Monthly Archives: August 2008

Sarah Palin: Maybe Only Slightly Creationist

YESTERDAY we published one of the first articles on the internet about the science-literacy of Sarah Palin, John McCain’s choice to be his Vice Presidential running mate. It was titled Sarah Palin: Creationist?

Today there seem to be thousands of articles on that subject, and there’s not much room left for any original discussion. But to satisfy our continuing curiosity about Sarah, we decided to check out the attitudes of some creationist websites. Our thinking was: They know their own.

So we went to Answers in Genesis (AIG), which is as hard-core creationist as it’s possible to get. They have this article: Is She Really a Creationist? Excerpts:

Before we look at Gov. Palin’s beliefs on creation/evolution (she has certainly shown a willingness to express her doubts about the scientific validity of evolution), we should add that caution needs to be exercised in this area before confidently declaring her to be a biblical young-earth creationist.

Fair enough. They then mention the same TV interview that we quoted from yesterday (as did hundreds of other bloggers). But in addition, they say this:

In an interview the next day, Palin (if the Anchorage Daily News report is correct) appeared to backpedal somewhat, saying that she meant to say that a discussion of alternative views should be allowed but not forced on students, adding: “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.” In other words, Palin was not suggesting that the teaching of creation should be mandated (perhaps realizing that her statement the day before came across as arguing that creation must be in the science curriculum).

Ah. So maybe she’s not hard-core. Continuing:

The Anchorage newspaper also reported her as saying she would not push the state’s board of education (governors in Alaska appoint board members, and the legislators confirm them) to add creationist alternatives to evolution to the state’s curriculum. The paper asked for her personal view on evolution, and she said, “I believe we have a creator.”

Much better than we feared yesterday! The article then talks about the AIG position — which doesn’t interest us. We want to know Sarah Palin’s views, not those of the creationists at AIG.

One final excerpt:

We will continue to seek out additional comments from Gov. Palin regarding her beliefs on creation/evolution.

Yes, and so will we. If we find the creationist websites becoming wildly enthusiastic, then we’ll know that Sarah may have some serious intellectual problems. At this time she seems acceptable; but we’ll keep an open mind in case more evidence turns up.

Why acceptable? Because it’s fine with us if she’s privately a creationist — as long as she doesn’t try to destroy science education by forcing creation “science” (or Intelligent Design) into public school science classes.

[Our related articles are here: Sarah Palin & Creationism.]

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Methodist Pastor With Full-Blown Creationism

LAST WEEK WE reported that Methodists Strongly Accept Evolution. But not everyone agrees with us that this is a beneficial development.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, the same paper that gave us our earlier story, we have Evolution incompatible with Scripture. It’s a letter written by Rev. David Ballinger, a Methodist pastor. He is described as follows (emphasis supplied):

… a pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntington. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and holds a master of divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree with a double major in biology.

The quality of the scientific education Rev. Ballinger received at that institution will become evident as we present a few excerpts from his letter:

Let me say that Christian theology is not in conflict with real science. However, Christian theology is definitely in conflict with the theory of evolution. In fact, the theory of evolution is in conflict with real science.

Whaaaa? We read on:

[The theory of evolution] says that simple chemicals by chance association become more complex and turned into living organisms that eventually turned into people.

We begin to suspect that Rev. Ballinger got his biology education out of Jack Chick comic books. Moving along:

The first law of thermodynamics says “that matter can neither be created or destroyed.” That leads us to the question, where did all of this matter come from? The evolutionist must reason that matter created itself. The Christian by faith accepts divine revelation “all things were made through him.”

Thanks for the sermon, Rev, but what does that have to do with the theory of evolution? Anyway, here’s more — wisdom that could only be attained at the University of Uranus:

The second law of thermodynamics says basically that everything tends to run down. … Yet the theory of evolution says that things develop their complexity and structure over time. … It would be like a tornado sweeping through a junkyard and producing a 747 jumbo jet, and even if it formed, it would tend to fall apart.

The massive flow of creationist sewage keeps on coming:

Does life come from non-life? People used to believe in a theory called spontaneous generation. They thought that flies came from rotten meat and that rats came from garbage. Louis Pasteur, a fine Christian man and probably the greatest biologist of all time, showed us through his experiments that flies lay their eggs in rotten meat and rats are attracted to garbage. Life arises only from life. Yet evolutionists tell us that life spontaneously arose from non-living chemicals in some ancient area.

Ah yes, the Louis Pasteur argument. It’s true, Rev — Pasteur demonstrated that flies don’t arise from what was called “spontaneous generation,” so if we keep our food covered it won’t generate maggots. Did your biology teachers tell you that this disproves evolution? Or that it had anything at all to do with evolution? You’ve been horribly misinformed. [Correction: It was Francesco Redi in the 1660s who disproved that maggots arose from spontaneous generation. Pasteur's work was about preventing the "spontaneous generation" of bacteria and mold on food. Neither Redi nor Pasteur had anything to do with evolution or the origin of life.]

And now the Rev’s letter pours forth a veritable deluge of creationist excreta from the bowels of hell. Here it comes (emphasis supplied):

Are there transitional forms? Darwin himself said there should be many transitional forms at least in the fossil record. Yet there are huge gaps in the fossil record between fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, etc. If evolution were true, there should be millions and billions of transitional forms in the fossil record. Guess what? After 200 years of evolutionary teaching, they have never even found one transitional form in nature or in the fossil record.

Okay, that’s enough! If we continue, we might lose our Curmudgeonly composure and reveal what we truly think of this pastor and his biology degree. It’s so bad that some of the Rev’s points are even rejected by Answers in Genesis; and when those folks avoid a creationist argument you know it’s really bad: Arguments we think creationists should NOT use.

Click over to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and read the whole letter if you like. It’s a festival of creationism and ignorance. But you would be better off to spend your time wallowing around in a garbage dumpster behind a restaurant. You might find something to eat in there. In the Rev’s letter, however, there is nothing but garbage.

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Evolution Exhibit Censored — Freak Fight!

WE HAVE TWO articles on the same topic. First, in the UK’s Daily Telegraph we read: Museum covers up Darwin text after Genesis complaint . Excerpts:

Staff at Abington Park Museum in Northampton blocked out a section of an information board after a visitor complained that it misrepresented the Bible.

Madness! Would they remove their globes if a flat-earther complained? Another excerpt:

One sentence read: “He used the same layers of fossils that had supported the Genesis view of evolution to show the slow changes that are taking place over the millennia of earth history.”

But when a member of the public complained that there was no “Genesis view of evolution”, staff decided to cover the section of text with a piece of paper and order a new display board to be made.

The text was indeed sloppy, but the museum’s cowardice in caving to an “offended” creationist is disgusting. Moving along:

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “Hiding the facts of evolution is a form of intellectual child abuse.”

Indeed.

Now we have a follow-up story from the Northampton Chronicle & Echo: Protest continues over Darwin exhibition. Excerpts:

A passage in a display on Charles Darwin at the Northampton Borough Council-run museum was covered up after a complaint from a Christian. The move has now sparked the Northampton Socialist Forum to decide to hold the protest tomorrow.

Great. Creationists against socialists. It’s freak on freak. Is Western Civilization collapsing? Here’s more:

Councillor Brendan Glynane, the cabinet member for museums said: “There was absolutely no attempt at censorship. The text contains a factual error which could cause confusion.

“It is disappointing to see that some groups have tried to use this error to further their own agenda and make proverbial mountains out of molehills.

“We have now uncovered the display board and are in the process of getting a new board produced.”

Maybe they’ll end up with more scientifically correct text. But the creationists won’t be happy, and the socialists will be ready to respond. It’s a crazy world out there.

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Sarah Palin: Creationist?

IT LOOKS STRANGE. John McCain has just named Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. True to the purpose of this blog, we did a bit of research.

In the Anchorage Daily News we found this, from 25 October 2006: Curveballs, about a television debate in which Sarah Palin participated: Here are some excerpts, with bold added for emphasis.

Near the beginning of the article it says:

Toward the end, moderator Michael Carey said people would be hearing all about the candidates’ views on things like public employee pensions and the pipeline over the next several days, and looked to change things up with a pair of curveball questions about religion:

Is it OK for religious leaders to endorse candidates, and should public schools teach alternatives to evolution (such as creationism and intelligent design?)

Here’s Palin’s response to that question:

“Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information.

“Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.

“And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution.

“It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”

Sarah may have many admirable qualities, but we fear that she’s … well, incapable of rational thought. Perhaps we’re wrong. We shall see.

———-

Addendum:
We have a new article on this: Sarah Palin: Maybe Only Slightly Creationist.

[Our related articles are here: Sarah Palin & Creationism.]

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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