Sunday, February 13, 2011

God is the Reason that the Seasons Change!

Today's topic was specifically asked for by my sister and fellow atheist.  She informed me that she once went to church and the speaker said that God was the reason for the seasons changing.  She told me that she thought this was "stupid" and wanted my opinions on it.

These kinds of statements (like "God is the Reason that the Seasons Change!") dovetail into, what I like to call, the "Look at the trees!" fallacy.  This fallacy usually begins with the theist stating that there is a type of order in the universe that could only be the work of an intelligent designer.  The theist then points to the trees and nature and asks how these organisms could have about any other way but through God.  This is called the "Argument for Design" (see: for more information).  More recently, Bill O'Reilly said that God exists because "the tide goes in, the tide goes out; the sun comes up, the sun goes down; and there is never a miscommunication."  Please watch -  Mr. O'Reilly is the very definition of forming a conclusion (i.e. God exists) and then doing everything you can to stretch your "evidence" in any way you can to fit that conclusion.  He was called out on his "tides go in, tides go out" mantra and then just asked, "Well how did the moon get there?" and "Why doesn't Mars have a moon?".  Well Mr. O'Reilly, Mars has two moons and the moon is where it is today due to a massive collision with the Earth and another, perhaps larger, celestial body.  We do know these answers due to scientific inquiry.  However, your response would most likely be, "Well how did Mars' moons get there?" and "What made the other celestial body hit the Earth?" (begging the question as usual).  O'Reilly is attempting to push science farther and farther back until scientists are forced to say, "We don't know" to which O'Reilly will exclaim, "Aha!  Therefore God must have done that!".  This is called the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy; or, an argument from ignorance.  Just because scientists don't yet know the answer to a question does not give O'Reilly any justification to assert that a deity had something to do with it.  In order to show that a deity did anything you must have proof.  If you don't have any proof for your hypothesis then you must disprove the nearly infinite amount of other theories, which is impossible.

Back to God making the seasons change, I would suggest the speaker at that church to examine the plethora of scientific research that explains the tilting of the Earth, the specific orbit the Earth takes around the Sun, the climate patterns/weather systems in the hemispheres, etc.  The speaker would then probably assert that, "God is present in all things and He made the processes which change the seasons."  Well, show me that a God is necessary and sufficient in making the processes/constants in the universe.  We have knowledge of many observances that we have of our universe.  For every one we don't have, theists try to insert a god into those holes (i.e. the God of the Gaps fallacy).  The universe acts exactly as we would expect it to if there was no god pulling the strings.  When we couldn't explain thunder, we had Thor; when we couldn't explain lightning, we had Zeus; when we couldn't explain the rising and setting of the sun, we had Apollo.  So Mr. O'Reilly, to answer your question about the sun rising and setting, Apollo and his chariot pull the sun across the sky everyday without any miscommunications.  I will end the post with a quote: 
"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going." (Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design)
If you have any questions, concerns, or if you disagree with me e-mail me at or leave a comment below! 

I hope this was sufficient enough for my sister...

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