It is OK to believe in a Creator without being a ‘creationist’?

Andrew Brown’s latest blog posting draws a distinction between

  • Creationists : the folks who claim evolution is a lie and God did it all asis
  • Believers who believe in a Creator: they tend to accept evolution and would simply claim that is how god did it, that there is a plan, and because we can see design, we can infer the existence of a creator.

OK, so we have two categories of believer, fine, I’ve no problem with such distinctions, but where I do have a problem is his claim that the 2nd is scientific (even if he does correctly point out that it has been debunked and defeated).

Andrew is indeed making things rather pointlessly complex. It is all very simple really, the assertion that a supernatural entity exists is superstitious nonsense because so far for all such claims there is not one single jot of credible evidence.

The first is silly because it asserts some ancient text (bible, qu’ran, etc…) is a scientific text book that needs to be read literally. However, the second is just as silly, and boils down to, “Gosh everything is so complicated and I can see patterns, so my God did it”. The leap here is so vague that you might as well assert pink unicorns were responsible, it would be just as credible.

A common retort to that stance often tossed back goes like this, “But how can you live without the truth, without purpose, it’s all meaningless“. Well, for me, Feynman (the famous physicist) nails it for me, he wrote ..

I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and in many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here, and what the question might mean. I might think about a little, but if I can’t figure it out, then I go to something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me. – Richard Feynman

Indeed yes, clogging up your head with final (but wrong) religious answers stops you from facing the challenge of seeking out the real answers. I personally find that the most rational position is to accept that there is much we simply do not know, and that there is no need to revert to plugging supernatural entities into these knowledge gaps. Our distant ancestors did that for things we now fully understand such as weather, seasons,and  the sun. It was their early attempt to comprehend the world, but we need no longer revert to this disproven methodology, when we have a far better tool for discerning truth – the scientific method.

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