The WTF meter really spiked when I noticed this church sign. I could only make out the first two lines, which was really confusing and a little out of place for the typical ‘you will love our god or he will torture you for eternity’ nonsense.
I was genuinely curious and even seriously considered visiting this church to see if they were having a discussion
, sermon, or talk about Chaos Theory.
Chaos In A Nutshell
Here is a quick overview of Chaos Theory and what it involves.
Edward Lorenz, the pioneer of Chaos Theory, summarized it as:
When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. [Wikipedia]
Chaos Theory exists in several natural systems and has applications in areas such as: meteorology, sociology, physics, computer science, engineering, economics, and biology.
Debunking Chaos Theory
Since I enjoy all things science and have a severe allergy to bullshit, I was curious to know what this church had to say on the topic of Chaos Theory and how they arrived at the ‘debunked’ conclusion.
The following afternoon I found myself on the same road and took a closer look, hoping to see if there was a discussion date listed.
Do they have a guest speaker with an impressive list of credentials? Someone with a PhD in mathematics perhaps? Or a peer reviewed study has just been published that has earth shattering implications for humanity and the universe itself?
I am assuming this means “Psalm 84:2”. So what does a psalm have to say about Chaos Theory?
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. [BibleHub]
That’s it?!? An obsessive fan-boy is all tingly about coveting his god’s house in a book of horrific and nightmarish fairy tales has just unraveled over 160 years of established Chaos Theory? No.
The Bible Is Not A Science Textbook
- The Earth
- Is a flat circle. [Isaiah 40:22]
- Was formed out of and by means of water. [2 Peter 3:5 RSV]
- Rests on pillars. [1 Samuel 2:8]
- There is a literal firmament over the Earth. [Genesis 1:6]
- Has ends, edges, and corners. [Job 37:3, Isaiah 11:12, Revelations 7:1]
- Rainbows are not as old as rain and sunshine. [Genesis 9:13]
- Is the center of the solar system. [1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, 96:10, Ecclesiastes 1:5]
- Animal Kingdom
- White cattle that look at striped sticks while mating will give birth to striped calves. [Genesis 30]
- Bats are birds. [Leviticus 11:13-19, Deuteronomy 14:11-18]
- Rabbits and rock badgers chew their cud. They do not. [Leviticus 11:5-6]
- Rabbits and camels do not divide the hoof. [Leviticus 11:4, Deuteronomy 14:7]
- Quail come from the sea. [Numbers 11:31]
- Snakes and Donkeys can talk. [Genesis 3:1, Numbers 22:21]
- Some four legged animals can fly. [Leviticus 11:21]
- Some insects have four legs. [Leviticus 11:22-23]
- Some fowl are four-footed. [Leviticus 11:20-21]
- People live more than 900 years. [Genesis 5]
- A woman can turn into salt. [Genesis 19:26]
- Got leprosy? Move over Obamacare! A priest will scrape your walls, kill a bird, and then dunking a living bird in some hyssop infused water. Ta-dah! [Leviticus 14:36-54]
- Monsters Exist.
- Jesus said that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds (it is not) and that a mustard plant will grow into a tree (it will not) that birds can nest in. [Matthew 13:31-32]
- My personal favorite: Pi is exactly 3.0? [1 Kings 7,23]
More Reading: RationalWiki: Biblical Scientific Errors
Since the many authors of the Bible got all of it wrong from the very beginning, then why would any rational person in the 21st century give the Bible any shred of credibility to ‘debunk’ the mathematics of Chaos Theory? No rational person would.
Christian apologists common defense of their belief that these (or any) criticisms are “taken out of context”, “figures of speech”, or not to be taken literally. However, these same apologists willfully ignore the vast number of absurdities and cherry-pick many of these “figures of speech” to be literal and true. From the fundamentalists’ belief in creation, a talking snake, and Noah’s ark, to more moderate beliefs relating to Jesus as the “son of God”, the virgin Mary, a Holy Spirit, and the resurrection.
The Bible is the absolute worst reference guide in all of human history when it comes to science or explaining the universe.
Theory Versus Hypothesis
Lost Mountain Church of God, as the name implies, is apparently very lost in their mistaken assumption of what ‘Chaos Theory’ involves and what the word ‘theory’ really means.
A theory is an explanation of facts. The word ‘theory’ does not mean that it is disputed as the religious fundamentalists imply.
As ancient superstitions are replaced with understanding the natural world, Christian apologists intentionally mis-use the word ‘theory’ to confuse it with ‘hypothesis’ in an attempt to create a false narrative (ie. they lie) that the theory is disputed as a controversy and to casually ignore all those pesky science facts and peer reviewed studies.
Here is the critical difference:
- Scientific Theory – A well substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through a broad range of observations, experimentation, and review.
- Hypothesis – A proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation. Essentially an educated guess that may or may not be true, which has yet to be tested.
Here are a few other established scientific theories that churches like the Lost Mountain Church of God can attempt to debunk with psalms or other Bible verses.