Skip to main content

Humanism, Creationism, Lies, and Jesus

Blinded by the Olympics and far enough away not to hear the noise many of us in the Antipodes will have missed the hue and cry in the United Kingdom over a creationist exhibit in the National Trust information cerntre for the Giant's Causeway. This prompts Andrew Brown to some interesting reflections.
Creationism isn't a kind of benevolent nonsense . . . It's malevolent, and it makes sense about society. It says that the bastards run the world, and they will lie and cheat and persecute to keep their power. Science is almost irrelevant in this context – certainly, no YEC can take seriously the idea that scientists are primarily motivated by the love of truth and so they cannot engage with science as it is actually practised. But it's not completely irrelevant. There is one myth of science that bears on creationist hatred. This is the claim that modern science shows that human beings don't matter. In one modern form, it says we don't even exist, that we're "vast lumbering robots built by genes" (Richard Dawkins) or "An animal infested with memes" (artificial intelligence philospher Daniel Dennett); in older forms it claimed that the individual was nothing compared to the race, or the species, or the universe as a whole.

The claim that ordinary, powerless people don't matter at all is central to our contemporary market economies, too. It is not just assembly line workers who are treated as machines. Increasingly, all of us are, even in jobs that once seemed skilled or really difficult. . .

If we are to change it, we need reasons and explanations, not just wants. And we can't get the reasons and explanations that we need without reaching outside science, and outside the market.

To the extent that creationists, too, are trying to do that, we should sympathise. The trouble is that their answer involves erecting a whole other structure of lies, with which we should not compromise.
Brown is referring to Young Earth Creationism by the unfortunate shorthand of Creationism, but he correctly diagnoses the problem with a reductionistic materialism and our market economy. What Brown doesn't point us to is where outside science and the market we are supposed to get what we need. Rather than creationism it is the Incarnation and Resurrection which for Christians gives each human being their unique and priceless worth. It is God's identification with us in the person of Jesus Christ which reveals what it means to bear the image of God (as opposed to squirrels, etc), and it is the hope of the Resurrection that proves our worth beyond any perishable part of the cosmos or quantity thereof. Please stop buying creation science magazines and instead start worshipping Jesus, then you will know the answer to the satanic dehumanising narratives of 21st century modernity.


  1. Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

  2. did you read my post or did you just want to post a link to your own blog?

  3. I have read your post and noticed in your reference to Andrew Brown, that he either has not read any context for his Dawkins or Dennett quotations, or is purposefully misleading his readers to think that Dawkins or Dennett would propose that "human beings don't matter."

  4. Hi Beau

    You are right they wouldn't say that, but it is the logical conclusion of a materialistic worldview.

    you might enjoy, or not, this


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

ANZABS 2018 program and abstracts

6-7 December, 2018

Venue: Wesley Hall, Trinity Methodist College,

202A St Johns Rd, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072

Thursday 6 December
10.00-10.10 – mihi
10.10-11.00 – Keynote speaker: Robert Myles – Fishing for Eyewitnesses in the Fourth Gospel
11.00-11.30 – Morning tea
11.30-12.00 – Lyndon Drake – Economic Capital in the Hebrew Bible
12.00-12.30 – Anne Aalbers – Resurrection and Celibacy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
12.30-1.00 – Jonathan Robinson – "And he was with the beasts," (Mark 1:13): Ambiguity,
Interpretation and Mark as a Jewish Author
1.00-2.00 – Lunch
2.00-2.30 – Ben Hudson – Ethical Exhortation and the Decalogue in Ephesians
2.30-3.00 – Csilla Saysell – The Servant as 'a covenant of/for people' in Deutero-Isaiah
3.00-3.30 – Afternoon tea
3.30-4.00 – Jacqueline Lloyd – Did Jesus minister in Gaulanitis?
4.00-4.30 – Mark Keown – Jesus as the New Joshua
4.30 – AGM
Friday 7 December
9.30-10.00 – Ben Ong – Pākehā Readin…

That one time Jesus got the Bible wrong

It's so typical isn't it? You are preaching all day long, training your disciples, sparring with the Pharisees, encouraging the poor and down trodden, healing the sick and casting out demons, all day, day after day, and even when you go up a mountain to get a rest the crowds hunt you down and follow you up, and then the one time you get a bit muddled up with some of the details of a biblical text . . . that is the one they write down in the first gospel - verbatim. At least Matthew and Luke had the good sense to do some editing. But Mark, he always had his eye on giving the public the "historical Jesus" whoever that is supposed to be . . . warts and all. Thanks a lot Mark!

Some think I made the mistake on purpose, just to show the Pharisees up.

For some there is no mistake worth mentioning, only a slightly ambiguous turn of phrase.

Others think I am doing something tricky with Abiathar's name, getting him to figuratively stand in for the priesthood.

It really has…

Updated Current Research and Book Reviews

So, my PhD must be going well because I have just spent the morning updating my blog pages for Current Research and brand spanking new Book Reviews page. But it is not just procrastination, it is good to stop and and get an overview.

I had totally forgotten about half the book reviews I had done on this blog, they go back to 2009! I am still working on writing the sort of reviews I really enjoy reading, but now that I'm regularly doing reviews for journals it is great to also review books on this blog where I have stylistic freedom and no space limitations. I had always hoped this blog would be a good source of free books, but while it was a source of free books they were not good ones. Reviewing for journals (as a PhD student) has been much better and is helping me keep my broader education going even as I delve deep into my PhD subject. Looking at my old book reviews helps me realise how far I have come. Hopefully, much growth as a blogger, scholar and human being (perhaps not i…