We’re told by creationists like Ken Ham that anything contrary to scripture, especially science where it provides a natural explanation for something the bible ascribes to supernatural causes, is — gasp! — secular, and is therefore atheistic and evil.
Nevertheless, many scientific conclusions have been universally accepted (with trivial exceptions), although they are clearly contrary to scripture. Some obvious examples are:
1. The shape of the Earth — see The Earth Is Flat!
2. The location of the Earth (the universe isn’t geocentric).
3. The motion of the Earth — see The Earth Does Not Move!
4. The solar system — see The Galileo affair.
5. The cause of lightning, storms, floods, volcanoes, etc.
You can probably think of other examples, but those are sufficient to demonstrate that biblical literalists don’t always take the bible literally.
However, as we’re all aware, there are other scientific lessons that creationists continue to reject (except in some cases for old-Earth creationists). Examples are:
1. The age and origin of the Earth and the universe.
2. The chemical origin of life.
3. The evolution of species and their common descent.
4. The fictional nature of Noah’s Flood.
From the foregoing, it appears that biblical literalists have largely abandoned their objections to astronomy, the geographical characteristics of the Earth, and most of medical science. But they persist in rejecting geology, biology, cosmology, and (if they ever think about it) plate tectonics. As expressed by Ken Ham, they reject what he calls “origins science.” Their reason, aside from scripture which they insist is true, is that historical events can’t be re-created in the lab. We discussed that in Common Creationist Claims Confuted.
What do we conclude from this? First, although creationists dislike scientists in general, they do accept a great deal of science, even where it clearly contradicts scripture. From this we see that creationism is wildly inconsistent. Unlike science, which always follows the same procedures and principles, creationism is incoherent and arbitrary. The only place where they draw the line is where science teaches about events in the past — and then only when scripture is contradicted.
Can creationism endure? We don’t see how it can — not in its present numbers. Given the fact that creationists already accept so much of science, their reluctance to accept the rest is on very shaky ground. It wouldn’t take much to demolish their already-crumbling edifice. What might that be? Obviously, finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would be a crippling blow. Creating life artificially in the lab would be another. Either of those is possible in the near future. You might be able to think of a few others.
Of course, creationists will never entirely vanish. We still have flat-Earth advocates, fans of astrology, voodoo, and other weird and worthless ideologies. But such people are few in number, and they’re considered to be pathetic weirdos. The day will come when creationists are similarly regarded. Until then, they provide us with lots of fun, so our humble blog will continue to ridicule them.
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