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Feedback archive Feedback 2010

Do creationists hate science?

Published: 31 July 2010(GMT+10)

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Science studies the repeatable; history studies the unrepeatable. The fall of the second Jerusalem Temple took place in  A.D. 70 and never happened again. This isn’t a problem for historians; they are not shy about declaring that these events certainly took place, even though they can’t repeat them in a laboratory.

Science studies the repeatable; history studies the unrepeatable. The fall of the second Jerusalem Temple took place in AD 70 and never happened again. This isn’t a problem for historians; they are not shy about declaring that these events certainly took place, even though they can’t repeat them in a laboratory.

Creationists are often accused of great evil simply because we find fault with the dominant secular explanation of origins. We start off with the submission from Stuart D. in Australia in its entirety:

I am now in my 59th year and I was brought up to believe in god at a young age. In recent years I have freed myself from such unproven conjecture and realized that your greatest opposition, “the scientists” are the only credible group of people who have the knowledge to argue this case! Religion has caused more problems, unrest, division in society as well as war. The main factor which woke me up amongst many was god will condemn you to eternal damnation if you do not believe in the lord.This must be the worst form of intimidation known to man ever and the most distant principal from christianism imaginable.
There are so many denominations and divisions that make the whole thing a contradiction. Have a look at the catholics who stoned women to death in the early days and the twisted priests who are being bought to account because of their perverted sins which are a result of how they believe god expects them to live. “Thou shalt not kill,” and I wonder how many hippocrates leave this one out of the devout equasion when it suits them. If you are opposed to scientists, you should never use any of the modern technology available to you because if it wasn’t for these clever and devoted people,you wouldn’t have anything.Look at food, textiles, engineering and everything we collectively use. I also wonder how many of your followers are true to the belief or who tag along because they are terrified what their loving god will impose on then if they think for them selves. I believe you are a far cry from jesus who walked in the desert with his deciples. I know many of you travel 1st class and l ive in lavish accommodation at the expense of your intimidated believers who unlike many are afraid to think for themselves. You are con men of the worst kind in my opinion. Lets see if you have the courage to print this material. In conclusion, what kind of sadist as a god would allow man to be in charge of the earth, and run things so badly without intervention. We have had centuries of unspeakable things against animals and humanity with no visible sign of corrective intervention by this invisible freak you have invented that you call god! The only realists on this earth are people who question such rubbish and think for them selves.The whole thing is a money making scam.

Lita Cosner’s responses are interspersed below:

Hi there,
I am now in my 59th year and I was brought up to believe in god at a young age.In recent years I have freed myself from such unproven conjecture and realized that your greatest opposition, “the scientists”are the only credible group of people who have the knowledge to argue this case!

The problem with this reasoning is that scientific knowledge isn’t the only valid category of knowledge that is relevant to this discussion. Historical knowledge is also vitally important, and science, by definition cannot weigh in on historical questions. As New Testament scholar N.T. Wright (and until recently, Bishop of Durham, UK, until he resigned to take up an appointment in the divinity department at St Andrews University in Scotland) says,

‘There are, after all, different types of knowing. Science studies the repeatable; history studies the unrepeatable. Caesar only crossed the Rubicon once, and if he’d crossed it again it would have meant something different the second time. There was, and could be, only one first landing on the moon. The fall of the second Jerusalem Temple took place in AD 70 and never happened again. Historians don’t see this as a problem and are usually not shy about declaring that these events certainly took place, even though we can’t repeat them in a laboratory.
‘But when people say, “But that can’t have happened because we know that that sort of thing doesn’t actually happen,” they are appealing to a would-be scientific principle of history, namely, the principle of analogy. The problem with analogy is that it never quite gets you far enough. History is full of unlikely things that happened once and once only, with the result that the analogies are often at best partial. In any case, if someone declares that certain kinds of events “don’t normally happen” that merely invites the retort, “Who says?” …
‘So how does the historian work when the evidence points toward things that we do not normally expect? … [S]ooner or later questions of worldview begin to loom in the background, and the question of what kinds of material the historian will allow onstage is inevitably affected by the worldview in which he or she lives.’1

Also, the claim ‘science is the only valid category of knowledge’ is self-refuting, since that statement is not provable by science—it is a philosophical claim.

Also, the claim “science is the only valid category of knowledge” is self-refuting, since that statement is not provable by science—it is a philosophical claim.

Religion has caused more problems, unrest, division in society as well as war.

“More” is a comparative term, so this is not a complete thought. “More” than what? Lack of religion? But atheistic communist regimes killed more in the last century than all the wars in all the previous centuries combined, and many of those wars were not even “religious”! For example, 77 million in Communist China, 62 million in the Soviet Gulag State, 21 million non-battle killings by the Nazis, 2 million murdered in the Khmer Rouge killing fields (see also Rummel, R.J., Death by Government, New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994).

Compare that to the Spanish Inquisition (an example that God-haters love to repeat) which only had authority over professing Christians and executed fewer people per year than the State of Texas has (see An Inquiry on the Inquisition).

“More” than science? But science has given us the nuclear bomb and weapons advances that allow us to kill one another more efficiently! As Vox Day pointed out:

‘The five major religions of the world, in order of their appearance on the scene, are Hinduism, traditional Chinese folk religion, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. These five religions have approximately 4.85 billion adherents, representing an estimated 71.3 percent of the world’s population in 2007, and they have been around for a collective 11,600 years. During the vast majority of those 116 [collective] centuries, the world has not been in any danger of extinction from weapons of any kind, nor has the human race been in serious danger of dying out from pollution, global warming, overpopulation, or anything else. …
‘Modern science has only been around for the last 350 years, if we date the scientific method back to the man known as the Father of Science, Galileo Galilei. One could push the date back considerably, if one wished, to Aristotle and Archimedes, or forward to Newton and the Age of Enlightenment, but regardless, the dire threat to Mankind described by [“New Atheist” Sam] Harris only dates back to the middle of the twentieth century. In the last sixty years, science has produced a veritable witches’ brew of potential dangers to the human race, ranging from atom-shattering, explosive devices to lethal genetic modifications, designer diseases, large quantities of radioactive waste and even, supposedly, the accidental production of mini black holes and strangelets through particle collider experiments.
‘So, in only 3 percent of the time that religion has been on the scene, science has managed to produce multiple threats to continued human existence. Moreover, the quantity and lethal quality of those threats appear to be accelerating, as the bulk of them have appeared in the most recent sixth of the scientific era.2

Day goes on to argue that if either science or religion must be exterminated to save mankind, science is by far the better candidate, because while religion has never been entirely wiped out among a population, scientific knowledge and progress has. (See my review).

The main factor which woke me up amongst many was god will condemn you to eternal damnation if you do not believe in the lord[sic]. This must be the worst form of intimidation known to man ever and the most distant principal from christianism imaginable.

Okay, for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that it is really mean of God to punish people for rebellion and unbelief. For the sake of argument, let’s say that everyone does go to Heaven, regardless of their status in the Book of Life. Wouldn’t it be horribly unfair for God to condemn people who hate Him to an eternity in His presence, whether they like it or not? Heaven wouldn’t be pleasant for those who hate God, because Heaven is the place where we will fully experience God’s presence. Those who love God look forward to Heaven with longing, but Heaven would be nearly as bad as Hell for the unbeliever, because the unregenerate heart hates God.

So in a sense, Hell is God finally giving the unbeliever what he wanted all along. But the absence of God means the absence of everything good, since everything good comes from Him.

There are so many denominations and divisions that make the whole thing a contradiction. Have a look at the catholics who stoned women to death in the early days …

Stoning is a punishment that has been used by Jews and Muslims, but not so much by Christians. I’m not sure what incidents of woman-killing you’re referring to though, because the only killings I can think of that targeted more women than men were the witch hunts, which only killed a few hundred at their height, but those were hardly in ‘the early days’ of Christianity, as documented by Dinesh D’Souza in What’s So Great About Christianity? (see also my review).

… and the twisted priests who are being bought to account because of their perverted sins which are a result of how they believe god expects them to live.

No true Christian would excuse the behavior of some men in authority who have abused their position to take advantage of people younger and more vulnerable than themselves. But I would argue that the problem with these priests is that they’re sinful men, not that they are priests. We see the same problem in the public schools sometimes, where the incidence is actually far worse (see Sex abuse by teachers is plaguing U.S. schools). The real reason is that those men with perverted proclivities towards kids are likely to gravitate towards professions where they have authority over kids.

We can point out the same problem with murderous atheistic communism. Some naïve people think that it would have worked without nasty people like Stalin. But communism requires a huge and powerful government to redistribute wealth forcibly, and such power attracts and enables the Stalins of the world. The Christian view that all people are sinful should lead us to distrust anyone, or any group or people, with large amounts of power with no checks and balances.

“thou shalt not kill,” and I wonder how many hippocrates leave this one out of the devout equasion when it suits them.

I believe Hippocrates was best known for an oath, not an equation, so you probably mean “hypocrites”, but see The Haggard tragedy: Christianity must be wrong because of all the hypocrites in the church!

Also, the correct translation of the verse (Exodus 20:13) is “do not murder”, since the Hebrew word רצח ratsach has a more specialized connotation of lying in wait in the manner of a predatory animal, rather than killing in general.

If you are opposed to scientists, you should never use any of the modern technology available to you because if it wasn’t for these clever and devoted people,you wouldn’t have anything. Look at food, textiles, engineering and everything we collectively use.

We are not opposed to science; CMI employs more Ph.D. scientists than any other Christian organization to the best of my knowledge. We also interview scientists who have been instrumental in developing key technologies; for instance, Raymond Damadian who was a key inventor of the MRI, and who also believes in biblical creation, as do many other scientists today. See also Does science need evolution? by a Ph.D. scientist. Furthermore, the biblical worldview was historically responsible for the development of modern science.

I also wonder how many of your followers are true to the belief or who tag along because they are terrified what their loving god will impose on then if they think for them selves.

I’ve never felt that God limited my thinking. Rather, having the correct framework actually makes my thinking more free because I can consider things from angles I couldn’t have previously thought of.

I’ve never felt that God limited my thinking. Rather, having the correct framework actually makes my thinking more free because I can consider things from angles I couldn’t have previously thought of. G.K. Chesterton noted that the materialist cannot admit a single miracle because to do so would bring his whole worldview crashing down, but that someone could believe in miracles while simultaneously accepting naturalistic explanations for the majority of the phenomena that we see today (see also Naturalism, Origins and Operational Science). So the person who believes in God has an objectively freer system of thought. Indeed, one wonders how atheists can even talk about free thought, since under their philosophy, thought is just an epiphenomenon of atoms in the brain obeying fixed laws of chemistry. In fact, the biblical worldview is the only one that provides a basis for the presuppositions required for science, including voluntary will.

I believe you are a far cry from Jesus who walked in the desert with his deciples.

Unfortunately, this is true. None of us can ever measure up to the perfect example of our Lord, though we certainly try to imitate Him. But you seem to at least have some measure of respect for Him; why not look to Him to define your view of Christianity, instead of fallible people, even the best of whom can be expected to fail and fall short so often?

I know many of you travel 1st class and live in lavish accommodation at the expense of your intimidated believers who unlike many are afraid to think for themselves. You are con men of the worst kind in my opinion.

This certainly does not apply to anyone who works at CMI; most of our staff work here sacrificially, earning far less in the ministry than they would in secular specialist work in their fields. We are conscious that our work is made possible by the donations of those who think that the creation message is important, and we do our best to make sure that the money is well-used.

Let’s see if you have the courage to print this material.

I hope that you are pleased to find that we do have the courage to print the material, though I must admit I don’t know why we’d be afraid of it.

In conclusion, what kind of sadist as a god would allow man to be in charge of the earth, and run things so badly without intervention.We have had centuries of unspeakable things against animals and humanity with no visible sign of corrective intervention by this invisible freak you have invented that you call god!

So let me get this straight … God doesn’t exist, but you hate Him for putting mankind in charge of the planet and not intervening?

First, we believe that everything was created very good, and that the ubiquitous evil and death and suffering is because of Adam’s sin of disobedience. It is our fault, not God’s, that the world is in this mess. And God has intervened in history, most notably in the Incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, through whose sacrifice we can be reconciled to Him. We believe that in the future God will intervene again, this time bringing history and this whole present creation to an end, and creating a new heavens and earth where there will never be any sin or death. See also Why would a loving God allow death and suffering?

The only realists on this earth are people who question such rubbish and think for themselves. The whole thing is a money making scam.

Again, I beg to differ; the people making money from religion are a small minority of professing Christians, and the Bible has some pretty harsh words for those kinds of practices. Yet plenty of people are making money from evolution and atheism, and this is even worse, since the money is often coerced from taxpayers; at least our donations are voluntary.

You seem to have a great deal of anger towards people who practise Christianity, and I can relate to that; a lot of people are hypocrites (but is the solution to hypocrisy to jettison the ideal that we fail to live up to? “Hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue.”); some people just use religion to make money or to advance socially. But you are ignoring a whole different aspect to Christianity: the principles which inspired Mother Theresa to live in abject poverty caring for people that others wouldn’t touch, that caused Christians to build hospitals and schools and soup kitchens, and inspired William Wilberforce to fight for decades to abolish slavery. These actions can’t be explained as part of a money-making scam; most of the time missionaries go to people who could not help them financially, at great cost to themselves. Surely you must realize that your comments are unfair to those who are truly not in it for money.

I hope this reply is helpful, and that it causes you to rethink your opinions about Christianity and those who profess it.

Sincerely,

Lita Cosner
Information Officer
Creation Ministries International

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

  1. Wright, N.T., Surprised By Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, HarperOne, New York, pp. 64–65, 2008. Return to text.
  2. Day, V., The Irrational Atheist, Benbella, Dallas, TX, pp. 44–45, 2008. Return to text.

Ken E. wrote: “I just wanted to drop a note to express my gratitude for the kind of information you supply at the CMI web-site. I love science and find it thrilling to see how it may be used to glorify God and build faith in Him.” Glorify God in His creation. Support this site

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Readers’ comments
Daniel F., Australia
I have to say, I am really enjoying Lita’s contribution to CMI. The above article is a prime example of her polite yet cutting and no nonsense style. A well considered and informative response.
Rod R., Australia
Lita: Brilliant!

Well done and thank you for your contibution to CMI’s ministry.

Richard L., USA
True, kind words from an honest person. I find that Lita Cosner is a great member of CMI. I find it amazing the she gave out a wise kind answer to an atheist or skeptic.
Michael M., UK
I was an atheist skeptic for many years. There was a time when I would have agreed with the comments made by this atheist. But it was thanks to the prayers and the love of some Christians that I came to know the truth. Despite my hurtful and sarcastic comments they never gave up on me.
Michael C., USA
Very good, Lita! This biblical example you’ve set is very inspiring. I do wonder, though, how this person could on sputting up nonsense and hate towards God, yet, at one point, suddenly be ‘informed enough’ to say Lita (and CMI) are a far cry from Jesus.
Shawn M., Canada
I, too, must compliment Lita for much of what she writes. I enjoy learning from her style of response to the skeptic. I count it a great blessing to have these kinds of people (i.e., failing yet humble persons) to learn from in ministry for the Lord.
David C., Australia
Well said Lita. Thank you for speaking God’s wisdom, again.
1 Cor 1:25:
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Thank you for serving God through CMI.
Adam S., USA
I agree so much. Lita, that was an excellent response. I believe in biblical Christianity and I love science as well, science supports the Bible. People sometimes misunderstand things sometimes and that’s ok, it’s our job to help them, not criticize them.
Barbara S., Australia
Thank you Lita, your response was a great help to me. well done!
Gerrit D T., South Africa
Excellent methodical reply. There is only one God. You can only love Him, hate Him, or deny He exists. These old hat atheist arguments are not only boring but dishonest, illogical and idolatrous. They really believe there is a God, only He should be more like them.
Ross T., Australia
Lita, Another excellent reply. Thanks.
1 Peter 3:15–16:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Allan M., UK
Stuart D. shares Richard Dawkins’ delusion, which he confessed when he admitted that he relieved to discover that evolution gave anintellectual rationale for his atheism.
I have long believed that the vast majority of atheists clutch at secular materialism in the guise of science as a straw for what is ultimately a moral judgement on God.
God never threatened man with hell. But there are only two moral imperatives in the universe — Grace and Law, and it was God who warned man to live under grace rather than strive to justify himself under law.
When man made the wrong choice, God still offered him a remedy in the blood of his own Son.
Rejecting Jesus and then blaming God that we’re going to hell is like a man refusing to take vitamin C and then complaining that it’s God’s fault he is dying of Scurvy.
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