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Meditation 110
Creation Criticism

by JT

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Over the years, I have written several times on the origin of life, the universe, and everything. And generally, I toss in some criticism of the version of creation in Genesis.

More than once, I have been asked why I only attack the "Christian"[1]version of creation and not the creation stories of other religions.

It's a pretty simple answer. I am unaware of any other religion which attempts to impose its version of creation as an absolute truth, applicable to believers and non-believers alike. No other religion is trying to include its creation myth as part of the school science curriculum. Only the fundamentalist Christians are so ignorant as to try to force others to accept as truth something with absolutely no supporting evidence.

And they are ignorant. They are unaware of the full implications of the Christian creation myth with respect to scientific knowledge. They seem to think this story should replace the theory of evolution, and nothing else. But, if you accept the biblical story of creation, then you have to deny just about all the sciences; not just evolution, but also physics, chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics, geology, archeology, paleontology, cosmology, biology, zoology to name just a few. If the story of creation in Genesis were to be correct, then all of our scientific knowledge would contain major errors. And yet these fools just want to ignore evolution. They don't know enough to recognize that everything else is also undercut.

Most other creation myths have the same flaws - they fly directly in the face of scientific knowledge. But you probably will not find me criticizing those myths, because adherents of other religions are not agitating to have their religion taught as scientific truth. They may find religious truth in their version of creation, but they recognize spiritual truths are essentially different from truths about the physical world.

Consider the Navajo[2] for example. They don't want their creation story taught to the rest of us. They consider it applicable only to them; to the extent that when giving the story to outsiders, they make a point of changing some detail and dropping others.[3] They don't want us to know the full story. It's none of our business. It relates to the Navajo religion.

If only fundamentalist Christians were as sensible!

But they are not.

Of course not all Christians are fundamentalists, and serious theologians[4] have no problem reconciling myths which contain deep spiritual truths with current scientific knowledge. Along this line, the following anecdote comes from the recent obituary of Willard Oxtoby, Director of the Center for Religious Studies at the University of Toronto:

When he was about 15 years old he accompanied his father on a preaching visit. His father was expounding on one of Christ's parables, and then interrupted his presentation to say "Of course, that was just a story. Can a thing be true that never happened.?"

Years later, remembering his father's words and the impact upon him, Oxtoby would say, "I can still remember the colour of the paint on the wall at that instant. And thanks to the right question coming at the right time in my life, I've never had a problem personally handling the symbolic dimensions of religion."

And there is the problem with fundamentalists. They are intellectually incapable of handling the symbolic dimensions of their religion. So they don't understand what they claim to believe in.


  1. Actually, it is the Jewish creation myth, but many Christians seem to think they own it.
  2. I use Navajo, because the word is better known to the outside world than is Dineh, the term they use for themselves.
  3. For a reasonable (but obviously not completely accurate) version of the Dineh creation myth, I recommend The Book of the Navajo by Raymond Friday Locke, ISBN 0-876870406-5-695
  4. Those with degrees in theology from institutions such as Bob Jones University should not in any way be considered serious theologians. I suggest they are intellectually closer to trained parrots.