Creationist Wisdom #176: Oklahoma!

This is your lucky day, dear reader. Today we bring you not just one but two — two! — letters-to-the-editor appearing in The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City. We’ll give you a few choice excerpts from each letter, and we’ll omit the writers’ names and location. Here we go, with a bit of bold font added for emphasis:

The first letter is Either what the Bible says is true or it’s a lie. The title reveals the letter-writer’s fine grasp of “critical thinking” that creationists are forever claiming they want students to acquire. Here we go:

The Rev. Deborah Meinke (Your Views, Feb. 26) wrote that intelligent design theory is “a thinly disguised representation of creationism, which has been discredited many times by evolutionary science” and that her God “works through the evolutionary process.”

Here’s a link to that earlier letter: Intelligent design theory has no place in curriculum. It’s pretty good. That is precisely why it aroused today’s letter-writer, who goes on to say:

Either the Bible is true or it’s a lie. Genesis says God created (called into existence, out of nothing) man in His own image. If you can’t believe that God created man out of nothing, you probably don’t believe many other events in the Bible are factual.

He’s got a point. Similarly, either The Iliad is true or it’s a lie. The same goes for Gone with the Wind. Those books are either all true — every little word — or else they contain nothing of value. That’s critical thinking at its best.

There’s one more paragraph to that letter, but you can read it for yourself at The Oklahoman. Now let’s turn to the second latter in today’s issue of that newspaper. It’s titled Why restrict science teaching to one side of issue? Here it comes:

In response to the Rev. Deborah Meinke (Your Views, Feb. 26): Education isn’t about some authority deciding what is or what is not truth. Education is about presenting all sides of an issue and allowing students to think critically about the issue and decide what they believe.

This letter-writer is another example of the benefits of “critical thinking.” Let’s read on:

As a college student with minimum firsthand knowledge of the Bible, I sat in a science class and listened to the Big Bang Theory. In order to pass the course, I regurgitated this theory back to the instructor and got the needed credit for the class. It didn’t hurt me, but it also didn’t make sense to me. I observed my own respiratory and circulatory systems and decided Big Bang could explain neither of those magnificent systems.

That was only the first paragraph of the letter. You can visit The Oklahoman to read the rest of it. In conclusion, we offer a line from Oscar Hammerstein’s show-tune: “You’re doing fine Oklahoma, Oklahoma OK.”

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

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13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #176: Oklahoma!

  1. Actually, Oklahoma is a bit more OK today:

    http://ncse.com/news/2011/03/antievolution-bill-apparently-dies-oklahoma-senate-006521

    The only thing remaining that could have an impact is the “religious viewpoints” bill.

  2. James F says: “Actually, Oklahoma is a bit more OK today”

    Yes, Victor told us about that a few days ago. But I didn’t post about it, and NCSE is just now doing so.

  3. Brian Utterback

    Well, there is something to the “true” or “lie” dichotomy. If you are a literalist and you believe that the Bible is the true word of God, then is any of it is a lie, then its authority is shattered. What ever other value it might have in other contexts is irrelevant.

    The second letter is just stupid. First, education at the middle school level and below is pretty much about teaching what some authority says is true. There is too much material to present all sides of all issues. What we hope is that the “authority” is the consensus of the mainstream of study for a topic, and leave the teaching of controversy to higher education and to those subjects for which a controversy actually exists.

    Second, the author of the second letter is none too bright, since he thinks that breathing and having blood somehow refutes the big bang theory and he also didn’t bother to try resolve the problem that “it also didn’t make sense to” him.

  4. Genesis says God created (called into existence, out of nothing) man in His own image.

    No. Genesis does not say this. The only place in the Bible where it says this is in 2 Maccabees 7:28. Don’t be surprised if your copy of the Bible doesn’t have this – it is in the so-called Apocrypha, which many Protestant Bibles don’t have.
    Genesis 2:7 says that the Lord God “formed man of the dust of the ground”, and Genesis 1:27 says that God “created man in his own image”.

  5. Also, look at the very beginning of Genesis. “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” That may not be much, but it is something.

    In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, we have the line that nothing was created except through the Word in many translations, but the original Greek verb actually is “came into being.” Even the Bible can be read in evolutionary terms.

    Of course, that accepts the idea that we have to reconcile the Bible with science. We don’t. As the Curmudgeon suggested in this article, the two are separate fields. Humanities and theology departments need to stop fighting with each other. The real enemy is the business department.

  6. The bill purports to be for academic freedom and critical thinking, which are certainly worthwhile goals. So why do we not find supportive letters to the local papers from scientists and educators in the community? Rather, the letters in support seem to be exclusively from religious fundamentalists. Scientists, who are critical thinkers by profession, seem to be against the bill. Hmmm.

    Even if one knew nothing about the background to this bill, simply by reading the letters on the op-ed page it would quickly become obvious what the real purpose of the bill was. This is probably the aspect the DI has the most difficulty in controlling. Evangelical fundamentalists have a really hard time not speaking up and campaigning for these bills.

  7. OMG, How much of an idiot do you have to be to write something like:

    I observed my own respiratory and circulatory systems and decided Big Bang could explain neither of those magnificent systems

    Well, this is what the D.I. wants for the future of the USA. Maybe we want such “advocates” for the I.D. movement. They do the job of showing where creationism/I.D. fits.

  8. gabo says: “OMG, How much of an idiot do you have to be …”

    I suppose you think the Big Bang really does explain your circulatory system? Who’s the idiot here?
    /sarcasm mode

  9. Why is it that creationists so big on The Truth resort to obvious lies to “support” their point?

    Listened to the Big Bang Theory in science class in college? Not likely. It’s not covered in Physics 1 or 2 or in ChemPhysics. It might show up if you take Intro to Astronomy, but it’s not dealt with in any substantial way until the graduate level. So, I call BS on this one. Clearly the writer made up this story using standard creationist talking points that, ironically, creationists don’t understand.

    In college the writer must have majored in FAIL.

  10. To see what we put up with in this State with the arguable worst legislator anywhere, go the http://www.demokie.com/forum and read my post “Sally Kern Writes a Book” and see the comments.. Her title is “The Stoning of Sally Kern.” Then go to Amazon.com and add your own negative tags (already hundreds of them).

  11. Victor, have you seen Abbie Smith’s post on it? “The Stoning of Sally Kern”.

  12. SC: Yes, she sent me a pre-post last night. We correspond regularly.

  13. Following the links, I read that the stoned Sally Kern got a teaching certificate from East Texas. Well, my late mother got her EdD from that college, and she would have been greatly embarrassed at the association, light as it is, with Kern. She would probably have suggested other ways for Kern to become a martyr than by online criticism.

    What a narcissistic b****