Creationist Wisdom #204: Cliché Pot Pie

Today’s letter-to-the-editor, titled It’s all about worldviews, appears in the Butler Eagle located in Butler, Pennsylvania. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and as we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Here we go, with a bit of bold font added for emphasis:

In response to the recent letters to the editor regarding evolution and creationism, it must be stated that the issue is not one of science but of worldviews.

Oh yeah — the way you look at the world is what determines reality. This should be interesting. Oh, wait — we’ve seen some of this before:

There are two types of science, historical and observational. Observational can be seen and reproduced in the present, so whether one is Christian or atheist the results are not disagreed upon … . Historical science is evidence from the past that is not reproducible and is interpreted based on a person’s worldview.

That creationist dichotomy is promoted by Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis. We discussed it two years ago (see Creationism and Science). Let’s read on:

I believe the Bible is true and Genesis is a literal narrative, so God created the world in six literal days. [Some earlier letter-writer] is an atheist, I assume, so God does not exist for him and therefore he evolved, in his mind. I cannot prove God based on observational science and [the other guy] cannot prove evolution based on observational science either. We both have our assumptions about the past.

There you go. The past is — or so we’re told — undiscoverable, so you must rely on your assumptions. (But see: The Lessons of Tiktaalik.) We continue, and now the letter-writer brings up another creationist clunker:

The only thing to do is, everytime [sic] atheists try to make a moral statement, remind them that in their worldview all of us are just a series of chemical accidents, so on what ground can they make a moral judgment on anything?

Aha — another stunning insight: Evolution means no morality! Yes, we’ve also dealt with that one before (see Creationism and Morality). Here’s one last excerpt, in which the letter-writer hauls out yet another brilliant argument:

Just to play the devil’s advocate, if I assume he is right and I am wrong, what do I have to lose by living by Biblical principles? If, however, the atheist is wrong and there is a God who will judge the world, well. . . .

You recognized Pascal’s Wager, didn’t you? What does he have to lose if he’s wrong? Oh, just the use of his brain for a lifetime. No loss, really.

So there you are. Today’s letter-writer managed to sling together one oldie-goldie cliché after another. What can we say about it? Not much, but then, what can one ever say about a creationist’s thinking?

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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2 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #204: Cliché Pot Pie

  1. … if I assume he is right and I am wrong, what do I have to lose by living by Biblical principles?

    Least important; it would depend on how much one puts in the collection box each Sunday. More important; the wasted time spent in religious activities, and depending on the specific religion, perhaps a life lived in guilt or repression or hatred of others. Most important; a life without seeing and understanding the true wonder of nature and appreciating the amazing fact of we are, to quote Kenneth Rexroth, Vessels of the billion-year long River that flows now in your veins.

    He has a lot to lose.

    (The quote is from Rexroth’s poem, “Halley’s Comet”)

  2. Excellent response by Ed. Here’s another part of it. Suppose he does live by biblical principles, and he is right, and god does come to judge the world…and that god is allah?

    The entire false dichotomy between scientific rationalism and fundamentalist christianity needs to be pointed out repeatedly. Christianity is not some sort of default for those who refuse to be rational. The opposite of rationality is not christianity, certainly not the letter-writer’s particular interpretation of christianity, but rather irrationality, in all its hundreds of thousands of mostly mutually contradictory manifestations. Those who think that the opposite of science is christianity merely show their parochialism and egocentrism; one is reminded of the definition of patriotism as “the belief that your country is the best country in the world, simply because you were born in it.”