Atheist Son Writes… The creationist creed

Dear Mum,

From the start of our discussions on the origin of species I have been trying to get you to state clearly and concisely your stance. My own statement appeared in my very first email, but it wasn’t until you answered a questionnaire I sent you that I have had any idea of what it is you believe. Your reply on March 12 was indeed very revealing, not just for its honesty, but also for the number of mutually contradictory answers you gave! Nevertheless I have attempted below to construct a statement of your beliefs on your behalf. So, based almost exclusively on your own answers to that questionnaire, here is what you believe:

The universe and life on Earth could have started anytime in the last 13.7 billion years so long as it was no earlier than 6 to 10 thousand years ago.

I reject the absurd notion that life evolved gradually through natural processes observable today. Instead, I know as a fact, because I feel really strongly about it, that every animal we see today was puffed into existence at once out of nothing. This includes dinosaurs which humans kept as pets.

While I cannot accept a species changing over generations due to selective pressures that directly affect its chances of survival, I find it perfectly acceptable that animals could be altered as god wills it, for example snakes growing vocal chords so that they can hold conversations with humans (see also talking donkeys, Numbers 22).

This god-imposed limit on inter-species intercourse to only the verbal kind means no species is related to any other species. In particular, I reject the insulting suggestion that I share a common ancestor with apes. Instead I hold the common sense view and far more respectful belief that all women, including myself, come from the left-over rib of a man that spontaneously appeared in a puff of dust.

Finally, I know all this to be a fact because I read it in the Bible. I know everything in the Bible is a fact because god said it is. I know god said it is because it says so in the Bible. There is no disputin’ that logic. Therefore no amount of evidence will ever change my belief in creationism.

Sound about right?

Love, reason and understanding,

Sam

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2 Responses to Atheist Son Writes… The creationist creed

  1. Joe de Kadt says:

    Hi Sam,

    Just writing to say how much I am enjoying this blog and to wonder at how the dialogue is developing between you and your mom? I know that a lot of what she is doing at the moment is copying and pasting from texts that she has been pointed to but I am seeing a wonderful possibility that she is beginning to develop the skills needed for critical thinking.

    I think that If there were only one skill alone that should be sponsored by a state education and compulsory to all members of society it should be that of Critical Thinking: a Course in the Philosophy of Truth, to be attended every single Thursday just before gym class until you decide you want to leave school. Every other class would be voluntary. Except for perhaps woodwork. Because Jesus was a carpenter.

    The great paradox about the internet is that it is beginning to take the magic (or superstition) out of the written word. With so much apparent information at our fingertips we must begin to take full responsibility for what we chose to believe. We have to all learn about the concept of source material and refer our proclamations of belief to testable hypotheses.

    I love your mom, she’s really putting in the effort. As are you. A+ to both of you. But Sam, please see me at the end of the class as your latest homework assignment is late. Again.

    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your comments and I apologise for the late reply. I update the blog as and when I get replies to my emails which often means lengthy breaks between posts. I’ll try to deliver my homework more promptly in future!

      I really like your points, especially about how classes in critical thinking should be part of the school curriculum. In my experience debating religionists of many faiths a lack of critical thinking seems to be the most common factor between them all. More often than not when they run out of objective arguments they always revert to quoting scripture as evidence with seemingly with no appreciation that it is the very truthfulness of these scriptures that is being questioned.

      In my most recent post I’ve decided to take your lead and initiate a discussion with my mum on the origin and accuracy of the bible as a source of evidence. My hope is it will allow me to slip in lessons on critical thinking. However, I’ve never tried this before so I’ve no idea where it will go. Hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

      Best,
      Sam

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