I haven’t been writing much recently, mostly because I’ve been writing a lot for another purpose — it’s keeping me pretty busy, which is obviously nice.
However, this morning, just now, a friend of mine pointed me at a YouTube clip of Richard Dawkins talking to Wendy Wright. And goddammit, if that didn’t make me want to vent.
If you’re even vaguely aware of who Dawkins is, you can probably figure out how that goes: Wright implies that evolution is just a bunch of lies and that there’s no evidence for it and that the scientific community is ignoring perfectly valid research that proves that there’s no evolution and yadda yadda yadda, and Dawkins points out that she is, in fact, full of shit by using more or less rational arguments, which the other person then ignores or, quite possibly, doesn’t even entirely understand. There’s nothing new here.
And yet that thing woke me right up — that infuriatingly obtuse attitude, the willful ignorance, the disingenuous motivation, even that tone of voice. It’s like mainlining pure aggression. What can I say? I listen to her speak, and I fantasize a heart attack, a bear attack, a terrorist attack — shit, just about any kind of a an attack. That snaps me awake better than any kind of a caffeine infusion.
She insists that there’s no evidence for evolution, but of course that’s not true: there’s plenty of evidence, she just dismisses it. She brings up ancient examples of fraud or error as proof that there’s no evolution, and ignores the fact that no one actually uses those as evidence for evolution. For her, if someone claims that cars run on gasoline and gasoline comes from cows, proving that gasoline does not, in fact, come from cows also counters all evidence for cars running on gasoline. She’s essentially counting the hits and ignoring the misses: a stupid mistake by some Victorian guy is a huge blow against evolution, but DNA evidence is so insignificant it isn’t even worth talking about. There’s no real way to argue with her, because that implies a rational discussion where actual facts come into play. That’s not how she operates.
As I said, there’s nothing new here, and that’s what makes all this so frustrating: if she was just a random nutjob, it wouldn’t matter. But she’s not alone, she’s part of an organized effort to keep us ignorant, which exists for a multitude of reasons that are too depressing to go into right now.
My point is: this woman, right here, is what keeps us small and stupid and useless.
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