Thursday, March 04, 2010

Death By Stupidity

Some frippen IDiots are going to get a lot of good people maimed and killed.

A group of creationists are trying to get around objections that they are trying to use government money to impose religious teaching on public school students by tying creationism in with global warming denial.

(See, New York Times, Darwin Foes Add Warming to Targets By LESLIE KAUFMAN)

The strategy is that they want to say that they are not trying to impose religion on students. They are taking a stand against dogmatic science where liberal scientists take a dogmatic stand on some issue and refuse to present any type of conflicting data on that issue. By tying global warming to evolution they prove that their goal is not religious and, thus, cannot be condemned as a violation of church and state.

While they're at it, they might as well demand that school techers present both sides of the issue with respect to holocaust denial as well. After all, there are history teachers who dogmatically insist that Hitler and the Nazis rounded up Jews and killed them by the millions either directly or thorugh slave labor.

Those serious academics who insist that this story is a fiction invented and promulgated by the Jewish community to elicit public support and sympathy are scarcely given the opportunity to present their considerable evidence. We must have legislation to correct this injustice and to allow holocaust denial a place in all history classes.

What these people actually want us to teach children is to be as incompetent at linking evidence to conclusions as they are.

They claim they want fairness. This is a lie. A fair presentation of the issue would involve presenting students with the idiotic claims that come from these people, and explaining to the students why they are idiotic.

I am actually in favor of presenting both sides of these issues. I think that a decent education should include educating students on exactly why no intellectually competent person would adopt the positions of the creationist or the global warming deniar (or the holocaust denier). Including lessons on why such claims are the claims of idiots would help to ensure that this class of students graduates fewer idiots.

Unfortunately, when people with this type of incompetence get ahold of the power to make public policy, they get innocent people maimed and killed. At the very least, the weaken our ability to prevent maimings and deaths.

In other words, they want to pass legislation requiring that teachers lie, and present incompetent nonsense as if it is a meaningful alternative to any of these views.

In the case of climate change, they're risking the destruction of whole cities with the potential for considerable loss of life.

Saying that this policy is being pursued by idiots is a compliment. The alternative is that these people are intellectually competent enough to see the potential harm in what they do and they do not care. So, either they are selfish, or they have a malicious disregard for a potential loss of life that will make Hitler and Stalin look like cub scouts.

The one major test that these idiots fail is the ability to make reliable predictions.

Where science has proved itself time and time again is in its ability to make reliable and verifiable predictions of the future. To whatever degree we can reliably predict the future, to that degree we can reliably choose among our current options which will lead to an improved future and which will not.

To what degree we fail to competently predict the future to that degree we deprive ourselves of the power to pursue the best possible future, and the potential to avoid futures that are bad.

Creationist/global warming deniars - and, in particular, the intellectual follies that they practice and which to teach to others, including in some cases a love of outright lies and deception - is utterly void of any capacity to make reliable predictions. It is utterly void of any competence in helping us to avoid bad futures and pursue a better future for ourselves, our children, and our children's children.

As I said, these IDiots are going to get a lot of good people maimed and killed. Either they truly are IDiots, or, worse, they have no sense of the moral responsibility that is required to match evidence to conclusions competently so as to avoid doing things that risk getting innocent people killed.

14 comments:

godlizard (aka dotlizard) said...

It's the same logic that's being applied to modern mainstream media coverage -- they've given up unbiased reporting of facts in favor of finding a conflicting opinion to whatever they're covering, and calling it "both sides of the story". Pitting science against opinion polls -- "well, on the one hand, we have Harvard professors who've published this paper in a peer-reviewed journal, but on the other hand, half of our viewers think we're being poisoned by chemtrails from airplanes."

Death by stupidity will be a slow and anguished way to go if we don't stop these morons from destroying science and reason.

supersage400 said...

"Some frippen IDiots are going to get a lot of good people maimed and killed."

I lol'd.

Good show, sir, good show!

Anonymous said...

I accept evolution, but likening global warming denial to Holocaust denial is just as dishonest as likening global warming denial to creationism. How can you still insist global warming acceptance is the last word when the credibility of its sources has totally collapsed within the past several months? And I'm not talking just about East Anglia. I mean East Anglia, Goddard, NOAA, the IPCC, and various other related allegations. Here's a good summary:

http://www.qando.net/?p=7286

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Name-calling is lame. You could at least make a token effort to engage these people's arguments before you dismiss them as idiots.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hume's Ghost said...

Ed Morrisey is about that last person that I'm going to take seriously. Really, does it make more sense to listen to Scientific American, New Scientist, Nature, Science, Discover, all the major science bodies on the planet, or some amatuer blogger with a history of not having a clue when it comes to climate science?

Even in the first few lines of that post he's making ridiculous assertions about the East Anglia "scandal" which has been blown out of proportion by the deniers.

Comparison to creationism or holocaust denial are exactly appropriate, as all 3 groups employ the same bad epistemology to arrive at their faulty reasonings about reality.

Alonzo Fyfe said...

Their arguments have been engaged.

There comes a point when you realize that these peoples' thinking is so warped and so closed minded that talking to them is like talking to a brick wall.

The do not have a fraction of the intellectial or moral integrity that is necessary for a decent conversation. They prove that time and time again with absolutely idiotic and reckless claims that no morally responsible person could stand to make.

Marcel Kincaid said...

the credibility of its sources has totally collapsed within the past several months?

This is a falsehood that only the most foolish of anti-science ideologues believe.

Marcel Kincaid said...

You could at least make a token effort to engage these people's arguments

How incredibly dishonest, Wm ... and lame. Far more than token efforts have been made to engage their arguments ... there's a vast body of scientific evidence and theory.

cl said...

Regardless of whether we think their arguments have been engaged or not, namecalling is lame, especially for someone who writes so much about morality. No offense, but personally I think you're at your worst when hating on creationists. It's just so... predictable.

fdp100 said...

If climate change happens, parts of the world will flood and the Creationists will be able to test whether Noah's Ark actually worked. There is no other way for them to do that, so I can see their point.

supersage400 said...

"Their arguments have been engaged."

Yeah, most of them were engaged about 150-200 years before the IDiots made them.

"Regardless of whether we think their arguments have been engaged or not, namecalling is lame"

As Alonzo wrote, it's really the nicest you can possibly be to them to think of them as idiots. They're either that or something much more contemptible.

Anonymous said...

So your approach is "attack the messenger, ignore the reporting," because you know the Truth (TM). I see.

JonJ said...

Yes, it's amazing how people can reject the blind acceptance of authority when it comes to religion but swallow it wholesale when it comes to AGW. Luckily the population at large is a little more sceptical:

http://tinyurl.com/ygz6t5o