(function() { (function(){function c(a){this.t={};this.tick=function(a,c,b){var d=void 0!=b?b:(new Date).getTime();this.t[a]=[d,c];if(void 0==b)try{window.console.timeStamp("CSI/"+a)}catch(l){}};this.tick("start",null,a)}var a;if(window.performance)var e=(a=window.performance.timing)&&a.responseStart;var h=0=b&&(window.jstiming.srt=e-b)}if(a){var d=window.jstiming.load;0=b&&(d.tick("_wtsrt",void 0,b),d.tick("wtsrt_","_wtsrt", e),d.tick("tbsd_","wtsrt_"))}try{a=null,window.chrome&&window.chrome.csi&&(a=Math.floor(window.chrome.csi().pageT),d&&0=c&&window.jstiming.load.tick("aft")};var f=!1;function g(){f||(f=!0,window.jstiming.load.tick("firstScrollTime"))}window.addEventListener?window.addEventListener("scroll",g,!1):window.attachEvent("onscroll",g); })();

Friday, October 07, 2005

Frost god-daughter's co-worker? Creationism, Augustine

Does she read this blog? Did she get the al-Jazeera job?
Uver fings before I stop wasting time.
If [creationists] argue that they do have faith, and that the Bible is right regardless of the validity of evolution why on earth would they care about whether evolution is right or wrong?
I was amused. Via a Wicked Admirer of the Great Darkening. I remember pretending to revise for Mods on some lawn and someone nearby, getting into a conversation with me, asked me how I could still be a Catholic what with evolution and everything. I think I looked blank for some considerable time. (Still can't remember how on earth we got onto religion.)
Anyway, wot with that kind of silly question and the apparently imprudently-phrased document published by the bishops and so on and so forth (as if biblical literalism were the biggest problem among British Catholics), I think a cheap edition of Augustine's De Genesi ad litteram* should be produced and distributed to as many people as possible. He asked all the difficult questions about the creation account fifteen hundred years ago. And probably had more literalists in his diocese than . . . well.
............"It often happens that even a non-Christian knows a thing or two about the earth, the sky, the various elements of the world, about the movements and revolution of the stars and even their size and distance, about the anticipated eclipses of the sun and moon, about the nature of the animals,shrubs, rocks, and the like, and maintains this knowledge with sure reason and experience. It is then offensive and ruinous, something to be avoided at all costs, for a nonbeliever to hear a Christian talking about these things as though with Christians writings as his source, and yet so nonsensically and with such obvious error that the nonbeliever can hardly keep from laughing. The trouble is not so much that the erring fellow is laughed at but that our authors are believed by outsiders to have held those same opinions and so are despised and rejected as untutored men...... How are they going to believe our books concerning.... the kingdom of heaven when they think that they are fullof fallacious writings about things they know from experience and sure calculation? There is no telling how much harm these rash and presumptuous people bring upon their prudent brethren when they begin to be caught and argued down by those who are not bound by the authority of our Scriptures, and when they then try to defend their flippant, rash, and obviously erroneous statements by quoting a shower of words from those same Sacred Scriptures, even from memory those passages which think will support their case........."
Augustine (354-430), De Genesi ad Litteram 1:19. The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Translated by Tr. J.H. Taylor, Westminster, Md., Newman Press, 1982. Cited here.
*Yes there are two texts of this name, one in twelve books one incomplete, no I can't remember which one I read, nor do I know which one(s) I have cited.