Creationist Wisdom #1,064: The Logician

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Herald of Sharon, Pennsylvania. It’s titled Bible logically explains creation, and it’s the first of three letters at that link. The newspaper has a comments feature, but there aren’t any comments yet.

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 Brian. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

I believe science helps our world to advance greatly. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I cannot prove to a secular scientist that God exists, outside of His creation and the Bible. Nonetheless, when you look at the Bible’s historical accounts and prophecies, it’s hard to view them as myth. [Indeed!] I have faith that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.

Brian is a man of faith. Isn’t that wonderful? Then he says:

Interestingly, secular scientists also appear to have great faith: [Huh?] Faith that a single cell, though complex, was created by random chance. Faith in the Big Bang that theorizes the energy/matter/space that exploded (singularity) was thousands of times smaller than a pinhead. Faith to believe that the pinhead exploded 13.7 billion years ago, and out came our vast universe containing billions of galaxies.

Wowie — those secular scientists have a whole lotta faith! After that, Brian tells us:

There are laws of thermodynamics now, but before the “Big Bang” secular science couldn’t explain how energy and matter came into existence. All of that is faith.

Jeepers, those secular scientists have more faith than an ark-load of creationists! Brian continues:

Can something come from nothing? Can A create A? In order for A to create A, then A must exist and A must not exist simultaneously. That is impossible. That is unfounded faith. Did the Supreme Court really believe that?

Brian is a master of syllogisms. Let’s read on:

Genesis teaches that A created B: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Yeah — none of that scientific “A created A” nonsense! And now we come to the end:

So why can’t creationism be taught in the public schools? [Great question!] After all, secular science’s view of how the universe came to be also is faith-based.

You don’t have an answer, do you, dear reader? That’s because you’re a Darwinist fool, and Brian is a master logician.

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

11 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,064: The Logician

  1. “those secular scientists have a whole lotta faith”
    Perhaps, dear SC, but not in the things mentioned by Brian.

    “Genesis teaches that A created B”
    From nothing.

  2. Michael Fugate

    He probably doesn’t believe his conception was due to random chance either…

  3. Let him not rely on one English translation of the Bible. There is a disagreement among Hebrew scholars as to the meaning of Genesis 1:1. See some of the alternative English translations.

  4. Dave Luckett

    Well, starting from the top. Brian first admits that he cannot do as he demands scientists do. This is special pleading. Not a good start.

    Then he tells us “when you look at the Bible’s historical accounts and prophecies, it’s hard to view them as myth.” No. But then again, you need not. Some is myth, but some is legend – a different genre – and some is folktale – a different genre again – and some is poetry, ditto, and some is an attempt, at least, at writing history. As a very general rule, the later the date of origin, the more the last emerges.

    Some is prophecy, in the sense undoubtedly meant by Brian, namely “predictions of the future”, but all the claimed prophecies fall into categories: those that failed, like Ezekiel predicting Nebuchadnezzar taking Tyre; those that haven’t happened (yet), those that are commonplace or trivial, those that were deliberately enacted (like Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem that last Passover), those that weren’t prophecies of what was claimed at all, like Isaiah telling the King that this young woman here would conceive and bear a son; and prophecies whose wording was vague enough to allow a very wide range of outcomes to be held as fulfilling them. That last is what apologists resort to in trying to justify Jesus’s prophecy that he would return in glory, with angels, before all his hearers were dead. Didn’t happen – hasn’t happened yet – so the event called the Transfiguration (itself a vague story) is rung in as a makeweight. Or the Resurrection. Or Pentecost. Or something.

    So what Brian thinks about the Bible simply isn’t true. It isn’t in the least difficult to regard it as what it appears to be – a collection of ancient writings of various genres, the products of human minds.

    The rest of the letter is an attack on scientific theory. The only basis for that attack is Brian’s personal incredulity. As FrankB pointed out, it is not science that believes that everything came from nothing. That’s closer to Brian’s belief, except that he would say he assumes God made everything from nothing, so therefore there was something, God. Maybe so, but he’s already said he can’t show evidence for it. Scientists can show evidence that the Universe expanded from a singularity.

    And of course they can show evidence in copious quantities that all living things evolved from earlier forms.

    So Brian’s attempt to conflate science and his religious faith is a failure, made in ignorance.

    But even that is not why what Brian freely admits is his religious faith cannot be taught in the public schools. It cannot be taught because it is religious faith, and no institution funded by taxes can be used for that end.

    As always, I find it remarkable that a person who can read and write can believe as Brian does. His ignorance is remarkable, in the face of the ready availability of the information. Or at least it would be remarkable, if it were not so common.

  5. I’m not really interested in this right now, but I will mention that nowhere in the Hebrew Bible is there any mention of creation “from nothing”.
    One gets the impression sometimes that people are making stuff up, rather than reading it in the Bible.

  6. TomS puts his finger on a signal fact, one that has often come up here: practically all creationists, fundamentalists and “Bible believers” believe things about the Bible that they, or someone else of their mindset, made up.

    For example, the Bible never claims to be entirely the infallible, inerrant Word of God. That’s a claim made up by others. It’s the basis for the Protestant “scriptura solus” doctrine: that only scripture has authority. Well, if only scripture has authority, and scripture does not claim that it is entirely infallible or inerrant, or entirely the Word of God, then those claims must fail.

    Track around the websites claiming Biblical inerrancy and infallibility. There you will find the familiar weapons of the charlatan and the con-man: quote mines and context stripping; obfuscation of subject; non-sequiturs; unsupported claims and fact-free assertions.

    But people like Brian, who believe these claims, never do the simplest checking. Is it sheer laziness? Is it fear of what they might find, if they look? Is it something more subtle, like confirmation bias? Beats me. All I can say is that their credulity of such claims is in strange contrast to their incredulity of scientific theory – except that credulity of the former and incredulity of the latter both arise from the same cause: simple ignorance.

  7. @TomS: “nowhere in the Hebrew Bible is there any mention of creation “from nothing”.”

    “One gets the impression sometimes that people are making stuff up, rather than reading it in the Bible.”
    Like Brian – describing the Big Bang as “creating something from nothing” is totally inaccurate (as DaveL correctly remarks). Apologists need this strawman to lend their version of “the universe had a beginning, hence a god-creator” some credibility. Random example:

  8. Michael Fugate

    And the handy, “my god has always existed” gambit. A book by Thomas Oord claims in the intro that the best reason for believing in “ex nihilo” is that so many theologians have believed it for so long a time.

  9. Michael Fugate

    If gods are immortal, what happens when they go out of favor? Golf? Bingo? Watching reruns?

  10. Prometheus fell out of favor. Quoting Wikipedia, he was sentenced: “to eternal torment for his transgression. Prometheus was bound to a rock, and an eagle — the emblem of Zeus — was sent to eat his liver (in ancient Greece, the liver was often thought to be the seat of human emotions). His liver would then grow back overnight, only to be eaten again the next day in an ongoing cycle.

  11. Michael Fugate

    Speaking of prophecy, wasn’t the coronavirus supposed to disappear on 4 November and especially if Biden won?