Fundamentalists just need more faith

Having once been an adherent myself, this is my understanding of why Christian Fundamentalists are so zealous about Creationism:

If you:

… accept the theory of Evolution as the most reasonable explanation for the variety of life on Earth

….accept the geological evidence that says that the Earth is billions of years old

…accept the astronomical evidence that the Universe is much older than even the Earth

Then you:

…obviously do not read the Bible literally

…do not believe that the Biblical creation account is true

…cannot trust that anything else in the Bible is true

…cannot accept God’s Word as true

…under the influence of Satan

…are unsaved.

So, in fundamentalist eyes, conventional scientific inquiry is not necessarily flawed but profoundly dangerous.  In order to protect the philosophically unassailable conclusions of Creationism, which are based solely upon Biblical texts, any tactic that can discredit the conventional scientific wisdom is acceptable, particularly the ad hominem argument

But the defense of Creationism becomes more difficult as scientific research continues to reveal evidence for the natural history of our planet and the workings of the Universe.  This evidence cannot be ignored so it must be re-interpreted, but always through the lens of the Bible. In this way the geologic and fossil evidence can be explained ‘scientifically’ through the extrapolation of Biblical stories, particularly the story of the Flood.

As it turns out, the Flood is a convenient refutation of just about all the physical evidence that supports evolution and an old Earth, at least for those who believe in Biblical Creation. It is the point at which the Creationists and the Evolutionist continue to  bump heads.  Because, though the Evolutionists can say that the Flood is merely a convenient myth that neatly gives religious answers to questions about the Earth, the Creationists can reply that yes, indeed it does.  The Flood explains everything. But it is no myth

Without the Flood and the story of Noah and his Ark, there would be little if any support for the theory of Creationism.  This is the mechanism that provides an air of ‘scientific’ legitimacy to their position, one that incorporates physical evidence coupled with a theory that is irrefutable, as it cannot be tested.  When this theory is questioned on the basis of obvious evidence to the contrary, the Creationists are left with no choice but to fall back upon a supernatural explanation that is often the result of a non-contextual rendering of a Bible verse. ( i.e. “all things are possible with God”)

It obviously boils down to a question of faith, not science.  If one definition of faith is that it is a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence, then Creationism cannot be called science.  Yet another definition of faith is trust, confidence in someone or something, without the necessary evidence to support it.

If ultimately the Creationist position is supported by an article of faith that cannot be tested, then why spend all this energy on modifying school science texts so that they teach Intelligent Design or the ongoing construction of numerous Creation museums (one intent of which is to ridicule modern science and scientists)?  It is a classic example of “preaching to the choir” and comes across as a desperate attempt to present evidence necessary to “prove” the existence of God.  Because there just isn’t enough faith.


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  1. #1 by Celestial Logistics on September 1, 2010 - 5:45 pm

    I actually just wrote a blog post about blind faith, but more about how I need proof to believe in something. Why shouldn’t we want to prove the existence of god? Does he take an active role in our lives? Or has he backed off since “biblical days”?

    I also don’t think it’s fair to say that the Bible needs to be taken literally to be the word of god. Take the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example. They contain vivid evidence that many of the works of that time were written as coping mechanisms during hard times and colorful explanations of their life. I am not saying they were outright lying. I am saying their culture and way of life was different.

    If someone in 1000 years watched sitcoms from today, they might think that the characters were real people, which they are not. But they still portray “real life” difficulties.

    • #2 by Christian Beyer on September 1, 2010 - 8:37 pm

      Thanks for joining in. Good points. I particularly like your analogy to sitcoms. Now most fundamentalists will not, however they might be more amenable to the idea if it were not today’s sitcoms but the Horatio Alger stories of the past or maybe Frank Capra films. Maybe the people of the ancient world had just as good (if not better) a grasp on metaphor and allegory and mythical story as we do. Maybe they never meant for it all to be read literally.

      • #3 by Celestial Logistics on September 1, 2010 - 11:06 pm

        I am by no means a fundamentalist or a Christian, but I do think believe that the Bible is a fascinating and truly important piece of literature. It may not (or it may, who knows) be the guide to salvation, but it definitely gives us perspective of ancient peoples, just as you were saying.

  2. #4 by logiopsychopath on September 1, 2010 - 7:12 pm

    More Di-Lithium Scotty! More Di-Lithium!

    Captain, I’m pushin’ her all she can take.

  3. #6 by anon on September 1, 2010 - 9:29 pm

    Tell me; is there a prevailing Muslim spin on this?0
    —I assume the question was about “creationism”? In both Hebrew and Arabic, the word “Youm” translated as “Day” does not literally mean 24 hr earth time/Day but has more of a connotation of “a fixed period of time as God wills” and the Quran goes on to explain that this can be a 1000 (earth) years, 50,000 (earth) years or more (as God wills). Since all knowledge—even scientific knowledge is from God, Muslims generally do not have any problems with science—Yet today some of the “creationists” influence is making inroads into Islam, specifically with regards to Darwin. (Although, a rudimentary theory of “natural selection”/adaptation was proposed by a Muslim zoologist Al-Jahith (781-869 CE) and ideas about “evolution” were proposed by Ibn Haytham, (11th century) Biruni (11th century)and others….these ideas did not yet approach the sophistication of Darwins theories though). Yet today, there are calls by some Muslims to reject the theory of “evolution”. Satan is not particularly powerful so…”evolution” is apparently being blamed on athiests who have an “agenda” to sidetrack people away from God or some such nonsense…..(some Turkish guy named Harun Yahya is apparently the force behind this movement)

    • #7 by Christian Beyer on September 1, 2010 - 9:38 pm

      Cool. Yes, that was what I was asking. Great information.

      Very interesting, these men who were positing evolutionary ideas a thousand years ago or more. And today we have people hell-bent on going backward in intellectual time.


  4. #8 by ekjt on September 2, 2010 - 1:13 am

    love this discussion – it well articulates some things i’ve been mulling over for a while. i consider myself a pretty devout christian. that said, i have no idea how to wrap my head around the “literalist” movement of evangelical christianity. i mean, there’s nowhere in the bible where God is quoted as saying “This KJV Bible that you are currently holding is indeed literally true, and an exact and true reflection of who i am and what i desire for the world.” nor is he quoted as saying “All of these stories are literally true and none of them are to be taken as allegory because they are meant exclusively as documentary accounts’. I mean, he does say that his word is true. but the times in the bible in which God is directly quoted are relatively few. So, i guess I just don’t understand where this presupposition comes from, and if it doesn’t come from the Bible itself, then how can it be part of a “literalist” theology? it seems so self-defeating to me.

  5. #9 by Jack on September 2, 2010 - 10:52 am

    I don’t understand what more di-lithium means.

  6. #10 by Christian Beyer on September 2, 2010 - 11:00 am

    “Cap’n, ahma doin’ the best ah ken!”

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