One of the more damning testimonies from Ken Ham occurred in his debate with Bill Nye, in which he declared that no evidence could ever change his mind (so why bother debating him, I would ask?). Now AiG has turned that sentiment into a poster-sized meme that only shows that they’re not scientists.
Isn’t that the whole point of science? You keep gathering empirical evidence and adjust your interpretations as you go, in order to keep your hypotheses and theories in alignment with the real world. It’s how science hones itself and gets better and more accurate.
Poor creationists. They have to close their eyes and ignore all the evidence that contradicts their perspective.
(via Dan Phelps, because the AiG web site makes me nauseous.)
Well, creationists do have it easy.
Scientists have to change their theories to match the facts of reality.
Creationists simply change the facts to fit their views of reality.
Eventually, some creationists will become convinced that they can defy gravity and earn their Darwin award. I’ll stick with reality and evidence, they’re welcome to the award.
Marcus Ranum says
Poor creationists. They have to close their eyes and ignore all the evidence that contradicts their perspective.
2000+ years of self-satisfied ignorance, compared to hundreds of years of figuring things out.
Snarki, child of Loki says
“Eventually, some creationists will become convinced that they can defy gravity and earn their Darwin award.”
Release the helium-filled inflatable sex-dolls and start screaming “IT’S THE RAPTURE! JUMP FROM A BUILDING AND CATCH THE UPDRAFT!ONE!!”
Creationists are still flying the Montgolfier brothers’ aircraft.
If only creationists really were poor instead of obscenely well funded..
Well, the man has faith, doncha know.
Now faith just means believing in things without evidence, and maintaining those beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. This is apparently considered a virtue in that world, something to be respected and admired.
If you believe that, Ray Comfort has a banana he would like to convince you is a product of nature.
Matt G says
Shorter Ken: lalalalalalalala.
Meanwhile astronaut Kenmeth Ham exists.
Ballooning has probably contributed more than powered flight to scientific advance – beginning with the Mongolfiers themselves and their contemporary Alexandre Charles, through crucial contributions to the development of meteorology in the mid-19th century, and continuing today. And greenhouse gas emissions, as well as noise pollution, would be considerably diminished if air travel was conducted by airship rather than airplane.
Keynes put it well « When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?” Ham caught in a sandwich here.
There’s one thing reactionary Christians are good at: projection. They don’t even see it while they crow, “Gotcha.”
Here’s another comment on Xtian Terrorists and rtwingnuts:
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” – attributed to Isaac Asimov
As everyone has commented, when we get new evidence based on accurate observation and/or analytical reasoning, we often change our thoughts to suit that more accurate picture. But, the fiction and fantasy clutching cult-owned mind will never change or learn.
Exactly. It’s an illustration of how science and technology keep getting better, but creationism doesn’t. (And a recognition that manned flight started with the Montgolfiers not the Wrights.)
@9 KG, and @13 ardipithecus contributions of ballooning
I add: from the end of the 19th Century, the Zeppelins safely, efficiently, relatively quietly and with minor environmental impact carried thousands of passengers hundreds of thousands of miles. And, if they hadn’t been forced to use hydrogen instead of helium that dramatic crash wouldn’t have happened. But, ignorant emotion, not fact-based thinking, doomed dirigibles.
Akira MacKenzie says
Ah, but science isn’t what Ken Ham’s followers want. What they want is absolute certainty what they believe is true. They don’t want to hear a syllable about doubt or adjusting interpretations; they want to KNOW they are going to heaven and their dear and fluffy sky tyrant is going to reward them for being good Christian sheeple while all the people they hate are going to be punished. That’s what Ham’s fundamentalism provides.
@shermanj, the paint that literally had most of the components of modern solid rocket fuel certainly didn’t help. Most of the fire was actually the paint and envelope burning, the hydrogen flashing off quickly.
Hydrogen fuel, much like using propane as a refrigerant (suggested as a Freon replacement) frequently gets objected to, “Isn’t that flammable?”, what the fuck is gasoline, non-flammable?
@Akira, no, they want to be allowed to actually punish doubt and unbelief. Conversion by the sword is what many quietly preach, in Jesus’ mercy or something.
Wzrd1 @ 16
In the days of crusaders, Christians were mostly content to convert and baptize (under threat of death) and then leave people alone.
The ongoing threat of the inquisition came later.
And in muslim-majority countries you are not safe by being a muslim. You might get murdered any time for being the wrong kind of muslim, or not being muslimist enough.
The Christianists would love to introduce (current) muslim or past Christian repression.
“We will free the people from the tyranny of the intellect!”
@16 wzrd1 said: @shermanj, the paint that literally had most of the components of modern solid rocket fuel certainly didn’t help. Most of the fire was actually the paint and envelope burning, the hydrogen flashing off quickly.
I reply: you are correct in that respect. But, the fire went out quickly, too. The ship’s design had the passengers below most of the flames and the passengers were significantly protected by the huge amounts of water ballast showering them. It had fewer injured or killed than most major aircraft crashes.
However, it’s difficult to prevent injury and death caused by the flaming Xtian Terrorists and their malignant fantasies. More horse dewormer anyone? /S
@18 birgerjohansson that quote is very pertinent in today’s drooling rtwing anti-intellectual circles.
Alan G. Humphrey says
Ham will never say that he changes his mind with the evidence because the grift is too profitable, so we don’t know what he really thinks. Like many theologians he probably does not believe the crap he’s selling but does believe his followers need him to maintain the fiction or they’ll go crazy and murder, loot, and generally crime without their god. Of course, he will gladly continue taking their cash in recompense for the outrageous lies he has to tell for their benefit. Like I said, we don’t know what Ham thinks is true, but I’ve even heard avowed atheists, along with many public believers, claim that they think religion is good for the masses because the masses cannot handle the truth.
Rob Grigjanis says
Creationists are the masters of evidence denial, but it is a common human trait (and therefore exploitable by grifters). People like stability and certainty. Change, not so much. Inertia of belief, if you like.
Minor example: the kerfuffle over Pluto being demoted to dwarf planet status. The ‘arguments’ from otherwise reasonable Pluto fans were remarkable for their wilfull obtuseness – “but Jupiter trojans!*”, etc.
*Referring to the fact that Jupiter hadn’t cleared the trojans from its neighbourhood. Which it could never do, because they are around the L4 and L5 points of the Sun-Jupiter system. And never mind that the combined mass of the trojans is less than a millionth of the mass of Jupiter.
“Contradictory”? I do not think that word means what you pretend to think it means.
Bronze Dog says
Science: Requires the humility to change one’s mind in the face of new evidence.
Religion: Requires delusions of godhood to declare you’re absolutely right before you even look at the evidence.
Fun stuff- nuclear fusion startups.
@23 Bronze Dog and others: well said
One more thought and then I’ll shut-up and get back to my work:
As is posited in our book:
Science is questions that may never be answered
Religion is answers that may never be questioned
Oh, wow. I just saw the comment @24 birgerjohansson about nuclear fusion. I just can’t help but add:
Isn’t what St. George the Carlin said what nuclear fusion is trying to do? : guinea pigs defy the laws of physics: little pellets in, big pellets out!
Now I’ll shut-up.
John Morales says
That’s very silly, beginning with the category error.
Off the top of my head:
Science is a methodology for acquiring knowledge about reality, whereas religion is a mode of thinking that assigns meaning to existence.
(There, much better)
Chakat Firepaw says
Nope, traditional airships use as much energy to move their cargo as a jet airliner would to move the same mass the same distance¹. Lifting-body airships are worse.
Airships being slower also means the total cargo weight of a passenger is higher, (you need more food, more crew and larger accommodations). Plus, airships are more vulnerable to needing to divert around weather.
This was figured out a century ago. Airships weren’t killed by the Hindenburg², they were killed by the DC-3. The perennial efforts to sell a modern transport airship³ are a mix of the fever dreams of true believers and outright scams.
1: Most forms of transportation have a nice neat linear relationship between speed and energy per mass distance, there are two exceptions. Airships, which are slow gas guzzlers, and trains, which are about twice as efficient as anything that fast.
2: USS Shenandoah, R101, USS Akron, USS Macon, SSSR-V6 OSOAVIAKhIM, etc.
3: There are two niches that airships have had ongoing success in. Sensor platforms and billboards.
@28, airships can and still do have their uses. But, as you showed, they’re rather limited, although not quite as strictly as you proposed, as some short haul and lifting beyond the capabilities of a helicopter also are still within their strengths.
But yeah, long range, they’d cost even more in energy to operate, as sail effects eat into fuel economy.
@birgerjohansson, I dunno. I’ve lived in multiple Muslim nations, zero violence between sects at the times. About the same level on average as Europe today, although I’d be unable to say that truthfully about Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries. I sure as hell couldn’t say that among Christians in the US, where even JFK had death threats due to him being Roman Catholic, some of which were in newspaper headlines.
Religions seems to tend to induce people to violence. Interestingly, science, being evidence based, does not.
Well, beyond perhaps a bar scuffle over some arcane technical point in graduate students… ;)
Assuming you recall my old joke about starting a fight at happy hour at a taxonomist convention, shouting “Pan Troglodytes or Pan Sapiens”, then making a quiet and hasty departure.
Chakat Firepaw @ 28
A modern airship will be a good replacement for a helicopter as long as you don’t need speeds higher than ca 150 km/h.
If you have the tech to make an airship hover above a location you do not get the huge maintenance costs you have with a helicopter.
You still need propellers and maybe need to tilt them, but it is a far cry from a rotor hub that must carry the whole load, and rotor blades that must adjust for every rotation.
If the NT airship tech becomes mature it could certainly supplement – but not replace- helicopters.
For wealthy people who want to cruise slowly at low altitude and watch exotic places, the NT airship also fills a niche.
(myself, I am more an ekranoplan enthusiast)
The phrase “contradictory evidence” is their giveaway.
They propose that each change requires tossing out established science and starting over.
They are not interested in the idea of refinement and increasing accuracy.
“In the days of crusaders, Christians were mostly content to convert and baptize (under threat of death) and then leave people alone…The ongoing threat of the inquisition came later.”
Leaving aside that forced conversion meets the definition of genocide and should not be minimised, please allow me to introduce the Rhineland Massacres (a side project of the First Crusade), the Siege of Antioch, the Albigensian Crusade, the Massacre at Ayyadieh (on the direct order of that pillar of nobility, Richard the Lionheart), the Sack of Constantinople, and many more…
Also, the Inquisition was a direct product of the Crusades, in particular the Albigensian. The first incarnation, the Episcopal Inquisition, started in 1184, towards the early end of the Crusader Era (1101 – 1302), and cannot be separated from either the timeline or the contemporary political landscape as something that came later.
John Morales says
[many more indeed, chrislawson
e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Crusades ]
Chrislawson @ 32
I stand corrected.
Everything is awful, as far as religion is concerned.
Hit them over the head with medical science.
While defibrillation does not save nearly as many as people think it is a helluva lot more effective thing than praying dead will return to life.
The very slow and frustrating path of improving cancer treatment is a good example of science improving with time, and most cancer patients can be saved today. Try doing that with prayer.
Well, from the Protestant Reformation to three centuries out, Europe only lost 1/3 of its inhabitants to Christian sectarian warfare.
Then came the Northern Crusades. Later, Ottoman warfare, just to add spice, which wouldn’t have happened, save for one crusade that went after the eastern holy roman empire, causing its collapse.
birgerjohansson, don’t get me started on defibrillation and the horrific state of basic medical education – especially in the US. How many times do you see in popular entertainment a doctor shocking a flatline, which won’t ever happen here in the real world?
Still, prayer is essentially wishing, wish in one hand, shit in the other, everyone know which hand will get filled first.
Cancer would be quite easy to cure, were it one disease. Alas, it’s more like ten thousand different, but similar diseases, each caused by something different.
But, that information is useful in diagnosing ignorance, as the ignorant will refer to “the cure for cancer”, as plural would have to be utilized, see the ten thousand comment. “Cancer is cancer”, “OK, you are a frog”…
Ken the Ham , I can’t visit that site . It infuriates me!
Can’t be bothered to actually dig into it (some rando gets something wrong on the internet – meh) but at a guess I think he’s trying to imply a couple things here. He’s probably equating the amount of biological theory in science with the amount of biological theory in creationism. And I think he’s trying to imply that biologists have to keep throwing out vast swathes of biology just to account for new information. I’m not a biologist but I would assume the vast majority of changes in the science are incremental ones rather than sweeping “throw everything out” changes.
Lying your ass off so you can gloat in a false victory seems to satisfy some people. I don’t understand it but those guys seem to really work their asses off to stay misinformed.
@27. John Morales :
Agreed on Science but I’d say more that religion is a belief system positing a powerful supernatural element outside of known reality or something along those lines actually. That’s because Philosophy esp Ethics can also assign meaning to existence without necessarily being religious.
Hmm.. FWIW Wiki desctribes it as :
Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion
@31. DanDare :
IOW, they think every bit of new evidnece leads to a paradigm shift in the original (?) Kuhnian sense of that word..
( See : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn )
@30 . birgerjohansson : “..myself, I am more an ekranoplan enthusiast.”
Ekranoplan? Huh? What’s .. Wikis :
Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-effect_vehicle
@32. chrislawson : “Leaving aside that forced conversion meets the definition of genocide and should not be minimised,”
Wait, it does? Forced conversion is a terrible thing and NOT advocating it or saying otherwise but I’d have thought genocide is the physical murdering of a population and destruction of them by force not merely getting them to switch belief systems. Not to minimise but are you sure that’s right and it actually counts as officially “genocide” not something a step below it?
John Morales says
StevoR, I too have added emphasis:
One need not use ‘generally’ unless exceptions exist.
So your claim is general, not universal, by your own citation.
My claim is universal.
Ianir @ 38
He might have read the word “paradigm” somewhere and now thinks every change of science requires tossing out everything that came before.
You know, the way no schoolchildren ever get taught Newtonian physics since Einstein’s days (sark).
Pierce R. Butler says
StevoR @ # 39: … I’d have thought genocide is the physical murdering of a population …
The international-law definition of genocide includes attempts at cultural obliteration:
@ ^ Pierce R. Butler : Okay. Thanks. I stand corrected.