[creation] Re: Creationist arguments are damaging to Christianity?

  • From: "Philip" <joyphil@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <creation@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Tom Harpur" <thestar@xxxxxxxx>, "Jim McCrea" <jjmccrea@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 09:23:25 +1000

Jim whether your errors are egregious errors or not I do not know, but errors 
they are..   
You display the same confusion as do most in assuming theorys to be facts... I 
-place the comments in (RED)  brackets for the color blind... 
Needless to say, Tom Harpur in the face of undeniable evidence has no argument 
either, except that he bases his belief system upon a different faith. 

Phil. 
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jim McCrea 
  To: Tom Harpur 
  Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 2:51 AM
  Subject: Creationist arguments are damaging to Christianity?


  ** Open letter to Tom Harpur ***


  cc. All my e-mail lists


  Hi Tom!

  In your article "Creationist arguments are damaging to Christianity" there 
are a number of egregious errors.

  For instance, to defend creationism, we do not have to hold to a 
fundamentalist literalist interpretation of the Bible that says that the 
universe was created in 6 days 6000 years ago.  

  [Surely this, Jim, is an opinion...  Giving or taking a few thousand years, 
who makes that a fact? Are you not absolutely sure that the Church has ruled as 
absolute that the resurrection of Christ did occur? Can you say with such 
certainty that the Church has not ruled with the same certainty about Genesis? 
That the modern church has chosen today in a "face saving" compromise to not 
insist on the letter, has no bearing on the fact of the letter.] 

  All we have to look at are the metaphysical and scientific facts.

  [And pray tell us , what are scientific facts?  We can say that de fide 
definitions are facts..   There are no such things as De Fide scientific facts. 
Science is the first to admit that it is based upon chaos and uncertainty.   
Accidents?

  Then you confirm your error with the following, ]


  We can certainly accede to the Big bang taking place 13.7 billion years ago, 
as the creation ex-nihilo of all matter and energy in the universe.

  [Why can we accede to this Theory? And might I ask, which Big Bang 
specifically? Last time I looked there were about 15 modified and sometimes 
contradictory versions. Hardly could such be a FACT. I really have a hard time 
considering it as a reliable theory. (theories)  ]

  We can look at all of the scientific and palentological facts squarely in the 
face.  [I doubt you can prove many as good assumptions, let alone as facts. 
Some still today teach the Dinosaurs as reptilian, despite latest genetic 
evidence asserting that they are more related to the Kangaroo. ]

  Indeed we can accept, as paleontology tells us, that there are a vast number 
of fossils in rock strata that have built up over billions of years.

  [You can accept that if you want to deny the word of God  and indeed the 
infallible word of the Church. And for what reason? An observable scientific 
presumption, as though if you look at a loaf of bread you can presume it was 
made by human hands. Yet to presume so theologically is based upon a false 
premise. That is, it is false to presume so for every loaf of bread. Take the 
loaves and fishes that Jesus created to feed the multitude. Was the water made 
wine made from the vine, an aged and fermented product, or was it but a few 
minutes old, from when it had previously been water? What would science say? 
What was the fact? 

  Tom may say old myth, not evidence. 

  When the 20 year old man had a large section of bone replaced in his leg by 
the miraculous water of Lourdes, observed and certified by representatives of 
the atheistic  hostile French Acadamy of science, who noted that the bone was 
that of a normal healthy 20 year old, how old was that bone in FACT? Science 
today puts that in the too hard basket, and does not want to know about it. 

  This bone had but a few minutes of existence.  THAT IS THE REALITY . 

  The point is that God proves He can create a fossil in an instant..  Why deny 
Him the infinite power to create the whole world in an instant, with aged 
trees, worn canyons and any other aged fossil He would need to do? 

  Thus your following statement is easily proven to be a paradox. ]

  Earth's history, with life in it, is divided into eons, eras, and epochs. 
There exists a very sophisticated fossil record, with ever complex grades of 
life as  time goes on.

  [You are attempting to make a compromise with those who see science as 
proving the word of God is not literal, and that it must allegorically fit with 
observable science. Just as some today, will say that Jesus did not really 
die.... and still find a way to call themselves Christian?????  

  27  But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound 

  the wise: and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may 

  confound the strong. 

    28  And the base things of the world and the things that are contemptible, 
hath 

  God chosen: and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things 
that 

  are: 

    29  That no flesh should glory in his sight. (1Cor 1)



  It is not about physical science at all. Its a matter of two opposing faiths, 
and to bring them together is a denial of Christ. "The Prince of this world is 
to come... and he and I have nothing in common.." ]



  Philip.



  <SNIP>

  from www.thestar.com  Columnists section: Tom Harpur 






  **Tom Harpur's Article**

  Creationist arguments are damaging to Christianity


  TOM HARPUR

  From a page of letters in The New York Times (Jan.24) to the Star's recent 
feature on the topic - "E" word makes U.S. teachers skittish' (Feb.5) - it's 
more than obvious that a battle everybody thought had been ended several times 
in the past is still being waged. In fact, it's heating up on a far wider front 
than anyone could have dreamed of a decade ago. 

  The bitter, divisive issue in thousands of schools across the U.S. today is 
the teaching of evolution in biology classes. Fundamentalist Christians are 
demanding that "intelligent design," which is really their new mantra for 
bolstering the former "creationism," be given equal billing in high school 
science classrooms. 

  For them, Darwinism is synonymous with teaching atheism and so they are 
insisting that at the very least evolution disclaimers should be added to 
science curricula. They insist evolution is "just a theory" - one among many. 
Given that the U.S. president himself has said publicly that "the jury is still 
out on that one" - i.e. whether evolution or creationism is right - you can't 
blame those who espouse the same simple theology as he does for their present 
militancy. 

  In many ways, though, it's a sad commentary on the state of religion in the 
U.S. and on the general level of understanding of the majority of Christians 
there. Evolution is not "just a theory" if by that is meant it's merely a 
fragile, unproven idea likely to be revoked at any moment in favor of something 
else. 

  In science, a theory of this magnitude and potency - in terms of the vast 
mass of data which it and it alone clearly explains - has become a reliable, 
trusted model. Yes, it can be altered in details; yes, it is always subject to 
further testing, and yes it has its gaps. But, no credible scientist today 
questions its overall validity. 

  Creationism, together with its creed of a "young Earth" and "instant humans" 
in Eden is soundly refuted by the fossil records alone, and ongoing attempts by 
creationists to argue down evolutionists are painfully damaging to Christianity 
in general. 

  The tragedy is that this furor is utterly unnecessary and a hugely wasteful 
spending of moral and material energies in a bogus campaign. Moral challenges 
such as child poverty, excessive spending by the military, space weapons 
planning and a host of other matters calling for spiritual outrage and action 
are neglected instead. 

  When will these conservative religionists wake up and realize you don't have 
to choose between the best that science can offer, i.e. evolution, and a lively 
belief in a divine Mind or God behind the origins and development of life? 

  Looking in the Bible for a scientific account of origins is like looking in 
the phone directory for a recipe for angel cake. 

  Science begins with curiosity and deals with the what and how of things in 
the universe; religion flows from awe and wonder and tries to deal with the 
ultimate question: why? Why are we here at all? The answers are wholly 
compatible. That God used the method of evolution to select the myriad species 
of Earth is much more "miraculous" than some kind of magical fiat in a mythical 
Garden of Eden. The "Big Bang" is a greater miracle than any described in 
Genesis. 

  Most sophisticated, religious persons find no conflict whatever between 
science and faith. Some of the greatest scientists of our era have been or are 
deeply religious (though often unorthodox) in outlook. For example, Albert 
Einstein was able to say: "I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the 
strongest and noblest motive for scientific research." 

  It's important to understand why the fundamentalists are so fired up on all 
this. The reasons go far beyond their misunderstanding that evolution and 
belief in God cannot peacefully co-exist. 

  To begin, their doctrine of an infallible, inerrant Bible, to be taken 
literally unless the context indicates otherwise, is threatened if science says 
we are the product of millions of years of natural selection while Genesis 
talks as though humans snapped to attention fully formed about 6,000 years ago. 
Inability to distinguish myth from history presents them with this false 
dilemma. 

  But, their difficulties increase exponentially. If there was no age of 
innocence in a historic Eden, if there has been an upward-moving process 
involving hundreds of millions, even billions of years, then there was no 
literal, primal "Fall" involving "original sin." With this, the whole edifice 
begins to shake. No "Fall" means no monumental problem of sin staining 
everything human. No "Fall" means no cosmic necessity for a Redeemer, no Cross 
of Atonement, no bloody Passion. The evangelical "plan of salvation" totters 
and collapses. 

  It doesn't make much sense anyway, but, evolution administers the coup de 
grace. This means bad news for the good news. What's feared most of all is this 
call to change.



         

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