Archive for September 2010
As we all know, Google collects data. They do that to characterize your individual interests, in order to more effectively display advertisement which suits those interests. If you’re familiar with my blog, you may have noticed that some of my main interests are alternative medicine, mythology and religion – unfortunately, the Google-ad-machinery does not distinguish between those who are interested in mythology in order to practice it, and those who are interested in it in order to debunk it. As a result of this insufficiently discriminatory process, people who are as ferociously anti-religious as me get to see ads like “Holy Land Pilgrimage – explore the origins of your faith”, “ChristianDating – Find true happiness with a partner who shares your faith” and so on.
Today, I one of these ads actually managed to catch my attention. Behold “FreeJee – the snuggle cross”:
The product statement from the company’s homepage (My translation from the German original) is pure comedy gold:
Debunking creationists is a waste of time unless you do it publicly, on a large forum. This has to do with the Creationist’s intentions and tactics. We need to realize that they are not really interested in changing your mind in particular – they go only for a large number of people. Any people. Any “soul” that is “saved” is a success to them, and numbers is what matters here. This means that most creationists will not engage you seriously, but rather spend their time “saving” five less skeptical people instead of the one die-hard skeptic who has had his heart already hardened by Satan. Understanding this mind-set is crucial, because it makes a huge difference to how one should approach engaging them.
There is a statistical certainty at the heart of all creationist propaganda: The larger the number of people exposed to their ideas, the more will be among the crowd who are susceptible to their lies, ignorance and misrepresentations. If you can stand up and debunk all their arguments, they won’t care. They’ll simply move on to the next person willing to listen.
It has been shown time and time again that creationists tend to simply ignore the debunking of their claims – it is not important to them. As long as they can use a claim to “save” souls, they will continue to use it to do so.
Since their main concern is “saving” people, the arguments and all the pretend-science is only a means to an end. Their actual respect for the argumentative weight of scientific arguments is incredibly low. Hence, they will simply ignore what you have to say. Their mind-set is such that you cannot by scientific arguments change their views, since to them science is only one of many tools to employ to “do the lords work”. They hold it in low regard. So if you try to engage their arguments at their scientific face-value, showing them to be complete rubbish, they will simply laugh at how seriously you take all this science-stuff and how little you know about what (to them) is the real, important truth.
So if you ever engage in a discussion with a creationist, the listeners are what really matters. Your scientific arguments will not convince the creationist, but you might engage the common sense of the audience, inform them enough to vaccinate them against creationist propaganda.