Uncommon Sense

July 13, 2012


Filed under: Religion,Science — Steve Ruis @ 8:56 am
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Across this country state houses are grappling with issues of science and faith but in an unbelievable way: geology and biology and education itself are under attack by Creationists, aka Intelligent Designers. The motivation behind these efforts by Christian Creationists is their religious faith but I think their problem stems from “belief” and not faith.

These misguided Christian folks believe that their god created the stars and the planets, including this one, and everything on them. Fine, let’s just go along with this. They ground this belief in their holy book, the first chapter of which describes “The Creation.” And according to their analysis of that book, the Earth can only be about 6000 years old, the Creation having taken place in 4004 BCE, on October 23rd to be exact. Now, since I was also born on October the 23rd, I might have succumbed to this attempt to flatter me, but there is a problem with this. Geologists have dated the Earth to be 4.3 billion years old and evolutionary biologists have shown that it has taken many millions of years for us, and all of the other animals (plants, too) to have evolved. Therefore these Christian intellectuals have reasoned that, due to this conflict, something has to give, and in their humble opinion, it should be the sciences. Their latest efforts center on having the “theory of intelligent design” taught side by side with biology and geology so that students can decide for themselves which of the competing “theories” is better.

There is only one major problem with this and that is that “intelligent design” isn’t a scientific theory, it is a belief based upon their holy scriptures. And the belief is false.

Consider this: assuming that their god did, indeed, create all of this, then this miracle is right in front of all of us to examine. Their god is speaking directly to one and all through his creation. A keystone of science is that one isn’t required to believe any of it. All scientists have the option of proving everything for themselves, of examining all of the evidence for themselves, of being the judge and jury of all conjecture. We hold this principle tightly. Consequently, millions of people have examined the “Creation” directly and hence have the Word of their god directly from him without any intermediary and the evidence (the Word) says unequivocally that the Earth is billions of years old and that human beings and our ancestors have been on Earth for millions of years, too.

The Creationists, though, argue that the direct Word of their god is inferior to the written words of men, men who claim their writings were “inspired” by their god. In other words, they prefer written hearsay over the evidence of creation that is in front of anyone’s eyes who chooses to look.

And if one does look at those written words, it starts with their god, like some cheap magician, uttering “Let there be light!” To whom might he have been speaking, I wonder? Any way, days later, this god creates the sun, the source of the light he created “in the beginning.” Oh, dear this is rather confused. It gets even more confused in the second chapter of Genesis in which the order in which things get created is different. So, there are definitely more than a few things wrong here.

The Creationists defend their belief in their book by claiming to know the mind of their god which elsewhere they admit is impossible to know: they claim that the geological record was created just as it is in 4004 BCE to look like it was 4.3 billion years old. Ah, so their god is deliberately trying to fool everyone?

Basically, these Christian activists are telling us that their god could not have created the universe 14+ billions of years ago and the earth 4.3 billions of years ago, which the physical world clearly indicates because they believe a book, written by men only about 2000 years ago says so.

Apparently, faith can not only move mountains, it can move reason and sense out of our discourse.

Those who rest their faith upon such authority put man in the place of God, and have no  foundation for future happiness. Credulity, however, is not a crime, but it becomes criminal by resisting conviction. It is strangling in the womb of the conscience the efforts it makes to ascertain truth. We should never force belief upon ourselves in any thing.”
Thomas Paine (Yes, that Thomas Paine)

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