Part 14: Doing Science And I'm Still Alive

Sundays With The Christianists: A ‘World History’ Textbook That Knows All Science Is Prayer-Based

In SSRIs We TrustAs has been pointed out, by this point in excavating our 10th-grade textbook for home-schoolers, World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective, we all know that the correct answer will always be “Jesus.” Nonetheless, we will press on, because it’s still a laugh to find out just how many problems with reality these guys have. As you may recall, last week, we looked at why liberalism is ther greatest threat to Western Culture (because not enough Jesus, duh). This week, we’ll look at why a lot of science is not really scientific (spoiler: Because not enough Jesus).

Just to make sure their discussion starts off on a sound footing, the editors start with a bit of scripture, since that’s where all real science comes from:

During the late-19th and early-20th centuries, several liberal philosophies arose in the name of science but were really “science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20).

The lovely thing about this choice is that now the editors are even cherry-picking within their own Bibles: Paul isn’t warning Timothy to avoid astrology, telephone psychics, or even evolution; he’s warning about the influence of gnosticism, which the early church considered heretical. And it’s only the King James version that translates gnosis as “science” here; almost all other Bibles, and even the KJV in 28 other instances of gnosis, translate it as “knowledge.” But it sounds like Biblical authority to pick and choose among sciences, so sure, let’s tell the kids that.

These pseudosciences (Greek pseudo: “false”) and their founders all related to one another in their desire to strike down absolute truth and rebel against God.

Never mind the irony of people who insist that Noah’s Ark explains the Grand Canyon using the term “pseudoscience”; we can only imagine how terrifying it must be to live in a world where it feels like everything around you is a trap designed to tempt you away from God’s absolute truth. (Your Doktor Zoom was raised Catholic, so sin was, of course, everywhere. But we seldom heard that entire professional fields were founded on heresy.) The real problem with a lot of science, the editors say, is that it’s based on all these dumb assumtions about reality:

The false philosophy that linked many of the pseudosciences together was positivism, the teaching of French philosopher Auguste Comte [1798-1857]. Positivism states that nothing can be known except observable scientific “facts,” an idea similar to the older philosophy of empiricism (the belief that experience is the only source of knowledge). According to Comte, all knowledge was confined to what could be observed only by the human senses; anything that was considered spiritual was ignored. In fact, Comte declared that history showed how mankind had “progressed” from belief in God and the supernatural to “positive, scientific knowledge” . . . Comte later coined the term ”sociology” for his new “science” of human society.

Any science that fails to account for the possibility that angels might be jumping down on the scales or slaying microbes is therefore incomplete and invalid.

Now, you might think this was all building up to another rant on evolution, but this time, the focus is on the anti-Christian field of psychology, since, you know, it seeks to understand human behavior without including the eternal guilt we all bear for a lady who ate fruit:

The wicked influence of positivism, Darwinism, and religious liberalism caused people to lose confidence in the existence of a personal God and to turn instead to psychology (the study of the mind) for answers regarding human behavior. Sigmund Freud [1856-1939], a prominent Austrian psychiatrist, believed that man was a product of evolution and nothing more than a highly developed animal. He formulated a system known as psychoanalysis, which says that subconscious physical drives or irrational fears determine a man’s actions. According to Freud, man is not responsible for his behavior, and any guilt experienced by someone over his actions can be relieved by blaming his subconscious drives. Freud’s liberal claims denied the Biblical teachings that man is born with a sinful nature and is in need of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Of the many critiques we’ve seen of Freud, this is easily the looniest: Freud’s theories aren’t problematic because they’re more like literary theory than science, but rather because they just aren’t sufficiently theological. They also say much the same about the behaviorists, ignoring the evidence that, yes, we really do respond to conditioning, and of course they scoff at B.F. Skinner’s “beyond freedom and dignity” line. The real focus of their anger, of course, is how these evils have come to be accepted, even though it’s plain on the face of it that they’re completely bogus. It must be a devilish plot!

Focusing on man’s physical conduct and functions, behavioral psychology claims that education should consist of psychological “conditioning,” giving man a tool for programming individuals to fit in with what the conditioners define as the “good of society.” Sadly both behavioral psychology and psychoanalysis form the philosophical basis for much of education and criminal justice today.

The government schools are just brainwashing, is what they are! But…we thought all of it was bogus, so why are they so worried? Is this like how they freak out over Harry Potter and Dungeons and Dragons, which they worry will lead kids to studying the dark arts…which…uh, aren’t real? Or are? Needs more Jebus, in any case.

So, then, let’s close with a discussion of what real science is about:

In contrast to these pseudoscientific ideas stand the genuine accomplishments of true science in the 20th century. While positivistic “scientists” tried to discover “laws” that set mankind drifting away from absolute truths, real scientists devoted their time and talent striving to understand the absolute order and harmony by which God designed and created the universe. True science follows God’s command to “subdue the earth and have dominion over it” (Gen. 1:27-28), rather than trying to subdue mankind with false philosophies. Indeed, true science’s view of absolutes has been the basis for all great scientific achievements throughout the ages.

You will be astonished to learn that, after this setup, the editors do not see fit to provide a single example of a 20th-Century scientific discovery that was rooted primarily in understanding God’s perfect order and harmony. With that stuff about subduing the earth, maybe they mean coal mining.

Also left up to the reader to puzzle out is whether it is acceptible for good Christians to avail themselves of psychiatric medications; are they supposed to just pray away their bipolar disorder, or would they be allowed to benefit from medications that were conceived in a wicked, positivist view of the brain, as long as they continue to see themselves as essentially sinful and depraved?

Meh, the hell with ‘em. We’re more in tune with the positive positivism of They Might Be Giants:

[Image credit: Unemployed Philososophers' Guild]

Check out Wonkette on Facebook and Twitter, and if your worldview was significantly improved in 1990 by They Might Be Giants’ album “Flood,” Doktor Zoom is on Twitter too.

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About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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176 comments

  1. FakaktaSouth

    I am a Connery girl first, always, and I could care less what this man's opinions are on blue-eyed, perfectly cut, incredibly hot guys, when Javier Bardem was rubbing on Daniel Craig's throat and thighs and trying to intimidate him the gay-sex-way and Daniel said something like "you act like this is my first time" OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN…is it hot in here? I feel like I need to lie down.

    1. Negropolis

      What kind of Baptist were you? Because Baptists tend to strike me as some of the least tolerant of deviation from whatever they hold to be the truth. They remind me a bit of the Puritans who decried top-down control, and then made their way to our shores and started…a top-down theocracy. Baptists have to go all the way back to Roger Williams to get close to what you're talking about in my mind.

        1. SigDeFlyinMonky

          If you think these chicken heads and blood are going to clean themselves up you are sadly mistaken. Now get in here!

        2. WhatTheHeck

          Just who or what, is the god of the internets? Thor? He knows a thing or three about electricity. We need to offer him a virgin.

          1. C_R_Eature

            The God of the Internets is R. Daneel Olivaw.
            Problem is, there's no Virgins 'round these parts. I'd suggest going over to The Corner or Redstate.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      Upon arriving now and noticing the time stamp says 11:00 which was an hour ago, I wonder if the server is delivering to all viewers on an equal opportunity or if some are still out of reach.
      I blame those pesky rapture-tasking, human error-vandalizing ANGELS Dok mentioned, above.

  2. glasspusher

    I'm hardly surprised by this. These are people who have no trouble picking and choosing stuff from their own contradictory "scripture", which itself was rather arbitrarily put together. That they pick and choose which parts of science they like, while disregarding the stuff that assails their fragile worldview, is consistent with the way they live the rest of their lives.

  3. memzilla

    Looks like all the Rethuglicans on the House Science and Technology Committee take a pledge to this piece of crap, too.

    1. glasspusher

      If those fuckwits can get on that committee, my five foot six white ass will have no trouble gaining admittance to the "Reverse Slam Dunk Association"

        1. glasspusher

          Let me tell you, pal: When I'm flying coach, I don't want to be a millimeter taller than I am right now!Let's just say I'm big where it matters…

          1. glasspusher

            Excellent. Know when to delegate.My tallest gf was 5' 10″, the shortest was 5' 2″, loved them all…

          2. ManchuCandidate

            Having met more than a few of this type in my travels through various singles events as a man looking for female love, they can be easily summed up as "Too boneheaded for the women they want and too cheap to pay for hookers."

    1. Mumbletypeg

      Burning Man may only come once a year, but give me that album cover artwork (the right side) on a silkscreened T shirt and I'll be satisfied any day.

      (Oh the album's contents are supposed to be pretty good too? I hadn't given it much thought.. I just always loved that image)

  4. YouFail4eva

    Is it over? Is it safe to get in the water yet? Dear god, the poor children reading these books and accepting this as knowledge are so screwed when they grow up.

    Nah, who am I kidding, they'll end up "graduating" from Liberty University and working in some right-wing think tank.

    Progress!

    1. BadKitty904

      What aggravates me is my tax dollars are being used to pay for this rubbish and to deliberately twist and corrupt young minds – fake textbooks used by fake schools.

  5. memzilla

    Yeah, I really want to be riding in a jet plane that was designed by somebody who believes everything in this "textbook."

    1. BadKitty904

      I can't imagine anyone taught out of this textbook ever developing the intelligence that would get them a job designing jet planes.

      "An ignorant populace is an easily controlled populace."

    2. schvitzatura

      What about my super friendly, devout LDS male head of household neighbor, with six kids, who is a payload engineer at a major satellite systems company?

      I guess we are all "riding" on some of a bit of his handiwork, as part of a team that no doubt consists of bloody hindoos, musselmen, mackerel snappers, assorted mainline Orangemen, and a few closeted "ayyy-gnostics"/ayyy-theists"…fwiw.

  6. Tundra Grifter

    "10 Comments – No Views." Sounds about right!

    Welcome back! I came over for some Sunday morning snark and was – again – FORBIDDEN! Wow. Sounds risque – like an adults only Dance of the Seven Veils ("Call me at number six" – Bob Hope).

    I felt left out…

    1. kittensdontlie

      Not everyone can handle Sunday morning gnostical content. Comment accreditations must be checked before entry is guaranteed..

    2. shelwood46

      I'm on vacation and thought my hotel was blocking Wonkette like it was porn or something. Except no hotel would block porn, right?

  7. boskolives

    That's only fair, since all religion is clearly science based, huh?
    Look how the religious science of numbers worked so well for Romney's campaign.
    Too soon?

  8. kittensdontlie

    Any science that fails to account for the possibility that angels might be jumping down on the scales…

    Quantum mechanics–the study of the randomization of atomic events, can thus be discarded into the dustbin of pseudoscience history. Mystery solved!! Thanks Dok.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        No, but if you cool 'em way down, you can get 'em all into the same state.
        I think it's Utah.

  9. glasspusher

    The only faith based science that should be allowed is praying for a good grade after you've taken the final exam in a science class.

  10. christianmuslin

    When are we reviewing the homeschooling biology book, particularly the chapter(s) on reproductive biology? I'm asking for a friend.

  11. memzilla

    So, if I understand correctly:

    Scientific Method = Jeebus.
    Non-scientific Method = No Jeebus.
    Ascientific Method = Who's Jeebus?
    Pseudoscientific Method = Wasn't that Jeebus?

      1. An Asexual Ungulate

        It takes some real balls to post publicly as "Manboobz".

        Although it might explain his difficulty in getting even women of ill repute to sleep with him.

  12. RadioRaheem

    Jesus was so busy with his parlor trick miracles and healing the sick that he forgot to mention the world is round and germ theory.

  13. glasspusher

    To summarize:

    Science that allows our military to blow our enemies to tiny bits (in thine mercy):Good

    Science that could assail or make us question the Jeebus, or our fucked up interpretation of his philosophies: Bad

      1. ttommyunger

        “Jaded liberal cynicists” – Check, even though that last one isn't really a word. Too much time…..never; and I'm retired, WTF?

        1. redarmyzombie

          One refers to one's self as a point of reference, sir. I AM a jaded liberal cynic with too much time on his hands!

          (and too lazy to look up the dictionary, apparently. My apologies).

          EDIT: AND it isn't that I have too much time on my hands as it is a pathological need to procrastinate…

          Sorry, I have the flu AND I'm overhyped on caffeine, is it showing much?

          1. ttommyunger

            I find fapping sufficient to fill what few free minutes I find available; always have. My imagination puts me in “touch” with a higher class of 'tang, you see. 'Becca and Barb come to mind, although Lizzie slips in from time to time. Just trying to help. Sorry for the curt initial reply; I suspected you were a troll.

          2. redarmyzombie

            No need to apologize, we do get those every now and again; like gonorrhea in a republican senator, if you will.

  14. OkieDokieDog

    RE: Harry Potter – there is a local morning show hostess here that wouldn't touch a Harry Potter book because… evil cooties? Dunno, probably. Anyway, she got breast cancer and prayed away the cancer (along with the help of chemo). Praise Jeebus!

  15. ManchuCandidate

    This is much like the saga of Adam and Eve (or Steve), the snake is science and the fruit of knowledge is an Apple iwhateverthefuck.

    The problem is that Adam and (St)eve have eaten the Apple (metaphorically not literally as the heavy metals, plastics and rare earths are not healthy) and continue to feast on said tree of knowledge without recognizing that the Apples are made from the very sciences these morans want to deny. Either accept it or shut up and become like the Amish.

    1. Negropolis

      Damn Adam and Eve. Couldn't they have just remained blissfully stupid like the Good Lord intended?! But, no, they wanted to learn shit, espcially that uppity broad.

      I've always found the Garden story offensive. Theologians try and argue that it wasn't their want of knowledge but their disobediance that sealed their fate, but that's kind of like saying that the Civil War wasn't about slavery, but about states' rights (to continue slavery). I know that the Garden story is a clever allusion to the transformation from a pastoral hunter-gatherer culture to one of agriculture, but what a fucked up way to present agriculture…as the result of a curse.

  16. Tommy1733

    Doktor Zoom, I appreciate that you are a witty individual and that you do your best to make these "Sundays With The Cnristianists" entertaining, but I find the whole premise of Bible-based education inflicted on children to be so deeply disgusting it just makes me angry. But please keep these columns coming,m as I feel it is my unpleasant duty to read exactly what it is that these vermin are damaging their children with, which also damages my children because now my kids will have to expend energy dealing with kids who have been put through years of abusive education. Every page from these books is a sad commentary on humanity. I'll try to laugh, Ha ha. Ha. Now I sound like Mitt Romney laughing. HAhahahaha.

    1. tessiee

      "I find the whole premise of Bible-based education inflicted on children to be so deeply disgusting it just makes me angry."

      At least when pedophiles harm children for life, it's condemned.

  17. Goonemeritus

    I have worked with any number of scientists who believe in God. I have never met a scientist who didn’t believe in evolution. Fundamentalism seems incompatible with the professional pursuit of science.

    1. billy_reuben

      I'm grateful to be a practicing scientist, and to have a profession where superstitious bullshit is treated as a liability. I've known a few engineers that have been creationists; they generally seem to manage with a lot of compartmentalization.

  18. not that Dewey

    Also, didn't Bill O'Reilly just tell us that Christianity is a Philosophy? And now these Christianist Philosophers are telling us to distrust Philosophy? What are we supposed to do — not think at all?

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Yes, you're not supposed to think at all, especially standing up, because that might lead to dancing!

  19. poorgradstudent

    You know, I would rail against the book as a whole, but I'm at the point where a wingnut history that blames everything on the 1700s instead of on the 1960s is almost refreshing to me. "Aww, you're ridiculously wrong but you really did try to reach pretty far back, so here's a cookie."

  20. WhatTheHeck

    Three of the greatest minds in the history of humankind: Darwin, Freud and Einstein are debunked in favor of superstitious fables.
    This is expected, based on how stupid humans are. So sit back, have a drink and accept there are morons amongst us.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Strangely enough, these goofballs are OK with Einstein, although it appears they haven't really thought through the implications of the speed of light being a constant…

      1. WhatTheHeck

        So what you”re saying Dok, is they are light years away from wrapping their heads around the concept of string theory.

      2. C_R_Eature

        I've always found it odd that the Christianist Young Earthers put so much time and energy into "debunking" Geology and principles of Evolution and totally ignore modern particle physics, Cosmology, the Hubble and Kepler space telescopes and all the ground based optical and radio telescopes.

        People and machines providing photos and experimental proofs that the Universe is over 13 Billion years old is really throwing the ol' Spanner in the Works of Creation Theory.

        I just think they don't understand it enough to feel threatened. The way things are going, though, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find a Flat-Earth plank in the 2016 Republican Party Presidential platform.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          They tend to handwave particle physics away altogether, because while the average person can grasp evolution, and possibly have their faith harmed by it, modern physics makes everyone's heads swim, so it can't possibly be real. Or something.

          1. C_R_Eature

            Agreed. Even people with Physics and Math training get wigged out by these concepts. What I'd like to know is how the Christianists rationalize away photographs of objects from 13 Billion Years Ago?

            Do they think that:

            * Scientists are Lying to them to to test their Faith
            * God is Lying to them, to test their Faith
            * Satan is Lying to them, to test their Faith
            *The Government is Lying to them, because One World Socialism
            * It's all a Photoshop Prank
            * Astronomy is the work of the Devil.

            All Of The Above?

          2. FeloniousMonk

            Well, the nutters at AIG have an article on this. If you can find a straight answer there, you're a better man cephalopod than I am. The seem to both reject and accept the idea that God created the light already on its way. (This is an updating of Gosse's omphalos hypothesis, which explained why Adam and Eve had navels.) They also talk about the possibility that light used to travel much faster. This was apparently very popular amongst creationists a while back, but got thoroughly trashed.

          3. FeloniousMonk

            Oh dear. I don't know if I can type this all the way through … that link leads to AN ACCURATE QUOTE ON CONSERVAPEDIA. (Lies down for five minutes.) Laurence Tribe really did write an article in the Harvard Law Review in which he drags general relativity and quantum mechanics into the law, including a discussion of abortion law. He does say he's only using physics as a metaphor. I don't see it as a useful or even comprehensible one, but I have no legal training. The lesson I take away from this is that it's not just the wingnuts who have trouble with relativity. I suppose I should be grateful for being reminded.

  21. JustPixelz

    "…but were really “science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20)."

    The Timothy 6:20 passage they cite is often translated more like "Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge". That seems to be the only biblical passage the wingers actually embrace. Meanwhile direct instructions from Jesus to help the poor, etc are routinely ignored.

  22. valthemus

    So it really is prayers and angel droppings that make polio and mumps vaccines so effective, nothing to do with organic chemistry. Huh. I suppose I should have known that. Thank you, Christianistas!

  23. Ayn_Ryan

    Goddamnit! I've been promised Bertrand Russell for two weeks in a row. Now, where the fuck is he?

  24. GregComlish

    Gnosticism has some pretty appealing concepts, BTW. Gnostics accept the Abrahamic God as the creator of the world, but they do not believe he is perfect or all-knowing or even particularly honest. Gnostics believe YHWH is basically just a poser who is trying to imitate perfection. That's why bad things happen to good people: God's a fuck-up. And in the inspired works God tells people that he is perfect because he's also a bullshitter.

    That's the real question Christians need to answer. Sure, they have all sorts of reasons for insisting absolutely that God exists and that the Bible is his word, but how do you know you can believe him? You just always believe him about everything because he tells you that he's honest? How do you know he isn't lying?

  25. not that Dewey

    What kind of anachronistic, Back-to-the-Future bible references 19th and 20th century philosophy?

  26. bikerlaureate

    True science follows God’s command to “subdue the earth and have dominion over it” (Gen. 1:27-28), rather than trying to subdue mankind with false philosophies.

    The duty to subdue mankind falls to… true religion ?

  27. tessiee

    A Jeebus world history book, and nothing about how blah history never happened? I haz a disappoint.

  28. Slim_Pickins

    I was a chemist in the central research department of a large company. I was once given the assignment of sorting through the research of a colleague who prayed over his experiments. Needless to say, everyone of his important experiments worked, but most couldn't be repeated. His research reports did not reveal his "methodology", but he would always report a few "surprising results," results that accomplished an important objective in the nick of time. He left shortly after to return to the christian school he'd graduated from.

  29. Schmegeg

    Every week, another dose of these people, another laugh, some good feelings. Now, after all these weeks, I am sort of understanding, internalizing, this Jesus character. I see a Bible in a motel room, and get a smile. Drive past a Megachurch and want to go in and visit. Maybe vote for Huckabee next time around. These thoughts make me feel Good.

    SKINNER!

  30. redarmyzombie

    Snark off for the moment, I actually have a friend who was raised in one of those prayer healing cults who believed god would heal everyone who believed hard enough. To this day, she still suffers complications from diseases that weren't treated when she was a child.

    These people can go fuck themselves with a soldering iron.
    (you may proceed with you scheduled snarking)

  31. HouseOfTheBlueLights

    "Freud’s liberal claims denied the Biblical teachings that man is born with a sinful nature and is in need of salvation through Jesus Christ."

    So that wasn't his Jewish parents denying the whole Christ thing? Thanks for clearing that up.

  32. Negropolis

    But we seldom heard that entire professional fields were founded on heresy.

    Well, Catholicism is literally using science to search for extra-terrestrial life. I mean, they had a tough go at science not that long ago, but I guess they just said that if they couldn't beat it, they'd just join it.

    True science follows God’s command to “subdue the earth and have dominion over it”

    And, of course, it always comes back to fascist-flavored Biblical teachings. Of course.

  33. sullivanst

    And it’s only the King James version that translates gnosis as “science” here; almost all other Bibles, and even the KJV in 28 other instances of gnosis, translate it as “knowledge.”

    I find it interesting that a bunch of people who are so insistent that the Bible is the unerring word of God, kept perfect through 2000 years (during most of which time it was copied by hand) by divine inspiration, are also absolute fetishists for the KJV, with all its dubious and sometimes obviously wrong translations.

    Your Doktor Zoom was raised Catholic, so sin was, of course, everywhere. But we seldom heard that entire professional fields were founded on heresy.

    Well, we all know the entire Catholic church is now heresy, according to these nuts. I wonder if this viewpoint has anything to do with Pope Leo XIII's relative embrace of science?

  34. Chow Yun Flat

    psychoanalysis, which says that subconscious physical drives or irrational fears determine a man’s actions

    Unlike religion, which states that conscious beliefs or irrational fears determine…

  35. DahBoner

    The Hebrew people who wrote the Bible and who believed a 14 Billion year old universe is only 6000 years old and a round earth has "four corners" are FUCKING GENIUSES

  36. zappadoo76

    "According to Comte, all knowledge was confined to what could be observed only by the human senses…."

    And what about the proposition that all knowledge is confined to what can be observed by the senses? Can this "fact" be observed by the senses? And if not, is it knowledge?

    See? Christianists aren't wrong about everything. Positivism sucks. Disclaimer: I do not mean to disparage the overall suckitude of Christianism.

Comments are closed.