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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

LOL is Win!

Wo hoo! I won Scalzi’s LOLCreation contest with the following entry:

If you’ve read my earlier post on Science <> Religion you probably know why, though I’m respectful of people’s belief systems, I find the concept behind the Creation Museum eminently mockable. Here’s the point:

Faith = The belief in a spiritual or moral truth without need of empirical proof.
Science = a systemic method of using empirical data to explain observable phenomena.

Please note the problem with mixing one with the other. By necessity, the scientific method is open to continual challenge by new data. Creation “Science” by definition is not open to any challenge, because it disregards data that contradicts the proponent’s particular interpretation of scripture. Rhetorical tricks invoking “starting points” and “differing theories” a just that, tricks just to make scripture sound scientific— “because the bible said so” might be the basis of a philosophical axiom, or a moral code, but isn’t a good basis to explain empirical data because, in the end, if you observe empirical data that contradicts your axiom you are forced to disregard the data. (This is the same reason mixing political “truths” with science is an equally bad idea.)

As corrupting this might seem to science, I think it has an even worse effect on religion. The Creation Museum is a temple to people’s lack of faith. Think about this: The creator is omnipotent, and is easily capable of creating a universe that’s 5 billion+ years old in seven days or so. In fact, those seven days could take an arbitrary length of time if God was in a reference frame traveling significantly close to the speed of light. There is no need to shitcan everything we know about biology, geology, plate-tectonics, physics, stellar evolution, down to the half-life of carbon-14, for someone to have faith in God and believe in the redemption of Jesus Christ. But the Creationists are so insecure in their own faith that they can only believe in a God that presents them with significant, definitive worldly proof of His existence. It’s a faith that’s so timid that it is threatened by any sort of inquiry, and crumbles at the slightest challenge.


Maureen McHugh said...

Right with you, Steve.

Steve Buchheit said...

Congrats on the win.

Sure, but see, if you accept that this part here, this six-day thing, that this is a metaphor, what makes the rest of it all not metaphor and allegory? Because if one part is that way the whole thing must be that way.

At least, that's the mind set I've always encountered when discussing the bible with extreme fundies (a habit I no longer enjoy, oh sure, the first hits were a rush, now it's just a slog through to feel normal again). If this part of God's Infallable Word(tm) isn't literally true, how can we no the rest of it is true? And then the conversation turns for the worst and we have to go through how God controlled his word through all them "feriegn" languages until it reached his true tongue, American English.

Steve Buchheit said...

Forgot to mention, I now have a new catch phrase, thanks to you. :)

S Andrew Swann said...

quoth steve:

Sure, but see, if you accept that this part here, this six-day thing, that this is a metaphor, what makes the rest of it all not metaphor and allegory?

Well, that's sort of the point. The six day thing can be read as literally true in such a way as to not contradict scientific observations. (i.e. my point about God's frame of reference.)

The folks here are so hung up on language that they seem to raise the text itself to the level of God Himself, which I think is bending a commandment or two.

RobRoy said...

Creationists, in my younger days, always seemed wrong-headed to me. I grasped their arguments, their concerns, but their conclusions stretched the bounds of plausibility. As with Mr. Buchheit, I no longer engage them at all in any kind of discussion regarding their beliefs, as generally, such a discussion lacks any meaningful resolve.

But as I've grown older, I do get the comfort concept that taking the Bible as the "literal word of God" might give. Perhaps it's because my own faith, whatever that is, is flawed. I know enough to know that I have no certainty. It would be nice to be able to point to one thing and say, "See, God was here."

Anonymous said...

God is all around you, but you can't see him if your eyes are shut.

RobRoy said...

So, anonymous, why do so many people pray that way then?