Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

September 16, 2009

The Only Show On Earth: The Evidence for Creation

Filed under: books, humor, religion, science — Tags: , , , — codesmithy @ 10:26 am

John Crace produced a piece of satire of Richard Dawkins’ new book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.  The good professor complained in the comments that he thought it was off the mark.  Crace didn’t really capture Dawkin’s flavor.  So, I decided to give it a go.  I used an excerpt from “The Times” as the basis. It probably follows the original too closely, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to defend myself from charges of plagirism, but hopefully it hits the mark of a hypothetical bizarro-Dawkins, who I’ve named Dick Rowlings.

Quick, Hide the Children!  The Evolutionists are Coming!

An excerpt from The Only Show On Earth: The Evidence for Creation by Jesus’ Chaplain Dick Rowlings

Imagine that you are a Sunday School teacher eager to impart your knowledge of the Bible into young children. Now, the Bible is a very long book and it takes repetition, repetition and more repetition before those young ones will stop asking silly questions and just accept what they are being told. Yet you find your time continually preyed upon by a baying pack of mis-educated young children who insist that we share a common ancestor with all living creatures. Therefore there was no Adam and Eve as it is written in Genesis, and therefore there was no original sin.

Instead of devoting your full attention to explaining how God gave us rainbows as a sign that He would never flood the whole world again, you are forced to divert your time and energy to a rearguard defense of the propositions that God exists and the foundational doctrines of the church! A proposition that would make you weep like a statue of Mary if you weren’t so busy repeating: the Bible is true, because it is the word of God, because it says so!

Fashionably, liberal Christians chime in to insist that the story of the flood and creation are just allegory. Good thing they aren’t real Christians, because this is a slippery-slope. Once you accept the fact some of the Bible might not be true, you start questioning every part. It is no longer good enough to say the Bible is true, because it is the word of God, because it says so! You would need evidence independent of God’s word in order to decide the question, which is just silly because what better evidence could you have than God’s word?

The plight of many religious teachers is no less dire. When they attempt to impart the central and guiding principles of faith, they are harassed with unending questions and constantly admonished for their answers, as if God’s own words were not good enough. It is a sad state of affairs to have one’s time wasted with smirks and folded arms of obviously misdirected children. It is requires many discussions with the children’s parents before they will start to display the proper attitude (I find threatening to take away their Christmas presents to be particularly effective in adjusting children’s attitudes, Jesus is the reason for the season after all).

It is frequently, and correctly, said by many prominent scientists and engineers that science, in principle, has nothing to say about religion. Steven Jay Gould, an atheist and biologist, promoted “non-overlapping magisteria” which is another way of saying that science is a trade, and that is all it is, a trade. We can look at the scientists themselves for proof of this, always pointing out how studying E. Coli bacteria will allow us to create new drugs for fighting  drug resistant bacteria that spontaneously came into existence (I suspect this is part of God’s plan to keep the scientists employed.  Isn‘t He so thoughtful?).

Science may show us how to build a better mouse-trap, with the help of a little divine inspiration of course, but science tells us nothing about the universe we inhabit or helps us understand where we came from or where we are going. For that, we need the Bible. Thinking that science reveals any truth about the nature of our existence is “scientism” which is obviously a wrongheaded philosophy because it doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible, God‘s own words!

The Only Show on Earth is about the positive evidence for creation. The Bible already provides 100% certainty that we were specially created in God’s own image. But, I will provide additional evidence that makes us at least 1,000,000% sure.

We are like detectives who come on the scene after a crime has been committed. The murderer’s actions have vanished into the past. This is exactly why the only reliable evidence we will have is written eyewitness testimony of the being who was actually there: God. This is not intended as an anti-atheist book. I’ve done that, it’s another very tall hat and slightly different collar. Although, I’m happy to say “Those Deluded Atheists” has apparently become a little bit of an international best-seller with brisk sales in Turkey.

By the end of this book you will see that creation is an inescapable fact, and we should praise God’s astonishing power. Hallelujah! God created everything within us, around us, between us, and his works are present in the flowers, the clouds and especially rainbows (for more about rainbows see my book “God Gave Us Rainbows, The End.”) Given that, none of us were around when God created everything, we shall revisit the metaphor of the detective having to blindly rely on eyewitness testimony. We all know that there is no more reliable and trustworthy source of evidence than eyewitness testimony, but it is better than that. It is the eyewitness testimony of the most honest, intelligent, loving and interesting being you could possibly wish to meet, and someday, some of us will. I will also show how we can use this testimony to integrate other facts that some atheistic evolutionists claim refute creation such as, the similarities of DNA code that fall neatly into a family tree. Well thanks to the eyewitness testimony we know that this is actually proof of God reusing the same designs, isn‘t He so smart? Vestigial organs, we know these serve purposes in the body, such as the newly discovered ability of the appendix to help fight infection.  A truth real Christians knew before those scientists with their microscopes could figure it out.  Fossils?  The result of the flood. The list goes on and on. In short, you won’t put down this book doubting creation, because if you do, you are calling God a liar!

Did I say 1,000,000% certain? More like 10,000,000%.

February 7, 2008

Rollins on Evolution and the New Dark Ages

Filed under: culture, history, politics, religion, science — Tags: , , — codesmithy @ 11:22 am

Below is Henry Rollins “Teeing Off” on Intelligent Design and Creationism.

(h/t Pharyngula)

Although Rollins is being bombastic when he declares  “the new dark ages are upon us,” it is important to recognize that Creationism and its secular facade Intelligent Design are throw backs to that era.

The central theme of the dark ages was: the bible, it has all the answers you’ll ever need.  If one wonders why people thought the Sun goes around the Earth or why the Earth was flat, one doesn’t have to look too much farther than the bible.  It wasn’t that the human race was profoundly less intelligent during the period, in fact many people were very well educated, in bible study.

For example, in Matthew 4:8: “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;”  Ok, how is that possible if the world were round?  Maybe, the devil was capable of conjuring a vision to Jesus.  However, if that were the case, why take him to an exceedingly high mountain?

For the geocentric point of view, we have versus such as 1 Chronicles 16:30: “Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.”  Well, if the world cannot be moved, then it certainly isn’t going around the Sun.

A longer argument and more examples can be found in “The Flat-Earth Bible.”

As obscure as these passages are today, members of the clergy were likely to be very knowledgeable of these verses and their implications.  This is why people like Galileo Galilei were convicted of heresy for their discoveries and forced to recant their findings.  It is not enough to merely mention that people at the time believed the Sun went around the Earth, or the Earth was flat.  The reason that people believed those things, and in fact, defended them so religiously, was because that is what one would logically conclude from reading the inerrant and divinely inspired text.  An embarrassing fact that is helpfully excluded from most mainstream discussions on the topic as it is always left as a mystery to why people believed such “crazy” and demonstrably false ideas.

In this respect, we denigrate people of the middle ages at our own peril.  The intellectual underpinnings of that era have not disappeared.  When facing any foe, it is important to know exactly what you are dealing with.

February 1, 2008

PZ Myers Does a Horrible Thing

Filed under: media, politics, religion, science — Tags: , , — codesmithy @ 11:05 am

PZ Myers is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris and writes for a blog called “Pharyngula.” He was invited to debate Geoffrey Simmons, a fellow at the Discovery Institute on the topic of “the evidence of Evolution vs. evidence of Intelligent Design” “Are Darwin’s Theories Fact or Faith Issues?” Audio of the “debate” can be found here.

The reason not to debate creationists or their secular facade known as “Intelligent Design” is because of their blatant, demonstrable intellectual dishonesty. Dr. Simmons has the intellectual capacity and academic background to distinguish between colloquial uses of the word “theory” and the specific meaning with respect to the sciences, he willingly and knowingly chose to misrepresent the opposing side. The other problem is the audience and their background. As PZ Myers mentions in the debate, it is impossible to satisfactorily summarize all the evidence for evolution in 5 minutes.

The misdirection from evolution to “Darwinism” is also intellectually dishonest. For one, it incorrectly links evolutionary theory with “Social Darwinism.” Secondly, evolutionary theory has been continually refined by countless scientists over the past 100 years. While we may laud Darwin for initially discovering the framework, he is not exclusively responsible for evolutionary theory as it stands today. Much like how we would not call the theory of gravity, Newtonism.

The argument Dr. Simmons uses is highly disingenuous. It goes: there are gaps in the evidence for evolutionary theory. Evolutionary theory cannot explain those gaps. These gaps are so inexplicable, no natural explanation can ever be discovered. Therefore, we must teach our children about these gaps and open up science to the possibility of non-natural explanations.

The problem is that Dr. Simmons needs to name a gap that can’t be explained. The arm-chair quarterbacking tactic is a relatively easy gig. There are gaps in the evolutionary record because very few animals are fossilized. However, even when transitional forms are found, the creationist puts on the hat of the “serious critic” and declares there still isn’t enough evidence for his/her satisfaction. Dr. Simmons ignorance of the whale fossil record is not surprising, because there is no need for him to be educated about it. The actual evidence will never be good enough.

The claim, of course, is that we need to apply the highest standards of critical thinking. And the answer is that scientists do. The difference between the creationists and the scientists is that they apply the same standard to the evidence. So, even if there are gaps in the fossil record that doesn’t mean that we get to ignore the vast body of evidence that appears to support it. Even if some aspects of evolution are wrong, evolution has already proven its worth and usefulness in the countless verifiable predictions it has already made.

The real problem is that science has gotten a little bit too good at providing explanations that don’t involve supernatural intervention. “The Bible” does make specific claims on how the human species came into being. Unfortunately, its explanation doesn’t agree with the things we find buried in the ground or look at in the sky. However, it is never up to the creationist to defend these claims, they claim them as an article of faith and inconvertible despite contradictory evidence. The greatest affront happens when these same people want to turn around and say scientists are just doing the same thing. It is insulting. It is insulting to those who have a basic respect for the truth and believe what they see with their own eyes. A quality that Christians respect in the Gospels, no matter how implausible or flimsy the physical evidence, but apparently not from scientists no matter how strong the case they present.

So, what was that horrible thing that PZ Myers did? Debate a creationist? No, that is its own punishment. I also see no problem with his combativeness, there is also no polite way to say that the other person just lied, or obviously doesn’t know what they are talking about. No, PZ Myers’ crime is that he left no doubt that the characters in the Bible that creationists most want to emulate are the hypocrites.

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