Friday, December 18, 2009

Boneheaded Facebook anti-creation-science petition

I've written before about how the skeptical movement has all the PR savvy of the New Coke team (and how they end up making people who otherwise might be sympathetic to their position simply find them unpleasant and unlikable).

Here's another such boneheaded move: a new Facebook group entitled, Can we find 10.000.000 people that oppose "Creation Science" by 25 Dec?

Nothing wrong with a petition of people who oppose so-called creation science, of course, but why, oh, why, make the deadline for the petition Christmas day? There are hundreds of millions of Christians who don't subscribe to creation science, so why pin this protest to one of their most important holidays?

A positive approach might have been: Let's start the new year -- and the new decade -- on a rational note with 10,000,000 people standing up and saying "No" to Creation Science.

But no. Despite the Facebook group claiming, "This is not an issue of whether or not you believe in God, it’s an issue of addressing the future of education in the U.S. and the rest of the world," they tie it into a religious holiday (and one that has nothing to do with Genesis, for that matter).

Once again, the self-styled Brights aren't the brightest bulbs on the tree ...

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At December 18, 2009 9:59 AM , Blogger Diane Gall said...

There is a sort of self-congratulatory smugness about these sorts of {polls|articles|sites|signatures} that tends to undermine any possibility of sympathy for the position. There frequently seems to be a snotty little jab buried in there somewhere.

As I think you are suggesting, not only are they alienating those whom they putatively wish to convince, they are managing to estrange people who should be natural allies.

At December 18, 2009 10:11 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Diane: exactly!

At December 18, 2009 12:22 PM , Blogger Ron Friedman said...

Even mainstream Christians, such as the Vatican and the Church of England, do not rule out evolution.

"The Vatican claims Darwin's theory of evolution is compatible with Christianity "

At December 18, 2009 4:10 PM , Blogger K. W. Ramsey said...

I believe this is a clear example of the online jerk theory. The larger the degree of anonymity then the larger the degree of jerk behavior on the behalf of the participants. This is often seen in online forums where users can choose any identity they wish or none at all and post under anonymous accounts.

Of course I'm using the work jerk as a relatively polite replacement for the usual term used.

At December 19, 2009 9:45 AM , Blogger The Snake said...

I can do better than that Ron. Check out: where Pope Benedict calls the evolution/creationism debate an "absurdity" and says there is much scientific proof of evolution.

Also here:

Pope John Paul II says, "new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis."

Looking at that group, it also seems really silly (and ironic!) how it lists people who don't believe in evolution like "Ted Haggard, poster child for evangelical hypocrisy." As well as "Ben Stein, actor who blames evolution for the Holocaust." without even noticing that the group is doing exactly the same thing as Stein in terms of using guilt by association.

At December 24, 2009 11:52 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

And, of course, what makes it super-dumb in the end is that here, at their self-imposed deadline, they've managed not 10,000,000 signatures, or 1,000,000, or 100,000, or even 10,000, but just 3,566, or 0.036% of the number they set out to find, which just provides fuel to the other side, and shows all the politicians and educators they were hoping to galvanize that hardly anyone at all supported their position. What in God's name -- if you'll excuse the turn of phrase -- did they think they were accomplishing with this stunt? Sigh.

The Facegroup group in question


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