There is a zoo in Bristol called 'Noah's Ark', and with a name like that you just know it's going to have a religious connection. Which it does. The fundamentalist wing of Atheism are up in arms about it because apparently, this zoo is 'pushing a creationist agenda'. Well, here's what I think of that:
I couldn't give a damn. At all. Netiher could around 95% of the population, if they're honest.
Okay, I'm a scientist and I'm not religious. Not religious at all and that includes 'humanism'. So, if push comes to shove, I'd say evolution sounds more credible that creation BUT that's because I don't believe in a God and therefore it would be illogical to believe in creation. I don't 'believe' in evolution either. If I was to 'believe' in something, that would then be a religion. I'd then be no different from certain scientists and science mags who work the word 'evolution' into every discussion of every subject even if it's about machinery, computers or kitchen utensils. I don't study evolution. My work does not depend on evolution being true. What I've seen of it leads me to think it looks about right but I have not studied it in detail and have no intention of doing so. I have other things to do.
It doesn't actually matter, you see, whether the world was created 6000 years ago, formed by random chance a few billion years ago, popped into existence this morning with all of us in place and all our memories intact, was sneezed from the nose of a Chihuahua with swine flu, is a Sims-like computer game played by a five-dimensional being which will end when his mum calls him for tea, or is nothing more than a vast publicity stunt by Lego. It doesn't matter.
Okay, if you're determined that you must have a Truth, pick one. Pick whichever you like. The sun will still rise in the morning, the Brown Gorgon will still be working to destroy us all, the taxman will still empty your pockets and you still can't enjoy anything without being told it'll kill you. Someday, something will, unless you're one of the Perfectly Healthy People, in which case, one day you'll die of nothing. Whatever you believe about the past will not affect the future. It only affects what you think that future will be, and since nobody has yet come up with a way to accurately predict the future, what anyone believes about the past is of no real consequence.
Tomorrow matters to me. Yesterday does not, other than as a reference for future decisions. I'm not going to argue with you if you think the Earth is flat, cubic, toroidal or banana-shaped. I'll just nod and smile and let you believe just what you like. I don't have time to explain to everyone I meet that Salmonella is not a virus, that antibiotics will not cure the flu, that you cannot catch a hereditary disease, that those paper masks will not protect you from swine flu, that Campylobacter in raw chicken is not really a surprise and not that much of a problem unless you're completely incompetent in a kitchen, or any of it. I get paid to explain that stuff to companies. I used to get paid to explain that stuff to classes, when there were such classes here, and I don't want to do it in my time off because I want to do something that isn't work.
For most people it really doesn't matter at all anyway. The rabid atheists insist that the creationists are warping the minds of the public and filling them with disinformation. Here's what the Humanists have to say:
The Noah's Ark zoo farm, in Wraxall, near Bristol, was accused by the British Humanist Association (BHA) of misleading tens of thousands of annual visitors and "threatening public understanding".
Threatening public understanding? How can you threaten something that does't exist?
The public are putting their home addresses on Facebook and advertising when they'll be away on holiday. The public are up in arms because they imagine drawings of fruit depict sexual images. The public don't understand that the Gene Collectors are more of a threat than a hairdresser. Many MPs don't understand this either and the police don't understand that if you put explosive-grade peroxide on your hair, you won't just bleach it, you'll spontaneously combust. CCTV operators call the police if someone is taking photos of trains, and the police chase the poor sod all over the country. The public now harass smokers, drinkers, the overweight, photographers, any single man in a park, anyone they're told to harass and without ever, once, questioning why they're doing it. 'Threatening public understanding' is an impossibility. They don't have any. If you can't explain to people the connection between a cow and a hamburger, how do you expect to explain the theory of evolution to them?
Waste of time.
There was a spoof, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, set up to take the mickey out of religion by a couple of scientists. Guess what? There are now people who actually believe there is a flying spaghetti monster religion. They didn't get it. They never will. Hang around and chat with some average-IQ folk who do jobs that have nothing at all to do with science. You'll be amazed at how many of them can't grasp concepts like 6,000 years, never mind six billlion. They don't need to. That information is of no value to them because it does not affect their lives one jot. It would be like trying to explain to me about the intricacies of volleyball or the aerodynamics of a weaver's shuttle. I don't care. I'll smile and nod and think about something else until you stop talking.
Look at yourself. You are on the Internet but you're not currently surfing for porn or spending ten hours a day playing 'dragonstomper' or some other game. You're reading blogs. Furthemore, you're reading blogs that don't have naked people in them. That puts you in a small group, you realise? If you get through the waffle I spout in these posts, you have a way above average attention span. The rest of the country is not like you. They don't want to read more than a paragraph and if there's no picture, they won't read at all. They will not even consider the arguments between creation and evolution, but will pick a side and stick with it. They need no reason or logic. Just a charismatic narrator. These people are forced into making a decision they really don't care about and will agree with you just to shut you up. They have not ben convinced of your argument. They don't want to argue at all. It simply doesn't matter to them. Once they've made their choice they stick with it because changing their minds is too much trouble - the subject is of no real relevance to them and they don't want to be bothered thinking about it any more.
I'm not talking about stupid people. I'm talking about just about anyone who is faced with a subject they consider of no relevance to them.
Humanists are concerned that the zoo in Bristol has signs telling people about creationist ideas. I am not at all concerned about that because few will read the signs. They are there to look at the animals, and that's all. They don't care about philosphical discussion, they just want to see the monkey throw poo at someone.
What concerns me is that twenty percent of the population can't read the signs.
Now that really is something worth worrying about.