Saturday, October 8, 2011

F is for Fossils too

Even those Christian fundamentalists who believe that the world is only 7000 (or so) years old, don’t deny that fossils exist and that the rocks that once surrounded these fossils also exist and that both test out as being millions of years old in laboratories. What these people insist upon is that God put all those tens of thousands of fossils and rocks there 7000 years ago and He deliberately created them in such a way that they would appear to be (and test to be) much, much older than they really are. And He did it that way to fool latter-day scientists into thinking their ridiculous statements concerning the earth’s age are true.

Just think how foolish all these wise guys, who claim our planet is billions of years old, will look when God returns to Earth and shows them how wrong they were and how easy it was for Him to mislead them. After all, if God can effortlessly create an entire universe out of nothing, how difficult would it be for Him to plant some phony, old-seeming, fossils inside some equally phony, old-seeming rocks. Mere child’s play for the Creator.

If you go down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and look at the Colorado River and at then up at the rock cliffs towering above, it takes a pretty vivid imagination to believe that it only took 7000 years for that trickle to wear a groove that deep in solid rock. But, God can make anything look impossible when he’s in the mood.

But let’s go one step further: Why would God want to engage in shenanigans like this? Fooling some smarty-pants scientists sounds like fun—but what’s the point of it? Other scientists, in other labs, using similar equipment, and the exact same method of inquiry, have developed cures for all sorts of diseases saving millions of lives.

In these cases, God did not plant any phony evidence to deceive them. What’s more, His faithful followers (with some notable exceptions) avail themselves of these science-based cures all the time. They don’t say: “You scientists who work in medical research are no better than those silly geologists and paleontologists who can’t tell an old rock or a real fossil from a fake. Your conclusions are just as bogus as theirs! Your medicines couldn’t possibly work!”

And what does it say about God that He would be such a clever master of the art of deception? Is not deception one of the worst sins? Don’t we all hate con men and their cunning tricks? The great Christian philosopher, Renee Descartes based his entire philosophical system on the premise that God could not be a deceiver because deceivers are lacking in moral perfection and God, being, by definition, altogether perfect, could not be a deceiver.

Of course, we don’t mind a practical joke here and there, and God may have some others up His sleeve. It’s interesting to see so many Christians are happily fastening on to the Big Bang Theory as scientific proof that God created the universe all at once out of nothing. But, the calculations of all the Big Bang Theorists indicate that the universe came into existence over 13 billion years ago. But, for all we know, God could be fooling them too. You can never be sure whether The Old Joker is tricking us or whether He’s permitting us to discover a tiny bit of the real truth.

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