03 September 2009

If creationists ran the DMV

I was reading a new column in the Dallas Examiner attacking evolution that contains an oh-so-familiar refrain: “What does Darwinian evolution have to fear from free scientific inquiry?”

The answer, of course, is nothing. I’ve written about this before here, but I came up with a new analogy to express why researchers are bored and frustrated by creationists.

I imagine most people reading this have a driver’s license. To get it, you had to prove you were capable of driving. You occasionally have to get it renewed.

Imagine that to keep your driver’s license, you had to go through that whole lengthy driving exam – written and in the car – once a week. Every week.

Is that a valuable, productive use of your time? No. It’s a waste.

What would be your emotional response? Boredom, frustration and maybe just a pinch of royally pissed off.

And if people said to you, “If you can drive, why are you so afraid of the driving exam?”, might you have a intemperate moment where you consider making them eat their lower molars?

You have proved that you are road ready. While it’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get in an accident, things normally don’t change so much that what held true one week won’t hold true the next. Why go through all the hassle of proving it again... and again... and again?

While I’ve used “creationist” in the title, but it could be replaced with “anti-vaccer,” “climate change denier,” “birther,” or any of the other denialist lines of though out there. They all use the same argument to impugn and create questions about motives rather than evidence.

1 comment:

PJ said...

Forget about the hassles and everything. DMV Texas was run pretty well.