Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Is New Earth Creationism as bad as Holocaust Denial?

DID THIS POST GO TOO FAR?: Maybe 'alternative theories' aren't so bad after all. If you get your knickers in a twist because of this post, read this follow up.

Two revisionist movements have been gaining alarming strength over the last few decades - and they share worrying similarities.

Their agendas are very different, but their origins, methodology and outlook run parallel to each other. New Earth Creationists and Holocaust Deniers.

Thirty or forty years ago, Creationism and Holocaust Denial were both fringe lunacy - the domain of idiots and fundamentalists who received well-deserved scorn and the contempt of mainstream society.

Flash forward four decades: A New Earth Creationist just ran in the Presidential Primaries, while representatives from 30 countries attended a two day conference in Tehran to "Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust."


What the hell is going on? When did the arena of whackjobs, nutcases, idiots and bigots start spreading into civilised society?

Crazy, crazy people...

Let me introduce you to the Holocaust Deniers - people who believe that the murder of 6 million Jews by Hitler's Nazi regime never took place.

They started out as rednecks and skinheads - 'white pride' idiots who made up conspiracies about how Jews controlled America. They denied that the holocaust ever taken place - and argued that it was all a 'Zionist conspiracy' to demonise Germany.

For the most part, these people were derided and ignored - as were their crackpot theories. However, over the course of the past couple of decades, a movement in the Middle East cropped up that mirrored and gave weight to their denial of the Holocaust.

The governments of fundamentalist Islamic countries like Iran and Syria started publishing statements denying the holocaust, arguing that "the so-called Holocaust is an alleged and invented story, with no basis."

With the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, this movement has grown. Recently, Iranian President Ahmadinejad declared:

"The Zionists have fabricated a legend under the name Massacre of the Jews, and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves...If somebody in their country questions God, nobody says anything, but if somebody denies the myth of the massacre of Jews, the Zionist loudspeakers and the governments in the pay of Zionism will start to scream!"

On December 11th 2006, Ahmadinejad hosted a conference for representatives from 30 countries, under the title "International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust."

What began as a disgusting delusion, maintained by only by the most contemptible of lunatics, has now become a 'legitimate' revisionist movement. So popular has the denial of the Holocaust become that some religious schools in Great Britain have even stopped teaching Holocaust History in class, for risk of 'offending' their Muslim students.

Creationist Cretins

Now let me introduce you to a similar group of crackpots - the New Earth Creationists. People who believe that the Earth was created in exact, literal accordance with the Bible: 6,000 or so years ago.

Like Holocaust Denial, modern society was largely free of New Earth Creationists thirty or forty years ago. New Earth Creationism had never been a particularly convincing theory - even Saint Augustine, the 4th century Bishop of Hippo, argued that the creation story was allegorical.

Yet towards the end of the 20th century, a revival movement started, with Christian fundamentalists across America uniting behind the idea that fossils, geology, history and astronomy were all wrong about the age of the Earth.

They argued that 'The Great Flood' (of Noah's Ark) swished around the geological strata and made it appear older than it was - leading creationist Henry Morris to declare "the last refuge of the case for evolution immediately vanishes away, and the record of the rocks becomes a tremendous witness... to the holiness and justice and power of the living God of Creation!"

The development of the Internet gave an even greater voice to these fundamentalist Christians, leading to the development of websites like Ken Ham's 'Answers in Genesis' and the popularity of homeschooling with a 'Christian curriculum' which neatly avoids theologically troubling (i.e. scientifically accurate) concepts like evolution.

The result? And entire generation of kids and young adults brainwashed into believing the fictional fantasy that is New Earth Creationism.

Similarities

On the surface of it, the similarities between New Earth Creationists and Holocaust Deniers might not seem obvious - but they're there. Consider:

Both movements step from religious fundamentalism.

It's no coincidence that the popularity of Holocaust Denial and New Earth Creationism match the explosion of fundamentalist religious movements - which seek 'wisdom' from religious documents like the Koran or the Bible.

Like it or not, fundamentalism Islam and evangelical Christianity share an alarming number of similarities - not least of which is a stubborn insistence of finding answers in old books, rather than science, history and fact.

Both theories are just wishful thinking.

The Islamic fundamentalists really want to believe the Holocaust never happened, because then residents of the state of Israel would stop having the moral authority to aggressively defend their existence. [How dare they! - Editorial Bear]

New Earth Creationists, on the other hand, really want to believe the Bible is true, so it gives them divine justification for hating gay people, shooting abortion doctors and banning people from having sex. Ever.

Both theories ignore mountains of evidence.

The reason Holocaust Denial was such a derided movement forty years ago was because there were thousands of concentration camp survivors around to tell them they were talking crap.

As they died out, it opened the window to 'suggest' that the genocide had never even occurred. After all, there was nobody left around to argue about it.

That still left thousands of documents, photos and the camps themselves to prove than the Holocaust was real (plus that fact that six million Jews mysteriously vanished between 1933/1945.) Nevertheless, Holocaust Deniers claim that the evidence was faked, the numbers made up and the eyewitness testimony is a lie.

As for New Earth Creationists? Well, they use similar methodology to defend their position in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Despite the fact that radiometric dating, ice-core data and even the rings on trees prove that the Earth is older than 6,000 years, they stubbornly refuse to accept it. As Creationist Henry Morris argued: "When science & the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data."

Both New Earth Creationism and Holocaust Denial rely on shameless, stubborn, stoic refusal to accept any and all evidence disproving their beliefs.

Both theories rely on disinformation, brainwashing, manipulation and outright lies to further their cause.

Holocaust Denial has graduated from lunacy to 'revisionist history' by misrepresenting evidence, denying the facts and brainwashing the ignorant.

Across the Middle East, for example, schools and television stations declare that the Holocaust was a hoax - so poor, ignorant children grow up believing that to be the truth. They simply don't know any better.

Likewise, New Earth Creationists rely on homeschooling to fatten their ranks - with unscrupulous hacks like Andrew Schlafly and Ken Ham creating misleading home school curriculums that teach theories like New Earth Creationism as if it was a scientific fact.

In scientific debates, Creationists lie, bully and manipulate in order to make their silly stance sound more believable. Interviews with notable skeptics like Richard Dawkins have to be brutally edited to discredit them, quotes have to be taken out of context to support the theory and in the absence of all other options, Creationists are more than willing to out-and-out make stuff up.

Both theories are just plain wrong. Holocaust Denial and New Earth Creationism share one overriding similarity - both 'theories' are complete rubbish.

The Holocaust did occur. During Hitler's reign, six million Jewish people - and an equal number of gypsies, homosexuals, communists and other 'social undesirables,' were taken off to camps in central Europe and exterminated in gas chambers.

We know this has happened because people survived to tell of it: Concentration camp inmates themselves, along with the American and Allied soldiers who 'liberated' those camps.

Likewise, a mountain of irrefutable evidence proves that the earth is four and a half billions years old - and that life evolved from single-celled organisms into the current menagerie of mammals, reptiles, birds, insects and bacteria.

The Bible is not an infallible, literal history of the world. It's just a book. Or, at a push, a reasonably effective paperweight.

Are New Earth Creationists as bad as Holocaust Deniers?

On the face of it, of course not.

Holocaust Deniers are trying to deny the systematic extermination of six million people.

Not only does that defame the memory of those who have died, it's a slap in the face for the people who survived - and their descendants.

Most terrifying of all, by trying to eliminate the Holocaust from society's collective memory, it leaves the world vulnerable to letting it happen all over again.

As for New Earth Creationists - all they want to do is believe their silly little fairy tale about the world being sixty centuries old.

On the surface, it doesn't do anybody any harm. In fact, I recently spoke to a brilliant, dynamic young lady who just happened to be a New Earth Creationist - and she said: "I don't care what others believe, so long as I'm allowed to believe what I want to."

Advocates of New Earth Creationism aren't really fighting for anything more than the right to believe what they want to - even if that believe is idiotic, irrational and founded in fantasy.

But nevertheless, I find the similarities between the two groups troubling. Advocates of Holocaust Denial and New Earth Creationism are fighting for different things using the same troubling methods.

6 comments:

Coffee Bean said...

Roland! Whoa! I am incredulous, dumbfounded, and laughing at the same time! That's some tirade there and quite a fantastic corelation between two completely unrelated groups! I love your blog and the little peeks into your mind. You are quite interestng.

Anonymous said...

Mindless crap on your part if you ask me.

I assert that since you weren't here billions of years ago and can't talk to anyone who is...that all of the science and all of theory that is kicked around ALL of it...including Biblical accounts are just theories.

To be so strong-willed in your assertions that one group is wrong...and one is right...oh and the one that you THINK is wrong is lunacy...a group of nutjobs, just shows us all how much pot you must have smoked in your younger years. (That is if you aren't smoking it now.)

Coffee Bean says interesting...I say completely deluded.

And CB, you should be laughing at this post because it is LAUGHABLE.

But, as this great country protects your lunacy, speak on nutjob.

Barbie

Roland Hulme said...

Hey Barbie,

It's a deliberately inflammable subject for a post - I understand that and I was uncomfortable posting it.

But you just proved my assertion - you just argued "you don't know what happened because you weren't there!"

Now that the survivors of the concentration camps are dying out, that's the argument an increasing number of holocaust deniers are using.

It's BAD history. If either 'theory' is going to rely on BAD history, then rational people should quite rightly show it up for the farce it is.

As for you other point - you'll notice I only attacked New Earth Creationism - the doctrine that the world was created 6,000 years ago - as being wrong. That's because we can PROVE it's wrong.

Contrary to what you wrote, I didn't even touch Intelligent Design or Old Earth Creationism because while I don't believe they're true, I didn't have the confidence to assert that. I'm not shooting down all the other theories. Only ONE of them. The BAD one.

I'm not attacking Christianity. I'm not even attacking Intelligent Design. I'm just pointing out what rubbish and what lies people use in regard to New Earth Creationism.

And no, of course it's not nearly as bad as somebody denying the holocaust - but the day you don't criticize BAD theories is the day you let people like the Holocaust Deniers get their foot in the door and the authority to peddle their lies.

Anonymous said...

Saying "you were not there" in regards to a few billion years ago is a lot different than the holocaust survivors dying out...
we have photos, remnants of concentration camps (which I have visited) and we have video of the atrocities that took place at those very concentration camps.

Bring me THAT kind of evidence from billions of years ago (not theories) and I will buy the evolution and ancient earth garbage.

And I find it offensive that just because you believe someone is wrong about a theory that you believe to be hard-proven...that you would call that person dumb. (Your most recent post.)

Just another dummy...I suppose,
Barbie

Roland Hulme said...

Well, Barbie - if somebody INSISTS on believing something that clearly isn't true (That Fire Truck is PINK, I tell you) then I think accusations of dummy are the least of their worries.

But it's not very polite. Point taken.

As for evidence of evolution, etc... Well, a lot of people say 'show me the evidence' and then go suspiciously quiet when I actually do. http://rolandhulme.blogspot.com/2008/09/journey-of-life-part-1-life-begins-on.html

The evidence EXISTS. You can interpret it how you want - what you can't go is claim it's ALL false or fake.

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in Chipmonk denial ? I have never seen one only obviously faked footage dreamt up by a team of evil filmakers.

Mycroft
Oxford