Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Not that sort

The professor from my alma mater who is speaking at the creationist conference that's going to be held in here in Johnson City sent me a message via Facebook. Here it is in it's entirety:

I was sorry to read your posted blog. I wish you had contacted me directly. I do not believe that "creationism" as offered by the ICR is an acceptable view of how our universe and planet came to be. As an astronomer and physicist I am confident of the scientific method as a way of determining truth about such things. I am speaking at the conference to speak against the "young Earth model. I'm not sure how you got the idea that I am a creationist of the sort presented by the Institute for Creation Research. I will present scientific evidence for a 13.7 billion year old universe and a 4.0 billion year old Earth. I hope you will attend.

Sincerely,
Ray Bloomer

He's mad at me for assuming that he's an anti evolution young earth creationist. As for why I assumed that here's my defense:

  • He's appearing at a conference that celebrates, nay, champions creationism and that actively seeks to deny and 'debunk' evolution.
  • In the mission statement of the conference there is this quote: "Before a person can come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ a basic question has to be answered: “Who made me?” Before one can believe that God is the Redeemer, God must be understood to be the Creator. This is what the Origins Conference is about--exploring the evidence for God as Creator. By attending the conference, you will be equipped to challenge the problems created by the atheistic evolution worldview that is so prevalent. This conference will not only be a personal help to you, but will also give you the tools to share the answers to these tough life questions with friends and family."
  • The conference in question is being spearheaded by Ken Ham, the man behind the anti science anti evolution group Answers in Genesis. Hamm is also the man behind the creationist museum which not only actively discourages people from asking questions which question the validity of the 'science' on which they base their museum, it also, despite all evidence to the contrary, insists that humans and dinosaurs not only walked the earth at the same time, they were BFFs.
  • Also headlining this conference is Dr. Jason Lisle, a man who bills himself as an astrophysicist and refuter of evolutionary theories.
Nowhere in the mountain of publicity for this event does it say that Dr. Ray Bloomer is going to be the lone voice of dissent in this conference, so that's why I assumed he's an anti science, anti evolution, pro intelligent design huckster like the rest of the speakers at this even are. And the thought of a man like that teaching science at my alma mater made me livid.

But now that I think about it, and now that I see 'Dr.' Bloomer's response to my first blog post, the fact is, I'm still livid. He's very patronizing when he assures me that it's okay for him to speak at this event because he's not 'that kind' of creationist. He's the more rational moderate kind which still accepts supernatural explanations for scientific questions. He not the kind that insists that the earth is a little over 6000 years old but he's still the kind that insist that some supreme being who none of us ever saw or can ever be sure exists made everything just for us. He's not your old school 'Of Panda's and People' kind of creationist, he's the more cuddly science accepting creationist because after all, he's got a doctorate from a real live citadel of higher learning, just like Dr. Jason Lisle, the evolutionary theory refuter does.

It's all well and good that 'Dr." Bloomer says he's going to "present scientific evidence for a 13.7 billion year old universe and a 4.0 billion year old Earth," the thing is the people who are attending this conference aren't the type of people who accept science or scientific evidence. Seriously, if they deny the validity of radio carbon dating of fossils and believe that those same fossils were planted by Satan in order to trick us into believing evolution, which by their own admission they think is 'atheistic,' then honestly, who the fuck is this Bloomer guy trying to fool? The rubes and religious zealots who will be in attendance at this conference will hoot and holler him off the stage when he tries to present scientific evidence that refutes their Biblical world view. The fact that he's a believer won't be any consolation to the slack jawed yokels and home schoolers who will be in the audience lapping up this milk of idiocy.

The final indignity in this sordid tale of academic malfeasance is that by agreeing to speak, even if he does so as a counterpoint to the evolution deniers and creationists, at this conference he drags the name and reputation of my alma mater through the mud. He gives my old college a black eye because by speaking at this fiasco he makes it look like King College is a place of higher learning that accepts and endorses the quackery known as creationism. The reason this pisses me off so much is that in the late '70' my alma mater fell on hard economic times and it nearly went under, but it was saved with an infusion of cash from a shitload of conservative, both politically and religiously, Presbyterians. These fundamentalists made the institution over into a more strict Bible based college at the expense of academics, which is to say that they wanted Jesus injected into every subject at the expense of facts. Slowly however things changed after I left in 1985 and while they maintained their religious affiliation they saw the error of their ways and they shifted the focus off salvation and back onto academics. And as a result their reputation began to rebound and until this Bloomer incident my old college was well regarded in academic circles. But thanks to Bloomer's creationism and his embrace of dubious characters like Ham and Lisle, that reputation may once again be in the shitter.

I stand by my original post and the by sentiment expressed therein. And I stand by my opinion that Bloomer is an idiot for appearing at this anti science anti evolution event.

3 comments:

Wings said...

When I was younger, in my 20s, I had hope that the world, by the time I was ready to kick-the-bucket, would be more advanced in all embracing the scientific truth.

The older I get, the more I see, it ain't gonna happen in my lifetime. Ah well... Just have to hope the kids I am raising, and then their kids, etc, will get to see some positive, majorly anti-religious changes in their lifetimes.

Kal said...

I just don't get why it's so important to these hillbillies that Jesus rode a dinosaur. Nothing contradicts their beliefs if the world is 4 billion years old or 6000 years old. I was watching Bill Maher and a congressman said he didn't believe in evolution because things were not evolving around him everyday. That kind of basic ignorance of the FACTS is what we fight against in places like Iraq and Afghanistan were living in ignorace and darkness is a goal of that civilization. I just never understood why ignorance over FACTS got anyone anywhere. I supose if they are confronted with the truth then their whole bullshit hous of cards collapese under the weight of all their misconceptions. Next they will be claiming that they just found the ark. Now that story is just the most stupid one ever. Just STUPID. I love how Ricky Gervais deconstructs it in his concert video.

kirby said...

The phrase pearls before swine comes to mind. Some people will ignore any scientific evidence, regardless of whomever is presenting it, if it contradicts their religious beliefs. I run across home schoolers like that once in a while.