Creationist Wisdom #624: Evidence of God

Today’s second letter-to-the-editor appears in the Topeka Capital-Journal of Topeka, Kansas. The title is Need Evidence that God Exists? There’s Plenty! The newspaper has a comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But it doesn’t matter in this case because the author uses an obvious pen-name: Contra Mundum — that’s Latin for “Against the World,” a good name for a reality denier. Excerpts from the letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

So, does God exist? Any gods at all, even? The answer is a clear and firm “No”, according to “Mr. Phhht”, a longtime discussion partner from the Land of Pandas (which is rather noteworthy for its collective shortage of belief in God’s existence). “There Are No Gods”, he firmly and faithfully preaches.

Whoever Mr. Phhht is, his claim is outrageous! Have no fear, Contra Mundum is going to set things straight. The letter says:

Now let’s be honest. Atheism is a losing proposition anyway, because as Christian philosopher Winfried Corduan pointed out, it requires that (1) you have access to all available avenues of knowledge that may have any bearing on the question of whether God exists, and (2) you are able to demonstrate that you’ve actually checked out ALL those avenues of knowledge and confirmed that God doesn’t exist in ANY of them.

Christian philosopher Winfried Corduan thinks the burden of proof lies with the skeptic, rather than with the one who makes a claim. That’s very convenient for advocates of a claim that has no evidence to support it. Let’s read on:

Hence, atheists usually try to shift the burden of proof. [Aaaargh!!] Accordingly, Mr. Phhht has challenged me to provide testable evidence (not “proof”, because as Satoshi Kanazawa wrote in Psychology Today, “proof” exists only in mathematics and logic), that a God or gods exists.

Egad — the nerve of that guy to demand testable evidence! The letter continues:

His challlenge [sic] is reasonable in my opinion, because the Bible itself offers an equally sharp challenge to atheists like Mr. Phhht:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20)

Interesting. Although Contra Mundum feels that it’s not necessary to offer evidence, he will follow the biblical example and do so anyway. Then the letter wanders into some polling data, which we’ll skip. After that we’re told:

Just look at the biological world all around you, indeed just go look at YOURSELF in the bathroom mirror, and then use something that ordinary humans — Atheist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindus — use every day: “Inference To The Best Explanation.” First call attention to the evidence, then call attention to the the best explanation that can be rationally inferred using that evidence. We all do this every day in one area or another.

Ah yes — look out the window! We’ve encountered that powerful evidence before. Here’s more:

Here’s a quick demo. The Bible says that God made the human eye (Prov. 20:12). So is there “testable evidence” of that statement? Sure. First check the evidence (the eye), then check what the evidence best infers or points to. Human eyes are complicated, so let’s just pick one piece of evidence (well known to some of us diabetics): the human eye lens.

We’re going to skip the author’s argument. If you care to wade into it, go ahead. The rest of us are moving on:

So, now you have a rationally and scientifically supportable inference that a non-human intelligent designer whom the Bible labels as “God”, exists and created human eyes, as claimed in Prov. 20:12.

Yeah, okay. Hey, if you’re determined to end up in the Lake of Fire, check out Wikipedia’s article on evolution of the eye.

So, has the letter-writer given us proof of God? Not quite. Here’s our last excerpt:

Nope, I did NOT say you have proved God’s existence. Science doesn’t do “proof” of anything, right? But now you have evidence that’s rationally usable to test a rational claim. You can now rationally test Mr. Phhht’s clear claim that “There Are No Gods” and see if the evidence best infers THAT claim, or best infers the Bible’s clear theistic claim.

So there you are, dear reader. Did you have a pleasant time, banging your head against the desk? We hope so. That’s what our collection of letters is all about.

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

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #624: Evidence of God

  1. I always assumed, SC, that there must be a cut-off point below which you would not bother to comment on an article or letter to the editor. Was I wrong?

  2. Derek Freyberg

    “Contra Mundum” is Floyd A. Lee, who writes the “Genesis Station” column for the CJ, and has done so for a bit over 5 years, asserting the incompatibility of Christianity and evolution from day 1. I think he’s enough of a public figure to be named.
    He seems to be a hard-core creationist/IDer, anti-gay, anti-same sex marriage (a tidbit from June 5: “Let’s begin by checking the scorecard. Honestly, if you’re a gay activist, this has been a great couple of weeks. If you’re a Christian, not so much. First, the mostly Catholic nation of Ireland voted against their own Christianity, (and voted against their own religious freedoms), publicly enshrining gay marriage into the law of their land. Unbelievable.”), and a bit of a global warming denialist.
    What more could you want?
    And if his column as such doesn’t make you bang your head on the table, there is always his full explanation of the non-evolution of the eye down in the comments, with such gems as “There exists a biological marker that’s called ‘Irreducible Complexit.’ The best way to describe IC is like those cheap mousetraps you buy at Wal-Mart. … (Behe on mousetraps deleted) … And it turns out that your human eye lens has that IC going for it too.”

  3. Contra Mundum makes the false assumption that one cannot believe in both God and evolution. He then goes on his merry way to state, in effect, that if it cannot be definitively proved that God does not exist, He exists. By that standard, werewolves, vampires and fairies exist. There are even photographs of fairies, and so what if they look like the cheap fakes they were?

  4. jimroberts asks: “I always assumed, SC, that there must be a cut-off point below which you would not bother to comment on an article or letter to the editor. Was I wrong?”

    If there were something better to write about today, I would have skipped this one.

  5. Dave Luckett

    phhht (three h’s, no capital) is a leading member of the commentariat over at Panda’s Thumb, and I think he has shown up here, once or twice. I think he would accept my saying that he is a materialist to the core, and his strong atheism is the product of the fact that there is no testable empirical evidence for the existence of God. FWIW, I do not dispute this fact; I have argued that it is not exhaustive.

    However “Contra Mundem” is also well-known over at the Thumb, under a different handle. What he thinks about evolution (utter visceral rejection) is the concern of this blog, but over at the Thumb he has displayed a level of theocratic bigotry that would shock most people, let alone a skeptic and convinced democrat (small d), meaning only “one who believes that democracy, while flawed, is the best political system yet developed”.

  6. In addition to being ignorant about science, he’s not a student of the English language, either, since, while evidence may imply something to me or MrLee, it’s the observer who infers it. And CM or MrLee, although I am an atheist, if you happen to find a god somewhere and grab him by the tail and drag him into my office, I might change my mind. Same offer for werewolves, vampires, and fairies. Real data always makes a difference to me.

  7. So, if something is really complicated, like the eye, then lets postulate that something even more complicated – much, much more complicated – must have made it.

    Yep. Solid evidence indeed.

  8. As long as we’re dealing in analogies …
    Those of us who are (unfortunately) familiar with driving on wintry roads have learned that when trying to stop on an icy road, if the usual pressure on the brake doesn’t work, the solution is definitely not to increase the pressure.

    By analogy, if all of the brightest engineers and scientists and philosophers and theologians and poets have not thought of how to design life, this is not proof that it takes a whole lot more design to produce life. It suggests, rather, that one should look for some other way to produce life.

    Why is it that some people think that it is a stem-winder of an argument in favor of “intelligent design” of life to point out that nobody has been able to design life? “If all of the design that we have been able to devote to the task hasn’t worked, that means that more design will work”?!

    Maybe it’s true. But it sure is not an argument for it.

  9. michaelfugate

    Like most theocrat creationists Floyd has never ever had an original thought and can only lamely try to appeal to authority or reuse arguments that have been used against his. Always a colossal fail.

  10. Actually, that argument is designed to be a win-win situation for creationists.
    When science is finally able to create life from scratch, that would then be “proof” that intelligence is required. Unfortunately, creationists have to rely on the scientific community for discovering the working method, what with intelligence being required and all.

  11. Charles Deetz ;)

    The best he can do is set up an inference of ID to prove (a) god exists? No direct correlation of history to the bible, no confirmation of six day creation as technically possible, not even a pre-cambrian rabbit.

  12. @Zetopan –
    Of course, that it not the only thing wrong with the argument from the analogy of human designs.
    But it surely is enough to point out how inane the analogy is, even lame by the low standards of argument by analogy.

  13. Ah, good old FL! Young Earth Creationist esquire. He’s a welcher, too. He owes me 600 cubic miles of water that he couldn’t account for to complete the Noah’s Flood Challenge. Hey, Floyd, where’s my water?

  14. docbill1351:
    “Hey, Floyd, where’s my water?”

    It was just delivered to South Carolina.