Monday, September 24, 2012

Bible Stories vs. Facts: Choose Wisely

When I relate a bible story, such as of Noah’s Ark, and ask legitimate questions about the logistics of carrying off such an even, even for God, what I often get as a reply from Christian fundamentalists is that they would prefer to believe the biblical account, regardless how unlikely it might seem, than to believe that everything came into existence by chance from clouds of cosmic dust.

When stated in such a way, it almost seems as though it’s a decision between two highly unlikely scenarios, but since one of them is written in the bible and the immortal soul might be in jeopardy, then the obvious choice would be to believe the bible story. And if both accounts of creation had an equal amount of evidence, or no evidence at all, to back them up, I would understand why people might opt to believe in the Noah story or the Adam and Eve story, or whatever. But all is not equal. There is evidence to consider, even if you are not privy to that evidence.

The story of Creation in Genesis, for example, has God creating everything in the universe in six literal days. He waited until day 6 to create humans. Many years later, after God became upset with human behavior (even though after his perfect creation he called it “good”) it took him an elaborate plan involving one family building a huge boat, taking well over 100 years to finally rescue a pair of every animal species on earth (or 7 pair, depending on which chapter of Genesis you believe). Surely the creator of the universe could have just waved his hand and eliminated all the humans in one fell swoop, but as I’ve been told before, you can’t apply logic to the bible.

The scientific theory of creation, however, is different. It started with a big bang that happened 13.7 billion years ago and has taken that long for life on Earth to evolve to its present state. And yes, there is a certain amount of random chance involved, though there is much more than just chance to consider. Selection pressure is also involved and we know how that works.

But if you believe that these are two disparate but equal scenarios to explain creation, think again. The scientific view actually has empirical evidence to back it up. The biblical view does not. I say empirical evidence because that means it is measurable, verifiable, and repeatable. And that means that anyone at all, given enough intelligence and the right equipment, can verify for themselves the claims of the scientists. You don’t have to take some scientist’s word for it. You don’t have to listen to a scientist or researcher and then choose to believe either him or the bible because they are both making claims from revelation. No. On one hand, you are asked to simply believe an ancient story that has been handed down for generations. On the other, you are asked to believe in a verifiable, testable scientific theory (which, by the way, does not mean a guess in science).

So if you still choose to believe in the ancient myth as opposed to real scientific evidence that you, yourself, could verify if you took the effort, then you put yourself in an utterly indefensible position. This is especially true if you decide to accept as valid all the scientific theories that make your world better but which do not conflict with a biblical fairy tale. Think about it. Make a rational choice.

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