Creationist Wisdom #325: Boo Hoo

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Avalanche-Journal, the principal newspaper in Lubbock, the 11th largest city in Texas. The letter is titled The ramifications if evolution is true. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Okay, here we go:

Re: The letter “People who believe in creation make him cry,” A-J, Jan. 19, and the follow-up, A-J, April 19.

He’s talking about this: People who believe in creation make him cry, which isn’t particularly unusual. It says things like: “I continue to be amazed at the deluded people who continue to cling to the outdated belief in creationism.” And it also says: “The flood story was borrowed from Babylonian myths.”

That got today’s letter-writer all worked up, and here is his response:

I don’t follow the reasoning that, because of writings from Babylon which pre-date Genesis, the Biblical story of the flood is proven to be false. It seems to me if a world-wide flood occurred, it would be in the folklore of many, if not all, groups of people. This by no means proves the Genesis record to be false.

Ah yes, the Flood. But that’s a trivial part of today’s letter. Here comes the good stuff:

On the other hand, if evolution is true there are certain ramifications which follow:

And what, pray tell, would those be? No, not racism, eugenics, and Hitler. The letter-writer is no Discoveroid. Brace yourself, dear reader, here come the ramifications:

1. We are cosmic accidents.
2. We have no purpose for being here.
3. Nothing we do will ever matter.

Oh, how bleak! Hold on, there’s more. Here’s the fourth ramification:

4. We have no destiny to attain. We are just temporary specks of dust attached to a grain of sand floating in the vast ocean of space. In short, our lives are meaningless.

Depressing indeed. And that brings us to the letter’s conclusion:

That would make me cry.

We’d like to be able to cheer the fellow up, but since evolution is one of the best-established theories we’ve got, there’s nothing we can we do. The letter-writer seems destined to cry. But he should look on the bright side — in the great cosmic scheme of things, his misery will be blessedly brief.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #325: Boo Hoo

  1. jimroberts

    To cheer him up, I could point out that he has discovered his purpose in life, the destiny to which he can attain: it is to write letters about about how depressing life is.

  2. Ceteris Paribus

    To paraphrase some ancient wit:

    Q. If you truly believe there is no meaning to life, why don’t you just go away and commit suicide?

    A. Why bother, what difference would it make?

  3. We are just temporary specks of dust attached to a grain of sand floating in the vast ocean of space.
    That sounds more like heliocentrism than like evolution. (Not a whole lot like heliocentrism, but more like heliocentrism than evolution.)
    But in any case, to reject evolution as an explanation for certain facts, and to replace that explanation with the idea that those facts were the deliberate decision by God/intelligent designers –
    I’d say that it is more depressing to think that bleak (if such they be) features of reality represent deliberate decisions. God’s best efforts went into making reality bleak?

  4. So what, exactly, is this guy’s destiny? To sit around somewhere playing his harp for eternity? That doesn’t sound at all like a “destiny” anyone would aspire to.

    I’m not the only one who thinks this way… http://vimeo.com/45309350

  5. He should read Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot”. That would really have him sobbing in his beer.

  6. Ah, love, let us be true
    To one another! for the world, which seems
    To lie before us like a land of dreams,
    So various, so beautiful, so new,
    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.

    - Dover Beach, by Matthew Arnold

  7. One might also quote “In Memoriam” by Tennyson, particularly canto 56.

  8. Curm beat me to it with the Kansas reference. Written by an evangelical Christian BTW.

    When I was a kid, that passed for poetry.

    4. We have no destiny to attain. We are just temporary specks of dust attached to a grain of sand floating in the vast ocean of space. In short, our lives are meaningless.

    I don’t know why, but that made me laugh out loud.

    I believe the universe makes sense. And if it doesn’t, we can make jokes about it.

  9. anevilmeme

    Thanks for posting this one S.C.

    This letter is a great example of what causes people to be anti-science, the imagined implications.

    “If evolution is true then life has no meaning”. Really? False dichotomy much?

  10. Why do creationists only seek “meaning” in the past? Unless there is some larger-than-life cosmic parental figure to tell us “what it is all about” because he once “designed” us, creationists seemingly feel completely lost. There is an abyss of existensial angst opening under their feet. They feel like orphaned children.

    Adult and mature persons ought to be able to find meaning in their life here and now. And if friendships, love, art and a multitude of intellectual and sensual pleasures are not enough for you, consider the genuine and never-ending progress of science, which year by year increases our understanding of this universe we find ourselves thrown into. Anyone capable of reading this has the immense privilege of being born into the one species in the known universe that has acquired the ability to even wonder what life is all about. (Hint: Hebrew mythology from the Bronze Age would not seem to be the answer.)

    An immense responsibility rests on humanity: we have to make sure that intelligence will not perish from the cosmos. We can never be certain that some deity will step in to “make everything right” in case we screw up to the point of destroying ourselves.

    If a (partially!) rational, science-based civilization survives for only one century more, intelligence (by then perhaps not only biology-based) will likely be ready to start spreading out from its cradle planet. From that point on, any danger of extinction will be greatly reduced. We may actually fare better than the dinosaurs, and we have the chance of learning more about this universe than we ever dreamed possible.

    In the meantime, we need to keep everything together, go on refining our technology, and refuse the siren call of those who would ditch science in favor of mythology.

    Contemplating these issues should be more than enough to give “meaning” to our existence — as individuals, and as a species..

  11. Here I am playing Dust in the Wind on a bicycle. This isn’t a public YouTube video because this video isn’t up to my standards of how I usually play it.

  12. Yawn. Just another argument from consequences. I wish Creationists would get some new tactics.

  13. Mark Joseph

    Hey, Reinard beat me to it. As soon as I read the headline, “The ramifications if evolution is true” I thought “appeal to consequences”. Nothing in the rest of the post made me change my mind.
    As for the wish that creationists would get some new tactics–can’t happen. That would require thought, interacting in an honest manner with what others think, and a willingness to learn. Or, as we say in baseball-speak, “oh for three.”

  14. Yup, to insist that life is meaningless if there is no afterlife is a complete non sequiter

  15. Techreseller

    The purpose of life: For zygotes to make more zygotes. Done.