How can we ever stand up to this!?
Zakim [sic], we’re going to try a little logic exercise here. I say the sky is blue.
You say the sky is green. Just because you never say the words ” the sky is NOT blue” doesn’t mean you’re not disagreeing with me. If you tell everyone you meet “The sky is green, no matter what anyone else says” then you are saying, by NEGATION, that the sky is not blue. When a teacher asserts that “the world was created when stuff blew up” they are teaching, by negation, that it was not designed. When they say that everything came about by accident, they are teaching, by negation, that there is not design!
Simply put, the sky cannot be both blue and green. So, if I teach my children the sky is blue, then I’m teaching them it is NOT green.
That came to us from Lena, our latest creationist commenter, who’s over in this comment thread. I guess it must be a brilliant analogy, because Lena assures us she’s not some dipshit trailer trash hick, but that she’s been “educated above the master’s level,” which I take to mean she has a master’s degree but hasn’t yet gone for her Ph.D., though it may not actually mean that at all. Indeed, she isn’t clear about what she means by “educated above the master’s level.” You’d think if she had a master’s degree, why wouldn’t she just say, “I got a master’s from [name of university].”
Anyway, I had a little trouble with her logic, such as it is. Somehow I was able to reconstruct the argument this way.
When a teacher teaches students that the first president of the United States was George Washington, they are teaching, by negation, that it was not Daffy Duck. Simply put, the first president could not have been both George Washington and Daffy Duck. If I’m teaching children it was George Washington, I am teaching them it was not Daffy Duck.
Apparently, when you teach childen anything, you are in fact teaching them the “negation” of whatever thing it is you aren’t teaching them. Or something. So, like, if you teach children that 2 + 2 = 4, you are, by “negation,” teaching them that 2 + 2 ≠ 5,622. And that’s bad, I think she’s saying. Or not.
Oh well, it’s a little hard to noodle out what stunning point Lena thought she was making there, especially if she was trying to draw some analogy to the whole “teach the controversy” argument. I mean, anyone can go outside and see the sky is blue, at least if the weather’s clear. We cannot go outside, however, and look at the sky and see the Christian God. Except in that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but I’m informed that was a special effect. So I guess, above-master’s-level education or not, creationists seem to be chock full of stupid when it comes to arguing their beliefs.
Head on over there, and have fun.