Sunday, September 30, 2007

On Sock Elves and Gremlins

Sadly, No! points out the inanity of Mark Noonan's (Blogs for Bush) contention that those of us who demand evidence over superstition are simply fearful of having our "faith" questioned.

What Noonan, blinded by his religious dogma, is not able to understand is that, in pursuing evidence based science, "faith" has nothing to do with it. Unlike Noonan's adherence to his god and the assertion that, despite a lack of empirical evidence, such a "being" exists, actual science is held to a much higher standard. For example, if you suggest that today's birds are direct descendants of presumably extinct dinosaurs you have a long way to go from there to here to fill in the necessary data and produce the necessary evidence to support such a hypothesis. Even after many of the blanks are filled in the scientific community will exercise a healthy skepticism, always aware that new evidence can change outcomes and that assumptions are always subject to challenge.

Noonan simply holds the view that no matter what science produces in terms of evidence, somehow religious Creationism is solidly affirmed and needs to be included in the pursuit of science.

Why? Well, according to Noonan, just because we can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. And we will all come to realize that even during our period of "non-belief" (as though it's some sort of phase) his god was doing us all kinds of favours.

In my view, it is because the people who have rejected a role for God in creation are simply deathly afraid of questions to their faith - and faith it is, because there is no way to falsify the concept that the universe wasn't created by God. This fear stems from the realisation that if God, indeed, had a hand in creating the world, then it stands to reason he has a purpose, and thus the people who live on this world must, as far as possible, conform themselves to the purpose of the Creator.
Un huh. And then BSR puts Noonan's assertion into its proper perspective.
Know what else is unfalsifiable? The concept that invisible elves live in your dryer and steal your socks when you aren’t looking. Go ahead, Mark, try to find them. I triple-diggity-diggity-underdog dizz-are you. What’s that you say, Mark? You can’t see them?

Well duh, old chap, they’re invisible! This only proves that you have a deep-seated fear that if the Sock Elves do exist, then if stands to reason that they have stolen your socks, and thus people who are afflicted by Sock Elf infestations must go out and buy a new pair.

I would leave it there. Most of us, after all, have had a problem with Sock Elves.

Except that Cheryl found a point on which to disagree.

"They're not Elves," she said. "They're Gremlins. Everybody knows that."

"Elves, Gremlins, so what?" I shrugged.

"Yes. There is something in the dryer stealing socks, but it's not Elves - it's Gremlins," she asserted. "Further, having been raised with the certain knowledge that the creatures in the dryer stealing socks are Gremlins, people who believe that they are Elves are, in fact, heretics!

"People who continue to believe that Elves possess the same power as Gremlins when it comes to stealing socks should repent immediately. I'm right. If they do not repent they will be forever relegated to a perpetual spin-cycle of the washing machine.

"You can argue all you want. You can't prove that it isn't Gremlins stealing socks, therefore that is what is doing it. I'm willing to go to my death to support my belief."

And so it goes.

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