Feedback archiveFeedback 2017

Damaging Christianity by ignoring science?

This week’s feedback answers a claim that creationists are harming Christianity (although we have no evidence that the writer cares) and ignores science. , one of many CMI staffers with an earned science doctorate, responds.

wikipedia.orghuman-brain

Robert B of the USA writes:

You are damaging Christianity deeply. You think science is wrong just where you need it to be—which should light up the warnings in your brain.

The concepts that you list as evidence are areas you don't understand.

Science primarily does not have opinions. It has data—data that does not give a living ---- [Ed.: mild expletive redacted here and below] what anyone thinks. Soft tissue in dinosaur bones does not prove a young anything—and the scientists working on that material understand that where you don't

You would all be well advised to go actually get into a real science program (tho I doubt you could) and learn the material.

===> I did.

Consider—the percentage of scientists who believe the Earth is young is smaller than the percentage of people who would be clinically insane in the same population. ALERT!!

I.e., in order to claim that there is a debate at all, you will have to have more people on ‘your side’ of the debate than the percentage of clinically insane. You don’t.

You have Kurt Wise disease.

You are harming Christianity.


You are damaging Christianity deeply.

What do you care? In any case, it is far more damaging to Christianity to claim, implicitly or explicitly, that Christ Himself was wrong about Genesis. I.e. He clearly affirmed that God created a man and a woman from the beginning of creation, not billions of years after the beginning. But leading theistic evolutionists claim that He was mistaken. More on this in the resources on the top-right.

You think science is wrong just where you need it to be—which should light up the warnings in your brain.

We don’t think ‘science’ is wrong, in the sense of real (operational) science like chemistry and physics. We think that the materialistic philosophy of history masquerading as science is wrong.

In your case, why should you trust what you think are warnings in your brain? After all, it’s just a rearranged monkey brain, and ‘warnings’ are an illusion from brain chemistry that has evolved over millions of years of random mutation and natural selection? See Monkey minds: How evolution undercuts reason and science.

The concepts that you list as evidence are areas you don’t understand.

Typical ipse dixit. What evolutionists really hate is that we do understand them more than they would like!

Science primarily does not have opinions. It has data—data that does not give a living ---- what anyone thinks.

We agree that there is an objective reality that is independent of what anyone thinks. Postmodernism denies this. That is why science developed in a biblical creationist Christian world view during the Middle Ages, but was stillborn in other worldviews.

YouTubeThomas-Sowell
Thomas Sowell

But why should a materialist believe such a thing (and you certainly argue like one)? How do you know that you’re not an isolated ‘Boltzmann brain’ complete with the illusions of your memories and observations? After all, if our universe is just one of a multiverse generated by random quantum fluctuations, then one brain is far more probable than an entire universe full of intelligent brains.1

Also, you have a very naïve view about ‘data’. As the great economist Thomas Sowell pointed out:

Facts do not “speak for themselves.” They speak for or against competing theories. Facts divorced from theory or visions are mere isolated curiosities.2

See how this works in How to think (not what to think), and how this is applied to rejecting conspiratorial theorizing.

Soft tissue in dinosaur bones does not prove a young anything—and the scientists working on that material understand that where you don’t.
M. H. SchweitzerT-Rex soft tissue
These photos are from a later (2005) paper by Schweitzer which reported on the discovery of soft tissue, in addition to strengthening the red blood cell identification—see Still Soft and Stretchy
Left: The flexible branching structures in the T. rex bone were justifiably identified as “blood vessels”. Soft tissues like blood vessels should not be there if the bones were 65 million years old.
Right: These microscopic structures were able to be squeezed out of some of the blood vessels, and can be seen to “look like cells” as the researchers said. So once again there is scope for Dr Schweitzer to ask the same question, “How could these cells last for 65 million years?”

The real science shows that there is soft tissue (and protein and DNA) in dino bones. Real science shows how fast these things break down—especially DNA. What real science does NOT show is the millions-of-years dogma. But since the discoverers believed in this dogma, they were extremely sceptical at first, e.g. the pioneer Dr Mary Schweitzer:

When you think about it, the laws of chemistry and biology and everything else that we know say that it should be gone, it should be degraded completely.3

“It was totally shocking,” Schweitzer says. “I didn’t believe it until we’d done it 17 times.”4

We are well aware that she has tried to explain the results away, but most unconvincing from the viewpoint of known chemistry—see Dinosaur soft tissue: In seeming desperation, evolutionists turn to iron to preserve the idea of millions of years.

You would all be well advised to go actually get into a real science program (tho I doubt you could) and learn the material.

Oh really? CMI probably hires more staff with earned doctorates in science—from secular universities at that—than any other Christian ministry; see Creationist qualifications. In most people’s eyes, that would count as a ‘real science program’.

===> I did.

That’s nice, but it doesn’t show.

Consider—the percentage of scientists who believe the Earth is young is smaller than the percentage of people who would be clinically insane in the same population. ALERT!!

I.e., in order to claim that there is a debate at all, you will have to have more people on ‘your side’ of the debate than the percentage of clinically insane. You don’t.

Another example of the illogic of anti-creationism: before it was “data … does not give a living ---- what anyone thinks”, but now you want us to care about what others think! You need to make up your evolved monkey mind. Apparently truth is now decided by majority vote, despite all the times when the majority was wrong; see Can all those scientists be wrong? E.g. we should still believe in the phlogiston theory of combustion and absolute geocentrism.

Kurt-Wise
Kurt Wise

The appeal to percentages rebounds against you. E.g. almost 20% of Americans have a mental illness,5 while only about 6% call themselves atheists,6 and this number is greater than the Kinsey lie that 10% of the population is homosexual (the actual number of self-identified LGBT is ~4%7). So why should we kowtow to these vociferous minorities? We should also note that Jesus rejected majority vote (Matthew 7:13–14, John 6:60–70).

You have Kurt Wise disease.

Is this a new clinical diagnosis? Dr Wise has described an experiment where he chopped out every verse of Scripture that is contradicted by evolution or billions of years, and found that there was nothing left to hold his Bible by two fingers without it falling apart. That should be enough for any professing Christian, because Jesus said, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and explicitly affirmed most of the parts that atheopaths love to mock.

You are harming Christianity.

So try Dr Wise’s experiment with just the ‘red letters’ of Jesus words and see how much is left. I’ve already shown several of them, and consider the following from Christ the Creationist:

Furthermore, Jesus taught that the rest of Genesis was accurate history, including the murder of Abel (Luke 11:51), Noah’s Ark and Flood (Matthew 24:37–39; Luke 17:26–27), Abraham’s life (John 8:56–58), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), including the stern warning, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17: 28–32). …. And He ought to know; since He was both with God and himself fully God from eternity past (John 1:1), and it was by Him all things were made (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16).

Conclusion

We would not normally respond publicly to intemperate fact-free diatribes. But this can stand in for various types of detractions against creation ministry. One is the alleged harm to Christianity—apparently believing what Christ said is harmful! Another is the general ‘why does it matter?’ type, which sometimes manifests in other ways such as ‘you should be feeding the hungry’. A third is the ‘anti-science’ charge, which fails badly both because the high scientific qualifications of many of CMI’s writers, and because real science supports creation and opposes evolution.

References and notes

  1. See Price, P., The universe of the lone brain, Creation 39(4):39–51, 2017. For a semi-popular secular explanation, written by astrophysicists/cosmologists, of fine tuning in general and the Boltzmann Brain paradox in particular, see Lewis, G.F. and Barnes, L.A, A Fortunate Universe: Life in a finely tuned cosmos, ch. 8, Cambridge University Press, 2016. Return to text.
  2. Sowell, T., A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, ch. 1, Basic Books, 1987. Return to text.
  3. Schweitzer, M., Nova Science Now, May 2009, cross.tv/21726. Return to text.
  4. Schweitzer, cited in Science 307:1852, 25 March 2005. Return to text.
  5. Bekiempis, V., Nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffers from mental illness each year, newsweek.com, 28 February 2014. Return to text.
  6. “Nones” on the Rise, pewforum.org, 9 October 2012. Return to text.
  7. Gates, G.J., In US, More Adults Identifying as LGBT, news.gallup.com, 121 January 2017. Return to text.
See Price, P., The universe of the lone brain,
Sowell, T., A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, ch. 1, Basic Books, 1987.
Schweitzer, M., Nova Science Now, May 2009, cross.tv/21726.
Schweitzer, cited in Science 307:1852, 25 March 2005.
Bekiempis, V., Nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffers from mental illness each year, newsweek.com, 28 February 2014.
“Nones” on the Rise, pewforum.org, 9 October 2012.
Gates, G.J., In US, More Adults Identifying as LGBT, news.gallup.com, 121 January 2017.

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Readers’ comments
Richard L., United Arab Emirates, 21 October 2017
Towards discussion of Robert B’s “the percentage of scientists who believe the Earth is young is smaller than…” (So what? Majority-opinion is a very fallible guide.) Thank you, Dr Sarfati, for your cogent response, and for your hyperlink to your article on why science was “stillborn” in other cultures prior to Europe in the 1500s–1600s [actually in the Middle Ages—Ed.]. It did get started in earlier societies, but it then blocked itself from further advancement—not least by assigning intelligent-design phenomena to the (wrong!) causal agency of (non-existent!, immoral, false) gods, within the cosmos. According to Isis journal (U of Chicago, Dec. 1992), there was science going on in ancient Egypt. (This fact has an application for us related to the discipleship load that God imposed on the Exodus-era Israelites: they were to endure the scorn of the surrounding intelligentsia by holding faithful to the scandal of early Genesis—which insisted on none of the Egyptian gods existing. They were to hold faithful even though the creation account was ‘unscientific’ by the standards of the day. Why should we escape that load today?) To Robert B: please note that all the Egyptian scientists—a total “scientific consensus”—were wrong about causation, about parts of scientific reality. Truth is not a majority vote.
S. H., United Kingdom, 21 October 2017
On the contrary, the writer of the slightly belligerent feedback is harming his own cause and doing so very well! Using the data he has provided within his feedback, I’d like to thank him for undermining his own argument! Truth (found in Jesus and his Word) will always be opposed and the vehemence with which it is opposed can often show the importance and accuracy of the truth!
Hans G., Australia, 21 October 2017
Robert B. did actually strengthen Christianity by using a blade of grass as weapon to attack.
Terry D P., Australia, 21 October 2017
More like: Ignoring Christianity (Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Creator of the Universe) damages science.
John P., Australia, 21 October 2017
May the Holy Spirit gain a foot in his door and convict him of his errant ideas. He is ignorant not only of true science but what Christianity is all about. Maybe if he did some research before spouting nonsense, he might learn something. These people are continually fulfilling Bible prophecy on the wrong side of the ledger and few of them either care or realise it. They are scammed by the lies of the devil. This bloke, like others of his ilk, can run but he can’t hide, and I hope he meets God in this life while he can still repent and realise Jesus means what He says.
J. K., United States, 21 October 2017
Conversely, I think it is compromise that has harmed the ‘church.’ Lyell and Darwin weren’t atheists per se but they hated the Bible. The reason is that the Bible describes an immutable God and clearly defines his traits. Lyell, Darwin, Schweitzer, Ross, etc want to create a God according to the preferences of man. This is the difference between cultural Christianity and biblical faith in God. Racists, eugenicists and all sorts of delightful people fit in the cultural Christian category, cultural christians seek to wield Religion for political power. The truth is none of them actually believe in God. They believe in the God of probability (ie; you can’t prove God doesn’t exist so he does exist) but their apologetics can easily be applied to other gods. Such a “Christianity” should be burned to the ground! I do not mourn the loss of this Christianity. As for me I believe in the Creator God who made the world without the malarkey of love triangles, envy, lookism, and population replacement,. The True God who means exactly what he says and the history He has revealed to us. As for Robert the atheist’s other statement, I ask: ‘how can a fish that breaks apart in a few days get covered in sediment over decades?’ and if sedimentation rates are conceded to be rapid then how do you maintain that varves represent decades of formation? I’ve talked to one of my profs an ardent atheist with PhD in anthropology with these questions and others regarding mutation rates vs number of mutations in human population. And she smiled and said “I absolutely agree, I am no supporter of dogma in science so I admit that many of the points you raise do challenge the modern day paradigms.” Her exact words Robert. Plus I doubt you know half of what I know about “prehistory”.
Gerald M., United States, 21 October 2017
Very helpful article. The commentator’s tirade leaves doubt about his actual desire to write. And his state of mind. …
Edward P., United States, 21 October 2017
I would guess that Mary Schweitzer hadn't heard of Hemochromatosis which is an iron disorder I have. If left untreated, the excess iron attaches to your organs and joints and does the exact opposite of preserving them. Since iron is easily oxidized, you literally rust from the inside out. Just a guess, it's not gonna preserve you for millions of years.
Jonathan Sarfati responds
Sorry about your condition. Your point is well made. The Fenton Reaction to which she appeals generates free radicals, which are not too good for many organic molecules.
Cowboy Bob S., United States, 21 October 2017
The original message is very similar to many I've received. For that matter, in a recent podcast, the speaker was telling how he was talking to some atheists, and he shot down their arguments handily because he had heard them all before. It seems like there are many who subscribe to Atheopath Stock Answers Clearing House™ in lieu of using actual thought. “You are damaging Christianity deeply.” “What do you care?" They do not, it is a ploy to manipulate our emotions. In such a case, to shame us. The implication that creationists do not understand ‘science’ (or areas of it that are discussed) is shallow, and we have often had to educate evolutionists on their own mythology. It is amusing when angry anti-creationists (which includes atheists using fake names, pretending to be Christians, and giving themselves titles like ‘Doctor’, ‘Professor’, and the like) will give a ‘diagnosis’. Ironically, a stock diagnosis we frequently encounter is, “You are projecting!” said the atheist who was himself projecting. Excuse me, I have to go schedule this letter and response that I liked very much on my biblical creation science Page on social media.
Kenneth L., Canada, 21 October 2017
Excellent response, Dr. Sarfati. I would just like to respond to one point that you missed. ‘Robert B’ states, “Science primarily does not have opinions. It has data …” Talk about a naive view of science. That might be true if science was not a human endeavor, but it is, and it is replete with opinion, especially in the area of evolutionism. The truth is that opinionated evolutionist scientists can’t even agree amongst themselves what the data they grapple with actually adds up to scientifically. That's why there are, in fact, a number of competing theories of evolution now, for example, neo-Darwinian evolution, punctuated equilibrium evolution, hopeful monster evolution, etc., each of which claims that none of the others are viable! So it seems there is no shortage of opinion today in the ranks of evolutionist scientists, and the data are almost irrelevant, since the evolutionists can’t agree on what the data mean. So much for objective evolutionist science operating only on data! My advice to ‘Robert B’ and evolutionists in general is to consider this and realize that the reality of science is that it is, especially in the area of origins, as much about opinion as it is about data, and consider that as long as he is relying on human opinion alone, he will never find the truth, only endless contradictions. That’s why God gave us His Word, to lead us out of those contradictions and into the Divine truth: “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is …” (Exodus 20:11), and to show us "the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), the Word made flesh, “the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we believe by faith unto forgiveness of our sins and life everlasting.
Vaughan W., Australia, 22 October 2017
Thanks—great response. I love reading this kind of dialogue because it helps keep me sharp as I work as a chaplain in public schools where evolution is taught.
David R., United States, 22 October 2017
Unfortunately for ‘Robert B.’, by taking on the collective intellect of the CMI team, namely Dr Sarfati, in an opposing viewpoint to the obvious truth of biblical creation, he was entering a philosophical gunfight with a toy squirt gun! In light of this, I find it interesting that in the well-publicized debates between the power houses of the secular/atheist scientific community and some of the well versed proponents of the biblical worldview, more often than not, the general consensus, (and NOT just among fellow, self-proclaimed, Christian believers), is that the spokesman for the biblical viewpoint heavily prevailed. (Example: Frank Turek vs. Christopher Hitchens, Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye, and especially John Lennox vs. Richard Dawkin, etc.) It is generally a lot simpler to defend the truth than a lie!
Zoltan K., Romania, 24 October 2017
This is a brilliant example of what Jesus said: You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. … But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Russel L., Canada, 24 October 2017
I like the way the letter was responded to in the fact it was refuted with fact and science professional support. … I once believed in evolution and deep time theory as it was all I knew. Coming to Christ and devoting my life to him has given me discernment to recognize the truth and hear my creator’s voice. I will pray from the writer’s salvation in his sin of blasphemy and that he too may see the truth and the Enemy’s influence in his life. CMI please show love and compassion for this misguided soul. May the LORD bless you all.
Geoff S., Australia, 24 October 2017
Tremendous response. Those that spew forth generalities believing them to be true need this type of correction. Hopefully their faith in everything anti Jesus will be relinquished to the real truth Keep up the great work
Scott F., United States, 25 October 2017
It is amazing to me that someone would use the following arguments: The Majority, You Are Stupid, You Are Harming The Faith You Are Defending. The final irony is the writer’s insulting tone. I have never known of anyone being convinced by name calling and insults. Sorry we must endure, however we must.
Glen J., United States, 25 October 2017
Dr. Sowell is one of my favorite authors. I love that you quoted him. Good job!
Mike T., Australia, 29 October 2017
This article is Great. Please post more of these systematic debunking from Dr Sarfati. The way he dissects and completely destroys the arguments is exactly what I need to read. Sometimes I wish one of the CMI team would jump on a website like Reddit and do a “AMA” – Ask me anything. So many people completely disregard the creation view as unscientific, or anti-science. It would be a great opportunity to force open the eyes of many.
Linda W., Canada, 31 October 2017
Well done CMI! I am thankful to have you and your team of scientists willing to be on the front line in the war against reason and real science. As a Christian (a secular university educated one at that), I understand this war is not just between two opposing viewpoints about science, but takes place in spiritual principalities where mankind is hated and the evil one (Satan, the devil, Lucifer) delights in deceiving mankind. My ‘aha’ moment came when I realized the difference between viewable, verifiable operational science, and historical science, which can lead to widely differing opinions about what went on with the silent evidence history provides us. I believe that a God-centred interpretation makes much more sense. Your Creation magazine (just got my latest copy!) is jam-packed with evidence that an open mind would easily recognize as proof of a creator God. But judging by the anger in most dissenters’ opinions, I know they are being riled up by one thing: a spiritual liar who says, “surely God will forgive your stupidity if you are wrong, so go on, live your life your way, don't study God's word for yourself.” What is that old saying? Ignorance is bliss? Evolutionists get mad when their ignorance is prodded. So thanks again, CMI, for building our faith in the whole Bible, and standing against the ignorant criticisms of those who would bring others down with them to the pit of Hell.
Wes D., Canada, 1 November 2017
Thanks, so much CMI. If possible, this lesson in debate must be repeated to help those who battle in our work places, schools, etc. against those who give no references for their anti-God belief other than science says that. We must learn of this postmodernism which doesn’t hold to reason and logic—and refute it as just that without giving ground to generalities that are unverifiable. a lie about history will be repeated over and over again until stands up and calls it a lie. I have done this many times in my workplace in regards to global warming, historicity of Christ, and have gained respect by speaking truth without compromise.