Saturday, February 20, 2010

My love for my son.


I knew that I would love my son. I knew, from what small understanding I have of human behavior that a bond would develop. A bond so strong that I would do anything for him regardless of personal discomfort, inconvenience, or injury. What I didn't know was that I would love him as much as I do. I didn't know that I had so much room in my mind as to contain the absolute adoration I have for him.

Let me put it this way; I knew that I would love him, I didn't know that I would think him beautiful. Maybe that's just part of it - maybe every parent thinks their child is beautiful. I know that when things are quiet and nothing else is going on, I just like to look at him. He has rebellious blonde hair, sparkling light blue eyes and dimples. But it doesn't stop there. I love every curve of his body. His neck, his arms, his belly. I feel privileged that he's still young enough to be completely unselfconscious about his nudity.

I love almost everything about him. His voice. His laugh. His eating habits. His curiosity. His apparent love of music. Everything.

So I worry about him starting school. Up until recently I have assumed that I would be home-schooling him. When we made the decision to put him in public school I was heartbroken, but I've quickly come around to the idea. He's very excited about it and I have to admit that I'm looking forward to having a few hours to myself every day. Oh yes, I'll still be at home.

But I'm worried about what school will do to him. Will he still be sweet? Will it dull or enhance his curiosity? I'm worried about the other kids. I can't control who he'll be interacting with like I can now. Will the other kids be mean? Will my own son be mean?

Shelly and I are both atheists and we haven't raised Cole with any outstanding religious convictions and I worry sometimes that the other parents won't let their kids play with ours. People don't trust atheists; they think we have no morals. It's not true. Well, it probably won't come up. I haven't been indoctrinating Cole with an attitude of arrogant dismissal. No, I just try to explain things as clearly and as honestly as possible. So the following things are mythical: God, Zeus, Thor, fairies, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny.

Point is I love my son and for his sake I hope school goes well. For my sake I hope school doesn't beat him down like it did me.

Thanks,

Christian

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ray Comfort Is An Asshole.


A little while back Ray Comfort, head of Living Waters Ministry, announced that he and his ministry would be handing out copies of Darwin's Origin of Species. I believe he claimed, somewhere along the line, that he would be providing a more balanced perspective on the issue of evolution vs. creationism. Trying to give creationism a fair treatment, a day to present its case.

He didn't do that.

The version of Origin of Species that he and his ministries distributed had a Ray Comfort introduction. In it he proves himself not only a scientific illiterate but also a poor author. The bulk of what I actually managed to read myself (you can find the special introduction just about anywhere on the internet) was mostly about the mundane details of Darwin's early life. Comfort tries to paint Darwin in as negative a light as he can without actually resorting to explicit invective. Attempting to subtly portray Darwin as a poor student more interested in hunting and quite conspicuously mentioning that he married his cousin.

He then goes right into the intellect-insulting hypothetical scenarios. He asks the reader to imagine that the book they are reading came into existence all on its own. That by random chance some trees came apart, formed paper, and some ink fell out of the sky in exactly the right pattern so as to simulate letters and words in the correct order to reveal to us The Origin of Species. The odds against this happening by chance are astronomical! This is a favorite creationist tactic. The odds against any complex system spontaneously appearing, poof, out of its constituent ingredients are so mind-bogglingly large that it would be like, and I quote from another creationist source, 'finding the winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk every Friday for a million years'.

I'll grant him that. The odds against that happening are so great as to not be worth even arguing over.

But this first part of his actual dissertation reveals both his profound ignorance and his poor writing ability. He's arguing against complex systems appearing fully formed on their own - that an intelligent designer, almighty God, must have done it, otherwise it wouldn't happen. What you have to remember about Comfort's perspective, is that it's only 10,000 years long. All theories and evidence of geological, biological, physical, and astronomical matters indicate that the earth is over 4,000,000,000 years old (that's four billion) and that the very first life forms were quite awesomely simple. Not overly complex at all. He doesn't understand at all that all the constituent parts that make us complex organisms often evolved all on their own before eventually becoming part of larger wholes.

This is also where he proves he can't write. Though he constantly asserts that his arguments are factual and evident, he cannot help but write from the first person. He cannot present evidence, he can only argue from incredulity. 'It is unbelievable to me that what I think evolutionists think is even possible, therefore, it cannot be!' He's stated in one of his videos that he's glad he's a creationist because he doesn't have to know anything about biology. Well it's clear that he doesn't because if he did, he wouldn't be a creationist.

This is what makes him an asshole. Coming back to the topic of this post, Ray Comfort is an asshole. I don't mean 'asshole' in the everyday sense of the word, which is to say I don't think him mean or selfish in the way we call people 'assholes'. What I mean is that he is, metaphorically, an asshole in as much as what comes out of him is absolute shit. Shit that is noxious and offensive and deserves only to be gotten rid of so that we can all get on with our lives without it.

He's such an asshole and I worry about all the people who believe he has something to say that isn't pure shit. He never presents proofs for his point of view, he only props up other creationist 'scientists' who have a problem with this or that aspect of evolution as though pointing out certain perceived flaws would destroy the whole theory of evolution. What baffles me further is that he seriously thinks that pointing out certain flaws in the prevailing theory would prove the existence of an intelligent designer; his god! Not just any intelligent designer like aliens or fairies, but a god. Not just any god, his god! Not Allah, not the Greek Titans, not Qetzalcoatl, not any number of aboriginal gods or shamanistic spirits, but his god as spelled out in his preferred edition of the bible which is itself only one version out of the many editions edited and destroyed throughout the centuries.

He is an absurd, ignorant, hypocritical little man and if he were to die tomorrow I would not shed one bloody tear.

  • Evolution vs. Creationism is a false dichotomy. Disproving one does not prove the other.
  • Evolution says nothing about gods at all. Even if there is a God, evolution would still be at least mostly true.
  • Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it untrue.