Posts Tagged Religion

“True” Religons, Weasel Looks, Ironic Morals, and Continental Responses

Today in this multi-piece article, we’ll talk about AiG’s method of finding out which religions are true, Richard Dawkins’ computer program that disproves creationist probability arguments, and why Jack Chick’s constant plea to get saved could be working against Christianity’s moral high ground.  Plus, there’ll a response to a recent comment on the site.

Creationists seem to enjoy saying that Christianity is the only true religion, and most Chick tracts are about that specific topic.  But Answers in Genesis doesn’t talk about it very often, which is why this article published on their Kids Answers website proves their assumptions about religion.  It’s called, not modestly, How Do We Know Other Religions Aren’t True?  It answers a question sent in by a kid named James, from Ohio, and his question is, well, how do Christians know that other religions aren’t true?  According to AiG, only Christianity has a book that tells us about everything (i.e., origins of everything, sin, etc), nor does any other religion have a savior that is, according to them, alive.  But what comes next is just plain idiotic.  AiG goes on to say that if a religion A) doesn’t accept the Bible, B) doesn’t claim that Jesus is God, or C) doesn’t say that salvation is the way to Jesus, than it isn’t a true religion.  Wow.  I’m actually having some mixed emotions right now.  AiG is only saying that to rig the rules, so that only their religon can be counted as “true”.  In my opinion, it’s pretty dang stupid.

Okay, how many times have you heard from a creationist that there’s “no chance” of evolution happening, or that complex organic structures couldn’t have happened by chance.  It’s pretty easy to shoot down those arguments, but Richard Dawkins once wrote a computer program that selects strings of twenty-six characters that most resemble the Shakespeare line “Methinks it is like a weasel”.  And sure enough, after only 180 generations, we get that exact line.  This info comes from the awesome book Monkey Girl.  Some might say that the program requires an intelligent agency to work, but the point is this: you can get a line of Shakespeare in only 180 generations, which is barely anything in evolutionary time.  In other words, complex structures can come about quite easily.  Other computer programs have proved just that, shooting down creationist probability arguments in an instant.

You know, creationists (particurally Kent Hovind) constantly complain that evolution caused the Holocaust, and that it’s the roots of immorality.  It’s a typical and easy to refute argument, but why not go a step further, and show that for all their claims of morality, super-right-wing “cartoonist” Jack Chick is actually just betraying the Christian community.  Take a look at the last panel from one of Jack’s tracts, The Gunslinger.

Ironic Morals

Ignoring the eerily Ku Klux Klan-like image in the picture on the right, take a gander at the main message of the panel: going to heaven is not a matter of good or bad.  Here’s my question: if Hitler or Stalin got saved, would they go to heaven?  According to Jack, yes.  What this panel says is that a lifetime of genocide, murder, and other assorted crimes against humanity can all be solved just by getting saved.  In my opinion, that isn’t very moral.

To cap this article off, let’s look at this comment that I approved very recently:

“You cannot assume that the rate of continental drift was the same throughout the earth’s history. You are forgetting the global flood and how destructive that event would have been.”

This is by a guy named Joe, and it was from Dooding=Intelligent Illustrator 3, where I say that assuming continental drift was constant, it would be impossible for the earth to be 6000 years old.  Joe is technically right-I was making an assumption.  But really, you think that the global flood caused continental drift?  There are two problems with that:

  1. It would be impossible for a global flood to pry apart plates and move the continents in that amount of time!
  2. Underwater earthquakes cause by quickly moving continents=tsunamis, which wouldn’t be very good for Noah’s Ark.

That’s all for now!  By the way, I recently dug up the mother load of Chick tracts!  It’s like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and most of them haven’t even been dissected by the Jabberwock yet, so expect some more reviews soon!

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Religion, Science, And The Great Pumpkin

What is creationism?  Is it purely religious, or does it have scientific implications?  I highly doubt the latter.  What is evolution?  Is it purely scientific, or does it have religious implications?  I highly doubt the latter for that one, as well, but creationists constantly claim that evolution is mostly just religious faith, and they use the classic, but awfully wrong, six types argument.  Basically, the argument states that Darwin’s theory of evolution comes in six different types:

  1. Cosmic Evolution-the origin of space and time, via the Big Bang.
  2. Chemical Evolution-the idea that chemicals evolved from just hydrogen.
  3. Stellar Evolution-the formation of planets and stars.
  4. Organic Evolution-the origins of life.
  5. Macroevolution-changes between kinds, like dinosaurs to birds.
  6. Microevolution-changes within species, like wolves to Mexican gray wolves.
And here, the creationists claim that science is observable, and since the first five can’t be observed, they aren’t scientific, rather religious in nature.  But there are two problems with this misconception:
  • First of all, the first four “types” of evolution don’t even fit into Darwin’s theory!  Evolution does not attempt to explain the origins of life, in particular, because natural selection requires animals to be present.
  • Second of all, just because you don’t see a Velociraptor turning into a condor on a day-to-day basis doesn’t mean that it isn’t observable anywhere!  It’s observable in the fossil record.  Just look at fossilized dinosaurs like Oviraptor displaying birdlike behavior, and the early bird Archaeopteryx, with its teeth and reptilian bone structure!
And also, what is your definition of religion?  A reasonable attempt to explain how natural causes gave rise to new species (but not the first ones?) is not at all religious.  If you ask popular evolution bloggers like Nick Matzke and PZ Meyers what their religion is, I guarantee that it will not be evolution.  So why do some creationists keep saying that evolution is religious in nature?

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