Creationist Wisdom #441: Leap of Faith

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News-Review of Roseburg, Oregon. The title is Scientists and creationists each take a leap of faith.

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we’ll just use the letter-writer’s first name, which is Jim. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Recently the Public Forum printed a letter from a cosmologist here in Roseburg in response to the debate about teaching creationism in schools. His opinion was that the Big Bang theory and the theory of evolution are provable science. The cosmologist might be surprised to learn his beliefs are not necessarily out of line with what some creationists believe.

Your Curmudgeon would be surprised. How, pray tell, does the thinking of a cosmologist line up with that of a creationist? Jim says:

If one were to read the Bible, he would find that God created the universe by speaking it into existence. The cosmologist calls this the Big Bang theory. Although there were no human witnesses to the event, if one believes that it was God’s voice which created the universe, it may have been quite loud – a big bang indeed.

Aaaargh!! Does Jim know what sound is? Apparently not. Let’s read on:

Scientists call the cause of the Big Bang a singularity — that moment in time and space when all the matter in the universe was poised to begin expanding from one very small spot as if from an explosion (Big Bang). Creationists might point to the first words in the Bible and say this was the cause. “In the beginning God created…” = singularity. “God said,” = Big Bang.

Uh huh. Yeah, the Big Bang and Genesis line up perfectly. We just use different words for the same thing. Right! Jim continues:

Even scientists describe their explanations of natural phenomena as theories. Theory = belief.

Aaaargh!! Here’s more:

The Bible is a very reliable and accurate document, having been proven through comparison with other sources and sciences like archaeology.

Archaeology? The Iliad is even better confirmed by archaeology — and it’s a far more interesting story. Alas, there’s not much to Jim’s letter. All that’s left is the end:

Those portions [of the bible, presumably] that believers take on faith are no more difficult to believe than the theories science uses to explain creation such as the Big Bang, singularity, and evolution. The honest scientist must also take these on faith.

So there you are. Creationists take the Garden of Eden and Noah’s Ark on faith, and Jim says you do the same with cosmology and evolution. Admit it, dear reader — you’re just as wacky as the creationists.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #441: Leap of Faith

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    The newspaper printed a letter from a cosmologist? Oh crap, I read that as cosmetologist and kept on reading all the way down to the end waiting to find out Jim’s hints for coiffing really big bangs.

  2. A fervid imagination + the loosest of allegories = Eternal & Immutable Trvth™.

    An equation to harmonise to, vacant grin ’n’ all.

  3. waldteufel

    Jim educates us with “The Bible is a very reliable and accurate document, having been proven through comparison with other sources and sciences like archaeology.”

    And, by golly, Jim’s right! Well, he’s right if the sun orbits a flat earth where snakes can talk, rabbits chew their cud, bats are birds, . . . . . . . . . . ..

  4. It’s thinking like Jim’s that prevent Oregonians from dispensing their own fuel at the pump. I wouldn’t let him handle combustible liquids either.

  5. How many times must is be repeated that “theory” and “belief” are not the same?

    Yes, there’s a superficial similarity, but a theory is neither a belief nor a “guess” (another word creationists like t throw around). It’s a framework of explanation for observed facts which makes predictions about what will be found by further observation. A “belief,” on the other hand, need be based on no observed facts at all and need not (though it can) make any predictions about what observations will find.

    More importantly, it is understood that a theory is subject to abandonment if future findings go against its predictions. To the fury of creationists, that hasn’t happened with evolution over the past 150 years; quite the contrary. So they attack the facts, and the scientists who’ve discovered them. THEIR ideas, on the other hand, are immune to disproof because no matter what anyone discovers, creationists will go right on insisting that they’re right.

    It’s worth remembering that essentially all scientists were creationists 250 years ago. The fact that only a handful of quacks still are reflects not some sinister (Jewish?) conspiracy but the accumulation of evidence. Creationists, however, believe at bottom that the only evidence that matters is contained in the Book of Genesis, though they’ve found it expedient to pretend (at least until they can overthrow the Constitution and “restore” America to the “Christian nation” they believe God founded) that they are finding real scientific evidence in support of their notions.

  6. The area N.R. serves appears to be a hot bed of old time wisdom, judging by the number of interesting letters submitted. Readers may want to take an aspirin before drinking deeply from the fountain of knowledge that is the opinions section.

  7. Wish I had a dollar for every time some creationist links the Big Bang with evolution. It seems these guys just love to demonstrate their abject ignorance this way. (And I mean “guys” literally. If there were some way to find out, I’d bet that 99+% of creationist letter writers are male.)

  8. “Scientists call the cause of the Big Bang a singularity”
    Poor, poor Jim ….. that’s about the one and only Big Bang Theory that has been dismissed, because it doesn’t take Quantum Mechanics into account.

    @RSG: “every time some creationist links the Big Bang with evolution”
    But that’s the only time said creationist comes close to making sense. No Big Bang, no evolution. Both are part of the fascinating and awesome narrative science is building – from the beginning (where- and whenever that was) to you and I reading SC’s nice blog.
    I don’t accept your bet though.

  9. So it isn’t the Big Bang anymore, but the “Big Shout,” a.k.a. BS in creationist language, that bible proponents support! But if so, even this glorious BS event would have been totally muted in the vacuum of space.

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    As Steve Martin said to a heckler on Wild and Crazy Guy: “I remember when I had my first beer too.”

  11. Pope retiredsciguy laments the absence of financial profit to be had from cretinists’ scientific naïveté.

    They typically conflate cosmogony, abiogenesis and evolution, which concern themselves with major origins questions. Often, they also rope in secondary origins themes such as morality, (Shannon’s) information and physical law. Since their a priori position is that all of these things trace back to a single common source (i.e. Ol’ Dandy Grandy, no less), it’s not surprising that they habitually lob all of these legitimate areas of study into the same pot. The undifferentiated sludge they cook up with this recipe suits their diet because it is indigestible for anyone with the right appetite and stomach for science.

    Gosh, now I need a snack.

  12. My hometown again, sigh. They did print that letter I submitted last time this happened in this blog. I do not feel like playing whack-a-mole right now, so I may hold off on replying to this one.

  13. lanceleuven

    I’m guessing that this guy did really well at school.