Creationist Wisdom #951: Australian Genius

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Newcastle Herald, an Australian tabloid located in Newcastle, New South Wales. It’s titled LAME OR BLIND IF ALONE, and it’s the second letter at that link. The newspaper has a comments feature.

Because the 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 Peter. He writes a lot of letters, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. Excerpts from his latest letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

John Arnold (Letters 19/4) says all religions are ‘voodoo’ and have no place in a modern world that uses science to explain existence and phenomena.

We can’t find that letter but it doesn’t matter. Peter disagrees with it and says:

But I say religion helped make modern science possible, specifically Christianity’s idea that a rational being created a rational universe capable of being investigated.

Ooooooooooooh! Without Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark, and all the rest of it, there wouldn’t be any science. Right! After that brilliant insight, Peter tells us:

And since science can’t explain all existence and phenomena, I also say Mr Arnold’s error is scientific over-reach or scientism.

Whoa — wait a minute! First, Peter says religion makes it possible to do science. Then he tells us there’s stuff science can’t figure out — and science is to blame. How is that possible? He continues:

Science is inherently incapable of explaining the existence of countless intangible realities including justice, mercy and love. It can’t tell us why there is something rather than nothing, nor can it say where everything comes from.

What’s going on here? If science is useless, and religion makes science possible, then … well, it’s rather obvious that religion is to blame. Doesn’t Peter see that? Let’s read on:

Science explains how things work, but not what they mean, and it says nothing about what we should do. [Science is useless!] I think Einstein got it right: ‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind’.

Creationists shouldn’t quote-mine Einstein, who was clearly an atheist. Anyway, having made his point, or at least thinking he’s done that, Peter changes the subject:

For me a spiritual worldview is important, as is taxpayer funding of taxpayers’ religious schools and institutions, in determining what is in the best interests of an enlightened 21st century society.

We don’t know the legal situation in Australia. Can government use tax money to support churches and teach creationism down there? Anyway, Peter’s final paragraph refers to other letters, and without them it makes no sense, so this is where we leave him.

And that’s the situation on the underside of the flat Earth, dear reader. Top side, bottom side, it doesn’t seem to matter. Creationists are the same everywhere. And that’s wonderful!

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #951: Australian Genius

  1. Michael Fugate

    Don’t fall into the SJ Gould trap and conflate religion with ethics.

  2. “And that’s the situation on the underside of the flat Earth”
    Yes, creationism has reached our shores together with McDonalds and KFC.

  3. Web search results:
    Those who have raised the question [of separation of church and state] have confused the Australian Constitution with the United States Constitution. … While Australia does not have an established church, it has many churches and religions that are all treated equally, at least for tax purposes, by the government.

    is there a separation of church and state in australia and new
    https://www.hsnsw.asn.au › MaxWallace

  4. Dave Luckett

    The usual creationist addition to Scripture. Nothing in the scriptures says “that a rational being created a rational universe capable of being investigated”. There is nothing rational about the Genesis creation. Establishing a reason for it requires suppositions beyond the text, which merely says God did this, and doesn’t bother with why or how.

    Further, the god of the Old Testament frequently behaved in a completely irrational manner, and is quoted as saying that his thoughts are not man’s thoughts – which is a direct denial of human reason. Paul himself says that God’s attributes are “invisible”, and that if people do not acknowledge that, “all their thinking has ended in futility, and their misguided minds are plunged into darkness”. That is, you have to begin with the idea that God is inscrutable, and nobody can say why he behaves as he does. Which is right, if you think about it, but rather makes hay of the notion that his motivations and actions can be assessed as rational, that is, explicable by human reason.

    It always astonishes me when someone who claims to revere the Bible unashamedly augments it like this. This bloke is making it up as he goes along. Maybe that’s how all religion got started. I don’t know.

  5. @Dave Luckett
    Yes.
    It reminds me of the nature gods, like those of Greece and Rome, whose place is to account for things. How can a monotheist be reconciled with belief in such gods?

  6. Peter thinks taxpayer money should help fund religious schools. Very enlightened, indeed, and there was a great deal of argy-bargy here over that issue, which I won’t rehash.

    Australia sometimes used to be referred to — even by us! — as the “a**hole of the earth.” That’s a tricky one, in view of a flat Earth. Surely it’s all relative, depending on where you’re standing? Perhaps people just had someone like Peter in mind whenever they said that.

  7. “And since science can’t explain all existence and phenomena …..”
    What did I write a few minutes ago, underneath the previous blogpost? Creacrappers are nasty liars and Peter is no exception. Mr. Arnold didn’t claim that science can; he claimed that religion can’t explain anything. Now that’s open to discussion (though I’d concur); apparently it’s too much work for Peter to give even one simple example of what religion does explain. Take this:

    “Science ….. can’t tell us why there is something rather than nothing, nor can it say where everything comes from.”
    Neither can religion. For instance Peter can’t explain why there is his god rather than nothing, nor can he say where his god comes from. “God just is!”, he exclaims. To which I happily answer: “Our natural reality just is – and that at least results in testabele hypotheses.”

    “Science is inherently incapable of explaining the existence of countless intangible realities including justice, mercy and love.”
    Evolution theory perfectly can explain why humans get winded up about what t hey call justice, mercy and love – and why mosquitos don’t.

    Our SC has turned into a radical, somewhat to my surprise: “Creationists shouldn’t quote-mine Einstein, who was clearly an atheist.”
    No, he wasn’t. He wrote the Gutkind letter about 20 years after he said that thing about religion and science. And even the Gutkind letter was ambiguous – Einstein was more or less an patheist a la Spinoza.

    “For me a spiritual worldview is important,”
    Peter can have his fun with his spiritual worldview, as long as I’m not forced to join him.

    “as is taxpayer funding of taxpayers’ religious schools and institutions.”
    It’s telling what Peter omits; thus he suggests that taxpayer funding of taxpayers’ secular schools and institutions do not matter at all to him. Also he carefully forgets the principle “he who pays, decides” – which means that governments decide what is taught at secular and religious schools. In sane countries (like in this case The Netherlands – don’t worry, there’s enough madness around here too) governments transfer this responsibility to experts. That means that biologists get to decide what’s taught in biology class. A fair consequence of Peter’s principle results in religious schools teaching Evolution Theory.

  8. Speaking of a flat Earth, “Mad Mike” Hughes has built another steam powered rocket and supposed to launch this month (obviously his gubernatorial bid in California came up short). And if that is not exciting enough, he is hosting “Exit the Matrix” flat Earth Expo which starts May 25. Be sure to watch the “Rocketman” movie trailer:
    https://madmikehughes.com/

  9. I’ll tell you what’s lame, Peter. Constantly regurgitating that Einstein quote as if it was the definitive statement on science vis a vis religion: that’s what’s freakin’ lame.

    Probably a waste of time pointing out to the likes of Peter Parrot that there’s not a hell of a lot of “everything” in this universe, for a start. Most of it’s empty, in the baryonic sense. Stick him in a rocket, eject him out into the freezing cosmic void, then let’s hear what he has to say about all the “something” as opposed to “nothing” he can find.

    Cranky Chris is toddling off to bed now, and I hope to Dog I never run into Peter Parrot in person, ‘cos the feathers will fly, I s**t you not.

  10. Ross Cameron

    Who said the U.S.A. had cornered the market on nutjobs? We got rid of Hambone, but there`s still a pile of crazies to endure. And they breed.

  11. Science explains how things work, but not what they mean, and it says nothing about what we should do.

    So what? Why should science do religion’s job as well as its own?

    Science is inherently incapable of explaining the existence of countless intangible realities including justice, mercy and love. It can’t tell us why there is something rather than nothing, nor can it say where everything comes from.

    Not yet. But religion doesn’t really explain these things either; it just declares that this is true, that is false, and you’d better agree or else.

  12. science is inherently incapable of explaining
    Let’s assume that this is true.
    If X is false, that does not mean that any Y is true.
    Give us an example of how the supernatural is capable of explaining.
    What does the supernatural do, when and where, why and how, so that such-and-such happens in the natural world.