Creationist Wisdom — Example 80

ALL the letters-to-the-editor we write about have similarities, yet each has its unique aspects. Today’s specimen appears in the Fort Collins Coloradoan, and it’s titled Darwin’s ideas conflict with the facts.

We won’t copy today’s letter in its entirety because it’s too long, so we’ll skip over the letter-writer’s standard creationist blather. We’ll also omit his name and city. Besides adding Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs, we added some bold font for emphasis. Here we go:

Darwin’s legacy is both an advancement in our understanding of the natural world and the human disaster of atheistic regimes like Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China.

We see this at almost all creationist websites. There are two reasons for rejecting such nonsense. First, because it’s false. Stalin suppressed Darwinian biology, and Mao probably never heard of Darwin. Also, if this creationist allegation were true, then why didn’t Darwin’s own country behave like Russia and China? The second reason is because science doesn’t causes the problems attributed to it; rather, it’s the anti-science side that deserves “credit” for religious wars, witch burnings, and centuries of state-enforced mindlessness. A creationist who slanders science is like a blood-drenched slasher accusing his victims of atrocities.

Let’s read on:

Naturalism presupposes that no supernatural force was involved in our origins and thus gives us no purpose, positions man free from the laws of God, and makes man merely an animal, seeking his own pleasure at the expense of others.

So many errors, so little time. Contrary to the propaganda from professional creationist flim-flammers, science doesn’t demand a philosophy of metaphysical naturalism. All that science requires, besides freedom, is data that can be verifiably observed and tested. These are modest occupational necessities, and they leave the angels entirely free to conduct their heavenly duties. We continue:

Scientists have imposed atheistic presuppositions on the explanation of origins – a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The teaching of evolution as fact in science classrooms is also wrong because observational data do not support the theory.

That second sentence is nonsense, but the sentence before it is an argument we haven’t seen before, which is why we’re writing about today’s letter. Let’s ignore the letter-writer’s fevered imaginings about the alleged presuppositions of science — which are not only wrong but stupidly wrong. Instead, focus on the wild assertion that science itself violates the First Amendment. That’s a new one. It’s not much of an argument, obviously, but it’s a newly observed symptom of creationism.

Here’s more:

Today’s science textbooks teach evolution as fact, when already known facts and laws directly contradict it.

Yeah, right. How about an example?

In high school biology textbooks, we’re told that life can only come from life (the Law of Biogenesis), which Louis Pasteur proved via experiment, yet in following chapters we are told that “life arose” from nonlife 3.5 billion years ago. We’re told that species slowly morph into more complex new species over long periods of time, yet this has never been observed, even after observing tens of thousands of generations of bacteria.

Ah yes, the oft-repeated and entirely fictional “Law of Biogenesis,” which only exists in creationist literature. We’ve discussed it a time or two. See: Creationist Wisdom — Example Fourteen. Better still, here’s a good discussion at Talk.Origins: Spontaneous Generation and the Origin of Life.

Moving along:

I believe that our culture has been deceived into thinking that evolution can explain life’s origins when the facts prove that it cannot.

That’s what the letter-writer believes? Okay. Hey, genius: Darwin’s theory of evolution never attempted to explain life’s origins. Here’s more:

Life’s information, complexity, interdependence and sustainability are much better explained by the history in Genesis. The facts of science back this up.

Genesis is a proclamation, not an explanation. We’re getting close to the end now:

Dr. Rob Carter will visit Fort Collins this week to share the latest findings in the human genome and how the story of creation, the catastrophe of the flood and the dispersal of the people all line up consistently with the data of human genetics and fit much better than the evolutionary scenario. If this interests you, come hear Dr. Carter speak at 3 p.m. Friday in the North Ballroom of Lory Student Center at Colorado State University.

Who is Carter? We found him here: Dr Robert W. Carter. If we can believe his biographical material (remember: verify everything when dealing with creationists) then he’s one of those curiosities who somehow got through school but who nevertheless believes — or at least promotes — creationism. To us, that’s far worse than a totally unschooled creationist, who has the excuse of not knowing better. What’s Carter’s excuse?

At last, we come to the letter’s end:

And if you can’t make that but are interested in the topic of creation/evolution and how we can all work together to have science stay connected to truth, e-mail me at [Curmudgeonly deletion] and I’ll be happy to talk with you.

[Writer's name and city can be seen in the original.]

There you are, dear reader. We hope you devote all the time necessary to ponder the meaning of this. And if you’re in the Fort Collins area, be sure to attend Carter’s revival meeting. It promises some good, down-home, old-time creationism.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom — Example 80

  1. Wish this Carter luck over at Ft. Collins. Its not exactly a bastion of social conservatism. And if I am up their, it will be to visit the plethora of excellent micro-breweries and thanking god for the minor miracle of good beer.

  2. Gabriel Hanna

    The “Law of Biogenesis” is something like a quote-mining exercise.

    Up through the Renaissance people believed things likethat maggots are spontaneously generated from rotting meat. Louis Pasteur showed that microorganisms didn’t spring from nothing, but from other microorganisms. He performed no experiment that had anything to say about the idea of extremely primitive precursors of life–many orders of magnitude less complex than bacteria–first arising by chance.

    Talking about the “Law of Biogenesis” as though it says something about conditions four billion years ago, is a little bit like saying that the Law of Gravitation proves that helium balloons are impossible.

  3. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Talking about the “Law of Biogenesis” as though it says something about conditions four billion years ago, is a little bit like saying that the Law of Gravitation proves that helium balloons are impossible.

    To me it’s like citing Galileo’s weight-dropping experiment and declaring that “All things are the same!”

  4. Certainly not Ivy League credentials, but still – secular universities have no business handing out graduate degrees in science to creationists. If they earn the degree legitimately, then flip out later on and start spouting this nonsense, the degree should be rescinded.

  5. You can’t rescind degrees for someone becoming a creationist. You’ll make Expelled true rather than fantasy and defeat your own cause.

    It would only be seen as persecution. If you start rescinding degrees across the board for being biased, blind, and unthinking, an awful lot of degrees are going to disappear.

  6. If you start rescinding degrees across the board for being biased, blind, and unthinking, an awful lot of degrees are going to disappear.

    Subordinating empirical data to faith isn’t science; it’s theology. If they want to speculate and indulge in fantasy for a living, let them go into that.

  7. Gabriel Hanna

    Certainly not Ivy League credentials, but still – secular universities have no business handing out graduate degrees in science to creationists. If they earn the degree legitimately, then flip out later on and start spouting this nonsense, the degree should be rescinded.

    So a mechanical engineer, perfectly competent at mechanical engineering, should lose his credential due to his unrelated religious views?

    Talk about the cure worse than the disease.

  8. The Chinese calendar is currently at year 4706. How do the creationists explain that against the flood? Or do only Eurocentric “facts” count? The fact that the Chinese go back that far should cause them some sort of pause. Oh yeah, I forgot, facts do not matter, only Genesis.

  9. techreseller, I agree with your point, but most young earthers allow for the earth to be 10,000 years old due to gaps in genealogies. Even at a strict 6,000 year age, the flood occurred around 4400 years ago, so it’s not really a problem for the Chinese to have 4706 years of records.

    What’s worse is the Sumerians. Their history goes back to 8,000 years ago. They have a flood story, but it has to be older than 8,000 years.