Friday, December 26, 2008

Pregnant Assertions and Non-Assertions

The following claims (and claims worded as questions) appeared on the web site of Rick Warren's megachurch as of a few days ago:

Eventually, I came to the conclusion, through my study of the Bible and science, that the two positions of evolution and creation just could not fit together. There are some real problems with the idea that God created through evolution ... Did the Bible teach evolution or did it teach the creation of a first man and woman named Adam and Eve? If we evolved, which human being would have made the choice that brought sin into this world? If Adam and Eve were just allegorical pictures, why did the New Testament place some much importance upon them as responsible and real individuals? Since God clearly says that it is our sin that brought death into our world, how could there have been death for billions of years before the arrival of the first man who sinned on the earth? As I asked questions about this issue and studied what the Bible had to say, I found it to be one of the greatest times of learning in my life as a new believer.
The page also makes fanciful assertions about dinosaurs and humans living together before Eve ruined everything by eating the wrong pear. Or perhaps until Noah absent-mindedly left them off the Ark.

As pregnant with nonsense as these assertions are, it's arguably more interesting to note that they've disappeared from the Saddleback web site, hence the need to fetch them from a google cache. How are we supposed to interpret their disappearance in the context of the controversy over Obama's selection of Rick Warren to participate in the inauguration?

Does Rick Warren no longer believe that Genesis should be read literally? Does he no longer believe that Eve and Adam saddled up dinosaurs and rode them over the plains of Eden? Does he now believe the earth is billions rather than thousands of years old? If so, has he said so explicitly? If so, what changed his mind? What accounts for his unexpected acceptance of science-based reality?

If not -- if he still believes the anti-science garbage that appeared on his megachurch's web site and attributed to its pastors, if he still considers the likes of this a scientific text -- why is he concealing the fact?

Is Rick Warren a scheming social climber or a faith-addled ignoramus? Of course it could be both.

(via Rust Belt Philosophy, which has more on this nonsense)

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