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The two-year-old speech “Why Does the Universe Look So Old?” by Al Mohler has been thoroughly praised and criticized point by point since it was first given at the 2010 Ligonier Conference, and I have no intention of arguing against the particulars here. But having read and listened to it for the first time today, I was struck by how much of a misnomer it is and nauseated by what this mismatch between speech title and speech content reveals about the viewpoint Mohler is espousing.

In a conference about difficult questions that Christians face, Mohler was assigned to answer the query “Why Does the Universe Look So Old?” (You can read it abridged here or listen to it here.) Astonishingly, his sixty-six minute speech spent only the final four minutes truly addressing his topic, offering the standard two woefully inadequate answers of appearance of age and catastrophism. The first sixty-two minutes addressed an entirely different issue, namely why belief in an ancient universe and evolution wrecks the doctrine of biblical authority and demolishes essential theological issues like Adam’s role in the fall of mankind. This topic has its place, and many people have disagreed strenuously with every point Mohler made, but to me, the very approach of answering the question in this way is startling. Imagine a Q & A at your church and someone asking the preacher the question given to Mohler. Now picture your pastor beginning his response with, “Well, first off, we cannot believe in an old earth because too much is at stake to essential Christian beliefs.” This is essentially Mohler’s approach.

It Messes Up Our System and Therefore Can’t Be True

At one point, he states, “[…] the exegetical cost…is just too high. […] The theological cost is actually far higher.” In other words, it cannot be true because if it were, it would wreck everything we believe to be true about God. It cannot be true because the Bible says it is not true. This answer shows a surprising disregard for objective truth. Mohler is effectively (albeit, unconsciously) saying, we cannot consider the idea of an ancient earth to be true because it would mean that what I believe is not true. It would complicate things too much. “Galileo, your theory cannot be true because it would mess up our whole system that we have labored so hard to build.” No one will be convinced by a faith that says this; no Christian struggling to reconcile faith and science will remain in a faith that says this. In order for there to be rational dialogue on the veracity of any position, there must be an understanding that it is possible for that position to be untrue. I am sure that Mohler would concede this, but the answer he gave does not.

There Are Two Books of Revelation, But One of Them Is Illegible

Mohler acknowledges that truth comes from nature as well as from scripture. However, he lowers the volume on nature’s voice so much that not much can be heard from her. “There is a book of nature. We do learn much from it. […] God has revealed nature to be intelligible.” But, as he ponts out, Paul teaches that “given the cloudiness of our vision and the corruption of our sight, we can no longer see what is clearly there.” I would need a lot more convincing before I accepted the notion that Paul really taught such a skeptical view of the comprehensibility of nature. About our knowledge of God from nature, yes, but not about our knowledge of nature from nature. Make as many qualifications as you like about the instrusion of Ptolemaic thinking into Christian dogma, the fact still remains that it was nature’s witness, not the Bible’s, that showed us clearly that the earth revolves around the sun. The fact also remains that if the descriptions of the Bible receive nary a one “Amen” from Mother Earth, that if she responds with nothing but dissent to Mohler’s understanding of Genesis 1, then the future congregations of this earth will not believe the claims of Christianity. “Disaster ensues when the book of […] general revelation is used […] to trump scripture.” Disaster also ensues when we are told to believe only the book of books and to stop up our ears to resounding calls of general revelation, as if nature were a brood of Sirens enticing us to the rocks of shipwreck.

“We would not be having this discussion today,” said Mohler, “[…] if these questions were not being posed to us by those who assume that general revelation […] is presenting to us something in terms of compelling evidence […] so forceful and credible that we are going to have to reconstruct and reenvision our understanding of the biblical text.” This is a statement of the obvious, and I am not sure what Mohler is driving at, since the fact is that people are posing these questions as well as assuming that the evidence is compelling. The operational word in this statement, I suppose, is “assume,” and I imagine that the implication is that there IS no “compelling evidence.” But to say this is to bury one’s head in the sand.

Don’t Look Too Closely, or It Might Be Compelling After All

The mountains of compelling evidence are out there, if one will only be humble enough to survey their heights. I do not think Mohler has given much more than a cursory glance in their direction, judging from the final minutes of his speech, in which he finally turns his attention to why the earth appears so old:  “In the limitations of time, it is impossible that we walk through every alternative and answer every sub-question,” but the two basic principles for understanding the illusion, he says, are that God makes things whole (i.e., they have an appearance of old age) and that creation has suffered from the consequences of sin (the flood, e.g.). These two answers can only be satisfying from a great distance, but the moment that you begin to look more closely, the moment that you do consider a sub-question or two, the more you see just how unsatsifying and inept these responses are. It’s one thing, for instance, to say that God created light to appear as if it had traveled millions of light years to get here, but quite another when you consider that those rays that were supposedly created en route tell stories of stars that exploded a billion years ago. This is just one of many “sub-questions” that have to be considered instead of being brushed aside in the concluding minutes of a speech. Most infuriating of all, Mohler says that really, the ultimate answer we have to why the universe is so old is that it is telling the story of the glory of God. “Any more elaborate answer, is known only to the Ancient of Days, and that is where we are left. And it is safe.” No, it is not safe. Mr. Mohler is effectively saying that if data pointing to an ancient earth cannot be explained by the appearance of age or the catastrophism arguments, then we should just trust that the earth is young regardless and that the answer lies with God. We should just not worry about it.

With all due respect to Mr. Mohler whom I consider a sincere Christian brother, I urge him to consider that we cannot reject the veracity of the belief in an ancient earth based on what is at stake. It does complicate our theological systems. It does cause us to reconsider how we read scripture. But what ultimately matters is whether or not it is true. It does no good to ignore the mounds of reasons why scientists believe that age to be 4.5 billion years (or why all life shares a common descent). Nor do we get off the hook by saying that our judgment is clouded by sin. We have to acknowledge the evidence and engage it. Please, Mr. Mohler, take some time to hear a scientist out on what that evidence is before you answer this question again.



Francis and Ken haven’t seen each other in quite some time and have decided to catch up over some drinks at a coffee shop. After asking about each other’s families, Ken queries Francis about where the kids are going to school.

Francis:  They’re both at Ridgeland Public School, doing very well, I might add.

Ken:  But aren’t you worried about sending your children to public school?

Francis:  What do you mean?

K:  I mean aren’t you worried about what they’re being taught there?

F:  Not at all. The school system is one of the best in the country.

K:  That’s not what I’m talking about. I mean, aren’t you worried about the kinds of things that they are being taught there? Like science, for instance.

F:  What’s wrong with what they are being taught in science?

K:  Oh, come on. You know what I’m talking about. They teach kids evolution in public school.

F:  Yes, I thought that’s what you meant. I don’t really have a problem with that, though, Ken.

K:  Because you’re teaching them how to respond to it at home?

F:  No, because I believe in it.

K:  Are you kidding me?

F:  No, I’m serious.

K:  Are you not a Christian anymore, then?

F:  No, no. I’m still a Christian. Why would you think otherwise?

K:  Forgive me, Francis, but this is all coming as quite a shock to me. You have always been such a strong Christian.

F:  I hope that hasn’t changed.

K:  But how can you call yourself a Christian and still believe in evolution?

F;  Come now, Ken. I call myself a Christian because I still believe in and follow Christ. What you believe about the age of the universe and the particular method that God used to create life are perepheral issues.

K:  I don’t think that they are perepheral issues at all, but I grant that you can still  be a Christian. You can’t be a very faithful Christian, though, if you don’t believe what the Bible says.

F:  And what does the Bible say?

K:  That God created the world in six days and that he made man out of the dust of the ground.

F:  I guess I no longer interpret the Genesis creation account as literally as I once did.

K:  And why is that, Francis?

F:  Well, I have always been uneasy about the conflict between biology and the Bible, so I finally started reading for myself about why scientists think what they do concerning the age of the earth and evolution.

K:  That’s where you went wrong.

F:  What do you mean?

K:  You tried to understand issues of origin based on what man says rather than what God says. There’s nothing wrong with science, per se, but whenever there’s a conflict with what fallable man discovers (or thinks he has discovered) and what God says is true, then you know that man has made a mistake in his understanding.

F:  But, Ken, don’t you believe that God has spoken in two ways:  through the scriptures and through nature? Both must be interpreted by fallible man, and a conflict between the two could indicate a mistake in understanding the Bible.

K:  The Bible is crystal clear on this issue, Francis. It says six times,  “And there was evening and there was morning.” A plain reading of Genesis 1 rules out the possiblitiy of an old earth and evolution. How could you interpret it any differently?

F:  I think it’s far from plain that Genesis 1 must be taken literally.

K:  Okay, but why do you think that? I bet you anything that you didn’t come to that realization by just studying the Bible.

F:  Well, no, although I am sure that some people have. Like I said, I looked into the scientific evidence and found it very compelling. That’s when I decided to take a second look at Genesis 1.

K:  And you think that’s okay?

F:  I don’t understand you.

K:  What I mean is that it is not legitimate to interpret the Bible based on what fallible science says is true. You should interpret science based on what the infallible word of God says is true.

F:  I disagree. Even you, Ken, allow science to inform the way you read the Bible.

K:  I do not, but go on and tell me what you mean.

F:  Well, the most obvious example is Galileo. Everyone thought the Bible taught that the earth was at the center of the universe. Then Galileo’s observations showed otherwise. Now no Christian thinks the Bible teaches that.

K:  That doesn’t prove your point. The Bible never taught that the earth was the center of the universe. Ptolemy taught that and the Catholiic church embraced it.

F:  What about the passages that talk about the sun stopping in the sky and the foundations of the earth being forever fixed?

K:  Even today we talk about the sun rising and setting. God stopped the earth, not the sun. And as for the earth being forever fixed in place and never being moved, that’s just a poetic way of saying that the earth is securely in its orbit or that the laws of nature are fixed.

F:  Even if I grant that those passages were intended to be figurative, how did you know to interpret the Bible in that way? Isn’t your understanding of the way the universe works informed by science? And isn’t it that understanding which tells you not to read the passages I mentioned literally?

K:  I think that it is the mistaken opinions of man about the universe that have been imposed on the Bible.

F:  What do you mean?

K:  I mean that the writers of the Bible knew the truth about the universe, and people have read it through the ages through the lens of their own mistaken view of how the universe works.

F:  Come on, Ken. You don’t really believe that, do you?

K:  I do.

F:  So what you are telling me is that Moses, David, Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all understood that the earth was round, that it revolved around the sun, and that it had a molten center?

K:  Well, maybe they didn’t know about the molten center of the earth, but I think they knew the other two things.

F:  Then tell me, Ken, why I never read indications of these things in the Bible.

K:  You do. Let me get my Bible out. I downloaded it on my phone recently, and it’s very easy to search. I know that the passage is in Job somewhere. Ah. Here it is.  Job 26:7:  “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.”**

F:  I’m not sure that verse means what you think it means.

K:  Francis, it’s as clear as day. It shows that the earth is an orb in space.

F:  I didn’t hear anything about an orb there. How do you know that it’s not talking about a flat disc suspended over nothing? I have the Bible on my reader here. Let me take a look at that chapter. Hmm. Notice that verse 5 reads, “The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them.” Do you believe the spirits of the dead go to a place underneath the waters?

K:  Who knows where the dead go?

F:  So you’re telling me that when someone dies, his soul goes under the waters?

K:  Not the souls of Christians.

F:  Fine. The souls of unbelievers, then. These souls go under-not the earth, mind you-but the waters?

K:  I am not sure what is being referred to there. The passage may be poetic, Francis. It is in verse, after all.

F:  So the passage is poetic in verse 5 in its description of the earth, but not in verse 7? What about verse 11, where it says, “The pillars of the heavens quake,
aghast at his rebuke”? Do you believe that pillars hold up the heavens?

K:  The passage is clearly being poetic at this point. I’m not so sure about verse 5, but it has to be poetic expression in verse 11.

F:  I wonder how you are able to understand what is should be understood poetically and what literally. Isn’t this a clear example where your understanding of science is informing your understanding of scripture? See, Ken, I think the passage makes a lot more sense when read in the light of other ancient views of the cosmos. If I recall correctly, many of the ancients believed that the primeival substance was a chaotic water, from which God made the universe. I’m not an expert, but it seems to me that the lands rest on the water. Perhaps, then, the souls were believed to descend under the earth and then under the waters. In fact, I think that verses 12-13 refer to God subduing the waters, like Marduk does when he kills Tiamat.

K:  Who are Marduk and Tiamat?

F:  Babylonian deities. Tiamat symbolized the sea. Marduk killed her and built the world from her body. I think the story sheds light on verses 12-13: “By his power he churned up the sea; by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces. By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent.”

K:  I’m not sure I follow you, Francis, but it sounds like what you are doing is dangerous. In any case, we’re getting a little off topic. I have another verse for you. Isaiah 40:22:  “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.” A clear indication that scripture teaches the earth is round.

F:  Round, but not necessarily spherical. Again, I think you’re reading modern science into the text. If you look at the surrounding mythologies, I would be willing to bet that you would find a belief about the earth being a flat disc surrounded by water.

K:  There you go again, Francis, talking about mythologies of surrounding cultures. What has that to do with the Israelites?

F:  It has everything to do with them. The Israelites did not live in a vacuum. They lived in a cultural landscape with its own accepted traditions and even cosmologies. If everyone around Israel believed in a particular model of the universe, then I think it pretty likely that Israel did, too. They certainly did not have a modern understanding of the universe, from what I can tell. Keeping that in mind can bring light to all kinds of scriptures.

K:  So you are saying that scripture teaches a false view of the world?

F:  No, I’m saying that scripture speaks in terms of the ancient world’s perception of the universe.

K:  What’s the difference?

F:  It’s like this. If God wanted to speak his truth to the Israelites, would he feel the need to first correct all their scientific errors? Or would he speak spiritual truth using their current scientific understanding?

K:  I think that’s a false dichotomy. God might not need to explain the minutiae of science, but he would never say something that was false.

F:  (smiling) You mean like a parable?

K:  That’s different. Jesus’ audience knew that he was telling a story.  Your scenario has the audience not understanding that the details of science are in fact erroneous.

F:  Well, I grant you that, but I don’t have the same problem accepting the possibility of God speaking in terms of an ancient cosmology.

K:  Why don’t we go about this in an orderly way, Francis? Let’s look at Genesis together systematically and see which view is more faithful?

F:  Great idea. Next time?

K:  Next time.

* Image from wikipedia.

** NIV translation.

The following is Part 4 in a series reviewing the book Understanding Genesis: The World of the Bible in the Light of History by Nahum M. Sarna.

Chapter 1C: Genesis 3-4

It is a bit artificial to divide Sarna’s first chapter, which focuses on Genesis 1-4, into sections as I have done in these past four blog posts. Doing so makes it seem like the author is examining these chapters individually, but he does not. Genesis 3, then, is part of his ongoing discussion on Genesis 2.

Having focused on the garden of Eden and the two trees at its center, Sarna next looks briefly at the serpent. He notes that the creature is a common feature of Near Eastern religion, symbolizing both deity and fertility, but, as so often happens in the opening chapters of Genesis, the writer/editor of chapter 3 reduces him to a mere creature of God, devoid of magical properties. Unlike Adam and Eve, the serpent is not dignified with an interrogation by God after the act of disobedience, nor does he say anything in God’s presence. This seems to be an intentional attack against and negation of the pagan cultures surrounding Israel. Sarna, however, does not address the possibility that this episode is alluding to the lure of nearby religions for Israel’s devotion. Instead, he interprets the snake’s role as tempter in light of the cosmic conflict between God and Leviathan, since this creature of chaos who opposes God is commonly described as a serpent (cf. Isaiah 27:1 and Job 26:13).

Sarna concludes chapter 3 by noting the difference of emphasis in Genesis 2-3 from other Near East cultures. They are focused on gaining immortaility as seen from the prominent usage of the tree of life symbol, but the Hebrews are focused on godliness. The serpent’s temptation to become like God is a distortion of the need to emulate his character into the desire to be like him in power. Adam and Eve’s disobedience shows that we are indeed free to obey or disobey, and their punishment teaches that evil comes from our own decision to rebel and is not inherent in creation. This principle of human freedom and the consequences of disobedience is illustrated nicely in Genesis 4 with the story of Cain and Abel.

First, though, Sarna rejects the interpretation that this episode reflects a preference in Israel for the nomadic lifestyle rather than the agricultural one, as some have commonly posited based on the rejection of farmer Cain’s offering and the acceptance of the shepherd Abel’s. He notes that the evidence for a nomadic ideal in Israel is very flimsy and that the opening chapters of Genesis itself argue against it. It is, after all, Adam’s occupation both in the garden and after his expulsion, and the sons of Cain after him are not given their father’s punishment. Instead, they the inventors of herding cattle, playing music, and working metal, all of which are “the three pillars of semi-nomadic culture.” Cain and Abel are treated as individuals, not types, and interpretating the story in that way departs from the intentions of the author.

Next, Sarna argues that the Cain and Abel story’s incompletion is an indication that it existed elsewhere as an independent and complete story. He notes that there is no explanation given for why Cain’s offering is rejected; how God communicated his opinion of the two offerings; who Cain, one of only a few humans alive, was afraid might kill him; where the “land of Nod” is; who inhabited it; and how he got a wife there. Such questions are often answered by literalists in terms of Adam’s descendents multiplying and Cain marrying one of his sisters or relatives, but this explanation seems to me to do injustice to the story. It seems more likely that this episode was pulled from tradition by the writer/editor and used for his own purposes in compiling Genesis. Questions about where Cain got his wife were not that important to him.

Sarna’s commentary on the story begins with the idea of worship. Cain and Abel both make an offering to God without any indication from the text that they were commanded to do so. To make a sacrifice to God, then, is an innate desire, but even this can be corrupted, as the story tells us. There is not an explicit reason given for why God accepts or rejects the offerings, but we do read that “Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground” while Abel “brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions” (Gen. 4:3-4). Worship, then, is a matter of the heart, not of form.

The story also continues the idea of man’s ability to choose between good and evil. God’s warning to Cain that sin’s “disire is for you, but you must master it” (Gen. 4:7) indicates the presence of a conflict within us between good and evil and the necessity of mastering the latter. Of course, Cain’s failure indicates our need for God’s power in overcoming the evil within.

Sarna also points out that even though the reader knows that Cain and Abel are brothers, the chapter indicates this fact seven separate times. The point of this emphasis is brought out in verse 9: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer is that we are indeed our brothers’ keepers, and furthermore, “that all homicide is at the same time fratricide.”

Sarna draws out a few other points, as well. He addresses the fact that there was an unspoken moral law forbidding murder and that it is a sin against society and against God; the question of why God did not carry out the penalty against Cain for murder; and the principle that acts of injustice cry out to God.

I appreciate looking at Genesis 3 and 4 through Sarna’s lens. His commentary on Cain and Able especially shows me how much meaning and richness is packed into Genesis and how much we can gain from understanding something about the nature of ANE culture. When the distraction of wondering how Cain found a wife is removed, the story has a lot more to tell us. To me, the historicity of this story does not negate God’s inspiration. He is free to use this medium as he is free to use others.

In ancient news,

1. The Vatican says it has literally uncovered the oldest images of the apostles John and Andrew in the tomb of a wealthy Christian woman of the third century. The earliest image of the apostle Paul was uncovered in the same location last year.

2. Archaeologists are unsure why there is a mass grave of babies next to a Roman villa in Britain. Perhaps, they speculate, it was being used as a brothel.

3. Minorities are angry that Angelina Jolie has been tapped to play Cleopatra in a remake of the eponymous movie, claiming that the role should have been played by an African actress. As many have pointed out, they are overlooking the fact that Cleopatra was not Egyptian; she was the last of the Ptolemies and was therefore Greek.

In movie news,

1. The first trailer for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (one of my favorites of the Narnia books) has come out. Changes have been made (Disney is no longer producing, nor is Andrew Adamson directing), but the quality of filming still looks good. Watch it on youtube.

2.  N. D. Wilson, son of pastor Douglass Wilson, is quite the rising star among Christian writers. His popular children series The 100 Cupboards is being made into a movie. He has also been hired as the screenwriter for the movie adaptation of C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce.

When I first started to read about how faith and evolution relate to one another, I found a book by Darrell R. Falk called Coming To Peace With Science:  Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Science. This was one of the most readable books I discovered when it came to presenting the laymen with evidence for evolution, and it was there that I came across one of the most convincing proofs for evolution that helped me embrace common descent.

The unique mammals of Australia are almost exclusively marsupial, i.e., they give birth to their offspring early and incubate them in pouches. At the time that Australia broke away from Antarctica and South America, the small mammals that existed were marsupials, according to the fossil record from that time, which is admittedly pretty scarce. The fossil record from South America indicates that most animals were placental, and today all species there, with the exception of possums, are placental.

What is interesting is that in Australia, there is an animal called Mymecobius uniquely fit for finding and eating ants. It has a long snout, strong paws for digging through mounds, and flat teeth suited to chewing ants. South America has the anteater, of course, with similar features but no pouch.


Australia has the marsupial wombat; South America the placental groundhog. Australia has marsupial squirrel-like animals, some that fly. Australia has been home to the Tasmanian wolf (now exstinct), a marsupial; rabbit-like marsupials; marsupial mice and moles; and at one time, it even had a marsupial cat. The rest of the world has these animals, of course, but they are placental.


(Wombat)                                                                                                      (Hedgehog)

Common descent explains this situation. As the original marsupial mammals met a specific environment, they changed to adapt, but they remained marsupial. Conversely, as the original placentals of South America or North America met similar environments, they also changed to adapt, many of them turning out to have very similar bodies to their counterparts in Australia, but they remained placental.

Now, if not evolution, then what? Am I to honestly believe that God made one wolf in North America with a placenta and another wolf in Australia with a pouch? Or that god made the wolf “kind” capable of developing pouches? Does anyone have more patience than I to search Answers In Genesis to get a reply?

Why do you accept an old earth and not evolution? Is it for scriptural reasons? Scientific objections?

YE creationist blogger Sirius Knotts has posted about a recent case of racism in my home state of Louisiana. I completely agree with him on the ugliness of this sin, but I find his concluding paragraph a bit confusing.

I think we need to toss the word “race” into the garbage can.  The idea of human races is an evolutionary by-product. The Bible teaches that there is only one human race, born of Adam and Eve.

In another post on interracial marriage, Sirius does an excellent job showing that there is no scriptural basis for racism, despite the many attempts by others to misuse various passages to justify this sin. However, he makes a similar comment about evolution in one of the comments, when he writes:

I’m not sure what we expect here. We teach evolution in our schools exclusively which teaches that there are human races and that we’re in competition with one another. All of the tolerance teaching on the planet cannot overcome what we teach them about people groups in the name of science. We lay the foundation for racism in our science classrooms.

Is this a fair criticism of evolution? Is there a necessary connection between evolution and racism? Absolutely not.

In the first place, evolution is an explanation of how the variety of life came to exist. It is not a code of morality. We do not determine what is right or wrong based on what we see in the natural world. For example, some animals kill their own young; others assert their dominance over other males by sexually forcing themselves upon them. This obviously does not have anything to say about how we ought to treat other people. To assert that these phenomena occur is to merely describe what happens in nature, not to condone the behavior. We should not treat evolution any differently.

Second, both evolutionists and young earth creationists alike believe that all human beings have a common ancestor. YECs believe in two original human beings, and evolutionists believe in an original group from which we all come. Therefore, both groups can argue against racism by asserting that all of humanity is of the same blood. It can even be asserted that there is hardly any difference in our DNA.

Though the differences among red, yellow, black and white are small, there are still differences. I would venture to say that both YECs and evolutionists explain these differences through the separation of various groups and the subsequent changes that took place over time. To say that we should throw the term “race” in the garbage can is, I think, too sweeping a statement to make. Racial distinctions are both apparent and, in the field of medicine, are helpful in understanding diseases that affect certain races but not others. If by “race,” we mean separate species, then yes, throw that understanding in the trash. But I don’t think anyone believes that.

Let’s remember that YECs (at least those who adhere to AIG) do in fact believe in survival of the fittest and in change over time, which they term microevolution. It puzzles me therefore to read Sirius’ comment faulting evolution for leading to racism because it teaches that we are “in competition with one another.”

Finally, before anyone starts giving me examples of people who used evolution to justify this monstrocity or another, let me remind him or her that just because someone uses a belief to justify his own racism does not mean that racism logically follows from that belief per se. We have had racism long before Darwin, and just as many people have used Christianity to justify this and a host of other sins.

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