Creationist Wisdom #695: Art Proves the Bible

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Cincinnati Enquirer of Cincinnati, Ohio, just across the border from Northern Kentucky where Ken Ham’s creationist empire is located. This is their headline: The inspiration of Christian faith, and the newspaper has a comments section.

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 Jane. Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

So, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, thinks the new ark exhibit is “dangerous.” Really? The story of the Ark is part of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths. Biblical stories have inspired many great Renaissance artists.

Yes, biblical stories have inspired artists; but so have stories about the Olympian gods. Hinduism has also inspired some great art — depending on one’s taste. Aside from religion, heroic warfare has inspired art, and so has romantic love.

Hey — a lot of creepy art — or rather, literature, was inspired by the bible — Dante’s Inferno is a good example. Art has also been inspired by all kinds of superstitious horrors — like Dracula and other legends. And now, ol’ Hambo has been inspired to build his ark. What’s Jane’s point here? We don’t know, so let’s get on with her letter:

For centuries, the Christian faith has inspired astronomers, sculptors, composers, painters and mathematicians, all of whom showed great critical thinking skills alongside their faith.

[*Groan*] Astronomy is not inspired by religion, because it deals with things that are not in the bible, and it often flat-out contradicts the bible. If you doubt that, consider the Galileo affair. As for the other subjects Jane mentioned, they may or may not be pursued by religious people, but we don’t see a causal connection. Let’s read on:

Scientists are often found to be wrong. For 1,300 years, people thought the sun revolved around the Earth.

Now that’s a peculiar paragraph. First, it’s the bible that says the sun revolves around the Earth — see The Earth Does Not Move! — and it was scientists who demonstrated that the opposite was true. Second, what’s with that 1,300 years? Is Jane saying that 1,300 years before Galileo’s work in the early 1,600s, scientists began claiming that the universe was geocentric? That would mean the “scientific” error started around the year 300 AD. We have no idea what Jane is thinking about. Her letter ends with this:

Maybe we should paint over The Sistine Chapel because the figures depicted there aren’t accepted by non-believers.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No, Jane. Let’s leave the Sistine Chapel as it is. It’s beautiful, as are the remaining temples the Greeks and Romans built for their gods — but none of them “proves” anything.

Well, dear reader, that was a strange letter. But then, so are they all.

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

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15 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #695: Art Proves the Bible

  1. Oh, the illogic hurts so bad! A true classic, Jane’s letter ’tis.

  2. One wonders why the Cincinnati Enquirer bothered publishing this letter. It’s not even good click-bait, I’d have thought.

  3. waldteufel

    Like many writers of these letters, Jane seems unconstrained by facts or reality. Kinda reminds me of gerbil number 2,434,654,934,457 of 1,000,000,000,000,000 gerbils banging away on as many keyboards. . . .

  4. gerbil number 2,434,654,934,457

    I remember him! Snookles was the name. He got a letter published in the Cincinnati Enquirer too, as I recall.

  5. Eric Lipps

    Astronomy is not inspired by religion, because it deals with things that are not in the bible, and it often flat-out contradicts the bible. If you doubt that, consider the Galileo affair. As for the other subjects Jane mentioned, they may or may not be pursued by religious people, but we don’t see a causal connection.

    Oh, but astronomy was inspired by religion–just not by Christianity. Ancient astronomers (we’d call them “astrologers” today) studied the heavens for portents, learning in the process how to do such things as predict solar eclipses, which were terrifying events to the ancients. They had a strong incentive to get that right, since if an eclipse came that they hadn’t predicted, heads would roll. Literally.

    It was even possible to do this while assuming a stationary Earth around which all else revolved. The Antikythera mechanism was an impressively accurate mechanical computer designed to show the relative positions of the then-known celestial bodies, and it was based on geocentric assumptions. What finally sank geocentrism forever was the discovery that the “fixed stars” moved with respect to one another, which could not be accommodated by the geocentric model without making it impossibly complicated.

  6. @Eric Lipps
    I never heard that explanation for what sank geocentrism. When did astronomers first observe relative motions among the fixed stars?

  7. I never heard that explanation for what sank geocentrism. When did astronomers first observe relative motions among the fixed stars?

    Me too. According to Wikipedia, “Proper motion was suspected by early astronomers (according to Macrobius, AD 400) but proof was provided in 1718 by Edmund Halley, who noticed that Sirius, Arcturus and Aldebaran were over half a degree away from the positions charted by the ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus roughly 1850 years earlier.” But proper motion on its own wouldn’t have killed geocentrism; really it was the work of Galileo and more importantly Kepler that did that, culminating in Newton’s gravitation.

  8. I find it weird that she makes the assumption that if the Bible had never existed then we would have never had art. Artists would have found other stories to have been inspired by. That’s what artists do.

  9. The confusion is strong with this one, Obi-wan.

  10. What are y’all hanging out here for? Have you forgotten that Hambo’s thrilling Ark Encounter is about to open on the 7th July?

    Still time to head to Kentucky and get in line! And for our Curmudgeon‘s international audience, I trust that this blog will feature live reportage from Kentucky for this astounding event!

  11. Art proves that at one time the only criminals with money to pay artists were a few kings and a lot of churches and the RCC!

  12. RevReinard, more to the point, it’s quite ridiculously bigoted – religion really does inspire art, but it’s not like it’s just the God of Christianity that does it – Buddhism has hundreds of different styles to their religious art, as has Islam. The pagan Celts had some amazing religious art. North America is a tapestry of art, north to south, from the Aleut and the Inuit to the Hopi and Cree and everywhere in between.

    I mean, religion is something inspires deep, emotional reactions in people. If it doesn’t elicit an artistic response in people, I’d argue we wouldn’t be people at all.

  13. Jane:
    “Biblical stories have inspired many great Renaissance artists.”

    To be fair to Jane, she’s not saying there would be no art without the Bible. Good thing, too — otherwise, much great art would surely disappear.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux

  14. Her letter sounds a lot people do after consuming a fair amount of marijuana.