October 25, 2008

Why Would They Call Evolution A "Religion"?

It always puzzles me when the creationists think they are criticising evolution by calling it a "religion". Because, Surely, If being a "religion" makes evolution, According to their argument, Unsupported, facile, Not grounded in reality and false, it must be a bigger criticism of their own belief, A belief which actually is a "religion".

I mean, An evolutionist would never try to criticise creation by saying "well, creation is just another science based on factual evidence, Supported by practically every scientific discovery, rational and logical".

See, What they are trying to do with this type of approach is instead of defending their own position, They try to make ours seem as untenable as theirs. When in reality all they are doing is proving that even they think "religions" are inherently wrong, unsupported by evidence and, well, made up bullshit.

Make sure you pull them up on this next time they try it.


  1. I don't think they're criticising evolution by calling it a religion as if that were a bad thing, rather they're complaining "why is creationism criticised as religion when evolution is itself a religion"?

    It's still wrong, being a tu quoque informal fallacy, but misrepresenting their claim is itself a straw man informal fallacy.

  2. John, people born in 1960 should have blogs.

    I think Matt still makes a good point. It's like when they say it takes as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a Christian. When they make such statements it does seem as if they are acknowledging that Christianity is not based on evidence. If they are both religions based on faith then WHY be a Christian or a creationist instead of an atheist? They are admitting (Matt's point)that their beliefs have no real factual foundation.

  3. SE, my literal-mindedness is sometimes an asset, and sometimes a liability.

    Your comment addresses atheism⇔Christianity, but the post to which I replied addresses creationism⇔evolution.

    Remember, that someone is Christian need not imply they are a creationist, and vice-versa.

    PS I'm obsessive enough at commenting, were I to blog my wife would likely divorce me! ;)

  4. A rather witty observation, if I may say as much. It would come across better with less careless presentation, however. Ever, Comma, Should, Not, Be, Followed, By, A, Capital. Just for instance. It still made me laugh, though.

  5. Shouldn't that be "more careful", Deluze, and "Every"? Ha, it's funny and ironic because you were saying how Matt's presentation was careless! :P

    Anyway, Matt did make some good points, as religious idiots bullshitting that evolution is a religion don't realise that there is such an overwhelmingly large amount of evidence for it, which they can see and study at various museums, and do further research on.

  6. You seem to present an inadvertent strawman, Matt, based on a misunderstanding of the differing definition of terms between you and Creationists. You're the one who defines "religion" as unsupported, facile, not grounded in reality and false, not them. Their point is that religion, their version of Christianity in this case, can be and is supported and grounded in reality, though it does require some faith, as purely intellectual certitude of anything, even of our world's existence, is impossible. They simply feel that whatever support evolution has or claims to have requires a larger "completion-by-faith" to assert its claims to near-certitude.

    This isn't to say that Creationism is anything but ridiculous, but strawmen (inadvertent or otherwise) and disregard of opponents' semantic sensibilities (inadvertent or otherwise) are forensically inappropriate, even in a righteously indignant rant against a ridiculous stance/argument, and they undermine forensically proper refutation of the historicity of Edenic T-Rex Rodeos.

  7. joeybear, The religious must also see a "religion" as being inherently incorrect, otherwise it wouldn't be much of a criticism to call evolution a religion, would it.

  8. Some creationists label "Evolution" a religion because it is a set of beliefs which are held despite inconclusive evidence.

    This is not to suggest that a lack of conclusive evidence is a lack of compelling evidence. Of course, Creationists believe that Evolution has neither conclusive nor compelling evidence.

    The more, ummm, "scientific" Creationists make the claim ironically to refute claims that belief in a creator (and in his/her/its interaction with the material cosmos) is inherently religious, since it is a descriptive, not prescriptive belief (ie, speaking to how we should live), and is supportable by scientific investigation.

    Some might say that the valid theory of a universal creator should not be disqualified from scientific discussion simply because many choose to attach religious/metaphysical ideas to the creator. Were that the case, the sun, moon, trees, cows, sharks, volcanoes, etc. would be disqualified from scientific inquiry. (okay, that last part I just came up with myself--I have an annoying tendency toward devil's advocacy.) Scientists, then, must strive to separate the creator theory from the powerful psychological and religious baggage attached to the concept.

    Others call Evolution a religion based on the claim that a humanist origin, philosophy and agenda are implicit in, undergird, and motivate it.

    I just want to see the T-Rex rodeo.

  9. "Some creationists label "Evolution" a religion because it is a set of beliefs which are held despite inconclusive evidence."

    For which they make the case that a "religious belief", when used to describe evolution, Is an untenable position. The point is it's used as an intellectually dishonest criticism of evolution, Which should also qualify it as a criticism of their own beliefs.

    "Some might say that the valid theory of a universal creator should not be disqualified from scientific discussion simply because many choose to attach religious/metaphysical ideas to the creator."

    That isn't why it's disqualified. it's disqualified because it doesn't have any evidence supporting it.