The Lazy-Minded Creationist

What I find most irritating about debating creationists isn’t their ignorance of general science; we all don’t know things. What’s most annoying is their apparent lack of curiosity. If I don’t know something I like to do research. But if creationists don’t know something, they often pretend that they do know it, proudly and dogmatically, even if it’s blatantly wrong.  This behavior reminds me of something Ron Reagan once said about his father, former president, Ronald Reagan:

He knew what he knew, and he didn’t want to know any more.

Well, I found a post titled The Great Debate: Genesis or Science? by Allen Epling, a man claiming to be a former, public school, science teacher, and believer in the inerrancy of the Bible. He begins by declaring his apathy toward science:

Why is it so important that we know how man got here? To believers it shouldn’t matter so much HOW [his emphasis], as much as WHY.

He then resorts to revisionist history to make religion appear accommodating.

In the past 300 years we have seen several instances where true science has advocated an opinion that is different from the Church’s, with the result that the Church has adjusted its interpretation of the Word of God to reflect a more modern view.

The Catholic Church has adjusted its position, reluctantly and belatedly, on several issues, like evolution. But how have fundamentalist Christians –who believe the Earth is 6000 years old and who think The Flintstones is a documentary– ever adjusted their “interpretation of the Word Of God to reflect a more modern view”? Biblical literalism doesn’t sound objective.

Allan Epling’s continues with another historical inaccuracy:

Galileo was threatened with excommunication from the Church if he didn’t recant his statements that the moon was full of craters, even though his telescope clearly showed their existence.

No, Galileo was accused of heresy for stating that the Earth revolved around the sun in his book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. After being threatened with imprisonment and death, he recanted, and was given the lesser sentence of house arrest, which lasted almost 10 years. In 1992 –350 years later– the Catholic Church apologized for the incident.

And as a former, physics teacher, Allan Epling should know better than to make the following ridiculous statement, which turns an aspect of quantum physics into philosophy.

Many scientists firmly advocate a “certainty” that there is no God, in spite of believing ‘religiously’ in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal. In the forefront of today’s science is a body of evidence, catagorized[sic] as Quantum Mechanics, that makes clear that nothing in the entire universe is certain but is determined by a “probability factor”. Any scientist that is certain about anything is admitting hypocracy[sic] to his own field of study.

All Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states is that “the more precisely the POSITION [of a particle] is determined, the less precisely the MOMENTUM is known”. It has nothing to do with the general reliability of scientific evidence.

And where would creationists be without quote mining. Allen Epling delivers with the ubiquitous Einstein citation.

The truth must come from both sides without the barriers that now exist that prevent us from seeing that truth. Einsten[sic] said that “Religion without science is blind, and science without religion is lame”. How true.

It’s fairly obvious Einstein wasn’t specifically paying homage to Christianity, but to the fantastical nature of religion in general, as a source of inspiration and imagination. Nowhere in Einstein’s work will we find the religion variable; there is no equation E=MC2 + God.

The last paragraph of Epling’s post sums up creationism in a nutshell:

Each week a new topic will be dealt with presenting, hopefully, a balanced, educated viewpoint, while ALWAYS upholding the divinity and sanctity of the Bible. The basic tenet of this article is that every word of the book of Genesis is factually, historically, and scientifically true.

What Epling is really saying is that science should accommodate Christianity, while Christianity should concede nothing.

Advertisements

14 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Trawling For Creationism

14 responses to “The Lazy-Minded Creationist

  1. Thank you for reviewing my article. Even though you choose to concentrate on my technical “history” errors and not my ideas, you didn’t positively reject them.

    Your view of the “uncertainty” principal only applying to particles, is a bit dated as that opinion was only current about a hundred years ago. Current quantum mechanics states that the probability of an event applies to “macro” events as well as quantum events, though to a limited degree. It also says that nothing in the universe is “certain”, even the non-existence of something. Do your homework in String Theory and you’ll understand.

    I was also taken that you don’t think Einstein said one of his most famous “quotes”. Its not exactly something you would expect him to insert in a physics paper. Is that “really” where you looked for it?

    Also, I’m glad you agree with me that science should accommodate Christianity, while Christianity should concede nothing. I didn’t see a rejection of that idea.

    I am retired after 27 years and no one has ever called me “lazy” before. Is name calling the only defense athiests have to offer.

    In conclusion: Atheists are a modern day Don Quixote. They know in their mind the windmill doesn’t exist as a threat, yet they are intent on attacking it, time after time, fruitlessly, until it surrenders. If the windmill doesn’t exist, as you insist, why do you keep attacking it? Keep attacking the windmill, it will provide an outlet for your frustrations.

  2. thedarwinreport

    You can cut and paste all the quantum physics you want, but it’s not going to make it relevant to evolution, the topic of your “article”, which you avoided tackling head-on like the plague. No, peevishly slapping all science across the face was your method of choice. But I suppose it didn’t occur to you that taking the circuitous route of reducing scientific understanding to complete uncertainty also reduces religion to gossamer. But you seem most certain in your religious viewpoint, a betrayal of both your faith and your hypocrisy. If knowledge is so uncertain, one religion must stand as true as the next. How post-modernistic of you –and disingenuous.

    As to Einstein –intellectually-lazy creationists mine for favorable-sounding nuggets (quotes) because it removes the context and the author’s original intent, which is what I think you intended to do with your bastardization of Einstein’s quote. But Einstein’s words do not specifically support a Christian faith, unless you consider Christianity to be the one and only true religion –a viewpoint which would be inconsistent with your glue-like adherence to the uncertainty principle.

    Finally, in your cartoonish, Don Quixote metaphor you fail to take into account the reasons why atheism exists in the first place. Like many, I didn’t become an atheist because of the virtues of science, I became one because of the gross failings of religion. Windmills are tenuous structures, and tend to fall down all by themselves. Sometimes all a rotten vestige needs is a gentle push.

  3. You make a lot of “pointless” assumptions about both my arguments and Christianity. Yes I do believe Christianity to be the “truth” in a world searching for truth. I don’t cut and paste my scientific reasoning, unlike you, I have a full understanding of what I’m talking about, and its obvious you don’t even understand what I’m talking about. I suggest you go to http://www.mrelativity.net and read some of my research papers on the structure of the Big Bang,Space/Time, and Dark Energy. Your post shouldn’t be labeled “The Lazy-Minded Creationist” but “The Lazy-Minded Pseudo-Science Wannabe Religion Basher”. I don’t have to appologize for my positions, they are based on sound science and logic, as are all of my blog posts at CP. Any “intelligent” debater of this subject will discuss issues instead of personalities. You obviously don’t fit the description. Had you looked further in MY posts, you would see that I support the science postion on evolution, the age of the earth, and other controversial topics. Drive-by attacks like yours show clearly, that you are yourself, too lazy to investigate the full range of opinions of the subjects you visciously attack and call derrogatory names. Science 101 is still available for those wanting to know more.

    Cartoonish or not, if the hat fits, wear it.

  4. You make a lot of “pointless” assumptions about both my arguments and Christianity. Yes I do believe Christianity to be the “truth” in a world searching for truth. I don’t cut and paste my scientific reasoning. Unlike you, I have a full understanding of what I’m talking about, and its obvious you don’t even understand what I’m talking about. I suggest you go to http://www.mrelativity.net and read some of my research papers on the structure of the Big Bang,Space/Time, and Dark Energy. Your post shouldn’t be labeled “The Lazy-Minded Creationist” but “The Lazy-Minded Pseudo-Science Wannabe Religion Basher”. I don’t have to appologize for my positions, they are based on sound science and logic, as are all of my blog posts at CP. Any “intelligent” debater of this subject will discuss issues instead of personalities. You obviously don’t fit the description. Had you looked further in MY posts, you would see that I support the science postion on evolution, the age of the earth, and other controversial topics. Drive-by attacks like yours show clearly, that you are yourself, too lazy to investigate the full range of opinions of the subjects you visciously attack and call derrogatory names. Science 101 is still available for those wanting to know more.

    Cartoonish or not, if the hat fits, wear it.

  5. P.S. I didn’t “Mine” for Einstein’s quote. I know all of his remarks by heart. I have spent a lifetime studying the scientist I respect most in the history of science. If you are not too “Lazy”, go to my research papers mentioned above and look in the bibliography. You will see the library I have on Einstein. Another impromptu assumption made out of the blue by another “Lazy-Minded” athiest.

  6. thedarwinreport

    It’s difficult to take a band of amateurs, without any significant credentials or research experience, seriously when they claim to be rewriting huge sections of modern physics. In their own words–and apparently yours, too– “More than ten years of research into the accepted body of experimental evidence leads to the discovery of significant flaws in the underlying foundations of both relativistic and classical physics”. A bold claim.

    Again, what does any of this have to do with evolution –the topic of your original “article”?

  7. thedarwinreport

    In your own words:

    Each week a new topic will be dealt with presenting, hopefully, a balanced, educated viewpoint, while ALWAYS upholding the divinity and sanctity of the Bible. The basic tenet of this article is that every word of the book of Genesis is factually, historically, and scientifically true.[my emphasis is in bold]

    Putting the conclusion first isn’t science, or open-minded, or anything close to being intellectually honest research. You’ve made it clear that in your mind anything contradicting biblical genesis is going to be false from the outset. Your position seems inconsistent with accepting evolution.

  8. thedarwinreport

    And for the umpteenth time, what does Einstein have to do with evolution, which is about the origin of new species, not the origin of the universe? My goodness, you do avoid the topic. Anywhere in your collection of books do you have a volume specifically on evolution, written by an evolutionary biologist? I called you lazy-mined because of your revisionist history and superficial conclusions, which appear based on a completely bias perception of science. Cherry-picking the parts that ostensibly support your position, while ignoring the ones that invalidate it is completely self-serving.

  9. One more time, for your benefit and understanding, because I believe you are sincere in wanting to know. I wanted to make the point that BOTH the science community,(evolutionists), and Christians, have an element of truth that both sides are ignoring. Full understanding will only come when Christians accept scientifically proven truths, and scientists stop ignoring the history contained in the Bible that is true if you interpret it correctly. Einstein made that point very clear with his quote. Thank you for asking.

  10. One final point, You can’t accept my believing in evolution being consistent with my Christian beliefs because you still hold on to the distorted, traditionalist views that you were taught in Sunday School, as being MY views. I have a radically different interpretation of the book of Genesis that some Christians consider heretical, yet to me, makes sense of the Bible and its narritive. My interpretation allows for evolution and some of the ideas you think I should be rejecting as a “traditional” fundamentalist Christian, which I am not. Therein lies the problem. You make too many assumptions about Christians and try to pigeonhole “all” Christians into the distorted “atheist” stereotype image that permeats all Atheism. I would be more sympathetic to atheists if they were more realistic in their analysis of Christianity. While I view some of your comments as “off the wall” and illogical, considering me and my views, the fact that this blog has gone this far indicates to me a sincere interest in trying to reconcile my views. Perhaps there may even be some common ground and hope for real communication between us yet.

  11. thedarwinreport

    That doesn’t jibe with your interpretation of the genesis account being “factually, historically, and scientifically true”. With your followup comments to my post you’ve been anything but clear. Do your reject evolution? Or do you partially accept it? What parts do you see as compatible with genesis, if any? Answering these questions would have clarified your meaning. But I think you’re now deliberately being vague. You’re original article though was crystal clear.

  12. If my original article was crystal clear, I don’t understand the question. I’ll try again. The answer to your question deserves more space than this small paragraph, but I’ll try. It all began with “The Big Bang” 13.7 billion years ago. I accept the creation of the universe and the subsequent evolution of man entirely as a process begun by God when He created the earth 4.5 billion years ago, and declared, “Let the earth bring forth…”. I don’t accept the post-Darwin postulate that it all began in a soup of raw chemicals as an “accident of nature”. I believe that a form of man evolved according to current scientific theories, but THAT man is not “man” according to the Bible. That is a separate and genetically different creature to the “Adam” created from raw materials 6000 years ago in a place called the Garden of Eden. Because I believe in God, my hypothesis and interpretation of Genesis is that the “Adam” creature’s descendants mixed genetically with the “primitive” man after the large regional flood that destroyed all evidence of the creations in Eden except for one genetically pure descendant named Noah, his family, and a few plants and animals. The Bible describes exactly and mathematically how longevity of the descendants of Noah’s children was reduced in step-like fashion as each generation of mixing with primitives diluted the longevity of the original descendants of Adam, until it settled around the 120 years we now accept as the maximum. The longevity of the primitives just after the flood, around 2800 BC, according to anthropologists, was around 40 years. The first generation of mixing would have produced a generation with longevities of around 450, exactly as described by the Bible. If you can’t accept that longevity of this magnitude is possible, we need to end this discussion, as all geneticists acknowledge now that man will live longer in the future because of new understanding of “longevity genes”. All of this is documented, researched, and explained in the book I published called “Beyond Genesis: The Untold Story of Man’s Origins”. I’m sure you see this all as a fairy tale because you don’t believe in anything you can’t see, smell, or touch. That view went out with Isaac Newton’s laws of physics a hundred years ago, when Einstein and Planck ushered in the Quantum era. I believe it because I see Genesis as not a rambling, fable, fabricated by a primitive people to explain the unknown, but as a very carefully worded ancient text that describes processes and history that no one could have known at the time it was written. Subsequent translation have almost entirely hidden the messages that were there originally, passed on to us from a superintelligence that we still do not understand fully, but feel that I am making progress in that direction. Ridicule me for what I believe, as that is what atheists do, but it is my choice to believe or not, and I don’t criticize you for not believing, until I am attacked personally.

  13. thedarwinreport

    Yes, atheists do often ridicule, but they also tend toward grounding their positions in accepted science, and not a mixture of personal, religious, and carefully selected scientific nuggets. Genesis is open to infinite interpretations, and yours is certainly unique. It’s like you’ve slid your tray of truth down a buffet line, picking and choosing according to your fancy, with total disregard for reality.

  14. My last comment on this: My “picking and choosing” according to my fancy was not causally done. It occurred over 40+ years of carefully considering all options, discarding some of my most cherished traditionalist views, and trying to fit my faith into what I found to be truth in science. I am encouraged more now than in the past that science will at last confirm my beliefs to be true. Most of the conflict between science and religion doesn’t involve “truth” but the interpretation of truth. Many scientistst start with the premise that there is no God and work from that standpoint in interpreting data. I start with the premise that God exists and look to see where I can adjust Biblical interpretation to fit what I know to be true scientifically. I’m not a “cherry picker” and never go against ‘true’ science, only biased interpretations of facts. I believe most atheists try to do the same, only with a different “bias”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s