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11.18.2004

the purple testament

There was a time, back before I lost my brain to the Zombies of Indeterminant Detriment*, when I would get drawn into arguments with "scientific creationists" on BBSs and similar houses of geek-repute. These zealous, evil religionists had already towered over enough of my upbringing; how dare they try to take Science from me, too?

It was obvious to me that the majority of these bastards were alarmingly unarmed. On occasion I'd step into one of the forums where these guys tried to force their wares upon the unwashed masses, those places where twelve year old kids argued about MUDDs, ASCII art, or Nirvana, and I'd read some crap about missing links or the earth being fifteen years old or the footprint of the baby human next to the footprint of the adult human next to the footprint of the T Rex neatly arranged in the petrified mud next to a river that a scientific creationist had proven was only three thousand years old using carbon dating and Jesus shoes. I'd read this and the blood would leak from my ears and my teeth would turn all fangy and my eyes would suddenly be rolling around on my desk. Then I'd get out some books and take these thugs to task, backed by data and evidence and proof and, and, and goddammit the validity of carbon dating's theoretical, too, so how can you use that as evidence, you hump?

These guys would come back and say, "Yeah, well the dust on the moon should be a hundred feet deep but it's not, so there!"

Unarmed, they were. But I didn't care. They were wearing ignorance like a crown and nobody was challenging them because it was their right to believe whatever they wanted because the bible said something metaphorical and they could hardly even read let alone understand metaphor so they misinterpretted it to mean something really fucking stupid. So I read this other book to which they kept referring, called "Scientific Creationism," and I blew apart into little fragments of astonished me, and then I tried to argue the points therein on a piece-by-piece basis with a couple of these gumhairs, and surprisingly enough they didn't know what the hell I was talking about because they hadn't actually read the book. The point was, there was a science book about creationism, so it was a theory every bit as good as the theory of evolution and it doesn't matter if I was using logic because they were never taught that devil math.

I may be exaggerating a tad to make a point. My point was, and this is the best part, that I used to argue with those freaks because I couldn't believe they weren't being challenged. BBSs were pretty isolated in that way; you get a couple of Christianists from out in the sticks who somehow got their hands on a modem and it seems like half the world'd gone fucking mad. Then I gradually came to realize that it wasn't half the world that was mad, just a handful of people**. Granted, these people were still (are still,) trying to crowbar their superstition into public schools in the guise of science; but at some point it stopped feeling quite so much like I was the one tilting at windmills ***. There were others fighting the good fight; I was probably doing more harm than good onaccounta the way I couldn't keep my arms from flailing and my hair from catching on fire and my huge, demonic bat wings from sprouting from my shoulder blades everytime I was within sniffing distance of one of those Witlesses for Jehosafat.

(My point is almost here... there is a quiver in my fluttering wingtips as I reach for it...) There are still people fighting this battle, except they're coherent, and for that I am grateful. In addition to the National Center for Science Education, which I linked recently in my asides in a throwback bout of evolutionism, there's Jaquandor who recently had this to say about the subject, which was a followup to when he had this other thing to say, before. In celebration of all of that, I've added his weblog, Byzantium's Shores, into my list o' weblogs 'neath my asides. Oooooooooh, lucky him, huh? Big honor. I bequeath thee. Bestow. He's quite often got good things to say, and he says 'em well.

Meanwhile, I'll be over here dousing my flaming head and cleaning up this pentagram that's somehow carved itself into the concrete floor around my chair.


(I feel like it might need to be said here -- I'm not the anti-Christian that I might be working myself into a frenzy sounding like. 's why I made a half-assed attempt to differentiate here using that "Christianist" word. It's that scary, weird, decidedly un-Christ-like literalism**** that chafes my wings. That and the damned Jesus shoes.)


* Or ZIDs, for short, though I wouldn't blame you if you'd prefer not to use the short term, as it's really a wrong short-hand, like WMDs. Obviously it should be ZsID, and WsMD. Compare those to the later mentioned BBSs, which is short for Bulletin Board Systems, which keeps the "s" exactly where it belongs, and is damn proud of it. So you can go ahead and use the long form, Zombies of Indeterminent Detriment, when you're talking about this at work tomorrow.

** Then very recently I revised the estimate again... just half the country. - evil, overzealous politics man

*** Tilting at windmills? Is that really the thing? I've never read that damned Don Quixande guy thing, but I could swear it's tilting at windmills. Is tilting the same as jousting? Or is this like some dude bending slightly at the waist in the general direction of windmills?

**** There's a discussion on Making Light that led me down this path wherein I'm deliberately not using the word "fundamentalist" s'much anymore. Although I'm probably just doing that to be cool, and not because I've got any real concern about what to call these anti-logical persons.

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