Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Zombies of Creationism

Last month Valve released an excellent survival horror game called Left 4 Dead. In it four survivors try to escape from a ravaging infested horde of zombies. Most of the infested are mindless zombies that when started will quickly rush at the survivors, but there are also a few special infected that pose a different challenge to the player. It's a fun, twitch shooter with great replay value.

There are times though when a break from fantasy is needed and I like to play a little game of intellectual Left 4 Dead, or better known as arguing with creationists. Now comparing creationists to zombies is probably unkind to zombies, but for the sake of an analogy I hope the zombies won't mind. So without further hesitation, here is a list of creationist types as if they were characters in the brilliant Valve game.

  • Infested: the masses - mindless drones on their own, when in the presence of a survivor they will attack with great ferocity. There's no strength to their attacks, but will attack in great numbers. They have a limited range of attacks, all easily brushed aside. Ignorant catchphrases like "from goo to you", "molecules to man" and the very liberal use of the word "Darwinism". Individually they are no threat, but when attacking in large numbers there runs the risk of being overwhelmed.

  • Hunters: the strong believer - very much like the masses, but with a much stronger arsenal. They will actively seek out survivors and attempt to take one down through force. Their attacks include comments about the 2nd law of thermodynamics, casting doubt on radiometric dating, and using concepts such as irreducible complexity. Left one on one, a depleted survivor may be at risk, but with the right equipment a hunter is nothing more than a minor threat.

  • Smokers: the blogger - instead of hunting for survivors, it uses it's long tongue to draw people in. A smoker's attack is trying to suffocate the survivor, it uses the blog as a means to present a more formalised argument. Even after destruction the smoker will leave it's mark in the form of the blog. Smokers usually require a group effort to take down as one can easily be picked off. That "disable comments" option is never too far away.

  • Boomers: the professional - the power of the boomer is not to directly harm survivors, but to incite the masses by vomiting on those they wish to target. Being in the presence of a boomer is bad enough, being puked on by one is nauseating. Nothing that comes out of their mouth has any worth, but it's ability to attract infested is astounding. A threat if not properly dealt with from a distance, it's best to keep out of harms way and always have a team to back you up just in case you are the one who is puked on.

  • Tanks: the troll - it takes a special kind of person to be impervious to reason, a tank can withstand wave after wave of sustained damage. They are slow but can deliver a powerful attack when need be. It's a game of sheer attrition with a troll, they will wear down a survivor through bludgeoning. They are a threat through depletion of ammunition, a team effort is needed in order to successfully take one down. Again it's a matter of keeping distance and staying far enough away not to get bludgeoned.

  • Witch: the victimised - a passive believer will not wake unless stirred, but will attack with such ferocity through emotional reasoning. Their attacks ignore evolution altogether and instead centre around the belief in God. One punch from these could land a fatal blow a survivor that is not careful could be destroyed by the equation of Darwinism to the holocaust or that without God there is only nihilism. Once stirred they are unrelenting in attack so the best strategy is avoidance.


Reasonably Aaron said...

hahaha that was very well done!!

Ouchimoo said...

HAHA, awesome! You rule as a savvy atheist/agnostic gamer :D

Wowbagger said...

Interesting descriptions, Kel - since I'm probably familiar with many of the people you've got in mind as examples, I'd love to know which of the recent Pharyngula godbots you think equate to each zombie type...

Freidenker85 said...

Totally getting that game now. For the XBOX, though. This laptop won't play a game to save its life.