All entries for Monday 31 March 2008

March 31, 2008

Creationism Gets You Nowhere

The argument "God did it" is an intellectual dead end.

For example, if your answer to the question "How is fire created?" is "God does it" then that tells you nothing about how fire is created, and the chances of a prayer for fire yielding fire in a short enough time are very small.

If, however, you don't simply attribute fire to God, then the thought process may go something like this: Fire is hot; I can tell that by approaching it. Perhaps heat is required. How can I generate heat? When I'm cold I rub my hands together to warm them; rubbing obviously causes heat. My hands have never caught on fire; hands must not be able to create fire. Perhaps something that burns can create fire. Wood burns; what happens if I try rubbing two sticks together?

And so on.

"God did it" is only a problem if the entirety of your explanation is "God did it"; it is still possible to believe God made something if your next thought is trying to figure out how God made it work. For example: How is fire created? God does it. Through what mechanism does God create fire? Fire is hot; perhaps God uses heat to create fire. Fire is a useful tool; how can I generate heat to create fire? etc.

As I explained in an earlier post, there is no doubt in my mind that the Universe works as Science describes it. However, although I do not believe in God, if I did then I would believe he created the Universe with the intention that it functions as we have discovered.

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