This topic came up a couple of times during SkepchiCON. I’ll be blogging about that later. But for now, I thought you might find this interesting.
I used to think they were just greatly misinformed. And, I still won’t say they’re necessarily stupid since I know quite a few very intelligent creationists at work, but … their intelligence is pretty narrowly focused. I think I’ll mark down “indoctrinated” as my final answer. Oddly, I have noticed that they all seem to have a problem reading anything non-technical. Fiction really seems to confuse them. Especially the Bible.
It’s not about intelligence – they are in denial – purposefully not looking at information that would challenge their beliefs. Fear drives it – fear that if they question anything they might end up questioning everything, and leaving religion, then going to hell. I know because I’ve been there. I did start looking at information that challenged my beliefs and did become an atheist. IF I am wrong and there is a god, she isn’t going to punish me for eternity for using my brain.
Creationists are myth seekers. Some are dumb. Some are smart. But they all are looking for the story that will tell their place in the universe and give their life meaning. It’s not stupidity that makes one susceptible to that, but the failure to develop any intellectual integrity.
I think Victor hit on something. They can actually be pretty smart, in their own area of focus. But get them outside that narrow focus, or into an are where they haven’t been told how to think on the subject, and it totally escapes them.
Not only that, but I find that humour for the most part escapes them. The more sophisticated the humor, the more it escapes them. The Ohio State study (re Colbert and conservatives) is a perfect example. Irony, sarcasm, Poe, etc. is just too subtle for them to wrap their minds around unless they have been told how to react to it.
It takes a lot of creativity to come up with so many ways of avoiding the evidence.
They’re not so much dumb as passionately blind.
Creationists are not necessarily dumb, they just appear to have very compartmentalized minds.
I have to agree with a point that the maker of these videos seem to want to get across: the tactic of creationists seems to consist of countering individual criticisms, while missing the big picture. When their answers are refuted, they seamlessly move to the next talking point, not realizing that they have conceded the previous point. Over the course of an argument, they may even end up conceding most of their world view, but they won’t notice.
“but the failure to develop any intellectual integrity.”
Not really, they are just not posers like a lot of the people that post on pharyngula and of course here. So many people are here not because they believe in your cause but because they want to feel better about themselves. I get tired of it because it is very clear what is happening.
Science has been hijacked by a bunch of douches that are into an Atheist world view instead of “oh I don’t know learn about science”.
It’s just as shallow as people picking up an ipad because it is from Apple and it looks decent and they think it is the next big thing.
It’s an interesting story, Jack. Got any evidence that it’s anything more than that?
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