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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Logical Argument

Religion, and specifically, the brand of Evangelical Fundamentalistic Christianity expoused by Ray Comfort is based primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown (Death without salvation) and partly the wish to feel that you have a kind of loving father (Jesus), who will stand by you in all your troubles and answer your prayers.

Ray claims to have the authority to preach this gospel based on his interpretation of the Bible. An argument based solely on his concept of Biblical inerrancy. Such biblical inerrancy is only supported by the Bible itself. In other words, Ray claims that the Bible is the "Word of God", and the only evidence supporting this is that the Bible itself claims to be the "Word of God". This is merely circular reasoning, not a logical argument.

I present a logical argument that the Bible is nothing but a childish collection of stories. The most childish is the story of the global flood.

Looking at this fable only from a geological point of view, one would realistically expect at least a scant amount of geological or natural evidence for a global flood if the supernatural catastrophe took place, but the signs overwhelmingly point to the contrary. The flood should have created a massive extinction along the floors of the oceans. Likewise, millions of land organisms that would have certainly been victimized by the flood would also have deposited a large layer of terrestrial fossils. Of course, neither one of these evidential necessities is apparent.

Miles of coral reef, hundreds of feet thick, still survive intact at the Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The violent flood would have certainly destroyed these formations, yet the rate of deposit tells us that the reefs have survived for over 100,000 undisturbed years. Similarly, the floodwaters, not to mention the other factors leading to a boiling sea, would have obviously melted the polar ice caps. However, ice layers in Greenland and Antarctica date back at least 40,000 years.

Impact craters from pre-historical asteroid strikes still exist even though the tumultuous floodwaters would have completely eroded them. If these craters were formed concurrently with the flood, as it has been irresponsibly suggested, the magnificent heat from the massive impacts would have immediately boiled large quantities of the ocean, as if it wasn’t hot enough already. Like the asteroid craters, global mountain ranges would exhibit uniform erosion as a result of a global flood. Unsurprisingly, we witness just the opposite in neighboring pairs of greatly contrasting examples, such as the Rockies and Appalachians.

Even if we erroneously assume there to be enough water under the earth’s surface in order to satisfy the required flood levels, the size of the openings necessary to permit passage for a sufficient amount of water would be large enough to destroy the cohesive properties of the earth’s crust. However, the outer layer is firmly intact, and there’s no evidence indicating that it ever collapsed. All this hypothetical escaping water would have greatly eroded the sides of the deep ocean fissures as well, but no such observable evidence exists for this phenomenon either.

We can obtain additional geological evidence suggesting that there will never be records discovered for this particular global flood by examining fossil deposits via radiometric dating. We know that isotopes, specific forms of chemical elements, will naturally convert to other isotopes over time. The rate at which they undergo this change depends on the concentration of the original isotope.

Results from this radiometric dating method unambiguously indicate that many of the less complex fossils are billions of years old. This realization drives a painful thorn in the Creationist hypothesis that attempts to explain how the flood deposited the fossils only a few thousand years ago. Furthermore, time has also neatly separated the earth’s fossils into distinct layers according to their radiometrically determined age. In fact, there has never been a verifiable instance in which two fossils discovered in the same layer were dated appreciably different. Even if we entertain the possibility of the fossils being deposited by the biblical flood, the field of fluid mechanics tells us that the smaller fossils of less complex, more primitive life forms would not sink as fast as the larger fossils, yet the remains of these tiny creatures are the sole occupants of the basement layer because they obviously settled millions of years prior to the deposition of fossils belonging to more complex, more recent life forms.

We can also observe algae deposits within the fossil layers, a phenomenon that could not have formed during the flood because they require sunlight to thrive. It’s quite reasonable to assume that the clouds would have thoroughly obstructed the sunlight during such a tremendous rain indicative of the flood. Setting aside this and all other known fossil inconsistencies with the Bible, archaeologists have found human footprints within the upper layers. Moving water simply could not have deposited these markings. This seemingly endless list of just the geological problems was completely unforeseeable to the primitive authors, thus the Bible offers no justifications or explanations for our discoveries.

If there is such gross factual error in just this one bible story, how can anyone claim Divine Authority and inerrancy for the rest of the Scriptures?

With these and other ongoing discoveries, the outdated concepts of revealed religions must eventually join the other mythologies on the scrapheap of theism. (Sorry all you Thorists and Zuesists)

A good world needs real knowledge, kindliness not predicated upon eternal punishment, and real courage of modern thought; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.


  1. ...therefore I'm not a Raytard?

  2. Ben, that last paragraph summed it up beautifully.

    I know some otherwise fundy Christians who do not believe the flood story or the creation story to be literally true and it doesn't seem to affect their faith at all that these things are myth.

    To me, people who must believe every single bit of the Bible in order to make their faith 'true' seem like they have a very fragile faith and a very fragile God.

  3. Can you tell who it is?.......

    A certain fundie of note
    Was fond of the Bible to quote
    His views were absurd
    (All who heard them concurred)
    And he failed to make sense when he wrote

    His acolytes never once doubted
    the truth of the words that he spouted
    So he boldly told lies
    In his christian guise
    And his products he shamelessly touted

    On his blog the mere hint of a breast
    To our man was a difficult test
    "I cannot be trusted
    I saw it and lusted
    You're a hussy and slut I suggest"

    "Evolution is evil" - he's happy to tell
    how scripture explains our origins well
    "Your Darwin's a fraud
    I believe in the Lord
    And your all on a handcart to hell"

    We're told of the torments to come
    Unless we repent and succumb
    to the drivel we're hearing
    And be more god-fearing
    and sheepish and blinkered and dumb

    His christian pretence is the hardest to take
    He tells us our atheist souls are at stake
    But it's abundantly clear
    That this god we're to fear
    Is endorsed by a charlatan fake

  4. Actually, that's difficult to narrow down, but I guess... Ray Comfort.

  5. Zounds.

    That was magical.

    The last bit is a Bertrand Russell quote, right?

  6. Jaser, that completely deserves its own post on the main blog.

    Major genius points.

  7. Kelly R-

    Yes, you get a gold star!

    My post was based upon, and expanded on the the conclusion of the essay "Why I am not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell.

  8. Jaser-

    I'm going to put on my editor hat here for a moment, if you don't mind.

    2nd stanza, 4th line, needs 6 syllables. "in his Christian disguise"

    3rd stanza, 5th line, needs 10 syllables - how about -
    you're a hussy and slut" he suggested

    and change from hancart to Highway to Hell (more topical)

    Its your piece, no changes required, just trying to help.


  9. Very good post. Counters all of the arguments creationists bring up often. (Turbulent waters mixed up the fossils is my favorite) Hopefully someone on the fence who read Ray's blog will be swayed by this.

    For those on the crazy side of the fence, though, they'll try to refute it with the "with God anything is possible" cop-out. It's funny how they oppose science at every chance they can, yet if there was demonstrable proof of the Christian God which was obtained through entirely accurate scientific means, they would embrace it.

  10. I can't help but agree with everything in your post. But the fundies really do have an unassailable (and unfalsifiable) answer for every single point you've made:

    God created everything 6000 years ago, and made it look much older.

    Of course, you and I both know that if this God really DID want us to know he exists, there'd have been no need to con humanity into thinking otherwise.


    Digging the doggerel!

  11. Excellent post Benjamin Franklin! I'd say that you missed many other great flaws in the flood myth but I realize that nobody would have long enough of an attention span to read them all. As a matter of fact there might be enough material to write a book on the subject!

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

  12. atomic chimp-

    You are absolutely right.

    I prefaced this part by saying that these are just the geographical reasons the flood story makes no sense.

    Of course there are the physical aspects, ie. volume , pressure, & temp of so much water...

    The biological reasons...

    The anthropological reasons...

    The archeological reasons...

    the theological reasons...

    But, if people are absurd enough to actually believe that some words mumbled over a cracker by a man in a dress cause that cracker to become the physical body of Christ, Then it's not that much of a stretch to for people to believe that God killed approximately 11 million people, all the fish, all the plants, almost all the birds, almost all the animals, almost all the insects, all because

    "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain."

    Is this the same God that after his six day gig said "It is good"?

    Talk about getting it wrong. What kind of omnicient, omnipotent Deity fucks it up that badly?

    That's like my kid coming home after taking a test, saying "I did really good", only to find out he got a 64. I don't expect that from my kid, why in hell should I expect if from God?

  13. Benjamin F,

    Yes I agree 'Highway to Hell' is better.
    My pronunciation of Christian has three syllables though.
    Do you think I'd get it posted over at AC? worth a try?


  14. Jaser-

    It's worth a try, I'd say odds are less than 50-50 of it getting through moderation.

    You do need to capitalize Hell and God, though

    and your in the last line of the 4th stanza should be "you're"

    Sorry if I come off as a grammar nazi.

  15. Benjamin F,
    No apology necessary - I majored in English, so have no excuse.


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