Many of us fought against Intelligent Design in the early 2000s, and for evolution to be taught in our nation’s science classes without mystical inclusions, fake “controversies” or impeaching strawmen. That battle was won, and in the wake of our triumph I speculated on how the next specter of creationism would rear its head.
It came from a direction I did not expect. And it is not a coherent, organized creationist movement, but an incoherent, chaotic stream of “woke” impulses that may or may not be benign in their intentions but could be creationist in their consequences. In their effort to advance “social justice” advocates apparently have not sufficiently thought through their own contradictory, emotional gestures or faced their cognitive dissonance.
Adults have the right to live as they wish, as long as they do no harm and break no laws. If an adult wishes to live as another gender “it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” However, to claim that reality changes with our minds and creates a spectrum instead of a bimodal is to hypocritically commit the crime so often accused of others: to invent one’s own alternative facts.
As Debbie Hayden puts it, “God-shaped holes” have formed in us, allowing atheists who claim to have put aside religion to still hold simplistic, dualistic, and magical beliefs firmly in their heads. She writes:
There is a special priestly class—the trans—that supposedly possesses some mysterious special knowledge about what it means to be human. With their claims of a special soul, or rather “gender identity,” they are revered and lauded. But only so long as they keep the faith. Some of us have seen through the ruse and rhetoric, and have publicly denounced it. We have become apostates, outlaws from the trans community on the run for heresy.
Until now we have understood trans identity as adults of one biological sex who wish and who live as another, and we’ve respected and advocated for that. But now, convoluted arguments assert tran identity as almost a secular “soul” with which the body conflicts. This sacred idea must not be questioned, lest one be accused of hatred (heresy). Yet transracialism (race being a social construct) is forbidden, while transexuality (supposedly a social construct, though not) is celebrated. We simultaneously hear that one’s gender can change from day to day, but detransitioning is a “myth” that is “hurting the movement” (unless you’re Demi Lovato). Why?
Forays into gender utopia are having an odd effect on the science of biology, the science atheists fought to keep in our nation’s science classrooms. In a refreshingly respectful exchange, a budding teacher challenged conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on gender “exploration.” However, at the 3:40 – 4:03 and 7:40 – 8:28 marks, the teacher expresses his discomfort at Shapiro’s comparisons to primate behavior and to horses.
Again, you’re comparing humans to animals, and it’s not my favorite thing.
Why not? Human are animals. An aspiring teacher doesn’t want comparisons with animals? Does this young idealist accept the evidence for evolution, or not?
16 years after Kitzmiller, I’m afraid of the answer. Even PZ Myers, once a staunch anti-creationist, is now claiming “biology is fuzzy about everything” (really? How fuzzy?) and saying he “doesn’t even know” what canceling Darwin means (though he knew what being expelling Darwin meant).
Such lived experience or “knowledge” of trans identity is now straying into the same area that anti-GMO activists strayed into in claiming genetic alteration was unnatural, “never meant or intended” (by whom?) to have a gene from a fish spliced into the genetic code for a plant, say. But all life on earth is so closely related that this argument is ridiculous when not also outright inaccurate. Mendel dusting his pea pods was no more unnatural than unguided pea pod fertilization, and neither was Isaac Newton dropping an item in order to observe gravity an invention of artificial gravity, and claiming so is an old creationist canard as old as the initial objections to Darwin’s Origin of Species (which of course begins with numerous examples of animal husbandry).
Likewise, despite consistent polling showing the American people do not agree with extreme gender ideology (but do agree with trans rights), we are told that there is no social pressure to transition, no social contagious, and any questioning of the concept of a gender continuum or assertion of the primacy of biology, once a science atheists accepted, is oppression and biological determinism that could result in youth suicide. Therefore, people who identify as trans (an explosion in recent years) are being who they were “meant” to be and yet can “change their sexuality” at any time, even daily, or don’t have to identify as anything. but if they do so after beginning hormonal or surgical procedures changing their minds and detransitioning is “rare” and an unpardonable sin.
Who can keep up with these mental backflips?
A gender “spectrum” would not work with animals, particularly animals who provide us with meat, eggs and dairy products. (Those are under attack as well.) So, the logical conclusion is that animals are sexed, but humans are not! It is, as Hayden writes above, as if there is a mystical, gendered “soul” that floats around in a human body misgendered by society – and yet the “care” for such a person is paradoxically binary, requiring new pronouns, clothes, even hormone blockers/hormone treatment, and surgery to become this gender the person supposedly always was in a world in which there are no differences between men and women (in which case no one would wish for transition)! Confused yet?
The essence of this creationist thinking leads to human exceptionalism, the profoundly unscientific and deeply religious philosophy that humans are set apart from nature, special, even central to the cosmos. And atheists should be opposed to this erroneous prejudice.