The La Plata Mountains as seen from above the author’s
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Durango Bill’s

What causes a Creationist to be a Creationist?



The answer is:

Fear!

   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.

Study Creationism - Forget about a good job(Un)Intelligent Design "Science"
            teacher








“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 earlier times.

   Over the last several thousand years, scientific/medical 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 thought.


Fearful people created God.

   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 evolution

   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”. http://www-tech.mit.edu/V120/N13/col13veena.13c.html
 
“It's Official! Racism is an Integral Part of Creationist Dogma” http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/aig_and_racism_response.htm
and multiple other links at http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/creation_and_racism.htm & http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/racism.html

   Creationists are prone to emotional outbursts regarding other “inferior races”. Please see
“Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic remarks cited in official police report”.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/07/31/entertainment/e143903D69.DTL&type=politics

   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 Project”. https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html

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:

a) “Christian evangelist scandals”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_televangelist_scandals
b) “Ted Haggard” and his “male prostitute”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Haggard
c) Bert Thompson - “Longtime director of Apologetics Press fired” for “sexual misconduct”
http://web.archive.org/web/20050702030328/http://www.christianity.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID25485%7cCHID127205%7cCIID2042006,00.html
or run a Google search using:  “Bert Thompson” “Sexual misconduct”
d) Jim Bakker - payoffs to former secretary Jessica Hind for “sexual services” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bakker
e) Jimmy Swaggart - caught on film taking a prostitute to a motel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Swaggart 

Corollary: “Atheists have 'better sex lives than followers of religion who are plagued with guilt'”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1388827/Atheists-better-sex-religious-followers-plagued-guilt.html
(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 women
(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 Death

   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 “all-powerful father”.

   Creationists identify themselves with their all-powerful father. They have an emotion-based belief that “my” all-powerful 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.



Psychoanalytic 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 Psychoanalytic Quarterly”
http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=PAQ.061.0676E


The Psychoanalytic Study of Society. XIV. 1989
Creationist Resistance to Evolution: The Patriarchal Unconscious as the Key.
Robert Bates Graber and Ladelle McWhorter.
Pp. 167-190.

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” – unknown

Creationists are scientifically ignorant and
            fear reality

Creationists are scientifically ignorant and fear reality.




Origin of 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 Adam”.

Michelangelo's "Creation of adam"

   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 clan.)
 




How to combat the Creationists


1) Long term solution - Education to overcome emotion-based superstitions/dogmas

   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:

Scientific Savvy?
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.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/30/science/30profile.html?pagewanted=print


   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.

The United States is well below the "dumb
            Polacks"

Color shading in the list shows:
Blue: Above average
White: 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.

Creationism is not
          going to help you get a good job.   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 beliefs.

   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



Creationists
          literally are not able to understand evidence.   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 acknowledge evidence.

However, they do have an emotional reaction to be being publicly ridiculed.

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.

Schlafly's position on "contradicting the
            theory that masses attract one another"

   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”
http://www.durangobill.com/Creationism.html


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