Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, October 09, 2006

Twenty Ways to Answer a Fool (pt. 8)

Is Christianity Anti-intellectual and Anti-Scientific?

It has been awhile since we took a look over Chaz Bufe's little tract outlining his 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity. I have under taken the challenge of responding to each one of Chaz's complaints against the faith. Previous posts on the subject can be located in the sidebar column.

With this entry, we come to the 8th reason why Chaz believes we all should lay aside Christianity as a viable worldview: Christianity, according the Chaz, is anti-intellectual and anti-scientific.

The claim of an anti-intellectual Christian faith is a common urban myth among those in the atheistic community. Just like the dummied up hoax images of "Israeli" bombed Red Cross ambulances that were eagerly embraced by Hizballah's useful idiots in the international media during the war this past summer, the images of dim witted, superstitiously gullible Christians with their fingers in their noses are regularly recycled among the atheists as being true. They love to draw the mental picture of all Bible-believing, fundamental Christians as being bare-foot, wild-eyed hillbillies who believe all science is of the devil and any college schoolin' is going to steal your salvation.

Chaz is no different. He too delights in laughing at these cartoonish characters he has drawn up of Christians. However, it is not really thinking for someone who prides himself as a "free-thinker." In fact, when it comes to ridiculing Christians, the concept of "free" is dropped by atheists and they all think with a herd mentality. That is because atheists find intellectual comfort with believing in a fantasy Christianity, because it allows them the ease of dismissing them out of hand as unworthy of engaging in meaningful debate. Think about it: if you believe your opponent is stupid and not worth the breath used to argue with him, you can be confirmed in your own belief without even uttering a word. But, this is truly a false assurance and reveals that atheists who imbibe such myths about Christians are just lazy. They don't want to do the serious work of establishing their claims of "anti-intellectualism" they attach to Christian believers.

Chaz's point is long and tedious, so I will leave it to the readers to check it out on their own but there are some general observations we can make:

First, Chaz again demonstrates his ignorance of history. He seems to believe that true science of any sort didn't come onto the scene until the Enlightenment in the 1700s. Moreover, he talks about the Renaissance period as if it were led by brilliant atheistic philosophers, all the while forgetting the bright lights of that time were all Roman Catholic monks for the most part. He raises the favorite example of Galileo, but if any one were to truly study the whole affair rather than taking on blind faith the atheistic mythos that has popped up in their popular literature, a person would realize that he wasn't the lone, scientific mind persecuted by the flat earth superstitious, but a man who was butting up against the accepted "scientific" community of the time. The academics persecuted Galileo more so than the Pope. Galileo is more akin to modern day ID proponents who are calling the Darwinian's evolutionary emperor naked.

Secondly, Chaz seems to forget that highly advanced societies like the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and even the Mayans if we hold them to the same standard, were religiously superstitious even more so than any Christian. Yet, they had these flourishing cultures featuring great engineering feats without the use of modern day technology like cranes and bulldozers. Interestingly, their engineering feats were designed to honor their gods in some fashion with either a temple or pyramid. How could that be if religion only darkens humanity to think irrationally as Chaz suggests. It makes me wonder what Chaz considers intellectual science.

Thirdly, the secular scientists that Chaz holds up as the great rescuers of humanity can be just as superstitious. The good many of Chaz's anti-religious, anarchist comrades, as well as academic elites, believe our government pulled off the terrorist attacks of 9/11. They genuinely choose to believe in a massive conspiracy rather than the facts. Moreover, they are the same crowd who are willing to believe the lie that the Iraq invasion was a move to enrich big oil companies like Haliburton. They will so embrace this fantasy notion that they become agitated to the point of violence if you point out the flaws of their "beliefs." However, probably my all time favorite secular superstition on the part of atheists is the belief in panspermia, or that life on earth came from some source outside the bounds of our planet either by a comet or extraterrestrial intelligence. Even the late Francis Crick, one of the two men who unraveled the DNA strand, believed this scenario to explain the complexity of life, rather than submit to what the Bible reveals of our Creator. Amazing how a hatred toward God leads an "intellectual" to embrace pseudo-science.

And then Fourthly, Chaz must not be aware of some of the more "anti-intellectual" comments coming from his side of the aisle. The way he carries on, you would think scientists are these humble individuals who honestly follow the evidence where ever it leads. Because the hard, scientific "evidence" supposedly points away from any idea of God and always disproves the Bible, there is no choice on the part of the serious minded intellectual but to separate religion from science; to place them into two compartments where never they shall interact. Hence, in order to be intellectual, you have to lay aside a belief in the Bible or your scientific endeavors will be ruined. Is that how these so-called intellectual really think? Consider some of my more favorite candid quotes from atheistic "scientists:"

Professor D.M.S. Watson, once a leading biologists and writer:

Evolution is a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.

Science writer Boyce Rensberger,

At this point, it is necessary to reveal a little inside information about how scientists work, something the textbooks don't usually tell you. The fact is that scientists are not really as objective and dispassionate in their work as they would like you to think. Most scientists first get their ideas about how the world works not through rigorously logical processes but through hunches and wild guesses. As individuals, they often come to believe something to be true long before they assemble the hard evidence that will convince somebody else that it is. Motivated by faith in his own ideas and a desire for acceptance by his peers, a scientist will labor for years knowing in his heart that his theory is correct but devising experiment after experiment whose results he hopes will support his position. [Rensberger, How the World Works, p. 17-18]

Then an all time favorite, Richard Lewontin, a fellow Marxist anarchist like Chaz, wrote in a 1997 The New York Review article,

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so-stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

Does it sound as though these scientists are being intellectual? Intellectual implies using the rational faculties of the mind. Is it rational to believe in something utterly absurd like non-living inanimate material gave rise to complex biological life just because the only option is to recognize a creator? Sure, the Church has had its share of superstitious beliefs over the years, to which those purveyors of superstition should be faulted and rebuked, but Marxist, anarchist atheists also have their superstitions that are equally anti-intellectual.

Next up: Christians and sex. wink, wink, nudge, nudge.



Blogger John Rush said...

Good post. If one follows the trend of the secularists, they are working extremely hard at making all religious values "illegitimate." To get this done, they have to use caricature and sloppy argumentation. But they are very good at what they do.


9:36 AM, October 09, 2006  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

The point is, only by pretending that Christianity is anti-scientific and anti-intellectual can certain atheists allow themselves the conceit that they, like Galileo, are smarter than the average person, and that the reason why they are in a minority is that most people are stupid.

Of course, this is somewhat less than true.

2:43 PM, October 09, 2006  
Blogger David said...

My cat's name is Mittens

11:15 PM, October 11, 2006  

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