Creationist Wisdom #172: Darwin Bad for Teens

We present to you, dear reader, a letter-to-the-editor titled Evolution doesn’t answer all of science’s questions, which appears in the Palm Beach Post of West Palm Beach, Florida. We’ll give you a few choice excerpts from this letter, and we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Here we go, with a bit of bold font added for emphasis:

The United States is losing its world prominence in academics, and science may be suffering the most. But two researchers at the University of Pennsylvania claim to have found the cause: high school biology teachers who do not advocate the theory of evolution.

Today’s letter starts out as if the writer were genuinely concerned about science education. The study to which he refers has been the subject of much attention, and you can read about it here: Too many teachers ignore evolution. Let’s see some more from the Palm Beach Post:

While evolution must be taught, because it has such a primary influence on scientific thought, science and theology need not be treated as completely disparate areas of study. Each offers answers to different questions about the origin of life.

But theology simply isn’t science, so the two shouldn’t be commingled in a science class. We continue:

For example, the big-bang theory proposes that the universe was randomly created out of nothing, but cannot explain how that was possible when the scientific laws of conservation of mass and energy clearly state that mass and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Theology, however, can.

How many misconceptions can you find in that paragraph? For starters, the letter-writer’s description of Big Bang theory is ridiculous. Even if it were accurate, that subject is unrelated to evolution. Secondly, theology explains nothing — it merely declares that a miracle is responsible for whatever phenomenon is in question. That is not an explanation. Here’s more:

[F[ew creationists would dispute the evidence of microevolution, evolution within a species that allows it to adapt to changing circumstances over time. It is over macroevolution, the theory that one species evolves into another, that the two belief systems clash.

Yeah, yeah — micro & macro. That nonsensical dichotomy has been debunked for generations (see Common Creationist Claims Confuted). But old creationist mantras seem to survive forever. Moving along:

Although the courts have ruled that creationism is not science, not all scientists would agree.

We won’t bother with the letter-writer’s discussion of “scientists” who are also creationists. Here’s how the letter ends:

Under an evolutionary worldview, living beings are collections of cells with no meaning. With teenagers already struggling to find their identities and their place in the world, why would they find any relevance in biology?

Yes, evolution teaches teens that life has no meaning. But Noah’s Ark — now that’s a self-esteem builder!

We’ve only copied a small portion of this letter. Click over to the Palm Beach Post to read the whole thing.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #172: Darwin Bad for Teens

  1. Oh, that poor misinformed writer illustrates exactly why science education is so important.
    FYI, Dale McGowan has some school issues going on with his daughter. Not directly with the school but with its response to her Charlie’s Playhouse award for her ideas on evolution. The school was going to tout her award while not mentioning the evolution part of the accomplishment. Dale’s not finished with the story, this part ends well: http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog/?p=5336
    (I’m not even trying to embed that link–I always get the tag wrong!)

  2. With teenagers already struggling to find their identities and their place in the world, why would they find any relevance in biology?
    I will assure this writer that, as a teen, I found biology VERY relevant. Compelling. Urgent, even.

  3. The writer, among other things, quotes Lee Strobel. Strobel is not only an accomplished Liar For Jesus, he uses other Liars For Jesus and nutcases as sources. And people like the writer lap it up. I don’t understand. I never will.

    I am a Christian, but I believe I was given intelligence and the power to reason, for a purpose. And that purpose would include finding out things for myself and not relying on charlatans who are trying to sell books and themselves.

    I don’t recall my high school biology teacher mentioning creationism (I’m not sure that was even a word in common parlance when I was a girl) and yet, most of us found more meaning in biology than our parents would have wished.

  4. I agree that Lee is amongst the worst of the worst. If my daughter started quoting Lee I’d pack her off to a convent.

    Oh, wait …

  5. Aaaaah Stroebel the master strawman.

    I managed to get through about 1/3 of “The Case for Christ” when it became quite obvious what Stroebel was up to.

    He found a ready made market for his BS. I used to wonder how he lived with his conciense then I remembered he was first a lawyer.

  6. Theology as explanation? It depends on the question. I think about theology as a specialized form of literary theory. (As an English instructor, I want to expand my own particular kingdom, naturally.) The difference in causes for the Flood in “Genesis” and “The Epic of Gilgamesh” are important thematic questions about classic texts. What forces produced the Persian Gulf is something that only geology can answer.