Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fundie-mental problem with religion: An external locus of control

More specifically, an external locus of control that can fester into a permanently external locus of control.

See, when something *happens*, lets say, you get a B in a class you really wanted to get an A in, you have two options.

1-- I really didnt study as hard as I could have.
Hey! That class was pretty hard! An A would have been nice, but I worked hard for that B!
Okay, next semester I am NOT going out drinking every Wednesday-- its effecting my Thursday classes, even the easy ones.

2-- That professor didnt like me because Im a pre-med. She never gives As to pre-meds.
I would have gotten an A if I had a good teacher.
That group project totally screwed me over. That dudes idea was so dumb.
See the difference? The first options were from an 'internal' locus of control, and the second options were from an 'external' locus of control. From birth, theists have an external locus of control not available to atheists: Gods. And from a very young age they are encouraged to take advantage of this fact-- Pray to God for this, pray to God for that, ask and ye shall receive.

I think most normal healthy people, atheist or theist, have a reasonable balance of the two. We might say something from category 2 while venting with our friends, while in our head we know the answer is really something from category 1... But the fact remains that there is a big, honking deity hanging out in category 2 for theists, and if not kept in check, clearly has an adverse effect on the theists ability to interact with the rest of society. One can become so reliant on an external locus of control that they simply lack the ability to come to a conclusion from category 1, even when its appropriate.

Example A-- Creationists.
During the Great Cottage Cheese Debate, Sally made some unwise decisions. Under no uncertain terms, he proclaimed that I purposefully misled people in my critique of Behe and danced around UD singing 'literature bluffing!' Now, ignore the humorous irony for a moment, and the fact that no one from the IDC Camp has addressed my essay 'scientifically', and take a look at his 'apology' to me on UD:
My third loose end which I would like to tie up is that I would like to apologize to Ms. Smith if I have said anything that may be construed as an accusation of dishonesty on her part.
Perhaps I made some ill-tempered remarks, but it was not my intent to accuse her of lying or dishonesty.
Ms. Smith even conceded the following here about the NON-novelty of Vpu in HIV here:
Nononono! Vpu isnt a new gene created in the past 100 years! The original Vpu probably originated a long time ago
Her admission relates to something I hammered on here.
But I would admonish Ms. Smith that she perhaps under-appreciates the level of expertise in the ID community in the field of information dynamics within biology. And judging from her writings and those of most in evolutionary biology, I think her knowledge of the information science and technology leaves much to be desired. The typical ID theorist is light years ahead of the typical evolutionary biologist in these matters. They may not like it, but that is the state of affairs. I encourage her to set her ego aside and revisit her critique of Behe. There is a chance she is not rendering a charitable understanding of the writings of this biochemist for a lay audience.
He didnt make any accusations-- other people 'misconstrued' them to look like accusations.
He just made some ill tempered remarks, thats all!
Look, she even conceded his point!**
Ms. Smith doesnt know anything about HIV.

Yes, what a wonderful apology! The only thing that even comes close to an internal locus of control is "I perhaps said some ill tempered remarks..." not really taking any responsibility for his actions at all.

Well, just in case any of you might think that was an isolated incident, Dear Bill Dembski has gone and done the same damn thing today (from PZ-- I dont click on UD links, nor should you):
I mean in no way to mitigate the gravity of Baylor's wrong in censoring the research of Robert Marks and his Evolutionary Informatics Lab.
I hurt my family and lost about three weeks of productive work by being consumed with anger about the injustice against Robert Marks.
...leave justice in the hands of a God.
Translation: BAYLOR STARTED IT!!!!

Another fine apology!

Another fine example of special treatment for Creationists. Why dont Creationists have to take responsibility for their actions like the rest of us? You screw up, you apologize-- why cant Creationists do that? Or are they psychologically broken, unable to interact with society on a normal level?

Why cant Creationists take responsibility for their choices?

** That 'quote' is a quote-mine from a month before CCC found my essay, and I gave that link to him to answer his question, and he ignored it in favor of harassing me. See full quote here.


Chris Noble said...

During the Great Cottage Cheese Debate, Sally made some unwise decisions. Under no uncertain terms, he proclaimed that I purposefully misled people in my critique of Behe and danced around UD singing 'literature bluffing!'

They're such a bunch of schoolgirls.

If you make the point that ID is driven by religion they come back with the "evolution is a religion and Darwin is your God" crap.

If you make the point that ID is a pseudoscience that makes no testable predictions they come back with the "evolution is a pseudoscience and unfalsifiable" crap.

If you make the point that their "research" consists entirely of misrepresenting "orthodox" papers as being in support of ID hoping that nobody actually reads the papers in question then they come back with the "literature bluffing" crap.

They're just aping the criticisms that are applied justly to their own nonsense.

Tyler DiPietro said...

"Why cant Creationists take responsibility for their choices?"

Because they are a bunch of dishonest cumwads.

Seeing Sal Cordova pontificate once again on "information science" (which isn't technical parlance, "information theory" is the field of study) despite his repeated demonstrations that he has no understanding of it beyond a few half-understood technical words really gets under my finger nails. And to further quote mine someone and impugn their expertise from the safety of your own dissent-free circle jerk is the icing on the cake. I fucking hate this piece of shit.

The Factician said...

The good folks at AtBC call his apology a notpology. I think it's an excellent word that we should all use.

ERV said...

OMG I wrote that whole post and I forgot the punchline! AAAAAAAHHH! AAAAAAH! I suck!

Okay, here it is:
"I dont know why any of us are surprised at this turn of events. Dembski did write the book on Unapologetic Apologetics."


The Rev. Jenner J. Hull said...

Gorgeous, ERV. It even worked without the punchline.

I think the "external locus" can be summed up in the phrase, "Don't you know who my father is?!"

And doesn't the word "apologetics" say something? Something like, "I'm sorry that this is completely ridiculous and makes no sense whatsoever to any rational, intelligent person but, just go with me on this one, OK?"

Jon said...

"ID theorists"?

Isn't that a tad redundant? Once you've subscribed to ID, the "theorizing" is already done. There's really only one way to say "Gaddidit".

@rev. hull

I've always thought that too. Its use probably has something to do with the Greek origins of the word, I'd imagine.

Fred Ross said...

"I think her knowledge of the information science and technology leaves much to be desired."

Someone already noted that information science isn't the name of any existent field. Information technology is making people's Windows machines work.

And if he means information theory, I happen to know the subject, I do bench biology, and it has no bearing or relevance.

It was fashionable in the field to talk about DNA carrying bits of information, but it's just sloppy thinking. There has been no successful application of the idea outside of transmitting bits over a wire (be it the Bell telephone system or between two entangled photons).

A couple of relevant essays:

A Map to Nowhere by Tom Bethell, Doubts about the concept of information by Oleg Kiselyov, a computer scientist's computer scientist. People make jokes about him solving problems the same way they do about Chuck Norris killing things.

John Phillips said...

What I always find both ironic and amusing when Sally and his ilk try to criticise others lack of knowledge about any subject is how they always manage to emphasise how little they actually know about the subject while claiming to know more. Then again, as we already know they are deluded about their god perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised at their self delusion about their perceived understanding of other subjects. Of course, such criticism isn't so much for our benefit but for the benefit of their fellow IDiots who will accept any crap they output as gospel, especially if they use scientific sounding phrases, even incorrectly.

Margaret said...

From the back cover of Unapologetic Apologetics:
"With the demise of objective truth in theology has come less need to take seriously the task of persuading others to believe."