Shorter Ken Ham Supporters: Magnets, How Do They Work?

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 10:30 EDT
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And another thing: We think that Charles Darwin fella just made up those “finches”! Who could believe in such a thing?

I was skeptical about the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate because I tend to fall on the side of believing that debating things that are fact just gives credence to lies. Also, the fact that the Christian right is obsessed with debating—seriously, Christian right homeschooling is completely absorbed with teaching kids how to debate—suggests to me that they’ve determined that a debate is a good format for elevating lies so that they seem truer. I’ve never had a more secular conservative offer to “debate” me, but you get those offers from Christian conservatives all the time. I suspect the main reason they love it is because the debate format leaves little to no room for fact-checking, and most audience members, especially conservatives, struggle to tell the difference between an argument and an assertion. (Indeed, that’s why one of my favorite games on Twitter is asking conservatives to explain what the latest talking point they’ve been fed by Fox News means. They can never do. I can usually do a better job of it, and I don’t even believe it.) The debate format is good if the audience understands these limitations, but, in my experience, Christian conservatives love it because they understand the audience doesn’t understand these limitations. Therefore, the only good one I’ve ever watched was one put on by a philosophy department at a university, mainly because it was clear the creationist was out of his league with a group of philosophy and science students who can very well tell the difference between evidence, argument, and assertion. I have zero doubt, therefore, that the price of injecting Bill Nye’s common sense explanations of scientific facts was that Christian conservatives walked away feeling validated in their lunacy.

But Matt Stopera of Buzzfeed really managed to extract an unvarnished good from the whole thing, which is to use the occasion to expose the self-satisfied intellectual incuriosity of the right. He asked the Ham supporters at the debate to write little notes to the reality-based world, telling us what they think we need to hear. It was a great project, because the contrast between their self-satisfaction and their idiocy is just so horrible it turns around and becomes wonderful again. It reminded me of nothing more than the Insane Clown Posse’s infamous demand that magnets are a miracle because no one knows how they work. Indeed, many of the “questions” that the creationists seem to think were slam dunk gotchas are just as easily resolved by a Google search as the question of magnet magic.

I had the answer in a few seconds to this stunning question she put to we reality-based folks. There were also a bunch of people spouting nonsense they don’t understand about the second law of thermodynamics. This has also been addressed, though creationists just ignore it.

What really kills me is how smug these dumbfucks are about being dumbfucks. It really proves that one of the side effects of stupid is you have no idea how stupid you are.

If you come from your parents, why do you still have parents? If that sounds like a dumb question, consider that it’s exactly the same question.

Again, it’s a useful moment to consider sexual reproduction and how it works. Despite the fact that I have a very specific set of features that are unique and amazing, it doesn’t mean my parents carefully crafted me. Amazing things can come from unconscious processes. Anyway, there’s many variations of this, often centering around the notion that the Big Bang and other processes (by the way, their man Ken Ham actually denies that the Big Bang happened, so they aren’t even keeping their own bullshit straight) have to have someone who started them. But, of course, that provokes a curious person to ask, “If everything that exists must have an intelligent force that created it, then who made God? And who made the person that made God? And who made them?” But these are incurious people. Indeed, one of their main points of incuriousity is regarding the people they are supposedly opposed to, “evolutionists”. Take this sign.

Just making shit up because actually bothering to learn anything about these various groups might cause him to actually reconsider his opinions.

It’s true, this one is a stumper. Some say that the sunset is caused because the sun god who rides his chariot through the sky every day crash lands on the ground, only to be reborn in the sunset, gently expelled by Mother Earth in a ray of light every morning. Some say the sun is a giant fireball God throws across the sky that explodes every night. Scientists clearly have no explanation, which goes to show that they are full of shit.

A little bit, but on the list of fictional characters I’m afraid of, he falls really low. Way below Amy from Gone Girl, but probably higher than Elizabeth Bennett.

I could go all day, but I recommend clicking over and finding your own to discuss and ponder. Or mock.

This will probably just reinforce their self-serving belief that “secularists” are a bunch of meanies because of our incessant demands that people not be screaming idiots.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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