Why I use sports analogies


I’m sure many of you wonder why, as cliché and trite as they often are, I harp on sports analogies. It’s not just because I’m uncreative (although that’s true to a large degree). I’m crazy enough to hope that since people appreciate nuance and complexity in a topic as simple and straightforward as basketball ability, there’s a chance they can do the same elsewhere. As I’ve said before…if we don’t use a single tool to predict athletic performance, why do so for intelligence? Being terrible at free-throws doesn’t necessarily mean you suck at basketball just as being a young-earth creationist doesn’t necessarily mean you reject climate change or can’t solve differential equations.

Or how about this angle. In sports we recognize that people will engage on different levels and in different ways. Even couch potatoes can be sports fans. Not everyone is interested in becoming a professional 0r college athlete, and that’s fine. If you’re goofy and have poor hand-eye coordination, no one tell you to abandon all sports for all time. You’re encouraged to join cross country! This type of discourse is missing when it comes to creationists (and science literacy more generally).

Just looking at some of my commenters, research scientist/politician/secretary of energy is always the unit of analysis. Since believing in creationism might prevent you from becoming a scientist, it is uniformly and wholly bad. But what if some people don’t care about becoming a scientist or the secretary of energy? Shouldn’t their particular needs be accounted for? Shouldn’t they be allowed to appreciate science in their own way? Why devalue them as human beings based on a single measurement?

In closing, I know I’ve beaten this meme to death. I’m now going to turn to other dimensions of this issue. Stay tuned.

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