October 1, 2008

Absurd Websites Provide No Proof

Are evolutionists "terrified" by creationists?

In the run-up to Darwin's anniversary year - he was born in 1809, and published his most famous book in 1859 - we can expect a flowering of letters favouring his enormous contribution to science or, as may be, denouncing his theory of natural selection.

The theory of evolution had been around for decades before he was born - his grandfather Erasmus Darwin wrote about it - so don't blame him for that: he merely discovered the way it operated. So did Alfred Russel Wallace, working far away in the Dutch East Indies, and they jointly submitted a paper to a scientific society in 1858.

But I was fascinated by the letter from S Hurley, Websites expound on creation theory, Points of view, September 26, which imagined "terrified" evolutionists being in fear of creationism "proving" their theories wrong.

Quoting websites, S Hurley appears to see them as providing absolute proof of the fallacy of these theories, giving answers to questions about Creation and subsequent Earth history. They have obviously uncritically swallowed all the stuff that is put forward by these sites.

Anyone wishing to check the quality of the geological accounts could visit these websites and wonder at the inventiveness or gullibility of their constructors.

I would have a similar reaction to chronologies constructed from stories such as the Lord of the Rings, and I haven't even started to look at astrology websites.

Particularly, I was intrigued by the creationists' version of geological time where all events are incredibly contracted into 6,000 years, divided into a dozen short phases in which major geological sequences were formed or eroded.

The Flood - its duration expanded to 210 days - is one of the most significant as the Earth's vast thicknesses of sedimentary rocks were allegedly formed within that time span.

"Fossils are easily explained as creatures destroyed during the Flood event". Particularly if you know absolutely nothing about how fossils occur in the geological succession!

I could go on highlighting the absurdities of these websites, but I have to admit that, for those who believe in the absolute infallibility of the Bible, as my father did, they perceive a need to adjust everything about the Earth to conform with the accounts given in the Bible. That is their "evidence", which has primacy; anything else is denounced as "atheistic".

I was once told that I could not be a Christian if I did not believe the Creation stories - stories derived from the ancient manuscripts of a different religion, let it be acknowledged.

I dismissed that accusation with the contempt it deserved, just as I did when somebody told me I could not call myself a musician if I liked the music of Elgar!

People are entitled to believe what they wish about the authenticity of the Bible and Earth history, but I question their right to denounce other sincere thinkers as "atheistic" because they do not follow the same contorted logic.

Deryck Laming


(by email)

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