Creationist Wisdom #107: Death

YOUR Curmudgeon once again brings you the view from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of creationist wisdom. At their website we read what may be the ultimate creationist article: Tragedy in a Godless Universe.

This mind-destroying mess was written by John UpChurch — note the peculiar capitalization. We can’t find any biographical information about him, but he’s written several items for AIG. This is a long article, so we’ll give only a few choice excerpts, with bold font added for emphasis. Here we go:

Evolution requires death. At its core, Darwin’s postulate appeals to the power of death to remove those less able to survive so that the “more fit” can take their place. Natural selection, in this Darwinian sense, toils mindlessly on, removing individuals, populations, and even entire species. Whether something — or someone — lives or suffers, Darwinism offers only the cold machinations of time and death. Anything more would require existential purpose, after all, and that cannot be allowed.

Did you get that? Darwin’s “postulate.” The author has no idea what that word means. And he claims that “existential purpose” is not allowed by “Darwinism.” It’s allowed, Mr. UpChurch. Your Curmudgeon has a purpose — one which he himself has chosen. Presumably you, dear reader, have decided upon your own purpose. What ignoramus informs creationists like UpChurch that purpose “cannot be allowed”?

Evolution, in an atheistic worldview, is morally neutral. When tragedies strike, evolution cannot tell us something is detrimental. Death, after all, can neither be untimely or tragic, since death is the means by which “progress” is made.

What a paragraph! Evolution is no more and no less atheistic or moralistic than chemistry, or physics, or astronomy. Whether death is untimely or tragic is a human judgment, and science doesn’t tell us about that. In the context of evolution, death doesn’t mean “progress.” Progress is a subjective judgment, whereas death is a biological fact. Being apart from human morality, evolution relieves the “designer” of any suspicion of malevolence. In that regard, evolution is a deity’s best friend.

We continue:

If we take the idea of “survival of the fittest” to its logical conclusion, it seems almost absurd for anyone who accepts the story of evolution to think of death as being the enemy. Whether through human actions, animal attacks, or natural disasters, what value can we attach to those lives if they are nothing more than “stardust” after billions of years?

… [T]his is the ultimate fruit of Darwin’s anti-God philosophy: no death can be bad according to evolution.

Even after reading an article like this, it’s difficult for us to accept that people who write such things really believe what they write. It brings to mind our Theory of Abominable Befuddlement.

Okay, back to AIG:

But what then are we to make of compassion? If evolution requires death in order to operate, why should humans suffer feelings of loss when others die? Evolutionists spin yarns about how compassion builds social cohesion and promotes survival, but ultimately, this misses the underlying issue. Evolution doesn’t care who lives or who dies; it doesn’t care if that person is related to you or not. It is a cold thing that toils, eats, and destroys. One death is as good as the next. Making up stories about why compassion exists does not and cannot explain away what accepting evolution really means: life is fundamentally meaningless — nothing more than matter that takes up space. Compassion, in fact, goes against the churning of a godless universe.

It doesn’t get any crazier than that, does it? Well, yes, it does. Imagine believing that you live in an intentionally created universe, and your planet is occasionally subjected to deliberate, divinely ordained extinction events, the latest being Noah’s Flood — an orgy of agony in which almost the whole world suffered a hideous death, and those who perished beneath the waves are burning in hell forever. That, according to the creationists — belief in a deity who causes premeditated mass murder on a global scale — that is the source of their compassion.

Here’s more from AIG:

Who would claim that thousands of people dying in terrorist attacks or earthquakes was beneficial to the human race? We say things like, “He was only 34 when he died” and “She left behind two young children.” If we had truly learned the lessons of an atheistic worldview, we shouldn’t care. Matter has simply been transformed.

There’s an important lesson to be learned here, and it’s this: Creationists actually do believe that this is what evolution is all about. They’re serious, and that is what we’re dealing with in The Controversy.

Moving along:

When evolutionists talk about compassion in the face of tragedy, they are essentially denying their own beliefs. They, too, will mourn the loss. But on what basis are they mourning? Death is all a part of the evolutionary lottery.

Amazing, isn’t it? Those with virtually no functioning minds presume to know how we think. Another excerpt:

On the other hand, the biblical worldview is clear as to why death is tragic: death was not a part of the original creation. We mourn those who die, especially prematurely, because we know that God did not create a world of death, disease, and suffering. Genesis tells us that death came into creation after sin — not before. That’s why death seems like an enemy — it is.

Okay, but if the steadfast creationist expects to experience an afterlife of eternal glory, we can’t imagine why he considers death, early or otherwise, to be an enemy; it ought to be an eagerly anticipated joy. But we don’t pretend know what goes on in the mind of a creationist — except by reading what they tell us.

There’s more to the article, but we won’t waste any more of our time with it.
As an evolutionist, our lifespan is too precious for that.

We’ll conclude with something we’ve written before (see Creationism’s Fallacy of Retrospective Astonishment) that seems particularly appropriate here:

Although there’s no evidence that we’re the product of any impossible events, each of us is the result of a unique series of natural occurrences. Our existence will never be repeated. We’re irreplaceable. Priceless. This is why — contrary to the endlessly repeated claims of the creationists — the theory of evolution places a far higher value on individuals and all of humanity than creationism, according to which we could be wiped out and started up again on a whim.

So there you are. Enjoy your life. As the product of evolution, it’s indescribably rare and it will never come again.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #107: Death

  1. Oh, and according to this guy, billions upon billions of death visited on the world for eating some fruit makes death better? Of course it is somehow our fault for being the ancestors of people who in today’s world would be declared mentally incompetent and didn’t know any better, and not the supposedly all powerful creator who could have shown an ounce of compassion and fixed the whole mess. Oh and said creator has been documented to wipe out civilizations, generations, nearly the entire planet on whims to burn for all eternity for being born before the correct religion was finally invented. I love creationist trying to claim the moral high ground.

  2. Albanaeon, we’re the descendants, but I know what you mean.

  3. Curmudgeon: “Albanaeon, we’re the descendants, but I know what you mean.”

    Would that be a “Darwinian slip?” 😉

  4. Gabriel Hanna

    If it would be wrong for a Darwinist to say “death shouldn’t make you sad because it’s natural”, why then wouldn’t it be wrong for a Christian to say “death shouldn’t make you sad because people go to heaven”?

  5. “If we take the idea of “survival of the fittest” to its logical conclusion…”

    It seems to me that whenever something is taken to its “logical conclusion” one ends up with an absurdity.

  6. Well, the argument has one thing going for it: its a great example of the No True Scotsman fallacy. To wit: AIG claims there are no compassionate atheists. When a compassionate atheist crops up, well, that’s explained by saying they aren’t a true atheist.

    AIG’s version follows the original so well that you could use it to teach students how not to reason.

  7. eric says: “Well, the argument has one thing going for it …”

    That’s an extreme example of looking for the silver lining.

  8. Up Chuckery.

  9. “Albanaeon, we’re the descendants, but I know what you mean.”

    Sigh. Never type faster than your brain can think…

  10. Apparently the creationist’s skull is too thick to let in the simple idea that facts, descriptions and explanations are “just” that. Not moral guidelines or prescriptions of social conduct.

    I’m so very tired of this argument that evolution (a.k.a. “Darwinism” in some circles) is nothing but a justification for the most unethical acts imaginable.

  11. Armand K: “I’m so very tired of this argument that evolution (a.k.a. “Darwinism” in some circles) is nothing but a justification for the most unethical acts imaginable.”

    Actually I want them to keep saying that. It shows, at least to the not-so-hopeless audiences, that they have no evidence against evolution, let alone for a better theory, and thus have to resort to that pathetic mud-slinging. Fence-sitters who might be impressed by “irreducible complexity” arguments will hear the “‘Darwinism’ leads to bad behavior” nonsense and think “So what? I have free will. I can accept evolution and do the right thing.”

  12. Frank J: Fence-sitters who might be impressed by “irreducible complexity” arguments will hear the “‘Darwinism’ leads to bad behavior” nonsense and think “So what? I have free will. I can accept evolution and do the right thing.”

    Its better than that Frank. An intelligent fence-sitter should say “given that there aren’t hordes of atheists running around raping and pillaging, they’re obviously and badly wrong. If that’s the best argument they’ve got, the rest must be even more badly wrong.”