Amusing Quotation on Creationism and the Bible

By Chris Mooney | September 12, 2010 11:34 am

Recently in Hungary, I got to meet professor C.P. Kyriacou of the University of Leicester. We were both serving as pre-party entertainment for a recent Austria Biosciences postdoc retreat, and so we ended up hanging out a good bit together.

Anyways, not only is Kyriacou a marvelous guy, but after hearing my talk about the various wars on science and reason, he shared a quotation with me that he uses in a lecture on anti-evolutionism. It’s pretty hilarious. Here goes:

Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies, and gibberish. Over the centuries, these stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successively. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to this complex and technical subject.

— Tom Weller, Science Made Stupid, 1985

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Evolution, Science and Religion

Comments (25)

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  1. Nullius in Verba

    If such a process led to anything worthwhile, it would be a miracle.

    The quote sounds very ‘New Atheist’. Interesting.

  2. anti_supernaturalist

    ID is short for IDiot

    The nonexistence of an “intelligent designer” is established by the existence of those who can believe in one.

    the anti_supernaturalist

  3. Bambos is awesome! And his science is kick-ass and exciting (we are in the same field).

  4. Science Made Stupid, and Weller’s other book CVLTVRE Made Stupid, are clever, highly entertaining satires.

    Both are available online, with Weller’s permission:

  5. bystander

    The quote omits the part about dissenting opinions being suppressed and sequestered.

  6. Jon

    Hmm. If it was just “wild tales, lies, and gibberish” it wouldn’t be worth looking at, let alone worth studying. Is this what Robert Price is saying in this lecture?

  7. Anthony McCarthy

    I can agree with it all but the first sentence.

  8. Anthony McCarthy

    Jon, you wonder how many people have ever read much scholarly jewish commentary on it, I’d guess just about no one. An entirely different book, depending on whose insights you look at.

  9. Just in case there is some question on the context for this quote, Weller’s book is a silly comic take on human foibles in science, near-science, and non-science, entirely in the spirit of parody, and is wonderful. I’ve enjoyed it and passed it on to my children who also enjoy it.

  10. GM

    2. Nullius in Verba Says:
    September 12th, 2010 at 1:14 pm
    If such a process led to anything worthwhile, it would be a miracle.
    The quote sounds very ‘New Atheist’. Interesting.

    It certainly does. Is this a sign of the long-awaited and very much welcome awakening, or what 🙂

  11. lange wapper
  12. Tony Bennett

    The Lord Jesus Christ, when He came, endorsed every single word of the Old Testament and said that it prophesied of His coming. He endorsed the Creation and Noah’s Flood accounts. No fewer than 80 Old Testament prophecies predict with uncanny accuracy details of his 33 years here on earth. I believe him. So do millions more.

  13. I’m sympathetic, and the work you do is admirable, but the problems won’t change unless we get inside them a bit. The rationalist needs to consider more carefully what rationality is. Science doesn’t correct mistakes. It more extends the senses. Our relationship to what we see will always be the issue. The stubborn creationist will get left behind if we can find the nuances in the science vs. religion debate.

  14. Trav

    ” No fewer than 80 Old Testament prophecies predict with uncanny accuracy details of his 33 years here on earth. I believe him. So do millions more.”

    Is this the King James version of truth and historical fact? Seriously?

  15. VanPow

    Heh. “Near-savages”, he says. How pleisiolingual lol :p

  16. dSco

    i think a relevant analogy would be something like ‘the bible is a spiritual and often metaphorical text. to take it as 100% literal truth is like watching a Hollywood action movie and then assuming that’s how physics actually works.’

  17. willi es

    Not 100% true? So you are saying that the Bible lies. Which parts are lies, and which parts does one choose to believe?

  18. smearti paints

    Us flat earthers think there is an uncomfortable truthiness in here somewhen

  19. If you dislike ignorance, you should not spread it. Moses was hardly ignorant, and certainly not near savage. The Pentetuch is among the greatest literary and legal documents of history. You have obviously never taken any time to understand the Bible’s transmission and have no idea about the quality of the translations. As a student of both Greek and Hebrew I am quite certain that it is well translated. I hope that you spend a bit more time and energy on your science than you do your history.

  20. Walker

    Which parts are true? Can you verify, please? Where are the historical sources that confirm Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus or Deuteronomy? Or any other other books? What of a god who sent a bear to eat kids who mocked a bald man? What of Jonah’s time living happily in the whale? What about Joshua bidding the sun to stand still?

  21. you who think you know everything is just a big fool to me written in a mild who cannot create anything but learnt only destructionwould you be kind enough to seal your mouth and bury your head in your science. there is enough hatred in the world withoutbyou adding to it.


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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs.For a longer bio and contact information, see here.


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