economic zones and
countries throughout the world. Results from the 2012
examination can be accessed at: http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results.htm
The table below summarizes the results.
Color shading in the list shows:
Blue: Above average
Gray: Below average
In the United States, we tell jokes about the “dumb
Polacks”. Look at the list to see if you can find the rank for
the “dumb Polack’s”. Now see if you can tell how the United
States compares with other countries. Hint: I’ve truncated the
last few poor performers from the original list.
In the United States, we advertise that “Failure
isn’t an option”, but this is only a movie script. In a large
segment of our population, what we really promote is “Ignorance
is a virtue”. Mediocrity and cheating are not just tolerated
options – they are encouraged. Most of our society thinks that
religious rituals are better than a good education.
The solution to replacing a society based on
religious superstitions with a society based on knowledge is
simple. Our educational system must stress that children have an
opportunity to learn about the real world. We can not allow
students to slip through a school system without them obtaining
the necessary education that is required to exist in an
increasing technological world.
In many areas, school
boards are ruled by “officials” who want to force their
religious beliefs and/or superstitions on students instead of
allowing students to learn about the real world. Carried to an
extreme, many “fundamentalists” home-school their children out
of fear that their children might be exposed to some imaginary
evil that contradicts their parents’ ingrained, superstitious
Teenagers are very aware that they are going to
need good jobs in the future. Good jobs require a good
education. Creationism is synonymous with a poor education.
Emphasize this economic future.
2) Short term
tactics - Public ridicule
“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be
used against unintelligible propositions.”
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp,
30 July, 1816
The emotionally based
fears that are typically present in Creationists prevent them
from understanding evidence. (For example: Try to convince
someone who has a fear of airplanes/flying that air travel is
safe. Ditto for the many phobias that bedevil large numbers of
other people.) These fears will overwhelm any possibility that
you can convince them of anything. You have a better chance of
teaching Calculus to an earthworm than getting a Creationist to
However, they do have an emotional reaction to be being publicly
Cartoons that emphasize creationists’ ignorance are effective.
While they may not understand any evidence that you
provide, they will react to cartoons that portray them as
ignorant. They won’t learn anything, but it will cause them to
retreat back into their own world. It will beat back their
efforts to force their brand of religion onto everyone else.
This will allow time for solution number “1” to have its effect.
When confronting a creationist, don’t politely
accept their statements. If they are incorrect about any topic,
publicly shove the evidence in their face. If they say something
“really stupid”, then publicize this gaffe as much as possible.
If Mr. Andrew Schlafly, founder of Conservapedia,
edits Conservapedia’s entry on gravity, and is ignorant to the
point where he leaves in the statement,
“Furthermore, experiments done
by NASA prove that the Moon is receding (moving further away)
from the Earth at a rate of 3.8cm per year, directly
contradicting the theory that masses attract one another.”
then broadcast this ignorant blunder to the whole world. Note:
The 3.8 cm per year part is true, but this is a result of the
earth’s rotation dragging a tidal bulge that exerts a “forward
pull” on the moon.
The Print Screen image above is a copy of one of
the versions of the “Gravity” entry in Conservapedia. There is
no way of knowing if the original entry was an ignorant entry or
somebody’s parody, but the point is that Mr. Schlafly left the
quoted statement on the page. He did not know that it was a
gaffe. (Note: The “Aschlafly” in the top of the
picture that denotes the page editor
These “ridicule” tactics will not change their
opinions, but the object is to drive home the fact that
Creationists are scientifically ignorant. The stigma of
“Creationism = Willful Ignorance” is a very useful tool. It will
eat at them over time.
Also please see:
“Creationism = Willful Ignorance”
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