Response to Intelligent Design Watchmaker Poem


RESPONSE TO INTELLIGENT DESIGN WATCHMAKER POEM

Now most people know that watches in pockets,

Are made of different stuff than eyes in eye sockets.

A watch doesn’t have wings, or flippers, or feet,

A watch isn’t something another watch might just eat.

A watch doesn’t live in a nest, cave, or hive,

And that is because a watch isn’t alive.

If you can get that small detail resolved,

You can see why it’s dumb to say life hasn’t evolved.

And pretend that making a watch for a wrist,

Is just like making an arm or a fist.

And pretend people were made and clearly designed,

Because life is complex and sometimes refined.

Life didn’t happen by magic or plan,

Like thinking some dirt was turned into a man.

And some folks believe, and this is no fib,

That the first woman was made from first dirt man’s rib.

Evolution happened and it isn’t true,

That people were made by some god from some goo.

Let’s say that you took about ten quillion rabbits,

All alike in their looks, and their hops, and their habits.

And that about half were colored bright snerfell,

And that about half were colored dark murfell.

And if they made babies those snerfells and murfells,

Some of those babies would be colored snerfell.

And some of those babies would be colored murfell,

And some of those babies would be in between.

In some brand new colors no rabbit had seen,

Maybe some would be colored a pleasing snerplean.

Or maybe some awful disgusting murgreen,

And some might be lovely and some quite obscene.

And if the rabbits thus colored should make some more rabbits,

With only those rabbits with their color habits.

A new color for rabbits would finally evolve,

And the colors they started out with would dissolve.

And be completely replaced after enough time,

With snerplean or murgreen not made out of slime.

And enough time and enough rabbit ranges,

Could make in those rabbits amazing new changes.

Until they perhaps were no longer rabbits,

But maybe some new type of postrabbitodabits.

A new kind of life we could not invent in our mind,

As new as a timepiece some watchmaker might wind.

But made from the life force creationists mock,

Who think life is something as dead as a clock.

So don’t be confused by people who lie,

Who think truth is found in a book from the sky.

If it weren’t for science we wish they could see,

We would all have to use candles to watch the T.V.

Edwin Kagin

Comments

  1. rapiddominance says

    If you want, I can make some puppets to fill up your comment threads. We’ll have to keep it ‘hush-hush’, though.

    OR — we could make puppets together. You could make atheist puppets. I could make ID puppets. We could create all sorts of puppet wars and before long FtB readers will be saying, “Check out the shit that’s going on over at Blasphemous Blogging”.

    I could even make a William Lane Craig puppet and let PZ or Dawkins come over here and tear its ass up.

    Kind of like a pinata.

    • rapiddominance says

      Would it be any less ethical than deliberately courting certain types of ‘foes’ while simultaneously avoiding others?

      I understand the reasoning for not wanting to lose ground to “professional debaters”. On the other hand, leaders of your community seek to exploit intellectually weaker foes who don’t understand the nature of the emotionally targeted attacks being waged at them and are unaware of how to defend themselves.

      You (speaking of you and your colleagues cummulatively) literally try to elicit painful emotions with no intent, whatsoever, of cleaning up any damage that you do.

      And you find this enjoyable and amusing.

      Am I wrong?

      • rapiddominance says

        Its the ‘recreation’ aspect of your activism that betrays you.

        Its the ‘recreation’ that alerts you (yes, you) and your observers that what you’re doing isn’t right.

        Its like a circus.

        An exhibition.

        If it were suffered for educational purposes, that would be different. But the agitation, the stumbling, the fear, the anger, the embarrassment, and the confusion that you intentionally create–are all looked upon and enjoyed.

        If I’m wrong about this, then your conscience doesn’t bother you one bit in the world and I don’t even amount to a gnat in your mind.

        • Emburii says

          I don’t enjoy pain or sadness or confusion. Nor do most of the atheists I know. This doesn’t mean there aren’t some people who use whatever ammunition they can find purely for pain, but for those who identify as part of the atheist community I wouldn’t consider that accurate.

          What I, for one, DO enjoy, is getting a reaction because caring is the first step to learning. Looking at something and realizing that it doesn’t make sense can be a very important step to dismantling the particular structure of irrationality that we call religion.

          So when I tell someone that by making religion immune from question we excuse people like the 9/11 bombers for their dedication to Allah, and they stop for a moment and look confused because they can’t refute it? When someone says, “I can’t justify defending the Catholic church for their stances, even though I’ve been Catholic all my life ‘ because of something I’ve said that they finally hear and understand? I don’t like hurting them. But I do like how they’ve woken up to the cognitive dissonance people use to excuse bad things when they CAN know better.

          Everything important comes at a price. Even if the price for someone giving up the idea of Heaven and questioning the people who use the concept is tears and agony and the utter dismantling of their worldview, it’s worth it. It’s worth it for what we can do when we move past that pain. And I say this as someone who has paid the price of certainty in some ‘better’ place or person, and I know I’m one among many to have to suffer that and still be better off in the end. We don’t tear people’s beliefs down to make them fall, rather we love the prospect of helping them stand up.

          • rapiddominance says

            Emburri

            I can see how you would have taken what I said as general criticism against the atheist community. That’s normal as an initial reaction from people on ‘my side’, as well as yours.

            Its a culture war, right? That’s just the way that these things go.

            If I had a problem with anything you said, it was this:

            Looking at something and realizing that it doesn’t make sense can be a very important step to dismantling the particular structure of irrationality that we call religion.

            I take it you were a little offended by my earlier comments. Aside from that, do you walk up to christians, jew, muslims, etc. who are, more or less, behaving themselves rather decently and start talking right off the bat like this?

            “Structure of irrationality”? I’m something of an ideological combatant to you, so it makes sense when you say this to me. But if this is your general approach to reaching people then you seriously need to work on your diplomacy skills. My guess is that its NOT; but how would I know?

            Otherwise, I’ve got to say that the other 95% of what you said speaks well of you as a person and you might be very good at helping people face painful truths and work through them.

            Thanks for responding.

          • Emburii says

            rapiddominance, I’m responding here since the ‘reply’ button to answer you is not showing up for me.

            Well, isn’t it criticism? You said, “Its the ‘recreation’ aspect of your activism that betrays you. Its the ‘recreation’ that alerts you (yes, you) and your observers that what you’re doing isn’t right.” That really does look like an accusation of callousness and misconduct. Maybe that’s not how you meant it. But it doesn’t mean it’s not implied by what you said. Nor do I consider it the broadside in a ‘culture war'; the struggle between rationality and irrationality isn’t nearly so relative or petty. I consider it education, on either side. That you try to make it a combat rather than a discussion is not a fault of mine.

            As for whether I talk like this to everyone, even religious people who are ‘behaving themselves’…well, yes. I constantly debate with my friends on the value of beliefs in general, theirs and mine. And some of them have thanked me for epiphanies that followed from those conversations. Such conversations aren’t always diplomatic, true, and I have lost ties with people because it reveals things about either party, them or I, that one of us doesn’t feel like putting up with. But even that isn’t a bad thing; if it’s too much stress on either of us to put up with some issue and that can’t change, it’s best to disengage before frustration and wasted effort. Some times I’ve been wrong and I apologize, even if I find out months later and there’s no rhetorical point or grandstanding to be had from the admission.

            That’s because it’s not about diplomacy, or at least it shouldn’t be. It should be about truth, and bettering ourselves whenever possible and fighting all the lies that blind us to what we could be, religion being one among them but not the only example that holds us back. (and it is a lie; good works are only important because of some invisible reward after you die, people should be harmed and dehumanized because they transgressed some unsupported tabu, a prayer counts as an action with tangible rewards other than psychological crutching). Prove any of these things and I will adjust accordingly, but the evidence just isn’t there (or the matter isn’t so much provable as abhorrent if those conclusions are taken for granted, like the idea of ‘punishment’ on religious grounds or the reducing of empathy for fellow sapients to a reward scheme). And this isn’t about winning a fight for the sake of victory. This is about life as a classroom, and helping each other learn. And I do know that my approach has helped people absorb at least a few lessons here and there because of my focus on truth.

            Sorry if this is a little clumsy, I don’t normally get this long-winded and I know I’m utter pants at composition. But truth and improvement and why we should communicate with clarity are very important to me, and to atheists and scientists. It also does speak to the ‘Intelligent Design’ nonsense this poem is dismantling; the search for an utterly unsupported creator diverts time and energy from the ideas and understanding we can actually use on the world around us. Religion looks at stars and gives us people placed in the sky, science looks at stars and gives us fusion. We refuse to coddle the former and would rather spend time encouraging discoveries like the latter for the good it can do everyone, even the ones who disagree with us.

  2. Anri says

    Ok, rapiddominance, Imma try to parse this and respond:

    Would it be any less ethical than deliberately courting certain types of ‘foes’ while simultaneously avoiding others?

    I understand the reasoning for not wanting to lose ground to “professional debaters”. On the other hand, leaders of your community seek to exploit intellectually weaker foes who don’t understand the nature of the emotionally targeted attacks being waged at them and are unaware of how to defend themselves.

    Who should we debate, then?
    Seriously – who (please be as specific as possible) has this Holy Grail, this Deeply Sophisticated Theism this is (according to some) the Only Legitimate Target for criticism?

    Because in my (admittedly limited) experience, when we finally hear from one of these Shining Lights of Theism, we either find that they’re just recycling C. S. Lewis or the like, or alternately, believe in a vague, fuzzy, washed-out Deistic figure about as similar to the god of the Bible as Idi Amin is to Grape Ape.

    You (speaking of you and your colleagues cummulatively) literally try to elicit painful emotions with no intent, whatsoever, of cleaning up any damage that you do.

    I try to explain why people are deluded about things. I do this nicely and not-so-nicely, depending.
    I don’t tell people they are scum deserving of eternal torture. I don’t tell people they are permanently infantile helpless gits requiring revelation from the Invisible Sky Daddy to make their way in the world. I don’t tell LGBT people that they are evil, or flawed, or disgusting, or repulsive, or deserving of less than full recognition as people. I don’t tell women that they are lesser, or secondary, or dumb.
    I guess your view of painful differs from mine.

    If people find getting told that Santa isn’t real disturbing, that doesn’t change the fact that he’s not.

    And you find this enjoyable and amusing.

    Am I wrong?

    Frequently.

    How much would one have to enjoy or not enjoy teaching people about reality before it ceases to be reality?
    Is there some sort of mysterious (probably quantum) threshold of enjoyment that makes the statement “there is not good evidence for god” more or less true?

    To put it another way, when people stop saying stupid things, I’ll stop saying that they’re saying stupid things.

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