Sunday, February 15, 2009

Running Interference on Intelligent Design

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is clearly farcical, and while we've all had fun with it, maybe it's time for us to make up a competitor to ID that seems to take itself seriously. Injecting a competing ID theory into the mix that we claim is dead serious, and attacking the earnest IDers with it, might be more fun (and frustrating to them) than repeating the same arguments and having them ignored or not understood.

Why might this help? Often, people can remain blind to the glaring problems with their own B.S. while lambasting someone else's parallel conspiracy theory (as in 1984's doublethink). But not always - sometimes the acid used to dissolve someone else's stupid argument will creep back into one's own stupid argument.

Of course, we already have this to some degree, with Muslim creationism. I miss no opportunity to associate creationism, in a religious conservative's mind, with Islam, Islamic terrorism, and America losing its technical edge. One way I do it that may not be that productive but is at least fun is reminiscent of that urban myth about the fight between two jerks that begins ex nihilo as a result of the devious efforts of someone wronged by both of them. So what you can do is go to a Christian creationist forum, post a few inflammatory messages about Allah and Qu'ran and how their version of creationism is stupid, then give the URL for a Muslim creationist site. Then you switch. It would be even better to see a debate between Ken Hovind and Harun Yahya once the former is out of jail, but I'm not holding my breath because I think each one knows how much it would damage his cause.

I should add that apparently there are a handful of atheist intelligent design proponents. Thomas Nagel is often held up as one, although the (unusually unclear) argument in his 2006 article seemed to be more about the scientific process and the conclusions for education, rather than an endorsement of the theory. That said, if you're an atheist IDiot, who do you think intelligently designed us? Martians? And who designed them?

The point of the creationism interference-theory is that it should be similar enough to what AiG or the Discovery Institute are peddling that there can be feedback - to make it as difficult as possible to criticize the new brand without corroding their own. So maybe we could begin a fake Scientology or Baha'i ID movement - thereby forcing more of the real-ID crowd into the light, since the only way to disagree is to bring Jesus back into it. Or how about using a sect of Christianity under-represented in the US? Nothing will stop the likes of Ray Comfort from spewing drivel, but at least he would have to do so knowing that people are also considering atheist ID. In any event, just a brainstorm.

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