Creationists Will Destroy ATS

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posted on May, 30 2008 @ 05:48 AM
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You want a creationism conspiracy? Try this one.

Once upon a time, believers and dabblers in conspiracy theories, aliens and UFOs, ancient mysteries, cryptozoology, Atlantis, etc., had a tough time of it.

In those now-bygone days, people who are interested in these things were considered a small, slightly crazy fringe at the edge of society. I'm going to call them fringe theorists, or FTists for short, rather than conspiracy theorists, because some of them had beliefs, such as those about Atlantis or Bigfoot, that didn't, prima facie, involve a conspiracy. So: FTs, not CTs, and FTists, not CTists. Such people have been with us since Victorian times at least. Before that there was no way to tell an FT from a 'respectable' one -- science hadn't advanced far enough.

FTists lived in an intellectual ghetto, their ideas derided, their company despised by 'normal' folk. The topics they loved to talk and read and wrangle about were given short shrift in the media. Coverage was restricted to brainless tabloid sensationalism and the occasional silly-season story in a respectable newspaper or magazine. Once in a while there would be a documentary on television, usually quite sceptical in its treatment of the subject.

FTists, then, were cultists: corresponding with one another by snail mail over long distances, occasionally convening in small, paranoid groups in some middle-American city or European seaside resort, but mostly living out their friendless, misunderstood lives in lonely isolation.

Out of the ghetto
After the social revolution of the 1960s, the number of FTists grew, even as traditional religious belief and orthodox mores declined in the West. Political and social upheaval had shown people that there could be alternative ways to live; psychedelics had opened a door into what many thought was a transcendent realm; New Age spiritualism was in. And interest in FTs, especially those which seemed to promise an infusion of meaning into the believer's life, was growing too. Yet in the Seventies and Eighties, FTists were still a fringe, still small in number, and nobody thought much about the things they thought about.

Then came the internet.

All of a sudden, FTists could easily communicate with each other and the rest of the world. They could network, and spread their theories wider. But there remained a problem: psychologically speaking, FTists aren't very good joiners. They're not well socialized; they tend to be individualistic, often to the point of eccentricity, and also very set in their particular views. They're argumentative. They find it hard to agree on the details of what they believe in. Some of them are just plain nuts.

So what happened? Fringe theories and discussion of them proliferated on the Internet. Thousands of Web pages and sites were created by obsessive, argumentative champions of one fringe theory or another. Other internet users stumbled upon these often fascinating pages and sites and interest in FTs began to spread. But pages and sites about FTs remained obscure and hard to find. There was a large FTist and dabbler demographic, but it was still fragmented and poorly networked.

In the real world, meanwhile, the Sixties' promises of social and scientific revolution had long since begun to seem hollow. The Establishment was firmly back in the saddle, and science had advanced so far, so quickly, that to ordinary folk it had become indistinguishable from magic, and as frightening in its potentially baleful power. People -- people who felt let down by society and bewildered by science -- yearned for something else that might give meaning to their lives. Many found that something on the internet, on a Web page dedicated to some fringe theory or other.

(Many more, of course, ended their quest for meaning in some degenerate form of religious faith, such as fundamentalism and charismatic belief. I'll be coming to them in a minute.)

Contd...



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posted on May, 30 2008 @ 05:56 AM
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The coming of Above Top Secret

Imagine, if you will, the situation in the early years of the present century. The internet has spread FTs far and wide. There are many believers and many more dabblers and interested parties. But finding these sites is often hard; they rarely link to each other, they don't show up on the first few pages of search-engine results. And even when you do find them, they tend to raise more questions than they answer -- and where do you go, then, to get the questions answered?

One day, a young man named Simon Gray was pondering these issues, and realized that the opportunity existed for a forum that brought FTists and their theories together on neutral ground -- a forum where people interested in these subjects could meet each other and talk about the subjects that interested them. It was a brilliant idea, even (as time has shown) a brilliant business idea. So he started such a forum, and named it Above Top Secret.

He built it, and they came. Boy, did they come. Droves of them. illuminatists, anti-Masonists, anti-Semitists, believers in the conspiracy of international financiers, Pyramidologists, alien abductees, crop-circle circumnavigators, yeti hunters, UFO propulsion theorists, doubters of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and people who believe their governments can control the weather, or even their minds. Soon they were all here, arguing away furiously and having a wonderful time, watched over by a posse of moderators who enforced one of the strictest rule-sets of any internet forum. Those strict rules, too, were probably Simon Gray's idea -- a very good idea. Given the kind of member ATS attracted in its early days, and the degree of attachment some of them had to their beliefs and theories, strict policing was essential. Without it, the board would have fallen apart.

The board begins to change

When I first began visiting ATS, about a year before becoming a member, the early years were over and the membership profile had already begun to change. But even back then, a substantial number of members were genuine FTs, people who were intimately familiar with their particular conspiracy theory or belief system from years of earnest, obsessive study. These members dominated the board and its culture. Their posts were long, detailed, full of quotes and external links. They argued with energy. They grew hot under the collar. Most of them are now gone -- long gone. Many of them are banned. As I said, such people don't make good joiners.

There were also many sceptics and debunkers on the board. Some, such as the lamented marduk, were specialists in the debunking of one particular theory or another. Others, like the esteemed Byrd (who is still with us, I think) were generalized sceptics. Such folk were essential members of the ATS community. They were the steel against which the FTists' flint struck sparks, the whetstone against which they honed their arguments. Their presence in the FT community was nothing new; they'd always been part of it, even back in the nineteenth century.

And ATS, as a forum, throve. But (I suspect) there was a problem. Hardcore FTists and their sceptic counterparts weren't that large or materialistically-inclined as a community. Advertisers weren't that interested in them. Keeping the board running (not to mention making a living out of it) wasn't easy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gray and his early collaborators had been joined by two other board owners, whom we know as Skeptic Overlord and Springer. Together, these three gentlemen assessed the demographic and economic realities of the situation, and realized that ATS needed to be opened up a little. With a wider and more varied population of members and visitors, the board would become more attractive to advertisers, and would thrive economically as well as in terms of its raison d'etre. They achieved the desired 'opening up' through a variety of means -- making the board prettier and more user-friendly, inviting 'celebrity' FTists to set up their own subforums, adding new, more popular subjects for discussion, and in many other ways. The results were sometimes dissuasive to the harcore FTists who made the board what it was in the early days, but there was still enough meaningful discussion and debate to keep things interesting. A few of the more dedicated (or obsessive) members walked, but most stayed, and they were joined by an enormous population of new members, making the site -- if the claim is to be believed -- one of the most popular on the internet.

And the Amigos saw what they had done, and it was good.

I don't mean this cynically. It was good. This was essentially the condition of the board when I joined in 2005. I thought it was great, actually; that's why I joined.

The invasion of the Godly

As the years went by, I noticed the complexion of ATS changing. The old members didn't post so often, and when they did, their posts smacked of fatigue and disillusion. Many threads were started decrying the 'new' ATS and mourning the old 'hardcore ATS' (though in truth, ATS was never wholly hardcore). I wasn't too worried, because I wasn't a believer in FTs -- I'm one of those who comes to ATS for entertainment, or to let off steam. But I was beginning to miss the old debates, their intensity and -- yes -- their intellectual depth.

Still, popular culture is my hobby. There remained, for me, enough to interest me on ATS, even as it changed, to keep me posting, to keep me a member.

Then, I noticed something weird happening in the Origins & Creationism Conspiracy forum. In there, a group of creationist members were clearly organizing themselves into a team, or a caucus, or a movement. They acted in cohesion, working the threads as a group, backing one another up in debates, posting encouraging messages on one another's profiles, making pincer attacks on atheist or agnostic posters, and working -- or so it seemed to me -- to a well-thought-out agenda. They efficiently exploited all the benefits of cooperation and teamwork that genuine FTists can never enjoy, because FTists aren't team players. And they were formidable, because of this; they could collectively bring more energy to a debate than any individual ATS member could muster on his own. They could (and did) wear their opponents down through sheer weight of verbiage and opprobrium.

Then, they started moving out of the O&C forum. Some began posting in the Science & Technology forum, as well as in other places on ATS. And as they did so, they began affecting the already-compromised standards of discussion and debate in those other forums for the worse.

Contd...

[edit on 30-5-2008 by Astyanax]



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 06:07 AM
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Excellent thread so far and so very true! Cant wait to read more!

Its good to see that there are still a few people on ATS that value debunkers and sceptics as important members of the ATS community. In my opinion it just seems like most of the time, that we are outnumbered and ridiculed for our opinions or called ignorant....or even more riduclous, labelled as disinfo or government agents.

Wish intelligent discussion was more frequent here....like it used to be


Makes me want to leave and never come back


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posted on May, 30 2008 @ 06:07 AM
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Is the End nigh?

Now, I'm not suggesting that creationists are conspiring to take over the board or anything; despite my years on ATS, I'm not that paranoid. No, they're just spreading their agenda, in keeping with the Christian injunction to 'preach the gospel to every nation'. But they could well be, I think, the final straw for ATS.

Here and now, in 2008, ATS has largely been abandoned by real fringe theorists -- the people who gave the board its reason for existing in the first place. Most ATS subforums are full of repetitive, half-brained arguments (the same old arguments) about topics that have already been covered, in much greater depth and detail, on earlier threads (many of which have now gone missing). These pointless threads are created and sustained by a new breed of ATS member, the type who gets his information about FTs from TV 'documentaries' and science-fiction shows like The X Files. The quality of discussion has plummeted.

But this alone will not kill ATS. It has become popularized and commercialized and is no longer what its original members would have liked it to be, but it serves a market, and probably works well for that market.

The creationists, though, are another matter. They are the people I referred to earlier, the ones who ended their quest for meaning in life by immersing themselves in some degenerate offshoot of the Christian religion. They are not a fringe; their name is Legion. And as they spread across the board, they leach the life out of discussions about FTs, science and technology, political, social and educational issues and even some of the frivolous threads on BTS.

I predict that in the end, the creationists will make ATS uninhabitable for anyone truly interested in FTs. As the last 'serious' members head for the exits, there will be no more meaningful discussion and debate, just adolescent pop-culture conspiracy babble, increasingly displaced by dull religious sermons and creationist shibboleths repeated ad infinitum to a counterpoint of angry unbelievers arguing back and getting nowhere.

And ATS will falter, and collapse. Perhaps it will reinvent itself in some new form, to appeal to creationists and religious fanatics instead of fringe theorists. But it will not, then, be the board we know.

Can anything be done?

Three possibilities suggest themselves. The first is the most extreme: that the O&C forum be closed. That will reduce creationists' interest in ATS, and prevent a lot of tedious re-examination of the same old claims. But I am not in favour of banning creationists, or anyone else, from ATS. I just want to see their influence reduced to the point where their agenda does not threaten the board.

The second option is for the moderators to take a more active stance.

Stickied to the top of the Origins & Creationism Conspiracy forum directory is a thread authored by an ATS member I greatly admire: Nygdan. He (I think it is he, not she) was one of the most rational, well-spoken and authoritative sceptical voices on ATS. His profile still lists him as a member, but his last visit to the site was over a year ago, and the last thread he authored no longer exists. Whatever that may mean, Nygdan's stickied thread is still in the forum. It is entitled 'Index to Creationist Claims'. It is, in fact, a review of standard creationist claims as well as the established scientific facts that refute them. I believe the ATS authorities have stickied that thread for a reason, the reason being to avoid pointless repetition of the same old claims and counterclaims in the O&C forum -- not to mention elsewhere on ATS.

I believe the moderators should exercise their authority to refer posters to Nygdan's thread. New threads about the same old claims he mentions and refutes should not be permitted. Moderators should point out that the topic is already covered in the forum (on Nygdan's thread, or elsewhere) and close the offending new thread. Additionally, the moderators should come down on any posts regarding claims already dealt with on the stickied thread. It doesn't matter whether the poster or thread starter is a creationist, a rationalist or any other kind of -ist; everyone should get the same treatment.

Sadly, I cannot see this happening. For one thing, there are one or two moderators who actively support the creationist influx; and more important, it would probably take a lot of moderator time and effort. Still -- isn't that what they're for?

The third option is for ordinary members, those who are becoming discouraged by the sheer overwhelming tide of creationist proselytizing, to do what I suggested the moderators do, taking Nygan's thread as their benchmark. However, this is dangerous work -- many of my favourite members have been banned because they took on the creationists. The reasons for their banning were all different, but the fact remains that they are gone and the Faithful are still here.

I said I could think of only three options. Actually, there is a fourth. If we all ignore the creationists, refuse to respond to their posts or engage them in debate, they will either get frustrated and go away, or their takeover will advance so rapidly that the owners and managers of the board will take fright and find some ingenious way of dealing with the problem.

Sadly, this fourth option requires the non-creationist membership of ATS to cooperate. And ATS members -- even the new proletariat of FT dabblers -- are not, as I have observed repeatedly in this long, long post, much given to cooperation. Getting them to act as one would be harder than herding cats.

So yes, the end may well be nigh.

[edit on 30-5-2008 by Astyanax]



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 06:36 AM
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I completely agree with this thread. Star. I haven't been a member but a year (i had another screen name) but I have noticed it in that time span. It really irks me whenever I go into a thread about one subject and then the discussion turns to christianity or some form of religion, even when it had nothing to do with the topic. And yeah, I have seen it before. Watch, I bet the creationists and christians flock in here in droves to put their 2 cents in.



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 06:45 AM
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I'm in agreement also. I shake my head every time I hear on the news that the creation point of view will be taught along side of the "real science" in schools. The age of the earth 6,000 years
etc... talk about de-evolution just bring 'em in and let them spout the crap! Real science is evil!!



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 06:52 AM
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I would also like to add the point that there is a difference between people that seek the true origins of our creation and the people that are bible thumping across ATS. I'm all for seeking the truth, but not the "push your religious views on everyone" people.



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Is the End nigh?

Now, I'm not suggesting that creationists are conspiring to take over the board or anything; despite my years on ATS, I'm not that paranoid. No, they're just spreading their agenda, in keeping with the Christian injunction to 'preach the gospel to every nation'. But they could well be, I think, the final straw for ATS.

They are certainly bent on spreading ignorance here.
This forum was originally created to discuss the conspiracy against evolution theory and did and ignorance was denied.. yet now it has devolved into a platform for pro-creationist religious right propoganda where they have managed to turn this forum into a creationst vs ToE wrestling match.. exactly the type of thing the wedge document saught to accomplish. In essence ATS is enabling conspirators by giving them this server space.

Starred and flagged.


[edit on 30-5-2008 by riley]



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 07:05 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Believe it or not,
We 'creationists' are not getting together off the board to put together a plan to 'do in' the evolutionists!
It gets REALLY boring to talk about.

I do think one person had an idea for a video, I don't know how that's going.
Maybe you don't think I'm very intellectual,(I CAN'T SPEAK FOR ANYONE ELSE,
SORRY.)I quit the 9th grade. But,
I do my best.
When I first got here about 2 years ago, Christians were insulted at nearly every turn. I'm glad for the civility, now.



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:16 AM
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Oh dear. So much bunk and false information I don't know where to start. Allow me to start with this little tidbit before moving along to Astyanax.


Originally posted by riley
This forum was originally created to discuss the conspiracy against evolution theory and did and ignorance was denied.. yet now it has devolved into a platform for pro-creationist religious right propoganda where they have managed to turn this forum into a creationst vs ToE wrestling match.


Riley. In my evolution thread, I remember you repeatedly trying to get me into trouble for various reasons and tried to get my thread moved. First you very vocally and repeatedly accused me of 'political baiting' simply for debating evolution until I had to remind you it was a scientific discussion- not a political topic.

Then you very loudly protested the fact my thread was in the wrong forum due to it being a debate between evolution and creation and you said the forum was strictly for religious conspiracies against evolution. You are now saying the same thing here and even claim this forum was 'originally created' for that purpose. Although that is certainly a part of it, you might want to read this comment from Skeptic Overlord himself as well as the person's question in quotes he answers:

Enjoy Your Ownage.

That was in his thread introducing us the new O&C forum and that comment from him is the second post of his on that thread. Sorry you missed the memo.



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by Clearskies
Believe it or not,
We 'creationists' are not getting together off the board to put together a plan to 'do in' the evolutionists!


You know it. I know it. The other creationists know it. And in my opinion, even the ones who love to accuse us of such a thing know it. I think they know we don't actually tag team but that their comments about tag teaming, forum gangs, and the Borg is yet another attempt to get us in trouble at any costs as there is a very strict rule against forum gangs. No, we don't plot, plan, or act in cahoots. Let them have their delusion, I guess. It's pretty sad they have to resort to false accusations to silence us.

What is funny [read: sad, pathetic], though, is that some of the atheists-evolutionists have been busted red handed for having a plan to troll, report, and run off creationist members. But remember, they're the victims in all of this.


[edit on 5/30/2008 by AshleyD]



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
I predict that in the end, the creationists will make ATS uninhabitable for anyone truly interested in FTs.


Astyanax ... you should get 'writer' status put on under your avatar.
It was an entertaining story and I enjoyed your presentation. I dont' agree with your conclusions, but it was entertaining.


As for your prediction - time will tell.


Can anything be done?

Let the mods take action as they see fit. Anything else smacks of censorship. If your arguements hold water, then no matter how much others scream it won't matter.



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Interesting issue and one that I brought up a while back.

ATS is becoming a political correct board and as any other public board you can no denied access base on religion, gender, race or political affiliations.

This brings the issue of abuse, like any other popular public board with big traffic the propagandist and pursuers of their own agendas find this place a healthy and wide ground to push their own views.

When it comes to politics and religion you can see how out of hand in the name of fairness to all people has been using the side with open reign to preach and promote their candidates as in politics.

This is something that can not be avoid, but you either ignore the preaching or help make it grow.

And that is the problem, in our pursue to keep threads open minded we tend sometimes to promote and encourage what we are trying to avoid.

Call it human nature.


[edit on 30-5-2008 by marg6043]



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:38 AM
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This rant against the creationist taking over ATS is just a subset of what is a very disturbing pattern among so-called "progressives."

The pattern actually consists of two parts:

1. A display of arrogance that their own point is TRUTH and they know better than everybody else, which leads to...

2. If you don't agree, then your opinion isn't worthy, and your right to express it shouldn't be tolerated.

Ironically, the OP's subject of creationists is the ultimate example of this. It takes an incredible amount of arrogance to conclude definitively that God does NOT exist.

Yet that is the entire implication here. Creationist views need to be silenced because, according to some, their beliefs are inherently wrong.

It's really very simple. There are only two possibilities. There is either a God who created the universe or there isn't. To disparage people who believe in God is really just jumping up and down and ranting that your belief that there is NO God is right, and you don't want to tolerate listening to those who disagree.

And I thought progressives were supposed to be tolerant, and the Christian right was supposed to be the group that was intolerant.


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posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
They acted in cohesion, working the threads as a group, backing one another up in debates, posting encouraging messages on one another's profiles

All right. Anyone who believes in God/Creationism is henceforth forbidden to talk to, reply to, or comment on any other member who believes in the same thing. Rail cars will arrive shortly to scurry these folks off to isolation camps so they can't talk to each other.

Despite the fact that we believe their ideas to be inferior and unscientific, we can't bring it on ourselves to actually debate them. Obviously a group of idiots is far more powerful than one person with the truth. You see, while science is on the side of evolution, the theory of evolution itself is wobbly, weak, and can not stand up to examination from an opposing viewpoint. It's sad but true. We must confess that superior ideas are inferior when more than one person takes the wrong side. The slightest bit of opposition apparently dissolves our will since our ideas are not deeply rooted in our own minds.

Please, please. Creationists. Even though this forum has the word Creationism in the title, it's not meant for you. As soon as I can find my "No girls allowed" sign from the old tree house I'm going to repaint it to say "No Creationist Allowed" and hang it on the forum door. Sure it will look like something from a Little Rascals movie, but hopefully it will get the message out.



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:48 AM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


AshleyD, I in no way mean to attack you or appear as though I am attacking anyone. But I want to know why you took the opportunity in your first post in this thread to carry on what must be a existing 'conflict' between you and riley, in a thread where said 'conflict' was not directly mentioned except maybe indirectly through mentioning the greater conflict at hand between the respective parties (Pro-Creationism & Pro-Evolutionists)?.



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Then, I noticed something weird happening in the Origins & Creationism Conspiracy forum. In there, a group of creationist members were clearly organizing themselves into a team, or a caucus, or a movement. They acted in cohesion, working the threads as a group, backing one another up in debates, posting encouraging messages on one another's profiles, making pincer attacks on atheist or agnostic posters, and working -- or so it seemed to me -- to a well-thought-out agenda.


If this isn't the pot calling the kettle black I don't know what is. First of all, you are wrong in thinking we act in an organized fashion. We do not. Second, it also seems the atheist evolutionists act in cohesion and make it a mission to ridicule people of faith/creationists.

But in my opinion? You guys can do that. It's your right and is human nature for people with similar views to befriend each other. Just don't act like a victim and a hypocrite when you can dish it out but can't take it.

Do you guys not see the perpetual acts of antagonism many of you engage in towards other members? It's ridiculous.

I think people who believe aliens seeded the earth are wrong but I see no reason to ridicule them, attack them personally, and certainly see no reason to create a thread accusing them of ruining ATS or asking for mod intervention to silence them like you have done in this thread. Your bias is showing, Astyanax. This thread is nothing but you trying to silence alternative views by seeking staff intervention via sensationialism.

[edit on 5/30/2008 by AshleyD]



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:52 AM
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NEWSFLASH: Asty

I think ATS values freedom - even creationists opinions - even megalomaniac atheists opinions too - why suppress human rights? Is your science so threatened Asty? Afraid of the light of exposure?

This is my philosophy:


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


In Contrast

Your rant reminds me of a book I read once...



Your Struggle?




[edit on 5/30/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by Marshall Ormus
I in no way mean to attack you or appear as though I am attacking anyone. But I want to know why you took the opportunity in your first post in this thread to carry on what must be a existing 'conflict' between you and riley, in a thread where said 'conflict' was not directly mentioned except maybe indirectly through mentioning the greater conflict at hand between the respective parties (Pro-Creationism & Pro-Evolutionists)?.


Not a problem. I don't see honest questions as a personal attack.


I brought it up due to seeing that member repeatedly use the argument that this forum is strictly supposed to be about conspiracies against evolution. However, I linked that member to a post by one of the site owners to show this forum is also for origin debates and to discuss alternatives to our origins.

It went along with the theme of this thread trying to silence creationists so that is why I brought it up.


[edit on 5/30/2008 by AshleyD]



posted on May, 30 2008 @ 09:57 AM
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Wow... here's an underlying presupposition of the OP that I originally missed.

The title directly states that creationists will *Destroy* ATS. Think about that for a second.

The implication is that ATS needs to be an environment where only like-minded views are shared.

I would argue the exact opposite is true, no matter what the topic. The only thing that makes ATS so popular is the back-and-forth between people who totally disagree.

What's really beautiful about ATS is that people from all over the planet, with totally opposite backgrounds and belief systems, can exchange ideas in a respectful way.

ATS is a forum that is on the forefront of the growth of humanity on a global scale. To suggest in any way that any sub-group on ATS will destroy it is very short-sighted, dangerous, ego-centric, and close minded, in my opinion.






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