One of the greatest thrills I’ve experienced as a podcast host is “listener mail”. It is an incredible feeling to have listeners of the show write and ask for advice; provide commentary and feedback; ask questions; correct mistakes (many…); and so on.
With that said, I also receive creationist ‘semi-spam’, from both Christians and Muslims, which I find myself unable to respond to without a certain amount cynicism. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome mail from anyone and everyone on just about any subject, but what I meant by ‘semi-spam’ is basically ‘copy & paste’ blanket emails that act as a script filled with unfounded rebukes to atheism. Most of these rebuke emails contain very little thought and even less punctuation and proper grammar.
Here is my ‘copy & paste’ response to these emails:
Dear [insert name],
Many thanks for taking the time to send an email to ImaginaryFriendsShow@gmail.com, we greatly appreciate the effort necessary to copy and paste your questions from an online forum into the body of your email. It shows you care! That said, I’m curious as to why you have chosen to send an email to me, instead of those people who actively and directly contradict your ideology.
What I mean by this, [insert name], is that I, and my non-theistic pals, DO NOT assert that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. Nor do we assert that the universe is 13.7-15 billion years old. We are not responsible for the assertion that the universe came in to being by completely natural means (i.e. without any influence or interjection from a supernatural source), and we do not assert that no god that humans have previously, or currently believe in are any more plausible than the assertion that a copy of Darwin’s On The Origin of Species is currently in orbit around the Earth.
These are the findings of the most intelligent physicists, geologists (and geophysicists – which IS a different field), astrophysicists, astronomers, biologists, zoologists, chemists, anthropologists, archaeologists, etc. that the world has ever hosted. Their findings are based on mountains of supporting evidence and confirmatory experimentation which has been amassed and accumulated since the Enlightenment.
So, the logical question, [insert name], is, why is creationism not viewed scientifically derived theorem? The answer to that, dear [sir/madam] is that the ‘supporting evidence’ for creationism is the bible, a text that is full of scientific claims, which, once tested, prove to be false.
Consider the following. In Genesis, God creates light, and then later that week creates the stars, which are the source of all light and heat in the universe. He also creates the plants and animals prior to creating the ‘stars in heaven’, which, as I’m sure you’re aware, all plants (and thus animals for the food chain) rely on for photosynthesis.
There is, unfortunately, no evidence to support the belief that a benevolent creator played any role in humanity’s rise to supremacy on this planet. Furthermore, the evidence which directly contradicts the view of both creationism and so called ‘intelligent design’ is insurmountable and suggests, without any bias, that the universe formed naturally and that a process of evolution, by way of natural selection, is responsible for our existence. A great experiment, which replicated the early environmental conditions of planet earth, found that after only a very short time, the most fundamental building blocks of life, amino acids, formed in great abundance – google the Miller-Urey experiment for further detail.
With that said, another phenomenon which appears to be a completely natural product of natural selection and our evolution on this planet, is the human propensity for belief in the supernatural. It seems that for the past 70,000 years – likely longer, but we’ll go by what we have evidence for – anatomically modern humans have been playing a real life game of connect-the-dots. Certainly, the proclivity to place ‘the supernatural’ and ‘god(s)’ at the fore of everything we can’t explain is something undeniably human.
As humans learned to interrogate and interpret the universe they found themselves within, however, the places where ‘the supernatural’ and ‘god(s)’ could hide became ever smaller. Now, with our sophisticated technology and insatiable thirst for knowledge, there really is nowhere left for a god to hide, and yet, there still remains no evidence of such things. Of course, absence of evidence does not necessitate evidence of absence, but it certainly does imply it.
Nonetheless, you didn’t write to me for evidence, did you? No. You wrote to me because you’re trying to save me from ending up in hell; the place where all non-theists end up when they die. Well, while I admire the sentiment, I’ve always found it odd that Christians don’t seem to realise that the Jewish books, the books of the Old Testament, the books that contain the laws that Jesus professed that he came to fulfil, contain no mention of heaven, or hell.
So, it’s worth asking yourself the question; if Jesus didn’t write anything in the New Testament, and none of the New Testament was written until well after Jesus had died (theological fact, not atheist propaganda), and if Jesus claimed to fulfil the Old Testament and not to change anything, why are you denying science in order to go to a place that Jesus didn’t believe in?
You are not inhibited by a lack of intellect, this much is clearly evident in your writing (though I implore you to use punctuation in future), so why not go and do the work, instead of questioning those who simply follow the evidence? Read a text book. Do a biology or physics degree. Read a popularised science book. Make love to a librarian.
Believe me, if you found god’s “signature in the cell” (a book by Stephen Meyer which asserts, without evidence and in direct spite of contrary evidence, that everything has been ‘intelligently designed’) and had the evidence to back it up, you’d have a Nobel Prize and billions of adoring fans. A couple of scientist friends of mine (one in molecular genetics, the other in microbiology) have remarked on the amount of money awaiting them if they forsook the evidence and wrote a book supporting intelligent design or creationism. And that is the point.
In order to believe in creationism, in intelligent design, or a similar motif, you must stand at the foot of the mountain of evidence and ignorantly, gouge our your eyes, cut out your auditory nerves, remove your hands and feet (lest you learn brail) and lobotomize all parts of your brain which cause you to question.
Why? Matthew 18:9 “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.”
Before I go to get my morning coffee, please, let me invite you to refute and rebuke me on my podcast, the ImaginaryFriendsShow.com Podcast. Send me another email and we’ll hook it up, in person or via skype.