Horse Blinkers for Everyone

Because we don't want the horse to see something scary

Because we don’t want the horse to see something scary

Back in May 2014, WC wrote on this blog:

An American football field is 6,400 square yards. That’s 8,294,400 square inches. But a Creationist who subscribes to Bishop Ussher‘s calculation of the age of the earth would focus exclusively on about 11 square inches in one corner of the football field – about 3.3 inches on a side – and absolutely deny that the rest of the football field exists.

At least they would if the football field represented the age of our planet Earth.

Of course, it’s much worse than that. If you take the age of the universe – currently thought to be about 13.8 billion years – then our Creationist, our Biblical literalist, would focus on just 3.6 square inches, about 1.9 inches on a side, and absolutely deny the rest of the football field existed. Ignoring 99.99996% of the football field; worse, denying it was there.

WC took a major ration of hate mail for that post. WC expects even more for this one.

Remember horse blinkers? Horse blinkers are firm leather squares or plastic cups that attach to a horse’s bridle or hood and prevent a horse from seeing behind and beside him. Horses that pull wagons and carriages wear blinkers to prevent them from becoming distracted or panicked by what they see behind the wagon.

A Creationist deals with the complexity of the world by voluntarily donning the intellectual equivalent of horse blinkers.1 They don’t want to panic themselves by seeing the rest of the universe in all its vastness, complexity and profundity. So they arrange their beliefs so they don’t have to look. They pretend the vastness of time and history don’t exist. Some of WC’s friends call it intellectual cowardice, but WC thinks it is a coping strategy. Not a very practical one. Pretending reality doesn’t exist is a dubious approach to the world.

WC has no objections to those who choose such a narrow, crippled view of the wonders of the universe. It’s a bit sad. Like a friend who is ill. They aren’t much fun to talk to, since they tend to want to talk about their blinkers a lot. But on the spectrum of odd human behaviors, it’s not especially harmful.

But when those Creationists try to put horse blinkers on children, or on WC, well, WC gets a little upset.

Arizona’s superintendent of schools has attempted to write the science of evolution out of high school biology textbooks. She’s hired a consultant who thinks there were baby dinosaurs on Noah’s ark. They want everyone to wear their horse blinkers. They want to inflict their fear, disguised as belief in superstition, on every public school student.

Never mind that it’s unconstitutional. Never mind that it’s nonsensical. Never mind that it repudiates biology, chemistry, paleontology, astronomy and physics. Never mind that it makes the Arizona public school system the laughingstock of the world. Horse blinkers for everyone.

Look around. The universe is 13.8 billion years old. The Earth is more than 4.5 billion years old. Get over it. Dinosaurs were extinct2 65 million years before humankind evolved on the planet. We may think we are the center of the universe, but we aren’t. We’re on one of unknown millions of planets orbiting one of trillions of stars on an arm of one of millions of galaxies. Deal with it.

Because your inane attempts to make WC wear your silly horse blinkers are making him give more money to the ACLU. Who will, once again, have Arizona’s latest folly struck down.


  1. It’s actually worse than horse blinkers. They limit your vision to 45-60°. Creationist’s horse blinkers limit your range to less than one quarter of a degree; they’re mere pinholes. 
  2. Except birds, of course. 

3 thoughts on “Horse Blinkers for Everyone

  1. When I teach US History with my 5th graders, we start at the Big Bang. Big History. Haven’t gotten flack yet from any parents, but…. I know a few families from a certain church group often have their kids in the *other” class with the shorter timeline. Trying to keep the blinders off these children.

  2. I cannot and do not understand why America seems at war with science; I lamented this with my Russian geologist Climate Change teacher at Berkeley City College on Wednesday. I grew up with science and art and music in the house. I thought everyone else did as well. How unfortunate to be wrong. My atheist children have been told they’re “going to hell” by classmates at school. *Face palm*. What a disgrace…

  3. I am a “Biblical Literalist” … the Word, the bible, does not tell us how old the universe or the earth is. It also does not tell us when the world will come to an end as some have claimed they can calculate from the Bible. I am an Anthropologist by education a Christian by faith and an amateur conservationist by passion and God’s grace. Yes there are some time frames that are given us in the bible but much more is not revealed to us and no human “knows” God’s “time”. What is/was God’s first day, what is or was before that first day and how many millions of our human years make up a “blink of an eye” for God. We can not readily fathom the Alpha and Omega, infinity and eternity.

    I am a “creationist” by faith and have never had my scientific back ground do anything but reinforce that. The Word tells us that God created everything but exactly how and in what time and what his concept of “creation” is leaves a lot untold.

    I have studied evolution for many, many hours over many years. I have never found any paleontological evidence or evidence from any other scientific field that proves that evolution outside of species exists or has existed. There is on the other hand much evidence for evolution within species. I have read and studied the Bible for many hours. The scientific conclusion from many of my professors, and many of my acquaintances who have spent years working in various scientific fields is that the universe and it’s function is extremely complex and only God can make something this complex function as it does (many times in spite of our efforts to muck things up).

    While we humans learn more and more there always is the next level down in the composition of everything that exists in the universe and the next new part of it to be discovered. Our knowledge of the universe is “minute” especially compared to how much there still is to learn and that is only addressing our comprehension of the universe and “knowledge” itself. There is much in science that we can not observe and can only postulate about. The Bible tells us much but points out how little we really know and that we are saved and brought to Christianity by “faith” and Jesus alone and not by any efforts of our own or other humans.

    I can help educate someone about the Bible and Science and the two are not exclusive of each other. I can not give someone faith nor can I know God through science. I pray that we do a better job of using science and the fruits it yields for the betterment of all and the World we live in and not just the wealthy few.

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