Monday, September 3, 2012

Christian (creationists without) Science

Bill Nye the Science Guy has been  making wonderful headlines lately.  Fed up with the right-wing Creationist crusade to deny teaching evolution in schools, he made a short, succinct video:  "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children."

His point: We need kids to study science. We need engineers. We need rocket scientists and brain surgeons. And we need "scientifically literate voters and taxpayers."

As a former Christian Scientist (third-generation, dyed-in-the-wool, prayed-for-my-life in childhood as an untreated bone disease destroyed my knee) I admit I get a huge kick out of the corner the Creationists are eagerly painting themselves into. If they get their way and teach dinosaurs on the ark or whatever it is they believe, they'll gradually weaken our whole pool of future scientist-candidates.  They've overlooked the fact that our lives and theirs rely on earthly inventions, experiments based on observation, and consistent results that can be reproduced.

For instance, say, oh, the whole field of medicine...

Now, Christian Scientists reject the reality of material science too, but in an all-encompassing way. In this religion, everything mortal becomes a symbol of a spiritual idea. Nothing is real except their spiritual god's universe.  Nothing. When they reject science, you have to give them full marks for consistency.

When I was a little Christian Scientist, I read the bible and Science & Health  and said Mary Baker Eddy's prayer for the little children before I went to sleep at night: Father-Mother-God-loving-me-guard-me-while-I-sleep-Guide-my-little-feet-up-to-Thee. Everything that seemed material or mortal was unreal; God's spiritual world took care of us. We didn't need medicine. Or at least, we never used it.

(Disclaimer: Mary Baker Eddy tacitly approved eye glasses and dental work, so my family went to the dentist and wore glasses. I never questioned the absurdity of that logic. I supposes if Mary Baker Eddy had had twentieth century kidney dialysis, Christian Scientists would be allowed that, too.)

For all practical purposes we ignored a hundred years of medical advances. We had faith in our religion. We'd throw out baby, bathwater and all, and live with the results even if it killed us. Screw science--we had Divine Science. If we'd ruled the world, science would have died out with us happily waving goodbye.

Thankfully, most Christians don't live that way. I think most people understand where their scientific advances come, maybe from kids who love science and get to study it?

But hey, Creationists-Who-Go-to-Doctors, what do you say? Ready to Christian-up? Put your necks on the line? What are you waiting for?  You can start anytime. You're already behind in that race to oblivion.

Just leave your kids out of it, OK? Nothing fails like prayer. I should get that printed on my prosthetic leg.

Postscript: the other wonderful story about Bill Nye making the rounds of the inter-web this week, where he supposedly "blasts Todd Akin" and fires f-bombs left and right, was a hoax. It was an article by the satirical site The Daily Currant.  I know. *sigh*  I wish it were true, too.


  1. What a timely blog Liz. Two nights ago my son and I were talking about Bill Nye/Aiken and the recent "urban legend". These nonsensical radical beliefs are reminders of Christian Science. My CS husband destroyed himself and our family with his refusal to attend to his life threatening illness.

    LOVE your stories Liz. LOVE the way you write.

    Square Peg (another horsey girl)

    1. Thanks Square Peg. It's incredible how powerful a religious world & beliefs can be to the ones inside it. I've really enjoyed seeing Bill Nye take on the Creationists! He may not change their minds, but a lot of people in the middle get to see how unreasonable the concepts can be.

      I'm glad you like the stories. This is the first time I've had a steady stream of readers & it's a blast.