Zingrone: Scripture is Nothing but Pseudoscience

William Zingrone Associate professor of psychology

Richard Nelson, executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center based in Cadiz, Ky., wrote a letter to the editor in last week’s The Murray State News that included a number of Creationist claims including the following:

“Evolution has yet to explain where matter and energy come from and how living things spring from non-living matter.”

The sheer ignorance of that statement is breathtaking.

Before all my Christian friends and colleagues get their undies in a bunch that I just called Mr. Nelson ignorant, I didn’t. His statement is; he isn’t. He’s obviously an educated, articulate person. I did not denigrate his character, for all I know he’s a regular guy, good citizen and neighbor, family man, and might be a swell guy to go fishing with.

To lodge a complaint against evolution that it hasn’t explained matter and energy is like whining that the study of architecture has failed to explain the origin of feathers. Studying the genetic changes and relationships of living organisms can’t possibly enlighten us to the elementary particles of matter or why the vacuum energy of space isn’t zero. Evolutionary theory applies only to the changes through time of life as we find it on earth. The study of life’s origins is an entirely separate field; “abiogenesis” which addresses the transition from chemical self-organization to biological. Google it: fascinating progress is being made.

A few minutes in conversation, in person or by email with any of our University biologists or physicists would educate Mr. Nelson enough to know how absurd his statement really was. Or he could take an introductory class in biology or physics and see how the study of living things will never, could never explain the workings of any domain at a lower level of phenomena such as physics; matter, energy, elementary particles or their origins. He might just as easily spend a few hours on the Internet and educate himself to the ridiculousness of his complaint. Who convinced him to avoid or ignore knowledge he could easily access in less than a day?

He’s merely parroting absurd and ignorant Creationist sound bites like his additional claim that since Darwin “science has evolved into a worldview called scientism with evolution being a sacred tenet.” Evolutionary Theory is no more sacred than Gravitational Theory, the Germ Theory of Disease or Heliocentric Theory. They are all proven facts of modern science. It is absurd to deny them. More pointedly, Evolutionary Theory is no more “godless” or committed to a scientific worldview than those of gravity or germs. All scientific theories leave God out of the equations. God doesn’t enter into any of the mechanisms that explain our world any longer. Gravitational Theory and Heliocentric Theory, which place the sun at the center of our solar system attracting the planets in proportion to the inverse square of their distances, leave God out completely in explaining how the planets stay in their orbits.

People once thought that without God’s constant vigilance keeping the heavens running, the planets would come crashing down. No one gives that a thought nowadays, not even Creationists. I’ve yet to hear one diss “godless” gravity. Believers of all stripes assume their god is somehow behind it all without throwing out the science. Lastly, some reading of evolutionary psychology and comparative psychology and Mr. Nelson might discover how science is explaining the evolution of intelligence, morality and our “compassion and care for the sick and dying of total strangers” which he claims evolution is “completely silent” in explaining.

I personally invited Mr. Nelson to join my PSY 390 animal behavior class, in session now, which will expand into a comparative cognition and cognitive evolution seminar in April. He might discover a whole wealth of information that his Creationist teachers don’t want him to know, lest he become as educated as the majority of my Christian friends who have no more problem with evolution or the age of the earth than they do with germs, gravity, genetics or the shifting of the continents. Lastly, Mr. Nelson says science “cannot tell us what comprises the soul.” He’s probably got that right but won’t be too pleased with what modern knowledge has to say on that very old conjecture predating the Bible, going back to Greek, Egyptian, Eastern thought, for despite 3,000 years or more of wishful thinking and conjecture by religions and now 150 years of neuroscience there is absolutely no evidence of survival of any kind of mind, spirit, personality, essence, intelligence, what have you, beyond the death of the brain.

Creationism is the biggest lie ever perpetrated on the American public and you don’t have to give up one bit of your Christian faith to ignore its absurdities. Ken Ham and Ray Comfort’s extremist interpretations of scripture are nothing but pseudoscience. Mr. Nelson could learn that in less than a day.

 

Column by William Zingrone, Associate professor of psychology

11 Comments on "Zingrone: Scripture is Nothing but Pseudoscience"

  1. Well said. Thank you.

  2. You are a fool. Unlike Mr. Ken Ham, who does not understand the Genesis text, why don't you debate with me on the merits of evolution. You can present your (false) evidence that you think proves evolution to be (the only) explanation of the fossil record, and I will present the correct rendition of Genesis chapter one. Let the (neutral, or balanced) audience vote afterwards on which is the most sensible answer to the origin of life on Earth.

    A word of caution. Even Ken Ham, Dr. Hugh Ross, Bill Nye (the science guy), and NCSE have run from me, because I represent the truth of God's word, and the 4.6 billion year prehistoric history of Earth. Don't run and hide, or give excuses as all the rest have done.

    Herman Cummings
    ephraim7@aol.com

  3. Kent Alexander Martin | February 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm |

    That's some cute posturing you did there. Well played. Why would anyone waste their time "debating" your absurd pet theory?

  4. Herman, you got a high opinion of yourself dontcha? Creationists always go for the debate, like that proves anything or does any science. Give it up. You convince no-one by debate, Ken Ham didnt do himself or Creationism any good. Whatever twist you think you can draw out of old myths in Genesis borrowed from other cultures is your own delusion. I didn't say what the answer to the origin of life is, but there's some excellent work being done in abiogenesis as I said. I wouldnt waste my time with any debate, debates are bullshit. Whatever interpretation of Genesis you think trumps the hard work of 1,000 of scientists who admit right now we dont know, is your own bullshit You need to get over yourself. When anyone says they represent they know what god REALLY meant, I know they are fooling themselves. There prolly is no god , and if there was you or anyone else would never be able to prove they know what he's thinking. Have a good one.

  5. Herman, you got a high opinion of yourself dontcha? Creationists always go for the debate, like that proves anything or does any science. Give it up. You convince no-one by debate, Ken Ham didnt do himself or Creationism any good. Whatever twist you think you can draw out of old myths in Genesis borrowed from other cultures is your own delusion. I didn't say what the answer to the origin of life is, but there's some excellent work being done in abiogenesis as I said. I wouldnt waste my time with any debate, debates are bullshit. Whatever interpretation of Genesis you think trumps the hard work of 1,000 of scientists who admit right now we dont know, is your own bullshit You need to get over yourself. When anyone says they represent they know what god REALLY meant, I know they are fooling themselves. There prolly is no god , and if there was you or anyone else would never be able to prove they know what he's thinking. Have a good one.

  6. First, I don't debate. I present evidence. Second, atheists and evolutionists play the same game, by avoiding someone who understands the Genesis text, in order not to
    weaken the position evolution now holds. Why wouldn't any evolutionist tangle with me?
    Because they want to keep the truth from the masses, so all they will do is trash talk, instead of "putting up".

  7. Herman, First off right out of the box, you call me a fool, then you said "why dont you debate with me"…but now you don't debate. WTF? Do you even think about what you say? Thinking you can understand the Genesis text and draw some truth from it that actually applies to the real world is why no-one takes you seriously. Its a myth, borrowed form another culture, written by 3 different sets of authors and is the words of ignorant pastoralists from an obscure corner of the world: a backwards culture with no great philosophy, architecture, art, or literature and the morals of chimpanzees…its not the word of god. We will just keep plodding along with the science, you can do what you wish, but no-one will waste their time with another unfounded unprovable interpretation of scripture. Enjoy yourself.

  8. Kent Alexander Martin | February 25, 2014 at 4:11 am |

    Herman Cummings , alright, I've been reading some of your assertions on other sites today, as before I read your post I was unfamiliar with the meat of your arguments. After having read them, I have a few questions:

    1) Do you read Hebrew? (if no, there's no point to going onto question 2, you may skip to question 3)

    2) Which version of the B'reshith are you basing your claims on?

    3) Have you ever taken a course in biology above the K-12 level?

    4) What evidence do you have of an active cover-up by the scientific community?

    5) Have you ever submitted any of your research for peer review?

  9. Kent Alexander Martin | February 25, 2014 at 4:16 am |

    Herman, I'd also like to ask if you stand by this statement:
    "The proof of a Creator was given to us in Genesis chapter one. But unfortunately, the worlds of Creationism and Theology have badly misinterpreted the scriptures, and refuse to learn the truth. God was conveying the concept of geologic time, by revealing one day from seven different eras, and not in chronological order. This alone proves the Divine authorship of the text, because science didn’t discover geologic time until 3,000 years after Genesis was written. So put both creationism and evolution in the trash. Both are in error." Please take your time. I hope you understand that this is not an attempt to gallop you, but I have a lot of questions based on statements by you that I've read, and, frankly, they don't make a lot of sense so I'd like to get at what translation theory you're using for the B'reshith. Thanks!

  10. "Why wouldn't any evolutionist tangle with me?" Probably because you're bat-shit crazy.

  11. Excellent Article!

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