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.