Creationist Wisdom #647: Bible Beats Science

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Comox Valley Record of Courtenay, British Columbia. The letter is titled Biblical truths outweigh science. The newspaper has a comments feature.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Charlie. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

A letter to the editor dated Dec. 29 (Science triumphs fiction for global change) suggests that the Bible containing stories about Noah and floods etc. is fictional rather than the facts of science.

We can’t find that earlier letter, but we get the idea. Charlie disagrees, and he says:

That same book contains over 300 prophecies that are detailed and specific about Jesus the Messiah which have been fulfilled. These prophecies were written hundreds of years before they happened.

Wow — we didn’t know that! Wikipedia has an article on Jesus and messianic prophecy. It describes a bunch of those prophecies and discusses their accuracy. We’ll leave that material for to you to ponder, dear reader. Let’s read on from Charlie’s letter:

Mathematicians have calculated the odds of Jesus fulfilling only eight of the 300 Messianic prophecies describing his birth, life, death and resurrection as 1 out of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Yeah, okay. Charlie continues:

I’ll personally accept mathematicians’ calculations more as a fact rather than scientific theories and speculations that are regarded as facts.

Good decision, Charlie! Here’s more:

The above figure is probably the amount of money the world will spend on global warming, climate change etc with no effect whatsoever.

Charlie doesn’t tell us how to convert the odds against prophecies into Canadian dollars, but he managed to get in a zinger about global warming. Nice touch. Moving along:

I’ll take biblical truth over so called scientific facts any day.

Charlie is a smart man! Another excerpt:

The [earlier] letter to the editor states that we are trying “to force everyone to follow” all this so called book of ancient writings. Nothing could be further from the truth as the same book the writer regards as ancient writings states that our faith is a “gift” from God.

Yes, but a load of people want to ram that gift down everyone’s throat. And now we come to the end:

A gift is “offered,” not forced on people, we can say thank you or no thanks and reject it. The fact is most reject it even when they haven’t read the book.

Charlie has no problems accepting the bible instead of science, but you probably do, dear reader. It’s not too late to reconsider.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #647: Bible Beats Science

  1. michaelfugate

    My reading the book was the reason for rejecting it.

  2. I wonder how many people consider the Bible to be of surpassing importance, yet have not expended the effort to read it?
    To read it in their mother tongue, let alone to learn Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and read the original?

  3. Dave Luckett

    Practically no-one, TomS, and even those that do read all the text in respectable translation and access scholarly criticism of it, find themselves having to make a stark choice. Either they reject any claim that it has authority, or else they embrace divine command theory in whole. There is no other choice.

    Charlie, above, has made his choice – the latter option. That means that he, and those like him, are predictable only in their unreason. Nobody can tell when or if he or they might have some kind of revelation that leads to the distress, ruin and woe of others. All that can be said is that they are open to it – because they have subordinated their conscience and their actions to their interpretation of the words of a text.

    Not even to the text itself – for, if you read his screed, you will immediately see that he believes things about the Bible that simply are not true in its own terms. Nobody prophesied Jesus, the itinerant nabi from Galilee. The Messiah was to be a prince, a ruler, a governor. He was to lead armies. He was to rule his people Israel. Isaiah speaks of a “suffering servant” but says this servant was to see his grandchildren. He tells us that a young woman would conceive (a not-unknown event), but tells us also that by the time her son could feed himself and know right from wrong, the threat by the Assyrians to the Kingdom of Judah would have faded away. Which was right and wrong, both at once. Every single other oracle concerning a Messiah fits Herod the Great far better than it fits Jesus.

    It’s nonsense, but it’s dangerous nonsense. It has to be tolerated – they can think what they like – but the moment it is followed by actions, even such minor ones as writing letters to provincial newspapers – it must be resolutely opposed.

  4. Ceteris Paribus

    Charlie says:

    “A gift is “offered,” not forced on people, we can say thank you or no thanks and reject it.”

    Ya, that’s correct, and very good advice, too. In fact I’m thinkin’ Charlie maybe is one of my relatives who moved up to Canada to take care of a neat little business franchise.

    See, I got this cousin, (let’s just call him “Cousin Vinny” ’cause he’s kinda shy and don’t like to be pointed out in a crowd) who gets all kinds of gifts of money from people he barely even knows. Vinny is always polite and says “thank you”. Funny thing is, Vinny keeps getting these gifts from the same people, like on a regular schedule. Usually on Sunday morning.

    Vinny says he feels obligated to keep taking these gifts from people because, as he tells them, it just seems to bring them good luck. And if the gifts stopped coming in, regular, like every week, then, who knows, maybe some very unfortunate thing may happen to them or somebody in their family?

    Not tellin’ any tales out of school here, but you best get Charlie’s drift before any accidents happen in your neighborhood.

  5. Myself, I do not care to go dispute readings of the Bible that have a long history.
    I would rather point it out that no one thought to suggest that geocentric passages in the Bible were not to be taken as literally true, until the beginnings of the rise of modern science. ISTM that no one can reasonably claim that Biblical geocentrism is obviously metaphorical if no one noticed that for a couple of thousand years.

  6. Sorry, Charlie, as michaelfugate above, I rejected the bible because I read it. And I’m pretty sure from the comments on this blog that most of the readers who think the bible stories are a collection of myths, many only slightly modified from earlier myths, know a great deal more about the bible than many of the people who accept it as a gift from a sky fairy.

  7. @mnbo
    I was speaking about geocentrism, the idea that the Earth is motionless in the center of the universe.
    Not about the idea of the Earth being flat.
    The standard picture of the cosmos in Middle Age Europe was the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic one. A spherical Earth in the center, with the Sun, Moon and stars making daily circuits around the Earth.

  8. [The Bible] contains over 300 prophecies that are detailed and specific about Jesus the Messiah which have been fulfilled. These prophecies were written hundreds of years before they happened.

    And they are about as “detailed and specific” as the prophecies of Nostradamus, and just as handy for reinterpretation.

    Charlie rabbits on:

    Mathematicians have calculated the odds of Jesus fulfilling only eight of the 300 Messianic prophecies describing his birth, life, death and resurrection as 1 out of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.

    Which mathematicians? Names, please, and academic affiliations (other than the Discovery Institute or some similar thunk tank).

    Not that it’s relevant, given that as stated above the prophecies are so vague that their “fulfillment” can be seen the same way idiots, er, I mean suggestible people, can see the face of the Holy Virgin in cracked wall plaster.

    Then our correspondent says smugly:

    I’ll take biblical truth over so called scientific facts any day.

    Your choice, Charlie. It’s a free country. Perhaps you’d also take the value of pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, as 3, as does 1 Kings 7:23, rather than the “scientific fact” of its actual, measured value.

  9. Regarding the above, I’m sure Charlie and other creationists would argue that this passage was using an approximation. And that would be fine, if they weren’t constantly insisting the Bible must be read exactly as written. Apparently their belief in “literalism” is quite conveniently selective.