Creationist Wisdom #965: Science Is Faith

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it’s actually a column) appears in the Aitkin Independent Age of Aitkin, Minnesota (population 2,165). The title is Every belief system is a faith system, 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 Dallas Kurt Smith, described as “associate pastor in Aitkin and Baxter.” We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

I have heard from contrasting sources primarily two different belief systems. [Really?] As a child and teen, then young adult and middle-aged adult, and still today, these contrasting views exist. I believe one over the other for one reason, here’s why.

The rev is going to tell us why he believes one over the other. This should be interesting. He says:

I was born in 1954 and graduated from high school in 1972. During that time and beyond I have heard messages from science and the secular world. [Yuk!] Contrasting them I have heard messages from the Bible and Christian leaders. [Much better!] Sometimes these messages complement one another. An example of this is that science seems to prove that Christian people who are prayed for during an illness get better faster than those who are not prayed for. [Ah yes, prayers always work!] Much of the time however the messages from religious and secular sources are in conflict. [Gasp!] An example of this is how we humans originated, creation versus evolution.

Egad, evolution! But that’s not the only conflict between the secular world and religion. The rev tells us:

Other areas of conflict in the messages include the Christian message that says people most often make self-centered, self-serving choices. [Yes, people are sinful!] This is contrasted by the secular belief that says most people are basically good [Absurd!] and will do what is “right” and good when given the chance. … Without laws and law enforcement many would do what is right in their own eyes, which would be total anarchy resulting in death and destruction.

The rev is right. His list of religious and secular conflicts continues:

Another contrast, was while I was growing up, I was taught by science and secular sources that by the turn of the century, the year 2000, we would be experiencing global cold which was going to result in starvation because not enough crops would be able to be grown to feed everyone. I remember this well because I didn’t like the idea of starving, and, even though I live in Minnesota, I am not a fan of cold. Now science has completely changed course and is concerned with global heating. [Scientists are fools!] The message of the Christian teachers was and still is that God created and sustains the universe and when we are good stewards of the resources around us, God will provide.

This is quite a collection of secular blunders. He also talks about abortion and endangered species, but we’ll skip that because this is becoming tedious. The rev’s letter ends with this:

Every system is a faith system, including science. [Right!] Yes, science fills in gaps with faith [All the time!], so let’s be willing to try to understand one another and disagree without being disagreeable. I am following the Christian system because for me it is the most logical for life on earth and also for life after death. We’ll see you in church.

There’s a lot of wisdom in the rev’s column, dear reader. The people of Aitkin, Minnesota are fortunate to have such a brilliant preacher.

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

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10 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #965: Science Is Faith

  1. Eddie Janssen

    “Another contrast, was while I was growing up, I was taught by science and secular sources that by the turn of the century, the year 2000, we would be experiencing global cold…”

    From Wkipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling#1971_to_1975:_papers_on_warming_and_cooling_factors

    “By the 1970s, scientists were becoming increasingly aware that estimates of global temperatures showed cooling since 1945, as well as the possibility of large scale warming due to emissions of greenhouse gases. In the scientific papers which considered climate trends of the 21st century, less than 10% inclined towards future cooling, while most papers predicted future warming.”

  2. “I am following the Christian system”
    How many prayers does it take priest DKS to get his computer started?

  3. These people are obstinate! They insist on confusing ordinary faith with religious faith and ordinary belief with religious belief. If we say “I believe I’ll have another beer.” They say, see religion!

  4. docbill1351

    I agree. “I believe I’ll have another beer!”

    (Punchline to old joke: Do you believe? Yes, I believe! What do you believe? I believe you’re trying to drown me!)

  5. Could someone on the US please post for me:

    The Reverend tells us that “science seems to prove that Christian people who are prayed for during an illness get better faster than those who are not prayed for”. So far is this form being the case that the authoritative Cochrane Reviews (https://www.cochrane.org/CD000368/SCHIZ_intercessory-prayer-for-the-alleviation-of-ill-health) state that “Overall, there was no significant difference in recovery from illness or death between those prayed for and those not prayed for … it is only possible to state that intercessory prayer is neither significantly beneficial nor harmful for those who are sick.”

    He also says that “while I was growing up, I was taught by science and secular sources that by the turn of the century, the year 2000, we would be experiencing global cold”; but I fear that the reverend is displaying selective memory: https://skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

    Finally, and most seriously, he writes “The message of the Christian teachers was and still is that God created and sustains the universe and when we are good stewards of the resources around us, God will provide.” Since when was utter recklessness about the consequences of our actions compatible with good stewardship?

  6. Richard Staller

    We’ll see you in church.

    No you won’t.

  7. I looked up the noun “design” in the Oxford English Dictionary. The first defintion given is
    “A plan or scheme conceived in the mind and intended for subsequent execution; the preliminary conception of an idea that is to be carried into effect by action; a project.”
    The second defintion given:
    ” A plan to attack someone or something; an inclination or plot to gain possession of something, esp[ially] in a cunning or devious manner; (also) in extended use: such a plot or inclination to attract or win a person’s love.”
    and a variation on this:
    ” A stratagem or scheme involving cunning or hypocrisy. Also as a mass noun: scheming of this kind. Now somewhat archaic.”
    And then there a lot of different meanings.

    Check out several standard dictionaries, you will find among their several defintions such as this (Merriam Webster Dictionary):
    “3 a deliberate undercover project or scheme : PLOT
    a declaration of a design upon his life
    — John Locke
    b designs plural : aggressive or evil intent —used with on or against
    he has designs on the money”

    So, I gues that we are to believe that life, and “mankind” in particular, is part of a plan, scheme, or plot?

  8. Eric Lipps

    Every system is a faith system, including science. [Right!] Yes, science fills in gaps with faith [All the time!], so let’s be willing to try to understand one another and disagree without being disagreeable. I am following the Christian system because for me it is the most logical for life on earth and also for life after death. We’ll see you in church.

    An idea can be perfectly logical and yet perfectly worthless if the logical premises it depends on are false. That’s why science requires actual physical evidence, as opposed to relying on faith alone as Rev. Smith suggests it does,

  9. Our Reverend seems to have gotten pretty much everything wrong what he learned from science. As Paul Braterman already mentioned, double-blind clinical test on intercessory prayers did not show up any effects. The most thorough study (funded by the Templeton Foundation) was probably the one done by Benson H et al., reported in the American Heart Journal in 2006. Here is the abstract: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002870305006496?via%3Dihub
    You can also download and read the whole thing.

  10. 1. The mailman in Aitkin, Minnesota is the most powerful man in the world.
    2. Theresa May is the mailman in Aitkin, Minnesota.
    3. Theresay May is the most powerful man in the world.

    Indeed, how can logic ever go wrong?