googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Are creationists arrogant? A review of King Crocoduck's series: Introduction

Friday, June 30, 2017

Are creationists arrogant? A review of King Crocoduck's series: Introduction

I recently came across a 5-part series of videos titled, “The Arrogance Of Creationism.” They were made by a belligerent evolutionist who posts under the name, King Crocoduck (who will henceforth be referred to as KC). For anyone unfamiliar with the term, crocoduck, it's an imaginary creature invented by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort to highlight evolution's glaring shortage of transitional creatures. I'm fairly certain it was done half in jest but evolutionists have seized upon it and now tout it as an example of creationists' supposed lack of understanding of evolution. The term isn't really relevant to my series; I just mentioned it to give some background.

Anyway, KC's biography describes him as, Just a physics graduate, here to debunk pseudoscience of all varieties. His mission is to “crush” the beliefs of “those who seek to defecate all over [science.]” By that, he means creationists. His YouTube channel boasts over 57,000 subscribers and over 4.1 million views. In the first video, he introduces a young-earth creationist identified only as, “Tom.” In the description, he says his first video in this series is a response to a 15 minute video made by Tom and provided a link to the original video. When you click on the link, though, you find the original video has been removed.

KC says that Tom is a member of a group that identifies themselves as the Truth Defenders. I googled “Truth Defenders” and found a FaceBook page, a Twitter account, and a website that all appear to belong to the same group but I couldn't find anywhere where they talked about creation. There are also a couple of YouTube videos that have “Truth Defenders” in the title but none seem to deal with creation. KC describes Tom as having a trait common to all creationists – arrogance. Without knowing anything about Tom besides the short snippets KC includes of him in the video, I can't say if KC is representing Tom fairly. It's a little frustrating too because, when I hear the contempt and condescension spewing from KC as he narrates his own videos, I would love to know what he considers to be arrogance.

Actually, I know what KC means by arrogance: creationists are arrogant because they disagree with secular theories of origins. Yes, that's precisely what he means. In KC's world, science is the ultimate method of gaining knowledge, only what can be known scientifically is true, and anyone who disagrees with a scientific conclusion is a pompous jerk who “defecates” on all of science (KC pronounces it as “dee-fe-cates” which I find amusing). It's a sort of No True Scotsman argument – everyone who agrees with KC is normal, rational, and cool. Everyone who disagrees is an imbecile.

KC is certainly a ardent follower of the scientism I discussed a couple of months ago. He considers science to be the final arbiter of what is true and any opinion held by a majority of scientists is a fact. Throughout the series, KC cites questionable ideas, that have only been published in scientific papers and never observed, and asserts them as though they are settled science. In his first video, for example, he talks about the ultimate origin of matter and energy (a subject that is certainly controversial and far from settled) as though it's yesterday's news. He fearlessly asserts “facts” he cannot possibly know are true then insults and belittles creationists who are skeptical of them.

I'm going to do a short series critiquing each of the videos in KC's series. A critique of the first video will be in my next post. I'm using this post as a sort of introduction so that I might highlight a few things to look out for. Logical fallacies abound: appeals to authority, ad hominem, equivocation, conflation, and plenty of old-fashion name calling. Curiously absent from the series, though, are concrete examples of how creationists are being arrogant.

KC said creationism cannot survive without arrogance. He even named his series, “The Arrogance of Creationism,” so you would think he would spend his time showing us supposed examples of arrogance. Instead, KC spends most of the time presenting an argument for his theory, then calls creationists arrogant for disagreeing. The arrogance and mellow drama in KC's voice make for a certain irony. It's a sort of pot-calls-kettle-black approach.

Check back soon for my first critique. God bless!!

Read the entire series:


Steven J. said...

In KC's world, science is the ultimate method of gaining knowledge, only what can be known scientifically is true ...

Strictly speaking, that should be "only what can be known scientifically can be known to be true." The mere fact that scientific discoveries have been made implies that there are myriad true things that are not known scientifically (e.g. in 2000 BC, the world was still a globe, even if no one knew this yet). There are quite possibly even true things that are not known scientifically, and are proposed by one religious creed or another. But that does not mean that they are known by adherents to those religions. They are taken on faith; adherents to other creeds take contrary ideas on faith.

Come now: you would not, I think, accept a Muslim's claim that there must be 360 joints in the human body because the Koran says that there are, regardless of any claims advanced by secular anatomists. You insist that there are sources of knowledge beyond empiricism and hypothesis testing, but you would reject the claims people make on behalf of most proposed alternate sources. "Arrogance," in this case, consists not of disagreeing with scientific consensus but in assuming that, uniquely, your preferred non-scientific source of truth is absolute and infallible, and that it, alone, justifies rejecting a scientific conclusion. Evidence justifies rejecting a scientific conclusion; idiosyncratic subjective sources of transcendent wisdom do not.

Assuming that, although human reason and senses are fallible, your own conclusions about which of many different ancient writings are inerrant scripture, and that your interpretation of them is the correct one -- to the extent that your interpretation of your preferred scriptures can override (or obliterate) stratigraphy, radiometric dating, anatomical and genomic homologies, the nested hierarchy of life and biogeography -- is, I'm pretty sure, what His Archosaurian Majesty means by "arrogant."

King Crocoduck said...

Hello there, thank you for taking the time to review my series.
I have a few disagreements with what you wrote, but my gripe is chiefly with your characterization of my position.
I do not believe that creationists are arrogant because of their disagreement with "secular" [scientific] theories of origins. I believe that creationists are arrogant because they severely underestimate the depth of the subjects that they attack, arguing with a barely surface-level understanding of the disciplines they're engaging with, against what is often a superficial pastiche of the theories that they deny. And they do this while apparently oblivious to how far out of their depth they are; as I concluded in my first video, "The origin of the universe is a field of study that requires an intensive understanding of various aspects of quantum field theory, including quantum electrodynamics and quantum chromodynamics, as well as supersymmetry and relativity, and each of these areas requires a mastery of the mathematical prerequisites, including ordinary and partial differential equations, non-euclidean geometry, vector calculus, linear algebra, and operator algebra, just to name a few. This is the arrogance that underlies creationism: the notion that a layperson can sit back and idly think about a discipline that takes years to understand, much less master, and disprove it with facile, simple-minded arguments."
My problem with creationists, therefore, is not merely that they disagree; it's that they pretend to know what they're talking about while attacking those who actually do.

My remaining disagreements with your post are over a few nitpicks; when in my bio I speak of those who deny science, I'm not just referring to creationists. In the past I've also gone after geocentrists and 9/11 Truthers, and at the present, I'm developing a series attacking radical constructivists, decrying their postmodern attacks on science. These folk are about as secular as it gets, but I attack them regardless, because attacking anti-science is the name of my game. I'll admit that creationism is my favorite punching bag out of all variants of pseudoscience, but that has more to do with the fact that I can use it as a springboard from which I can teach real science. Most of my anti-creationism videos are really just science lessons, but with a dialectical, oppositional approach. Because creationism disagrees with so much science and gets so much science wrong in the process, it is a particularly useful opponent to attack for this purpose.

And finally, with regard to my voice, the manner in which I enunciate my vowels is the same way that Russians enunciate theirs. That's because my first language was Russian, and when I talk about anything- creationists, the weather, the Patriots- that's what my voice sounds like. I learned English young enough to lose my Russian accent, but not young enough to lose my Russian elocution. You're not the first to complain about my voice, but there's nothing that can be done about it now.

Anyway I look forward to further entries, I'll be sure to keep up. Cheers.