Saturday, July 20, 2019

Village atheist of the month award

The only reason I'm commenting on something this dumb is because Jeff Lowder thought it was worth retweeting. Now Lowder is actually one of the more intellectual atheists, so that shows you how low the bar is.

i) To begin with, this is at best a difference between history & science, not religion & science. So is the invidious comparison a knock against historical knowledge?

ii) Scientists do use historical notices about past sightings of comets, conjunctions, meteors, extinct animals, natural disasters, supernovae, &c. It's a false dichotomy to pit historical knowledge against science. By the same token, it's a false dichotomy to pit religion against science in that regard.

iii) Christianity isn't just based on ancient documents. Throughout church history, Christians claim to experience miracles, angelic apparitions, special providences, answered prayer, &c. Although not every report is credible, the evidence can't be discounted in advance.

iv) If, hypothetically, every Bible was destroyed, then hypothetically, God could miraculously recreate the Bible. So at best, the tweet only works on the assumption that Christianity is false. It creates no presumption that Christianity is false. Unless you already know Christianity is false, the tweet is fallacious, and if you already know Christianity is false, the tweet is superfluous.


  1. "If we burned every science book in existence, we could experiment & test our way back to the same conclusions."

    Prima facie, that'd only be guaranteed to work for empirical sciences. It wouldn't necessarily work for non-empirical sciences. For example, consider evolutionary theory. Here's what Ernst Mayr has said:

    "Darwin introduced historicity into science. Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science - the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain."

  2. As Steve pointed out, the tweet ignores the fact that much of the Bible is a record of history. And how do we know history outside of written documents? We dig it up of the ground - pottery, buildings, corpses. And this would still be there in the ground and in museums. Albeit now without any overarching narrative-explaining document to tie the events together.

    I dare say that if all memory of the Bible were erased, secular/anti-JudeoChristian archaeologists and historians might finally admit to conclusions from the physical record that they currently avoid - e.g. there was a Semitic population living in the Nile Delta under hardship, this population subsequently absconded amidst sudden mass deaths in the region, calling themselves the 'Habiru' they wandered into Canaan and conquered various cities including Jericho with its collapsed walls necessitating pleas for aid from Pharaoh as seen in the Amarna Tablets, following which they established a monarchy headquartered in Jerusalem under the House of Dawid.

  3. Ahh yes the old false dichotomy of science vs religion assertion. I guess he fails to understand that God created us to have dominion and to create (Genesis 1:26;28; 4:21), and this includes using science.

    Also his statement about if we burned all religious text we could know nothing about God is laughable. Does he not understand there are various arguments that Theist have put forward ie Moral arguments, Transcendental arguments etc? it seems he is not the brightest bulb in the box, that or he is just playing dumb.