Friday, February 6, 2009

Lee Strobel's "The Case for a Creator" review and commentary

An acquaintance at work lent me a book to read that supports his religious and creationist viewpoint. Since I’ve always found the religious worldview puzzling; I am going to read it hoping that there is a grain of truth and honesty, especially after listening to people like Kent Hovind and Harun Yahya with their blatantly dishonest tactics and contentions.

The book is Lee Strobel’s “The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward a God.” My plan is to do one post per chapter, as time permits.

Chapter 1: White-coated Scientists versus Black-robed Preachers

The first chapter was an anecdote about an incident in the 1970’s concerning Christians in West Virginia that were acting violently in reaction to school books that they felt were “anti-Christian” and “un-American.” Strobel actually does seem to have a fair grasp of the science oriented atheist’s position although he is consistently expressing it in a way that would inflame the emotion of true believer. An example of his seeming grasp of the position can be found in paragraphs such as this one.

“Didn’t he know that evolution is a proven fact? Didn’t he realize that in an age of science and technology that it’s simply irrational to believe the ancient myths about god creating the world and shaping human beings in his own image? Did he really want his children clinging desperately to religious pap that is so clearly disproved by cosmology, astronomy, zoology, comparative anatomy, geology, paleontology, biology, genetics and anthropology?”

His primary tactic to illicit an emotional response from true believers is the arguments of his interviewees that took place in West Virginia and his use of the term Darwinism rather than evolution. I believe that these interviews will set the tone for the rest of the book. The bottom line of them is that they believe, not because on evidence or credibility but because they do not like the implications of their religion being false. An excellent example can be found almost immediately on page 11 where an interviewee says…

“If Darwin is right, we’re just sophisticated monkeys. The bible is wrong. There is no god and without god there is no right or wrong. We can just make up our morals as we go. The basis for all we believe is destroyed. And that is why this country is headed to hell in a handbasket.”

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