Re: Theory becomes unwieldy, by David Buckner, Dec 18th 2018
Letter to Editor – Published in Kelowna Daily Courier 30th Dec. 2018
Many of David Buckner’s letters clearly show him to be up to date on many subjects, yet in the matter of religion he clings to a primitive cosmology that is fixed for all time by his adherence to a literal understanding of Genesis.
His belief is, presumably, fortified by such as Archbishop Ussher, who in 1650, published an extensive study of the Old Testament, wherein he claimed that the earth was created by God on October 23rd, 4004 BC.
Many others came up with similar dates, including the better-known Sir Isaac Newton, who put it at an even 4000. It turned out all were barking up the wrong tree.
But to accept the scientific calculation of a 13.8 billion year old universe and a 4.5 billion year earth would mean Genesis was wrong, and that, for the faithful, is quite unacceptable as it would cast serious doubt on the rest of the Bible.
What David must know, yet refuses to acknowledge, is that scientists, at least the majority, are willing to discard ideas that are shown by solid evidence to be wrong or inadequate to explain the phenomena they have been studying. In other words, their current knowledge is not immutably set in stone as are religious beliefs, but are provisional, and they will embrace findings based on new information, even if it negates their own cherished theories.
This takes a degree of humility that is sadly lacking in fundamentalist believers.
Rather than take the Bible stories as allegorical, they choose to believe in such things as a six thousand year old earth, a rib removed from a sleeping man magically made into a woman, a talking snake, the building of a massive boat by a 600 year old man and his family to hold a breeding pair of every creature so that God can drown everyone and everything else he had just created.
There are many similarly charming tales in both the Old Testament and the New, some edifying, some horrifying, and all extremely improbable, yet it remains a book everyone should own and browse through occasionally, especially Christians.
Written by Guy King