Creationist Wisdom #966: Lethal Opposition

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it’s actually a column) appears in the Post Register of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The title is What was it that created human race?, 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, Monty Ledford. At the end we’re told he “did pastoral work for 29 years in churches in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Idaho.” 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:

We saw how God takes special care in making our first parents, created in His image. I do think I can hear a voice [perhaps yours, dear reader], full of a sense of its own sophistication: “You think this fairy tale really happened? God making a mud doll then breathing life into it?”

The rev isn’t impressed with your skepticism. He says:

Well, yes, I do believe something like this happened. Jesus himself assures us of Adam’s reality when He says, “Have you not read that he who created them in the beginning make them male and female?” (Matthew 19:4). But I want to emphasize that what God did was “something like this.”

Not precisely as it says in the bible? Only “something” like that? What’s going on here? He tells us:

We have seen that the Bible writers are authorized by God to describe God in human terms, since God made us in His image; but we have seen also that God’s essential reality is not fully identical with these expressions, since He is in one sense beyond all understanding and human measure, holding the seas in the palms of his hands, etc.

This is very strange. If the bible isn’t exactly accurate in every detail, then how do we know what to believe? He continues:

I think we can say, “This is the best way for God to give us the account of creation.” You may take the account with wooden literalism, or you may grant that an element of figurative language is involved (though how much is literal and how much is figure is impossible for us to check, since we were not there), yet any reader who tries to do justice to Moses’ intention will have to acknowledge that the Genesis account stands in lethal opposition to its current alternative, neo-Darwinist evolutionism.

Wow — lethal opposition to evolution! Okay, at least we’re clear on that. Let’s read on:

I am all for researchers digging up ancient bones and formulating their theories — let us not oppose careful and critical thinking. But neo-Darwinism bids farewell to experimental science and ordains itself philosophy when scholars insist mindless Chance alone shaped living organisms, and that there is no essential difference between a bug and a baby.

Go, rev, go! Here’s another excerpt:

Is there little figurative language or much in Genesis? That does not matter, for on any honest reading what is unmistakable is that an Infinite Intelligence created the human race and that human beings have dignity and worth far greater than the (very real) significance of the animal world.

Ah yes, an Infinite Intelligence!

The rev ends with a scripture quote, so we’ll quit here. And what did we learn? We’re not quite sure, but the rev is certainly a creationist, so we welcome his presence on our list.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

17 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #966: Lethal Opposition

  1. “(though how much is literal and how much is figure is impossible for us to check, since we were not there),” Blasphemer!!!!!!!!…………….The reverend is using the “were you there argument” when referring to the Bible. And he’s kind of mamby pamby on the whole science denial mindset.
    This will never do…..I’m fairly upset here. Hey ! Isn’t this near where the
    GOP state legislature from Washington is hiding out to prevent a vote on climate change laws and carbon credits. YES. It is ! Watch out rev. Those guys have guns and militias. You could be in big trouble homeboy.
    I think someone should alert those Idaho militia guys right away.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Essentialism and biological reality – that is a lethal opposition.

  3. Dave Luckett

    Another fruit loop. They’re everywhere. Hardly ever does one have any knowledge whatsoever of what the theory they reject actually says, and this one is no exception.

    “scholars insist mindless Chance alone shaped living organisms, and that there is no essential difference between a bug and a baby”, yet. What gets me about this utter tosh is that it’s the polar opposite of the fact. Scientists have found that selection shaped living organisms, and the theory of evolution explains the differences between a bug and a baby. The Rev has got it exactly reversed.

    “Is there little figurative language or much in Genesis? That does not matter, for on any honest reading what is unmistakable is that an Infinite Intelligence created the human race”. Now, that is a flat lie. Of course it matters that the words of Genesis are figurative, and that the Universe, the Earth, life and human beings were not literally made in that way. Any honest reading would admit that never in scripture is it said that the stories in Genesis are anything more than myth, legend, allegory, parable and fable – those all being different categories of fiction – and that there is no evidence that they are literal history, or that the people who first wrote them thought they were.

    An honest reading of the saying of Jesus would note that his words, “Have you not read that in the beginning they were created male and female?” are a question about what his hearers have read, not an assertion that what they’ve read is to be taken literally. But more than that, the least regard for context – essential if you have any respect for the scripture at all – would establish that Jesus was being asked about the law on marriage, a human institution. He started by implying that it had existed for as long as human beings had, ie “from the beginning”. That, as far as anyone knows, is pretty much correct.

    But no, no, the Rev can’t be having with that sort of real literal reading. In this particular instance, he’s got to apply a highly figurative understanding. Jesus did not actually say there or anywhere else that the accounts given in Genesis are the literal fact, but by golly, that’s what he meant. The Rev just knows this, because. Sunday school and his mother’s knee and it seems right.

    That is, the Rev’s not only ignorant of the theory of evolution, he also deeply misrepresents the scripture. Jesus knew all about religious leaders like that. He called them “blind guides”. But that was only when he was feeling charitable. When dealing with outright liars, he told them Satan was their father. Who’s your daddy, Rev?

  4. We know that the bible is true because gawd authorized it, which is only found in the bible and even Jesus agrees with that. Totally oblivious to their own circular argument. By the way, where is the notary stamp showing that gawd showed up in person to verify that the bible(s) was/were authorized by him/it?

  5. I just want to ride one of my hobby-horses. The Fallacies of Composition and Division, ignoring the difference between individuals and the group.
    The Bible does not say that God created the human race. The Bible talks about individuals.
    Jesus himself assures us of Adam’s reality when He says, “Have you not read that he who created them in the beginning make them male and female?”
    That does not say anything about the making of the “human race”. Evolution is defined as changes in inheritable traits in populations. If you want to talk about science, naturalistic explanations, of origins of individuals, you are in the domain of sciences like reproductive biology. If you would find a science which is contrary to the Bible, look to reproductive biology. (OK, so there are other sciences, like astronomy,or archeology, whch are contrary to the Bible, but that is beside the point.)

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    Throws out science for too many assumptions, then declares ‘unmistakable’ proof of a creating intelligence. Of course, that unmistakable proof is something most people completely miss, you’d think the designer would make it 100% clear they were the source, not rely on some pastor’s musings.

  7. Our dear SC speculates: “perhaps yours, dear reader”.
    Impossible. Sophistication is not one of my qualities. For one thing I would not formulate those two points like questions.

    “in lethal opposition”
    Fortunately Monty’s views also lack all sophistication.

    “let us not oppose careful and critical thinking”
    BWAHAHAHAHA! Exactly what Monty did with the previous quote!

  8. Eddie Janssen

    “We saw how God takes special care in making our first parents, created in His image.”

    I am not so sure about this. It seems that Eve was created more as an afterthought. Genesis 2 makes it very clear that there is some (considerable?) time between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve.
    If God created a male and female elephant, slug and shark, what could have been his motivation to create only a male human? (I suppose he did create a male and female elephant).

  9. Genesis 1 says that on the 6th day god created humans male and female. One ancient reading takes that as meaning that the first humans were hermaphrodites.
    Of course, everyone knows today that throughout creation, the simple binary distribution is not observed.

  10. Let me ride one of my own hobbyhorses. “scholars insist mindless Chance alone shaped living organisms”. Oh no we don’t! The absence of supernatural intervention is not an imposed foregone conclusion, but a null hypothesis that would be refuted by evidence, were such evidence to (I hope the Reverend will forgive me for using this word) materialise.

  11. @Paul Braterman
    Good point.

  12. The problem remains to specify how such evidence possibly could materialise indeed. I refer to Hume’s On Miracles. Evidence – by definition taken from our natural reality – for something supernatural keeps on making as little sense as dry water.

  13. In the olden days, atheism was identified with atomism (Epicureanism) which postulated random motions of the atoms as an alternative to divine action. I think that there is reliance today in theistic apologetics on arguments derived for those olden days.
    Among the advances in modern science is a better understanding of chance, including the concept of the null hypothesis.
    It is a shame that there has been a poverty of thought in apologetics.

  14. @FrankB, indeed. Another of my hobbyhorses; difficult for anything that can manifest itself (and thereby have material consequence) to avoid being grounded in the material and natural, especially given our ingenuity in elaborating the concept of the material (fields, expanding space, dark matter and energy, quantum entanglement).

  15. In the 19th and early 20th centuris so many things were being discovered, invisible light, Xrays, radio waves, alpa, beta and gamma rays, it was no wonder that people were taking seriously things like “elan vital” and ESP.

  16. @TomS: “I think that there is reliance today in theistic apologetics on arguments derived for those olden days.”
    Indeed, it’s something I’ve noticed too. Let’s call it “variations within a kind”. The ontological argument might be one of the youngest one; “only” a millennium old.

  17. I clicked over to the article and was pleased that apparently Wilford Brimley is still around and getting steady work in comedy.

    Ol’ Hambo’s review of this column is: “Put another log on the fire!”