Sunday, July 03, 2011
[the Jonestown victims - don't drink the Kool Aid]
In my experience, there are two primary arguments which atheists use to support their belief that the Biblical God does not exist and evolution created us.
The first, more logical however lesser known, is an argument from facts.
The fact is a something known as biostratigraphy. This is the discovery, about 1840, that fossils in sedimentary rock present themselves in distinct assemblages. There are for example fossil assemblages which include trilobites, other assemblages which include dinosaurs and so on. This seems to contradict the creation story in Genesis, which seems to imply that all life was created six thousand years ago and while some species have surely become extinct since then, any fossil strata should include modern day living species as well as any extinct ones. In fact, many strata, perhaps most, contain only extinct species of plants and animals.
The correct explanation for this is that these fossils represent remnants of earlier eras in earth's history, prior to Adam, as I have explained here. The facts therefore do not contradict the Torah.
The second, and more popular, argument for atheism is an argument from authority.
This argument states that if a vast majority of eminent, let's say Nobel prize winning, scientists, believe that a certain concept is true, then it is true beyond reasonable doubt and any rational person should be willing to literally bet his life, his afterlife, his family's lives, everything in this world and in any other worlds, on the truth of that concept. This applies even if the concept appears to be absurd, even if the scientists are not able to provide convincing evidence supporting the concept to a layman and even if there is a clear self serving reason for the scientists to promote the concept. Therefore evolution must be accepted as a fact and the Bible rejected as a myth, even though evolution is clearly nonsense and even though scientists clearly have a strong interest in discrediting the Bible and endorsing evolution, because by doing so they negate the influence of the clergy and promote themselves as being society's most important intellectuals. They are no longer merely studying God's handiwork while the theologians study God Himself; rather now scientists are unraveling the secrets of the universe while the clergy are simply liars or idiots.
Of course, if someone is willing to set aside his own critical thinking and blindly embrace anything taught by the "great leaders", he could just as well have followed Jim Jones into his suicide pact.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 8:08 PM