Dr Mensa Otabil has been on a roll in the past few weeks, demonstrating his immense ignorance of the greatest tool man has ever devised- science.
This man stands in his mega auditorium built on the back of scientific knowledge, lit by science, holding a microphone working on scientific principles, even holding a freaking bible which I’m sure if you give God a million years he cannot just make appear out of thin air- yet he proceeds to tell his congregation to disregard that hugely successful method in favour of a book of fairy tales which has never been independently corroborated.
And he is supposed to be one of the smartest people in the country?
I’ve written in the past about the dangers this sinister love we hold for scientific ignorance poses to Ghana, after another attack on science by Otabil. Religious people can moan all they want, but the best period of human development has been on the back of science. And any society that turns its back on it has no future. So in a country where our leaders encourage such thinking, we shouldn’t be surprised we aren’t exactly going anywhere.
Dr Mensa Otabil, head pastor of the International Central Gospel Church, on Sunday told his congregation that two of the top theories in science, evolution and the big bang theory, are lies concocted by people who want to fight God. According to him, science is not reliable, and therefore Christians should disregard these theories and hold on steadfastly to their faith.
It will be naïve on our part to think that all the knowledge out there that has alternative views to the word of God is genuine. It is naïve to think that all the research findings and the scientific evidence against God and against creation is genuine. When people sit and they are researching, somebody is sponsoring the research. Researchers don’t just research; somebody pays for it. For a long time, the tobacco industry paid researchers to say that cigarette smoking was good. Advertisers gained from it and they advertised cigarettes. It was killing people, but the research said it was good for your health.
That’s why sometimes when I hear people quoting and saying: ‘Well according to this scientist and that scientist, or according to this discovery and according to that discovery, this is how it is. No! There are people who have interest in making sure your God is never credited with who he is because if they can say that there was no creation, that the universe happened by itself, and that out of a universe that happened by itself, out of some matter somewhere, then something became an atom and then became whatever and then eventually became a little worm and that worm graduated and became me, and in the process, I was a monkey, but they have scientific proof. It’s a lie. It’s well-crafted and well-sponsored.
There are people who want to make sure God is not in our vocabulary because if there is God, then they must be accountable to Him. If there is God, then they must be subject to Him, but if there is no God, then we make the rules all by ourselves.
Unfortunately there are a lot of Christians, who have bought into the lie. It’s a well-crafted message and it’s sponsored. Don’t ever be childish and think that every scientific fact is true. Haven’t you seen how scientific research changes – one day egg is good, next day egg is not good; next day the white is good, next day, no, the yellow is good; next day eat one, next time eat three, next time don’t eat at all. I mean, where are these people coming out from. I mean one egg, you can’t tell us whether it’s good for us or not because different people are paying for different things and if you sit back thinking somebody is objective, you are a child. A lot of the medicines we take, they are from pharmaceutical companies, they sponsor research, and the thing is killing you [yet] they say it’s curing you. If they can do that to egg and can do that to pharmaceutical products, don’t you think they can do that to the greatest truth of all time?” Pastor Otabil said.
It’s amazing what the world settles on to fight the Gospel. It may not make sense, but they will settle on it: that this is the story we are going to tell, this is how we are going to counteract the gospel, this is the message we are going to preach, this is how we want people to respond anytime they hear the word of God…
The level of ignorance needed to hold such a worldview is astounding. Smart Christians have realised the effectiveness of the scientific method, and instead of hiding behind such Bronze Age views as Dr Otabil is espousing, they have incorporated these scientific theories into their belief system. The Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury both hold that these theories are not incompatible with Christianity, as do most world renowned theologians. But scientist and world class theologian Dr Mensa Otabil knows a truth that all these people do not.
Again, such utterances would kill Ghana in the long run. Everything shows we are stagnating as a country, and we need a far smarter new generation if we want to remain relevant on the global stage, and even to maintain a good standard of living for ourselves. A scientifically illiterate new generation means we would consistently fare worse than other countries going forward, and instead of building a better future for future generations, we’ll leave them worse off.
Dr Otabil’s utterances here are not only stunningly ignorant; they are dangerous, especially in a country where majority of students continue to fail math and science. I’m pretty sure Otabil goes to the hospital when he’s sick, drives his car to work, and uses social media. You can’t pray any of that into fruition.
Now that is not to say science is always right, and scientists are always open to changing their minds with the discovery of new evidence. But that is the strength of the method, rather than religious faith, which stakes a position, and holds onto it no matter what. The evidence should guide your conclusion, not the other way round. And currently, the best evidence supports both these theories, whilst no one has ever provided a shred of evidence for the Abrahamic God outside of the bible.
It’s tiring having to listen to otherwise smart people make idiots out of themselves due to religion. Countries like Japan and China are thriving despite having very little natural resources. Scandinavia and Western Europe are some of the most irreligious places on the globe, and with all our godliness we are the ones wallowing in poverty and misery. Religion is not the way forward, science is. And whether Ghanaians like it or not, unless we change our mentalities, we would get left behind.