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Saturday, February 11, 2006
Religion, Critical Thinking and The Beginning
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:17 pm

I am a religious person. Indeed, by most standards I would be considered quite conservative, religiously speaking (although that, in and of itself, is a whole other conversation).

However, things like this are utterly appalling to me. That they aren’t appalling to more of my coreligionists is also, well, appalling.

First off: I have never fully understood why divergent views on the origins of the universe get so many people in an snit. Is the message of Jesus Christ, or the central tenets of the Christian faith vitiated if a certain version of the origins of the earth and the human species turn out to be accurate, even if they aren’t recounted verbatim in Genesis?

It makes no sense.

For that matter, why do so many Christians want to to treat the Bible as though it is some sort of science text book that contains everything there is to know about everything. That hardly seems to be its purpose. Speaking of Genesis, for example, is the central message of the first chapter really about the length of time that God used to create the universe, or about more fundamental truths about God and His relationship to creation and, specifically, to human beings?

And the dialog reproduced in the link to Althouse above is not any better than a round of “I know you are, but what am I” from those wistful bygone days of third grade debate. It seems to me that it is more teaching children how to be smart alecs in class, rather than teaching them to think about complex issues.

The original newspaper story that formed the basis of the Althouse post was from the LAT: Their Own Version of a Big Bang.


  1. […] 1, 2006

    One of My Favorite Quotes
    By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:29 pm

    The prior post, and specifically the stuff I linked to from Althouse, made me think of my favorite moment from Bla […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » One of My Favorite Quotes — Saturday, February 11, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

  2. “I have never fully understood why divergent views on the origins of the universe get so many people in an snit.”

    For the same reason Pope Urban VIII’s Inquisition sentenced Galileo to life imprisonment in 1632-factual scientific evidence can disrupt socially-accepted bases of power.

    Comment by Mifod — Saturday, February 11, 2006 @ 6:00 pm

  3. I agree with you 100%! Are you sure you’re not a closet Episcopalian? Just checking. ;)

    Comment by Jan — Saturday, February 11, 2006 @ 6:54 pm

  4. Well said, Dr. Taylor — especially what you say about treating the Bible as if it were a science textbook. There’s so much that human beings have learned and discovered and become able to do in the thousands of years since the Bible was written, I don’t see how it can be reasonable to reject a technology or scientific theory just because it’s not mentioned in the bible.

    I suppose if one believes that God literally wrote the Bible, then one would believe that God knew everything that humans would learn in the future.

    I just don’t subscribe to that view of God. And I do believe that God exists.

    We probably don’t agree on much else politically, but on this we do. Thanks for challenging this ignorance.

    Comment by Kathy — Saturday, February 11, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  5. Right, Steven. You may indeed be a conservative religiously , but these people referred to in that article are not conservatives. They are reactionary boors.

    Comment by Matthew — Sunday, February 12, 2006 @ 9:47 am

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