Saturday, December 1, 2012

Aron Ra Speaks About Creationist "Logic"

If you aren't already familiar with Aron Ra, you should be.  Some of the most entertaining arguments with creationists have Aron Ra on the other side.  He pulls no punches and has no volume control, and he knows phylogeny like the back of his ape hand.

This was his talk from LogicCon 2012 about his experience arguing with creationists and how the modern creationist movement has moved further away from evidence and deeper into their fables.

Creationists today "are not looking for what is 'true', they're looking for 'truth'," which apparently means something different.  They've realized that if they accept a shared basis in reality or that science has any foothold in that reality, then their beliefs will topple like a lean-to in a hurricane.  

To that end, creationists have taken to attacking science in general, arguing that naturalism is a flawed premise and should be discarded.  How do they argue this? Usually by asserting that God obviously exists or must exist and that proves naturalism is false.

Ironically, they use the internet, cameras, fancy graphics, microphones, and many other ubiquitous technologies birthed by science in their conquest. Skeptics discovered long ago that this debate stopped being about facts in about 1870.  Apparently creationists are starting to realize that too.  Though they still occasionally attempt to dispute the evidence, most of the time they escape into the murky waters of philosophy to salvage their sinking ship. They pose poorly formed questions with philosophical jargon to evolutionists, hoping to trip them up.

One of the most popular, as Aron Ra points out, is "Can you know anything absolutely?"  This is the wrong question, because apart from the warped epistemology dreamed up by the presuppositionalists who posed it, very few people consider absolute certainty to be the hallmark of knowledge.  Philosophers love to bring up the Cartesian Demon or the Matrix/Brain in a Vat scenario as possible realities we would be unable to detect and would render most of our perceived reality illusory. Ultimately, we can know with absolute certainty very little about reality because of these doubts. 

But who cares? Within the reality we experience, whether real or fantasy, it appears to be governed by rules; rules and regularities are available to understanding with high precision and confidence.  Even if our knowledge is not 100% certain, 99.99975% certainty is attainable and our philosophical doubts reduce to a rounding error.

When you try to explain this to a modern (I use the term loosely) creationist however, they assert that 99.99975% certainty is equivalent to having 0% certainty.  This is a limitation of binary thinking: either something is revealed unassailable truth or it is man's failure. Creationists too often are two-bit liars and one-bit thinkers.  Unable to perceive any shade of grey, they are bound to a stone worldview being steadily eroded by the waters of scientific knowledge.  Their "truth" is unable to yield to what is true, and that is why it will eventually fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment