From An Ex-Christian: A Case Against Christianity
Here are an ex-Christian’s top objections to Christianity:
The Resurrection is scientifically impossible. When Jesus died on the cross, he suffered brain death. Brain death is defined as, "Irreversible brain damage and loss of brain function, as evidenced by cessation of breathing and other vital reflexes, unresponsiveness to stimuli, absence of muscle activity and a flat electroencephalogram for a specific length of time." The key word in all that is "irreversible." Jesus could not have risen from the dead after dozens of hours, because Jesus could not have recovered from brain death. Certainly, no alleged witnesses attested to a brain-dead zombie roaming the streets.
Indeed, dead people suffer from a number of negative symptoms. According to MSN Encarta, “Although brain cells may survive for no more than 5 minutes after somatic death, those of the heart can survive for about 15 minutes and those of the kidney for about 30 minutes.” Jesus was dead for roughly 62 hours. Again, in that state, Jesus certainly would not be in any condition to roam. One of my major objections to Christianity, then, is that The Resurrection story is scientifically impossible. Brain death, by definition, is irreversible; thus, upon suffering it, Jesus could not recover.
At this point, many Christians will cite “miracles” to explain The Resurrection. That’s inappropriate. One may not substantiate Unsubstantiated Assertion A by appealing to Unsubstantiated Phenomenon B. In other words, one may not cite something that’s doubtful in order to explain something that’s doubtful. My classic analogy is this: One may not cite “Unicorn Jockeys” in order to prove the legitimacy of “Unicorns.” To use one thing to substantiate another thing, a person first must demonstrate that one of the two entities is indeed legitimate. Certainly, The Resurrection is doubtful. Certainly, the concept of a “miracle” is doubtful. Thus, one may not be used to substantiate the other.
Another top objection of mine relates to Genesis, and the Bible’s overall take on the “creation” of the universe, Earth and human life. The scientific consensus is that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old, give or take 200 million years. The age of the Earth is estimated to be 4.55 billion years. This immediately contradicts with Genesis, which asserts, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” More than 9 billion years separate them. However, Genesis does not get any better.
Genesis’ creation account lists 10 major events in the following order. (1) a beginning; (2) a primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water; (3) light; (4) an expanse or atmosphere; (5) large areas of dry land; (6) land plants; (7) sun, moon, and stars discernible in the expanse, and seasons beginning; (8) sea monsters and flying creatures; (9) wild and tame beasts and mammals; (10) man. That’s completely wrong.
“The real order is: (1) a beginning; (2) light; (3) sun and stars; (4) primitive earth, moon, and atmosphere; (5) dry land; (6) sea creatures; (7) some land plants; (8) land creatures and more plants and sea creatures; (9) flying creatures (insects) and more plants and land and sea creatures; (10) mammals, and more land and sea animals, insects, and plants; (11) the first birds, (12) fruiting plants (which is what Genesis talks about) and more land, sea, and flying creatures; (13) man and more of the various animals and plants.”
Interpreting the word “day” to mean “one billion years,” for instance, does not help at all. The timeline in Genesis is fundamentally incorrect.
With respect to evolution, the Bible’s account of “special creation” is entirely incompatible with science. Universal Common Descent is accepted by about 95% of scientists overall, and more than 99% of scientists who actually work in fields relevant to life origins, such as biology.
“Of the scientists and engineers in the
Truly, there is no debate raging in the scientific community. The debate has ended, just as the debate has ended about whether the universe is geocentric or heliocentric. However, based upon a recent survey that demonstrated some 20% of adult Americans believe in the geocentric universe model, we can conclude that a fictitious debate about settled scientific issues indeed does rage on among those not educated in the relevant fields.
Acceptance of evolution does not necessarily go along with rejection of the Christian religion. However, acceptance of evolution, as well as acceptance of other settled science, does necessarily require rejection of Genesis. Genesis and science are wholly incompatible, from Genesis’ substantially incorrect natural timeline to Genesis’ omission of Universal Common Descent to explain the appearance of humans.
Recognizing the utter scientific impossibility of The Resurrection, however, does seem necessarily to include rejection of the Christian religion. If one accepts science, one rejects The Resurrection. If one rejects The Resurrection, how can one possibly accept Christianity? If any leap of faith among Christians absolutely is required, it surely is the tremendous leap of faith that Jesus rose from the dead after 62 hours as a corpse. However, that's a leap of faith one who accepts science may not take.
Some will cite Yahweh and say, “With God, all is possible.” In response, I shall reply, “What about Zeus?” Faith in one, lacking hard evidence, equals faith in the other, lacking hard evidence.