Jason Lisle Says: Kiss Your Brain Goodbye

This is a special treat, dear reader. We have a new essay by Jason Lisle. Regular readers of this humble blog know him best from the time he was at Answers in Genesis (AIG), ol’ Hambo’s online ministry, when we wrote several posts about Jason Lisle’s “Instant Starlight” Paper.

Jason left AIG a couple of years ago to become director of whatever it is that they call research at the Institute for Creation Research. The title of Jason’s latest is How Could Eve Know? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and scripture references omitted:

Eve was challenged with the first recorded dilemma. On the one hand, God indicated that on the day Eve and Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their immortal bodies would become mortal and subject to eventual death. On the other hand, the flattering serpent suggested the opposite — promising that eating from that tree would not result in death but instead would make Adam and Eve like God. How was Eve supposed to know whom to believe?

Good question. Here’s Jason’s analysis:

Eve chose to evaluate the situation by her own standard. She opted to use her mind and her senses to judge who was telling the truth. She examined the tree with her eyes and recognized that it was delightful to look at, good for food, and desirable for wisdom. Her preliminary “scientific” analysis suggested that the serpent’s hypothesis might be correct and that God’s word — His clear warning — was wrong. After all, the fruit did not appear dangerous; there was nothing obviously defective with it that would suggest eating it would result in death. So, she took and ate and gave to Adam, who did the same.

Egad — she used her own mind! How utterly foolish! No wonder the whole universe is cursed by her sin. Let’s read on:

Today, we face a similar dilemma. On the one hand, we have God’s Word, which teaches things like the six days of creation, a global flood, and the resurrection of Christ. On the other hand, we have the words of people who claim that such things are simply not possible. How are we supposed to decide who is right?

Wow — the evolution-creationism controversy is just like the problem Eve faced! Isn’t this amazing? Jason continues:

Like Eve, we are inclined to judge God’s Word based on our senses and our understanding of what is possible. For some people God’s Word passes the test, and for others it does not. But either way, the test itself is defective because it attempts to judge the infallible Word by standards that are fallible because they are human standards.

Are you following this, dear reader? Jason says if you rely on your own senses and your understanding of reality, you’re a fool! — just like Eve. And we know how that worked out. Here’s more:

We must admit that our senses can be mistaken at times (e.g., an optical illusion), and our understanding of what is possible is often wrong, as the history of science has shown. Therefore, it makes no sense to judge a perfect standard (the Word of God) by a fallible standard (human sensation and reasoning).

Yes, we make mistakes. But Jason ignores the fact that it’s with our mind and senses that we recognize and understand optical illusions, and that’s also how we correct the errors that science sometimes makes. Moving along:

So when Eve attempted to judge the infallible by the fallible, she was not only being immoral but irrational as well.

Irrational? Jason explains:

After all, she was attempting to use her mind and her senses to judge whether God was honest. But who made Eve’s mind? God did. And who made Eve’s senses? God did. So, if God were dishonest, then Eve would have no reason to trust her mind or her senses in the first place.

Aaaargh!! He explains further:

The same is true of people today who attempt to judge the Bible by their own fallible standard. This is immoral because it puts God to the test. But it is also irrational because if the Bible were not true, then people would have no good reason to trust their own minds or their own senses by which they come to the conclusion that the Bible is or is not true!

Aaaargh!! We haven’t banged our head against the desk so much since we wrote Jason Lisle: The Logic of Faith. Here’s one last excerpt:

God expects us to reason using our minds and to rely on our senses but not to judge Him and His perfect Word by these lesser standards. He expects us to rely upon His revealed Word as the ultimate standard for judging everything else.

So there you are. Now go forth, and think no more.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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38 responses to “Jason Lisle Says: Kiss Your Brain Goodbye

  1. michaelfugate

    I think Jason is saying that if we use our minds and senses, then all of the evidence is consistent with evolution. It is only if we don’t use our minds and senses that creation could possibly be thought true.

  2. Interesting how Jason Lisle bends the words of Genesis. Genesis doesn’t say “ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their immortal bodies would become mortal and subject to eventual death”, it says “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
    “Eventual death” and “in the day” do not mean the same thing. The snake also said, “You shall be as gods”. One of the few things the Bible gets right.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    So the creator made us perfect, except for our perception of the world around us. The talking snake is true, but archaeopteryx is a fraud. Gotcha Jason. What a maroon…

  4. Speaking of irrational this is a pretty good example: “…if the Bible were not true, then people would have no good reason to trust their own minds or their own senses…” I think it’s a classic non sequitur.

  5. “The same is true of people today who attempt to judge the Bible by their own fallible standard.”

    J.L.’s standards must not be as fallible as everyone else’s.

  6. Doctor Stochastic

    Lisle makes for a nice thread.

  7. His argument kinda puts women in their place, doesn’t it?

  8. As I recently watched an AiG video of Jason droning about his light speed anisotropy idea, I studied his eyes and saw that nobody was home. While Hambo is clearly a cynical carnival barker, I think Jason is a true believer whose brain has been fried. A pathetic waste of an education, really.

  9. Jason is proof that religion can destroy an intelligent, thinking mind.

  10. two points….
    1…where in the buyBull goes gawd tell Eve Not to eat the fruit???
    2…If they did not yet eat the fruit, how did they have any knowledge of good & evil?? So they could not really judge their actions as they had nothing to judge with.

  11. A person who speaks like this is saying, “If you don’t agree with me, then you are disagreeing with God”.

  12. “God expects us to reason using our minds and to rely on our senses but not to judge Him and His perfect Word by these lesser standards. He expects us to rely upon His revealed Word as the ultimate standard for judging everything else.”

    Or to put it another way, rely on reason for everything . . . except religion, which according to fundamentalists is at the root of everything.

  13. michaelfugate

    So I looked up his dissertation from the University of Colorado.
    Probing the dynamics of solar supergranulation and its interaction with magnetism

    What is interesting in the abstract is that he uses “we” instead of “I” – who was doing the work beside himself? God?

  14. Curmie, your title for this post says it all.

  15. @michaelfugate
    Don’t tell me that he is a heliocentrist!
    He lets poor, fallible, human science override the plain language of the Bible!
    Or worse yet, that he lets human sciences dictate what the Bible must be saying!
    What next, he will allow the charging of interest on loans? Or women wearing men’s clothes?

  16. Jason Lisle wrote: “After all, the fruit did not appear dangerous; there was nothing obviously defective with it that would suggest eating it would result in death.

    I’ve challenged Lisle on this point long ago: How would Eve possibly know if something is possibly deadly? According to Lisle and other YECs, Adam and Eve have never seen anything die or even age! Other Christians notice that the Apostle Paul says that only humans did not die before the Fall. But Lisle & Co. claim there has not yet been any death anywhere on the entire planet at the time Eve considered the serpent’s claims!

    Indeed, how would Eve even know what the word death meant?

    Lisle’s “logic” is consistent with his “ultimate proof of God argument” where he claims that the existence of logic and logical minds demands God. (Yeah, I don’t get it either, despite being a theist!)

  17. Holding The Line In Florida

    Please, another round of Rhum! This is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. And brothers and sisters, I have some stupid stuff in my time!

  18. Stephen Kennedy

    Jason’s childhood in a strict fundamentalist family must have been a nightmare. He must have had it pounded into him by his abusive parents that only what the bible says can possibly be true, no matter how much contrary evidence there seems to be.

    The only way he could have obtained his degree in Astronomy from a secular university is if he had been totally indoctrinated to reject anything his professors said to him that challenged his religious upbringing.

  19. @Prof. Tertius
    Is the idea that logic is founded in Divine thought something like the Vision in God of Nicoas Malebranche (1638-1715)? This is derived from Augustine. There are other peculiarities of M – Occasionalism: that each act following what looks like a law of nature is a direct act of God – Preformation: that each individual living thing was created by God back at the beginning and only appears to be generated in the present – that I have wondered about wrt, say, Behe and Plantinga.

  20. god lies. indeed the amount of lying god does in the bible is staggering. Perhaps god created the universe just to lie to it.

    At some point, if you’ve gotten a lemon, you should not trust the car salesman. Fortunately, its possible not to believe in god whatsoever, takes the sting out of it.

  21. @ejwinner
    Just as God kills and takes away one’s property and liberty, without being a murderer or robber or kidnapper – God is not bound by human rules – so God has his reasons for saying things different from merely human standards without being a “liar”.

  22. Hans-Richard Grümm

    What did Lisle use to deduce that the Bible contains the word of an actually existing, infallible and truthful god ? His own fallible standard.

  23. @Hans-Richard Grümm
    I recall when I was young that an authority figure told me something of this sort: Yes, we use our fallible reason to demonstrate that the Bible is the word of God. But the word of God is true beyond reliance on our fallible reason. Thus we know that Bible is true beyond reliance on our fallible reason.
    More recently, I have learned of Presuppositionalism. I do not dare to use my fallible reason to describe it. Wikipedia has an article on two schools of Presuppositional apologetics.
    I am tempted to suggest that “true beyond reason” means “false”.

  24. But it is also irrational because if the Bible were not true, then people would have no good reason to trust their own minds or their own senses by which they come to the conclusion that the Bible is or is not true!

    Irrational? Gotta love Jason’s unwavering circular reasoning. He may be a grown man but I hear a young child being totally subjugated by an Alpha male. Consequently, this boy doesn’t just drink the Kool-Aid but he insists on bathing in it! Truly pathetic.

  25. It is interesting to me how intelligence and reason seem to be separate qualities. Lisle is intelligent, as demonstrated by his ability to master the math and other knowledge required to earn his degree. But his reason is entirely absent, or else warped by indoctrination. He’s not the first, either. It’s clear that thinking critically, or using reason, is not a byproduct of being intelligent.

    At least Lisle gets to the heart of the issue, which is that thinking rationally will lead one to not believe in the biblical creation stories and other myths.

  26. Erik John Bertel quotes Jason: “But it is also irrational because if the Bible were not true, then people would have no good reason to trust their own minds …”

    I’ve always believed that we’d be unable to reason if Zeus and the other immortal gods weren’t ruling the universe from Mt. Olympus.

  27. And I always thought it was Ganesha, who, among other things, is alleged to be responsible for intellect and wisdom. Besides, he’s much cuter than most gods!

  28. docbill1351

    Lisle’s mental state seems to be deteriorating. He’s gone full-convoluted Hambo on us! When he was with AIG he simply lied about science. Check out what Lisle says at the 1:23 mark in

    this video.

    Also, delight in the bored little girl! She’s got it right.

  29. It is a darned good thing that God sent his Son to protect us from Himself. Why he couldn’t come in person is beyond me. Wait a minute. God invents sin, then condemns us for it and then saves us. Sounds like the great Con to me.

  30. Mike Elzinga

    @ ED:

    It is interesting to me how intelligence and reason seem to be separate qualities. Lisle is intelligent, as demonstrated by his ability to master the math and other knowledge required to earn his degree. But his reason is entirely absent, or else warped by indoctrination. He’s not the first, either. It’s clear that thinking critically, or using reason, is not a byproduct of being intelligent.

    I’ve looked at his “math” in his “solution” to the distant starlight problem. It’s pure pseudo-relativity; and it misrepresents the fundamental issues in the early research on the detection of the postulated “luminiferous ether.” Lisle can’t even get the history right because he doesn’t understand even the most basic concepts in physics.

    Characters like Lisle, Purdom, Gonzales, and the rest get through their PhDs by not only keeping their heads down, but by essentially riding on the efforts of others in a research group. They capitalize on the busy schedules of their advisors. When they get out on their own, they collapse immediately and completely when it comes to being able to articulate a research program and actually do real, peer-reviewed research.

    Their entire academic lives have been wasted on systematically building up an entire set of misconceptions in order to bend and break scientific concepts to fit sectarian dogma. What they have thus accumulated no longer applies to the real world; it is a superficial pastiche that only glitters but has no substance. That means they can’t teach properly either.

    The main reason they want those letters after their names is so that they can become the rock-star authority figures of their sectarian subculture; and they will wave those letters in everybody’s faces at every opportunity. That’s what their subculture values; the letters and the “authority,” but not the knowledge and the ability.

  31. I worked for many years in a big NASA lab and one of the conclusions that I drew concerning people with advanced degrees was that it proved that they were able to succeed in school. Not all, of course, were dolts and much of the doltishness exhibited by the small number who fell into that category fit into a wide spectrum of idiocy. What it means is that an advanced degree may or may not provide any reason to to respect a person’s views, especially outside the area covered by the degree, but sometimes even within their area of specialization

  32. Something interesting about advanced degrees, the more advanced the degree the more specialized the field and the smaller the scope of material and research to get that degree. It seems like it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a subject that can avoid young earth creatinonist entanglements. These legit docs like Lisle and Purdum, I”ve listened to them they are indeed much better spoken and well informed than the garden variety creationist. They are interesting case study in the psychology of the creationist. During our life spans, not all learning we do is equal. Stuff you learn as a child from your parents is much more tenacious than typical, and to some degree the Biblical worldview isn’t just taught it is drilled in. Lisle, Purdum et al. also have a huge incentive to maintain their worldview besides a fundy upbringing. As legit PhD they’d be run of the mill researchers, professors, or teachers, but as creationists they are quite rare. A rare candidate in a market commands more money so there is a good amount of money to be made aweing the flock with their academic credentials.

  33. Mike Elzinga

    @ Troy:

    As legit PhD they’d be run of the mill researchers, professors, or teachers, but as creationists they are quite rare. A rare candidate in a market commands more money so there is a good amount of money to be made aweing the flock with their academic credentials.

    They could never be legitimate researchers; they don’t have the scientific concepts nailed down, and they couldn’t lay out a research program and write research proposals that would pass peer review if their life depended on it. In fact, they routinely get the concepts wrong because they already bent and broke them to fit sectarian beliefs. That includes everyone from Lisle, to Abel, to Dembski, to Behe, etc.

    But yes indeed, many – if not most – of these characters can pull down six figure salaries starting very early after they get their degrees; and for life. They can go to places like the ICR and the Discovery Institute. In order for a PhD physicist to do that, he/she would have to give up physics, keep their math and computer skills, and go to Wall Street; for life.

    Lisle couldn’t go to Wall Street and do that; nor could any other ID/creationist. They simply do not have the knowledge or the skills; despite their PhDs. In order for them to make that kind of money, ID/creationists have to stay within their subculture and do things like sectarian apologetics; just as Lisle does. It’s a pretty cushy job; and – as evidenced by the writings of Lisle and the others – there is no requirement for coherent thinking.

  34. @Mike Elzinga: The Curmudgeon should enshrine your two posts immediately above. It appears that you have revealed a Great Truth.

  35. This eating that fruit bit is what got me to quit religion. At age 14 I asked a very “bad” question in Sunday school. My question was, if this god knows everything that ever was, is, or will be, then the eating of this fruit was the fault of this god. This god supposedly could tell us, if she/he/it chose to, what will happen on this very spot in 5,000 years into the future. Well of course, god knows all. OK, then god should have known BEFORE he even planted that damn tree that they would eat the fruit. Oh, and do not tell me about free will, an all knowing god would be able to account for every permutation of free will. I was nearly excommunicated from the Lutheran church for that. Dad told me later that day that I no longer needed to attend church/Sunday school ever again. Dad was my very first hero, even though he died the Saturday after “saint” Ronnie of raygun was elected as POTUS, he is still my hero.
    The entire concept of “original” sin, all sin in my view, are entirely the fault of this god critter, IF this god actually exists, which I very much doubt. Oh, and when I was in Vietnam with 5th Marine Regiment in 1970-71 I never prayed. If you are praying during a firefight, your buddies will be killed.
    Sorry for such a long rant, I just needed to get this out on another blog. All these years later, this still pisses me off. Original sin is buying into the holly buy-bull and the vile religions it has spawned. Just my own opinion. Others do vary.
    Thanks for a great blog, I find it to be an excellent resource.

  36. waldteufel

    Oh,Jason must not accept nuclear fission, because if his kindergarten physics was right about the speed of light not being a constant that is the same in every frame of reference however moving, then E=mc^2 would be meaningless, and nuclear fission would be impossible. Oh, and so would the nuclear fusion that powers the sun and other stars be impossible.

    Jason’s qualifications for teaching end with him drooling and placing little figures of a boat with smiling giraffes on a felt board at the front of innocent children who think he actually knows something about our universe.

  37. @waldteufel
    I have one question for Jason.
    “How do you know about magnetism in the Sun? Were you there?”

  38. SC: I’ve always believed that we’d be unable to reason if Zeus and the other immortal gods weren’t ruling the universe from Mt. Olympus.

    Spot on and one of the inherent flaws in Pascal’s Wager. That’s why I have my Paul Bergeron Misogyny Litmus Test for all religions (named after a character in one of my novels). If a religion discriminates against women, i.e. they can’t be part of clergy for example, then I feel perfectly safe in discounting their legitimacy and teachings based on the assumption that any true creator really doesn’t favor penises over vaginas. Only mortal men care about penises and frankly all of the major religions in the world reek of penises and testicles.