I appreciated Kerry Brewer’s thoughtful letter, “Science Doesn’t Disprove Intelligent Design” (Brandon Sun, Sept. 12).
It is true that science cannot disprove the existence of god. You cannot prove something doesn’t exist. No one can prove that leprechauns don’t exist — we just haven’t looked hard enough. You can only ask people to provide evidence that something does exist. Unfortunately, “intelligent design” as an alternative theory has already been debunked and its authors exposed as frauds.
Moderate Christians, Jews and Muslims, who believe but don’t question what they believe, need to confront the obvious flaws in their belief system. First, every society, for thousands of years, has created its own god(s). The Greeks had many gods, as did the Vikings. We know that indigenous groups encountered in the last few hundred years all had their own creation stories. This is strong evidence that man created god(s) and creation myths for their own purposes.
We know for a fact that the Jesus myth— a son of god, born of a virgin, working “miracles,” being crucified and being resurrected — predates the supposed birth of the Christian messiah by 1,500 years. Tom Harpur’s book, “The Pagan Christ,” is a good introduction to the facts. Mr. Harpur was an Anglican priest before he began his journey to atheism.
It is not helpful to continue to quote from the Bible as evidence of god. Religious scholars have acknowledged that it is seriously flawed, even as an historical text. We know, for example, that it was written by many people over hundreds of years. The final version of the Bible didn’t evolve until more than 300 years after its protagonist died on the cross. Defenders of faith, if they wish to use logic or reason to support their belief, must find another source — other than the Bible — to support their arguments.
I think we can all agree that sunsets are beautiful. Science can explain why they are so different from our normal sky. Kerry Brewer, like many who seldom question their faith but who seek the truth about our world, must be open to alternative explanations for our existence and evolution. If they do, a response that whatever happens is the will of an omnipotent, supernatural being won’t be very intellectually satisfying.
At some point, the faithful of the world will acknowledge that we have out-grown the need for a supernatural explanation for our being or the state of our world. When that time comes, perhaps we will be able to shed another thing that separates us as members of a universal family responsible for the earth.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 15, 2012