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God's Damned Creation
One of the deepest flaws of Biblical creationism is that it fails to offer a satisfying explanation to anything we see in nature. The answers that creationism offers about life's origins are laughably simplistic and lack the depth required to explain the immense bio-diversity we observe. This leaves unbelievers like me curious as to how much thought creationists have put into the creation account.
During my time as an Old Earth creationist there were many aspects of life on Earth that I never even considered but which I can now see would be utterly baffling to that past version of myself. Back then I was far too busy denying evolution to bother backing up creationism and had I been devoted to proving creationism I would have soon found said proof to be absent.
In this hub I want to talk about flaws in the Biblical creation account and how they make no sense or fail to account for what we observe in nature. I'm also going to touch upon the beliefs of many creationists regarding where all the danger and evil of our world originate.
The Fall and the Curse
In the Book of Genesis God creates everything, but particularly the creation account focuses on the creation of Earth and life upon it. After they are placed in the Garden it doesn't take long for Adam and Eve to commit Original Sin by the simple act of eating magical fruit. Along with this Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil there is at least one other magical tree in the Garden, that being the Tree of (eternal) Life. God was afraid that his newly tainted creation would eat from the tree of immortality and thus live forever and so he banished them.
Never mind the strangeness of a story involving fruit with magical properties what I want to talk about is God's curse upon his creation for eating the fruit. God punishes his entire creation, the entire planet Earth presumably. This act is possibly the most unjust and evil act the Biblical God undertakes.
Many doubters have pointed out over the centuries that the Biblical God kills the firstborn children of Egypt, commands the slaughter of the citizens of Jericho and countless other cities, and drowns everyone during the Flood BUT God's curse upon his perfect creation may just be worse than all that. Why? Because, as I said, before the Fall all of creation was pristine and perfect. God, himself supposedly perfect, claims that his creation is “good” and rests upon the seventh day and there are even creationists who claim that before the Fall there was NO death of any kind.
The world was perfect and all lifeforms were living in perfect harmony without having to harm one another to survive. This means that God's curse upon Earth created essentially all the disharmony, disease and discord we observe in nature today. Everything from mosquitoes feasting upon blood, to the Black Plague, to the Holocaust are the direct result of God's actions. Yes, even the holocaust, for if there was no DEATH prior to the flood, than there could be no holocaust. It was man who brought sin into the world but, if the claims of many creationists are true, it was God's anger that brought DEATH into the world.
In today's world we humans have to be every wary of natural disasters, diseases, and dangerous animals (such as other humans for example) that are potentially violent or might even seek to eat us (usually NOT other humans). Though when God curses Adam and Eve in the Garden he generally only makes reference to a handful of changes to his creation as a result of his curse it can only be assumed from the story that all of these things are results of it. After all I doubt they had herpes in the Garden of Eden, even with all the Biblical “knowing” of one another that Adam and Eve likely did. Yet people today catch diseases all the time. These diseases couldn't have been there wreaking havoc in the beginning could they? And Satan couldn't have created them because God created everything didn't he?
The common argument made against the claims I'm making is likely to be along the lines of “our sin is what did this to creation” but this argument makes no sense and ignores the actual claims of the Bible. The Bible is what says that God cursed his creation. Sin cannot logically lead to the emergence of new lifeforms or diseases. Sin does not make maneaters out of lions or the fault-lines of the Earth shake and shift with devastating consequences. The best that can be said is that our sin is what drove God to curse his creation.
God could have forgiven Adam and Eve and wiped their sins out entirely, perhaps even wiped their memories of ever having sinned to begin with (unless you want to claim that sin is more powerful than God). So, after just having created a “good” creation, a paradise for his two humans, God corrupts his own work all because Adam and Eve made one simple mistake. This marks the first time, but not the last, that the Biblical God throws a hissy-fit over the fact that human beings (who he presumably granted Free Will) actually want to do what they WANT TO DO rather than being absolutely obedient.
For those creationists who claim that they believe in God because “JUST LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL AND COMPLEX NATURE IS” please feel free to rub their noses in this hub and explain to them that if God is responsible for sunsets and a baby's laughter he's also responsible for autism and venomous spiders.
Vestigial Features - Does God Have a Nice Rack?
Another area where Biblical creationism fails miserably is the explanation of vestigial features which we can observe in nature. The classic example of this is generally the hip bones of whales, which help demonstrate that whales evolved from land-dwelling animals. The common creationist tactic with vestigial features is to show that the feature in question actually has a function. The problem with this is that whether or not the feature has a function is irrelevant to it's vestigiality.
Some creationists will, for example, point out that whale hip bones may actually serve a current function. The problem with this is that they are STILL HIP-BONES and there is no denying that that's what they are. Simply because an animal has found a new function for a seemingly worthless feature doesn't mean that feature wasn't part of a much older system. Obviously a whale could not use it's hip-bones as actual hip-bones because the other parts necessary for it to have legs are no longer there but that doesn't mean it couldn't find a use for what's left. A man with an amputated arm might find a use for whatever bit of it remains, this doesn't change the fact that he once had two arms.
This brings me to another classic example. Male human beings have nipples. These are clearly vestigial. Creationists usually try to get around this by claiming that the male nipple has a function, namely for sexual stimulation, however this ignores the main function of nipples, which is, duh, to give milk for the young. Do they honestly think that teats would develop ONLY for sexual stimulation? Or is it that the male nipple occurred to God independently of the female nipple?
The other typical creationist attempt to explain away nipples on men is the fact that male nipples form before sexual differentiation in the womb. Bringing up sexual differentiation amongst mammals only hurts creationism however because all embryos start out the same until this differentiation occurs. Having nipples, and indeed BEING FEMALE is thus the default (Two X-chromosomes for female, X and Y for male) and if that's the case than this brings up the following big questions.
If man was created first, why is female the default gender? Is God a female mammal of some kind? And, did Adam have nipples despite not going through any sexual differentiation process? (keep in mind Adam was never a fetus) Why do all mammals have nipples? According to the Bible man was created in God's image and yet we are clearly mammals, we even drink the milk of other mammals for ourselves. Our kinship with other mammals simply cannot be denied. Our similarities simply cannot be shrugged off with the old motto of “similar design, same designer”.
The fact is that the Bible has absolutely NO explanations for any of this, it's creation account consists of a God summoning things into existence via magic and that's all the explanation you're expected to need. Move along folks, nothing to see here, just a man springing fully formed from the dirt. Human beings, which happen to be mammals and who look and behave like apes were created just as everything else was.
So if man was made in God's image than who exactly is suckling from God's teat? And, if we are made in God's image, than surely the other apes who share so much in common with us, must be made in his image too. We share the vast majority of our DNA with chimpanzees and thus, if God has DNA, and we share much of God's DNA, than God must share much of chimpanzee DNA.
As I said, there is no explanation in the Bible for any of this. Where do diseases come from in the creationist view? Where do the imperfections of creation come from? All the nuances, the complexity, the danger, and beauty of nature, are not explained by the hollow claims of a divine creation. In a sense nature is too “magical” to be explained by magic and yet creationists constantly claim that life is TOO complex to have evolved via a complex natural process.
The God of the Bible has very little, if any, grasp of the concept of justice. He damns his entire creation for one act of disobedience. He does this despite presumably creating the first humans to be independent agents with free will all while depriving them of the knowledge of good and evil (thus they couldn't have known eating the fruit was wrong). The worst part is that Christianity still blames human beings for all of this, with our sinful nature accounting for everything, from when God sends a Hurricane to when our children die in infancy. The creator is responsible for his creation, the Father for his children and yet God's first act is to damn us, like an abusive Father lashing out in anger.
The Bible paints us a primitive picture of a barbaric God, one that our species and society should have long outgrown believing in. It gives us a childish and silly creation account. For all of it's limitations the endeavors of science have given us infinitely more satisfying and more verifiable answers than the empty and primitive superstitions of the past. It's the 21st century now and in this age of information it astounds me that so many still cling to such empty myths. Sure much of it is indoctrination, the same sort I was subjected to, but I think there is more to it than that, perhaps even a desire for ignorance and a fear of any knowledge that threatens to overturn a comforting myth.