When looking at religions, creeds, and belief systems, we see a great deal of proselytization. Everyone is eager to tell everyone else about the wonderful, divine truths they have uncovered. In eras past, their enthusiasm extended to the branding iron, to the thumbscrew, and to the marvelous exploits of conversion through torture. All this was done in behalf of religion. "By inflicting pain," they reasoned, "We can convince a man of the infallibility of our scripture." But I am admitting too much when I say they reasoned, because I am unsure they did this at all. Missionaries have been sent to every corner of the globe, trying to convince primitives that if they refuse to believe, they will perish in the flames of hell -- that if they did not baptize their children, that god almighty would condemn them to fiery pits and eternal torture. The Christian doctrine is something that only a humane heart would find revolting. The ideas that a god killed his son to save the human race, that salvation comes from belief, that god created human beings in a manner that they would be sinful, that the soul of a man of another faith is worth less... These ideas have become a common part of our culture. Though they no longer churn our stomachs with disgust, every Humanitarian and Rationalist understands them for what they are: cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity. A Christian will quote the Bible and say that women are inferior to men. A Humanitarian will see oppression. A Catholic will read the first book of the Bible and avow that Evolution is false. A Rationalist will see ignorance. Wherever we look, the creeds of religion have debased the most elementary principles of our hearts, and have debauched the reasoning faculties of their believers.
As we look at these religions, we see proselytization. Even today, the Jehovah Witnesses go door to door, in their less-than-successful attempts to gain converts, thus we have the novelty example of missionaries. So we have the system by which religions replenish the lost followers of an older day and gain new followings. Yet, when we look at the proselytization of religions, what is the greatest method for inculcating new members? The answer is simple: breeding. By fostering young children in an environment that promotes one religion over another, I can almost guarantee a high chance of that child devoting their lives to that religion and none other. The more repressive the religion, the less likely they will stray from it. Clarence Darrow's parents were Christian Unitarians who aided slaves in the Underground Railroad, and he became an Agnostic. Thomas Paine's father was a Quaker who detested slavery, and Paine became a Deist. Margaret Sanger was a Christian for some time in her childhood, but her father was a Freethinker, and it was his expression of open-mindedness that would allow his daughter to think for herself. When a child is told that they may be cursed to an eternity of hellfire for picking up and reading books by Freethinkers, the idea of oppression of the mind becomes more solidified, becomes more permanent.
Thus, we have the most accurate method of perpetuating a religion: by impressing it upon the minds of children. When the mind is given the ability to learn new things and it is very gullible, this is the prime age that an individual is indoctrinated into a religion. And these children will believe anything if they are so told by their parents. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy. All supernatural ideas. A religionist may argue, "Well, this is simply demonstrating that the truth of religion is so obvious, that even a child can understand it!" But if this is true, why is it that the truth "so obvious" to a Christian child, does not infiltrate the mind of a Hindu who has believed in his own gods for decades? Similarly, an individual who has been a Muslim since childhood may find great difficulty in converting older Jews to his religion. Yet, those of us who are capable of understanding religion for what it is (a fraud), we base our judgment on the same way we base any judgment. When a person proposes a scientific, moral, social, or economic idea, we ask for evidence. Why should we suspend this request when it comes to religious proposals? For Freethinkers, there exists no reason to suspend that request. But for those who have been indoctrinated with the tenets of religion, they have every reason for it. Because, for them, their religion is something they have believed without question since the dawn of their lives. It is, remarkably, the same with those infected by bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, and zealotry. At a young age, they are impregnated with these ideas, and they never allow them to leave. So, too, we have the foundations of religion, and the primary method for propagating religion: breeding.
In one view, it is dangerous. Not only to those children who are forced into something that they cannot possibly comprehend, or how it will damage their lives later on, but how these thoughts and beliefs will cause them to act later on, and the possibly damage they may inflict on those around them. We have, in conclusion, a society of beings who will admit the grossest absurdities when it comes to justifying their doctrines. I once argued with a person on the rights of animals, and I offered evidence that since animals have the same capacity for consciousness, that they ought to be given the right to life. His argument was, "But if you kill a human and eat them, it is okay." Another person said that an animal has no rights because of its intelligence, and another said that animals are not conscious at all. I will not examine these arguments here, because their idiocy is not simple from just reading them, then I doubt a long dissertation could change anyone's opinion on them. So, too, I have heard Christians say that everyone good argument created by a Freethinker against revealed religion is, in actuality, a plan of Satan to "lead the flock astray." I once remember debating one Christian who claimed to believe the Bible. When I showed him the verses that justified slavery, he agreed with them. Some Christians will be more compromising, and offer their defenses, "it was poetry," or "it needs to be interpreted correctly," or "it was plagiarized." (Because, as we all know it, it must be better to receive a "figurative beating from your master" than a literal one.) I remember once reading a play by Plato, and in it, the narrator reads, "Socrates used reason to convince his friend of this truth." But perhaps Plato's faith in the reasoning of his fellow humans was too unfounded, because a person can rely on anything -- no matter how foolish or stupid -- to convince themselves they know the truth.
In this state of society, we have individuals so indignant of their ignorance that they will admit to anything, so long as they can be satisfied that their beliefs are justified. The present state of affairs, as it has been for centuries upon centuries, sickens me. Not only does it create suffering and misery, but it stands as a method for continuing the current plight of every oppressed class. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx once wrote, "The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority." Yet, I had one person, convinced of Capitalist lies, tell me, "Well, the workers may be paid 5% of what they create, but I would rather have 5% of everything than 100% of nothing!" By refusing to question the principles of Capitalism, the whole working class people force the conditions to remain the same. As we remain dormant in mind, satisfied by watching soap opera television shows, satisfied by the forty hours a week mentality, satisfied with our lives being debased and empty, our souls begin to whither, and we are, in a sad sense, already dead. When seeing people rely on foolish, indignant absurdities so that they can be content with the idea that their doctrines are self-consistent, I wonder if there is an answer to the question forming in my head. "How is it that people can refuse to acknowledge logical arguments?" To this, I have heard one comrade say, "Because people believe what they want." Yet, my next question is this, "Is there any way to fight a mind that refuses to accept logical arguments?" I do not know.
Finally, I must say this. A person who is intelligent will question his creeds, his beliefs, his ideas, constantly. By proposing new scenarios using old rules, by hypothetically predicting new probabilities and new incidents, a person will see if he is satisfied with how the logical conclusion of his ideas work out. A person must first be educated in a field, in what the scientists or philosophers of that field say, before he can make an intelligent decision on it. To quote Robert Owen, "Can man, when possessing the full vigour of his faculties, form a rational judgement on any subject, until he has first collected all the facts respecting it which are known?" [A New View of Society, by Robert Owen, Essay 3.] In a more passionate voice, to quote James Hervey Johnson, "Intelligent men do not decide any subject until they have carefully examined both or all sides of it. Fools, cowards, and those too lazy to think, accept blindly, without examination, dogmas and doctrines imposed upon them in childhood by their parents, priests, and teachers, when their minds were immature and they could not reason." ["Religion is a Gigantic Fraud," by James Hervey Johnson.]
In this essay, I am going to criticize Creationists of today. Not for their arguments, specifically, but mostly for ignoring what Charles Darwin has said on these arguments. I have read Origin of the Species and parts of The Descent of Man. Upon reading some arguments proposed by Creationists, I find that they are hypothetical scenarios drawn out by Charles Darwin, so that he could answer them before anyone would bring them up. To some, this essay may be revelatory; to others it will be a source of unending amusement.
The Human Eye
Most popular of all arguments against Evolution is the idea that the human eye is far too complex to be created from Natural Selection. I am going to quote Darwin again, so please forgive what may seem to be long. The only reason I am quoting him is to demonstrate that this argument has already been confronted by him, well over one hundred years ago.
As we can see, from just a brief reading of Darwin's work, that he did claim that initially, the human eye seemed to be a great problem to the theory of Evolution. But then he argued, about the different variations, of the more primitive forms of the eye which are found in the lower races, and how they appear to be different variations of each other. However, in the rather amusing essay "50 Reasons to Leave Your Faith (Evolution)", where the author's name is omitted, I read, "Darwin said that the human eye made him shudder in terms of the evolutionary process - and rightly so. In his day almost nothing was known about the complexity and sophistication of this organ. In fact, we still don't know everything. It is able to do 100,000 separate functions each and every day, then while you sleep, do its own maintenance work. Truly one of the wonders of GOD." Allow me to shine some reason on to this... Darwin stated that the human eye seemed to be baffling when in the Evolution theory, but this was simply his introductory statement on the matter. If, for instance, a person said, "It may seem, however, to everyone of intelligence that Communism is less viable than Capitalism, but I have reason to believe how collective ownership of the means of production can be beneficial to society." Now, if we were to quote this person up to the word "but," we would be taking them out of context, much like this Creationist I quoted took Darwin out of context. However, I do not think I need to elaborate on this point, because -- simply put -- it takes only an ounce of intelligence to see that Darwin didn't believe that the human eye posed a problem to the theory of Evolution.
In the "Answers in Genesis" foundation, I read a work published which said, "The lobster eye exhibits amazing design, and has even inspired human designers to copy it for advanced technological applications. This eye, like many other features in living organisms, defies all plausible attempts to explain it without a Designer." Instead of relying on something so complex as the human eye, the Christian Answers website simply used "complex organs." To quote them, "Materialists believe life in all its amazing forms consists merely of atoms and molecules. They believe these atoms and molecules formed themselves into millions of intricate animals and plants. This view was born out of an earlier, more naive period in science when the extreme complexity of living systems was not understood." The Creation Science website wrote, "We know from everyday experience that an item is not generally useful until it is complete, whether it be a car, a cake, or a computer program. Why would natural selection start to make an eye, or an ear, or a wing (or anything else) when this item would not benefit the animal until it was completed?" Furthermore, just so that they could take Darwin out of context, they also wrote, "Darwin once said that the very thought of the complexity of the eye gave him the chills." I tried to find some original material at the Evolusham website, and as I was reading, I thought, "Hey, this sounds a lot like... wait a minute.... This is the exact text as the Creation Science website!" Through my rigorous search on the Evolusham website, I found no original material. Just copied from other sites. In a book written in 1925, I read...
Again, someone is notoriously taking Charles Darwin out of context. I tried to get some good solid arguments from the "Evolution vs. Creation Resource Center," only to find that everything on their site is a copy from the Creation Science website. At the Genesis Network website, I read, "If a supercomputer is obviously the product of intelligent design, how much more obviously is the eye a product of intelligent design? And yet, evolutionists are dead certain that the human eye (and everything else in nature) came into being by pure chance and the intrinsic properties of nature!" Again, using the eye. I happened upon the Dr. Dino website again, a most fantastic source of unending amusement. Here I read, "When, where, why, how, and from what did: Whales evolve? Sea horses evolve? bats evolve? Eyes evolve? Ears evolve? Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?" (Alas, this man "Dr. Dino" never ceases to amaze me.) At the Origins website, I read, "Just as a watch's parts are all perfectly adapted for the purpose of telling time, the parts of an eye are all perfectly adapted for the purpose of seeing." Of course, this was citing the theologian Paley. The "Was Darwin Right?" website quoted Darwin, stating, "On natural selection: And to think that the eye could evolve 'by natural selection seems, I freely confess, absurd to the highest degree'." But there is no need for me to say that they did not continue to fully quote Darwin where he explained the evolution of the human eye. I looked around the "Young Earth Creationist Club" for some information about Creationism, but I found very little that was original. A great deal of it all seemed to be borrowed from other sites.
Absense or Rarity of Transitional Forms
Again, another one of the arguments often promoted by Creationists is that there are few, if any, transitional forms. I here quote Charles Darwin on the matter...
Here we have a decent explanation of the lack of transitional fossils. The reason why they are so few is because those transitional forms were very rare. Furthermore, the vestigial organs (or reversionary organs) which demonstrate our ancestors were other species are the primary evidence of Evolution. In the "50 Reasons To Leave Your Faith (Evolution)," I read "Charles Darwin himself summed it up best in his 'book.' 'Noting the abundance of fossils, numerous transitionals must be found to prove my theory.' Enough said!" What I find most humorous about this is that Darwin's work is referred to as "book" in quotation marks. What? Was there some satanic element to it that excludes it from the realm of other books, perhaps? The Answers in Genesis website offers more amusement with, "NONE of the five museum officials whom Luther Sunderland interviewed could offer a single example of a transitional series of fossilized organisms that would document the transformation of one basically different type to another." The Center for Scientific Creation reports, "If evolution happened, the fossil record should show continuous and gradual changes from the bottom to the top layers. Actually, many gaps or discontinuities appear throughout the fossil record." The Christian Answers website does not fail to tickle some humor, "All the different, basic kinds of animals appear abruptly and fully functional in the strata - with no proof of ancestors. 'Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.' (David Kitts, paleontologist and Evolutionist) Darwin was embarrassed by the fossil record. It contains no proof for macroevolution of animals."
The Creation and Evolution website writes, "Unless one is to believe that evolution progresses in great leaps and bounds, there are many, many links missing in the chain between the 2 species that they are referring to." The Creation Science website still writes more, "Darwin admitted that the number of transitional links 'must have been conceivably great.' The fact that there are none prompted him to conclude that this fact is 'the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.'" Looking at the Evolusham website for information on their opinions on the Transitional Fossils, I found exactly what was at the Creation Science website, and then I remember, "Hey, this site doesn't have any original material..." The 1925 book "The Evolution of Man Scientifically Disproved" contains the phrase, "There should be millions of fossils in the transition state if the theory were true." At the "Evolution vs. Creation Resource Center" I discovered this: "A severe problem for evolutionists is the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record." Along my exploration, I found an extremely humorous website entitled, "Evolution, A Fairy Tale for Grownups." Here I read, "If evolution were true, the fossil record should be littered with countless examples showing many different transitions leading up to the millions of species of these complex creatures. YET WE DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE EXAMPLE! NOT EVEN ONE!"
The Genesis Network reports, "To be consistent with evolution, the fossil record should show how organisms slowly transformed one into another through countless intermediate or transitional stages." Then, along my travels, I found one website with the most amusing title ever, "Revolution Against Evolution." After my laughter subsided, I looked around and found, "...the fossil record contradicts Darwinism and supports the biblical teaching that God created all life in their distinct kinds..." I found one website entitled, "Scientific and Natural Laws Undermining Evolution" and here I read: "Where are the millions of intermediate fossils of transitional reptiles evolving into birds? There should be millions more fossils of transitional creatures than fossils of the perfected species - There is not one!" The Scientific Creationism website writes: "Many supposed transitional forms can be explained as a misinterpretation by evolutionists..." At the "Was Darwin Right?" website, I found this: "Darwin admitted that the fossil evidence was one of the weakest aspect of the Theory of Evolution."
Aside from complete ignorance of Darwin's works (except those particular areas where he throws doubts, only that he may dispel them), I found an extremely unlimited amount of humor in these Creationist works. For instance, at the "Accuracy in Genesis" website, I read, "There is DEAD stuff and there is ALIVE stuff, Our Earth is more than 99.996% DEAD stuff. But, DEAD stuff don't all of a sudden become ALIVE stuff." At first, I was not sure how to take this. It didn't seem very scientific. I am not at all sure if "DEAD stuff" and "ALIVE stuff" are proper biological terms. I am not sure, either, if "DEAD stuff don't" is proper grammar, either. Also at this site, I found a rather amusing: "Where did all this matter or energy or some combination come from? From NOTHING? NO WAY Jose!" That ending part, that "NO WAY Jose!" -- that was the clincher for me. At that point, when I saw that rhyming was the primary argument of Creationism, I was right about to convert.
The Christian Answers website writes, "This sort of thinking [Evolution] inspired Hitler in his quest to eliminate Jews and Gypsies and to establish the 'master race.'" I find this to be, simply put, stupid. Where in "Mein Kampf" does Hitler state, "After reading Darwin's works on Evolution, I immediately started up those gas chambers."? Does this website say? No, because I do not think that Evolution (eerrr, "Evolutionism?") is responsible for creating anti-Semitism. At the Creation Science website, I read, "Complex things require intelligent design folks!" I'm... not sure how to respond to this either. It is supposed to be more convincing because it ends with "folks"? Is the whole crowd supposed to laugh and say gaily, "Yeah, he's probably right." Also at this site I read, "Another interesting facet of history is the connection between evolution and communism. With communism the struggle of 'race' is replaced by the struggle of 'class' as history is viewed as an evolutionary struggle." Again, I do not think that there is anything in the works of Marx or Engels that denotes a linking of Communism to Evolution. For instance, in Das Kapital, there is no phrase, "And, as we can clearly see by the truth of Evolution, the means of production are to be collectively owned if the proletariat are to survive!" No, that's not in there at all, because Evolution does not inspire Communism, and only an idiot would think so. Again, this website goes on with its idiocy, "War and oppression have always been components of human history, however with the advent of Darwin's theory of evolution man had a new justification for his cruelty." I don't think anything I can say would change someone's opinion if they actually believed that.
The Evolusham website (interesting title, because all of the articles on there are ripped off from other Creationist websites) writes, "Evolunatics ? are like UFO abductees that make 'claims' based on apparent 'evidence' and we are the skeptics who question their watery 'claims'." I try to remain civil and well mannered in all my debates, but just what the hell is that? Evolunatics? Moving on...
At the "Evolution vs. Creation Resource Center" I read, "Well, ummm... I just can't believe that life came from nothing, and...doggonit surly the complexities of life must have been created!" Like many other things, I am not sure how to take this. At least at the bottom of this site there was a really cool, "Are you interested in starting up your own home business? Or making some extra cash with your computer? Or having your own web site designed?" The "Evolution, A Fairy Tale for Grownups" writes: "Please join me for a quick journey through this fairy land of creative natural selection!" The Genesis Network writes.... "The bitterest pill to swallow for any Christian who attempts to 'make peace' with Darwin is the presumed animal ancestry of man. Even many Christians who uncritically accept evolutionary dogma as 'God's way of creating' try to elevate man and his origin above that of the beasts." The sad part about the Genesis Network quote is that I am not sure if it passes for even legible grammar.
Finally, we come to the Dr. Dino website, my most favorite website ever. In the articles section, I found a most terrible reprint of the Cows and the Government essay (you know? "Fascism: The government takes your two cows and sells you milk..." etc.). That alone is enough for Net Nanny to ban Dr. Dino's site. But there's more! "I have a standing offer of $250,000 to anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.* My $250,000 offer demonstrates that the hypothesis of evolution is nothing more than a religious belief." Yeah, I'm sure... Because if I could prove Evolution, they would just hand over that cash and say, "And it makes ya' wonda'." Again, he writes, "Children and youth are taught in school that they are an advanced level of animals; there are no moral principles. Since they are just animals, they should do whatever they want." Oh, really? Right. Also at this site, there was once a section which cursed Evolution for causing Feminism, or giving women "the idea that they are equal to men." How the hell does one conclude that? It boggles the imagination. Finally, Dino writes...
Again with the "Adolph" (is that supposed to be "ph"?) Hitler and Karl Marx. It just never stops. The "Scientific and Natural Laws Undermining Evolution" website writes: "Darwinian evolution has been abandoned. Darwin was wrong, and that admission has finally been accepted." Oh? Darwin's wrong and now finally all the "Evolutionist Scientists" have accepted that? Yeah, sure. The "Was Darwin Right?" website makes a monetary offer for proving Evolution...
Also, I am sure that this is a completely legitimate offer, and they would pay me if I could prove Evolution. Finally, I will offer two quotes from the "Young Earth Creation Club": "...we consider evolutionism to be a false religion..." -- "He replied, and this is an exact quote, 'I'm not a Christian.' At this point I realized I was not going to get anywhere..."
One of the remarks I'll make is this... About half of the websites I quoted were selling something. Because, after all, what Creationist would feel complete if they didn't have the $20 fossil reproductions from DrDino.com? And I'm sure that the plethora of books (all of which take Darwin out of context) are an inexorable source of enlightenment. Besides that, we see various names given to those who believe in Evolution. "Evolutionist" seems to be the most common one, but there even is a "Evolunatic" one. I am not sure if this article would be classified as comedy or religion, though. The way I responded to some of these claims may seem here to be light or unserious. My only response is, based on what I am reading, can you blame me?