Wednesday, 25 May 2016

YEC and the Cognitive Dissonance Trap.

In general I try to avoid political posts on this blog. I try to avoid attacking the beliefs of others. This blog is about dealing with life and some of the problems that it may send against you. There are times, however, when established mindsets can come into conflict with dealing with problems. Some of you may stop reading my blog because of today’s post, which is not my intention. My intention is that this post will give you some pause for thought and change your priorities a little to give you better tools for problem management.

Every now and then I come across some meme that is trying to disprove evolution. Why does this matter?

Firstly, constantly trying to “prove” the Bible in actuality displays a lack of faith. The Bible has many useful lessons we can all learn from but constantly trying to prove it by dubious means causes people to neglect these. You are missing the important parts of the Bible and driving others away from them.
“They're making the mistake of linking their belief in faith, in their religion, to actual factual tenets. These are not factual stories to be taken as historical events, they're really stories about how we should live our lives. They're moral homilies. What can I personally get out of the Bible for me, today. That's what those stories are about. And to take them literally is; you're missing the point of the Bible!

Secondly, you do not “believe in evolution”. This is a relatively unsubtle manipulation designed to make you think in an unrealistic either/or mode. Evolution is not a religion or faith, it is a body of evidence supporting a hypothesis. Evidence denial is a very dangerous mindset. Evolution-denial is akin to holocaust-denial but more insidious since its effects are more widespread. Many of the world’s current problems are due to the encouragement of cognitive dissonance. We need leaders that make the best decisions based on available evidence, not that ignore what they do not like, understand or agree with. This is how we ourselves need to deal with what life throws at us.

Thirdly, if your support of Young Earth Creationism is that the Bible is literal you do not get to cherry pick which bits you hold to be true. If the Earth was made in six days then it is also flat, with corners, as the Bible tells you. It is the centre of the universe and the sun circles it. You do not get to eat pork, shrimp or oysters, do not get to have tattoos and are to support slavery. You must hold that certain insects have only four legs and must perform calculations using a value of 3 for π. Nuclear weapons do not exists since radioactive decay is not constant. Most sciences, including astronomy, geology, mathematics and physics are all false so you should not be using their products. You need to believe in not one, but two different creation stories as literal truth! (Chapter one and chapter two of Genesis have conflicting details!) If you are a women you should be silent, obedient, submissive and not try to teach or have authority over men.

Vast amounts of money, effort and time are wasted on evolution denial. Money and effort that could be put towards far better causes. Young Earth Creationism is missing the point of the Bible and  is counter-productive.

If faith or any other belief makes you a better person it is a good thing. Any belief that blinkers you to things that may harm you is not.
The Books