Robertson’s irrational God. (Oh, and Intelligent Design, too.)

Robertson’s irrational God. (Oh, and Intelligent Design, too.)

My colleague, Ted Olsen over at CT’s Weblog, posted terse and apt commentary on the latest Pat Robertson gaffe. When things don’t go God’s Robertson’s way, he gets grumpy.

Is he on medication? If not, he should be. (Robertson, that is. Not Olsen.) He definitely should not have a public forum.

Here’s the latest from Pat Robertson, in reaction to the Dover school board elections and the Intelligent Design brouhaha:

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected him from your city. And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for his help because he might not be there.”

Sometimes my fellow Christians embarrass me. Worse, too often my fellow Pentecostals embarrass me. These comments from Robertson are shameful, vindictive, and just plain mean. They do not reflect the heart of God. Robertson does not speak for God, and his words are not supported by a clear reading of Scripture. Dover, PA, is not Sodom and Gamorrah.

I don’t know what’s up with Robertson. Is he bitter over failing in his bid for presidency? Is he simply aging and doddering at the spry age of 75? Is he no longer fully responsible for his comments? Is he in his right mind?

I don’t know. All I know is that these comments, and the recent flap over his call for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, tell me it’s time for Robertson to fade from the public eye.

As for the Intelligent Design debate, I think evolution should still be taught: it is the lingua franca of current science, and any Christian students who wish to enter the scientific marketplace of ideas need to master the theory—even if it is a theory without a solid buttress of facts. At the same time, students studying science should know the arguments for and against the theory. I think Intelligent Design ought to be taught—but maybe not as science curriculum, but as part of a course on scientific rhetoric, or scientific philosophy. Or maybe even debate.

I believe there is solid science behind ID, I just don’t think we stand a chance of winning this debate at the grassroots level. The change must come over time as the evidence for an intelligent designer and irreducible complexity pile up.

Props to Glen Davis for pointing out that Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, has posted an irenic post on Intelligent Design vs. Evolution that points out what the flaws in the debate from one standing on the sidelines. He says both sides of the debate have flaws, and neither side directly addresses the strongest arguments of their opponents. It’s not a debate, nor a dialog, but two arguments attacking strawmen. He’s generally leaning toward evolutionary theories, but his conclusion is priceless. The post is brilliant, and worth the read, but here’s the money graf: “I’d be surprised if 90%+ of scientists are wrong about the evidence for Darwinism. But if you think it’s impossible, you’ve lived a sheltered life.” See: “Intelligent Design, Part 1.”

[tags]BlogRodent, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Pat-Robertson, 700-Club, Dover, intelligent-design, ID, evolution, controversy, debate, Weblog, Ted-Olsen, Scott-Adams, Dilbert[/tags]

3 thoughts on “Robertson’s irrational God. (Oh, and Intelligent Design, too.)

  1. Greg Kipp

    You’re right that much within evolution is up for debate, and our planet is such a wonderous place it’s hard not to believe that God’s hand must have been at work. But to say evolution is a theory without a solid buttress of facts is not correct. The basic principles of natural selection are very solidly supported and there is no other explanation with such a vast volume of proof behind it. My reasoning for supporting this position includes the following:

    1) How can we explain the ability of viruses (and other microbes) to change themselves to become new diseases without some kind of natural evolution. Without evolution (or an equally reasonable natural explanation, of which no such thing exists), the only explanation would be that our God makes them on purpose. I find it hard to believe that God is deliberately making these new diseases all the time.

    2) How can we explain extinction? If the only species are those initially created by God in the beginning, then no new species would ever be created after the initial divine creation. Therefore, logically, the possibility of extinction means God created something which by its very nature must start diminishing the moment it was created. This in turn implies that all life can, and quite probably should, die out after some time. Again, it is hard to believe that this is the case.

    It seems much more likely that God “planted a garden,” so to speak, when he created us and that his plan involves the natural growth of that garden into something beautiful when mature. In other words, it seems most likely that evolution exists and is part of God’s plan. There may be a few aphids in the garden (e.g the new diseases), but ultimately the end result will be worth it. I much prefer this position than being forced into a position of teaching our children that God makes new diseases (the next obvious question would be: why are we being so indescriminately punished?).

  2. Common Swift


    Evolution is a perfect example of, “If you say something long enough, people will believe it.” It’s so widely accepted because it’s taught to us at such a young age. It’s so ingrained in our society it’s like questioning factual history if you do dare to even question the thing. Let me address the points you bring up in your post:

    1. Viruses don’t change into “new” diseases, you’d be surprised how limited they are. Viruses have a stable point and a variable point; because a virus is simple, the variable part is much larger than anything that could exist with a higher life form.

    2. How can we explain animal extinction? Well, what about over hunting? What about the effects of introduced species or the destruction of habitat with the secondary ripples effect? All of this was done by the hand of man over thousands of years. I thank God our Lord loves us considering how we’ve so abused the stewardship he gave us over the earth and everything on it. Why you think that plays against God or even how that has anything to do with biological evolution is beyond me my brother.

    Evolution states that organisms adapt to their environment via natural selection but natural selection is an oxymoron .What or who chooses which traits will be beneficial?
    If it’s a case of trial and error over eons of time, there should be mass graveyards of what’s left of transitional junk animals that just couldn’t cut it, instead of the handful of bones that evolutionists trot out like it’s the second coming. Evolutionists sometimes try to get around that, (their pat answer to glaring inconsistencies is usually, “We don’t know yet”) instead of questioning the premise by saying it’s exactly because of those eons you won’t find the graveyards, but the massive amount of time natural selection supposedly needed to work it’s magic doesn’t matter because you still have to explain the theory as coming from randomness. Randomness begets chaos no matter the timeframe and only consciousness can manipulate matter and reverse chaos.

    Former evolutionists and scientists like Phillip Skell, Stephen Meyers, and Henry Schaefer, who have embraced Intelligent Design, have gone through a nightmare of vicious personal attacks; yet their credentials are never questioned because they’re impeccable. From the media, however, you get the idea that all I.D. believers are from the backwoods of Arkansas. I hate how evolution has become such a stumbling block to people’s faith when it really doesn’t need to be.

    Warm regards,

    P.S. The Bible indicates when referring to animals that, “like will begat like.” Changes within a species of animals is biblical and without debate, it’s these bones of extinct apes we are supposedly descended from that’s what is the fairy tale.

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