Tim Rhodes wrote:
> "ARRGHHHHHHH!!!" I thought to myself, dropping my burrito and spilling half
> its contents across the table and down my front. "WHO THE HELL TOLD THE
> CHRISTIANS ABOUT **COGNITIVE DISSONANCE**!?!"
Evangelical Christians in the US have a long and (sad to say) fairly successful history of co-opting scientific jargon and distinctions for use as ammo in the War. Surely some creationist told you long ago that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics which states that all systems become less complex over time as they succumb to entropy. According to the theory of evolution, life on Earth started simple and complexified over time. Therefore, goes the argument, evolution is contrary to the 2nd law of thermodynamics and consequently false.
Strangely enough, now that I'm no longer interested in debating the issue with creationists, I never find myself in these sorts of conversations, but there was a time when they were a fairly frequent occurence. I was a staunch atheist at the time and a student of a very colorful philosphy professor who palled around with James "the Amazing" Randi, Paul Kurtz, and the uber-skeptic crew, but I digress.
Upon being presented with this argument, my first recourse was to ask the presenter to tell me what the first law of thermodynamics is. Gosh, I was darned clever in those days.
> they've already begun to co-opt the term, could we, would we, ever be able
> to get it back?
Sure, we can get it back, but lets let the Xtians propagate it for a bit first.
> Were they turning out to really be the superior memetic
> engineers, after all?
Well, they certainly do play vector to a very hardy and adaptive meme-complex, but they didn't design it; they just got infected with it.
> Could we ever hope to hold a candle to them at a game
> they've been perfecting for almost 2000 years?
What if the answer to that question is, "No way! No chance in hell. They've got it in the bag, man. You can't beat the Xtians. They fucking RULE at this meme game?"
> The mind reels.