March 19, 2007

The Atheist Jew Endorses Answers In Creation, Sort Of

Since I'm a believer that man is hardwired to readily accept the concept of God and the supernatural, I don't have a major problem with people who believe in long as they don't deny reality, history, and factual evidence to do so.

I'll argue with any believer if I'm confronted by someone who says there is a God, or if they say that Atheism is a religion or makes no sense. But that is the fighter in me.

It is the people who have to go out of their way to deny an old earth or deny evolution by trying to poke holes in a "scientific" manner that really bothers me (the wilfully ingnorant). It is those people who are the most intolerant too, because they think their religion is so special and the only way to go, and that you have to do this that and the other thing and believe this that or the other thing, or you will rot in hell.
I don't mind the few YECs who just admit that they believe in their bible and they don't try to argue why they are right scientifically (the honest wilful ignorant).

It looks like a group of Christians are fed up with YECs. They are embarrassments to 2007 humanity, and the people at Answers In Creation (Old Earth Ministries) have figured it out. The writers at this site give to YECs better than I ever could. Here is an exerpt from their FAQ page:

1. If you say it doesn’t matter what position you believe in (old or young), then why do you attack the young earth position?

There are two reasons why the young earth creation science position is criticized on this website. First and most important, there is a battle to be waged for people's souls. Countless people have abandoned the Christian church today, because they were told that the earth was young, and then after they studied the evidence, they saw that it was old. We seek to reach these people...the ones that have been cast out by young earth creationism. They need to understand that you can be a Christian, and believe that the earth is old. With this goal in mind, we gladly confront the false teachings of young earth creationism.
The second reason we confront the young earth position is because it is wrong. The earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and the universe more than 13 billion years old. The scientific evidence to support this claim is accepted by over 99.9 percent of all scientists.1 However, the young earth position teaches that the earth is only 6,000 years old. Because this is against all (100%) of the evidence from God’s creation, the young earth position is not true. Yes, even God's creation argues against young earth creationism. At this website, we seek to expose the young earth position for what it is, a false representation of science and truth. We encourage people to examine God's creation, so that they can discover the truth that the earth is old.
Because what they teach is not the truth, it must be confronted.

They have a page full of testimonials from those who used to believe in the Young Earth but changed their minds based on REAL EVIDENCE.

Their stance on evolution is pretty whacked, only because they understand how YEC's work when it comes to Young Earth "science." I think deep down, or even right under the surface, they KNOW evolution is fact:

4. Do you believe in evolution?

Answers In Creation does not believe in Theistic Evolution. However, there is no reason why Theistic Evolution should not be considered a viable alternative to any other form of creation belief. It is possible to be a Christian, believe in an inerrant Bible, and believe in Theistic Evolution. In fact, you can even be a fundamentalist and believe in evolution. You will see articles on Answers In Creation that are in support of Theistic Evolution. As valid brothers and sisters in Christ, we seek to aid them where we can.
Furthermore, the arguments used against Theistic Evolution by young earth (and old earth) ministries are well-countered by theistic evolutionists. There is a good chance that they are right!

I'm obviously ignoring the word "theistic" because I allow them the belief in God or Jesus' resurrection, as science cannot disprove a negative in these cases, and man is so easily duped by the idea of God, etc.

They lose me when it comes to the flood, as there is lots of evidence that a flood didn't affect ALL mankind, even it was localized (the localized part is the good part at least):

Do you believe in a global flood?

The flood of Noah was a local flood, however, it was universal in effect. God said he would wipe man from the face of the earth, and he did. All locations that were populated in Noah’s day were flooded. Please keep in mind that during Noah’s day, the people all stayed together in one geographic area, and they all spoke the same language (this was prior to the Tower of Babel). Thus, there was no need to flood the entire earth (nor is there any geological evidence of such a flood).
Does this mean the Bible is in error when it says the whole earth was flooded? No, the Bible is accurate. The Bible is written from the frame of reference of man. All the lands known to man were flooded, thus all of man's world was flooded. Noah, viewing the flood, would have claimed the whole world was flooded, even though most of it was not.

They really target the likes of Ken Ham and Kent Hovind. Here is a fairly recent article slamming Ham's book Lie: Evolution.

4. Animals were created as vegetarians. This claim is one that makes absolutely no sense when you consider the lengths to which young earth creationists have to go to in order to justify it. It is true that God addresses man and animals, and tells them to eat plants. This makes sense only if you consider that it is God’s directions for the Garden of Eden, which is the location this edict was given. The Garden was a vision of the new heaven and new earth, which contained no bloodshed. There is no reason so suspect that outside the Garden, life continued on as it had for millions of years. Also, many animals are uniquely designed as predators, and their digestive systems are designed to process meat. Young earth creationists explain this away by saying the curse changed animals...but then again, animals were not cursed.

OK, so it a bit of an apologist site, but it is a move in the right direction. It mostly takes fact and then changes the meanings of the words in the bible to fit the facts (I wonder why they can't do that regarding the Great Flood though).

Here is a paragraph that pretty much illustrates their attitude:

As a progressive creationist, I do not believe in theistic evolution. However, based on Ham’s discussion of 20 reasons against evolution, he presents no valid arguments against theistic evolution. If you prefer to believe in theistic evolution, you are free to continue to do so. One of the greatest evangelical theologians of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, was a theistic evolutionist. Nobody, not even young earth creationists, questions his devotion to God.

Not accepting evolution (even though they know it is true) allows them to still be intolerant:
"As a conservative Christian myself, I can honestly say that you can still have the same moral positions on abortion, homosexuality, and other issues, and believe that the earth is old."

I guess even if you are an Old Earth Christian, you still gotta hate something.

From Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. I was going to embed the Sammy Davis version from Youtube but it was incomplete.


It ain't necessarily so, it ain't necessarily so.
De t'ings dat yo' li'ble to read in de Bible,
it ain't necessarily so.

Li'l David was small, but oh my, Li'l David was small, but oh my.
He fought big Goliath who lay down and dieth.
Li'l David was small, but oh my.

Oh, Jonah, he lived in de whale, oh, Jonah, he ived in de whale.
Fo' he made his home in dat fish's abdomen.
Oh, Jonah, he lived in de whale.

Li'l Moses was found in a stream, Li'l Moses was found in a stream.
He floated on water till Ole Pharoah's daughter
she fished him, she says, from that stream.

It ain't necessarily so, it ain't necessarily so.
Dey tell all you chillun de debble's a villun
but 'tain't necessarily so.

To get into Hebben don't snap for a sebben.
Live clean, don have no fault.
Oh, I takes dat gospel whenever it's pos ble
but wid a grain of salt.

Methus lah lived nine hundred years, Methus lah lived nine hundred years.
But who calls dat livin' when no gal will give in
to no man what's nine hundred years?

I'm preachin' dis sermon to show
it ain't nessa, ain't nessa, ain't nessa, ain't nessa,
ain't necessarily so.

- Ira Gershwin


  1. I don't think that we are hard-wired to believe in a god or gods. I think we have the evolutionary traits to believe all sorts of things if it suits our purposes.

    God belief is taught. It isn't inherent. I agree that human beings have the ability to attribute the unknown to a "mysterious something", and I think that this is part of a survival mechanism.

    It is safer to assume that the shadow one sees in the dark is something dangerous, than the shadow of a tree, as this may enhance survival.

    So basically, I think that god belief is just an extension of this instinctual reaction to the unknown.

    God belief in itself though, is not hardwired. The desire to come up with an explanation, probably is.

  2. That is what I meant. We are very susceptible to believe in God and other supernatural ideas, and it did have evolutionary benefits up until recently.

  3. BEAJ

    We have to stop this "psychic connection." I was only listening to "It Ain't Necessarily So" the other day and thinking how I might use it on my site.

    I am telling your wife that you have been peering into my sacreligious mind and plucking ideas for your blog from there.

    Ok, the last part was BS.

  4. Beep, you got the idea from my head, because over 2 weeks ago, I was extremely close to using the Sammy Davis version for background for this Youtube video I made.
    I just couldn't find a version at any torrent sites, so I used something from The Point instead.

  5. I think people really do have a need to believe in a higher power. Just read a good article in the Skeptical Inquirer titled "The Clash of Biotechnology and Post-Christian Spirituality" by Lee M. Silver. In it he says:
    "The secularization of western education has led droves of people away from the teachings of the Church[...]Some become atheists or agnostics, but just as many (including a quarter of the populations of Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, and western Germany) now answer affirmatively to a belief in "a higher power of some kind."

    This just gives me the impression that a large section of our population is drawn to ideologies that are not based in rationalism. If you get rid of traditional religion, you get alternative religions.

  6. These "old earth creationists" just sound confused.

    I prefer the honestly of the YECs. At least their fun to argue with (something I enjoyed tremendously in college).

    Interesting post.

  7. Sorry to go OT, BEAJ (that's Off Topic, not Old Testament, BTW!), but I like the new look of your blog.

    Much cleaner, less busy & "intimidating." Nice job.

  8. The homosexual posts were more informative than this drek.

  9. If you get rid of traditional religion, you get alternative religions.

    That's a good point. It seems that atheism can be likened to a religion and Fundies often claim it is one. Evolutionary theory can be used to explain almost anything and so is a powerful mantra. Atheism coupled with leader worship has not been uncommon.
    The decline of communism, the great atheistic religion, has led to growth in silly religions like the Falun Gong.
    Religions are about origins and the right way to do and think things. Evolution answers these questions too.

  10. They're making an honest effort, and deserve credit from that. Believing in an "inerrant Bible" is still a brain-twister all by itself, but that's for another day.

  11. Rashi- the great biblical commentator specifically warned us to not take the early chapters of Genesis as a history book- it contains spiritual truths, not scientific ones- and if certain Christians don't get it...I agree...they're mentally ill...or stupid.

  12. Johnny, those percentages were much higher on the belief side as we go back in time. And I do think that many people don't want to accept the fact there is nothing else after death, so I doubt you'll ever get a world full of non believers.

    Gert, many Christians are OEC's and as there are many within that group that also accept all evolution as fact. Most Christians in Europe aren't YECs but fall in the other categories, while about 30-40% of US Christians fall in the other category.

    Amishav, I don't want to just label Christians with my YEC's are mentally ill analogy. A small percent of Jews and Muslims fall in the category as well. And many more deny evolution (especially Muslims).

  13. RE: "This just gives me the impression that a large section of our population is drawn to ideologies that are not based in rationalism. If you get rid of traditional religion, you get alternative religions."

    "Woo" is always easier to digest than reality. Woo tells us what we want to hear. It aims straight at our emotional response sectors.

    "Woo" has as its mantra - "bypass all critical thinking sections of the brain." ;)

  14. I think I agree with this post. However it would be much easier to follow if you'd used a few blockquote tags to make clear which bits you were quoting and which bits were your comments.

  15. Thanks for the suggestion Geoff, I re-edited. I haven't used blockquotes before.

  16. Honestly? I didn't read your entire post - I didn't have to. I was raised as an atheist but had an "experience" (actually a few to be honest) that may have been psychotic breaks but I interpret to be God. During the defining one, hard to explain, but I heard a voice say, "Jesus is my son, The bible is true. I love you" I had been arguing against the existence of God at the time. I shut up.
    I am aware of all the evidence against all this being so but I can't shake my episode. I have had none like it since - it's been almost 30 years. So I believe the bible is true although I do not necessarily believe it has been translated or interpreted correctly. It doesn't matter to me how it actually occured. Belief in God has made my life better than it was. I don't believe it was a mental break although others might see it so and I don't blame them. That's just how it is.

  17. Jeannie, it would matter what actually occurred if you are in scientific or medical research. For most people, outside of need for understanding that some people like me need, you can live your whole life not caring how old the earth is or whether you want to accept that evolution is fact or not.
    You can say your belief in God has made your life better, but you don't really know for sure. I'm not saying it hasn't.
    Were you raised atheist or agnostic/secular? And yes, you imagined God, but you aren't the first to, and you won't be the last.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  18. No one has stated the obvious here. What a freakin' great song!

  19. Yeah Rondi, other than Beep Beep (who mentioned the song), you, and me, there aint much cultured people round here.

    Truthfully, I don't think that many people watch the Youtube links. Maybe 40%, I'm guessing.