Creationism as a mental illness – By Robert Rowland Smith
I’m not sure if he makes the case, and at least one blog responding to this post suggests he is not being helpful –
Now Creationism Is a “Mental Illness”? – by Stephen A. Batzer
Mr. Batzer appears to be a supporter of Intelligent Design, which I am not addressing here. He makes an interesting “case” (pun intended) using a courtroom analogy in which the Creationists are the jury, and Mr. Smith’s arguments are getting nowhere. I would tend to agree. What I am suggesting, perhaps carelessly, is that Creationists are not the jury, but the defendant, and that the attack against science education is a crime against the young.
I am asking whether the people who are making this attack are responsible for their actions, and I am suggesting that they are not, in most cases, those cases in which they actually believe what they are saying. In the case of the Pirate Predator, that pretends a religious belief in Creationism to attack science and scientists to defend selfish interest, I would suggest yes, this is a crime against the young, but that is not who I am addressing in these posts either.
I would like to back up a little from my previous post on this subject, The Mental Illness of Creationism, and reemphasize the point I was trying to make in Truth and Consequences. We are all trapped inside of beliefs we mistake for Truth, this is the nature of our cognitive mechanism. I never questioned the story of Santa Claus. When I discovered it was a lie, when my MOTHER admitted it was a lie, I had the epiphany I describe near the bottom of Truth and Consequences about the Physics of Perception –
Where we stand controls what we see, which controls how we act, which controls the consequences of our actions. I saw the “geometry of motion” of awareness, from inside of misperception, out into a larger universe. This became the basis for my first game – the search for “Largest Place”, the escape from misperception and the control it exercised over my actions, and thus my consequences. This became the tactic of searching for “cracks” between what I was seeing, and what I expected to see.
I am almost 50 years down the road of this practice, and I assure you, yes, I am aware that I have not escaped misperception. At the end of The Uncertainty Principle, a short fiction piece based on High Ground – The Bizarre Story of my Awakening, in which I try to model the “learning cycle”, I highlight the moment in the learning cycle when I move from “frying in the light of epiphany” – when I am starring straight at the Truth, to the moment I return to humility (sanity) –
“What if I’m wrong?
“Of course I am wrong. How many times have I been around this circle? The question is never if I am wrong, but how am I wrong, and will I survive finding out?”
“What if I am wrong” is a question that Creationists (and many others caught in Truth Traps), are not allowed to ask themselves. As I point out in the Uncertainty Principle, the power of the experience of epiphany can easily convince us we now know the truth, and we can get trapped in this certainty, and never return to humility. This terminates the learning cycle, which, with some irony, could be modeled as the evolution of consciousness. Terminating the evolution of consciousness, and severing the connection between reality and belief, appears to be the exact intent of the Creationist attack on science education.
I am not suggesting it is done with ill-intent, but rather, the opposite. Long ago, those who are pushing the divine infallibility of the bible were caught in this Truth Trap, their learning cycle was frozen, and their cognitive processes were forced to retreat from a reality challenging their Truth. When I suggest creationism is a mental illness, I am not trying to be mean, I am trying to be accurate and compassionate. These People have been victimized. This post is not directed at Creationists, it is directed at the jury of society.
As a society, we cannot allow this victimization to continue, because as I said in the first post on this subject, it is an illness that seeks to propagate ferociously, and if left unchecked, it will destroy our democracy, steal our freedom, and produce all of those terrible consequences that can be expected as the ranks of Creationists multiply in the offices of government power. This is a story that is well underway.
Gallop: In U.S., 42% Believe Creationist View of Human Origins – May, 2014