Class Warfare Blog

July 22, 2013

Creationism . . . in Ireland . . . Oh, My!

Filed under: Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 3:22 pm
Tags: , ,

I am part Irish and still have fond feelings for the home country, although I have never made my home there. And there are stirrings of creationism in Ireland, specifically in Dublin. According to a Mr. Givan of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP): “I have never believed in the theory of evolution and, like many people, believe in the teaching of creation. I believe science points to creation but our schools are teaching a very narrow remit and many exclude alternative theories to evolution. I have asked the Council to write to local schools encouraging them to give equality of treatment to other theories of the origins of life and how the earth came into existence.”

So creationist whackos are not solely from the U.S.! That is simultaneously gratifying and not. Apparently we are exporting our “particular delusion.”

Before anyone of any political standing should be allowed to speak on this subject, I think they need to answer a few simple questions.

Question 1 Who wrote the Book of Genesis?
This is fairly straightforward question. If one is to so deeply believe that a written document is the truth, one should know a little of that document, and who wrote it is a good starting point. And, no, it was not Moses. The Pentateuch, or first five books of the Holy Bible are generally attributed to Moses but it is clearly not the case as the author of these books refers to events that happen well after Moses’ death, including Moses’ death, so it is hardly credible that that figure could have done the job (and there is, additionally, no mention of Moses in any other records and the egyptians were crazy about keeping records of their officials, so we have no corrobarative evidence the guy even existed).

The answer is we do not know who wrote the Book of Genesis or who rewrote it, either as it has been written/rewritten by more than one author. And if you don’t know who wrote it, how can one be sure it was divinely inspired? And please don’t answer “it is a matter of faith” as that is simply a statement of “it is what I think it is and I don’t need any proof.”

Question 2 When was the Book of Genesis written?
Again, this is not a trick question. Obviously there were no reporters in the Garden of Eden, recording every breathless word spoken. There, obviously, were no eye witnesses (unless you count the serpent). So, the author has to have claimed to have received the information directly from God as there could be no other source, .  . . well maybe an angel but that would just be an extension of God, wouldn’t it. I can’t imagine a deity going on “. . . and then I said to Eve, ‘Blah, blah, blah’” so presumably it came as some flash of inspiration.

But who was chosen? Someone literate must have been involved as it would have done no good to flash some poor Israelite who couldn’t write, so since we do not know who, at least we should know when it was written. Best estimates are late seventh century BCE. This is some three thousand years after the events involved (by Biblical reckoning) so why the delay? Presumably God can’t forget the details, but what about all those people who were without the support of the written word of God for thousands of years. If we use as a rough estimate of a generation being twenty years or so, that’s 150 generations of people adrift with no guidance.

Question 3 Who told you that the Book of Genesis was true and the word of God?
This may seem like another a trick question, but if somebody told me he had a message from a god and I believed it, don’t you think I would remember that event? The question revolves around whether the person who passed on this revelation was in any position to know. Whoever it was wasn’t alive at the time of the events described, nor were his teachers. So, I think we need an argument as to why one should believe such a bold claim, other than just the word of somebody who was probably paid to tell you that.

I have a second set of questions with regard to whether they have any basis upon which to believe or disbelieve evolution, that is do they understand it, but I have written about those before.

If the answers to these questions are muddled or inaccurate or ignorant, then one must be suspect of a politician making any kind of claim for which he has no basis.

 

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1 Comment »

  1. The best that fundamentalist can do with question #2 is to explain that humans passed down their beginnings through oral histories. This isn’t uncommon but it does beg the question regarding embellishment of the story over time. Nice post Stephen

    Comment by lbwoodgate — July 22, 2013 @ 4:34 pm | Reply


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