Response to Creationist 20

20. “How can you look at the world and not believe someone created / thought of it? It’s Amazing!!!”

For me, 20 is the most sympathetic of the 22 creationists. As far as we can tell, she’s not a victim of paralysing fear like 2 or 3, a credulous automaton like 12 or 18, nor the sad product of a broken education system like 9 or 10.

All we know about her is two things:

1. She subscribes to the idea of unthinking wonder.

2. She’s a little cutie.

Let’s look at the first of those. What is the idea of unthinking wonder? It’s an attitude consisting of two beliefs:

1. It’s good to have a sense of wonder and awe about the world.

2. Understanding the world better would reduce that wonder and awe.

The logical conclusion is that it’s bad to understand the world better, and we should just gape at it in brainless astonishment.

It’s not an entirely wrong attitude. In fact, I completely agree with the first premise. It’s only the second I take issue with.

I’ve previously mentioned Richard Dawkins‘s book Unweaving the Rainbow as the best remedy to the argument that a scientific understanding of the world dispels its magic. I have a hope that with one read of that, 20 might be cured of all her anti-scientific prejudice.

We know she thinks the world is amazing, so she already has an appetite to learn about it. With just a bit more learning, she’ll realise that the processes of evolution which explain life on earth are far more amazing than the parochial non-explanation that “someone created / thought of it”. She’ll also understand that things like predation, parasitism and disease, which would only be thought of and created by a vile psychopath, have their own remarkable and amazing places in the non-designed history of evolution.

And what about the second thing we know? There’s been some debate over which of the 22 creationists is the cutest. A few weird sickos have suggested 12. They’re insane. It’s obviously 20.

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