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Author Topic:   Why Creationists' Willful Ignorance?
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 176 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 20 of 182 (628647)
08-11-2011 6:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by dwise1
08-07-2011 11:03 PM

It should be borne in mind that most creationists are what one might call passive creationists. They accept what they're told, they take no particular interest in the subject. Well, there are a lot of passive false beliefs. People think that Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake". They've heard it, they've not investigated it, for some inexplicable reason they're not particularly interested in the French Revolution.
And the same could be said of a lot of people believing things that are actually true. What proportion of people who think that the world isn't flat could give you cogent reasons why it's round? It's a received idea.
Which is not a bad thing, generally speaking. If we had to verify for ourselves all the things we think we know then we'd hardly have time for anything else.
Then there are the activist creationists. But many of them are peculiarly passive. They have a religious obligation to recite certain words to certain people. "The Second Law of Thermodynamics blah-de-blah-de-blah ...". But they are still not actually interested in the subject matter. They feel duty-bound to say certain things about thermodynamics: the fact that there is a science known as thermodynamics and that books on it are freely available at their local library doesn't even pique their interest; that's not the sort of thing they're interested in. They can recite their nonsense about it without once being tempted to learn anything about it --- their ignorance is not willful, but apathetic.
What does that leave us with. Well, there are the *** For Jesus mentioned in another post. I've met one of them myself, as I shall describe in a later post. But while the are willful, they are not ignorant.
Then there are the people who to try to nail creationist arguments down, and give up on creationism because they find that they fail. They study (to take the same example again) thermodynamics, so that they can say: "Look, evolution's impossible, and here's the math". Then they find out that they're wrong, and so they cease to be ignorant.
And then there's a residue of people who are willfully ignorant. But perhaps even the would be merely apathetically ignorant unless challenged on the subject.
To take a case from my own experience, I stumbled across a website where some guy was being wrong about geology. Par for the course, you will say. But the way in which he was being wrong about geology led me to enter into correspondence with him. According to him, geologists think that rocks are formed by underwater sedimentation followed by uplift or recession at which point rocks are formed by the sediment drying out.
When I suggested to him that he should find out how geologists actually think rocks are formed, by reading a geology textbook, he refused to do so on the grounds that he disagreed with the philosophy expressed in geology textbooks.
The fact that there is no philosophy in geology textbooks is something that he also won't find out by not reading geology textbooks. But even if there was, he might still have wished to know his enemy. He is left in the peculiar position of arguing against an idea that no-one holds; he is incapable of debunking actual geology because he has no idea what it is.
Well, I feel that I have rambled on long enough. The point I wanted to make is that willful ignorance is actually rather rare. I think that ignorance among creationists is usually the result of apathy, uninterest, passivity, and laziness. After all, how hard do you have to try not to know something? That's easy. Any fool can do that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by dwise1, posted 08-07-2011 11:03 PM dwise1 has not replied

Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 176 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 21 of 182 (628649)
08-11-2011 7:03 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Butterflytyrant
08-11-2011 10:17 AM

He told me that it did not matter what he told them. He did not see it as lies. He 'knew' that the earth was 6000 years old and that evolution was false. He told me that as his views were the truth, it did not matter how he convinced others of it. I suggested that this was dishonest. He disagreed with me and said that as long as they came to the true faith, regardless of how this was achieved, he was being honest to the only one who mattered. That was god.
The first activist creationist* I met was an interesting example of a LFJ.
Having established that I believe in evolution, he proceeded to tell me that the theory of evolution said that a pig could grow wings and fly away. Obviously I began correcting him on this basic misconception. Then he angrily expostulated that of course he knew what the theory actually says, and that the only reason I thought that he actually believed what he had just said was that I stereotyped Christians as being ignorant.
Well shame on me.
* I say the first activist creationist because I must have met lots and lots of passive creationists, including nearly every member of the church in which I was baptized. They didn't make a big fuss about it, despite knowing that I was an evolutionist. I still think of them all very fondly.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 176 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 41 of 182 (628730)
08-12-2011 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by dwise1
08-11-2011 11:57 PM

OK. So how do we keep them from screwing up science education for the rest of us?
I've heard tell that they can be slain with silver bullets.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by dwise1, posted 08-11-2011 11:57 PM dwise1 has not replied

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