Creationist Wisdom #1,091: The Bible Is 100% True

Today we have another letter-to-the-editor for you. It appears in the Moscow Pullman Daily News of both Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Washington. The letter is titled The Bible and science. The newspaper seems to have a comments feature, but there aren’t any yet.

Unless the writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. We can’t figure out who today’s letter-writer is, so we’ll use only his first name, which is Larry. 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!:

A recent letter writer stated, “What is the relevance of the Bible to science? None. Let’s appreciate the achievements of science without invoking the divine.” I submit that the author of this quote has it exactly backwards.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’re off to a good start. Then Larry says:

God created this universe based on his logic and consistency. Consequently, science and math work and are trustworthy. [That explains everything!] Science is, however, being constantly revised to better reflect reality, another term for God’s truth.

After that, Larry tells us:

At one time, archeologists dismissed the history presented in the Bible. [The fools!] Now archeologists often use the Bible when working in the Bible lands because it has proven to be consistently true.

Yes, every word is true! Larry continues:

A straightforward reading of the Bible suggests a young earth, which many geologists and evolutions [sic] claim is untrue. The billions of years claimed since the proposed big bang is challenged by a variety of opposing scientific evidence suggesting a young earth and probably a young universe.

Right — an ark-load of evidence suggests a young earth and a young universe. You gotta be an idiot to deny it. Let’s read on:

Scientists are finding C14 in coal seams, diamonds and ancient wood and soft tissue in dinosaur bones suggesting these are much younger than evolution science is claiming. The geology of the Earth is best explained by the biblical flood of Noah, which occurred about 4,500 years ago.

We’ll just let that sit there. Here’s another excerpt:

Human lineage from nuclear DNA and Y chromosome differences also points back to the three offspring of Noah. [Wowie!] Science has not substantiated evolution, even though it is taught as if factual. Science has no factual support for the origin of life apart from God creating it.

Larry really knows his stuff! Here’s more:

The lack of a factual basis for the origin of death [What?] strongly supports God as the cause. [Gasp!] There is significant scientific support for continued existence after death [Hee hee!], which the Bible clearly supports. Biblical prophecy has historically been 100 percent correct.

That was one of the best paragraphs ever! And now we come to the end:

To those who disagree, please present your case based on scientific facts, not suppositions without a verifiable factual basis.

Okay, dear reader — you read Larry’s challenge. If you’re foolish enough to disagree with him, you’ll need scientific facts. Do you have the courage to try?

Copyright © 2022. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

49 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,091: The Bible Is 100% True

  1. I can’t access this, but hope someone can, to point out that the DNA evidence shows a most recent bottleneck of 1200 individuals, not 3: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21753753/

  2. First, anything as internally inconsistent as the Holy Bible can’t be close to 100% true. And second, Larry’s understanding of science shows most of what he thinks about it isn’t true. And I’m off to have a sip of some nice, true Scotch,

  3. Nice job of stringing many creationist words together Larry.

  4. I’m Surprised that the sentences are somewhat coherent. Coherent, but totally st00pid.

  5. @L.Long He did pretty good. It had a nice flow. He’s a pretty good creationist i.e. cult-speak word-assembler.

  6. Dave Luckett

    No, it’s not incoherent. Pace, L.Long, but it isn’t even stupid. This is a correspondent who can think in complete sentences, and writes at a standard grade eleven level of literacy. I think it isn’t so simple, and is in fact far worse than stupid.

    Every single assertion is fundamentally false, bar one: science is being constantly revised to better reflect reality. That is true. But the rest…

    “At one time, archeologists dismissed the history presented in the Bible. Now archeologists often use the Bible when working in the Bible lands because it has proven to be consistently true.”

    False. Archaeology has found some points of agreement, especially with later passages, but it has also found that there is no evidence for a Hebrew bondage in Egypt or an Exodus, or for a conquest of Jericho or for Solomon’s empire, although a single word on a stela attests to the existence of a King called Da’oud. To the contrary, readings of the Canaanite city records and digging in what is now the West Bank indicate the presence of a people called “habiru” much earlier than the supposed date of the Exodus. That account is legend.

    “A straightforward reading of the Bible suggests a young earth, which many geologists and evolutions claim is untrue.”

    False by weasel words. It isn’t “many” scientists who claim a young earth is untrue, it’s all of them. No person working as a scientist in a related field claims that the earth is young. The only people who do are religious devotees, of whom a small number have acquired science degrees, often from degree mills, purely to lend themselves a false credibility.

    “The billions of years claimed since the proposed big bang is challenged by a variety of opposing scientific evidence suggesting a young earth and probably a young universe.”

    Simply false. There is no such evidence.

    “Scientists are finding C14 in coal seams, diamonds and ancient wood and soft tissue in dinosaur bones suggesting these are much younger than evolution science is claiming.”

    False by mistaken inference. No such suggestion can be sustained. The occasional incidence of C-14 in coal is always intrusive from seepage. No “soft tissue” was found in dinosaur bones. The residual structures found were rehydrated to recapitulate collagen, the preservation of which was due to iron in the original haemoglobin. The assertions made by the writer, however, reveal his source: ICR and AiG

    “The geology of the Earth is best explained by the biblical flood of Noah, which occurred about 4,500 years ago.”

    False. Another simple untruth. The absolute converse is the case.

    “Human lineage from nuclear DNA and Y chromosome differences also points back to the three offspring of Noah.”

    False. Another simple untruth, as Professor Braterman says.

    “Science has not substantiated evolution, even though it is taught as if factual.”

    False. Evolution has been observed in the lab and the field numerous times. The fossil record cannot be explained by any other means than by slow change over time.

    “Science has no factual support for the origin of life apart from God creating it.”

    False by partial truth. It is true that the origin of life is not exactly known. But it is known that there are a number of chemical pathways leading towards it, and precursor processes, all of them entirely natural. There is therefore “factual support” for a natural origin for life. What the writer fails to say is that there is NO such support for an act of God.

    “The lack of a factual basis for the origin of death strongly supports God as the cause.”

    False. Death is explained by the theory of evolution, or even by its precursor, Malthus’s observation, that the rate of increase of living organisms is potentially exponential, while that of the resources available is either static or at best arithmetical. Death is the inevitable consequence of that fact.

    “There is significant scientific support for continued existence after death, which the Bible clearly supports.”

    False by exaggeration. Presumably the reference is to “near death experiences”. These are intriguing, and the degree of cultural commonality among them is striking. But the same experiences can be induced by low oxygen supply to the brain not necessarily related to dying. That would suggest that the cause is physical and natural. But these experiences are also entirely anecdotal and subjective. There is no “scientific support” for their objective reality.

    “Biblical prophecy has historically been 100 percent correct.”

    False. At Ezekiel 26:1-14. the prophet predicts the fall and utter destruction of the city of Tyre at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. But despite a siege of thirteen years, from 586 to 573 BCE, the city never fell, and Nebuchadnezzar had to be satisfied with a negotiated peace that left it intact. The prophecy was simply wrong. There are other examples of failed Biblical prophecy, but one will suffice to disprove the assertion of “100 percent correct”.

    The writer of this letter is, in short, not necessarily stupid, nor even uneducated. But he is profoundly and comprehensively misinformed. The sources of that misinformation can be inferred from the falsehoods themselves – they are all products of the creationist noise machine. But that further implies that he has made no effort to seek information outside that machine. The lies are the products of practiced liars, but he has become their accomplice by relaying them.

    To be a liar requires a certain level of creativity, but this writer cannot even claim that much. He’s simply a dupe, but worse, he’s a dupe that has deliberately disabled his own intellect and stifled his own intellectual curiosity to become one. Which is worse, asked Orwell, inter alia, to be pig or a sheep? To forge lies, or mindlessly to repeat them?

    I can’t really tell..

  7. “Science is, however, being constantly revised to better reflect reality, another term for God’s truth.”

    This appears to be a rare instance of a creationist-bot having an original thought–perhaps derived from the phrase “All truth is God’s truth”, attributed to St. Augustine, who, when not telling people to beat their slaves, also on occasion would write about other things besides slave-beating things.

  8. Larry. Haud yer wheesht, Idjit.

  9. @Dave Luckett, This is a highly evolved script, showing the effects of horizontal meme transfer joining together familiar fragments.

    None of what follows will pierce the author’s ignorance, but I hope people who do have access to the article will comment on it. Little point our just saying these things to each other, when we need to say them to the many well-meaning people who will be reading this nonsense.

    As I understand it, 14C in coal which has been known since I think the 1930s, results from the interaction of high-energy particles emitted in the decay of trace radioactive elements, with 14N. That’s why anthracite gives less of a signal than softer coal, and completely graphitised coal is in demand as a scientific zero 14C baseline. For samples that have been washed, there is an irreducible signal due to unavoidable contamination of the wash liquid. My friends Davidson and Wolgemuth (yes, some of my best friends are Christians) give a definitive account of all this at https://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2018/PSCF6-18Davidson.pdf. And Mary Schweitzer (sp?), another Christian and indeed former young Earth creationist, notable for her pioneering studies of preserved materials in dinosaur skeletons, has repeatedly and publicly lamented the use that young Earth creationists make of her findings.

  10. @Dave Luckett
    As far as the reliability of predictions of the future, I think that all of the failures have been worked over for a long time so that there is always an excuse, so that one can stay convinced.

  11. Stephen Kennedy

    @ Paul Braterman

    I do not have the source but I have read that the bottlenecks in human populations, particularly the ones about 60,000 years ago are correlated with massive explosive eruptions of the Indonesian volcanos Toba and Tambora which would have caused significant global cooling due to dust particles blown into the upper atmosphere blocking sunlight.

    As far as soft tissue being said to have been found in dinosaur fossils, I will offer this: If I looked out my window right now and saw a live dinosaur my reaction would be “Wow, at least one has somehow survived”, it would not be that “the Theory of Evolution is wrong”. There is nothing in the Theory of Evolution that requires dinosaurs to be extinct, it is a conclusion we have come to because even though the fossil record indicates that dinosaurs were once common, there do not appear to be any around now.

  12. @Stephen Kennedy
    At first, I thought that you were going to remark on the living dinosaurs of today, the birds. 😀 But on your point …
    In the earliest 19th century, the extinction of various large animals was a contentious issue. Many people thought that that was not possible, and large animals were still existing in unexplored (by Europeans) places. If there was a direction to life, how could that account for extinction of megafauna?
    One of the critical ideas of Darwin was to recognize that there was no direction to evolution.
    ISTM that a lot of the arguments against evolution depend on ignorance of that idea of Darwin. As you point out, extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs is a mere fact, not a necessity for evolutionary biology.

  13. @TomS, Indeed. For example, I have seen creationists cite the destruction of Tyre as a successful prediction, claiming that the present bustling city of over 1 million is a different city of the same name in a slightly different place. Of course, the most thoroughly disproved prediction is the one attributed to Jesus, when he said he’d be back soon

  14. @Stephen Kennedy, To be fair to the letter writer, he is making the argument (logically corect but factually erroneous in its premise) that soft tissues in non-avian dinosaur fossils could not have survived for millions of years, therefore the fossils cannot really be millions of years old, therefore the dating schemes used by geologists are fundamentally flawed.

  15. “is challenged by a variety of opposing scientific evidence suggesting a young earth and probably a young universe.”

    Sorry Larry but we know your “and probably” is disingenuous because it’s obvious you’re a flaming creationist-bot so we know what you are thinking. Your thin veneer of objectivity could use a good coat of varnish.

  16. Ross Cameron

    Thanks, Paul B for your location of the origin of those enjoyable lines sung by Fagin in the musical Oliver. ‘You`ve got to pick a pocket or two, but—–be back soon’

  17. Dave Luckett

    Paul Braterman, that will teach me not to deal in arguments from facts I either half-remember or got from dubious sources. I knew that there was a reason for C-14 counts in black coal laid down 300 million plus years ago, but I remembered reading that it was because of contamination with later carbon compounds, which I assumed meant seepage.

    Only two observations: one, that there is a natural and reasonable cause for C-24 in some coal, and the overall usefulness and validity of the dating method still stands; two, that were I to have made such an error on a creationist board, it would never have been corrected, would have circulated for evermore, and I would never have known better. Thank you. I shall try to continue to improve my education.

  18. There are clever arguments in interpreting the Bible to make it correspond with what wants to be the truth. But what about the heliocentric model of the Solar System, with the Earth being in motion like one of planets, like Mars, for example?
    No one had interpreted the Bible as compatible with that model for about two thousand years, before about, say, the year 1500. One cannot say that the Bible was clearly being metaphorical, when no one had remarked upon the metaphor, for all of those years. (And there were serious people who insistent that it was meant literally, when the suggestion was made.). There were some who proposed the motion of the Earth, but not on the authority of Scripture.

  19. @TomS, a defender of the Bible would say (creationists do say) that since the everyday frame of reference is our place on the Earth, it makes perfectly good sense to speak, for example, of the sun standing still rather than the earth stopping rotatng. And I’d have to agree; the absurdity of the narrative is independent of choice of frame of reference.So the Bible is silent on geo- vs heliocentrism. But ofc it is far from silent about the earth being flat and standing on pillars beneath a canopy

  20. @Paul Braterman
    As far as the shape of the Earth, there is a long history of those who take the Bible seriously, and accept the spherical Earth. There is an argument to be made that the Bible is being metaphorical, or is just using common language without teaching the flatness of the Esrth.
    On the other hand, there was no one who said that about the heliocentric model of the Solar System. Galileo was challenged on this point, and he had no example to offer. Over two thousand years of Bible reading, no one offered this. One cannot say that the Bible is obviously meant metaphorically in this regard.

  21. @TomS, we’re talking past each other. I *did not say* that the Bible was being metaphorical when it tells of the Sun standing still; I was saying that when the Bibliolators wave aside criticisms based on this, by referring to different frames of reference, that is one thing that they actually get right. The Bible was using the usual frame of reference, i.e. the Earth, and there is nothing wrong with that. So do you when you speak of sunrise and sunset, and when you don’t correct your speedometer reading for the earth’s motion when asked how fast you were driving.

    Ofc, the alleged miracle is absurd in any frame of reference, and the only excuse for Joshua’s genocide is that it didn’t happen, but that’s another matter altogether

    My understanding of the Galileo case, on which I am not an expert, is that it was about power. Galileo was presumptuously out of line in telling the Church what to say, and would have been ok if he’d clearly framed his cosmology as a hypothesis.

    But I must agree with you; the Bible’s failure to give any hint of heliocentricity does reflect badly on those who read in Job, IIRC, of God stretching out the heavens, and see this as proof that the Author knew about cosmic expansion

  22. @Paul Brsterman
    Is there any example, before the year 1500, of someone suggesting the “different frame of reference” idea for interpreting the Bible? Or was the Bible incapable of being understood by anyone before 1500, without the concept of “frame of reference”?

  23. @TomS, I’m not sure what’s at stake here. Of course before around 1500 nearly everyone assumed that the Earth was stationary, and the entire concept of frames of reference did not arise. “The Sun stood still” was implicitly understood in what we would now describe as a geocentric frame of reference, just as sunrise and sunset are so understood today, and is perfectly clear in what it says.

    And indeed our heliocentric frame of reference is itself parochial, .since the Sun is circling the cetre of mass of our galaxy.

    I am making one extremely minor point. Some people point to the sun standing still in the heavens for Joshua as evidence against the writer of that passage being verbally inspired. I maintain that that is an extremely weak argument for the absurdity of that passage, since if, just imagine, it had really been verbally inspired by God, Who of course knows all about frames of references, He would still naturally have chosen to speak in terms of an Earth-based frame of reference. Much stronger arguments are the physical impossibility of the miracle in any frame of reference, the massive archaeological and historical evidence against Joshua describing any actual state of affairs, and the idea that the kind of God that believers say they worship would authorise such genocide in the first place.

  24. @Paul Braterman
    Galileo pointed out that in Ptolemaic model, if the Sun stood still, that would make the day shorter. If the Sun stood still, then it would be stuck in the sphere of the fixed stars, which rotates in 23 hours 56 minutes.
    Aside from that, the inquisitors said that if Galileo had a physical proof of the Earth’s motion, they would have to reconsider their position. Galileo didn’t have such a proof (he was mistaken about the tides, for example).
    I try to be careful not to say that the modern model makes the Sun stationary. The Solar system as a whole is in motion in the Milky Way galaxy. And there are verbal quibbles which try to say that the Earth is fixed in its orbit. (That is true of all planets, indeed of all bodies in motion.) The are those who say that, “according to relativity”, one can consider the Earth as motionless at the center of the universe. (Thereby “Saving” the Bible from falsehood by making it meaningless.)
    The point I am trying to make id that, until about 1500, no one had a thought about the Bible saying other than that the Earth had a privileged status, different from the things one sees in the sky, which makes sense to say that it is motionless. Nobody, for example, suggested that the Bible was not interested in the topic.
    To everyone, it was just plain clear what the Bible meant. Most people today think that it is clear that the Bible is speaking in way that allows one to say “Sun rise”. The justification for that is based upon scientific evidence. The same kind of evidence which could allow one to accept evolutionary biology.

  25. “Don’t let the sun go down on me.” –Elton & Bernie

  26. Joshua did directly and unequivocally command the sun and the moon to stop moving. Seems a step beyond simply observing their not moving from a frame of reference. But then so did Elton so I don’t know what to think. 🙃

  27. The Bible is flat out creationist. As is Joshua a rabid foaming at the mouth geocentrist. @TomS is right. If they can make lame excuses for not being geocentrists then what’s up with evolution creationists?

  28. @TomS, @Richard, if the Earth stopped rotating, the Sun would appear to stand still. The Moon would still continue moving, and in fact would seem to move slightly faster, but the motion would still be slow. The stars, also, would continue their apparent rotation, but this is unobservable in daylight and irrelevant. “Until about 1500, no one had a thought about the Bible saying other than that the Earth had a privileged status, different from the things one sees in the sky, which makes sense to say that it is motionless.” Agreed. “Nobody, for example, suggested that the Bible was not interested in the topic”; of course not; nobody even realised that there was a topic to be interested in.

    But this is all getting much too much like homousion vs homoiousion, so I’ll leave it there before I’m condemned for heresy

  29. @Paul B: BURN THE WITCH!! 😉

  30. @Tomato Addict, it doesn’t say burn. It just says do not allow to live. So we can probably assume stoning; burning was for special offences, like having sex with a woman and also her daughter, when of course all three had to be burned . As for burning for heresy, we had to wait for Christianity to give us that

  31. @Paul Braterman
    I’d just like to mention how complicated is the model of the Solar System.
    If the Earth were not rotating …
    The Earth rotates once in 23 hours 56 minutes. So, if the Earth stopped rotating, we would see the Sun moving, slowly, to the East. That is because of the orbital revolution of the Earth around the Sun. The Sun would still move through the signs of the Zodiac, but we would ever see overhead the same sign of the Zodiac, dependent on our place on the Earth.

  32. I hereby condemn @Paul Braterman to an eternity of counting how many times the Doris Day show changed cast members and switched themes!

  33. @TomS, you are correct. If the apparent position of the Sun did not change at all, the Earth must have still been rotating, but in the opposite direction, at the rate of one revolution a year. This must indeed be what happened, otherwise the stars would hve been failing in their duty to tell the seasons.

    But how about 2Kings 20:8-11, when a shadow moved *backwards*?

  34. @Paul Braterman
    I’m afraid that the simplest explanation is that the authors of the Bible were not sophisticated theoreticians of the motions of the heavens. As far as I know, there is no recognition in the Bible of a sophisticated calendar, for example.

  35. @Paul Braterman Maybe the shadow moved completely independently from its source like Gary Oldman’s shadow in Dracula.

  36. @TomS, I was referring to Genesis 1:14. NRSV lights in the dome of the sky (KJV Firmament) as signs for the seasons. There clearly was some method of marking the months, Passover for instance being fixed on the 15th day of the month of Abib (spring), and the rabbinical tradition was that the calendar was based on the first observation of the new moon, with intercalated months when the Sanhedrin deemed it necessary to keep in phase with the agricultural year. According to Wikipedia, it was not until the third century CE that this was displaced by a calculated calendar. which inserts seven extra months every 19 years, and cheats a bit, to prevent inconvenient coincidences such as, if I recall correctly (it’s been a long time) the Day of Atonement, which is a fast on which no work may be done, falling on a Friday and interfering with preparations for the Sabbath.

    So apparently at the time in Genesis was written, the Jews were not actually using the Zodiac for timekeeping, unless later they actually went backwards. I’m sure there is a Ph.D. thesis in here, unless it’s already been done, and I of course agree that the author of Joshua was a naïve geocentrist. The Islamic year of 360 days, on the other hand, allows the festivals to migrate through the seasons.

  37. @Everyone, A serious question. Has anyone commented on this letter, as I am not allowed to do because of where I live? If not, why the hell not? It’s a lot of fun chatting to each other about the precise nature of the errors in Joshua, but meantime the original letter stands as far as I know unchallenged, and we are losing an important opportunity to educate the good people (and I’m sure a lot of them are good people) of Moscow, Idaho

    What right have we to complain about what the creationists manage to do in the educational and political field, when we don’t even bother to challenge them in front of their audience?

  38. @Paul Braterman
    Just another small point. The Islamic calendar has a year of 354 or 355 days.

  39. Dave Luckett

    TomS: If that is the case – and I don’t doubt you – then at least ten or eleven intercalatory days would have to be added each year to keep the calendar in step with the seasons.

    Paul Braterman, I don’t know if a response can be made. There’s a paywall after three views of an article, and I strongly suspect that only a subscriber can actually respond. I’m sure that nobody can, or is willing to, subscribe every small-town newspaper in America. I certainly can’t.

  40. I’m in awe that humans would read something like 2 Kings and be like, “Nope, none of this is fictionalized or maybe even, dare I say it, completely made up.” I couldn’t see for example a cat doing that. Maybe humans aren’t animals after all.

  41. @Dave Luckett
    The Islamic calendar does not keep to the seasons. See the Wikipedia article on the topic.

  42. @Everyone, can someone in America link to the original letter and comment, without subscribing to the newspaper? If so, my challenge stands. If not, not

    @TomS, I stand corrected. But we agreed from the start on the main thing; the Islamic calendar does not attempt to keep in phase with the solar calendar, so the issue of intercalation does not arise

  43. @Paul Braterman I was able to post an albeit lame comment. I hereby also challenge the brainy people to do a better one.

  44. @Paul Braterman It’s possible people to submit a letter to the editor up on the top of their page where it says “Submit”. It doesn’t look like a lot of people comment there or perhaps even read the comments.

  45. @Richard, bravo. The letter asks for refutation with evidence. this should be to a clear statement with publicly accessible link. My first comment here was an example. And I think we really *should* be doing this, as I do when I can post. It is also important to use bridge building language; not “What a load of crap!” but “It seems that the author has been misinformed”. And I’d suggest, in a case like this, sticking to the science, tempting though it is to attack the Bibliolatry

  46. Unfortunately, I can’t get to look, but SC tells us “there seems to be a comments section”, which seems easier and also more impactful than a letter referring back to an earlier letter. But we all do what we can

  47. Just in case it might work, this is a link to the comments:

    https://dnews.com/opinion/aug-10-letter-to-the-editor/article_7f25f234-75bf-57ed-902d-382b5fb425f5.html#comments

    And you need to be logged in to facebook to comment.

  48. Thanks, but even after getting past the Captcha I’m still blocked for legal reasons