WTF?? The Love-Children of Birds & Lizards??

Archaeopteryx lithographica

Image via Wikipedia

This is kind of interesting–a sort of creationism I wasn’t previously aware of, a kind in which different species are all created, then successively expunged and replaced by further creations who are themselves expunged and replaced.

W.T. Freeman (who is NOT to be confused with W.T. Bridgman, of ‘Dealing With Creationism in Astronomy’ fame) was a 19th century naturalist who held to this variety of creationism, and who came up with a rather novel way to explain the existence of such transitional forms as Archaeopteryx in a manner that allowed him to (fallaciously) save his worldview from any conceivable (to him) disproof: Archaeopteryx was the result of canoodling between birds and reptiles, a sort of trans-order paraphilia.

WTF?? That’s right — because of kinky sex between a lizard and a bird…

Never mind the fact that it’s known to be genetically impossible, but it sounded compelling to him.

What’s interesting about this is that it clearly lays bare the reasons that creationists oppose evolution, and any other science even peripherally connected with it: If the Bible is not infallibly correct as a literal history of the world, then it cannot be trusted to be correct as a guide to morality or meaning as well.

In principle, it is literal fact to a creationist, all of it, and evolution, et al. contradicts this, and must therefore be false. Never mind that even self-professed biblical ‘literalists’ cherry-pick and interpret the Bible any way they please, but that’s neither here nor there…

Creationism isn’t about facts or science, it’s about a narrow view of morality, which creationists believe will go down the tube if scripture cannot be relied on as literally true, and this implication terrifies them, for they can admit the validity of no belief but their own.

That’s the reason that they so vigorously oppose science, especially evolution, because to them these things threaten the inerrancy of scripture, and thus the very underpinnings of faith and proper morals of civilization.

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One thought on “WTF?? The Love-Children of Birds & Lizards??

  1. > successively expunged and replaced

    Georges Cuvier held this view, I believe (I read about it in a little book relating the discovery of ice ages, a book I can’t find at the moment).

    > In principle, it is literal fact to a creationist, all of it, and evolution, et al. contradicts this

    Philosopher Michael Ruse has a nice book called “Can a Christian be a Darwinian?” Ruse argues that the answer is yes and spends a lot of effort to find a middle way (as you would expect from someone who has spent a lot of time living in Canada). But Ruse’s approach is both moderate and shrewd: he’s not building up a winning argument, he’s peeling away obtuse objections. And he doesn’t do this by hammering the science but by exploring the subtleties of philosophical and theological reasoning, upending the irrational demand for certainty on both sides of the question. Ruse effectively removes the scalding partisanship of the present debate and, I think, appeals to a sense of responsibility for one’s views.

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