Monday, December 27, 2010

The Mathematician & the Ark

The self-appointed intellects who service the Lexington Herald-Leader with their wisdom have been banging away at the proposed Noah’s Ark Park soon to be built a few miles from Lexington, Ky. The claimed opposition by the paper to the park, which is scheduled to employ hundreds, has to do with tax incentives awarded by the state, thus making it a church/state violation since Noah is/was a biblical character. On this note, Roger Guffey, a former math teacher, furnished a screed of 26 December with a tongue-in-cheek request for equal treatment for an Evolution and Natural History Museum.

Guffey’s actual point: Only uneducated people believe there was such a thing as Noah’s Ark. His further point: “Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection is based on easily verifiable facts.” The fact that the two things have nothing to do with each other is simply beside the point. Guffey merely took the opportunity to rail against people whose understanding of the creation of the earth and all that’s upon it is different from his and, of course, those of all other intelligent people.

Later in the article, Guffey opines, “According to scientific estimates, more than 99 percent of all species that have ever lived have gone extinct.” In the first instance above, facts (Darwinism) are the things that matter and make the case. In the just noted instance, “estimates” will be gladly and unquestionably accepted. As a math teacher, would Guffey accept a fact with regard to the sum of 4 and 5, or would he prefer an estimate? The truth is that no one has the remotest idea of the number of species that have existed on the earth or what happened to them.

The intellectuals have always been troubled by their inability to explain “how God did it” or “how it happened (for the atheist),” the earth and Adam, that is. This a reason Guffey’s article is strange as relating to the church/state thing. Guffey obviously believes that man evolved from some type of lower form, though no one has ever been able to describe it…or even come close. However, Adam, Eve, Noah and family were people.

In the biblical creation account, God spoke with Adam and Eve, not with some sort of slime or a one-celled something-or-other perhaps swimming in a kind of primeval goo. The elitist does the easy thing and simply discounts the first 11 or so chapters of Genesis as MYTH, not actual facts…or even estimates, in order to cover all the bases. In other words, that part of the Bible, including the ark, has nothing to do with actual religion since it’s just a myth like the myths of Mt. Olympus and the Greek gods. Since neither Adam, Eve, nor Noah ever happened, how, then, could there be any connection of the park to flesh-and-blood religion and consequent church/state violations? The point, ipso facto, is moot and neither Guffey nor the paper should complain.

Guffey makes the case for the “survival of the fittest” (using bacteria in the hospital as an example) and few people will argue with that as it relates to the purely physical attributes or even mental acuity. Many, however, draw the line sharply between man and animal or bird or fish or tree, organisms that operate entirely on the basis of instinct or natural design that either succeeds or fails. The difference, of course, has to do with man’s ability to reason…in other words – as far as is known – to have a relationship with God, his creator, actually, according to scripture, even being made in God’s image.

There are people who believe in six 24-hour days of creation. So what! No one now living has the remotest idea of what happened in a given week – or any week – some 6,000 or so years ago. Others take the view biblically introduced in II Peter 3:8 that “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (NIV), and echoed in Psalm 90:4. It’s probable that nearly all Christians subscribe to this proposition (even squirrelly evangelicals), meaning that millenia could have elapsed between the first and fifth days of creation and more millenia between the fifth and sixth days, thus allowing for Guffey the mathematician and all the scientists enough creation-time to allow for pontificating and ridiculing the “flat-earthers” to their hearts’ content.

Oh yes…the LATEST! Drum-roll, please! Teeth thought to be 400,000-years-old and possibly belonging to the elusive “link” have just been found in a cave in Israel (27 December), thus shooting down the theory that man’s ancestors originated in Africa, even though, biblically, Baghdad seems about right, though not allowing for evolution of teeth. This will infuriate the Iranians and Somalis but perhaps Guffey will smile at the SCIENCE of it all, although the teeth might at one time have been on the ark. Who knows? If so, that would be a real bummer…the myth and all.

Oh well…Guffey made the case that this stuff doesn’t actually matter and that what does matter is how believers like himself make the world a better place. Right on!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home