Thursday, June 3, 2010

Creationist's Blind Spot

One of the posters on Topix coined an interesting term: Creationist’s Blind Spot. At first glance I thought it was funny but the more I thought about it, the more apropos it seemed as a description.

How the concept of a blind spot was introduced to me is physical limitation made up of the placement of car mirrors that creates a blind spot where a car can sit unnoticed. It’s why we were all trained to turn our heads before doing things like changing lanes.

When I started learning biology I also learned that our eyes have a blind spot, an area where the blood vessels within the eye actual interfere with the function of the eye. This is frequently cited as one example why there is no intelligent designer, because a designer wouldn’t have done something so foolish.

The Creationist's Blind Spot is less a matter of physical limitation and more a matter of mental limitation. No mental as in ‘incapable’, but mental as in 'willful'. A Creationist cannot see any evidence that contradicts their view of the world. When faced with it, they will quite deliberately place it into their blind spot so that do not have to face it. When pressed they will create the most fanciful, or fanatic, refutations in order to avoid examining anything in their blind spot.

For example in the young Earth Creationist Blind Spot is the fact that the Earth is older than 6000 years. When pressed and faced with the evidence of radiometric data he challenges the data and somehow comes to the conclusion that the data must be wrong – after all he KNOWS the world is only 6000 years old. When challenged to prove the data is invalid he creates yet another fallacy and claims the world operated on different rules and the decay rates were different 6000 years ago. So without one shred of evidence, the Creationist is able to rationalize his behavior – all to keep something well supported, easily understood, and perfectly logical in his blind spot.

I have always thought that being ignorant is not shameful, and I still believe that. But being willfully ignorant certainly is something to be ashamed of. It becomes criminal when you pass that willful ignorance to unsuspecting children. Which is why I keep posting on Topix, this blog, and other sites!

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