Not long hence, a man in a car uploaded a rant to YouTube about matters with which he was remarkably ignorant, yet, somehow also passionate.
Then, about a BILLION other people saw this and decided to do exactly the same thing. One of those people was Matt Walsh. His rant was about the perplexing stupidity of Young Earth Biblical Creationists, and it did a very good job at illustrating some key logical errors. Specifically, it showed how a bewildering majority of people attacking Creationists seem to have NO IDEA what it is we actually believe. As Matt goes on his tirade, he shows, over and over, that he has no idea what Creationists think, and also that he has not taken any time to think about what HE thinks about what they think, which they don’t.
I hope you followed that, because I am not going over it again.
So to help you, my friends, I thought I would address some of the recurring issues that are frequently part of these tirades against Creationists, and help correct what seems to be a mountain of misconceptions. Having said that, I realize I will be only dealing with the tip of the iceberg, but one must start somewhere.
1. Creationists are LITERALISTS.
This criticism/bit of name calling is rarely defined with care, but along the line you learn that people think that this means that Creationists say, “The Bible SAYS it, so it MUST be LITERALLY TRUE!” Right off the bat, this almost makes sense, as we begin by arguing that Genesis 1 SAYS God made the heavens and the earth in six consecutive days, resting on the 7th, and thus, we argue, that it means what it ACTUALLY SAYS. But then you realize that these critics intend to say that this is our position with EVERY PART OF THE BIBLE. So when we read the Psalms, we insist that God IS a shepherd and a shield and a rock and a fortress and a bunch of other things. Because, it is assumed, we are too stupid to understand that there is more than one literary genre. And, it is also assumed, we have NEVER CONSIDERED the idea that ANY part of the Bible could possibly be anything other than literal history.
I think I can answer this argument by saying, we are NOT this stupid, and we did stay awake in Freshman English long enough to learn that there is more than one form of literary genre. Thank you for asking.
A subset of this argument is the word “DAY” in Genesis 1. When it says “The first DAY”… what does it mean by DAY? And despite the fact that Creationists have explained this ad nauseam in every possible media for DECADES, people like Matt Walsh have NO IDEA what it is we think about the matter. He insists, as many others do, that we have decided that DAY (Yom in the Hebrew) can’t mean anything OTHER than a normal day, end of discussion. What they miss is the MILLIONS of times a Creationist- myself included- has spoke or written on the reasons why the context demands this plain, simple reading even though we know that YOM, like “Day” can mean something other than a literal 24 hour period. We do know that.
Let me give an example of the argument in a nutshell: “She broke my heart.”
Is this claiming a form of pulmonary injury where in a chest wound caused the primary blood pumping organ to be torn physically asunder? No. And how do you know that? Because you speak American English well enough to know that NO ONE ever uses this phrase to mean a literal attack on and damage to the heart organ. Conversely, when we hear “He died of Myocardial infarction,” we do not think, “Oh, his girlfriend must have broke up with him and he needs to be cheered up.” We think, “He gone.” Similarly, when we say Genesis 1 means DAY when it says DAY, its because of the context and the HUNDREDS of other times it is used in similar ways throughout the Old Testament, and the complete lack of the use of YOM in the Genesis 1 way to mean anything else anywhere in the Old Testament.
Or in country music, except for Luke Bryant’s “She done given me Myocardial infarction,” which is a much better song than the critics gave it credit for.
2. Genesis is NOT a Science Text Book
We don’t say that it is.
In all the years I have read or watched or listened to Creationists I have NEVER HEARD ONE OF THEM suggest that the literary genre of Genesis is: Science Textbook. We say Genesis is a historical account which is scientifically accurate. This is our way of saying, “Hey, you know how Genesis 1 says God made the world in six days? We think it means that, and what’s more, we think its true.” We do not now and have never said nor implied that Genesis is a science text book. Please stop saying that.
3. Creationists reject ALL of Modern Science
I have gotten used to hearing this from atheists and I have assumed that it is the result of a combination of drug use and blunt force trauma to the head, so when I heard this nonsense come out of Matt Walsh, who I still assume to be of at least average intelligence and learning, I was startled. Let me sum this up:
No. What we reject is INTERPRETATIONS and MODELS which have, at their foundation, atheism and a rejection of the Bible. We do not pretend that facts don’t exist, and we don’t disparage any scientific field of study.
But all one has to do is THINK About this criticism for ONE MOMENT and you should see how AMAZINGLY STUPID it is. If I were to ask you to make a list of things observed or discovered by “Modern Science” what would it contain? Photos of the surface of Pluto and its moons? The existence of Exo-planets? Quantum Electrodynamics? The Microwave Oven? WiFi? Touchscreen? The existence of the Unicorn?
Of which of these, or of THOUSANDS of other scientific discoveries, observations, or inventions, do you think Creationists look at and say, “Nope! THAT is not compatible with the Bible.”? Because the actual list is short: Evolution, Deep time, Big Bang, and human life being created by aliens from a distant galaxy as taught on the Discovery channel- none of which are scientific discoveries or observations, by the way.
4. Dinosaurs Lived with PEOPLE?
I have actually had someone comment on my own blog- the one you are reading now- that the reason Creationists believe humans and dinosaurs lived together is because we watched the Flintstones when we were kids and we thought it was a documentary.
This is the level of intellectual attack against Creationism we are forced to deal with on a regular basis.
Matt Walsh seemed OFFENDED at this idea- people and dinosaurs TOGETHER?!! But like every other attack against Creationism, he did not explain WHY. Of course I know as well as anyone else that Bill Nye insists (and rather loudly) that Dinosaurs went extinct 65 MILLION years ago, and so dinos and peeps together should be impossible. What I have NEVER heard anyone explain is WHY They think Dinosaur went extinct 65 million years ago. Can someone explain this to me? This is asserted as if it is as plain as the nose on your face, but I can’t remember ever hearing a single person say why we should think this is true. People just say it in the casual manner which you would say, “Today is Tuesday” and then they change the subject.
Our case is simple- the Bible says God created land animals and people on day 6. This means we were made on the same day. And it seems that every culture which ever existed has recorded the existence of VERY large reptiles, under a lot of different names- frequently “Dragon,” and depicted and described them often to be matched to dinosaur species we believe- on account of the fossils- to have actually existed. The earliest dictionaries listed Dragons as “Now Rare.”
The point is this- in order for this claim of Creationists to be debunkable, you have to show that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for dinosaurs to have lived at the same time as people. It is not enough to simply assert it as a fact and call it “science.” And obviously one cannot prove that, as can be evidenced from the large and growing list of “Living Fossils” which live on every part of the world.
Now, in defense of his attack against creationists, Walsh tells us (without naming any names) that Creationists have told him that dinosaurs never existed, and that either God or Satan (Depending on which Creationist you talk to, apparently) put fake bones of non-existing creatures in the ground to test us. Or tempt us. Or, give us something to sell in museum gift shops. All of this is a little unclear to me.
I have heard rumors of these people for many years, but I have never heard FROM one, or even heard one named. If you know of ANY self professing Creationist who thinks this about Dinosaurs, then PLEASE let me know who they are and how to find them. In the mean time, please let Matt Walsh know that the majority of Biblical Creationists do not think this, and can’t name anyone who does.
I realize that this is only four major topics, and it seems I may have to make this a regular series, but I hope I have begun to chip away at the giant pile of ignorance which has built up on social media thanks to drunk atheists and lazy Christians of many persuasions. If you have questions, or if you actually know the name of one of those people who think Dinosaurs never existed, please let me know. In the mean time, I’m off to watch my favorite documentary series, “Scoobie Doo,” based on the Scientific textbook of the same name.