Creationist Wisdom #669: Wham-Bam-Pow!

Are you one of those hell-bound secularist evolutionists? Do you think all the evidence is on your side, and creationists don’t have any worthwhile arguments in their favor? If that describes you, dear reader, then prepare to be totally blown away.

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Reading Eagle of Reading, Pennsylvania — known as “The Pretzel City” because of numerous local pretzel bakeries. The letter is titled Biblical creation story is a matter of faith, and the newspaper has a comments feature.

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

In a letter to the editor on March 14 (“Science disproves biblical creation story“), Hal Brossman claimed that science disproves biblical creation.

We can’t read that letter because the newspaper requires a log-in to see it. No matter. Compared to Arlene, that man is obviously a fool! Arlene tells us:

He presents several points that from a naturalistic viewpoint would be insurmountable. He forgets that biblical creation includes God, who is able to accomplish what would be impossible without him.

Aha — that’s a very important point! Let’s read on:

He says that planets can only be formed after there is a parent star. Has he tested this theory?

Whammo! Earth could have appeared before the sun, just as it says in Genesis. Arlene continues her demolition job:

He stated we cannot have day and night before the sun was created. God can create light without a sun.

Whammo again! Here’s more:

He discounts water being above the earth. I believe our clouds contain water even now.

Kablooey! Another excerpt:

Plants can be created before the sun if the sun will arrive the next day. As for birds and fish being created on the same day, fossil records are open to various interpretations.

Yeah! Why is your interpretation any better than Arlene’s? On with the letter:

When Adam was 1 day old he was a mature man. When distant stars were created they could have been made in a mature form with light already reaching the ends of the universe.

Wham-Bam-Pow! There goes your argument about why the universe must be more than 6,000 years old! And now we come to the end:

Neither evolution nor creation can be proved scientifically. We cannot go back in time to observe or repeat the process over and over to verify results. Each of us must accept our interpretations based on faith.

You don’t have any come-back, do you, dear reader? We didn’t think so. Now slink away and rethink everything — before it’s too late!

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

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24 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #669: Wham-Bam-Pow!

  1. michaelfugate

    If I only still had a tail, I could slink away with it between my legs….

  2. SC suggests: “Now slink away and rethink everything”
    I did. My brain went, “Why are you here yet AGAIN!?!?”

  3. As far as the Sun being created after there was light, the Bible says that the Sun was created on the fourth day, and that the Sun was placed in the firmament “to give light upon the earth, … and to divide the light from the darkness”.

  4. Does she realize that she is also arguing against the need for religious apologetics?

  5. Finally a letter from my hometown! I actually read her letter when it was printed and was immediately dumbfounded. I’m glad the Curmudgeon found it so that it can enlighten a wider audience.

  6. Even if I concede that God can make light without a sun, or that God can create a universe with the appearance of age, that’s not what the bible says he did.

  7. Arlene proclaims “Each of us must accept our interpretations based on faith”. No Arlene, some of us base our interpretation of reality on data.

  8. abeastwood says: “No Arlene, some of us base our interpretation of reality on data.”

    You have faith in your data.

  9. Actually, when I was a scientist, nearly all of my data was accurate and reproducible, so yes, I had a lot of faith in it!

  10. abeastwood says: “so yes, I had a lot of faith in it!”

    I prefer the word “confidence.”

  11. Dave Luckett

    The letter is a demonstration that omphalos is sovereign. There is no bucking the “God could have done it” argument. God could have done anything. He’s omnipotent, isn’t He?

    Omphalos can’t be countered using the premises that are the only ones the one-week-six-thousand-years-ago creationist will accept. They are 1) God can do anything, 2) Evidence, schmevidence, God said He did it that way in this book I have here.

    That’s it. That’s all of it. If you start by positing an omnipotent God who inspired this particular account of His acts, all evidence is nugatory. Everything dissolves. All knowledge is worthless. No data applies. It’s all pointless and in vain. Science is helpless. Omphalos rules.

    The only course is to deny the premises. All that gets you is the seething enmity of the creationist, who will consign you to the devil.

    So go ahead and deny the premises. Me, I try to appeal to theists who are still open to reason. Some are, you know. I quote Jesus of Nazareth: “You will know them by their fruits”, and I ask if they would really like to return to a world without the fruits of scientific inquiry into the nature of the Universe.

    But if we go with Omphalos, if we accept the “God-can-do-anything” line of argument, we have already lost.

  12. Not only is Omphalos sufficient, it is necessary if one insists that the world is created at a finite time ago as unchanged from the present. (See the argument presented by Gosse.)
    The only difficulty with Omphalos is the charge of not truth-telling. But if God can kill and take from people without it not being murder and theft, why insist that not telling the truth is lying? (It isn’t as if we deserve to be told the truth.)

  13. Omphalos can’t be countered using the premises that are the only ones the one-week-six-thousand-years-ago creationist will accept. They are 1) God can do anything, 2) Evidence, schmevidence, God said He did it that way in this book I have here.

    And how do we know God said it?

    Genesis, after all, isn’t written in the first person (First Person?). It’s not attributed directly to God even by most (literate) Christians; rather, it’s one of five books of the Bible attributed to Moses, a self-exiled Egyptian prince.

  14. Dave Luckett

    Good question, Eric. The only answer is to quote another scripture. (Of course!) 2 Timothy 3:16 informs us that all scripture is “breathed out by God”.

    Now the question of what that means, precisely, is a bit of a quandary. It appears to be a Greek metaphor implying “inspired by God” – the English literally means “breathed in”, and the Greek literally means “breathed out”, but the intended meaning is the same: “given or instilled by God”. But “breathed out by God”, the literal word-for-word translation of the text, could mean that God actually dictated the words of scripture to its writers.

    At least, this text does necessarily imply that nothing in the Bible is contrary to God’s meaning and purpose, and all of it is consonant with His word. That is the basis of the fundamentalist claim to authority and inerrancy. (Let us for the moment gloss over the fact that 2 Timothy, if it was the product of Paul, was written before the Gospels and long, long before the canon of scripture was variously established.)

    It’s only when you get to asking whether God’s words are to be taken literally in all cases except where God says he is not speaking literally that one can get anywhere at all, with someone who believes the above. You can ask why God must speak literally. The very writer of 2 Timothy speaks metaphorically in terms of “breathing out” scripture. What prevents Almighty God from telling his truths in the form of stories, fictive narrative? Why must His word be taken strictly literally, when Jesus Himself was one of the greatest users of allegory and parable in history? How, then, does the (six-days-six-thousand-years-ago) creationist know that the Genesis accounts are historical and literal fact?

    The answer is, such a creationist does not know that, and there is nothing whatsoever in scripture nor in nature nor even in the tradition of the Church to support it.

    Now, of course I know that this is all irrelevant to a non-believer. In fact, it’s actually irrelevant to me, too. I have enough of a grasp on the evidence to know that the scientific account is the only one that makes sense. It wouldn’t matter a hoot if the Bible said that everything in it is to be read literally unless otherwise specified. If it said that, it would simply be wrong.

    But the fact is, the Bible never says that; and that gives an avenue that might be used to reach a “Bible believer”.

  15. Each of us must accept our interpretations based on faith.

    What about other creation stories, believed equally fervently by people of other faiths? Does Arlene accept that it is equally valid for them to accept their “interpretations” based on their faiths? Would it be okay for her child to be taught science according to a different faith tradition, based solely on the strongly held beliefs of that particular teacher?

    I suspect not.

  16. The biblical ideas that day and night are basic properties of the universe, with the sun as a decorative extra, fit very well with my everyday experience. There are many days when the sun is never visible at all, but there is plenty of light, it comes from the whole sky; that is, the universe during the day is full of light. When the sun is visible, there is more light than when it isn’t, just as Genesis says. However, even on sunny days, if I am awake early enough, I see that first the sky brightens, i.e. day starts, then the sun comes up. In the evening, the opposite occurs, the sun sets and there is less light, but it is still reasonably bright for a while.

    I know that we have good reason to believe that, in spite of appearances, practically all our natural light comes from the sun, and that it is understood how the general brightness of the sky occurs, but there was no way for the author of Gen 1 to know this and he can’t be accused of stupidity for coming up with what seemed to him a reasonable system.

  17. Curmudgeon, you are of course correct. I did multiple trials of things I could measure and applied standard statistical tests to determine the degree of confidence for the data. I used the word “faith” because that’s what the writer used. So, to rephrase it, I had a high level of confidence about how accurate my results were.

  18. Pete Moulton

    jimroberts, I don’t think anyone here accuses the nomadic Bronze Age goatherds of the Middle East of stupidity. They did the best they could with what they had. I reserve my contempt for the modern-day people who think those ancient campfire tales are the last word.

  19. @Dave Luckett
    I quite agree with what you have to say.
    Of course, there is a lot to say about this, but I think that these are worth mentioning:
    The 2 Timothy passage has been translated as saying something like, “All inspired scripture is profitable …”.
    1 Corinthians 7 has Paul saying that some of what he is writing is his own opinion, not from the Lord.
    There are various passages in the Bible where a non-divine source is cited.
    One common opinion of the literalists is that there are passages where it is obvious that they are not meant literally. (I observe out that for something like 2000 years, no one pointed out that geocentric language in the Bible was only figurative, so that is not a case of being obvious.)

  20. @Pete Moulton
    I agree that the people commenting on this excellent site don’t accuse ancient people of stupidity based on their understandable ignorance. There are however people on other sites, perhaps especially YouTube, whose ignorance of scripture and history leads them to intemperate comments.

  21. I do wonder at this business of Adam being created fully mature, and where that came from. I mean, it makes sense as part of tradition, but I really see no reason for it from the text. To go from Genesis 1 to 2 already requires juggling around the passage of time – why the rush to not allow Adam to grow to be of age?

    It just shows – even when they’re insisting it’s the “literal” word of God, they’re still reading into it a vast amount.

  22. It’s always difficult to get from the first to the incompatible second Genesis myth. They involve different gods, Elohim and JHVH, different orders of creation, and of course, different attitudes of the authors to their deities. The author of the Elohim myth obviously credits his deity with coming up with an intelligent plan for organising the chaos with which he had to start to the point where his desired result, a flourishing human society, could subsist: the details of the final stages can be interpreted as rather unclear. The author of the second Genesis myth seems to want to depict JHVH as a blundering idiot.

  23. @dweller42
    How can a human survive as an infant? (How can any mammal survive without the skills of an adult?) Yes, I know, with God anything is possible.

  24. How does Arlene know that the Universe wasn’t created last Thursday with all of us given false memories? Huh?