Creationism really is behind it all

| 193 Comments

Everyone check out “The Apocalypse Will Be Televised” by Gene Lyons at Harper’s Magazine. Lyons reviews the Left Behind series, a wildly popular set of novels that portray, in Tom Clancy style, the Rapture and Armageddon according to dispensationalist beliefs. The antichrist is the head of the U.N. and looks like Robert Redford, the jews must convert or die, that kind of thing. The novels are by prominent fundamentalist Tim LaHaye, who also helped found such notable organizations as the Moral Majority and the Institute for Creation Research (see the Who’s who of prophecy page on LaHaye).

It turns out that creationism is more closely tied to modern fundamentalist prophecy interpretation than I had previously appreciated. I’ll quote the most relevant passages from Lyons’ article.

Describing the conclusion of the battle between Jesus and the Antichrist in the last Left Behind book, Lyons writes,

As in every action/adventure flick for rent at Blockbuster, it’s obligatory that Mr. Big survive until the final showdown. But we all know how this story ends. Our heroes’ need to array themselves against the mighty armies of the Antichrist on the battlefield at Armageddon is never explained; not only is the entire event being televised worldwide like some cosmic Super Bowl but everything’s foreordained to happen precisely as it does happen (as we’re repeatedly assured by the scholarly Dr. Rosenzweig, whose timely conversion has turned him into Tribulation Force’s number one Jew for Jesus). God finished this screenplay a very long time ago, and there aren’t going to be any rewrites. “Lucifer, dragon, serpent, devil, Satan,” the archangel Gabriel commands, “you will now face the One you have opposed from time immemorial.” After which Jesus adds, “For all your lies about having evolved, you are a created being.”

Evolved? It all comes down to that? God is going to straighten Satan out about evolution versus creationism on Judgment Day? Apparently so. There will also be happy political consequences in getting rid of all the skeptics, unbelievers, and adepts of rival faiths. Rayford wonders if, just maybe, with only believers “left in the United States … would there be enough of them to start rebuilding the country as, finally for real, a Christian nation?” Gene Lyons, “The Apocalypse Will Be Televised

Satan claims he evolved? That’s news to me. I wonder where he fits on the phylogenetic tree – perhaps a highly modified hoofed animal, like whales? Lyons continues:

How seriously the rest of us need to take a primitive revenge fantasy like the Left Behind novels is hard to say. While daydreaming about Armageddon, most readers, I’m guessing, are also signing off on thirty-year mortgage notes and keeping their life insurance up to date. Intellectually, the “rapture racket,” as Barbara R. Rossing calls it in her lucid and passionate book The Rapture Exposed, owes its origins to nineteenth-century turmoil over Darwinism. A professor of the New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Rossing argues persuasively that certain people are attracted to Darby’s “dispensationalist system with its Rapture theology because it is so comprehensive and rational–almost science-like–a feature that made it especially appealing during battles over evolution during the 1920s and 1930s.”Gene Lyons, “The Apocalypse Will Be Televised

This all makes sense – Biblical literalists are going to be literal with everything in the Bible – but those of us who focus on the scientific arguments about Earth’s prehistory often lose track of the fact that for the young-earth creationists, this is all one package, starting with Genesis 6,000 years ago and extending straight through to World War III in the Holy Land Sometime Real Soon Now.

193 Comments

Let’s hope that the literal Rapture takes away those who literally believe in it so we can get on with life.

Jesus wept.

Jesus called.

He wants His religion back.

One quibble: how can anyone claim that dispensationalism is a literal interpretation of the Bible? It’s numerological nonsense and schizophrenic hallucinations and loads and loads of made-up blather.

Oh, wait…maybe it is biblical, after all.

It should also be noted that most devotees of the LaHaye (and Frank Peretti) novels do not read these fictions as fiction per se. The plot line and even some of the characters are taken as very real for these dispensationalists. This theological belief system provides the backbone for the religious right and also provides one of the better windows into this extremely paranoid world. I recommend everyone read at least one of these tales of religious paranoia. They’re quite revealing. Pick one up at your local library, however, they’re not worth buying.

God is going to straighten Satan out about evolution versus creationism on Judgment Day?

Indeed. God is going to expose the satanic influence over creationism, leading astray so many Christians

“Satan claims he evolved?”

That *is* a really weird bit. Does anyone believe this, either as fact or story? What on earth are L&J getting at here? Is it just another odd attempt to smear evolution as Satanic, or is there some sort of theological basis, however wacky?

World ends at 9 pm today! - News at 11.

I’ve had a suprising number of people, from various walks of life, in full possession of their wits and by no means unintelligent, confide in me their feelings that we are really living in the End Times. Mostly since I moved to Philly, which might have something to do with it, but nevertheless, it’s really strange. I really do wonder how, as mentioned above, it affects various mundane decisions. People have brought this up in relation to environmentalism, etc. - anybody know of studies?

Folks aren’t piling up and burning their possessions yet, anyway …

I expect that the Left Behind series is popular for the same reason that the DaVinci Code sells millions. Both offer a highly literal version of issues of ultimate concern, the former replacing myth with science fiction, the later turning a spiritual mystery into a murder mystery. Fundamentalism as a whole fits this pattern since it is marked by the reduction of religious faith to adherence to a series of flat propositions, a kind of doctrinal positivism.

It’s my impression that the linking of satat with evolution goes back to Henry Morris, at least. The idea has been around for awhile anyway.

“Lucifer, dragon, serpent, devil, Satan,” the archangel Gabriel commands, “you will now face the One you have opposed from time immemorial.” After which Jesus adds, “For all your lies about having evolved, you are a created being. Who should be paying a flat tax.”

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 119, byte 119 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

One quibble: how can anyone claim that dispensationalism is a literal interpretation of the Bible? It’s numerological nonsense and schizophrenic hallucinations and loads and loads of made-up blather. Oh, wait … maybe it is biblical, after all.

PZ, no doubt unintentionally, says something intelligent (and then quickly returns to his fatuous norm.) While dispensationalism claims to be literalist, and in many cases is hyper-literal, at its heart it is an invention. The basis of dispensationalism is not the rapture and the 1000 years of Revelation, but the belief that Jesus offered the kingdom to the Jews and they turned him down. This is in spite of the fact that no such offer is recorded in scripture. Beginning with this nonexistent event, dispensationalism then argues that the church age is an unforeseen “parenthetical” age. God has to, at some point, according to this misguided theology, return to deal with the Jews. Hence the rapture to get the church out of the way, hence the millennial kingdom where attention is focused on the Jews.

Wrong again David. John Nelson Darby, the father of dispensationalism, was the first to suggest the doctrine of the rapture and it’s been a central feature ever since.

Buridan, The rapture is a central feature but it is not the “axiom.” You understand the difference, I assume? The central axiom is the rejection of Jesus’ supposed offer. Read any book on dispensationalism, by either friend or foe. Do you think by dropping Darby’s name you prove your point? Interesting logic. Or rather lack thereof, a PT specialty.

If the rapture were definitive aspect of dispensationalism, then Darby couldn’t be its father. Premillennialism goes back to the early church. The fact that God has unfinished business with the Jews and tthat he church age was unforseen is what is particular to dispensationialism.

David Heddle Wrote:

Do you think by dropping Darby’s name you prove your point?

What?

David Heddle Wrote:

Read any book on dispensationalism, by either friend or foe.

A good portion of my theological library contains books on dispensationalism, by dispensationalists, and by dispensationalist foes. I’ve read them all and I’m not an amateur in these matters. Yes, I think dropping this tidbit strengthens my point. By the way, if anyone is interested in a rather large and respectable theological library, let me know ;-)

In any event, I’m not going to be sucked into a theological discussion on this topic, here or anywhere. I’ve paid my dues in this regard a long time ago and I find such talk uninteresting. And as I said in another post, discussing religion is not the same as discussing theology. I enjoy the former and not the latter for the most part.

Apocalyptic visions, which is how I regard the Left Behind series, have been a staple of religion for centuries, and it’s just the latest manifestations of an end of the world forecast, only in this case with more publicity and no specific date. Like most astrologers, LeHaye and Jenkins avoid being specific about things that could be checked. As with all such prognostications it will fall of its own failure, only without a specific date, that death may be lingering. In the meantime its current promoters have found a commercial and legitimate way to cash in, handsomely, on the gullibility of their audience.

But I think the importance of this nonsense is overblown. Yes, LaHaye and Jenkins have sold something like 40 or 50 million books, depending on what’s being counted , but that’s for 12 novels (or maybe it’s 13 or 14) or four to five million each. Considering that most readers probably buy several of the novels (and real martyrs buy all of them!) we’re talking about at least four million folks but probably more like eight of nine. That’s not even all the fundamentalists in the country. Those numbers will diminish when LaHaye and Jenkins prove to be false prophets. A social phenomena worth noting? Yes. A phenomena with legs? Probably not.

PZ, no doubt unintentionally, says something intelligent (and then quickly returns to his fatuous norm.) While dispensationalism claims to be literalist, and in many cases is hyper-literal, at its heart it is an invention. The basis of dispensationalism is not the rapture and the 1000 years of Revelation, but the belief that Jesus offered the kingdom to the Jews and they turned him down. This is in spite of the fact that no such offer is recorded in scripture. Beginning with this nonexistent event, dispensationalism then argues that the church age is an unforeseen “parenthetical” age. God has to, at some point, according to this misguided theology, return to deal with the Jews. Hence the rapture to get the church out of the way, hence the millennial kingdom where attention is focused on the Jews.

Thanks for once again regaling us with your religious opinions, David.

Why, again, are your religious opinions any more authoritative than mine, my next door neighbor’s, my car mechanic’s, or the kid who delivers my pizzas?

Since your religious opinions are just that, your opinions, and are no more holy or divine or infallible or authoritative than anyone else’s religious opinions, I am wondering (yet again) why you would feel that anyone should be obligated in any way, shape, or form to follow your religious opinions, to accept them, or even to pay any attention at all to them.

.

But by dropping Darby’s name, one informs those people who follow thoelogy seriously. Alas, that means one usually loses creationists.

At least people who follow evolution usually know who Darwin is.

David Heddle Wrote:

- (after recently pledging to be more polite) -

Interesting logic. Or rather lack thereof, a PT specialty.

PT, as you know, is not responsible for the rationality of the comments posted to it. Care to share with us what you regard as “PT’s specialty illogic” in the actual PT posts? Something more illogical, say, than believing the bible to be infallible?

Someone mentioned a bumper sticker they’d seen that said:

“Come the Rapture, can I have your car?”

In all fairness and balanced-ness you must also read Good Omens.

Clearly Satan is harmless, as Cuvier noted. The apocryphal story goes that Cuvier, who claimed to be able to describe an entire animal from several functional characters like teeth (well before the evolutionary attempts that creationists like to mock; Cuvier was opposed to evolution back in the 1810s), was once surprised in his bedchamber by some students, one of whom was dressed as Satan.

“I am Satan, and I am here to eat your soul!” declared the imposter.

Cuvier replied, “Horns, therefore herbivore. You can’t eat me!”

Gould, in some essay or other, doubts that this happened only because nobody would have dared to disturb Cuvier. But as he was opposed to evolution, we can rely upon his authority nonetheless.

Ed Darrell Wrote:

But by dropping Darby’s name, one informs those people who follow theology seriously. Alas, that means one usually loses creationists.

At least people who follow evolution usually know who Darwin is.

Yes, indeed Ed. And David even got the early church’s chiliasm confused with premillennial dispensationalism (pre-trib variety - redundant). Oh well, I guess if all you read on the matter is Ryrie, Scofield and ilk, such confusions will abound. Hey, this dropping exercise (PT illogic) is fun. ;-)

The choice recent bit of illogic on PT being, of course, David Heddle’s remark in comment 20,679, saying that ID predicts that we will not observe multiverses, therefore ID is falsifiable.

That had two problems: (1) ID cannot predict any such thing, and (2) the statement of the “prediction” is a pure existential statement, one of a class of statements which Popper specifically demonstrated were unfalsifiable.

Given that ID must inescapably posit at least one supernatural Designer, ID must logically posit not less than one “superverse”. The existence of a superverse suggests the existence of multiverses. Therefore ID predicts… not much.

Buridan:

David even got the early church’s chiliasm confused with premillennial dispensationalism.

And where did I do that? I pointed out that, contrary to what you suggested, belief in a rapture followed by an earthly kingdom is not unique to dispensationalism. (Actually, a rapture is common to all end times views; when Christ returns living believers will be caught up in the air, it’s a question of what happens next.) Darby is not the father of a belief in the rapture, or in premillennialism, but the father of an entire systematic theology (dispensationalism) based on the notion, made of whole cloth, that the Jews refused Christ’s offer of a kingdom, that includes a rapture and features it prominently.

Elsberry:

That had two problems: (1) ID cannot predict any such thing, and (2) the statement of the “prediction” is a pure existential statement, one of a class of statements which Popper specifically demonstrated were unfalsifiable.

You continue to hang your hat on logic that denies the obvious:

ID posits that this universe was fine-tuned for life. Therefore it predicts that science will continue to demonstrate that feature of the cosmos. Therefore, if science demonstrates otherwise either by

(a) demonstrating that this universe is not fine tuned after all, or (b) demonstrating that this universe is only one of an infinite number of universes, thereby rendering the claim that we are naturally in one of the lucky ones irrefutable,

then ID is dead in the water. Many who offer it as an explanation will withdraw their support. In the face of that, all you can do, and I can understand why, is chant that “Popper says that’s not falsifying, Popper says that’s not falsifying, Popper says . …”

So if current, active research in any of a number of multiverse theories pans out, and I retract my support for ID and say that “I used to believe it, but as a result of experimental data I no longer do” you’ll then tell me: “Oh, but it wasn’t falsified, granted you believed it before and now, because of an experiment, you don’t, but that’s not ‘falsified’, because Popper…”

David Heddle Wrote:

You continue to hang your hat on logic that denies the obvious:

ID posits that this universe was fine-tuned for life.

Your premise is wrong. ID does not posit anything about the universe, other than the fact that some aspect of it (usually, the creatures that inhabit it) were “designed”. Starting with that postulate, there is no logical requirement for any particular aspect of the universe to have any particular characteristic. Proving fine-tuning wrong would not prove ID wrong, nor would it cause any significant fraction of ID advocates to abandon their beliefs.

Sorry for the derailment.

David Heddle Wrote:

You continue to hang your hat on logic that denies the obvious

David, you misspelled “I” in the above.

What is obvious is that “falsification” has a specific technical meaning and associated import in discussion of the philosophy of science. ID advocates and cheerleaders equivocate when they say “ID is falsifiable” because they invariably mean something other than what Popper established “falsifiable” as meaning. They wish to appear to hold a stance associated with risky positions and tentativeness of their conclusions, but when push comes to shove, we always find that what is actually offered are vague existential statements which are in no way entailed by anything in “intelligent design”. I will continue to point out such unseemly and unscholarly behavior whenever I encounter it. Given David’s brazenly recidivist tendencies on this point, that would appear to be often.

I’ve already given Dembski’s assertion of the fundamental claim of “intelligent design” and shown that multiverses have nothing to do with the conjecture. It is obvious that David has not addressed what I said before, and is reduced to endless re-assertion of his discredited statement.

WRE Wrote:

That’s a straightforward non sequitur. There is no prediction from “intelligent design” that multiverses are forbidden. Multiverses are not incompatible, inconsistent, or contradictory to “intelligent design”. They would simply make the probabilities as asserted by Dembski and comrades more amenable to natural mechanisms without resort to “intelligent design”.

[…]

David’s original assertion was that he would recant ID if the existence of multiverses was demonstrated. The sloppiness of David’s assertions about scientific falsifiability are apparent in the fact that there would be no necessity for other ID cheerleaders or advocates to do the same on appearance of the same item of empirical evidence. The only reason that multiverses might affect David’s embrace of ID is not anything about the structure of ID itself (and therefore something to do with hypothesis A), but rather because multiverses would go some way toward apparent corroboration of a competing hypothesis (hypothesis B). Thus, I conclude that I am not missing anything here, as Heddle’s rejoinder implies, and Heddle’s assertion that ID (as hypothesis A) “predicts” the absence of multiverses is simply more whiny weaseling.

I’m not sure why David is continuing to try to spur on his dead horse. It seems most illogical on his part.

David Heddle writes: “… when Christ returns living believers will be caught up in the air…”

Are these people so terrified of death that they will embrace ANY religious dogma that promises them eternal life, regardless of an abundance of contrarian scientific data, not to mention common sense ?

DavidH,

Except the earth isn’t at the center of the universe. If “the earth is at the center of the universe” was my version of ID, then not only would it be falsifiable, it would in fact be falsified.

But again this demonstrates why ID - and, I have to say, your private version of it - is silly; it is ridiculous to think that the idea of a Designer could be falsified by such an observation. And if you reply, well, it’s just my version of ID and not the notion of a Designer itself, then ID is a pretty useless philosophy. Not only that, as history has shown, one that will rear its head with a new set of “predictions.” ID falls into the usual Creationist category of well, you proved me wrong on that but I’m still right and heres new evidence.

That’s why I raised this analogy - the Earth seemed (back then) to be the center of the universe. So people could get away with it as a temporary argument for a Designer since there was no counter evidence. The same may be true with fine-tuning and I suspect that that will turn out to be the case. Every time we posit that we are special it turns out not to be the case. So it’s pretty meaningless to say “I’m not saying the Earth is the center of the Universe” since you are arguing something analogous. The evidence isn’t in; when it is then, likely, you will jettison this version of ID and turn to another. This is why ID should not be taught in schools - it’s a human philosopy based on speculation and political goals - that’s why Col. 3:8 applies. Anytime we force philosopy on others we have erected a church; you personally may not want to do this but the ID movement as a whole does. Your private beliefs don’t match with what ID proclaims itself to be - so I don’t see how you’re entitled to redefine ID to suit yourself. It only confuses the issue.

Your reference to Col 2:8 would be applicable if I were advocating that we attend the “church of the designer.” I don’t—I attend a church that proclaims the cross each week. ID is not a replacement for faith in Christ. It just a glimpse of creation.

That’s certainly fine as your personal belief and, to be honest, I have no problem with you or anyone else believing in “ID” in this sense. But blurring the issue by claiming fairly grandly that “ID is falsifiable” makes it sound like it’s a theory when it isn’t. The Bible teaches that an Intelligent Designer made the universe but the Bible does not teach ID. There is an important difference since the term ID has come to mean something specific - it means something that claims to be a scientific theory whether you like it or not.

ID is a theory by the definition of those who have come up with it. So why not just say, I believe the universe was created and ID is bogus science. Because, if “ID science” is not a theory but a philosophy then it must be bogus science.

Given the current political climate such statements as “ID is not a theory for me” are bound to confuse and are not helpful. What you mean in plain English is “I believe that fine-tuning might point to a creator but I might be wrong.” Well, at some level I believe that too. Again it seems to be a case of having one’s cake and eating it too.

Finally, I think it is unchristian to essentially “lord it over” the many thousands of relatively uneducated sincere Christians who swallow this stuff like it was Holy Writ. You may be able to carefully explain your position with caveats and cautions but the average Christian cannot. Nor can the ID movement educate such ones - they don’t even try; instead they impart proaganda and elevate themselves as intellects. Thus, to me, the ID movement is tantamount to a cult that is using high sounding words to mislead average people into a taking a position which is actually an example of human philosophy. The opening words of Job 13 apply here. Also, Christians know what happens, millstone-wise, to those who mislead God’s “little ones.”

Heddle, from the time machine, says

here are the things that ID says are problems for evolution. Let’s take a couple weeks to examine them.

Ha! I had forgotten that classic Heddle howler.

Mister Heddle: Not to pile on, and in no way do I pretend to any authority or expertise in biology, but only as an interested “lay-lurker” I have to ask what you mean when you say: “I stand by the claim that fossil record does not dispute the chronological ordering found in Genesis.”? Do you refer to Genesis 1 when “God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and the cattle after their kind” etc., etc. THEN made man? Or Genesis 2 when “the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them.”? Since these are obviously contradictory accounts one of them must be contradicted by the fossil record. I’m betting it’s Genesis 2. Thanks, Gary

Gary,

The Genesis 2 account does not contradict Genesis 1. It is an expanded, non-chronological look at creation, with more details on the creation of man.

For a chart (PDF) that shows the fossil record overlaying the Genesis 1 Chronology, look here.

Rev: I am sure that the Genesis 2 account is a non-chronological recap because I am a Calvinist and we are correct on all matters theological. {harps strumming}

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 3, column 16, byte 182 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Gee Andrew, you seem to have left out a comment on the same thread, from Russell, one of my constant critics:

RE: encoding original sin in DNA.

Just for the record, I assumed David was making a joke. I got a chuckle out of it. Thanks David.

You might try finding something substantive to criticize me about, rather than for a joke. Were you one of those who thought the SciAm article on ID was for real?

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 8, column 67, byte 506 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 15, column 2, byte 517 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

The real question is how grown men and women find themselves trying to find authoritative messages about biology or physics in old Hebrew books. It’s not that I’m hostile to the old books—I’m very fond of ‘em myself—but it’s kinda nutty to think that they are authoritative as well as venerable.

Apparently, all you accomplish by making a set of texts into infallible scriptures is make them impossible to read. Only the most tortuous exegesis can make orbiter dicta from the 6th Century BCE relevant to our scientific and philosophical concerns.

Rev, Rev, Rev, haven’t you been listening? My views are correct because I am a Calvinist and we are always correct in all aspects of theology, exegesis, and apologetics. The Apostle Paul was a Calvinist, and so was Augustine. We laid low for a millennium and what happened? Apostasy! Indulgences were being sold. Republicans and Democrats were living together. But along came Luther who was a Calvinist, and Calvin (both a Calvinist and a Frenchman!) and we’ve been vigilant ever since.

Robyn Blumner has some thoughts that, I think, are relevant to this discussion:

Fundamentalists are steering our nation off course

Many of the men and women who have been holding vigils outside Terri Schiavo’s hospice are exhibiting the worst of America’s homegrown strain of religiously grounded ignorance and hypocrisy. … The Schiavo protesters tend to be people who believe the Bible is to be taken as literal truth. They apparently have no trouble reconciling the 3.5-billion-year-old fossil record with the creationist theory that the Earth is some 6,000 years old. … In his book “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason,” author and neuroscientist Sam Harris writes that it is time we stop tiptoeing around religious zealots - of any faith or denomination - and start challenging their implausible world view. … In Deuteronomy 13:6-10, it is written that if your brother, son, daughter, wife or friend tries to steer you toward worshiping another God, you “must surely kill him. . And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die.” … Those people in the middle, who think it is inappropriate to challenge the religious certainty of others, have allowed our country to be hijacked by irrational forces. In poll after poll, a large majority of Americans say they would not want to be kept alive as Terri Schiavo has been. But the elected branches of government are beholden to a vocal fringe of religious extremists…

Forgive the choppiness. I’m trying to give you a taste of the column without too egregiously violating at least the spirit of copyright laws.

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 12, column 2, byte 921 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Mister Heddle, you said: “The Genesis 2 account does not contradict Genesis 1. It is an expanded, non-chronological look at creation, with more details on the creation of man.” On what authority exactly, beside your say-so, or that of your religions teachings do you make this statement? Did the authors of Genesis leave a heretofore undiscovered footnote clarifying this glaring contradiction? I have gone over this book many times in several different translations and no amount of rationalization and apologetic gymnastics can make these two clearly contradictory accounts consonant with each other in a fundamentalist, literal reading of this book. If you are not claiming a literal interpretation of Genesis should be read as being aligned with the scientific evidence,then fine, we agree. But it does leave me wondering why you would make such a claim in the first place. Gary

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on March 27, 2005 2:20 AM.

Report #2 on Questions to Calvert was the previous entry in this blog.

The 2005 Megacreation Conference is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter