April 11, 2006

Future Best Seller?

This is expected to sell more copies than the bible.

65% of high school drop outs are Young Earth Creationists. Not sure how many of them are capable of reading a book though.


  1. That will be one useful book. Three days of Grade Nine and the science curriculum is completed. The next four years can be spent on more worthwhile pursuits. Perhaps... snake dancing, Leviticus calligraphy, a 'what would Jesus do?'roundtable, and memorizing 'The Robe'.
    Science/schmience. Who needs it?

  2. I'm starting to sense a theme running through your blog :) I appreciate your humor and candor. While I don't completely agree with a lot of the stuff you write (I think I may be one of these Fundies of which you speak) I like your honesty and your zeal. I would love to dialogue with you sometime.

  3. I think that if there were a God it would be obvious and indisputable. If you asked Adam and Eve if God existed they would think you were mad because they actually saw him walking in the garden in the cool of the day and spoke with him regularly. We, today, have no evidence of this quality.

    Also if intelligent creation were true it too would be obvious. Even a child can tell the difference between something that has evolved and something that was designed.
    If evolutionary theory was totally untrue it would soon be shown to be. This is because scientific discoveries and theories are only provisionally true. That is, it is only true if such and such remain as they are. At any moment some new fact can come blundering in and bring the whole edifice down. Fundamentalists find this notion disturbing and at the same time it gives them hope. They are constantly searching for this new fact. Finding it seems to be as elusive as finding definitive proof of intelligent creation.

    The appeal of the divine is its invincibility and changelessness even against the scientific onslaught. They would rather believe in this than the only provisionally true human science.

  4. Kevin, I have no problem with you discussing things with you. My IM is theatheistjew on Yahoo (it is on half the time) and my email is beaj666@gmail.com I'm not a devil worshipper if you think that is why I have 666 in my addy.

    Just don't try to convert me. Usually Christians give up on me afer 3 email exchanges. I'm a realist, there is no way you are gonna prove God, Jesus or any other spiritual being exists.
    I'm always open to FACTS though. I haven't seen any from Fundies though, and I'm polite, I always ask.

  5. I like your name and your posts are amusing. I have to disagree with you about evolution though: not that I think the theory is false, just that it lacks the significance you and most people attribute to it. I've posted about this several times on my own blog, most recently here (see particularly the comments).


  6. Lawrence, thanks for showing up. Nobody will argue that evolution disproves God. It does go against the literal bible though, especially if a Fundy is reading the bible. 40% of Americans believe in Theistic Evolution(see Ken Miller for example).
    The thing about Atheism, as I pointed out in a post before, is that knowing what we know today regarding science and evolution, it is (I think) an impossibility for an Atheist to not regard evolution as fact and the same is true with abiogenesis. A lot of people btw confuse evolution with the beginning of life. Evolution is about changes in life forms since the beginning, evolution doesn't worry about the beginning, although it is very related.
    The other point is that most Atheists know we can't disprove God. But I argue the point that we can't disprove 2 Gods or 900 Gods. I can't disprove that my dog isn't God (isn't that what Son of Sam believed, or was the dog the devil? I forget).
    I'd would like to change the name Atheist to Realist (I don't like Brights, it is too, you know, effeminant). There is absolutely no proof on this planet or in the universe that one two or 500 Gods exist. God is a man made concept like the Easter Bunny.

  7. Chag Sameach!
    Love this blog big time! I will be back many times over. The pity is that you are preaching to the converted (pardon the language!) If only the 'intelligent creationists' would really, I mean really! think about what is so obvious and so sublimely beautiful about the way things have come to be...your Israeli video deserves many more viewings - and listenings (ani medaberet ivrit)
    Thank you so much for giving me a superb night when so many others are reading an ancient travelogue!

  8. Thanks for the kind comments Yonna. The irony of that Shofar.net video is that an Ultra-Orthodox Jew told me to watch it to prove that even Stephen Hawking believes in God.

  9. Ashrey Hama'amin!! Another problem with all these guys is that when Hawking or Einstein mention god, the (wrong) assumption is that the mention implies belief..

  10. It is called grasping at straws:)
    The person who mentioned Hawking believes the earth is less than 6000 years old and that evolution is garbage.
    So why quote Hawking in the first place?
    And Hawking only stated that if a God did create the universe, the window in which he did it was a very short time.

  11. I love that image...funny as hell!

    The relationship between level of education and acceptance of evolution is directly proportional. Those with less education tend to be creationists. Those with more education tend to be evolutionists. When speaking about scientists, the number of creationists is similar to the number of Holocaust-denying historians--that is to say, very few. If you ask most scientists, they will tell you there's as much evidence to support evolution as there is to support the theory that the earth is spinning on its axis while revolving around the sun. Both are very well-supported, widely-embraced, bedrock theories.

    I think most creationists reject evolution because they haven't the scientific knowledge to truly understand it. That, and the fact that many creationists think the Bible is infallible, ludicrous as that notion is.

  12. I tend to disagree that education is directly proportional to disbelief in evolution. I think it has more to do with absolute faith and a certain amount of see no evil than a lack of education. Fundamentalists are very well educated in their chosen field, which happens to be litteral study of the bible.

    I've known quite a few anthropologists that were very religious and believed the bible yet they still backed the "ID" argument in a touchy feely kinda way. They knew there was evolution in man yet still had a Christian view of the origins of life. I think it's more wishful thinking then anything.

    Heck, what do I know though, I'm a Pastafarian.

  13. Noodly guy. There have been surveys. Check this out.

    There is a huge correlation between the uneducated tending to be creationists.

  14. Surveys aren't exactly science and easily manipulated by the questioner. I'm not saying that the prevelence of young earthers isn't higher amongst the less educated but I'm not ready to attribute it to the lack of education itself.

    There are just too many variables when you start talking about the uneducated to make a sweeping statement that the majority will reject fundamentalism if only properly educated. Quite often those with the least hope cling to the spiritual, praying for help in their lives from an outside being. It's not the level of education, it's living hand to mouth which are two very different arguments to make.

    Reading those answers in the survey cited shows that there were some technically incorrect questions asked and I certainly wouldn't use these surveys as a basis for argument as it's just bad proof in a debate.

  15. I think the fact that 25% of college grads are YECs compared to 65% of high school dropouts being YECs are pretty good indicators. Unless you want to argue that high school drop outs are more educated than college folk.

  16. Sadly, there are many highly regarded scientists and medics of the Jewish persuasion who are deeply religious. This is something I've always found impossible to understand, and yet they exist, they present wonderful series of scientific programmes on television, Professor (and Lord) Robert Winston immediately comes to mind. He is an impressively brilliant scientist, researcher, expert in human fertility and more. In fact he recently presented a series on religion and faith. With 'true believers' there comes a point in any rational discussion where reaching a point beyond which there are clearly no more rational answers that the cul de sac of blind faith appears - in judaism it is called 'emuna' - probably their biggest loophole to escape from rational thought.

  17. It is hard to understand.

    Had some friends who I'd known for some time and they were intelligent, very well educated (much better educated dan me) and we'd share holidays etc..

    Then on the phone one day she says "We have to go to church this morning..."

    And I say "Why do you want to do that?" in my insensitive way.

    So it turns out they go often and are proper Christians.

    I don't get it. I just don't get it. And I find it hard to maintain the same level of respect for people once I know they believe in fairy stories.

  18. Simon, I feel the same way. If someone believes in YEC especially, I view the person as suffering from a mental illness, even though some are very sane(and are just victims of faith and very naive), I can't help myself.

    Oh yeah, you have some great stuff on your blog, however you should read my post from April 10th on blogging.

    I hate black backgrounds on blogs.(I don't get why seemingly normal bloggers have the need to make their blogs so reader unfriendly).

  19. Dear Bacon,

    Actually Aquinas disproves a multiplicity of deities in Summa Theologica and Summa contra Gentiles (though I can't find the references off-hand). The long and short of it is that there can't be more than one Ultimate Being, if that's what one understands of God (as most people do). Saying there are multiple ultimate beings is (to greatly simplify) sorta like saying there's more than one "oldest person in the world."

    Whether there are "subcreators" or "subdeities" is another question. In fact at least one Church Father said that the pagan gods were actually (if good) angels and (if evil) demons. Ultimately everyone of these "gods" has to receive his existence from (or trace his existence back to) the One God. That's what most theists believe at least implicitly.

    As to whether believers or atheists are more intelligent, it should at least give one pause to consider that atheism is only a relatively recent phenomenon, and that a lot of very intelligent people throughout history were theists. Or perhaps everyone in the past was a "dummy"?

    A lot of people btw confuse evolution with the beginning of life.

    Including Gould and Dawkins?

    Gotta say that the YEC for Dummies is precious. Very professional looking. How did you put it together?


  20. A lot of research has gone into the possibility of evolutionary processes working away at the dawn of life on this planet. Things do not have to be alive to evolve and the three core elements of replication, mutation and selection were very likely furiously working away in the primordial soup.

    Some people like to think that space fairies seeded the planet or God generated the first spark of life to kick the whole process off yet there seems no need for these outlandish theories. They just push the Divine further and further back in time.

    Experiments with energy and primordial soup mixes result in the creation of amino acids and other complex things that are the building blocks of organic lifeforms.

    There are other things too that can evolve like viruses which don’t appear to be truly living in the sense that we know life to be. They are like protein robots that can self assemble given the right environment.

    The evolution of life itself is quite a fascinating subject and I for one would claim that evolution produced the first lifeforms. This claim is, of course, provisional as a better more plausible theory or actual evidence would sway my opinion. There is no better explanation at present and certainly no need to bring in a deity at this point.

  21. Lawrence, in order to have one ultimate being, we need an exact definition in order to try to prove or disprove his existence. Why can't there be exact twins or triplets of Gods?

    Atheism goes back to the Greeks. But since the recency of Darwinism and proof of an ancient earth, there is actually foundation that the literal bible is bs. Through the ages, Atheists had too many obsacles to overcome so they didn't necessarily have to be more intelligent overall, they might just have hated the idea of God.

    Nowadays though, I would have to say that Atheists tend to be more intelligent than believers as a group, without a doubt.

    Just click the title of the post where the book is and you can design your own book for dummies.

  22. In general, of course I don't believe that high school dropouts are more educated than college grads. My point was that surveys are very easily skewed.

    For instance, when the US first started bucking to go after Iran, USA Today (I believe) ran a survey on if we were justified in attacking Iran and the result was something like 53% positive. Then they asked if we would be justified in attacking Canada and it was 43% positive (pulling numbers from memory, may be off by 5% points negative, think they were higher).

    The only point I'm making is I find it very hard to believe a stat like 65% of high school dropout are young earthers. Chances are pretty good the wording was not as clear as it should have been for those questioned, people that aren't exactly used to critical thinking. Ask someone rural if they believe Genesis and you're gonna get a lot of positives, ask if they think the world is 6,000 years old and you'll get a lot of negatives.

    And yes, I would say that a high school dropout can be better educated than a college grad. The collegiate is probably better rounded but for the sake of this discussion, the fundamentalist knows more about the text of the bible then your average college grad and where the fundie derives all of his argument and faith from. I sure can't balance a tire but the guy at the tire place can; he is better educated then me when it comes to tires.

    Once you move into the realm of theology as opposed to litteral translation, the fundie will probably be stomped in proper debate by a philosophy major but that doesn't mean the fundie doesn't know more about the bible proper.

    Note that I'm only debating the use of surveys to make points here as I'm an evolutionist, too. That's not to say I think atheists are that much more open minded then fundamentalists in the realm of philosophy and theology though outside of those two realms they probably are better critical thinkers.

  23. Most excellent site. Methinks I will with your permission link to it from mine. :)


  24. Thanks Sean, I have no problem if anyone links me. It doesn't matter how much you hate Harper, Canadian politics isn't a big deal with me:)

  25. Big daddy 2x4,

    EVERY poll published in the main stream media is biased and designed toward the political angling of the specific news outlet.

    There is NO Survey or poll that has been published in newspapers or broadcast (in recent memory) that would be accepted for publication in a serious statistical journal. They are all flawed.