… of Answers in Genesis’ weekly e-mail exemplifies the innate anti-intellectualism of Christian fundamentalism. I say “innate” not because fundamentalism is senseless, though it is, but because fundamentalism teaches that man’s mind is inherently valueless.

Taking-up that business of Adam naming all the animals, and the objection that it must have been a big, time-consuming job, AIG answers, in part …

We also need to understand that just because you or I couldn’t do it, that doesn’t mean Adam couldn’t. Adam had a perfect brain. Our brain has suffered from thousands of years of sin and the Curse. [emphasis mine]

I’ve been unable to locate the weekly e-mails at AIG’s Web site, but a longer piece addressing the same subject is available here:

A secondary meaning includes such things as man’s mental powers, reason, and capacity for articulate, grammatical, symbolic speech. In Adam, before sin, these capacities may have dwarfed anything we know today.

Thanks to Adam and Eve’s nibbles on that bad piece of fruit, that is, your mind is innately corrupt, defective, untrustworthy.

Nor, alas, is it the case that the folk at Answers in Genesis are mere oddities. Albert Mohler, the mightiest of the Southern Baptist theologians and the inspiration for the annual (and annually rejected) convention resolution calling upon Southern Baptists to remove their children from public education, has written much the same thing.

The corruption of the race involves the corruption of our cognitive abilities. Confirmation bias is just one more evidence of the Fall; one more reminder that we are fallen creatures whose minds are not only finite, but corrupted [emphasis mine].

This is no mere summons to humility, to the healthy recognition of the (current) limits of our knowledge. No. Understand it clearly: Christian fundamentalism teaches that man’s mind was ruined by Adam and Even’s disobedience and is innately incompetent to apprehend reality.

The anti-mind is the anti-life. — Ayn Rand

Precisely. Man cannot survive without the use of his mind. Fundamentalism might have been defensible when men knew nothing of the world, but to hold to it today is, at bottom, no more than a death-wish.

I am always bewildered when I encounter the baldness of fundamentalism’s anti-intellectualism. I wonder: Doesn’t that character understand that, believing as he does that his mind is no damn good, he’s no right to say it because his conclusion is probably wrong or, at best, woefully inadequate?

Does the speaker recognize his hypocricy, or is it the case that his inability to reason to the illegitimacy of his declaration proves the inferiority of, at least, his own mind? But, in that case … is he proved correct?

You can see the problem. It’s not Russell’s Paradox, but there’s no way out, either. Assuming my mind isn’t totally on the fritz, that is.

Bob Felton

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