I was just reading a recent news story about how a creationist organization used a combination of deception and litigation to extort $110,000 from the California Science Center and its insurers—a reminder once again that creationism isn’t just a harmless delusion. There is one thing we can all agree with the creationists on, though. Evolutionary biology is far too sophisticated and elegant to have been invented by the crude and barbaric deity imagined by the writers of Genesis.
One of the drawbacks of inventing a God out of your own imagination is that the resulting God can’t do anything that you couldn’t imagine. Unless you know something about evolution, and unless you understand what makes it such an awesome system for generating innovative and well-adapted life forms, you can’t really invent a Creator who would be willing and able to successfully design and build a working evolutionary system. The primitive sheep and goat herders of ancient Palestine, naturally enough, knew nothing about evolution, so inevitably the gods they invented were similarly incapable of inventing such a thing.
A real Creator, on the other hand, would have to understand quite a lot about biological, chemical, and physical principles, in order to create them. Assuming He wanted do do a perfect job, or even just a pretty good one, He’d be sure to see the advantages of equipping His creatures with the ability to adapt and innovate, especially in a changing and hostile environment. This gives us pretty good test of whether or not a particular religion’s God is a real God or merely a myth invented by primitive and superstitious men: since evolution was absent from the imaginations of primitive men, imaginary gods will also be incapable of creating it, whereas a real God would do a better job.
In a way, therefore, creationists are among the greatest supporters of skepticism. They’re an interesting phenomenon, because it’s the strongest believers who assure us most emphatically that any world created by Jehovah would necessarily fail to contain anything as advanced as evolution. This isn’t atheists trying to denigrate God by insisting He is limited to a primitive and ignorant worldview. This is the believers themselves who, based on their Biblical knowledge and faith, insist that their God is fundamentally incompatible with a successfully engineered evolutionary system.
The big debate, of course, is over whether or not the world itself is as evolution-challenged as the primitive imaginations of early believers would suggest. But there’s no debate over Jehovah’s inability to create evolution. The creationists themselves, based on their knowledge of the Bible and their faith in God, are absolutely certain that there is no possibility that God, on His own, could have imagined evolution and successfully implemented it in His creation. Otherwise, how could they be so convinced He didn’t, when there’s enough material evidence to convince both atheists and believers that evolution is true?
This, of course, brings theistic evolutionists into the picture, but theistic evolution is outside the point I’m trying to make. The point is that creationism gives us a Biblical God who is more consistent with what a mythical deity would be than He is with what a real God would be. The more strongly committed you are to the idea of God as described in the Bible, the more certain you are that the Bible must be true, the less you are willing to believe that God could be more than what primitive men could imagine Him as being. Ergo, the God of the Bible is a myth.
This isn’t a particularly rigorous disproof of God, but I think it’s a telling one, because there’s a direct correlation between how strongly you believe in the Bible and how strong the consistency is between the characteristics of God and the characteristics of a man-made myth. And when a thing is less likely to be true the more strongly you believe in it, that’s a bad sign.