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Oct 17 2012

Barton Predicts Future Science Using the Bible

David Barton thinks the Bible says something about absolutely every issue, so much so that he’s willing to take staggering leaps of logic to draw connections that just aren’t there. And on his radio show recently he predicted that science would discover that salt is good for you because the Bible says it is:

That’s one of the life verses I love is Joshua 1:8 that if you do things according to His law, you’ll have prosperity, you’ll have success. You just do it according to His way. You also get the promise of Exodus 15:26 that says now if you do all of the things that I command you, you won’t be stuck with all those diseases I put on the Egyptians, you’ll really be health. And so this is really the basis of healthcare is actually doing your body the way God wants you to do your body. That’s one of the great books out of the 60′s called “None of These Diseases” by Dr. S.I. McMillen who’s just a medical doctor and he said ‘hey, let’s go back and look at what God said about health things in the Bible.” And, my gosh, four thousand, five thousand years later we doctors have finally figured out God got it right.

And I’ll make a speculation on this because I think the Bible is always right on science and science eventually does catch up, we’re going to find out salt is not that bad a deal for you. There’s a reason Jesus made salt a good thing, that we are the salt, we are the light, we’re the preservative. Now anything taken too much is going to be a problem, but I have seen in the last two weeks new studies coming out saying well, it turns out salt is not as bad as we thought it was.

This is just one giant strawman, of course. Science doesn’t say salt is bad for you; in fact, it says that salt is necessary for life. It does say that too much salt is bad for you, especially if you have specific conditions that high levels of sodium will make worse.

33 comments

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  1. 1
    Michael Heath

    Bible-based diets went viral a couple of years ago, not sure how well they’re doing now. . .

    Should we expect an alliance soon between David Barton and Bill Dembski?

  2. 2
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    And so this is really the basis of healthcare is actually doing your body the way God wants you to do your body.

    God wants me to “do my body”? I thought that was supposed to be a sin.

  3. 3
    Reginald Selkirk

    And, my gosh, four thousand, five thousand years later we doctors have finally figured out God got it right.

    We need vitamin C in our diets. Why? Because we have a broken gene for an enzyme that would have allowed us to make our very own vitamin C. So God didn’t get it right.
    .
    Also, the very same gene is broken in almost all primates; more evidence for the evolution Barton doesn’t believe in.

  4. 4
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    I can’t wait till science catches up and realizes that rabbits really do chew their own cud. Checkmate Ahtisests!

  5. 5
    Alverant

    Salt has always been known to be necessary. It’s too much salt that can kill. For example take a big block of salt (like for deer) and drop it from a hot air balloon. That can kill too.

  6. 6
    busterggi

    Wow – bats really are birds!

    Insects really have only four legs!

    The Earth really is a circular platfom resting on four pillars!

    The Earth really has four corners…hey, wait a minute….

  7. 7
    Bronze Dog

    This is just one giant strawman, of course. Science doesn’t say salt is bad for you; in fact, it says that salt is necessary for life. It does say that too much salt is bad for you, especially if you have specific conditions that high levels of sodium will make worse.

    And we get into an overlap between alties and fundies: Black-and-white thinking. In their world, there is only good and bad, there’s never too much of a good thing, and there’s never a safe amount of a bad thing. They’re not equipped to handle issues where the best action is some form of moderation, or where decisions depend on circumstances.

  8. 8
    Chiroptera

    Hey, a solution for global warming! Just open up some of the windows in the firmament to let the heat out!

    Bible scientists: 1
    Atheist alarmists: 0

  9. 9
    Doug Little

    Where was the bible touting citrus and green vegetables when we started travelling for long periods of time on the open seas? I’m sure all those sailors that died horrible deaths from scurvy and the preventative measures of the time would have liked to know that piece of information.

  10. 10
    Abby Normal

    …he’s willing to take staggering leaps of logic to draw connections…

    I think the phrase you’re looking for is flights of fancy. There’s no way the word “logic,” leaping or otherwise, should be applied to what Barton does.

  11. 11
    Michael Heath

    Ricky Gervais:

    Dear Religion,
    This week I safely dropped a man from space while you shot a child in the head for wanting to go to school.
    Yours, Science

    http://goo.gl/VVZQY

  12. 12
    hexidecima

    funny how the bible for all of its nattering about leperousy, never got the treatment for it right in the least.

  13. 13
    Moggie

    This is good news for anyone who wants to breed animals with stripey coats (see Genesis 30 for how to do that).

  14. 14
    slc1

    Gosh, what does the babble have to say about quantum mechanics?

  15. 15
    iknklast

    “what does the babble have to say about quantum mechanics”

    The Bible says that the mustard seed is the smallest seed, which science claims is not true, but if you use quantum “mechanics” and recognize that we cannot accurately measure the size of the mustard seed at the same time that we determine it’s location, then you will realize that the Bible got it right about both mustard seeds and quantum mechanics – but only if you use sophisticated theology, of course.

  16. 16
    Pierce R. Butler

    … we doctors have finally figured out …

    What unaccredited sleazy-ass diploma mill sold Barton an MD?

  17. 17
    Reginald Selkirk

    Doug Little #9: Where was the bible touting citrus and green vegetables when we started travelling for long periods of time on the open seas?…

    The citrus is to make up for our inability to manufacture our own ascorbic acid (vitamin* C), as in comment #3.
    .
    * The definition of “vitamin” is an organic compound that we need in our diets, because our bodies can’t make it themselves. So this argument likewise applies to vitamin A, B, D and all the others as well. And this must be consdiered a design flaw, if one insists there is a design.

  18. 18
    Alverant

    Ever notice the bible only tells us something after we know it. If people really want to prove the bible is true, use it (and only the bible) to give us something new.

  19. 19
    Didaktylos

    @#16 – I take it MD stands for “Mule Dung”?

  20. 20
    TGAP Dad

    Can I be the first to offer Mr. Barton a 5-pound block of salt on the condition that he eat it all in one sitting? I think he’ll be not so healthy (although possibly well-preserved!) in the end.

  21. 21
    Pierce R. Butler

    Didaktylos @ # 19 – “Mad Dog”, maybe.

  22. 22
    Sastra

    Well, the Bible predicts that ‘too much’ is going to be bad for us.

    It also predicts that it will turn out that ‘too little’ isn’t good for us, either.

    This is clearly a testable prediction.

  23. 23
    =8)-DX

    “do all of the things that I command you”

    Gawd, I just knew I should’ve gone down to the local gay and adulturess stoning last Wednesday. Wouldn’t have come down with the flu otherwise.

  24. 24
    thalwen

    The Bible also says that before the Fall all animals were vegetarian, but since evolution doesn’t happen according to them, cats must be the same as they were in the Garden of Eden and plants were as well. Since cats require taurine in their diet, and taurine is only available in animal products, how did cats get their taurine?

    The Bible isn’t meant to be a nutritional guide/history book/guide to making modern policy. Is this their way out of having to read more than one book in a lifetime or something?

  25. 25
    sqlrob

    Where was the bible touting citrus and green vegetables when we started travelling for long periods of time on the open seas?

    This. Or the “wash hands before eating and after going to the bathroom”. Or where’s the recipe for the magic potion containing brimstone, charcoal and bat shit that would’ve handled those iron chariots?

    For divine edicts, it’s pretty well lacking in things relatively simple to communicate even if the root reason wouldn’t be understood.

  26. 26
    yoav

    We need vitamin C in our diets. Why? Because we have a broken gene for an enzyme that would have allowed us to make our very own vitamin C. So God didn’t get it right.

    It must have got broken in the fall, Adam shouldn’t have left it on that wobbly shelf.

  27. 27
    escuerd

    I can’t wait till science catches up and realizes that rabbits really do chew their own cud. Checkmate Ahtisests!

    For the record, that passage in Leviticus supposedly used the Hebrew word for Hyraxes, which aren’t ruminants, but have a behavior that kinda looks like cud-chewing. Lots of the European translators, not knowing what a Hyrax was (perhaps having some rough description of the animal) used their word for “coney”, or “rabbit”.

    Of course, I really loathe this “Science is just catching up to what we’ve known all along,” trope whether it’s coming from Christians or proponents of various other religions.

    The claim almost always comes from someone with an abysmal grasp of the knowledge and methods of science. Typically they twist vague statements from their sacred texts/traditions to fit what they imagine scientific conclusions to be.

    Rarely do they make predictions.

    And what Barton’s doing here doesn’t count.

    Essentially his claim boils down to “Salt is beneficial to our health in certain quantities.” Gee, what a remarkable fucking insight.

    Surely all those smug intellectuals (who have totally been constantly telling everyone that any quantity of salt is an unmitigated bad) will be stunned when science finally manages to catch up. Maybe that’ll shut up those libruls who are always trying to police what we eat.

  28. 28
    escuerd

    Wow, and I catch myself doing the random capitalization thing with “hyrax”. Fail.

  29. 29
    yoav

    @escuerd
    Actually the passage (Deuteronomy 14) list both the hyrax (Shafan) and hare (Arnevet), neither of which is a ruminant.

  30. 30
    criticaldragon1177

    Ed Brayton,

    If Barton were correct, more and more scientists would be finding evidence that the Earth is about six thousand years and all life on it was created in six literal days. As it is, he’s dreaming, and won’t except reality, because of his fear that it will destroy his faith, if every single word in the Bible is not literally true. He’s either delusional or a liar.

  31. 31
    dingojack

    Reginald Selkirk (#3) – Oh that’s easy. You see, Adam had two genes for Vitamin C production, but one got broken when god yanked out his rib (which is why men, clearly, must have fewer ribs than women) and the other one was hiding in that rib and so went into Eve.
    Because women are suppose to be quiet and submissive, the working gene switched itself into recessive mode and so died out in subsequent generations*
    QED!
    ([that's] quite enough discussion [it is cause I say so])
    Dingo
    —–
    * Or maybe the two periods of highly incestuous breeding did for the gene, or maybe it got washed out during the world-wide flood, nevertheless…

  32. 32
    escuerd

    yoav @29:

    Thanks!

  33. 33
    coryat

    Iknklast # 15 [...]then you will realize that the Bible got it right about both mustard seeds and quantum mechanics – but only if you use sophisticated theology, of course.

    That’s like what, PhD level theology or something?

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