Sunday, January 27, 2008

Creationist logic: creationism is the science and evolutionary biology is the religion

The world’s first museum devoted to showing the biblical creation myth as fact opened last spring in Northern Kentucky near Cincinnati. The museum promotes creationism – the religious belief that life and the universe were created in their original form as spelled out in the Book of Genesis. In recent decades creationist proponents have attempted to present this belief as scientific to somehow give it equal standing to the use of evolution as the explanation of the development of life on earth.

The museum includes displays of those pesky dinosaurs’ bones that keep showing up all over the world. In fact, there are dinosaurs shown along humans in the world’s 6000-year existence. And, of course, Adam and Eve are positioned in such ways as to maintain their modesty – just the way God intended. They also have computer animation of how all those animals actually fitted in Noah’s Arc.

The museum certainly found a niche in the market for those interested in this type of entertainment. The facility recently expanded although another creationist museum in Texas is auctioning off a prehistoric mastodon skull to stave off that museum’s extinction.

The Creation Museum, a project of the Answers in Genesis Ministry (AIG), $27 million project designed to promote as fact an odd jumble of biblical myths intermixed dinosaurs and fossils cloaked as science. This is an excerpt of an article by Dr. John N. Moore, a founder of the Creation Research Society, appearing on the AIG website:

… the science and research practices of both creationists and evolutionists involve the very same techniques, equipment, etc. In fact, the very same objects—such as rocks—and all measurable entities are the same for each investigator. As a consequence, I avoid the expression “creation science.” I prefer the use of a hyphen—i.e., “creation-science”; the hyphen conveys that two areas of human knowledge have been joined.

In addition, though most people, including scientists, consider the biblical teaching of origins to be religious and consider evolutionary ideas scientific, we should challenge such a view. In the secular media, for instance, the debate is often described as “creationism vs. evolution,” as if the “ism” should not apply to “evolution.” This is not accurate, because believing in evolution, like believing in creation, requires acceptance of a certain presuppositional dogma and requires placing one’s faith in a story about the unrepeatable past. See Science or the Bible?

Also, the term “religion” must be defined clearly. While beliefs and worship practices, procedures, and conduct are involved in religion, any belief system that purports to be a total explanation of reality is more-or-less religion. Thus, insofar as it is an attempt to explain why the world is the way it is, held to with ardor and faith, Darwinian evolution can thus be considered religion.

So it seems we all have it backwards – creationism is the science and evolutionary biology is the religion. George Orwell would have recognized this twist in logic for what it is.

The backers of the museum and Answers in Genesis are people who do not read the Bible for the truths it may tell but as factual evidence of real events – in other words, all biblical stories are literally true. At the same time these people are products of their time and are enamored with scientific methods and the illusion of science. In the museum they have merged the two to come up with something on the level of the Flintstones – the 1960’s cartoon series about prehistoric people living in prehistoric suburbs along side dinosaurs. That there are people who will undoubtedly take this sham of a museum and the writings from their website such as above serious is rather sad, if not frightening.

(Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.)


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was hoping the religious would have killed themselves off. The fact that people can be so willfully ignorant astonishes me. I honestly don't even know anymore if they really believe what they preach, or if they just keep up the charade to avoid anyone with a college education from saying "AHH HA WE TOLD YOU!!".

David said...

"The fact that people can be so willfully ignorant astonishes me."

It's interesting that you would use this kind of language. See 2 Peter 3, written nearly 2000 years ago...

"Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, 'What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created'.
They DELIBERATELY FORGET [caps mine] that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood."

Anonymous said...

Would that be from the same bible that condones rape, slavery, and sexism?

Have you researched religion at all? I don't mean your religion, I mean religion in general. Ask yourself why you are a christian. Did your parents make you go to church when you were a child? I bet they did, or they at least told you about "god" and the bible.

Now ask yourself what would you be if you were born to muslim parents in Iran or Iraq. Reeally think about it, don't just laugh it off. Certainly not christian.

Mindless drones like yourself are a disgrace to mankind and PROOF of evolution.

David said...

"Would that be from the same bible that condones rape, slavery, and sexism?"

And you accuse me of not knowing religion? The Bible nowhere condones any of those actions, showing that you know very little about the literature you criticize.

"Have you researched religion at all? I don't mean your religion, I mean religion in general. Ask yourself why you are a christian. Did your parents make you go to church when you were a child? I bet they did, or they at least told you about "god" and the bible."

Yes, to all of the above. It seems that you're assuming I've not studied other world religions. You know what they say about making assumptions.

"Now ask yourself what would you be if you were born to muslim parents in Iran or Iraq. Reeally think about it, don't just laugh it off. Certainly not christian."

I've thought this question through many times, and am thankful for the life God has given me. But you should know there are many Christians in parts of the world that aren't termed "Christian nations." Countries like Iraq and Iran, Vietnam and China, etc. To say I "certainly wouldn't be Christian" is to limit God's power to save to only Americans, and you can't do that.

Furthermore, your argument really is a red herring. Whether I would be a Christian if I were born in Iraq has no bearing on whether what the Bible says is true or not.

"Mindless drones like yourself are a disgrace to mankind and PROOF of evolution."

I feel for you. You don't even know me, yet you assume (there's that word again) that I'm mindless. And if my mindlessness were proof of evolution, then what exactly would that imply? That mankind is devolving? I don't think that helps your argument.

And at least I'm not anonymous.

Karlo said...

Wasn't Fred Flinstone in the Bible? I recall some line, I think it was from Leviticus: "And Fred and Wilma begat Bam Bam, and they fed and nourished her on dinosaur meat. And ye, she flourished, and they saw that it was good." To my recollection, this is the only passage in the Bible that mentions dinosaurs. I guess the tyronosaurus rexes weren't too noticable--and fortunately all good swimmers during the flood.

Anonymous said...

You misread the statement, David. I said if you were born to muslin parents, not if you were born to christian parents in Iraq.

Would you have had the audacity to stand up to your muslim parents and stick up for a religion that you knew nothing about? Would you have researched christianity and seen it as the "truth" as opposed to islam?

The fact is, humans are not born with any knowledge of religion. Children show no predisposition to any faith until it is forced upon them by society and family.

God said...

Your ignorance is showing, David.

Since you seem to like quoting scripture, here's just a few passages supporting my case.

Rape:
Isaiah 13:16

Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.

Zechariah 14:2

For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Slavery:

Luke 12:45-48: "The lord [owner] of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

1 Peter 2:18
"Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh."

Timothy 6:1
"All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered."

The chruch has been undoubtably sexist throughout history. Not allowing women as preists, saying women should submit to their husbands, even the bible says a woman is not to speak in church. There is no debate. You, sir, are either a liar or flat out ignorant.

Your anonymity comment was rather humorous as you yourself post under the single name "David" with no means of authentication. Identity in this case is irrelevant anyway.

Comrade Kevin said...

I prefer the adjective phrase reality-challenged. :-)

After all, reality is a religion. We all believe in the same scientific reality without questioning it.

*rolls eyes*

David said...

The Scriptures about rape and torture you quoted are not commendations but prophecies. Did you even read the context?

The commands for slaves to be respectful of their masters was an encouragement to react to a bad situation just as Jesus would have. Slavery was a present reality then, as it is in many places today. You, however, will not find one place in the Bible that commends slavery as a good thing.

"You misread the statement, David. I said if you were born to muslin parents, not if you were born to christian parents in Iraq."

See persecution.com. People in oppressive countries, where there is no religious freedom, everyday are rejecting the religion handed them by their parents and suffering for it. Many are thrown in jail, many are killed. You don't know what you're talking about, sir.

Sexist: you've put forth accusations that the Bible is sexist without substantiating them. How is it sexist for women to respect and submit to the husband? For that matter, is it sexist to command men to love their wives as selflessly as Christ loved the church?

As for the flintstones comment, I'll respect the silliness with one statement and one question: the word dinosaur was coined in 1841. Does that mean the idea of dinos didn't exist in 1840 and previous?

Jewsus said...

http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0401/slavery.html

Take this quiz, sir.

How did Jesus say a slave should treat his master?

What is God's policy on physical punishment of your slave?

Whom did God tell the Israelites they should turn into their slaves?

What does God say is to happen to a male slave after six years of service?

What does God say should happen to a master who beats his slave to death?

Does God allow you to sell your daughter into slavery?

What punishments does God mandate when an ox gores a free man and when an ox gores a slave?

What was the plight of those not born Israelites?

What conduct by slaves does Jesus dislike?

What effect does God say warfare has on slavery?

This is from a Baptist site by the way, not an atheist site.

As for your comments denying sexism in Christianity, you neglected to respond to the prohibition of female priests in history.

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord...Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." (Eph. 5:22-24)

"Women should remain silent in churches. They are not allowed to speak; but must be in submission as the Law says." (I Cor. 14:34-35)

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." (I Tim. 2:11-14)

"The head of every man is Christ, and the head of every woman is man." (I Cor. 11:3)

Thou shalt not lie/bear false witness. Enjoy the barbeque.

Elohim said...

On further inspection, that site with the quiz is satire,. However, it should please you to notice the refernce to the bible passage in which the answer is found. That should suit your need for reference.

David said...

"This is from a Baptist site by the way, not an atheist site."

You have to be kidding. One look at the website and it's obviously a farce. It is no more a Christian website than Stephen Colbert is a real journalist. (He is funny, though.)

"As for your comments denying sexism in Christianity, you neglected to respond to the prohibition of female priests in history."

I'm not denying sexism in Christianity, any more than it would be foolish to deny adultery, murder, or any other sin in the history of the Christian church. The core of the matter is whether Christian principles as outlined in the Bible are sexist.

Your Scripture references are a good starting point. But you are the one making an assertion or accusation, if you will. The verses themselves state nothing sexist. Please explain how exactly the commands and principles found in these verses are sexist?

Thanks again for the softball with landoverbaptist.org. That's a funny one.

Yahweh said...

Come on, dude. You're argueing semantics now about the sexism thing.

Yes, I retracted my statement about website after I looked beyond that initial quiz page, I thought that was too convienient to be legit.

However, all questions posed are reasonable in concluding that christianity at the very least condones, and never condemns slavery. Every answer is backed with reference.

C. said...

I come from a very religious family. Although they are religious, they are not fundamentalists, nor do they believe the Bible to be the actual written word of God. If that were true, then I suspect that the books of the New Testament would be titled a bit differently, since many of them are named after their presumed authors.
One thing that I believe is very unfortunate is that there is no place for a liberal Christian in this debate. The Fundamentalists rip them apart for not trying to convert all of their "heathen" friends and encouraging a loose interpretation of the Bible instead of a literal one. While extremist Atheists bash them for believing in something that is a part of them.
I personally went through an agnostic phase, when I refused to become a member of my church. Now I suppose I am still technically agnostic but I don't like to refer to myself that way because of my admiration for my family's ability to believe in something that they cannot see and trust in the presence of a higher power. They make me wish I believed.