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Posts Tagged ‘Creationism’

Detail from The Tower of Babel by Peter Brugel, 1563.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Genesis 1:1

“The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.”  Thus reads Chapter 1, Section 4 of The Westminster Confession of Faith

Last week it was mentioned that it would be both foolish and impious of me to attempt to prove that the 66 books of the Bible are the infallible and inerrant Word of God.  The foolishness of this project, as you may recall, was found in the axiomatic position the Bible plays in the Christian system of thought. 

An axiom is a first principle, an unproven and unprovable first principle.  The reason an axiom is unproven and unprovable lies in the very definition of the term “axiom” itself.  If one were to prove a first principle, then it would no longer be a first principle.  Whatever argument used to prove the axiom would take the original axiom’s place as the new first principle.   

Some Christians may be concerned by the assertion that we do not prove the axiom of Christianity – The Bible Alone is the Word of God – supposing that somehow this puts Christianity on a shaky footing.  But this concern can be assuaged by remembering that all systems of thought – and this includes all secular systems of thought of the sort the world delights to throw at Christians – have their axioms.  In this case, the Christian with his axiom is no worse off than the secular scientist or philosopher with his axioms.  The Christian begins his thinking in one place, the 66 books of the Bible.  On the other hand, the scientist begins his thinking in another place, perhaps on the axiom of the general reliability of the senses.

In addition to it being foolish to attempt to prove that the Bible is the infallible and inerrant Word of God, it was also mentioned that it would be impious to do so.  “Impious” is not a term we use often, so perhaps a definition is in order.  Merriam Webster defies it as irreverent or profane.  The notion that the fallible words of sinful man are better testimony of the truth than God’s Word itself is the very definition of impiety.   

The Westminster Confession citation above refers to several passages from Scripture to supports its claims.    

  • 1 Peter 1:19, 21 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
  • 1 John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.

It was Augustine who famously wrote, “For understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that you may understand” (Tractate 29 on John 7:14-18).  In this statement, Augustine shows himself a Scripturalist.  He attempts not to prove the Bible is the Word of God, but accepts it as true – that is, he accepts the Bible as his axiom – and his understanding of God and his works follows from this.

With all this said, let us turn to the subject at hand, which is Genesis as history.

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Detail from The Tower of Babel by Peter Brugel, 1563.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

  • Genesis 1:1

“Republicans and Evangelicals are stupid.”  So proclaimed a work colleague of mine one day, seemingly out of the blue. 

Since I fell into both groups and was a bit curious as to what prompted his outburst, I asked him, “Why do you say that?” 

My colleague pointed me to an article he was reading in a newspaper he had brought with him – yes this was way back in 2007 before everyone had smartphones and still read physical newspapers.  The article was about the opening of the Creation Museum here in the Cincinnati area.    

Having lived in Cincinnati, I was well aware of the Creation Museum project.  Several years in the making, the museum had garnered extensive press coverage both locally and nationally.  Most of it was negative.  Denunciations galore poured forth from various mainstream news organizations about the mass enstupification of the of the American public that was nigh upon our doorstep because of museum’s opening. 

One example of that hostility is a Los Angeles Times editorial from May 24, 2007 title “Yabba-dabba science,” which, as you may gather from the title, makes great fun of the Creation Museum, likening it to an episode of “The Flintstones.”    

Apparently, my work colleague bought the propaganda.

Science, we are told by the L.A. Times and other voices of “reason,” is all about hard facts and logic.  All which, we are confidently told, militate against any possibility that the earth is a mere 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs and men walked the terra firma at the same time.     

But is science so-called really the arbiter of truth?  Think about just the past year and all the contradictory science we’ve heard.  Some of the most blatantly contradictory statements have come from the same supposed scientific experts.  For example, in a March 2020 interview with 60 Minutes, Dr. Anthony Fauci said,

Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks….there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is, and often there are unintended consequences – people keep fiddling with the masks and they’re touching their face.

Now, this same Dr. Fauci is out there saying that we may have to wear masks until 2022.  And not only that, he’s stated on the record that double-masking makes “common sense”!  And all this despite a great deal of scientific evidence that mask mandates do nothing to slow the spread of Covid. 

Clearly, Dr. Fauci has contradicted himself.  In fact, his statements often seem to be driven by some hidden political agenda rather than the scientific facts at hand.  Yet we are told that he is a coolly rational scientific mind and that anyone who doubts him is, in the words of Joe Biden, a Neanderthal.   

Or take the matter of the uber trendy cause of Transgenderism.  Facebook offers members a palette of 58 gender options.  Fifty-eight!  Supporters of transgenderism are often the same people who loudly announce their love of science and are quick to denigrate those who disagree with them as “science deniers.” Yet it is the progressives themselves who are the science deniers.   

If we consider the most up-to-date scientific opinion, the most reasonable conclusion is that there are only two sexes, and that the notion that there can be 58 genders is an absurdity.  Yet, the transgender folks will argue that one’s gender identity is not tied to one’s biological sex, and that a biological man really can reasonably identify as a woman and a biological woman really can identify as a man.  And yet, even if a man successfully “transitions” to a woman, every cell in his body is still genetically coded as male, with a both an X and a Y chromosome.  This seems like a hard case of science denialism on the part of transgender activists, but it’s rare for anyone to point this out. 

As Christians, we don’t rest our argument that there are only two sexes, male and female, on the findings of geneticists.  We believe this, because it’s revealed in the Word of God.  But it is interesting that today’s ideologically confused progressives will, on the one hand, lecture Christians about their supposed “science denialism,” while on the other hand, denying the science they claim to love so they can indulge their transgender fantasies.   

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Nye_UndeniableLast week we looked a Chapter 1 of Bill Nye’s book Undeniable, Evolution and the Science of Creation. This week’s post will examine Chapter 2 of that same book, a chapter titled “The Great Creationism Debate.”

Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

On February 4, 2014 Bill Nye and Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis (AiG) debated the question “Is creation a viable model of origins?”

The debate must have made a big impression on Nye, for he states at the beginning of Chapter 2 that “in many ways it [the debate] was the impetus for me to write this book.

According to Wikipedia, the origin of the debate were in a video posted by Nye on Big Think titled Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children.

In the video, Nye laments the that “Denial of evolution is unique to the United States.” This is a problem, Nye tells us, because it threatens to retard our progress and prosperity as a nation.

What’s interesting about Nye’s remark about the unique failure of the United States to bow down before the altar of Darwin is that he immediately follows it by saying “We are the world’s most advanced technological [civilization?]. I mean you could say Japan, but generally the United States is where most of the innovation still happens. People still move to the United States. And that’s largely because of the intellectual capital that we have, the general understanding of science.”

As Nye sees it, the stubborn resistance of Christians to accept Darwinian evolution is a threat to all this.

Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, it may be worth asking, just why is that, at least according to Bill Nye, the one nation where there is strong resistance to Darwinism is also, in Nye’s opinion, at the same time the most technologically advanced civilization?

These two ideas appear to be in conflict. If believing the Bible is really the social retardant Nye thinks it is, would it not follow that the US would be among the world’s most backward nations, not among its leading lights?

It seems to me that Nye, who claims to have a great curiosity about the world around us, would be curious enough to look into this strange [according to his world view] phenomenon, but the thought does not seem to occur to him.

For those interested, a video of the 2014 debate can be seen here.

(more…)

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