Posted by Leo Tarvi
Since I’ve been talking about religious authoritarians lately, I should mention this New York Times article about Hasidic Jews doing pretty much the same thing the Catholic church is famous for, using social pressure, intimidation and threats to protect child molesters in their community.
I really don’t have anything to say about this that isn’t obvious. I suppose it’s worth pointing out that having this shit happen in your community is less harmful to your reputation than covering it up. Even if it weren’t, though, protecting children should be much higher priority. Religious authorities are fucked up.
Posted by Leo Tarvi
In our last installment I used a ridiculously long metaphor to examine the implications of creationism, were it true. This time we’ll be looking at the real world impact of creationism, not why it would horrify me, were it true, but why it does even though it’s not.
I’m going to have to start with misinformation. I want to draw a distinction here between misinformation and outright lying, because while lying certainly counts as misinforming, I honestly don’t believe most creationists are lying when they spread misinformation, but simply misinformed themselves.
Creationist organizations spread a lot of misinformation. They say things like the dust found on the surface of the Moon was consistent with a young universe which is false. Or that radio-carbon dating is inaccurate which is true under certain circumstances, that scientists are aware of and compensate for. Or that Charles Darwin admitted in his famous book that the eye could not have evolved, which I’m going to call an outright lie, because while Darwin did write that it is difficult to imagine the evolution of eyes, the very next thing in the book is an outline of one way it might have happened.
One of the more common bits of misinformation is the idea that evolution is “only a theory”. Read the rest of this entry →