Lies and Damned Lies

Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Featured, Thoughts | 3 comments

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister.

I have never lied in this blog. Not once. Never have I willingly taken facts and skewed them in a way to make a point. I can at times be a bit over the top, but I never take a fact, refute it and propose a completely unfounded and unproven viewpoint just because I want to make my stance seem more reasonable. And nor will I. I take what I know and conflate that with what I understand to be truth, then work within those boundaries. I have been wrong on occasion, and when that happens it is either through holding on to the wrong information too tightly, not researching deeply enough, or simply by not understanding facts. There is one simple reason for this:

What do I have to gain from lying?

The answer to this is of course “Nothing.” How can I gain from spinning falsehoods? I’m not here blogging away to try to convince people of things from which I will make money, nor will convincing someone else that they are wrong profit me in any way. The only thing I wish for is the spreading of empirically tested facts, and the quashing of falsehoods wherever they may arise. I also like people to think for themselves.

Some people, however, use falsehoods as their bread and butter. Denialism in their world is a virtue, and they spread this nonsense with pride. I bring to your attention Creation Ministries. I single them out because not only are they intent on believing what’s not true, but they spread this message to their congregation in the hopes of turning people away from the “scary and difficult” world of science and the uncertainties of reality, toward a simplistic view that stops at the first hard question. Their stories are deliberate misrepresentation of facts, such as this article on how natural selection during the Irish potato famine failed, thus proving biblical creation true. Or this story, claiming to prove that the biblical floods of Noah are not only provable, but valuable in learning the geological history of the earth. There are 9 years of these stories on their website, and each one tries to deny the truths of science over the “truths” of the bible.

Of course, this is what Creation Ministries does; manipulates ideas to support their body of “evidence” and arrives at conclusions based on a pre-determined outcomes. They wilfully and deliberately ignore any evidence that may see their ideas weakened in any way, and cherry-pick ideas from science and history that support them. This is what I call “lies”.

As opposed to this blog, Creation Ministries stand to make money from their lies. They also stand to make more converts from the droves who listen to the spinners of untruths like Bill O’Reilly and his ilk, and the more converts to the idiocy they gather, the more cash they can suck from these people and the more powerful they become.

I am not convinced that all these people spinning young-earth creationism (YEC) really buy it. It’s convenient and easy to understand, it fills the holes in understanding with God (read as “don’t need to think about stuff”), and it means they can harbour their prejudices without fears of going against their “faith”. But when challenged, ears are closed, minds blinkered, and brains are switched to “standby”. The proponents of the premises of “Idiot America” have never had a stronger voice than in those proposing YEC, and YEC has growing support. When someone is not smart enough, too lazy, or too indoctrinated to read about history and science, they love the simplistic answers offered up by groups such as Creation Ministries. Because its easy.

So what I’m saying here is that the people who promote YEC can’t be telling a real truth, when evidence mounts in opposition. “Faith” in beliefs is not a fact, an if someone is presented with facts that are irrefutable, cognitive dissonance takes over. To topple a series of beliefs with facts is a near impossible thing, especially when these beliefs form the basis of a worldview. I guess you could say that the people who believe in this kind of thing (YEC) aren’t “lying” as such, but at what point does it become active lying when the ideas you spin are blatant lies, no matter how much you personally believe them?

As I said earlier, I don’t lie on this blog, but I am under no illusion that the information I use to put these blogs together is the whole story, is 100% irrefutable, and won’t change in the future. That’s the beauty of learning and research. I take on information, weigh it against other information, and whether I like the outcome or not, I arrive at a conclusion. Facts do not pander to your wishes, and science has no agenda except to learn more.
Creation Ministries, among other organisations (Answers In Genesis for example) arrive at their conclusions first, then cram the pieces of puzzle left behind into the odd god-shaped mold. It’s not facts, it’s not science, and it’s not truthful; it’s lies.

I will not go so far as to say that those who believe in YEC are “lying”, because if they truly believe, of they truly think that these stories and “studies” are fact, then, to them, they are being truthful. But I will not allow a lie, wherever it originated from, to be spun as truth an remain unchallenged. I can’t possibly attack every lie on my blog, I’d do nothing else, but where I can, I try to challenge untruths. It’s all I can do.

Like I’ve said, correct me if I’m wrong, but otherwise deliver me real evidence your claim is true, and if it has merit I will change my views. In the meantime, let me say this much; belief in something does not make it fact, no matter how hard you believe.

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  1. This is awesome. The next time I hear about a school board trying to slap a sticker on to a high school biology textbook, I’m going to suggest that they do so, and that they use for the text on the sticker the paragraph from this post beginning with the words “I am not convinced”.

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  2. It’s been said that there is no such thing as an honest AND educated Young Earth Creationist. There are honest ones, and educated ones, but almost never both in the same person. The honest ones lack the functional critical thinking ability and knowledge-base to know any better, and the educated ones are either self-deluded by dogma, or know damn well what they promote is nonsense and do it anyway — “Lying for Jesus.”

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  3. If YEC is a correct account of the facts of the physical world, then not only does science just happen to be mistaken, but academic institutions that insist on teachings based on modern thought are ethically questionable, perhaps ethically impermissible.

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