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« Not Genocide, but Capital Punishment | Main | An Audience of One »

September 09, 2011


Paul Nelson is a young earth creationist, just FYI.

I fail to understand why Genesis should be looked to as a blueprint, or narrative, on the origins of life, in this century. I believe a strong case can be made that, like Creation myths from other cultures, it is shorthand to make sense of how we got here, in the absence of scientific evidence in a scientifically-primitive culture.

For example, in many cultures it was believed that the sun, moon, and stars existed on a hollow sphere around the earth and that everything rotated around us. That can make a certain amount of sense, based upon observation and drawing conclusions about what the "movement" of the objects looks like. However, we now know that this is not true due to the development of tools such as the telescope and deeper scientific inquiry.

Likewise, the Hebrews, in the absence of scientific tools, drew conclusions about the creation of the cosmos based on their observations. We now have evidence (existence of dinosaurs, death and disease before the advent of Man, etc.) that makes a literal reading of Genesis absurd.

The appellation "Word of God," in my opinion, stops people from making that leap from myth to the more solid, scientific evidence we have. Can Genesis serve a purpose as allegory, and teach us moral lessons, without us taking a hard-line literal approach? Is the lesson not more important than the belief that everything "literally" happened as written?

So Perry, you deny plenary inspiration. Where do you draw the line? Is science the standard bearer for you?

I'm not entirely sure that Perry totally denies plenary inspiration. I just think that he, and many others, would have a hard time drawing the conclusion that to teach a lesson in Creation, God would bother teaching Moses about microbiology when a) he wouldn't understand the lesson and b) that wasn't the point of the lesson in the first place. The point is that God did it, and that He did it from nothing and He did it for His own purposes.

Besides, there are pretty clear cuts where to draw the line actually when reading the Bible literally, but you have to be a bit of a literary scholar to see them. For instance, if Genesis must be taken literally, then the two accounts of Creation in the beginning of Genesis contradict each other. If, however, one can see that the first account is, although entirely correct in and of itself, is a song of worship to the Creator, the two accounts become not only compatible, but complimentary.

This style of writing is seen throughout the Bible. Deborah sings of victory but her song would certainly not be taken literally. In fact, if you take every single word of the Bible as "fact" of an actual event, then Jesus 'lied' every time He told a parable. "There was a man who had a vineyard..." No, that never actually happened.

It doesn't hurt one to believe those songs or poems, etc are literally true if one cannot see the historical relevance of poetic style. Not in the least. Just as it doesn't hurt to say that the Bible is the most accurate book in the world. It does hurt to say that the Bible is the only accurate book in the world. God reveals Himself all through Creation—giving Man no excuse to deny Him—but that doesn't mean we can take our eyes (science) as the standard bearer either. God's Word stands alone in that capacity.

As an admitted YEC don't you see that ID opposes everything you hold dear: even more than evolution does?

Inteligent design is not a science. It explains nothing, and in fact, cops out with it's "therefore it must have been designed" conclusion. You cannot credit design skills to something, before proving that the "something" exists. As it stands, the assertions of "intelligent designists" could apply equally to faries and aliens as to any "god"

You cannot credit design skills to something, before proving that the "something" exists. As it stands, the assertions of "intelligent designists" could apply equally to faries and aliens as to any "god"

Don't look now, Will, but science does this stuff all the time. For example, it credits a big bang event to the existence of our universe. The big bang event is inferred by the data.

Today, if you're not sincerely interested in how religious people can stubbornly hold to wacky ideas, such as ID is a theory (scientifically speaking, it's a just a hypothesis and a dumb one one at that) and the earth is under a thousand years old, you must be DEAD. This is the most fascinating topic today: the war between pure superstition and the trustworthy scientific epistemology.

Creationists, I know you hate to hear this, but we really DO have the fossils and genomic evidence. We atheists, agnostics, and liberal Christians win the debate on ID without question.

BTW, William Lane Craig's recent gaffes on this issue have been kept it squarely in the spotlight, which I'm profoundly glad about.

Shame on you, Greg, for endorsing both Paul Nelson and apologists like Craig and Moreland. This isn't clear-thinking Christianity but pseudo-intellectual egocentric inanity.

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