the invader zim syndrome

The best metaphor for creationists might be a misanthropic kids' cartoon from the 1990s rather than a wolf in sheep's clothing.
invader zim

Admit it, even if you’re an adult, you still watch cartoons and might remember Invader Zim, a bitter indie satire about humanity as seen through the eyes of an incompetent alien invader exiled to Earth under the pretense that he was going on a top secret mission. Even though Zim isn’t exactly what you’d call bright, the citizens of our planet are so jaded and careless that an alarming number of his half-baked schemes actually come very close to succeeding until the little alien’s mistakes spectacularly backfire.

Hardcore, fundamentalist creationists who suffer from a full blown phobia of science in general and evolution in particular, are a lot like Zim. They want to take over the world of science lacking the skill and knowledge to tackle scientific theories and instead of learning from their mistakes, people like Ken Ham, Ray Comfort and Bill Dembski just charge into the breach with a battle cry, spouting the same old inanities debunked by almost anyone with a passing grade in high school science and five minutes to dedicate to the task. The only reason they get anywhere is thanks to the immense amount of unquestioning, blind respect we confer on their beliefs as dictated by societal custom. And much like Zim’s barely intelligible proclamations, they offer statements so utterly devoid of thought, or filled with such blatant wishful thinking, you don’t even know where to begin. Here’s a perfect example of this in a gem from a creationist “science writer”

Beneath the veneer of a controversial peer-review process is a substantial debate over the very basics of evolution. Some scientists have pointed out that neo-Darwinism is inadequate to explain why life forms appear fully-equipped, unique, and discrete.

One of these bravely offered hybridogenesis as an alternative evolutionary mechanism. Others cogently demonstrated some scientific deal-breakers for hybridogenesis. Perhaps both sides are correct in their assessments of the opposing evolutionary ideas — neither explanation is sufficient. And if life could not have evolved, it must have been created.

Holy carp folks, we’re going fishing for fallacies! We have the controversy gambit, an argument from complexity and a non-sequitur just at first glance. Of course we’re debating the mechanisms of evolution because that’s what scientists do. They debate ideas based on their empirical merit until they find the best possible theory to explain the natural world. I would say that someone who bills himself as a science writer should have at least some grip on the idea, but a creationist science writer is an oxymoron. Creationists have no idea what science is or what it does. Nada. They just know they hate it and that it’s always wrong. Hence their argument that evil evolutionists refuse to acknowledge that there are living things too complex to evolve on their own and that in some dark basement, there’s a panel of maverick scientists who has the proof. Despite the fact that Behe, the ignoramus behind irreducible complexity, has been proven wrong again and again.

To top it all off, we have the classic creationist leap from a lack of comprehension about science to proof of the supernatural by a combination of a non sequtur and an argument by assertion. So if we boil down his entire argument from a scientific standpoint; “I don’t know, I don’t understand the scientists’ work, therefore God.” To think that creationists have been at this for 150 years, one would think that over a century and a half of practice in rhetorical obfuscation, they’d be getting better at it. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and this is why many of their comments on science blogs look an awful lot like this

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The 5 stages of grief. You guys are past the first stage and onto the second; next comes the bargaining. Good Luck!!

This was of course an addendum to a well thought out refutation of a post debunking a ridiculous article that tries to use the matter/antimatter asymmetry in the primordial universe as an argument against the Big Bang by an Answers in Genesis lackey. Oh wait… Hold on. It wasn’t. That was the whole comment word for word. At the risk of stating the obvious, I’m going to point out that leaving condescending comments on posts that you clearly can’t debate and touting the supremacy of your beliefs without bothering to provide even a semblance of an argument, makes your position look even worse since not only does it become obvious that you have no substantial argument on the matter, you’re absolutely oblivious to the world around you. And this reminds me of the famous quote from Ben Franklin: “Better to stay silent and let people think you’re a fool rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

# science // creationism / creationists / evolution / scientific method

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