The Return of the Curse

The curse is a long neglected literary device, but one I believe should be revived and added to the pundit's arsenal. The floods of invective, tirade, rant and snark have grown stale and are losing their emotional power. They've become old and comfortable, viewed as reassurance to the supporter and meaningless noise to the opponent.

The curse is more than an argument or an assertion, it is a word of prophesy. It ties fate to its victim's coattail. It signposts a course through the multiverse. Like science, it makes predictions.

PZ Myers draws our attention to the curse left by the famous UFO debunker, Philip Klass

The Last Will and Testament of Philip J. Klass

To UFOlogists who publicly criticize me…or who even think unkind thoughts about me in private, I do hereby leave and bequeath THE UFO CURSE: No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today. You will never know any more about what UFOs really are, or where they come from. You will never know any more about what the U.S. Government really knows about UFOs that you know today. As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse.

Inspired by Klass's curse, I penned a curse in verse for PhaWRONGula (only to find on completion that Socar had been similarly inspired).

To Curse a Creationist

May your Luddite defiance and techno-anxiety,
Your morals from myth and pretensions of piety,
Irrelevance to an enlightened society
Let everyone know you're a freak.

May your lifetime's disdain for your own education
One day be the source of your mortification--
A breathtaking, gut-wrenching realization
Of your ignorant arrogant pique.

May your paranoid claims and continued insistence
That science suppresses your piece de resistance
Become such a part of your blighted existence
You feel that it's pointless to speak.


Well, I'm a creationist, and I certainly don't agree with any of the sentiments in your poem, but you put them beautifully.

Thank you, Judah.
The mere fact that you can express your disagreement without acrimony tells me you're not the type of creationist that would ever deserve this curse.

Thanks. By the way, it seems to me that the curse is slightly contradictory: "Lifetime's disdain for your own education," implies that that education should negate creationism. But "paranoid claims...that science suppresses your piece de resistance" sounds like the claim that science negates creationism is paranoid. Care to elucidate?

When confronted by the fact that mainstream science accepts the multiple streams of corroborative evidence for an old earth, the young-earth creationists (at least the very public ones) claim that there is either a huge delusion or a huge conspiracy that prevents them receiving wide recognition for their groundbreaking works. In some, this belief that the overwhelming majority view must be wrong results in them concluding that Satan is deceiving scientists. Others seem to have convinced themselves that they are smarter than conventional scientists (paranoia: delusions of grandeur) and can see the obvious evidence that others miss. Some (fortunately few) even propose an active conspiracy between atheistic scientists (paranoia: delusions of persecution) to propagate a set of anti-theistic lies.

If you're interested in the subject, is a good place to start. They have links to claims + refutations + counter-refutations etc if you want to follow arguments from both sides.