As the creationist movement continues it’s march into public school classrooms all over the US (thanks to Texas FFS??), it behooves all parents to consider the motives and implications of those who are championing this cause.
If you are one of the eighty million Jeebus Camp supporters the answer to the question, “Can math really be trusted?” is not something you need look any further than your Bible to answer. Why, you ask?
Without written proof from the divine, devout believers are nervous to trust even their own observation that there are an “equal” number of fingers on each of their own “two” hands.
If the Bible said otherwise, then they would assume that their personal observations were being influenced by demonic forces that (somehow) needed expunging. The emperor runs naked in their kingdom with no fear of over exposure. The native instincts of any youth who might see it otherwise are squelched at Jesus Camps, which seem to inflict the exact type of emotional mayhem on the participants as the Jihadi variety we are more akin to being shown on US television, though I’m sure they would argue otherwise. But I digress. Can we trust math?
I mostly trust math, but then I am considered mostly a godless atheist by many of my fellow countrymen. Because I lack the necessary fervor to engage in cheer-leading for supernatural causes (or genuflecting to imagined creationist deities), my personal “faith” curries about as much favor in the US as Mitt Romney these days (or alternatively the Mormon idea that beer, coffee, Coca Cola, tea and hot chocolate are all a gateway drugs to Hell). I love the math. It is the math that is telling me Romney and the Republicans are going to be tossed on their butts in spectacular fashion come Nov 7. #cleansweep
To the minor extent that I don’t trust mathematics, I blame Richard Feynman. I doubt he is very well known in Christian Fundamentalist groups because of his personal views on God.
I decided to check into the issue of how the evangelical fundamentalists in the US feel about math, since it is so obvious that they have total disregard for many of the physical sciences that are entirely reliant on it, with evolution and evolutionary biology being a particular thorn in the side of the lunatic fringe (80 million) activist evangelicals. Upon review, I found the Bible to be as hazy on the subject of math as it is on just above every other subject. Questions involving Jeebus the carpenter making misstatements on math are brushed aside, explained as a consequence of his situational humanity. Pi is three in the Bible because God was rounding to the first digit for brevity’s sake (remember, this is a guy that supposedly created everything else in just six days so he was used to taking shortcuts).
Believe me when I tell you that the “field” of Christian Apologetics is truly getting a workout these days, and the number of people “employed” in that regard is an astonishing thing to behold. God literally has an army of people out there making apologies for all the crap he did in the Bible that no morally sound and reasonably minded imperfect human would ever imagine. Takes a great mental leap to “faith away” the ancient slaughter of innocent women and children by the “loving” deity you propose to extoll.
For the Christian Fundamentalist, mathematics is a good thing when it is used in science to cure Grandma’s cancer. On the other hand, they view work done in fields of math and science that undermine their belief system as an inevitable (evil) consequence of man’s sinful nature. A desire to know too much.
Rick Santorum, one of the more virulent and high profile of their genre, and a fellow whose Christian belief system leads him to want to impose national laws forcing our wives and daughters to carry the illegitimate spawn of rapists to term, recently stated that people who “know too much” are of no value in his vision of America’s Republican future. The problem for people like Mr. Santorum, Mr Romney, and the rest of the American Taliban that supports them, is that they have now overly expanded and demonized the group of people who “know too much” to include nearly the entirety of the US voting population. At the end of the day, I am left to conclude that these folks definitely have more reverence for the crazy ideals they trumpet than the math of public polling that clearly shows how out of touch they are with the electorate they wish to represent. #cleansweep.