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What Are Creationists Afraid Of?
The New Individualist ^ | 1/2006 | Ed Hudgins

Posted on 01/26/2006 1:47:10 PM PST by jennyp

...

Third, complexity does not imply “design.” One of Adam Smith’s most powerful insights, developed further by Friedrich Hayek, is that incredible complexity can emerge in society without a designer or planner, through “spontaneous order.” Hayek showed how in a free market the complex processes of producing and distributing goods and services to millions of individuals do not require socialist planners. Rather, individuals pursuing their own self-interest in a system governed by a few basic rules—property rights, voluntary exchange by contract—have produced all the vast riches of the Western world.

Many creationists who are on the political Right understand the logic of this insight with respect to economic complexity. Why, then, is it such a stretch for them to appreciate that the complexity we find in the physical world—the optic nerve, for example—can emerge over millions of years under the rule of natural laws that govern genetic mutations and the adaptability of life forms to changing environments? It is certainly curious that many conservative creationists do not appreciate that the same insights that show the futility of a state-designed economy also show the irrelevance of an “intelligently designed” universe.

...

Evolution: A Communist Plot?

Yet another fear causes creationists to reject the findings of science.

Many early proponents of science and evolution were on the political Left. For example, the Humanist Manifesto of 1933 affirmed support for evolution and the scientific approach. But its article fourteen stated: “The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible.”

Subsequent humanist manifestos in 1973 and 2000 went lighter on the explicit socialism but still endorsed, along with a critical approach to knowledge, the kind of welfare-state democracy and internationalism rejected by conservatives. The unfortunate historical association of science and socialism is based in part on the erroneous conviction that if humans can use scientific knowledge to design machines and technology, why not an entire economy?

Further, many supporters of evolution were or appeared to be value-relativists or subjectivists. For example, Clarence Darrow, who defended Scopes in the “monkey trial” eight decades ago, also defended Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. These two young amoralists pictured themselves as supermen above conventional morality; they decided to commit the perfect crime and killed a fourteen-year-old boy. Darrow offered the jury the standard liberal excuses for the atrocity. He argued that the killers were under the influence of Nietzschean philosophy, and that to give them the death penalty would hurt their surviving families. “I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all,” he said. “I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love.” This is the sort of abrogation of personal responsibility, denial of moral culpability, and rejection of the principle of justice that offends religious conservatives—in fact, every moral individual, religious or atheist.

In addition, nearly all agnostics and atheists accept the validity of evolution. Creationists, as religious fundamentalists, therefore see evolution and atheism tied together to destroy the basis of morality. For one thing, evolution seems to erase the distinction between humans and animals. Animals are driven by instincts; they are not responsible for their actions. So we don’t blame cats for killing mice, lions for killing antelope, or orca whales for killing seals. It’s what they do. They follow instincts to satisfy urges to eat and procreate. But if human beings evolved from lower animals, then we might be merely animals—and so there would be no basis for morality. In which case, anything goes.

To religious fundamentalists, then, agnostics and atheists must be value-relativists and subjectivists. Whether they accept evolution because they reject a belief in God, or reject a belief in God because they accept evolution, is immaterial: the two beliefs are associated, just as are creationism and theism. By this view, the only firm basis for morality is the divine edicts of a god.

This reflects the creationists’ fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of morality.

Morality from Man’s Nature

We humans are what we are today regardless of whether we evolved, were created, or were intelligently designed. We have certain characteristics that define our nature.

We are Homo sapiens. Unlike lower animals, we have a rational capacity, an ability to fully, conceptually understand the world around us. We are self-conscious. We are the animal that knows—and knows that he knows. We do not survive automatically, by instinct, but must exercise the virtue of rationality. We must think. We must discover how to acquire food—through hunting or planting—how to make shelters, how to invent medicines. And to acquire such knowledge, we must adopt a rational methodology: science.

Furthermore, our thinking does not occur automatically. We have free will and must choose to think, to focus our minds, to be honest rather than to evade facts that make us uncomfortable—evolution, for example—because reality is what it is, whether we like it or acknowledge it or not.

But we humans do not exercise our minds and our wills for mere physical survival. We have a capacity for a joy and flourishing far beyond the mere sensual pleasures experienced by lower animals. Such happiness comes from planning our long-term goals, challenging ourselves, calling on the best within us, and achieving those goals—whether we seek to nurture a business to profitability or a child to adulthood, whether we seek to create a poem or a business plan, whether we seek to design a building or to lay the bricks for its foundation.

But our most important creation is our moral character, the habits and attitudes that govern our actions. A good character helps us to be happy, a bad one guarantees us misery. And what guides us in creating such a character? What tells us how we should deal with our fellow humans?

A code of values, derived from our nature and requirements as rational, responsible creatures possessing free will.

We need not fear that with evolution, or without a god, there is no basis for ethics. There is an objective basis for ethics, but it does not reside in the heavens. It arises from our own human nature and its objective requirements.

Creationists and advocates of intelligent design come to their beliefs in part through honest errors and in part from evasions of facts and close-minded dogmatism. But we should appreciate that one of their motivations might be a proper rejection of value-relativism, and a mistaken belief that acceptance of divine revelation is the only moral alternative.

If we can demonstrate to them that the basis for ethics lies in our nature as rational, volitional creatures, then perhaps we can also reassure them that men can indeed have morality—yet never fear to use that wondrous capacity which allows us to understand our own origins, the world around us, and the moral nature within us.

Edward Hudgins is the Executive Director of The Objectivist Center.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Heated Discussion; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: antitheists; atheist; biblethumpingnuts; creationism; creationisminadress; crevolist; ignoranceisstrength; ignorantfundies; intelligentdesign; keywordtrolls; liarsforthelord; matterjustappeared; monkeysrule; moremonkeyblather; objectivism; pavlovian; supertitiouskooks; universeanaccident
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The first half of the article is a standard summary of the creation/evolution debate. But the last half, posted here, really moves the ball forward in the debate: Hudgins brings out into the open the fears that are driving creationists & the ID movement.

I've been harping on this point in these parts for years. It's good to see a "real" Objectivist writer get the argument into print.

1 posted on 01/26/2006 1:47:12 PM PST by jennyp
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To: jennyp

"Hayek showed how in a free market the complex processes of producing and distributing goods and services to millions of individuals do not require socialist planners."

But it doesn't happen without someone doing something. Same with creation.


2 posted on 01/26/2006 1:49:48 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: jennyp

"Creationists and advocates of intelligent design come to their beliefs in part through honest errors and in part from evasions of facts and close-minded dogmatism."

Funny stuff!


3 posted on 01/26/2006 1:52:11 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: jennyp

Excellent Article.


4 posted on 01/26/2006 1:53:31 PM PST by tpeters
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To: jennyp

one could ask what are Evolutionists afraid of in letting the Theory of ID and or Creation, be exhibited?


5 posted on 01/26/2006 1:53:48 PM PST by jw777
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To: jennyp

LOL....creationist fear? I don't think so. I fear God alone.


6 posted on 01/26/2006 1:53:54 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: PatrickHenry; DaveLoneRanger

I think both ping lists would benefit from this one.


7 posted on 01/26/2006 1:54:28 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: your mind)
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To: jennyp

Good post Jenny...


8 posted on 01/26/2006 1:54:33 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: mlc9852
honest errors and in part from evasions of facts and close-minded dogmatism.

Otherwise known as Faith

9 posted on 01/26/2006 1:54:46 PM PST by conservativebabe
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To: mlc9852

"What Are Creationists Afraid Of?"

That you will go to Hell. We don't want you to.


10 posted on 01/26/2006 1:54:56 PM PST by RoadTest (- - Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. - Isaiah 27:6b)
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To: mlc9852
"Hayek showed how in a free market the complex processes of producing and distributing goods and services to millions of individuals do not require socialist planners." But it doesn't happen without someone doing something. Same with creation.

So you require a five year plan. I get it.

11 posted on 01/26/2006 1:56:19 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: jw777

Creationism and ID aren't theories, they are opinions.


12 posted on 01/26/2006 1:57:15 PM PST by Filo
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To: jennyp
The complexities of a free market occur precisely because there is intelligence involved! In this case, millions of "intelligences". For the principle to even apply at all, there must be at least two "intelligences" involved.

If you think this outcome requires no intelligence, why don't growing, wealthy economies spring up from schools of fish, or swarms of bees?

The complex, sophisticated results of a vibrant economy are the result of intelligent, voluntary participation in transactions viewed as beneficial by all involved parties.

Score one for intelligent design.

13 posted on 01/26/2006 1:57:47 PM PST by TChris ("Unless you act, you're going to lose your world." - Mark Steyn)
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To: jennyp
Hayek showed how in a free market the complex processes of producing and distributing goods and services to millions of individuals do not require socialist planners. Rather, individuals pursuing their own self-interest in a system governed by a few basic rules—property rights, voluntary exchange by contract—have produced all the vast riches of the Western world.

I don't see how this advances the debate at all. Perhaps someone can explin it to me.

Here's my take on it--any economic system, whether centrally managed, designed and run or not--requires intelligence and conscious desires of the individual to be met. Hence the individuals are acting in conscious selfishness in order to improve one's economic standing.

Evolution (from my understanding) hypothosises that unconscious bits of chemicals can manipulate themselves and their surroundings for selfish reasons. There is no intelligence governing the first stages of evolution, either centrally, or individually.

14 posted on 01/26/2006 1:58:36 PM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: jennyp

I think what really motivates most anti-evolutionists is a fear of having to defend the Bible as a less than perfect book. Thye see a slippery slope where if they admit the world was not created in 7 days, then the commandment against adultery is equally suspect.

I was a Baptist back when they still believed in dinosaurs. The anti-evolution crowd shows what happens when the hard-core fundamentalists take over an institution or movement.

Conservatives should take heed and perpetually examine their own beliefs and credos. (Like me!)

parsy, the vain.


15 posted on 01/26/2006 2:00:03 PM PST by parsifal ("Knock and ye shall receive!" (The Bible, somewhere.))
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To: TChris

It appears you get it!


16 posted on 01/26/2006 2:00:23 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: jennyp

It'll be a long night! LOL


17 posted on 01/26/2006 2:01:02 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: jennyp

So teach them both.


18 posted on 01/26/2006 2:01:47 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Filo

then so is evolution.


19 posted on 01/26/2006 2:02:05 PM PST by jw777
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To: jennyp

This is perhapst the most idiotic evolution piece of I've ever read. The analogy of the market to evolution is so absurd, I can't believe someone would actually publish it before realizing "gee, that's really lame". If this is the best the evolutionists can do, they are really grasping.


20 posted on 01/26/2006 2:03:14 PM PST by GLDNGUN
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To: jennyp

maybe it would be helpful to discuss this in class??


21 posted on 01/26/2006 2:04:21 PM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: jennyp
Third, complexity does not imply “design.” One of Adam Smith’s most powerful insights, developed further by Friedrich Hayek, is that incredible complexity can emerge in society without a designer or planner, through “spontaneous order.” Hayek showed how in a free market the complex processes of producing and distributing goods and services to millions of individuals do not require socialist planners. Rather, individuals pursuing their own self-interest in a system governed by a few basic rules—property rights, voluntary exchange by contract—have produced all the vast riches of the Western world.

Is this really a think piece? What kind of argument can you make for or against creationism of for or against intelligent quoting two people who designed systems of trade and commerce?

Regardless what is written after these quotes the writer is deluded to think that anyone with common sense is going to bit on this kind of premise

Only Loonie Libs talk drag out hollywood starlets to talk about the danger of Alar

This is like getting someone who makes spaghetti strands to give a lecture and demonstrate gene splicing

Years ago I managed an auto parts store and one day this korean called "On the phone he said "Hello my name kim." and he said nothing else so I hung up He called back a minute later and said Hello my name kims mo-bla I need parts and there was another long pause he as for socks and brakie shooz -- this man called himself a master mechanic his experiance as it turned out driving a round a junkyard buggy and cutting off car and truck parts with a cutting torch. In my estimation old Kim was closer to the real thing than this liberal wannabe thunker

NUFF SAID

22 posted on 01/26/2006 2:05:10 PM PST by Rocketman
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To: TChris
The complexities of a free market occur precisely because there is intelligence involved! In this case, millions of "intelligences". For the principle to even apply at all, there must be at least two "intelligences" involved. If you think this outcome requires no intelligence, why don't growing, wealthy economies spring up from schools of fish, or swarms of bees?

The complex, sophisticated results of a vibrant economy are the result of intelligent, voluntary participation in transactions viewed as beneficial by all involved parties.

Score one for intelligent design.

Exactamundo. Can you believe this idiot published this piece without it ever dawning on him that his argument actually works against him? Unbelievable!

23 posted on 01/26/2006 2:05:39 PM PST by GLDNGUN
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: jennyp
"Evolution: A Communist Plot? Yet another fear causes creationists to reject the findings of science."

That's the whole point, science has not even come close to proving the theory of evolution, so they teach it doctrinally as a big, fat LIE. Darwin himself said that evolution could never be proven unless the linking fossils or the transitional forms could be found. So far neither have been found.

There have been, however, some elaborate hoaxes and imaginary 'discoveries' by the Darwinists in their zeal to shoot down Biblical references to creation and lift Darwin up in its place. So Christians don't really 'fear' evolution, (as the lying title insists), they just love the Truth and loathe satanic lies.

25 posted on 01/26/2006 2:07:00 PM PST by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the mohammedans has devastated the Churches of God" Pope Urban II ~ 1097A.D.)
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To: jennyp
Edward Hudgins is the Executive Director of The Objectivist Center

He doesn't seem very objective to me. Perhaps a presentation of thoughts in the market place of ideas would be better served with a positive presentation rather than an attempt to demonize others...but hey, that's just me.

26 posted on 01/26/2006 2:08:02 PM PST by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: parsifal
Thye see a slippery slope where if they admit the world was not created in 7 days, then the commandment against adultery is equally suspect.

Huh? I don't get the connection between the literal and not you are implying here.

27 posted on 01/26/2006 2:08:30 PM PST by conservativebabe
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 340 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

28 posted on 01/26/2006 2:08:56 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: jennyp
>>There is an objective basis for ethics, but it does not reside in the heavens. It arises from our own human nature and its objective requirements.<<

The objective basis for ethics in man is the same one that causes me to avoid some very dark alleyways. The writer's argument for replacing heavenly based ethics with those of man falls very short here.

Muleteam1

29 posted on 01/26/2006 2:09:18 PM PST by Muleteam1 (I can explain it for you but I cannot understand it for you.)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: jennyp
Definitely worth a BOOKMARK.
31 posted on 01/26/2006 2:13:58 PM PST by DoctorMichael (The Fourth-Estate is a Fifth-Column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: jennyp

Fear drives most men. Only thought can overcome fear.


33 posted on 01/26/2006 2:15:09 PM PST by furball4paws (Awful Offal)
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: jennyp
>>>>The Scopes “monkey trial” marked the birth of “creationism” ....

Wrong. The Bible marked the birth of creationism.

35 posted on 01/26/2006 2:18:12 PM PST by Reagan Man (Secure our borders;punish employers who hire illegals;stop all welfare to illegals)
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To: jennyp

Why don't we have fur? Surely fur would make more sense to protect us from the elements. The apes we supposedly evolved from have it. Why would nature have us get rid of fur? Survival of the fittest? Did we evolve to need clothes for protection? Why don't we have feathers? No protection from the rain? We are the highest lifeforms on the planet, what gives?


36 posted on 01/26/2006 2:18:31 PM PST by vpintheak (Liberal = The antithesis of Freedom and Patriotism)
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To: jennyp
The real question should be .... what are evolutionists afraid of?
37 posted on 01/26/2006 2:18:47 PM PST by svcw
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To: jennyp

Usually when one side wants to present all the evidence and have a debate, and the other side wants to shut the doors and close down the discussion, it is the 2nd group that is questioned as to what they are afraid of.

Just an observation, about nothing in particular.

Wonder if next time some person running for office will have the guts to stand up and say, "Of course I'm not going to debate my opponent, he has nothing to say, and you should ask him why is so afraid that he wants to debate me about anything."


38 posted on 01/26/2006 2:19:35 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: jennyp
What are we afraid of?

We are afraid of precisely what has happened! The dogma of inter-species evolution is taught to our children as settled fact, which it definitely is not, and, perhaps worse, as good science. It is an affront to good principles of science and serves as forced indoctrination into atheism and denial of Christ.

Evolution, as it is currently taught, is antithetical to the deeply-held beliefs, faith and religious experience of the majority of mankind. It is a direct assault on the very existence and power of God.

39 posted on 01/26/2006 2:21:02 PM PST by TChris ("Unless you act, you're going to lose your world." - Mark Steyn)
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To: jennyp

"A good character helps us to be happy, a bad one guarantees us misery."

And just what is a "good" character? Nietsche's definition or a Christian definition? They are not the same, in fact, are complete opposites.

So which is it eh?


40 posted on 01/26/2006 2:22:08 PM PST by fizziwig
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To: jennyp
What Are Creationists Afraid Of?

High taxes. And icky bugs.

41 posted on 01/26/2006 2:22:12 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (1. You are drunk. 2. This is not a waltz. 3. I am not a woman; I'm the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima.)
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To: TChris
If you think this outcome requires no intelligence

It may require intelligence, but it doesn't require a designer.

42 posted on 01/26/2006 2:23:49 PM PST by ThinkDifferent (Chloe rocks)
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To: whipley-snidelash
The above is a clear case of accusing another of the very trait he possesses.

Creationists are the one group on FR that can be counted on to flat-out lie on a routine basis. It's an accurate observation.

43 posted on 01/26/2006 2:23:57 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: jennyp

Bad article.

Evolution obviously occurs in nature but some of us don't accept all of its wild claims. If I were an atheist, I would still be dubious BECAUSE of my scientific training, not in spite of any lack of knowledge of science. It has nothing to do with God. Call us skeptics, not scared.


44 posted on 01/26/2006 2:24:07 PM PST by DallasMike
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

Just what icky bugs are you afraid of?

BTW, you keep your hands off St. Rose.


45 posted on 01/26/2006 2:24:12 PM PST by furball4paws (Awful Offal)
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To: svcw
The real question should be .... what are evolutionists afraid of?

They are afraid of the ego-damaging experience of being very wrong about something so fundamental and so universally espoused. They are also afraid of the implications of creationism, which probably drives the bulk of their objection.

If there really is a God, then there are all kinds of uncomfortable moral implications which follow.

46 posted on 01/26/2006 2:24:35 PM PST by TChris ("Unless you act, you're going to lose your world." - Mark Steyn)
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To: TChris
Evolution, as it is currently taught, is antithetical to the deeply-held beliefs, faith and religious experience of the majority of mankind.

So was heliocentrism.

47 posted on 01/26/2006 2:24:42 PM PST by ThinkDifferent (Chloe rocks)
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To: jennyp

Intelligent design is not science. Evolution and Christianity coexist peacefully.

It is inconceivable that a "scientist" would declare the presence of a guiding hand simply because the object of analysis was "too complex" to understand. Imagine if we traveled back in time and presented a pair of walkie talkies to Charlemagne. Would he not believe that they were a gift from God? Could something so complex actually be the product of man?

Evolution itself through natural selection is the "guiding hand". There is no inconsistency in holding that it is God's way. As ID represents an end state in search of support, it does not qualify as science. It is rationalization.


48 posted on 01/26/2006 2:25:10 PM PST by Buck W. (Yesterday's Intelligentsia are today's Irrelevantsia.)
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To: TheCrusader
unless the linking fossils or the transitional forms could be found. So far neither have been found.

Example #1 of my previous post. There are tens of thousands of transitional fossils in collections all over the world, and have been for years.

49 posted on 01/26/2006 2:25:15 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: whipley-snidelash
The above is a clear case of accusing another of the very trait he possesses.

Exactly.

50 posted on 01/26/2006 2:26:15 PM PST by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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