Why Fundamentalists Pretend to be Scientists

When you look at the “science” behind intelligent design or the objections to the theory of evolution, one incredibly insistent question keeps banging its head against the wall.  Why?  Why do fundamentalists feel such a pressing need to play dress up with lab coats and diplomas?  I can easily understand why they want to oppose aspects of scientific thought to strengthen the appearances of their world-view.  That makes sense.  What makes me wonder is why pursue the authority science lends when your own source of authority, the Bible, is already so well established and infallible?

As August Pollak points out, the Creation Museum is more embarrassing to the deeply religious who do not fall for this giant load of bull.  And make no mistake, bull it is.  A very motivated bull, as the Guardian observes:

Nothing can dent the designer’s zeal as he leads us gingerly through the labyrinth of rooms still under construction, with bits of wood, and the odd dinosaur head occasionally blocking our path.

That pretty much sums up the fundamentalist’s scientific method.  Start with a conclusion and don’t let anything get in the way of proving it.  Its sophistry masquerading as science.  This method of cosmology is fundamentally at odds with the scientific approach to knowledge:

There is a fundamental contradiction. Faith says that the way to get answers is by revelation, accepting authority, and dogma. Science says that the way to get answers is by examining the evidence critically, testing hypotheses with experiment in the natural world, and by constantly reevaluating and revising our ideas to make them more accurate. It isn’t just that the two arrive at different, conflicting answers—for instance, that the earth is 6000 years old vs. 4.5 billion years old—but that their methods conflict. Scientists will not accept a random idea because someone contemplated and decided a deep “Truth” appealed to him: a kernel of observation and evidence is required.

So what the creationists and the anti-evolutionary theory folks are doing is cleary not science.  Why vie for the scientific mantle then?

Credibility, Authority, and Evangelism.  Simply put, the creationists zeal in pursuing scientific authority reveals that the authority of the Bible is not sufficient for making their case to current and potential followers.  And followers are the primary resource of any organized religion.  In order to speak with an authority to keep current members, and prostelitize potential members, a compelling world view must be presented.  What fundamentalists are saying by pretending to be scientists, is that one cannot make a compelling case for their religion without appealing to a non religious authority.

I believe this is far from the case.


Are Gay Soldiers Too Tempting Mr Smith?

Like most red-stated Americans, pundit Mark Smith is concerned about his latent homosexual libido.  If he were in the military with teh Gays, he is worried he couldn’t stop himself from jumping them for an energetic round of filthy man sex.  And right he is!

The problem is two fold.  On the one hand, ordinary God fearing Americans like you and I are, in most situations, healthy.  We join the Republican party.  We go to Church every Sunday.  We have straight baby producing sex (but wait until we are married).  However.  Add some sexy Gays into our close proximity, and we just can’t help ourselves.  Its like putting pile after pile of cheesy burrito pizza pies in front of a thin man.  How can he resist?  Gay sex is that basic.  God, who wants us not to be Gay, made us so that we can all become Gay at the drop of a hat.  What other reason could Mark Smith possibly have for worrying about “that sort of tension”?

This leads into the second part of the problem.  Sex is too great a distraction for any discipline which requires rigorous concentration.  That’s why we need to go beyond keeping homosexuals and women out of the armed forces.  We need them out of government, health care, and any other essential function that requires concentration.  After all, if straight men can’t concentrate on manly things like banning immigration and shooting brown people, what hope is there for America?  The mere existence of the word sodomy is enough to make the most devout Bush supporter’s little redeemer stand at attention.

This is why need to jealously guard our little soldiers by keeping our troops straight, manly, and focused on winning the war.

(We might want to cut off news access too.  All that depressing media bias could make a soldier want to come home).