Creationism vs. Reason

Dear readers,

I found this doing the rounds on facebook the other day.

And it really is that simple. You see, we often hear creationists or other Christians/people of various religious backgrounds snidely remark that evolution is “just a theory.” Oh, no. No, it’s a fact. A fact is something that you can see all around you, that has the same result every time you test it, that anyone can test and arrive at the same conclusion if they have the same instruments and means. That is why no-one has disproved the theory of evolution since Darwin came along and made it famous. It’s not like we haven’t had some time to disprove it by now. It’s not like people wouldn’t want to disprove it. Can you imagine – considering how big Darwin is, how when someone says “mention a famous scientist” he’s probably one of the top 5 that people think of – can you imagine how enormously huge anyone would be that came along  with a better theory? That person could be like “yeah, I proved Darwin wrong. Me. Take that, biathces.” Just like when David Tennant… I mean, Arthur Eddington showed that Newton had been wrong about something. Darwin and Eddington were both believers in God, but they simply could not deny what their eyes, their senses, and most of all, their rationality, clearly demonstrated to them. They were people who didn’t want to be right, but who could not deny simple reason and logic.

Unlike the gentlemen in the video below. They demonstrate the one creationist argument that always makes me grit my teeth. Please try to watch it all the way through; it is short, even though the presenters are so horrendously stupid it feels like everything is happening in slow motion.

Behold, the atheist’s worst nightmare: unbelievably dense arguments for the existence of God, and the people who make them.

Take the banana. It’s so perfect it must have intelligent design behind it. And you know what? It does! It has been cultivated for thousands of years by humans, and domesticated so as to develop its specific shape, its enjoyable level of sweetness, and its tiny seeds, so small that I’m sure many people don’t realise bananas actually have seeds in them.

 

Now behold the banana as it is in the wild.

 

 

See how perfect God made it? All hand-shaped and delicious looking, with those itty bitty seeds and the sweet flavour?

So that argument didn’t take much more than a few seconds of Googling. I think the sad and insulting thing is that these people have never taken those seconds of Googling out of their lives to find out that bananas are indeed a counterargument for God, and certainly an argument for actual intelligent design: humans manipulating nature to yield products more suitable for humans. We do it a lot, but we’ve done it for so long with the banana that Creationists, some of whom really don’t think we’ve been here all that long anyway, seem to think the banana has always been like this. Oops.

(Also, check this video where Richard Dawkins attempts to explain the evolution behind the eye to yet another creationist who has misquoted Darwin regarding the eye. Oh, there goes another creationist argument.)

The most baffling thing to me about creationism is that there is a simple logic behind the “intelligent design” of evolution: that everything became the way it is over hundreds of thousands of years, that everything is adapted to its environment because it had to be or it died, that there are thousands of similar yet unique species because animals move around, plants spread, climates change, and time passes. There is nothing confusing or daunting about it. The many imperfections in any species, the leftovers from previous stages of evolution, they are all there precisely because there was no chirpy God dude going “Hmm, this would probably be better that way.”

(Also, if God was such a fan of Adam, why would he have made his balls so squishy? Why would he go “here’s your most valuable asset, your only way to procreate and keep your species from dying out” and then add with a snicker “but Imma make sure that if someone kicks you real hard that won’t happen.” I thought women were the ones that were supposed to suffer for Eve’s sin? Oops.)

It is of course even more depressing that some schools teach creationism instead of real science. These children will grow up even more ignorant of how the world works than most children, and then turn into the kind of adults who vote for Donald Trump*. I mean, I’m sure it makes Trump happy – he does love the poorly educated – but it doesn’t make the rest of us very happy. I’d prefer a world where everyone was given a good education so they have a chance to make good decisions in life.

Either way, there are so many arguments for evolution and against creationism that this post could continue in eternity. In the end, it is simple: if you actually look at the world around you as it is, and use your mental faculties to the best of your abilities, and stop all that self-denial, you will see that evolution, my friends, is a fact, not “just a theory.”

 

 

*I think it’s because Donald Trump reminds Creationists of someone: he enjoys blind obedience and confused followers, he speaks in vague sentences that can be interpreted in a lot of different ways, he says everything with complete conviction even when he contradicts himself, he’s racist and bigoted, he’s into violence, he’s an older male figure with a strong personality… Yeah, seems quite a bit like that God dude.

 

Flip it over

Dear readers,

I promise my next post I’ll change it up and focus on pseudoscience or religion, or maybe a bit of both. But I saw something on social media today that reminded me how badly I’ve wanted to write this post, and how important I think it is.

With one simple exercise, you can find out whether something you’ve just heard/read/witnessed is sexist: flip it over.

To use my experience from earlier today as an example, I saw a post on social media that roughly* said this:

“Two Asian women in the 50s-60s are walking around Old Town in Stockholm, Sweden, wearing t-shirts that say ‘I ❤ Swedish Boys’. 😀 :)”

Did I think about this? Nope. Did I look at it twice before I scrolled by? Uh-uh. But a moment later, another person’s comment made me stop and stare.

“I was about to like on this, and then I thought: if this had said “I just saw two Swedish men in the 50s-60s walking around Bangkok wearing t-shirts that said ‘I ❤ Asian Girls’,” would I have liked on it? :)”

I kicked myself a bit: why didn’t I think of that? So I agreed, and the original poster responded saying that would have been entirely different, as one example would have been oppression, and the other was just two female tourists having a good time. But I disagree, wholeheartedly. If this behaviour is perceived as creepy and sexist when a man does it, why is it fine for a woman to do it?

It made me relate an anecdote that stuck in my brain: a few years back, Måns Zelmerlöv, who won the Eurovision Song Contest two years ago, but back then was but a Swedish Idol participant who’d ended up performing on cruise-ships, spoke in an article about how common it was for middle-aged women to come up to him on the cruises and squeeze his butt. He said how awkward and uncomfortable it was. Now, if we flipped it over here, we would immediately see how sexist and creepy this is. But when we excuse women for this behaviour, we do two things:

 

  1. We create a double standard. We say that while some behaviour is unacceptable from a man, it’s perfectly fine if a woman does it. Say, hitting someone else. Or grabbing their behind. Or criticising the looks of someone of the opposite sex. These are things that, when women do them, get shrugged off, but when men do them are horrendous and unbelievably sexist. These are double standards that would perhaps be expected in the outdated world where men were allowed to behave like d*cks and women weren’t. But if we’re actually attempting to create a world where men and women are treated equally, we should not allow one sex to get away with the behaviour that we don’t allow the other sex to get away with.
  2. We are derogatory toward women. We say that when women do something it’s cute, it’s funny, it’s not to be taken seriously. “They’re probably kidding. They don’t mean it. They’re harmless. It’s not as if they could do anything anyway.” We say that we don’t think women are capable of violence, of sexual dominance or abuse, or of inappropriate and insulting behaviour toward the opposite sex. We dismiss women. And I am a woman who never wants to be dismissed as “harmless” or “not to be taken seriously”. I get really angry when people disregard my opinions or actions because of my gender. So why do so many women seem to enjoy this form of positive discrimination when it comes to women behaving like d*icks?

 

A few years ago, my husband had his behind grabbed by a lady  who was chatting to him in the post-office queue. In England, the land of politeness. It’s not the first time he’s had his behind pinched by a woman, but he remembers it better than the others as it’s the most recent one. I happen to be lucky enough that no stranger has ever grabbed my ass, or touched me inappropriately at all. Not on the street, or in a bar, or a night-club, and certainly not in the post-office. But where my husband’s only action against this was to tell me about it years later, and tell facebook about it at the time, a woman in the same situation might have screamed, she could probably have called for security, she could at least have stepped away from the man, slapped him, even been defended by other men or women in the queue. What does a man do in this situation? It was only a woman. It’s not like a big strong man can’t defend himself. Of course, men aren’t allowed to hit women, but you know, it was harmless fun, come on, he should just let it go.

I would have been appalled, disgusted, outraged, if some man tried to grab my ass in the post-office queue, or anywhere else for that matter. But that’s the difference, that’s what we’re perpetuating.

I was reminded today of just how often we let these things pass us by, how often we don’t see what’s wrong before someone goes “There. Look. Right there.” The important thing to remember is: next time you read/hear/witness an event, whether it pertains to race or gender, hit the pause button and ask yourself

Would this be okay if I flipped it over?

 

 

 

*The original social media post and comments were in Swedish, and so this is a translation of my recollection of the post. It has the same content and wording, but in a different language, and not verbatim.