We often stray from The Controversy between evolution and creationism on weekends, when news is scarce. But this digression is somewhat on topic. It’s our Curmudgeonly attempt at a bit of creation science.
Using scripture as our only source of information, we have observed what seems to be a curious phenomenon — the powers of Providence that are deployed in response to sin appear to be diminishing. The graph above crudely illustrates what we mean.
The first bar represents the actions taken in response to the sin of Adam & Eve. We are told that God changed the then-existing laws of nature to bring death, decay, mutation, disease, and extinction into the world. This applied to all living things, regardless of their participation in the original sin or even their knowledge of it. Many say that this divine judgment affected the entire universe (see The Search for a Cursed Cosmos).
The second bar — which should have been drawn to be far shorter than the first — represents the Flood. In Genesis 6:5 we are told: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” In response, God killed not only humans, but (except for fish) everything not preserved on the Ark. This happened only on Earth, however. The rest of the universe was unaffected, and the laws of nature remained intact, except as temporarily required to bring on the Flood. Among the consequences, the creationists tell us, are the existence of the fossil record and all the geological strata and structures that we now observe.
The third bar is God’s response to the Tower of Babel. In retribution for mankind’s attempt to build a tower that would reach unto heaven — presumably that was the sin of arrogance — God scattered humanity over the earth and confounded their language. But no one was killed, and no laws of nature were tweaked. Nothing even remotely as catastrophic as the Flood occurred.
The fourth bar is God’s response to the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah. The inhabitants were all killed, but this action was limited to those two cities. We assume, however, that sin wasn’t confined to those two unfortunate populations. Yet elsewhere, no one was affected.
The fifth bar represents the main event in the New Testament — the Crucifixion. This involved the death — temporarily — of only one person, who was killed not by flood or fire, but by Roman soldiers. Unlike the havoc caused after the sin of Adam & Eve, or the Flood, or the other catastrophes, nothing else was affected. No languages were changed; no cities were destroyed. The event meant nothing to anyone, and it still doesn’t — except for those who know about it and who understand its significance.
We are not trained in theology and therefore we have some questions. First, what has been the point of all of these divine actions? Notwithstanding the punishments inflicted, there still seems to be sin in the world — perhaps more than ever. So what’s been accomplished?
Our second question is the one that emerges from the data, as illustrated by our primitive chart. Is the apparent decline in divine activity telling us something? If so, what are we being told?
Third, if divine punishments are being inflicted on a steeply declining curve, does the same apply to the biological activities of the intelligent designer? Is all of that creativity a thing of the past? We haven’t seen much from him since the Cambrian explosion. Is he done? Might he be — as Behe suggests — actually dead? Are we on our own?
Perhaps you, dear reader, can explain it all to your Curmudgeon.
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