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Author Topic: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"  (Read 3634 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

"Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« on: March 15, 2011, 08:50:05 PM »
Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 1)

This is why I refuse to take it seriously >.<

Offline RubySlippers

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 09:03:37 PM »
Not all Creationists are interested in scientifically proving it for non-believersin High School science classes they tried this with me - parochial school - and I was blunt I believe in Creationism as an act of faith in God. But them trying to make a scientific support of it was against the entire body of science as its revealed by God so why try can't we just accept that as Christians GOD CREATED and that science DOESN'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS but DEMONSTRATES an old universe very ancient that seems contrary to a 10-12,000 year old creation event.

They didn't like that but I pointed out its just one of many mysteries of God and doesn't make Creationism invalid or science invalid they are different and divergent viewpoints.

Offline meikle

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 09:26:57 PM »
I think laughing at people for their religious beliefs is pretty silly. 

"I don't agree" is perfectly fine.  "You're laughable!" is the reason everyone thinks that "atheist" is a synonym for "asshole".

Offline Will

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 09:38:28 PM »
Agreed.  Whether or not the points in the video are true or not isn't so important.  It's VERY inflammatory, and sets a trollish tone for everything that comes after it.

Plus, they don't cite the video where they got the short clips from (not that I saw, at least), which means they could be out of context.

PLUS plus, arguing about creationism is pointless.  If you do manage to refute every claim the person makes, all they have to say is "God did it, and I don't have to understand how."  There's no comeback for that, because at that point, you've left the realm of science.  I suspect that dipping their toes into science is really just an amusing pastime for most of these people, as evidenced by their shaky grasp of the science involved.  Shatter all those misconceptions they build their ideas on, and they just go running back to blind faith.

Offline Jude

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 10:49:33 PM »
Laughing at people is not civil.  I will not claim that it never works, but I think it's reasonable to assume that it's rarely productive and almost always hurtful.  You don't change minds by being a dick (see Phil Plait's don't be a dick if you're interested in arguing that point).

However, I do understand where this sentiment comes from.  Young Earth Creationism is utterly absurd.  It's based off of biblical accounts that were written by human beings of unverified credibility centuries ago.  These documents were then translated into numerous languages, passed through countless hands, and went through a selection and editing under the watchful eyes of Caeser (see also: the Council of Nicea).  And I have to admit, in defiance of my previous paragraph, the notion of "biblical authority" is almost enough of a joke to justify laughing at biblical literalism.

Taking the bible as a historical document, even ignoring its origins, is utterly senseless.  It's not a historical document; it's full of all sorts of information that is in conflict with/cannot be verified by other sources.  Jews in Egypt built the pyramids?  Nope.  Jesus is verified as a historical figure?  If you look through the lens of Christian-biased universities, yes, but more and more secular study of history is questioning whether or not Jesus actually existed at all.  There are so many bits and pieces of historical information that the Christian mind takes for given that are actually not established well at all.  We don't even know if Bethlehem or Nazareth actually existed in Jesus' time.  Furthermore, the bible doesn't even agree with itself:  do some research on the Synoptic Problem if you don't believe me.

Contrast all of that with the rigors of science and it's pretty obvious which you should accept.  Accepting evolution and the world as billions of years old however, does not necessitate the abandonment of the concept of a deity or a creator.  We can debate about the likelihood that the world has a creator, but it seems pretty pointless given how utterly far removed from our body of knowledge such things are.  I'm not intending to attack religion, religion is fine, but don't let it contradict with well-established statistical fact.

We don't take everything in the bible to be literal as is already, so why not fudge it just a bit more and accept evolution with Christianity if that's your prerogative?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 10:52:15 PM by Jude »

Offline meikle

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 12:16:57 AM »
We don't take all of the Bible as literal but that doesn't mean it's not useful as a historical document, especially in places that we have other information that relates to the stuff discussed in the Bible.

Suggesting that the cities mentioned in biblical accounts aren't real, when they have real historical records dating those places going back to times before the common era, is silly.

I mean, I'm a religious studies major, and although the common theme in classes is "As a scholar, you can't take the Bible at face value," you also can't dismiss it out of hand.  There were obviously people in places like Bethlehem going back hundreds or thousands of years before the first books of the New Testament were being written: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-06-23-tomb-bethlehem_N.htm

Offline Shjade

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 12:51:10 AM »
Why do people laugh at Creationists?

Because people are dicks. Specifically, people believe it's okay to be dicks to other people they deem inferior, whether due to race, class, intelligence, or any other reason they feel validates their dickishness.

Doesn't take a 5-minute video to explain that one.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 12:59:09 AM »
5 minutes? There's about 30 episodes of it.

And I hear what your all saying, I agree with it to, but I take this video not as addressing Creationists as a whole... just this one doing his Vlog and others like him. One of my best friends is a Creationist, and she'd likely wanna smack this guys head in for making her look mentally challenged by association :P

Offline Foxypockets

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 01:07:41 AM »
I agree that thunderf00ts videos are often set in a poor tone and not well-cited. However, I do think that there's something to be said for refuting a Creationist's claims. The issue for me isn't that they believe what they believe. That's fine and dandy. It's that they want to teach it in schools. Not just in schools, mind you, but in science classes. Science has a specific definition, and Creationism doesn't fit into it. If it is to be taught at all in schools, it should be taught in a social sciences class. And even then, it shouldn't be given serious credibility.

Because, honestly, it's okay to say, "God did it." It isn't okay to teach children, "God did it THIS way, and everything that your teachers show you in science class is wrong."

I highly suggest AndromedasWake. He's also a very pro-science/anti-faith kinda guy, but his videos are much less inflammatory, and he seems pretty decent. Here:

Welcome to the Universe - I: Introduction

He doesn't focus so much on biology or evolution, but he does have a great focus on astronomy, which is also super important.

I personally dig his videos. <3

Offline Jude

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 01:15:29 AM »
We don't take all of the Bible as literal but that doesn't mean it's not useful as a historical document, especially in places that we have other information that relates to the stuff discussed in the Bible.
Yes, the bible is useful as a historical document.  So is the epic of Gilgamesh.  The point is that the bible is not completely historically accurate, so you can't use it as a basis for criticizing other forms of empirical evidence that are known to be valid.  If we had a historical document that went back 12000 years (this is the creationist's number, not mine, I wanted to emphasis this in an edit) to the creation of the universe that agreed with most other historical sources, then it would serve the purpose that the bible does for creationists now.  No such document exists.
Suggesting that the cities mentioned in biblical accounts aren't real, when they have real historical records dating those places going back to times before the common era, is silly.
Your comments here are a gross misrepresentation of what I actually said.  My position is this:  "We don't even know if Bethlehem or Nazareth actually existed in Jesus' time."  Meaning, we do not have sufficient historical evidence to prove that Nazareth and Bethlehem were cities established when Jesus was around.  No where did I say they were not real.
I mean, I'm a religious studies major, and although the common theme in classes is "As a scholar, you can't take the Bible at face value," you also can't dismiss it out of hand.
When a document makes numerous fantastical claims, and many basic factual historical claims which are demonstrably false, then unbiased scholars have a responsibility to reexamine the evidence for each and every claim that it makes against competing and coexisting documents.  Western scholars, especially theologians, have a lot of work to do on this front.  There are still far too many assumptions in theological studies which are based on a Christian world-view at the university level that pollute our unbiased review of history.  I recommend you read "The End of Biblical Studies" by Hector Avalos, or if you want a condensed version, check out this podcast here:  http://www.pointofinquiry.org/hector_avalos_the_end_of_biblical_studies/
There were obviously people in places like Bethlehem going back hundreds or thousands of years before the first books of the New Testament were being written: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-06-23-tomb-bethlehem_N.htm
The link you gave does indeed show that there were people buried in the region that Bethlehem is believed to have existed in 4,000 years ago.  I'm willing to grant you that said people were in fact living there then and that the body did not belong to a person who was part of a migratory society.  You are claiming that this is evidence that there were people living there 2,000 years ago during the time of Jesus.  There's a bit of a problem of a 2,000 year gap there... Surely you don't think Bethlehem was a 2,000 year old city in Jesus' time?

Again, I have to suggest that you read Frank Zindler's, "The Jesus the Jews Never Knew: Sepher Toldoth Yeshu and the Quest of the Historical Jesus in Jewish Sources."  Or you can check out this podcast here on the subject:  http://www.pointofinquiry.org/frank_zindler_the_christ_myth/

If you'd like information from more sources to review, let me know.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 01:18:54 AM by Jude »

Offline Foxypockets

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 01:17:45 AM »
This is my personal favorite pro-science video. It took me a while to find. It's by philhellenes.

Science Saved My Soul.

It's a beautiful video. Watch it.

Offline Vekseid

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2011, 01:26:02 AM »
It's never a good idea to introduce yourself and your argument by insulting people. It converts no one. In fact I left Christianity because I was told, on no uncertain terms, that as a Catholic I could not be a Christian, by someone who proceeded to lie about what they thought prayers to saints were. They were happy to count Catholics as Christians when comparing Christianity to other faiths, however.

I had atheist friends. Very intelligent ones who were very bothered by it. Yet it was the evangelicals who were insulting me, lying about me, and insulting and lying about others in general, who convinced me to turn from Christianity - and not even that, but rather, I chose to read the Bible objectively, as an outsider. And I read it, and was amazed that though I had done this same thing just a few years earlier, I found a lot of actions that bothered me on an extremely moral level - Lot offering up his daughters to be raped, to begin with. There is also a virgin sacrifice in Deuteronomy. An apologist later told me that this was a heave offering - heave offerings aren't burnt, just offered up onto an alter, and then used by the priests. They never did explain to me why rape was so much better.

And the hypocrisy of Evangelicals stretched into their personal lives. Fundamentalists complain of a 4% retention rate - there's a reason for this. The overwhelming majority of human beings are good, caring people. Sometimes they have bad days, sometimes they believe a lie. But good people can only stomach a lie for so long. That's why history is so overwhelmingly progressive.

Sometimes, throwing down the hammer works. But the person you throw it down on needs to have, at the very least, some measure of respect for you.

Offline meikle

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 01:52:00 AM »
When a document makes numerous fantastical claims, and many basic factual historical claims which are demonstrably false, then unbiased scholars have a responsibility to reexamine the evidence for each and every claim that it makes against competing and coexisting documents.

Of course they do.  I'm pretty sure I said just that (or anyway, it's what I meant to communicate.)

It seems strange to me to think that places like Bethlehem and Nazereth showed up where the bible places them after the book was written -- and I feel comfortable saying that Bethlehem was settled by people two thousand years before the birth of Christ, on account of the Canaanites ... not being especially nomadic and having settlements.  Jericho is a good example of a city that was populated regularly (if not totally consistently, due to repeated sackings) for something to the tune of thirteen thousand years, with archaeological evidence.

I am pretty surprised to discover that there isn't archaeological evidence putting Bethlehem on the map in the era of Jesus' birth, but in the end, I suppose it's not really a major issue.

I won't keep arguing with you, though -- Christian topics aren't exactly one of my strong points and I think you're better versed on the subject than I am.  I'll take a look at the links your provided.


I will say, in general, though, that it's probably important to distinguish between Creationists and proponents of the Intelligent Design thing.  You can be a Creationist without being one of the people that wants to teach their faith as science.  (Hell, you can be a Creationist without being Christian.)

Offline Jude

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2011, 02:21:22 AM »
If you'd like to talk more about Nazareth and such, I'd be happy to do it on another thread.  It's almost off-topic here though so I'll save the rest of my elaboration for another time.

As far as the tail end of your comment goes, it depends really on what set of nomenclature you're using.  In the minds of the United States' evolution proponents, Creationism is broadly thought of as shorthand for Young Earth Creationism, and Intelligent Design is thought of as a way of sneaking Creationism (which was banned from the classroom thanks to Supreme Court Hearings) into the classrooms under a different name.

There are good reasons for this too.  The ID Movement, more specifically the Discovery Institute that has really pushed and supported ID, was pretty much founded by Christian fundamentalists for the exact purpose of continuing the fight against evolution that the creationism push started (fun fact, the impetus of the Discovery Institute's founding was an evangelist lawyer's efforts backed by considerable capital, not any researcher or scientist's findings).

To avoid labeling, I will say this.  If you believe that human beings were created in their present form and did not evolve, then you are at odds with a great deal of evidence collected from multiple sources and our own DNA.  Denial of evolution is not a logically tenable position at this time by any estimation.  This does not mean you can't believe that there is a creator god that gave birth to the universe to so speak.  You can even believe that god set things in motion so that evolution would occur and remain fully complaint with evolutionary theory.

The problem is when people say, "We didn't evolve, god made human beings as they are now."  That's simply at odds with the implications of our study of reality in an irreconcilable way.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 02:25:01 AM by Jude »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011, 02:24:14 AM »
I started to doubt early on. I was 9. I had just arrived in the Republic of Ireland and the FIRST new cast I saw had the bombing of a newly married couple whose only crime was that one was Anglican and one was Catholic. That was the first time I ever saw religious violence. The next scene, part of the same RTE segment, was Ian Paisley blasting the Catholics, and the segment was followed by the assassination of Lord Mountbatten the summer before.

I had grown up, to that time, as a Southern Presbyterian and my folks took us to the local Anglican church for worship while we were there. I went to the local Catholic school for the best part of two years though. Got the every living CRAP beat out of me by some of the kids there, mostly for being a Yankee.. but occasionally for not being catholic. Of course I also some some of the NASTIEST treatment of folks in the way the Orange day parades in Londonderry was done.

By the time I turned twelve and we moved back to the states I was convinced that while there might be a God out there, he didn't want anything to do with any of the established religions. He couldn't.

So, aside from attending funerals or weddings, and one christening, I haven't been into a church willingly in almost twenty years. Faith is good, when tempered with tolerance and common sense like Father Haggerty in Newtownforbes had back then, but too few folks have faith with tolerance and common sense it seems.

Offline Sure

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2011, 05:14:42 AM »
To imply that The Troubles were mainly due to religion is simply wrong. Further, this statement here,
Quote
Faith is good, when tempered with tolerance and common sense like Father Haggerty in Newtownforbes had back then, but too few folks have faith with tolerance and common sense it seems.
categorizes the vast majority of the world's population according to people who were a minority of Irish Catholics, let alone Catholic in general let alone religious people in general.

I find it odd people have put up the condemnable actions of the few as a reason to break away from religion. That seems untenable to me in of itself: people professing to be atheists have created some of the most dictatorial and oppressive regimes in the modern world, killing at least a hundred million people in doing so and severely restricting or abolishing people's right to freedom of worship in doing so. This video itself proves atheists can be just as insulting, snide, self-assured, and superior as any religious evangelical. So, based on the logic that death or hate is a reason to turn away from religion, this should be ample reason to turn away from atheism, shouldn't it?

The argument doesn't make sense against either atheism or religion. Any good (to me) argument for conversion or apostasy cannot rely on the actions of others but must rely on either philosophical or theological grounds. Otherwise it's just the association fallacy.

Regardless, I've had to take various theological courses before. They all argued that the Creation Stories are allegorical.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2011, 08:03:11 AM »
Wow... I'm up to part 20. Yeah, his attitude towards Creationists is inflammatory (personally I find it amusing, but I'm a sucker for drama, and the kinds of people he targets are particularly prone to it) but some of what he's saying is pretty deep. Even if I don't understand a lot of the science he brings up, he speaks very clearly and the way he manages to steamroll through EVERYTHING the Creationists (the individuals he speaks of, not the whole faith) send at him is just painful to watch...

Its like watching someone with a broadsword fight someone with a wet tissue.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2011, 08:15:14 AM »
Well, he is staging his arguments.  He is picking and choosing the fights, researching the area and then making a video.  In effect he is presenting his side with perfect clarity while staging the other side to look foolish. 

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2011, 08:25:43 AM »
Yes, that would be how a presentation works, and its kind of unavoidable... anything less then a live streaming debate between Thunderf00t and Venomfangx would be the same result, but I like that he still addresses some of Venomfangx's and other Creationists videos. I mean, if you can't actually debate the person live, the next best thing you can do is counter their arguments. Which he does fantastically.

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 21)

This one in particular really spoke to me... kind of frightening.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2011, 09:53:09 AM »
To imply that The Troubles were mainly due to religion is simply wrong.

Not entirely. Religion and politics are very much bound together in Northern Ireland. If you're Catholic, you're obviously a Republican. If you're Protestant, you're a Unioninst.

There's an old joke that runs

A guy is walking through Belfast at night when two thugs jump him out of an alleyway. One sticks a gun under his nose, and asks him "Are you a protestant or a catholic?". Figuring with his luck he'll answer wrong he says 'I'm Jewish." The two thugs look at each other for a moment before one replies "Aye, but are you a protestant Jew, or a catholic one?"

You can't simply the Troubles as being caused by religion. It's a mixture of religion, politics and centuries of histry. But religion is a very definite factor in it.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2011, 10:04:54 AM »
I would not call that unavoidable since the debate occurs many times across the internet forums and more appropriately across academic circles all over the world.  Now, this particular individual wishes to antagonize another then certainly the internet provides the best venue.  I say antagonize because the opening of that video was extremely derogatory toward the person he wishes to confront.  One has to only look at the rules for civil debate on Elliquiy to make note that he is not engaging in debate.  The intention he has is to ridicule and be offensive to his opponent and the supporters of that opponent.  That he continues to degrade the person after they are banned from the site is further proof of his attention.  Were I to continue to make comments and insults to someone that was banned from Elliquiy, my behavior would be seen as quite crass by the administrators here.

Continuing to watch the video, there is little fact here regarding the manís point.  He is making a leap in comparison of Islamic fundamentalists to Christian Creationists.  He is making a generalization that were a Creationist to take power, that figure would be similar to not only an Islamic fundamentalist but a terrorist in his goals.  Except at that personís disposal would be the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world.  As evidence he provides a clip from a movie and a comedian.  There is quite a leap he is making here and unfortunately he is moving more into crap at this point than certainty.  He is also making an underlining assertion that science is what has contributed to a more peaceful and humanitarian world.  This assertion is very much unfounded and there are far more factors at play than simply an appreciation for science.

In regard to his one area of fact, he is also misleading.  Arabs and their Islamic religion did indeed keep the grand mysteries of math and science for the world.  A fact I wish more people realized when understanding those cultures.  Yet he goes on to make mention of slavery, torture and other areas in attributing them to Christians.  He talks about the Greeks having knowledge that is more enlightened, which the Arabs kept.  Greeks kept slaves, committed vast atrocities and so forth.  The Romans did as well and the Persians and the Japanese and so many other cultures.  The connection does not hold, but he is focusing on that connection with exclusion to other factors. 

That is more my point in stating that his presentation is staged.  There is obvious bias and antagonism in his presentations.  He does much to remove the illusion of scientific inquiry and presentation with that attitude.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2011, 10:14:30 AM »
Well, I suppose if one ignores the politics behind the religious fighting in Ireland then religion can be blamed.  Though the roots of that conflict are imbedded in English Protestants and Catholic natives in Ireland, along with quite a few conflicts afterward.  Religion might be the mask used to cover the ugly face of internal strife, but religion is no means the continued factor.  Islamic fundamentalists attack the United States as a Christian nation, but they do not bomb Rome which is the seat of Catholic power.  If the war was truly a holy one, then the Swiss Guard would be busy indeed. 

Religion plays its part in frenzying up the population, but any ideology does that.  The only way to end such a thing would be to remove peopleís ability to identify with anything and remove their desire to fight for any ideas they hold dear. 

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2011, 11:04:01 AM »
Religion is not THE factor, but it is A factor. Trust me on this, I have 20 years worth of growing up in Northern Ireland to back that statement up :)

If you want to discuss NI and the Troubles in more detail, I suggest we split off to a separate thread.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2011, 11:24:05 AM »
Sorry, I did not mean to imply that the Troubles were entire religious based are sound negative about Irish Catholics. I was trying to show WHEN I lost faith in established religion. Father Hagerty was one of the most patient, tolerant (if you supported his soccer team anyway) and wise men I ever met.

And remember that I fell into that culture at a young age from a relatively quiet Southern WASP upbringing.  Culture shock had a lot to do with the impressions I got. 


And I'd like to let the suggestion HairyHeretic made slide. Long term discussions of the Troubles usually depress me.

Offline Shjade

Re: "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?"
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2011, 03:11:04 PM »
I do think that there's something to be said for refuting a Creationist's claims.
Refuting spurious claims with evidence to support your refutation: fine and dandy.

Mocking the person who made the claim your refuting: unnecessary and unhelpful.

I'd have more interest in the video series if it wasn't cluttered with slow-motion voice distortions and repet-repet-repetition of the incorrect statements his "opponent" makes.