Today’s letter-to-the-editor, like a recent one we wrote about (#496: Strange Analogy) appears in the Journal Star of Lincoln, Nebraska, the state capital. The letter is titled Creationism and science together. There’s a comments section at the end, with 5 comments so far — but the newspaper makes you answer some annoying questions before you can see them.
Today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, so we won’t use his full name. His first name is Joshua. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
A recent letter to the editor (“Science over Creationism,” Dec. 6) seems predicated on a common logical fallacy, a false dilemma, that deserves to be clarified.
This is the letter that has Joshua so upset: Science over Creationism. It’s a rational and well-informed response to the same letter that we wrote about earlier, so we’re looking forward to what Joshua has to say about the “false dilemma.” Here it comes:
Logic informs us that we, and all things of which we are aware, are finite, which means that literally all things were brand new at one point and that something existed before them. This includes you, me, our planet, our universe and even time itself.
We’re not certain, because Joshua seems to be inventing his own terminology, but we think he’s saying that everything has a cause. Let’s read on:
When we look for where it all began, whether that was the Big Bang or something else, we’re just looking for that first domino. What preceded that first domino? Who or what set that domino up in the first place?
In his own way, presumably because he’s unfamiliar with the literature on the subject, Joshua is talking about the First Cause. Wading into what he imagines are unexplored waters, he boldly answers the ancient question:
The only possible answer is an infinitely powerful being most of us call God. It is the only logical answer for how something can come from nothing.
Yes, that’s “the only possible answer.” Here’s more:
Now, how did God bring everything into existence? With regard to humans, evolution was almost certainly a part of the process. As early as 1953 (and probably before then), clergy in the Catholic Church affirmed that there is no contradiction between evolution and creationism.
So logic tells us who created us, the Bible tells us why, and science seeks to find out how.
Verily, none can deny it. Moving along:
So, it isn’t religion vs. science; religion and science work together to inform us about who we are and where we came from.
There it is — the grand synthesis our title promised you. Isn’t it wonderful? Then Joshua tackles another problem:
As for whether this should be taught in schools, the answer should be self-evident.
Indeed! And now we come to the end:
While the author of “Science over Creationism” is correct that the courts have decided that the logic of creationism be kept out of schools, that doesn’t mean those decisions were correct.
Aha! Joshua is right, and all the courts are wrong. The logic is undeniable.
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