Why Must Biblical Literalism Trump Science?

June 2, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More

For three decades I’ve puzzled about the idea held by Christian Fundamentalists that the Bible must be proven absolutely and literally true in every way, or else Christianity is false. The latter clause being accepted as silly, therefore most science of the 19th and 20th century is patently on the wrong course.

I think I finally get it: It isn’t so much about the whole Bible, as about a literal Adam and Eve and serpent and fruit. If one even momentarilyAdam and Eve entertains the idea that this particular tiny part of the Bible is allegorical, then where is the original sin? If A particular orphan named Adam didn’t bite of a particular forbidden fruit, then the underlying momentary lapse of ancestral judgment for which Christians claim God holds all living people responsible didn’t happen. Therefore Jesus died in vain, if one belongs to a congregation for whom Original Sin is The Big One.

Therefore, one must reject the geology, astronomy, and functional biology as was available to 19th century discoverers like Darwin. One must also reject all the subsequent discoveries that frustratingly and consistently reiterate his conclusions, like the periodic table, plate tectonics, cell biology, quantum theory, biochemistry, radiological dating, germ theory, cosmology, dark matter/string theory, genetics, chaos theory, and so on. If it can cast doubt on the timing or existence of biblical original sin, it must be wrong.

It makes perfect sense, in a narrow world view sort of way.


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Category: American Culture, Education, Evolution, Good and Evil, History, ignorance, Meaning of Life, Religion, Science

About the Author ()

A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    This post reminds me of a fundie televangelist I once saw who declared that he had no problem at all with science, because there is no contradiction between science and the Bible. He asserted that since the Bible is literally true, any scientific theory that contradicts the Bible must be wrong, and it is merely a matter of time before future scientific discoveries show it to be wrong.

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