As some of you may know, both Aron Ra and I cut our teeth together in the creation/evolution battles that raged on the usenet newsgroup, talk.origins, back in the 1990s. One of our colleagues-in-arms was a fellow named Glenn Morton, a petroleum geologist, who brought his expertise to bear in debates with young earth creationists. Morton is a Christian, but he thought it was disgraceful how creationists brought his faith into disrepute with their flouting of the evidence.
One of the concepts he crystallized, in addition, was the idea of Morton’s Demon. One of the notable things about arguments with creationists (perhaps you’ve noticed this too) is how they can stand there slack-jawed and dead-eyed while you explain an uncomfortable fact to them, and how they’ll suddenly leap into action when you say some word or phrase that cues a creationist script — you can be describing how the chemistry of the cell works, for instance, and if you mention “thermodynamics” suddenly you’ll get “The second law of thermodynamics proves that everything trends towards disorder, and is proof of a Fallen World!”…followed by slack passivity as you explain that no, it does no such thing. Morton’s Demon is the mental game creationists have going: they selectively shut out evidence against their pet theories and only allow in ideas their pastor has assured them are completely wrong.
Aron has now made me very sad. It turns out Morton’s Demon was an especially appropriate name for the concept, because Glenn Morton is severely afflicted with one. He escaped the Young Earth Creationist trap because his work exposed him to the counter-evidence every day, hammering the YEC-demon into submission…but I mentioned that he was a Christian. It turns out that he’s a right-wing conservative Christian, with a fully functioning filter tuned to select out anything from any source other than Limbaughesque talk radio.
Glenn Morton has torn down the entirety of his web archive — years worth of articles and explanations refuting young earth creationism. Why?
Because it turns out he was less interested in addressing the truth than he was in defending Christianity. Atheists and agnostics had been using his evidence to argue not only against Biblical literalists and religious extremists, but against the entirety of Christianity. Arguing against religion is bigotry, you see, and he got tired of all those liberal leftist godless bullies who have taken over his country.
It’s an epic, rambling, incoherent, angry rant.
The powers that be think that everyone MUST be forced to pay for contraception for the YES, slutty life style of Sandra Fluck who gave a speech at the Democratic convention bemoaning that we don’t pay for her contraception. (Rush Limbaugh got in lots of trouble for saying she is a slut, yet it is Sandra who wants to live a life of sex where everyone else pays to keep her from getting pregnant). Why must I as a Christian, who thinks such behavior abysmal, sinful and self destructive pay for her to have sexcapades without consequences? Why must my taxes be used to support what I view as her responsibility? Why does she have a right to pick the money in my pocket when she didn’t earn it? But, it seems, if you question this simple fact in today’s world, everyone will cluck their tongues at you, making you out to be the evil one. Why is it that they think that everyone MUST be forced to believe that what Sandra does is OK AND PAY FOR HER TO HAVE PLEASURE WITHOUT WORRY FOR THE CONSEQUENCES???? She can do what she wants, but don’t ask me to pay for it and don’t force me to approve of her behavior. The modern political left, and make no doubt, most anti-YEC folk are from the political left, want to enforce their conformity upon us because we can not be allowed to actually have an independent view of Sandra Fluck’s behavior or anything else, including anything they deem to be wrong. That is not to be allowed. Enforced conformity is what they want. I must smile while I give Sandra my money to pay for her sexcapades.
I think he means Sandra Fluke. Her speech wasn’t about paying for her hedonistic pleasure, but that the omission of contraception from her school’s insurance plan was a selective disadvantage to low-income students, and she talked about a friend whose contraceptive prescription was necessary to manage polycystic ovary syndrome. But Morton’s Demon won’t let him hear that…all that gets through is “sexcapades.”
He also rages against the expectation that Catholic organizations should cover birth control and abortions in their hospitals — it’s abhorrent to them, you know, and therefore their personal opinions should be allowed to dictate how non-Catholics live their lives. Chick-Fil-A should have the freedom of speech to hate gays…but their customers should not, apparently, be allowed to choose where they eat. The religious ought to be allowed to put up monuments in the public square, because removing them is a theological view.
And apparently the Democrats are a “leftist party” that hates god.
I watched the leftist party vote 3 times to drop God and Jerusalem and then watched their leaders steal that election on national TV and everyone knows that election was stolen. but then I watched delegates of the convention saying church goers weren’t welcome in their party.
Do follow that last link. It doesn’t say what Morton says it does — it’s about some Democrats expressing contempt for red-necked Teabaggers, not church goers (which would be very odd, given we just elected a church goer to the presidency). Morton’s Demon strikes again.
He goes on and on. He’s all for teaching young earth creationism and racism in the classroom despite disagreeing with them and recognizing that they’re built on lies, but gosh darn it all to heck, he’s absolutely committed to freedom. He has shut down all of his evidence-based arguments against young earth creationism because he’s a freedom fighter. And he really, really hates atheists.
I no longer want to worry about what a YEC believes. I no longer wish to be used to destroy my religion. The American Indians lost because the tribes hated each other more than the English and they couldn’t join together to beat them. The Scots lost to the English for the same reason. I do not intend to make the same mistake with the atheist war on religion. It doesn’t matter one whit that someone is a YEC and I am not, it does not matter a whit if I am protestant and someone else is Catholic, or Mormon. I urge all religious peoples to cease bickering about such trifles, when the wolf is at our door. We are in danger of losing our religious freedom, I will NOT argue inconsequential stuff with my co-religionists, ignoring the real danger to our religion, you, the religious bigot and Christophobe. YEC is a trifle; a mere philosophical debate. Freedom is dear; and you, the religious bigot, are a danger to my freedom.
I will note the irony of his signature, which has included this comment for a long, long time:
Banned forever by the Amer. Scientific Affiliation, a Christian Scientific Group, for the crime of discussing the ethics of ignoring scientific data.
Apparently it’s not unethical to ignore the scientific data if it contradicts the teaching of your church. Morton’s Demon strikes again!
Unfortunately for Morton’s goals, his diatribe simply reaffirms to me that religion poisons the mind…or that minds poisoned by an information deficit are more receptive to religion. Either way, it’s a shame.