Creationist Wisdom #874: Darwinism vs. The Bible

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it’s a column, really) appears in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, published three times a week in Wasilla, Alaska — of which Sarah Palin was mayor before her election as Governor of Alaska. It’s titled Darwinian Naturalism Is The Religion Of America , and the newspaper has a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Ethan Hansen, pastor of the Faith Bible Fellowship in Big Lake, Alaska, which has no website. This is the second time we’ve featured a column by the rev. The first was #776: What a Face! As we said there:

[W]e call your attention to the rev’s photograph which appears above his column at the newspaper’s website. You gotta click over there to see it! Were it not for our caution about possible copyright violations, we would have copied it and placed it above this post. We think the rev’s photo should be the universal symbol of creationism.

Okay. Here are some excerpts from the rev’s latest, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The primary religion of America today is Darwinian Naturalism. Every person has a world view. A worldview is a way of viewing the world around us. This world view is very popular. Darwinian Naturalism has six basic tenets.

The rev gives us the six basic articles of the Darwinian faith. He crunches them into two paragraphs, but they’re important, so we’ll list them separately, without comment:

First, matter is all that exists and it has existed eternally. Carl Sagan years ago began his hit television series Cosmos with the same words every time. He said, “The Cosmos is all there is or was or ever will be.”

The second major tenet is that the cosmos is a closed system. They believe there is no God. God has never intervened in history.

Third, human beings are complex machines. Human beings are nothing more than a product of physical and chemical processes. We are not made in the image of God.

Fourth, death is the end of all personality and individuality. There is no life after death. When a person dies, it is over.

Fifth, morality is determined solely by the individual and circumstances. There is no transcendent revelation. God has not spoken.

Finally, history is a linear series of events linked by cause and effect. There is no overarching purpose to history. There is no big idea. History is random.

Impressive, huh? The rev has obviously given this much thought. After that he says:

This is the prevailing philosophy in America today. Thankfully, as Christians God has given us something much better! … A Christian worldview or philosophy contains three big ideas.

Then the rev gives us biblical worldview. Skipping his scripture references and commentary, it’s this:

The first big idea is that God created the universe and it all belongs to Him. … A creation presupposes a Creator. If there is a building, there must a builder. If there is a painting, there must be a painter. If there is a meal, there must be a chef. Our universe operates on cause and effect! [Wasn’t that one of the false ideas of Darwinism?] God created all things and He created them out of nothing. Our culture believes that matter is eternal and had the power to create all things. No. Matter is not eternal. God is eternal and He created all things. Evolution does not answer the question of origins. The real question is, “Where did matter come from?”

That’s the first big idea. He continues:

The second big idea is that God cursed the world and it is no longer what it was intended to be. … Man’s sin in the garden brought God’s curse. … The universe is running down. It is decaying. The second law of thermodynamics says that things move toward disorder. … Spring leads to summer. Summer leads only to autumn and winter. The entire creation is locked into a cycle of decay. … Most people think that sin is not a big deal. Sin is a big deal! One man’s sin eating one piece of fruit resulted in the curse of the entire universe.

That was the second. Let’s read on:

Thankfully, a Christian worldview contains a third crucial big idea. The third big idea is that God will renew the universe and it will be free of its curse. … The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus are very powerful. His sacrificial death frees the believer from his sins. Jesus offers salvation. But one day Jesus is coming back to make all things right. When Jesus Christ returns and we are revealed as the children of God creation itself will be restored. Yes, creation was subjected to futility (vanity) but a better day is coming.

The rev’s final paragraph sums it all up:

Matter is not eternal. God is eternal. The cosmos is not a closed system. God has intervened through His Son Jesus. Human beings are not just complex machines. We are very complex but we are made in the image of God. We are designed to know God. Death is not the end. Death is the beginning. Every person spends eternity somewhere. Morality is not determined solely by the individual and circumstances. God has spoken in the Bible. History is not a linear series of events. History is moving rapidly to the crescendo of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus!

Your Curmudgeon is so overwhelmed by the rev’s wisdom that we have no witty commentary. We’ll leave that to you, dear reader.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #874: Darwinism vs. The Bible

  1. Gott im himmel! That face!

    Well, the Curmudgeon did warn us, I suppose.

    There’s not much else to say, really, except who knew that eating one piece of fruit could bring an entire universe to come crashing down, and produce such an unholy combination of pastor Ethan’s looks and brains?

  2. Michael Fugate

    Which “transcendent revelation” is the correct one? People have been claiming that gods have been speaking and acting since the beginning of time, but these are often contradictory. I have never found anyone who could tell me how to determine if a god is talking to me or if it is just my brain making stuff up.

  3. I guess that he will be pleasenty surprised to find out that so many scientists and others have abandonded the religion of the eternity of matter.

  4. So the preacher thinks(?) that his invented ahole psychopathic gawd is awesome! Says a lot about the preacher and nothing good.

  5. “Finally, history is a linear series of events linked by cause and effect. There is no overarching purpose to history. There is no big idea. History is random.”
    It took this creacrapper longer than usual to stop making sense. A linear series of events linked by cause and effect by definition is not random, because cause (set of causes) and effect have a correlation of 100%.
    Hm, that’s another American newspaper unavailable to us Europeans. So I googled “pastor Ethan Hanson picture” and found one I think appropriate.

    Still I doubt if it’s him.

  6. Hey, I don’t much like dogs but still think that is a great insult to them. Take it back!

  7. (actually Sunny the Soccer Cat is friendly to everyone of any species. I was just making a point and thought it more appropriate coming from a cat.)

  8. As I understand statistics, a random number can have a probability of 100% – or 0%, for that matter. And a cause-and-effect can have a probability of less than 100%.

  9. 451: Unavailable due to legal reasons
    We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact contact@frontiersman.com or call 907-352-2250.

    It seems you have broken them, SC.

  10. @TomS: “As I understand statistics, a random number can have a probability of 100% – or 0%, for that matter. And a cause-and-effect can have a probability of less than 100%.”
    Then you allow creacrappers to play their ambiguity game.
    Dice are random. It means that every single outcome has the same probability. Loaded dice are not random.
    If cause and effect can have a probability of less than 100% sometimes a cause happens without the effect following, without a cause for that lack of effect (note that I added “set of causes”). Or someitmes an effect happens without the preceding cause happening, again without any other cause. That doesn’t make sense when building models on causality. You are saying “sometimes this cause has that effect and when it hasn’t there is no cause”. That’s an incoherence creacrappers will use to pretend that they have an argument.
    Perhaps you were thinking of Brownian Motion in a gas? Physicists take a probabilistic (actually stochastic) approach to the movement of particles because it’s way too much work to calculate the trails and collisions of every single particle. However the probability of cause and effect is still 100%.
    But I haste to add that scientists can be sloppy when discussing things like this. Their mutual understanding takes away the necessity to be totally precise. That’s a good thing, because they shouldn’t waste their time confronting creacrappers and other science rejectors, who will abuse all scientific sloppiness when they get the chance.
    However I’m not a scientist. So I can’t afford it and at the other hand won’t allow it from creacrappers. When a regular here displays such sloppiness it’s OK thanks to my background knowledge of the regulars.

  11. Michael Fugate

    The second law of thermodynamics says that things move toward disorder. … Spring leads to summer. Summer leads only to autumn and winter. The entire creation is locked into a cycle of decay. …

    Is summer more disordered than spring? How does that work? Doesn’t spring come again after winter? I am thinking cycle here – who knows what Ethan is thinking or if Ethan is thinking.

  12. If dice are loaded subtly, so that 1 comes up 20% of the time, then that does not make the throw non-random.
    Radioactive decay is random.
    There are various functions which describe random variables. For example the random outcome of the throw of two fair dice does not assign equal probabiity to 1 as to 7.

  13. Eric Lipps

    Groan. Where to begin?
    First, matter is all that exists and it has existed eternally. Carl Sagan years ago began his hit television series Cosmos with the same words every time. He said, “The Cosmos is all there is or was or ever will be.”

    Sagan was saying that the Cosmos is made up of everything that exists or ever will exist, not that it’s made up of matter (and energy) alone Even fundamentalists shouldn’t have a problem with this.

    The second major tenet is that the cosmos is a closed system. They believe there is no God. God has never intervened in history. Well, obviously, if God doesn’t exist, He can’t “intervene in history.”

    But the universe being a closed system doesn’t preclude God’s existence; He could be the core of the universe, from which all else derives, and could, therefore, intervene. What really upsets these people, though, is the idea that miracles, defined as events which defy natural law, don’t happen. But if God exists, is omniscient and created the laws of nature, why would He not have designed those laws to allow Him to do everything He might want to do without breaking them? Is God the transcendent to be thought of merely as a super-powered despot above the law?

    Third, human beings are complex machines. Human beings are nothing more than a product of physical and chemical processes. We are not made in the image of God.

    What image? Is God a humanoid?

    Actually, I’m sure the ancient Hebrews though exactly that — but then, theirs was a God much more akin to those of other cultures of the period, who could, for example, “repent” — change his mind — about ordering Abraham to offer up his son as a human sacrifice. And of course, humans are “complex machines,” at least in purely physical terms.

    Fourth, death is the end of all personality and individuality. There is no life after death. When a person dies, it is over.

    Speaking as a mortal human being, I’d like to believe there’s a life after death, even though according to fundamentalists people like me will spend it burning in agony forever. But I know a wish when I see one, and I know the difference between wish and reality. I can’t be sure there’s an afterlife, or that there isn’t, either, so I approach death with fingers crossed — unlike fundamentalists, who insist you’d better believe there is one, or else.

    Finally, history is a linear series of events linked by cause and effect. There is no overarching purpose to history. There is no big idea. History is random.

    Huh? How can history be both “a linear series of events linked by cause and effect” (the horror! the horror!) and “random”? Apparently it’s not enough, to fundamentalist at least, that events occur according to natural law; there has to be an “overarching purpose,” a “big idea,” or there is only chaos.

    This is America, so there’s no lawful way to keep idiots who think like this from voting and holding public office, nor should there be. But that doesn’t mean their ideas deserve respect.

  14. Eric Lipps

    Oops. Obviously got a few tags misplaced. I hope my points got across anyway.

  15. @Eric Lipps
    But if God exists, is omniscient and created the laws of nature, why would He not have designed those laws to allow Him to do everything He might want to do without breaking them?
    I agree with what you are saying, but I would phrase it differently.
    As you say it, a creationist could object that you are demanding to know the mind of God, why does God do such-and-such.
    I, rather, point out that it is meaningless to speak of “allowing the omnipotent to do” such-and-such. God can do whatever he wants without taking account of anything. God can make life, without taking account of the laws of thermodynamics, or whether the parameters of the laws of physics are fine-tuned or not. It doesn’t make any sense to say that God privileged Earth so as to make life possible.
    God has his inscrutable reasons for doing things, but designing things so as to make something possible – no, everything is already possible, and no design makes things possible, so that doesn’t make any sense.

  16. Dave Luckett

    I am left to wonder where this bloke received whatever education he had. He’s a pastor of some kind of church, but it appears that he has had no contact with basic theology. Not, I hasten to add, with abstruse questions such as the doctrine of the Trinity, or Christology. Just basic ideas such as that God is pure spirit, or that He is omnipotent. Of course the pastor is desperately ignorant of science, too, but that we have come to expect.

    I keep reading these loons, and what always strikes me is their incomprehension of the religion they profess. I should be more derisive of their bold distortion of basic science, but they are founded on an ignorance that is almost to be excused, because it’s almost inevitable that they haven’t a clue about science, and worse, that they don’t know how ignorant they are. But that series of arguing points demonstrates that he cannot read for meaning, nor recognise a logical contradiction, and has Humpty Dumpty’s attitude to the values of words.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if idiots like this were occasionally encountered carrying a hand-made sign and shouting at the rain. It’s bad enough that he can get up in front of a congregation, however small, and spout his nonsense weekly. But that a newspaper, even a thrice-weekly small-town gazette, should give him a column to hold forth in! Words fail me.

  17. @Dave Luckett
    I quite agree with you. In particular, the ignorance of their own religion: its history, and the Bible (other than a handful of proof texts); and why would one attract a following.

  18. @Dave Luckett: You got it in one.
    There’s only one comment (so far), but it is a good ‘un. It could have been written by SC or any of his correspondents.

  19. I’m confused. When Jesus returns, will the Second Law of Thermodynamics cease to operate?

  20. There was a time when YEC claimed that the 2nd law of thermodynamics was a consequence of Adam’s Fall. I think that that is no longer popular.

  21. Dave Luckett

    Oh, that would be fun!

    “Lord, lookee here. I built a new handy-dandy perpetual motion machine.”

    “Uh-huh. Well, when it stops working, I’ll know you ate something that disagrees with me.”

    “Huh?”

    “Nevermind.”

  22. “One man’s sin eating one piece of fruit resulted in the curse of the entire universe.”

    Now, how could you not love a god like that?

  23. TomS says: “There was a time when YEC claimed that the 2nd law of thermodynamics was a consequence of Adam’s Fall. I think that that is no longer popular.”

    Ol’ Hambo takes a fuzzy position on that — see Answers in Genesis Rejects “2nd Law” Argument?