Tuesday, August 9, 2016

#1701: Peter Hansen

I don’t know if it’s really worth including these ones, but Peter Hansen is apparently trying his hardest to convert the good people of Oroville, California, from science to denialism, so here you go. Hansen is “rector of St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church in Chico,” and an intelligent design creationist. There really isn’t anything in his arguments for creationism (i.e. against evolution) that hasn’t been refuted a thousand times before, except perhaps for his idiotic claim that “evolution actually bolstered the racism that subjugated blacks in the same hour Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation;” we suspect that Hansen knows he is lying, but the claim is at least pretty outrageously false. He is also unhappy that “[o]ur schools teach [Darwin’s] theory as fact” (not distinguishing “Darwin’s theory” from “modern evolutionary biology”, of course) and – apparently having watched the Expelled – that “[i]nstructors across the country have lost teaching positions for even mentioning any origin except evolution.” In reality, according to Hansen, evolution is silly because random processes couldn’t have led to the (irreducible) complexity of life; it’s also atheistic, and according to Hansen thus in conflict with current scientific developments: “Many scientific disciplines are coming to the conclusion: We are made of light,” like the Bible apparently suggests. So, no: He doesn’t understand evolution, nor science. Not much surprise, really.

Diagnosis: Yes, one of literally thousands of preachers who readily rejects scientific facts they don’t understand because they perceive them as threats to their fundamentalist faith, and who subsequently try to mislead others to do the same. Nothing original about that – it’s breathtaking arrogance, really – but as mentioned before we should probably cover a few of these people to stand as examples of a very common phenomenon.

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