Anti-ScienceReligion

The Divergent Brain

How is it that with all the advancements in technology and science, and all the wonderful discoveries we’ve made since the Enlightenment, the Dark Age mentality about our origins is still so strong? Why do so many people still have a problem accepting evolution?

Is it possible our minds have split in two, where one half continues to progress while the other stagnates in a cesspool of antiquated ideas? Will we one day be standing on a distant planet, having crossed light years of space to spread the wisdom of humankind across the cosmos, but have to stop and sacrifice a goat to the Sun god first?

 

I mean, consider some simple facts about the current state of our civilization. We can solve problems with computers billions of times faster than we ever imagined possible. We can create a means by which we leave our planet, venture out beyond gravity’s reach, experiment in the weightlessness of space, and return home safely. We can load a thousand jukeboxes worth of music onto a device the size of a matchbox and listen to the studio-quality sound through earphones the size of pinto beans. We can organize hundreds of thousands of jet take offs and landings everyday without major incident. We can track storms and predict the weather with great accuracy. We can generate and regulate the energy flowing through entire countries. We can develop vaccines that cure little buggers that only a few short decades ago would kill us. We can stand in Houston, Texas and talk to someone on the other side of the globe with a wireless phone no bigger than a box of Tic Tacs. And we can pipe high quality pornography right into our homes over satellite feeds, cables, and telephone wires.

Yet there are many millions of people in the United States that, though they’ve seen the monumental successes of science, and though they proudly use the applications of those successes every single day, refuse to turn loose archaic ideas of how we came to be here and where we might be going.

These people are the latest to come to my attention. They’ve inspired this post.

They do not believe that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Nor do they believe that man evolved slowly from less complicated life, just like every other species, even though independent lines of inquiry by the very branches of science that keep them in fresh water and insulin have shown it to be true without a doubt.

The antievolutionists will have none of it. They believe that the Earth is young, and that we were created by the wave of a magic man’s hand. They believe we simply popped out of the ether, ready for the showroom floor. And . . . And they tell us about it via websites, DVDs, text messages, and satellite television.

Is there not something fundamentally wrong with that?

That’s like using microwave technology to burn witches. The fact of the innovation should indicate an understanding of the world that dispels the need for that particular application. Yet despite the progress we’ve made, Dark Age beliefs are still alive in the modern world.

In addition to the BC museum tour depicted in the video, during 2006, no fewer than 17 antievolution bills were active in nine states, including Alabama, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah. But hey folks, antievolution isn’t just for Bible Belters anymore. Michigan and New York were on that list, too. That’s 17 bills to either have evolution removed from public school curricula, or to have creationism taught as an alternate theory in science classes.

Forget for a minute how short a class that would be — it would take all of two seconds to say, “Boys and girls, this is the universe. God did it”, leaving students free to, I don’t know, build their MySpace pages for the rest of the semester or something. As a concept, it does not make any sense.

Teaching creationism as a science makes as much sense as teaching World History alongside volleyball in physical education classes. On its own, it’s a merging of ill-suited disciplines and a foolish idea, but anyone introducing legislation suggesting we combine the two, or requesting that World History be taught in P.E, instead of volleyball, would be taking the matter way too far. Such a person would quickly be identified as a moron. And there’s not a creationist among us who would hesitate to use that term to describe them either.

Well, I’m saying to you all now, in no uncertain terms, that people who still believe creationism is more valid than evolution for teaching how species develop are morons, too. And they should be referred to as such at every opportunity.

And though it may appear so, I’m not saying that to be mean or derogatory in any way. I’m simply making an observation of fact. We’ve given them plenty of opportunity to educate themselves about reality, and they have either refused to listen, or they are not bright enough to understand the brilliant discoveries of Darwin and those who’ve come after. In either case, the term “moron” applies.

“Evolution is just a theory,” they say, as though the mere utterance of those words elevates them to some higher level of intelligence. “It shouldn’t be taken as fact.”

Well, guess what, moron, gravity is just a theory, too. And since you don’t take “theories” to be fact, next chance you get, step off the roof of a high-rise just once for me, would you?

People who repeat that tired old canard clearly do not understand what a theory is, which lends further credence to the idea that they are in fact morons. They clearly do not understand the power of independent lines of inquiry all coming to the same conclusion.

Many of the branches of science that give these people so much in their everyday lives — things they no doubt take for granted — through testing various hypotheses for unrelated problems converged on one remarkable idea. Each of these independent examiners, without consulting with other inquiring lines of examination, after exhaustive study, and after repeated and repeated and repeated experimentation, and with unrelenting scrutiny of each hypothesis and each piece of evidence, all independently came to the conclusion that evolution happens. The overwhelming body of evidence led them there. They are not in cahoots as part of some child’s game. They didn’t get together at a big, secret science conference and say, “Hey, you know what would be funny? Let’s put out a bogus story that says humans transformed through periodic mutations over millions and millions of years from a common ancestor of all other mammals. Oh, and let’s say that all other species on Earth came to be in their current form in the same manner. And just to cover our asses, we’ll call it a ‘theory’.”

But a creationist, after seeing how well science works, and after gladly and blindly reaping the benefits of scientific inquiry, will still stand up and say, “No. Sorry. I don’t trust science. It’s evil. I don’t understand evolution, therefore there has to be an architect, a designer for all this, my main magic man. Now, would you care for some low fat microwave popcorn or perhaps one of these genetically engineered apples before we watch the movies I downloaded or the shows I TiVo-ed while I stepped out to pick up my Viagra? I used my GPS to find the drive-thru pharmacy, you know.”

How that disconnect happens is beyond me. Perhaps it’s simply a blatant refusal to understand; a willful ignorance that arises as a defense mechanism, because they think science is purposely attacking their religion.

Well, science doesn’t set such agendas. It’s goal is to come to conclusions that are most probably true. It harbors no ill will, and it perpetuates no biases. It is not motivated to attack. It means only to discover the truth.

Moreover, religion and science are not incompatible. One does not necessarily negate the other. They are not opposites. They are simply two very dissimilar things.

Religion is one of many means by which we deal with our emotional sides. The capacity to experience emotions is a wonderful part of being human, but religion does not work without it. One needs no evidence of divinity to be religious. One only needs to feel that there is something divine. One needs faith.

Science is the only means by which we discover the truth about the universe around us. It only draws conclusions based on empirical evidence. Faith has no meaning in science. Science precludes emotion, but it still works with or without it.

Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. No . . . Comparing religion and science is more like comparing apples to Thursday.

Unfortunately, many folks cannot understand that idea either. They continue to seem fearful of progress, and progress is what science brings. It often unapologetically overturns cherished ideas, and that’s difficult for some people to take; especially if they are emotionally invested in that cherished idea.

So they’ll get their flu shots every year and forego the leaches, because they’re not emotionally invested in the ideas of 13th century medicine, but the tightly developed and supremely scrutinized idea of evolution flies directly in the face of religious ideas in which they are emotionally invested. It takes them out of their moron comfort zone.

And I have no problem with anyone staying in their moron comfort zone. I really don’t. As long as they don’t try to expand that zone to include the rest of us; or especially to include some un-indoctrinated children.

It boils down to this:

On an individual basis, the divergent brain is okay. As individuals we are free to simultaneously be astronaut and shaman. There are no governments or philosophies or blog entries that can prevent any one person from holding those diametrically opposed views. But when it comes to our species as a collective, we must go with what is right, or we risk stagnation and we endanger ourselves on a global scale.

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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41 Comments

  1. Religion is one of many means by which we deal with our emotional sides…

    Science is the only means by which we discover the truth about the universe around us…

    No . . . Comparing religion and science is more like comparing apples to Thursday.

    Bravo. That’s the best I’ve ever heard to explain this. Very well done. Thanks.

  2. Well let us not forget that Buzz Aldrin performed his own little communion on the moon in 1969. So actually, omething like the goat sacrifice thing is bound to happen one day.

    (Not that I would want to pour scorn on Buzz in any way. We all know what happened to the last guy that got in his face!)

  3. “And though it may appear so, I’m not saying that to be mean or derogatory in any way.”

    “And since you don’t take “theories” to be fact, next chance you get, step off the roof of a high-rise just once for me, would you?”

    I’d hate to hear you try to be mean!

  4. I think the biggest problem is that many people do not understand evolution and the theory behind it. People believe the strawman arguments and think that is what evolution is. Education must be better to make a difference.

  5. I have no problem with anyone staying in their moron comfort zone. I really don’t. As long as they don’t try to expand that zone to include the rest of us; or especially to some un-indoctrinated children.

    Dear Abby Sam,

    I may actually be trapped within multiple overly expanded and overlapping moron zones. Any suggestions?

  6. Dear Sam,

    I may actually be trapped within multiple overly expanded and overlapping moron zones. Any suggestions?

    Dear Skeptigator,

    There’s not much you can do to change your situation, but don’t worry. Most morons can be distracted with vague mentions of the latest episode of American Idol, or simply with something shiny.

  7. Excellent article (now I’ve read the whole thing!)

    I’ve been trying to analyse this current trend of rampant idiocy myself recently, and attempting to see the “big picture”; i.e. why now? What is the driving force behind this current upsurge in creationism/religious fanaticism/fundamentalism/anti-science/etc. and of course the flip side of the coin, militant atheism?

    As I see it, there are four main causes:

    1) 9/11 – after the dust had settled, many people (Americans especially) started to realise that religious ideas can be dangerous, and just as importantly; that different people can have very different ideas about religion, to the point of killing thousands of people needlessly. In the U.S. especially, religious fanaticism had shown its dark side.

    2) The exponentially rapid advances in science and technology in recent years which can lead to people feeling inadequate and threatened by the very technology around them. The recent lawsuit against the activation of the LHC is a perfect example of this. Also, controversial issues such as stem cell research and cloning.

    3) The election of George W. Bush to TWO terms in office (which affects everybody on the planet, not just Americans) and of course the Iraq War, which, let’s face it, everybody has an opinion about.

    4) The rise and rapid growth of the Internet which connects people and allows ideas to spread much more rapidly than ever before.

    The upshot of all this is basically to polarise people’s views; it seems to me that more and more people are veering one way or the other to extreme points of view. Many people who were mainstream religious before 2001 are now more likely to sign up to the ID camp as their way of turning their backs on science, whereas people like myself who were agnostic and pro-science before are now more likely to be militant atheists and even fiercely anti-religion. (I’m not anti-religion, except where it intrudes on my own lifestyle. I don’t care what anyone believes as long as it doesn’t affect me. I have also been a fan of Richard Dawkins since the mid-80’s or thereabouts when I saw him debunking creationism on a BBC science programme. I could never have guessed that he is still saying the same things over 20 years later. I thought the whole debate had been nipped in the bud back then!)

    Sooner or later I intend to write down all my own findings and opinions in one huge essay; if only to sort it all out in my own mind. I do seem to have been swept up in the whole mess, and I try to read as many blogs and articles on the subject as I can (Pharyngula, Bad Astronomy, this one, plus others). My main interest is in trying to work out where all this is heading; is the Internet going to kill religion? Is there going to be a holy war between Eastern and Western religious fanatics (with me in the U.K. stuck in the middle)? Is Science (with a big S) going to settle the matter with a killer argument or discovery any time soon? Is the whole world going to be plunged into a new Dark Ages? These are the questions I (and I’m sure many others) want answers to.

  8. Very well-reasoned assessments, Elwood Herring.

    I’m generally like you, in that I don’t usually care what anyone believes as long as it doesn’t affect me or anyone else adversely. But every once in a while I let my frustrations get the better of me. Especially when I see the fresh-faced, bright-eyed, enthusiastic youngsters in that video being blatantly fed so much garbage.

  9. Brilliant use of metaphors, Sam. And I think I have to add “moron comfort zone” to my vocabulary.

    Thanks, Amanda.

    Maybe we should create a glossary for this site, or a Skepchic-tionary.

  10. Sam: I haven’t watched that video, but I’ve heard about it. I’m not sure I really want to watch it, it’ll probably have me spitting feathers.

    I go along with Dawkins when he refers to “mental child abuse”. I should know, I was a victim myself.

    I don’t have any kids, but my brother has a 6 year old (extremely bright) daughter. We were watching Disney’s Fantasia together, and the Noah’s Ark sequence was on. I knew that my brother took his family to church, but that they weren’t particularly religious (certainly not by U.S. standards anyway), so I asked his daughter carefully; “Do you think this really happened?” (i.e. Noah’s Ark).

    She thought about the question for a bit, then to my surprise and delight, she said; “I don’t know.”

    I said “Thank you very much, that’s the correct answer. Don’t let anybody tell you what to think. You have to decide for yourself.”

    She’ll probably have a blog like this in a few years’ time!

  11. So, I’m new here, but let me just say, “word.”

    I think the most maddening thing about these peeps is that fact that despite numerous articulate arguments by a ton of smart-panted people like yourself, most creationists will NEVER abandon the comfort of their imaginary world because rational discourse has absolutely no influence on a belief system that is fundamentally absent of rationality.

    And let me just say that I think you’re being too diplomatic by referring to evolution as a theory. Allelic frequencies change over generations as a result of selective pressure. It happens. It’s a fact, but whatever, I know you know the difference.

    Thanks for writing dude. Daddy likes.

  12. Creationism bad – science good. Agreed, but “moron comfort zone?”

    We are no more brilliant, wise, or foolish than they I suspect. We as skeptics are just fortunate to have an evidence demanding (perhaps meme coded) program in our brains right between the bit that ignores historical inaccurancies in Xena Warrior Princess and the bit that helps you find the toilet after eight beers.

    Our brains are an odd modular hodge podge of many specialties. Calling people morons, because one of these programs is highly, highly flawed is tactically unsound. Creationists can be highly intelligent and skilled in many areas while skeptics may have a few moron modules floating about our own brains.

    Given this modularity, why would we be surprised at cell phone using creationists – there is no overriding self-consistency, meta brain bit (unless you want to posit a soul … I thought not). What I figure we need is the memetic equivalent of a skeptical service pack which we install on as many brains as possible. Of course, we may need to do it as a series of updates – start by installing a kernel of astrological doubt and end with the scientific method.

    But calling them morons seems more consistent with their worldview … just a thought.

  13. “We are no more brilliant, wise, or foolish than they I suspect.”

    Okay. But this was so very salient:

    “That’s like using microwave technology to burn witches.”

    BRILLIANT. I will now deliver a painfully lengthy round of applause worthy of Charles Foster Kane.

  14. The question is what is the one true science….

    In seven days, BEN STEIN’s BIG BANG will be heard around the world. He can sit back fulfilled in the knowledge that the Truth will be out there and that the SUPPRESSION of Big Science will end. (Remember that a LOT can be accomplished in seven days…)

    The world was designed – otherwise, how could it work? Design requires intelligence. THUS, the Intelligent Designer is real. Thermodynamics places no limit on the ID for the ID; the Designs benefit from the boundary conditions present in the definition of the Du Gerdemain manifold – as earlier discussed. Every local coordinate patch fits neatly in its given atlas – the connections taut in their power. Only if one understands the equations in their infinite depth, does one see the revelation. Only TRUTH and BEAUTY together can only yield such a quaint and strangely, charming clarity! Energy and Spirit flow…. There is no unceasing motion, but for HIM: it is real as HE is real. UP or DOWN, they are the same in His omniscient, omnipotent Gaze.

    But for the short-sighted academicians who would lose out if the ONE TRUE SCIENCE of ID were embraced, the world would be a better place.

    Why should anyone wonder what is causing Global Warming? The cause is as clear as the difference between Good and Evil. (This might be a hint, if you have ears to hear or eyes to read.)

    May God Bless, Ben Stein!

    Mark Witt

    Intelligent Design,
    Institute of Theory
    New Haven, CT

  15. Good advice Sam, I’ve found the following to be the most successful

    Hey can you believe what happened on idol last night? or
    Simon Cowell was exceptionally mean the other night wasn’t he?

    If that doesn’t work try tossing as shiny piece of aluminum foil off to the side and slowly slip away.

    By the way, later this month I will be OFFERING the ONE TRUE course on how to spot a TROLL. Enroll now!!!

  16. My full-time job is to perform science shows for kids at schools and libraries. A couple of years ago, after performing our dinosaur show in a library, I was ambushed by a ten-year-old girl and her eight-year-old sister who quizzed me with standard Young Earth Creationist questions that she parroted word-for-word out of the Chick tract she later showed me. All of my answered were completely ignored as she went on to the next question. Afterwards, her parents came up and apologized, saying that they had no intention of having her ambush me like that. While I believe them, they certainly didn’t stop her, either.

    That made me angry to a degree that I very, very rarely get angry. Angry like this video made Sam, and made me all over again. Not angry at the girl, obviously. But angry that parents could do that to their child. Angry that these children are taught to ask questions and ignore the answers. Angry that their sense of wonder and joy of learning have been stripped from them, I can only hope not permanently.

    Because I can hope. I can hope that maybe, maybe one of those things I said planted somewhere deep in her head and that sometime later — maybe years or decades later — she’ll start to think, and ask questions for real.

    She gave me the damn Chick tract. I keep it in the bag I bring with me to work everyday.

  17. Well,

    Having suffered a religious upbringing, of sorts (they kinda gave up on me quick).

    I have to say that what I read here shows a lot more courage than I did. Some of you guys went through a hell I can only imagine.

    It’s nice to see that, sometimes, intelligence and courage can prevail over “mental child abuse”.

    It must be hard, it must be lonely.

    Maybe, 300 years from now, everyone will think that “mental child abuse” is actually “child abuse” and (to quote Ice Cube) “throw the muther fukin mommas in jail”.

    We can only hope,

    rod

  18. Mr. Witt –

    Based on your use of capitalization, I can only infer that the HIM you refer to is BEN STEIN. So did HE design the platypus before or after HE came up with idea for his game show?

    Here would be the point that I would normally try to have a reasoned discussion of Biblical exigesis and scientific evidence, but I’m guessing no opinions would be swayed.

  19. Dear Sir:

    Ironically and above, gravity is maligned by your own hand. No discomfort is intended by the following: yet, it must be said. In particular, it was written:

    “We can create a means by which we leave our planet, venture out beyond gravity’s reach,”

    ————————-
    Gravity is a 1/(r^2) force in Newton’s approximation. It is better to define ‘beyond gravity’s reach’ more carefully in one’s own mind and not to use a florid phrase reflexively – if one would desire to dispel uncarefully formed ways of thinking.
    ————————-

    “experiment in the weightlessness of space,….”

    ————————-
    Would this condition obtain everywhere in space? If one were to switch on the engines of one’s spacecraft, there goes weightlessness by the equivalence principle. However, one is still in space and is not weightless. (What is sufficient and what is necessary? C.V. Boys could help, but I digress.) Actually, it is the virtue of the absence of gravity in free fall about which should be written. For clarification, one might, indeed, read “An Old Man’s Toy.”
    ————————-

    So, I suppose that I will not be stepping off any towers today. B.S. rulez. Peace out.

    –Ironically Edited by a YECcey Moron–

    Intelligent Design,
    Institute of Theory
    New Haven, CT

  20. Mr. Witt –

    I don’t recall Saint Aquinas discussing gravity in his cosmoslogical proof of God as the necessary being (perhaps it is time to re-read Summa Theologica …).

    Also, if I have inadvertantly maligned gravity, I will need to apologize to it. And thank you for attempting to clarify relativity for me. Sadly, I had thought I had understood it reasonably well before your description of it. Now, I’m not so sure.

    While I still think we won’t agree on many points, I’m not stepping off any towers today either. Best regards.

  21. Mark Mulkerin said:

    Mr. Witt-

    . . . Also, if I have inadvertantly maligned gravity, I will need to apologize to it.

    I think he was referring to me, Mark M.

    And I spent the better part of the morning apologizing to gravity. It was all upset and wouldn’t talk to me, leaving me to rocket off into space. Fundamental forces can be so touchy.

  22. “Fundamental forces can be so touchy.”

    Double entendre intended?

    I was once a YEC and a geocentrist to boot. Presenting incontrovertible evidence to someone suffering from such delusions only makes them react strongly against the evidence. It is actually a mild form of psychosis to cherry-pick, within one’s own mind, what information is accepted. That is why you will find little, if any, success getting a point across to them. I am in the middle of writing an article on this subject and will hopefully have more for my fellow skeptics and atheists soon.

  23. My Dear Sir:

    Neither humor nor apology is an acceptable form of analysis, and both are best left to professionals at any rate.

    Would it be that the author has not understood what was written as a critique of his emotional and foggy-headed reverie? Would he be a fundamentalist or a logical thinker?

    Perchance, could he calculate the work needed to leave the Earth’s gravitational field? I think not! At least, he might come up short on the upper limit of the integral. Critical Thinking at its Finest, pshaw! Or would that be pwned?!

    Such sloopy thinking will never dispel Expelled!

    Intelligent Design,
    Institute of Theory

  24. My Dear Sir:

    Neither humor nor apology is an acceptable form of analysis. . .

    Analysis? Analysis of what?

    Seems you think I actually care to partake of a discussion initiated by your nit-picking of language usages that you may or may not understand.

    I’ll save you the trouble of trying to figure it all out and tell you, I don’t.

    . . . and both are best left to professionals at any rate. . . .

    Well, it’s true I don’t get paid for my humor, but unlike you, I make no attempts at being an apologist.

    Still, I’d pit my jokes against your tired, very forced defense of creationism any day.

    . . . Would it be that the author has not understood what was written as a critique of his emotional and foggy-headed reverie? . . .

    Yes, despite your stilted, sophomoric writing style, I understand you completely. But as I already pointed out, you seem ignorant of various devices and nuances of language, and I don’t care to engage in the pointless nit-picking that stems from your ignorance.

    . . .Perchance, could he calculate the work needed to leave the Earth’s gravitational field? I think not! At least, he might come up short on the upper limit of the integral. Critical Thinking at its Finest, pshaw! Or would that be pwned?! . . .

    Apparently, irony is yet another device of language you fail to understand. You insult the level of critical thinking on this site, but have demonstrated a complete lack of critical thinking skills yourself in regard to my post.

    If you’re doing that on purpose, perhaps you should be a professional humorist instead of a completely incompetent apologist for this Ben Stein character.

    And if you’re not, I’d suggest you read the item again and see if you can’t find the theme that is overly apparent to everyone else despite the language used to describe it.

  25. So, maybe I’m a bit late, but I’d like to move for the creation of a band called Apples to Thursday.

    Interestingly, I just had a rather large discussion last night about religion. The guy who simply said ” I believe because I believe – but if you’re curious, here’s what I believe” I can respect. He anmoyed me, but I can respect him… well except that he doesn’t believe in centrifugal force, but that’s not an argument for here, I think. The guy who was a rabid YEC living in the End of Days scared me a bit, and seriously pissed me off when he insisted I muct believe in God and that witout his god all is permissable, so Hitler isn’t evil unless I’m a Christian… but the scariest was the guy who said “People are fallible, so long as you get the important bits, all the rest is fluff…” and then proceeded to explain how he somehow managed to know which parts were important, and if you disagreed on that point, you’re just wrong. That’s the line of reasoning which leads to the most horrific atrocities mankind has ever committed.

  26. “As for microwaving witches, a truly foolish idea. You just don’t get the nice browning you would with more traditional methods.”

    I prefer my witches crispy.

    Hm. Sounds like that could be a snack food. Crispy Witches! Filled with buttery blackness, microwaved to perfection!

  27. Mark Witt,

    I don’t really see much in your posts, and your linked blog appears little more than comments you’ve made in discussions without any embedded context. Yet, if you are a YEC, if you ever intend offering something of value in the discussion, perhaps I could persuade you to read this, and get back with us.

    (And, normally, in these discussions, I sometimes have to refer this page to the opposition. Yet, curiously, I’ve not yet read any comment on this site which actually warrants it. Yay Skepchick!)

    Offtopic, but I do want to recommend Professor Dutch’s pages as a resource for the modern skeptic.

  28. “…well except that he doesn’t believe in centrifugal force, but that’s not an argument for here…”

    Actually, I’d love to hear that argument because, you see, I don’t believe in the commonly held perception of centrifugal force either.

    My position is that, in almost all cases, it is a completely made up force that only exist to make free-body-diagrams match up more closely with what people ‘think’ they should look like; instead of what they actually do. Fortunately, a significant part of the world even agrees with me on this so I’ll just quote my trusty, Meriam & Kraige, “Engineering Mechanics, Dynamics Fifth Ed. SI version, P 240”. Referring to the general case of circular or curved motion by the example of a system in which a particle is being held in a circular path by a string.

    “In the case of a particle moving in a circular path, this hypothetical inertial force is known as the centrifugal force since it is directed away from the center and is opposite to the direction of the acceleration. You are urged to recognize that there is no actual centrifugal force acting on the particle. The only actual force which may properly be called centrifugal is the horizontal component of the tension, T, exerted by the particle on the cord.”

    My point, however, is not that you were wrong. It has to do with the context. You stated that you respect someone, and then sledged him for not sharing your belief in something. Something that, by the context of its usage, is such common knowledge that clearly only a fool would even consider challenging it…. Isn’t that the exact problem we have with the way the Creationist and others like them think?

  29. writerdd: The tract was indeed “Big Daddy,” to which my link apparently failed to actually link. Sorry! Also, sorry for anyone who follows writerdd’s link and reads any of the Chick tracts.

  30. That’s like using microwave technology to burn witches.

    Well, if she weighs the same as a packet of Orville Redenbacher Extra Buttery Lite(TM), it sounds like a fair cop to me.

    Nice rant, Sam. This is often a big sore point for me, too, that these people want to keep all these benefits of science and then vilify science itself. They demand golden eggs, yet they claim that the goose is evil and should be destroyed. Morons is too kind a word for them.

    ~Wordplayer

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