PM Rudd Is A Creationist

From the “Houston We Have A Problem” department… Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on radio today:

“For me, it’s ultimately the order of the cosmos or what I describe as the creation.

“You can’t simply have, in my own judgment, creation simply being a random event because it is so inherently ordered, and the fact that the natural environment is being ordered where it can properly coexist over time.

“If you were simply reducing that to mathematically probabilities I’ve got to say it probably wouldn’t have happened.

“So I think there is an intelligent mind at work.”

So basically we have a Prime Minister who doesn’t understand 5th grade science using the term “mathematical probabilities” to defend his belief in God. I would love to know what he thinks the “mathematical probabilities” are for God? Who designed the designer? Even my kids worked that out independently at about age 6. “But Dad, if God made everything, who made God?” I should put my kids (who are now 7) in front of Rudd for ten minutes. They’d sort him out.

So why is having a creationist Prime Minister a problem?

What mostly concerns me is that someone who cannot or does not accept rudimentary science (in this case, Big Bang theory and the laws of physics) is someone with a major intellectual blind spot. This is someone who refuses to accept evidence and rational thinking and instead prefers a primitive mythology. Can someone like that effectively govern a country in the 21st century? If he doesn’t accept evidence and rational thinking in this instance, how do we know in what other subjects he prefers to ignore evidence? Foreign affairs? The budget? Does he sit in meetings with Treasury, here them say “well if we do x and then y will happen to the economy” and reply “well I don’t believe that, I think it’ll just work because God wants it to”? Is his approach to foreign policy based on logic and reason or his interpretation of God’s will?

It’s profoundly disturbing to me to know that our most senior government official believes in superstition and supernatural causes for the world around him.

I’d be interested to see what the reaction would have been had he said “I believe the Rainbow Serpent created the world”. Why is one primitive mythology superior to another?

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25 thoughts on “PM Rudd Is A Creationist

  1. Hi Cameron,
    FYA – We’ve had discussions about religion earlier on twitter, if you recognise the name :)

    I do believe Science and Religion should be seperate, for two reasons –
    a) because religion ISN’T provable. In fact, in christianity’s case, asking for proof implies lack of faith.
    b) All TESTABLE hypothesis point irreducibly to the big bang, and everything that MOST scientists believe floored from there.

    You suggest that a problem with senior politicians (let alone the elected leader of a nation) espousing intelligen design or creationism is that he is denying the scientific method in favour of faith in his own opinion.

    An example of where this is dangerous, that you didn’t include, is that we have countless examples over the years of where “religious beliefs” have been used to cover up prejudices, crimes actually, ranging from homophobia through to genocide.

    Btw, everyone knows the universe was created by the flying spaghetti monster.

  2. Cameron says:

    Martin, I disagree with the premise that science and religion are separate. Science tries to understand how the universe works. Religion makes claims about how the universe works. Therefore, religion’s claims are totally within the domain of science to validate or refute.

  3. Michael says:

    Believing in a creator doesn’t necessarily make him an advocate of creation science.

    He hasn’t ruled out a belief in creation via evolution. though his explanations do seem skewed away from an scientific perspective.

    Still, I will reserve judgement till he starts railing against science and starts advocating creation science.

  4. Cameron says:

    Michael, yeah he doesn’t seem to be saying “God created the Big Bang and the laws of physics” which I understand to be the current position of the Pope. He seems to be advocating intelligent design “I think there is an intelligent mind at work”. BTW, love your blog. Your “Apprehension” post reminds me very much of the work of Wei Wu Wei. Ever read him?

  5. Scott says:

    Agree with Michael…title of the post a bit misleading.

    If he really was a creationist…now that would be disturbing.

  6. Cameron says:

    I don’t see how you guys can read him say “it’s ultimately the order of the cosmos or that I describe as the creation” and then say he isn’t a creationist. What more do you need?

  7. Creationism requires a belief in the Bible’s creation myth, I reckon. Rudd’s statements would not be out of place in a Paul Davies book, so I’m not fussed.

    If he wants to blow the dogwhistle to get Hillsong morons on side, good luck to him. If any of that crap ever trickles into government policy, that’s a different story.

  8. Fush says:

    What concerns me is the disregard of empirical evidence in favour of gut feelings, or “Truthiness” as Stephen Colbert would say.
    The same attitude leads to the dismissal of evolution, which is tragic, and of climate change, which is potentially catastrophic.

    Not to mention the invasion of sovereign nations.

  9. miketron says:

    Cameron,
    Excellent work with the hassling Christians and Creationists.
    For the people who are trying to separate “Creationists” and “Pro-Intelligent Design” types, you might like to know that “Intelligent Design” was only formulated AFTER US laws were past to make teaching Creationism to children ILLEGAL.
    When the Creationists weren’t allowed into schools, they created something called the “Discovery Institute” in 1994 that espoused a “new scientific theory” known as Intelligent Design.
    They have been legally reprimanded several times in court for hiding their Christian agenda.

    I personally believe in a Santa-Created Universe. Anyone who can make it to every house in the World in 1 night could SURELY build the Earth in less than 7 days…

  10. Cameron says:

    WTF??? Where the FUCK have you ever seen Paul Davies talk about “an intelligent mind at work”????

  11. Gran Jan says:

    Cameron,
    The argument about “who created God” doesn’t work. That is a very childish conception that a “God” had to have been “created”. That would mean that God was limited to time & space. A very narrow concept in my view !

  12. Gran Jan says:

    BTW
    What made the Big Bang happen? What was in the universe to create a Big Bang? Physics is limited to the Universe as we know it. What is beyond that? Where did the chemicals and matter come from to make a Big Bang?

  13. Xan says:

    Gran Jan,
    So it’s OK for God to just exist without being created but it’s not OK for the matter/energy in the Universe to just exist without being created. Got it right?

  14. Cameron says:

    GranJan, I think the concept of a “god” is very childish in the first place. A childish mind looks at the visible world around them and says “this couldn’t have happened by itself”. The mature mind reads scientific literature and learns HOW and WHY the universe came to be based on the evidence and rational conclusions derived from the evidence.

    But if the attempted justification for a god is that the universe needs a creator, then I think “who created the creator” is a very sensible question. And if we say that a god doesn’t need a creator, then why does the universe? The argument cuts both ways. And at least we have overwhelming evidence for a natural cause of the universe. We have zero evidence for the god theory.

    As for what made the big bang happen, cosmologists are working on that question. They have evidence which points to the conclusion that this universe resides inside a meta-universe, like a hole in a block of swiss cheese, and there are an infinite number of infinitely large universes inside that meta-construct.

    See:

    http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn12574-swiss-cheese-universe-challenges-dark-energy.html

  15. Gran Jan says:

    Xan & Cameron,
    That was exactly my point!!!!
    The argument DOES cut both ways !

  16. &y says:

    “They have evidence which points to the conclusion that this universe resides inside a meta-universe…”

    Where does this evidence exist? Can I see it? Or does it exist in some other universe? ;)

    And where did the meta-universe come from?

  17. &y says:

    Cameron,

    Also re: Paul Montgomery, I suspect he was referring to Davies’ apparent support of the Anthropic Principle(s).

    I could be wrong though.

  18. Ian Woolf says:

    When Rudd says he believes in am ordered Created world and not a natural world, he is declaring himself a Creationist. The “intelligent mind” line is a nod to the “intelligent design” literature of the Creation Scientists.

    When he says “the fact that the natural environment is being ordered where it can properly coexist over time”, he is saying that not only is the world artificial, but that it would break down without intervention from the Creator.

    Now “design” is no good without implementation. Its not good designing things unless you can make them. Applied design is technology and manufacture. So there must be factories and technology that can make universes, planets and life. We know that we can discover the nature of anything with science, so we can understand how this was done. Therefore we can build the technology, and make our own universes, planets and life.

    Of course the question is who are the “intelligent minds” who used the technology to artifically construct our universe? There are only two options. Either people from Earth did it, or people not from Earth did it. The “intelligent mind” believers all say humans didn’t do it. Therefore the only option left is extraterrestrials. This would mean the Raelians are right. If the “intelligent design” crowd are unhappy with that perfectly probably and reasonable conclusion and insist on a magical conclusion, then we are left with the result that the technology is wutchcraft and sorcery. So I for one applaud their attempt to have witchcraft and sorcery made compulsory parts of the school curriculum. Magical sacrifices 101, bring your own goat. The kids will love it, Harry Potter can become a textbook.

    For the record, science points to evolution by natural selection from non-life to present day. Not from a starting point of an artificial life-form that appears from nowhere. You can’t have artificial creation by natural selection, its a contradiction.

    The cosmos is as natural as all the evidence points to, or its constructed with technology by wacky aliens (the Matrix), or its constructed by magic aliens from another universe, using witchcraft that we can learn and use (or else their technology wouldn’t work here and no creation).

    The mathematical probabilities point overwhelmingly to a natural world.

  19. Cameron says:

    Well the point, mother, is that one argument has plenty of evidence to support it – the big bang – and one has nothing – god. So if the “it’s always existed” argument cancels both out, a rational mind goes with the theory that is supported by evidence.

  20. PeterA says:

    Oh, Cameron. Another enthusiast atheist with an axe to grind. Isn’t it fun to spread FUD when you really haven’t a clue? Got a blog? Then you speak the truth.

    Rudd is NOT a creationist, at least not from what he said. He might be. Who knows. My favourite point, one you made early on, is thus:

    ‘Religion makes claims about how the universe works.’

    No, it doesn’t. Some religious people make claims, such as the ludicrous ‘ten thousand year’ thing (we at least agree on that). The story of Genesis is a creation myth and a statement of belief not scientific fact. What Rudd was saying is that part of his belief is that it is unlikely that the Universe ‘just happened’ which is where your probable poster boy Dawkins runs into trouble. Both explanations are as unlikely as the other.

    Then you get into the mindless trolling of calling people who believe in a God childish. I could just the same come back with the mindless trolling of the other side which states that a person who rejects God is either a mindless bigot or thinks they themselves are God. I don’t think you’re either, if it helps

    ‘What more do you need?’

    Nothing, because your view suits your agenda, and that is to brand Rudd a creationist. What amazes me about people like your fine self, is that you feel you have a right to be vitriolic about somebody’s beliefs (without actually knowing what they really are) but if somebody questions you they are committing a grievous sin.

    Believing in God as creator does not mean you are a creationist or an Intelligent Design follower – ID does not move on very far from creationism and is, as was rightly pointed out, part of the Christian right-wing agenda. It’s not science. Neither is religion. That’s the point. Believers have faith in God. You have faith in evidence. Eek. You’re not that different from a believer in the end.

    Your enthusiasm for ‘evangelising’ the evidence and your claimed ownership as an atheist of ‘rational thinking’ is exceedingly dull because you can’t prove how the Big Bang happened any more than I can prove the existence of God. I remember when we all got along but this Dawkinsian aggro serves no purpose. Debate and believe all you like – when you start insulting you begin to fulfil the self-fulfilling prophecy that is calling a believer ‘childish.’

    I hope you find a middle-ground that doesn’t make you look like an oaf. You’ll find no joy in your current attitude, just anger and heartache. You will also find that 99% of Christians don’t share believe in the 7-day creationism or ID as anything other than creation myth. All part of progressive revelation.

  21. Cameron says:

    PeterA,

    Thanks for your comments.

    As far as a theories about how the universe came to be are concerned, there are basically two schools of thought that I’m aware of:

    1. The universe was created by the Big Bang – ie the scientific perspective.

    2. The universe was created by God – ie the creationist persepctive.

    In that short quote above, Rudd uses the word “creation” twice as well as “intelligent mind”. If you don’t think that means he’s a creationist, then what does it make him? His quote certainly doesn’t sound like he supports the scientific perspective.

    In your big apologetic rant for Rudd, you say “What Rudd was saying is that part of his belief is that it is unlikely that the Universe ‘just happened'”. Well I’ve read Rudd’s CV and I don’t see where he studied cosmology. So what he “believes” is irrelevant. The world’s community of cosmologists, who study these things as a profession, believe all of the scientific evidence we have points to a Big Bang.

    If Rudd disagrees with them, then he is anti-science. And he is a creationist, there is no other position to take.

    “a person who rejects God is either a mindless bigot or thinks they themselves are God” – no, a person who rejects god is a rational thinker who demands evidence to support theories. As there is none for god, then the ONLY rational position is to reject the theory of god.

    “if somebody questions you they are committing a grievous sin” – I’m more than happy for people to question me, Peter. I’m happy to defend my position.

    “Believing in God as creator does not mean you are a creationist or an Intelligent Design follower” – really? Well what does it make you then? It certainly make you a supporter of science, because science doesn’t have evidence for god. What is the alternative position to take that you are so sure of?

    “You have faith in evidence. Eek. You’re not that different from a believer in the end.” – yeah I’ve heard that tired old argument before and it doesn’t hold. The rational perspective is that evidence is require to support a theory before it is worth supporting. I don’t have “faith” in evidence. Evidence-based theories are the only rational way to try to understand the universe. It’s the TOTAL opposite of a faith-based perspective which denies evidence. They have NOTHING in common.

    “you can’t prove how the Big Bang happened any more than I can prove the existence of God” – this, again, is a tired piece of Christian apologia. Cosmologist have enormous amounts of hard, scientific evidence that the big bang occurred. You have NO hard, scientific evidence that god exists or ever existed. You position is completely empty and indefensible except by your weak attempts to attack my character for pointing out the facts.

    “when you start insulting you begin to fulfil the self-fulfilling prophecy that is calling a believer ‘childish.’” – childish isn’t an insult, it’s a description. It means:

    1: of, relating to, or befitting a child or childhood
    2 a: marked by or suggestive of immaturity and lack of poise; childish spiteful remark
    b: lacking complexity : simple c: deteriorated with age especially in mind : senile

    Anyone who believes in an imaginary sky bully who created all things, despite the complete lack of evidence and despite the enormous body of evidence to the contrary, is “suggestive of immaturity”.

    “You’ll find no joy in your current attitude, just anger and heartache.” – really, well thanks for the advice, Dr Phil. I actually get plenty of joy in talking about the superiority of a rational and evidence-based approach to understand the world around us compared to the simplistic and dangerous approach of believing in imaginary gods. I think it is very important work. The fact that 90% of the world’s population still, in the 21st century, believes in primitive mythologies, is incredibly dangerous for the future survival of the human race.

    “You will also find that 99% of Christians don’t share believe in the 7-day creationism or ID as anything other than creation myth.” – you may be correct, I haven’t surveyed them. When they all also admit that the entire New Testament is ALSO nothing more than a creation myth, I might stop haranguing them.

    Thanks for dropping by but, seriously, come better prepared next time.

  22. Bob Meade says:

    Thankfully, we live in one of the world’s great democracies.

    Kevin Rudd has his position of power and hence concern to Cameron because he was elected by his party room, which was in turn elected by the Australian voters to run this place.

    Those who are unhappy with Mr. Rudd’s views on the origin of the species or unhappy with the state of the nation can use their vote at the next election to set things right, or even campaign for those whom they want to see elected.

  23. Cameron says:

    Bob, yep, you’re right, we do live in one of the world’s great democracies. Unfortunately, though, both of the major parties are helmed by people who are, or who pretend to be, Christians.

  24. Dafydd Llewellyn says:

    A well-known political leader once said: “Worst of all, is the devastation wrought by the misuse of religious conviction for political ends. In truth, we cannot sharply enough attack those wretched crooks who would like to make religion an implement to perform political or rathr business services for them. These insolent liars, it is true, proclaim their creed in a stentorian voice to the wholw world for other sinners to hear; but their intention is not, if necessary, to die for it, but to live better. For a single political swindle, provided it brings in enough, they are willing to sell the heart of a whole religion; for ten parlimentary mandates they would ally themselves with the mortal enemies of all religions – and for a minister’s chair they would even enter into marriage with the devil, unless the devil were deterred by a remnant of decency.” – Adolf Hitler, “Mien Kampf”, p244 of the Pimlico 1992 translation. Even Hitler would not sink so low.

  25. Roger says:

    If i had seen this before last election there is no way i would have voted for him, and i would have told people i know and they wouldn’t have voted for him. I never realized he was stupid enough to believe in creationism, i know politicians aren’t the sharpest knives in the door, but this is pretty low…

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