Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a premise to be true. Belief is closely related to faith that is confidence in a person, deity, or religious dogmata absent of facts. Faith is often a synonym for hope, and hope is relevant to any discussion of religion because without a shred of proof a religion’s dogma is true, its adherents can only hope they are not being deceived by teachings with no basis in fact. Young children believe a kindly senior citizen from the North Pole who makes an overnight visit to every child on Earth, and even as they start suspecting Santa Claus is a myth they still hold out hope he is real. Obviously hope, belief, and faith are no substitutes for facts, and yet there is a large segment of Americans that contend without reservation their religious beliefs are immutable and unquestionable truths uttered from their deity’s lips.
The ongoing, and one-sided, battle between creationist Ken Ham of “Answers in Genesis” notoriety and highly-regarded astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson of Fox’s Cosmos is humiliating for America because Ham typifies the right wing evangelical Christian ignorance founded on ancient mythology. Dr. Tyson is not involved in Ham’s battle because one thing he likely learned early in life is that it is futile for a scientist to dialogue with religious fanatics who base their arguments on factless faith. Each episode of the scientific series brings a new charge from Ken Ham, and it is apparent that his primary target is not Neil deGrasse Tyson or Cosmos, but science itself.
Each week without any “answers in Genesis” to support his claim that Cosmos and Tyson are wrong about the Universe, age of the Earth, or why evolutionary theory is fact, Ham resorts to Republicans’ Koch brother tactic of questioning the veracity of scientists. If Ham could find the “answers in Genesis” he claims repudiate science or Neil deGrasse Tyson’s empirical data to back up facts supported by peer-reviewed scientific research, he certainly would have presented them by now. Despite offering no facts to support his creationist sophistry except “bible,” it has not stopped Ham from weekly assertions that science is fraudulent because, like every good scientist, Tyson readily admits science, by nature, is an evolving process and does not have all the answers. That is the primary difference between science and devotees of the creation myth; creationists claim to have all the answers because god.
After the first Cosmos episode, creationists led by Ham demanded the program give equal time to young Earth creationists who were livid that Tyson dared assert the Universe and life on earth started without god. Of course, giving the ignoramus sect parity with a leading scientist to promote their absurd contention that all Americans need to know about the cosmos is that in less than a literal week Christianity’s deity created the Universe, Earth, as well as life. Maybe the program’s creators should have given Ham a very, very short segment to expound how the Universe came into being in six days if for no other reason than exposing the bible creation story for what it really is; an inconsistent child’s fantasy.
Generally, an answer is a reply to a question that is relevant to the said question, and since Ken Ham represents about half the American population clinging to the Genesis creation myth, it is worth summarizing the creation story to expose its inconsistency with itself. Ham and about 150-million Christian Americans take it on faith the answer to how the Universe and life on Earth came into being is in Genesis, but it is likely they never read farther than “In the beginning, god created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). If they read all 21 verses in Genesis chapter one, they would comprehend why they are the subject of ridicule for claiming science is an abomination and the creation myth is an immutable truth.
According to answers in Genesis, on day one god created heavens and Earth and said, “Let there be light” and divided light from darkness and called the light day, and the darkness he called night. On day two, god made the firmament in the midst of the waters and divided the waters under the firmament and above the firmament, and god called the firmament heaven in spite of already creating heaven on day one. On day three, god said “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” He called dry land Earth and the waters seas, and while he was at it he created vegetation.
On day four there are more recreation events where god said, “Let there be lights to divide the day from the night; God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day (Sun) and the lesser light to rule the night (Moon).” He made stars as well that, like the day and night on day one, were already created as part of “the heavens and Earth” and divided the light from the darkness he called day and night. On day five, god said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”
On day six, it appears god recreated day five’s “every living creature” and “created man in the image of god he created him; male and female.” According to “answers in Genesis,” god rested on the seventh day, but he should have kept working because in Genesis 2 it says, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And god blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it he rested from all his work which god had created and made.” But in verse seven, god recreated “man of the dust of the ground, breathed into him the breath of life that made him a living being.” Later in verse 21, god remade the woman from one of the man’s ribs and it begs a question the “answers in Genesis” never answers; why did god create man and woman, day and night, heaven and Earth twice?
The truth is that it does not matter one iota what the bible creation myth says, or that 46% of Americans believe it is factual. However, it does matter that men like Ham, the Koch brothers, and Republicans use the ancient bible mythology to deny science that is having a deleterious effect on the whole of humanity. There is no difference between Ham challenging Neil deGrasse Tyson by sowing doubt about science with no “answers in Genesis,” and the Koch Republicans who spending millions in advertising questioning the validity of the overwhelming majority of scientists’ assertions that global climate change is real and poses an existential threat to mankind. Neither the Kochs nor religious fanatics like Ham ever present valid arguments to prove their positions because they do not exist, and they clearly understand that a tragically large segment of the population will reject science for irrational belief because god and bible.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is doing America a great service by attempting to educate the population about science and how it has taken humanity from believing religion has the only answers to dispelling every religious preconception men in positions of power still use to control superstitious people into supporting them as they rape and pillage the Earth. It is likely that creationists, and 46% of the population that clings to Genesis for answers, are incapable of comprehending even a fraction of the science Neil deGrasse Tyson is exposing to the masses every week because their cognitive abilities have been permanently retarded by childish dependence on archaic bible mythology.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.