After the glorious appearance of modern science we now “know” that we cannot read the Creation story as in any way factual to the first degree. To argue with these brethren before their hallowed secular masters will have been compelled to take a turn for the better may well be pouring water in a sieve. Creationists worthy of the name, from the cradle on conditioned to believe in the stereotyped cosmos of popular astronomical texts, may be wise to think twice, however, before they join the “Impossible” chorus of the Christian majority. They squarely differ from this majority with respect to botany, biology, and geology, but are less outspokenly fervent with respect to astronomy, in which discipline they save the appearances by means of an exegetical tour de force, together with fairly improbable and any way unprovable ad hocs. Question: why should the ruling paradigm in that oldest branch of natural philosophy still have any say whatsoever in Creation science? Behind its public facade it today hides a hodgepodge of far-fetched tentative models bristling with anomalies.(88) Just compare the data by means of which the evolutionists on the grandest cosmic scale build their models with those of the evolutionists in a narrower, Darwinian sense. The latter have at least deaf-mute bones they can examine and silent rocks they can analyze. The former have nothing outside their observatories but untouchables that cause their optical instruments to exhibit spectra and their radio telescopes to stutter clicks.
8. It is always possible to impress some clever pattern on random sets of givens. Biologists, constructing their genealogical trees, “show” in that manner how humming birds and crocodiles are distant relatives, and they expect us to swallow such cunning confabulations as testable actualities. In the same manner, but with even less solid observations to build on, astrophysicists discuss in their diagrams the life cycles of stars, their composition, and their distance from us. Why then do creationists soundly reject Darwin, but still kowtow to Copernicus? No man should serve two masters, should he?
9. I have as yet not been able to find one orthodox theologian willing to give me a serious hearing. This is something that in the beginning hurt me. Gradually, however, I have come to realize how it had to be expected. These people are so sure of the truth of their in the nature of things fallible dogmatical extrapolations from a Message they declare to be infallible in what it says, that apropos of nothing they excommunicate each other for almost any doctrinal difference. Small wonder that these theologians assume the articles of modern scientific faith to have the same kind of infallibility, which they take for granted in their own deductions from Holy Writ. People for whom the Bible is no more than a quaint old book, and who therefore have no interest in saving it at the cost of scientific knowledge, gladly admit that the Scriptures proclaim the preeminence of man in an Earth-centered Universe. To doubt or to deny it, they will affirm, is to wrench the meaning of the Genesis text. Before modern science raised its arrogant head very few called this truism in question. However, after Galileo we have to reconcile the geocentric structure that Holy Writ considers self-evident with the facts that for almost four centuries astronomy has professed to “know”, but today is no longer too pertinently sure of. This momentum-gaining turnabout in the philosophy of science theologians are not yet aware of and will surely be loath to take to heart, since such a new – in fact very old -concept of human knowledge cannot but begin to rattle the foundations of their dogmatic certainties also. Anyway: caught between a hard rock and an immovable place the defenders of the Infallible Word do with regard to Genesis 1:1-19 not shilly-shally: the literalness of that periscope is the loser. But the thing that baffles me to no end is that in relation to Genesis 1:11-13 and 20-31 the creationists among these theologians defend tooth and nail its literalness. Why this measuring by two standards?
It is here not the place to elaborate on such ambivalence, but behind it hides the vexed issue of anthropomorphisms in Holy Writ. “This is what the Word says, but we shall tell you what it means, for the Divine Author talks to us in the way a father talks to little children, who cannot really understand him yet” Thus, from Calvin on, the speakers not being such children, but they themselves being perfectly able to make clear to us what God could not make clear! Speaking about conceit…? With heliocentrism for many generations bred in the bone, and biological evolution, relatively spoken, a newcomer, a growing number of Christians again dismiss the latter. Why then that unwillingness to look at the outdated Newtonian world picture with a grain of doubt? Let alone to doubt the weird hypotheses secular astronomy had to betake itself to, now that picture has become untenable?
10. There are, but these beyond the restricted scope of the present paper, still at least three fields of enquiry left that may will come to play a part in future considerations with regard to a geocentric cosmogony and cosmology. Lingering at the fringes of the theological-exegetical free-for-all is the vexed issue of the Gospel written in the stars,(89) and the impetus of a restored Stellatum on that esoteric theme. Physically there remain the topics of a long-time stability of the Solar System, and the never absolutely laid to rest likelihood – which I take seriously! – of a non-Newtonian theory of gravity.(90).
11. Pascal, facing the inescapable outcome of a consistent Copernicanism, has said that the eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrified him. So did it me – until I became aware that there is not the slightest truly scientific reason or evidence to take the modern view of the cosmos seriously.
Thankful I am for the Eternal Word that ridicules the idea of mankind being no more than a freak occurrence in a boundless cold and dark void. Which idea, therefore and of course, has been, is, and will be contradicted by every ad hoc – less rational experiment.
- The Discarded Image Vindicated Experimentally
- The Bible is Not a Scientific Textbook