Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Too Easy

Yesterday I chanched to be listening to Michael Medved's radio show. His guest, an atheist, made a couple of rather absurd claims. In trying to draw a distinction between "rational" science and "irrational" religious belief he claimed that falsifiability was the major test of whether a claim was rational or not. Scientific claims are falsifiable, he said. Religious claims are not.

Sorry, Charlie, but that's simply not so. "Dark matter exists" is a scientific claim that is not falsifiable. You can't prove that invisible matter doesn't exist. (Isn't that what skeptics claim about God?)

Christianity, however, IS easily falsifiable. Habeus corpus Christi. Produce the body of Christ, and the game is over. Find an authentic first-century ossuary, containing the bones of a Semitic man in his mid-30s who had been crucified, preferably with scratches on the left side of the ribcage that correspond to a Roman spear and scratches on the back side that correspond to a flagellum, but intact leg bones. The ossuary should be inscribed "Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary."

It would also be useful to produce solid evidence that the Resurrection accounts are fiction - say, the deathbed confession of the conspirators - just to put the final nail in the coffin.

So I guess that makes Christianity more rational than science, eh?

Michael's guest also said that at the summer camp he runs for atheist kids, they have a pair of invisible unicorns. He has a standing offer of $100 in play money to anyone who can prove that the unicorns do not exist. That's almost too easy. Round up everyone at the camp, and threaten to kill them unless the adults admit that the unicorns are not real. No rational person dies for a lie they know is a lie.

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