Thursday, February 15, 2007

Casualties of Faith: Creationist Kids

A side effect of religion, one that bothered me long before Richard Dawkins brought the idea to a larger audience, is the indoctrination of children with religion. Babies are told they are Jewish, and male babies have the scars to remind them of this fact for the rest of their lives. Children are told they are going to be tortured in Hell unless they take their first communion. And the children of Creationists are forever prevented from contributing to the world of science... unless they go through a painful deconversion process where they either deconvert completely, or just to a more reasonable version of their religion.

Or they do what this kid did.

*shrug* Lies to himself. Lied to his research advisers.

The blog world has been abuzz as to what to do with this boy. Its disarming, knowing that a Creationist could slither his way through a PhD program. Like that feeling you get when someone has broken into your apartment. But we know this isnt new-- Behe, Dembski, Wells, it just sucks every time it happens. And like when someone breaks into your apartment, you want to know how they did it, how to prevent it from happening again... and you want to catch the mother fucker and beat his ass. Well, we wouldnt do that to Ross, but many have suggested that his degree be revoked.

No-- he did the work. He lied, he didnt learn a goddamn thing, but he did the work. Fine, give the boy his degree. Now he is a Creationist with a degree in geology. What is he going to do with it? Obviously he thinks the entire scientific community is on the wrong track: evolution is wrong. So is he going to use his education, degree, and passion for the truth to defend his Creationism myth? To right the world of science? No. Alas, hes doing what every other Creationist with Credentials does. Hes going to run like a cockroach back into the kitchen closet from which he came: the radical Christian confines of Liberty University.

And the sad story doesnt end here. Hes going to be an 'example' for other Creationist Kids, like Mr. 99. "Look! You can be a Creationist with Credentials!" Perpetuating the cycle, robbing humanity of these childrens potential. Case in point, a commenter in this post, kansassam.

Kansassams son is trying to get a degree in chemistry/pharmacology. He wants to save the world. His son is a lot like me, except for one thing: his father indoctrinated him with a religion that says scientists are fools, scientists are liars, the only way you can be a True Scientist is to believe this myth.

As I said in that thread, Im using evolution to hopefully create a treatment that would go hand-in-hand with chemo and radiation therapy, keeping cancers from metathesizing, and hopefully easing the side effect profile of standard treatments. There is no way a Creationist could have thought of this experiment. Evolution must be true for this therapy to work. My HIV research? Evolution must be true for it to work. During my undergraduate education, I took several graduate courses in pharmacology-- evolution must be true for new drug design to be accurate.
This child has the ambition and the smarts to save the world, just like I do. But he has been crippled by his father. His potential has been retarded. Anything we get out of this child will be a miracle, and we will all suffer for it.

Radical Christians lament the loss of potential in aborted fertilized eggs, yet they care nothing for the lost potential in their own live, real children.

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