Friday, January 06, 2006

Quite a piece of work

This article, written by a friend of mine from school, is thoroughly researched and engagingly written. But in the end, I can't believe the kind of leap of faith that he (like so many other Christians) makes. How can he look at the mountains of scientific evidence that prove the Earth to be far older than 6,000 years and just blatantly ignore them. Furthermore, it is interesting that he chooses to discuss the case of the oldest recorded human "civilization" (a term loosely applied here...what about European cave paintings such as those at Lascaux, did they just magically appear, or have they been horribly mis-dated as well...I understand the written records distinction, but even if I had no context, I would think the cave paintings would suggest some "intelligent life," right?), while completely ignoring any other factors about life on Earth or the history of the Earth itself. Has he ever heard of dinosaurs? Or seen ancient human ancestors such as Homo habilis (and for that matter, if Abraham and the rest of the Biblical figures are human, how exactly are they living to as long as 500 years...)? If he really believes that God created the Earth 6,000 years ago, I have a bridge I'd like to sell him.

He has probably been reading too much of the work of his colleagues. It never ceases to amaze me how many intelligent people get sucked into this world of pseudo-science, using "scientific methods" to try and link secular events to the history of the Bible. But as a true scientist, wouldn't he first want to gather evidence for the validity of the events in the Bible instead of trusting it fully as the infallible word of God? For example, I'd like to see him explain just exactly how Moses parted the Red Sea other than "The Bible says so."

If you want to believe in a higher power in this world, like one God, go right ahead (I won't come with you...but I am in the distinct minority there). And I think that everyone should read the Bible because it is without a doubt the most influential book in human history (although the Koran is challenging it these days). It is fascinating because it informs so much of how the modern world evolved (for better or worse). But is it completely factual? I think not...and to treat it as such is doing a disservice to yourself and the evolution of humanity (but since if you fully believe in the Bible, you don't believe in evolution, I guess you don't care).

Finally, I don't want to offend any more people, but I do want to say this: Religion leads to many wonderful initiatives to help poor or less fortunate people live better lives (and even wealthier people who live happier and more peaceful lives because of religion). But it has also led to more wars, violence, and deaths than any other factor in human history. People who want to live religious lives should really think about these two opposing results and try to focus on doing good things in their own lives and being more accomodating to people of different beliefs. You don't have to agree with them, you just have to accept that they exist.

This is my version of Rodney King's "Can't we all get along?" speech. Hat tip to Dan for finding this article for me. If you ever read this Alden, sorry for making an example out of you and I hope that you are doing well in Tennessee. Everyone will probably criticize what I write in this post, so you will get the last laugh anyway.

3 comments:

  1. Religion sucks. I much prefer secular poetry, and Immortalized Stillicide.

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  2. If you're interested in meeting some forward-thinking Christians, try the Realm Cafe in your very own New Haven.

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  3. Chuck Woolery1/6/06, 10:10 PM

    Great Post--Organized religion does two other things you didn't mention--it results in the collective brainwashing of basically all society whereby our species atrophies as it ignorantly perpetuates Iron Age mythology. And it, with its retarded human-centered, 2000 years ago-focused earth-bound explanations, grotesquely undermines the awe-inspiring, horrific, perhaps infinite grandeur than is the universe and all its phenomena, existence, God, whatever you call this beyond absurd thing we're all a part of.

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