Update on psychology of Creationism

Two ancient posts of mine, Why Creationists Need To Be Creationists and Creationism Is Just One Symptom Of Conservative Pathology are getting heavy traffic right now from Stumbleupon and Reddit. I posted a comment there trying to get people to come and see the much more recent update: More than just Resistance to Science, from which I’d like to promote a recent comment by Tree:

Thank you for drawing attention to the importance of understanding Phatic Language. While I was raised in a very formal family and as a youngster had an intuitive grasp that the purpose of protocol and etiquette is to establish hierarchy (and safety within that hierarchy), it never occurred to me that transmitting information would be mistaken for attempting to establish hierarchy. This explains to me the rage that some people demonstrate when someone with a perceived lower social rank uses technical language. For example, traditional males seem to Freak Out whenever they hear a female expressing herself in technical language. Well yeah, if they equate technical expertise with social dominance, they’re going to rush to defend their social status, no matter how politely the female expresses herself.
Perhaps the same people who mistake technical language as an expression of social dominance also mistake uncertainty as an expression of social submission. I think we should consider that if our technical expertise makes us threatening, no matter how carefully we state our case, and we’re too careful stating our case, we’ll be considered submissive, that we should take our authority as given, take our dominance as granted and act as the responsible social leaders that the rest of the herd expects. My intuition is that if we act as authorities, we will attain the authority required to formulate reality-based policy.

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5 responses to “Update on psychology of Creationism

  1. doublehelix

    “…we should take our authority as given, take our dominance as granted and act as the responsible social leaders that the rest of the herd expects.”
    This comment, and Coturnix’s endorsement of it, reinforces my impression that he’s really an anti-democratic authoritarian…
    Freedom for thee, and not for me. Shame.

  2. Doublehelix detects a whiff of authoritarianism in my statement. As I was raised in a Very Conservative Republican Military family (Dad WWII vet, Mom raised in Nazi Germany, always had plenty of ideas about who should be put in camps), I’m not shocked that someone notices the strain of merciless sadism in my character. We all have a dark side with which we struggle.
    However, ‘acting as the responsible social leaders that the rest of the herd expects’ is pointed directly to the heart of Servant Leadership, and not to some authoritarian power grab. Servant Leadership is not about power, it’s not about submitting oneself to a Higher Power and acting out of an ethical center. Ultimately, it requires sacrificing one’s own ego for the benefit of the herd.
    You, Young Doublehelix, can refuse the call to Leadership and stay on Uncle Owen’s farm. I hope that the rest of us who’ve won the brains and education lottery heed the call, and step up to serve.

  3. Earlier Tree said:
    “it’s not about submitting oneself to a Higher Power and acting out of an ethical center.”
    Yup. Still struggling with that dark side. Some of us are good at submitting; some of us wrestle.

  4. Tree,
    I am, without bragging, what you would call a “lottery winner”; IQ well into the top 0.1% range, well-educated, etc. Having known a lot of people with high IQs and high levels of education, I know three things about them (us) for certain;
    1) Having a high IQ doesn’t mean you are correct.
    2) Having a lot of education doesn’t make you correct.
    3) Neither makes you a leader.
    Sure, there are ethical reasons to develop your mind and try to better the community, but is that any different from the same obligation on, say, a natural craftsman? As a former professional soldier, I can also say this as a truism – if a person or group presents themselves as a leader/leaders and they are ignored, they aren’t a leader/leaders. Leadership is not a skill, nor is it a position.

  5. Deep Thought: Think Deeper. No one has claimed that high IQ is some kind of virtue that insures Correctness. Neither has anyone claimed that education makes one a leader. I’ve only claimed that if one is called to lead (due to one’s talents), one shouldn’t shirk one’s duty.
    In my opinion, what makes a person a leader is the willingness to take responsibility. You can stay on Uncle Owen’s farm, fixing the vaporators, or you can heed the call, and learn to be something greater.
    As for leadership not being a skill or position…I don’t know what that means. The most inspirational leaders I’ve met have had great expertise while taking responsibility for nurturing the growth of their community, whether it was a work community, spiritual community or a simple writer’s group. Do yourself a favor; Google “NASA Leadership Model”. Leadership is not rocket science, but you do need some skills.
    I’m sure I’ll suffer for that pun, later. But I’m willing to take responsibility for my flaws.
    Are you willing to take responsibility and do your duty when the time comes to lead, or will you fret about incuring Uncle Owen’s wrath for not having those vaporators online?
    Just wondering – were you one of those guys who thought it was more virtuous to be enlisted, and refused to attend OCS?