Creationist Wisdom #1,052: Don’t Trust Science!

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Star Beacon of Ashtabula, Ohio. It’s titled Science does not have all the answers, and they have 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 Charles Geiser. We can’t find his name associated with a church in his town, but he says he’s a preacher so we’ll take his word for it. Here are some excerpts from the rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

A major star of the old M*A*S*H series [We never watched it.] has a “message” for mankind (I guess). It is printed in the latest AARP issue [Who reads the AARP magazine?] and starts off “trust in Science.” As a minister of the gospel of Christ for over 50 years I cannot stand by and say nothing about this.

The rev is furious! He says (skipping his scripture references):

My Bible says “trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding”. Science has been a “god” far too long already. [Right!] Man worships about everything but God anymore. At the end of Revelation 22:9, John wrote in his day “worship God.” Science has led man around by the nose long enough. [Yeah!] The first commandment given by Jesus is to love the Lord thy God with every fiber of our being. But let’s ask some questions:

The rev has some great questions. Here they come (we’re skipping the scripture references):

Did science create the world? My Bible says God did.

Did Science send a Saviour to die on the cross for man?

Did man need a Saviour? Paul wrote “there is none righteous, no, not one” Is Charles Darwin a saviour? I believed Jesus Christ (and still do) that Christ is man’s Redeemer.

We told you the Rev had great questions! And here’s some more:

Does man receive forgiveness when a rocket goes into space? [Of course not!] When many good deeds are done by men? Isaiah wrote that our good deed are as “filthy rags” God receives no glory, yet “he that glories, glory in the Lord”.

Strong stuff, huh? The end of the rev’s letter is even stronger:

Our “star” from “M*A*S*H” has trust in the wrong thing and that trust without God is as wrong as anything can be. Without Christ “we can do nothing”. Trust in science? I don’t think so!!!

There’s a lot of wisdom in the rev’s letter. Don’t you agree, dear reader?

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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24 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,052: Don’t Trust Science!

  1. I can’t get the article in question, but it is a cover story on Alan Alda in the June/July issue of the AARP magazine.

  2. The cover of AARP — wowie!

  3. What a wonderful world the rev inhabits- free from all the trappings of science. Let’s hope for his sake that he never contracts any illness or disease lest he should ever need to put his trust in science.

  4. Let us never rely upon technology to communicate our truth to others. Just the spoken word and ESP.

  5. chris schilling

    Robert Altman, who directed the movie ‘M*A*S*H, on the lyrics for the theme song ‘Suicide is Painless’: it had to be the “stupidest song ever written.” Altman had a go at the words, but passed the reins to his 14-year-old-son Michael.

    In the spirit of the rev’s letter, here’s my take on the theme tune:

    The game of life is hard to play
    Who needs a saviour anyway?
    A rocket ship is on its way
    I understand a horse eats hay

    The reverend Geiser’s brainless
    He brings on aches and painses
    And I can take or leave him as I please

  6. Dave Luckett

    The usual false dichotomy. Idiotic, of course, and appealing only to idiots, but it’s the furious refusal to look reality in the face that gets my goat. And the vicious, casual libels. Charles Darwin would have been outraged to hear that anyone were so deeply deluded as to imagine that he, Darwin, was without sin, or “a Saviour”. Nobody this side sanity, living or dead, ever suggested for a moment that he was. Nobody, least of all scientists themselves, ever thought that science was anything other than a human endeavour, with all the flaws, slips, mistakes and blind alleys that attend on any large human project. The most anybody claims for it is that because it is bound to repeated demonstration of physical fact, it is eventually self-correcting.

    There is no either-or. There is no contest. It is not science or religion. The dichotomy in this man’s addled head exists only there.

    But this is also true: religions have sometimes – not always – inspired people to better their lives and those of others. Charity, mercy, goodwill, peacemaking, benevolence have occasionally distinguished religions. Yet religion did not augment by one straw the capacity of humans to practice those virtues. If the entire wealth of a classical or medieval society, or their equivalents, anywhere in the world, were evenly apportioned among the entire population, everybody would still be in grinding poverty, by our standards.

    And of course it never entered anybody’s head then, to actually do, as a whole, what the man they called their Saviour said to do: “Give it all to the poor and follow me”. Quite the contrary. Kings, princes, lords, palaces, manors and cathedrals existed because God ordained them.

    Thus religion. Only in our own time do we have the suggestion that all privilege should be abolished; that everyone – everyone! – should have as a right the means of existence, universally; only in our own time have we anything like the capacity to grant that right. And the only reason that we have it, is science.

    Which is not to imply that we should do that, of course. It’s a moral question. Religion is supposed to inform us on moral questions. Should we? Ask a prince of the Church – ask a clergyperson. Ask Our Correspondent. Watch them hedge. Amusing, no doubt, but useless.

    In my darker moments, I am cynical enough to assert that “Amusing but useless” is a description of religion itself. But perhaps I should be more charitable than that. And then I ask myself, where did I get the idea that charity is a good thing anyway?

  7. The good rev and his followers obviously don’t need to take any special precautions against COVID-19; they just need to keep reading their bibles. Otherwise they’re all free to go about their lives as if nothing will affect them, being pure and safeguarded by their deity. And should one or more of them are infected, what jumbled response can they offer as to why them.

  8. “Science has led man around by the nose long enough.”
    Which is conclusively demonstrated by preachy Charly using the internet to spread his message. Ah, I love the smell of christian hypocrisy in the morning.

    @DaveL: ” ….. he, Darwin, was without sin …..”
    Sin is often defined as “transgression of the law of God”. As there is no god Darwin was without indeed; so are you and me.
    The point of course is that as a fierce unbeliever I prefer to avoid religious language if possible. Given the psychological harm the various theological concepts of sin have done I think that highly desirable in this case.

    “And then I ask myself, where did I get the idea that charity is a good thing anyway?”
    Of course it’s exactly here that our dear SC’s ideology fails. In the USA, due to the lack of social security, 1,8 out of 1 000 people are homeless. In Denmark it’s 1,2. Most striking example though is my native country:

    That’s a rise from 1,0 in 2009 to more than 2,2 in 2019. Since 2010 the Dutch PM is someone who adheres to Free Market Superstition. I don’t think that’s coincidence. Conclusion:

    The worst scenario for the homeless is Free Market Superstition without religious charity.
    The intermediate one is FMS softened up by religious charity.
    The best scenario (thus far) is social-democracy (which miraculously – in the eyes of some superstitious people – never has led to stalinist scenarios) making religious charity superfluous.
    The kind of policy Bernie Sanders and AOC advocate.

    Back to your question: charity is both a good thing (for those who actually are helped) and a bad sign (because it indicates that something is fundamentally wrong).

  9. Dave Luckett

    FrankB, the question wasn’t whether charity is a good thing or a bad thing. It was where did I get the idea that it was good. The answer is, at my mother’s knee, and from the Church I attended as a child. If it is a sign that something is wrong, then all human societies have something wrong with them – but why would that surprise anyone?

    As for social democracy, if it involves giving what is not yours to someone else, then it first requires you to confiscate whatever it is, from whoever owns it. And the rest follows.

  10. Doesn’t the Rev know anything about the Bible? Or Jesus? Or anything?

    “The first commandment given by Jesus is to love the Lord thy God with every fiber of our being.”

    No, this was not given by Jesus. Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 6:5. And notice his (or,if you prefer, His) follow-up: “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Here Jesus is following Hillel in quoting Leviticus 19:18.

  11. @Paul Braterman
    Perhaps the most surprising thing that I early learned about creationism is how little the creationists know about the Bible.

  12. Laurette McGovern

    First of all, Charles Geiser–Science (IOW, scientists) never say they have all the answers. On the contrary, science says it does NOT have all the answers. Scientists search for answers, but every answer brings up new questions. And science can only investigate questions that have to do with the real world.

    But who has all the answers? Religion! Pick your particular version of religion–I guarantee it will have the answers (answers may differ depending on that specific religion). However, they deal with the unreal world–who is to say if they are right or wrong or it they matter at all when it comes to reality

  13. @DaveL: “if it involves giving what is not yours to someone else ….. the rest follow.”
    Like paying taxes (government takes money you earn) for armies?
    Then I’m eagerly waiting for you going on a tax strike.
    That or your illogic is about as stupid as creacrap.

  14. FrankB, please control yourself.

  15. Eddie Janssen

    Social democracy is about institutional solidarity.

  16. It’s many of the scientists we can’t trust. Social democracy is about government doing its best thing as history we have the primary event are governments killing their own citizens and the citizens of other countries, because Romans 1 is the truth. Here we have a document that limits the power of government and places authority in the populace. Chris.

  17. Michael Fugate

    I always wonder why social conservatives didn’t take up the name Paulist and give up Christian – nothing matters other than Paul’s authoritarianism which was based on nothing. Paul never met Jesus and apparently knew nothing of Jesus’ work. It is fantasy not truth.

  18. Dave Luckett

    FrankB: Tax is the payment I make for government services, which includes maintenance of law and civil order, deterrence of outside aggression, and defence of individual rights such as free speech. (I will admit that use of police power actually to deter free speech is a problem of late). It also pays for schools, hospitals, roads, a health service, a fire brigade, libraries and many other services. I admit that it isn’t voluntary, but would argue that it is necessary for a society like the one I inhabit. If I wanted to revert to a hunter-gatherer economy no doubt it could be dispensed with. I don’t, so it can’t be.

    But thus far and no further. Paying a set, minor and equitable proportion of my valuta, provided it secures the services I mentioned, is acceptable. It is not acceptable that all, nearly all, or an arbitrary, very large proportion be confiscated on the grounds, not that it pays for anything, but simply that I shouldn’t have it if others have less. It is not acceptable to the death, as at least a hundred million corpses attest.

    As for “social democracy”, it is the doctrine that there should be a mixture of communally owned and non-communally owned assets, where the larger ones are the former. Western democracies do have such a mixture, but (ideally) with assets communal only when the asset benefits the entire community AND it can be best managed by a single supplier AND should be provided without making a profit, or despite a loss. Public transport. Health and hospital services. Libraries. Schools. That kind of thing. “Social democracy” is where the criterion for communal ownership is simply size or prominence or profitability or somebody’s whim. It is merely another pretext for confiscating assets, and would go the same way as outight Stalinism. It doesn’t matter who’s in charge. It wouldn’t matter if it were a committee of saints, or even FrankB himself. Those powers once granted, the confiscations proceed; the corpses pile up.

    A hundred million dead, FrankB. Probably twice the lethality of the worst war ever fought, nuclear weapons and all. Do you not feel the slightest frisson when you contemplate that? Not the least doubt? Are you so absolutely certain of the probity of those who decide what should be communal, and those who enforce those decisions, that you would place such power in their hands?

    Not me. Over my dead body. But that, of course, would be a trifling matter.

  19. Dave Luckett

    Michael Fugate: Approximately for the same reason that Coca-cola or “Coke” is still called that despite the fact that it no longer contains any coca. It’s what it was called at the start, so it’s an identifiable product. Marketing.

  20. Dave Luckett says: “… thus far and no further.” … “Those powers once granted, the confiscations proceed; the corpses pile up.”

    Excellent comment.

  21. Michael Fugate

    Gee wonder how many died in slavery? Talk about confiscation of assets….
    But hey capitalism is better – sure. It seems like it is humanity that is the problem.

  22. And if this guy gets sick, he probably makes a beeline to the nearest hospital for some of that sciency medicine they got there. He probably sent in his letter via computer. He probably watches Donald Trump on TV and follow him on Twitter.

    And if the Bible does indeed state “trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (sounds like something one could find there) how does he know that his god is not providing scientists so that he doesn’t need to trust his “own understanding,” that he can get it vetted by people who really know God’s creation down to a tee.

  23. Michael Fugate

    The biggest crime in the US is poverty and we love putting poor people in jail; we have the highest incarceration rate and prison population in the world (has Trump tweeted this?). We gladly pay somewhere between 80 and 180 billion dollars per year on prisons. So much for freedom… but someone is getting rich, very rich…
    When the US actively reduced poverty in the 60s, crime rates went down and yet police and prison spending exploded. If the social conservatives cared about people, then they would spend money on social services. 75% of women undergoing abortion procedures are in poverty. 34% of the use of force incidents by the LAPD involve homeless individuals. No lives matter might just be the slogan to start a reelection campaign – since they won’t say Black Lives Matter or wear masks and stay 6 feet apart.

  24. Dave Luckett

    I agree, although when it comes to the worst crime in the US, I might haver between that and the use or threat of the death penalty. To an Australian, the imprisonment sentences handed down in the US look absolutely grotesque. So I agree with you.

    Slavery – it was abolished, no? The US fought probably the worst war of the nineteenth century at least partly to enforce its abolition. The US and the west generally were not the only societies that condoned and practised slavery, as the Bible reminds us. Everybody did. Nobody’s hands are clean. It is still to be found in Africa and the middle east to this day.

    Things have slowly gotten better, except in places where they suddenly got worse. We have done better lately, where enlightenment values took hold and the ancient grip of religion was slackened. In some places, religion actually joined the enlightenment. Who’d have thought it? But the process is slow, painstaking, halting, and ruled by unexpected principles, such as the law of unintended consequences. Anybody who proposes to change a society from its roots – “radically”, as the Latin has it – proposes misery and horror on genocidal levels.

    So ameliorate the imprisonment rate, certainly. Abolish capital punishment, period. Lower military spending, increase social programs. Restrain tax avoidance among the wealthy. Build better schools, pay teachers more. I’d have said, go for a single-desk tax-funded health system, if not for everything, at least for necessities and at least for a much reduced co-payment. All good, and more along those lines to follow. No argument from me. I’d applaud it. I vote for parties, and turn out to support parties, that do that and argue for it. I live in a nation that, despite the appalling blots on its record, has done better lately, and some of the fruits are the above.

    But tell me that property is theft, or that the “system”, whatever is meant by that expression, must be immediately dismantled, and watch my back go up.