Creationist Wisdom #326: Pure Chaos

Today’s letter-to-the-editor is a couple of weeks old but we just found it. It appears in the Longview News-Journal of Longview, Texas. The letter is titled Far from conclusive proof. 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:

I read Jack Butler’s commentary (Saturday Forum, March 16) with interest and offer the following response with respect.

He’s talking about this: Darwin, evolution and abortion It’s not a great letter, but it got today’s letter-writer upset. He continues:

Darwin’s book is titled “On the origin of species,” not “The origin of the species,” but this is minor.

Butler, the earlier letter-writer, got the title wrong. Score one for today’s letter-writer. Let’s read on:

I wonder if Butler has read the book. I find that very few have actually read it. He [Butler] says, “The proof is conclusive that all things have evolved” and implies that evolution and evolution alone explains the universe and everything in it. I think that the proof is not conclusive nor anywhere near being conclusive. I would believe it if it had been proven. It is a theory that has not and cannot be proved; just as creation is a theory that cannot be proved.

Butler’s letter never mentioned the universe. As for the “proof” being “conclusive,” we’re well aware that although the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, there’s no “proof” in science as there is in math and geometry. Today’s letter continues:

Creation, as a theory has much superior credentials for being believed than evolution has or will ever have. It seems that “conclusive proof” is that which is currently accepted by persons who are expert and most likely to know. All of which is subject to change at any time.

That was an odd paragraph. He says that creationism has “superior credentials, and that “conclusive proof” (we assume here he’s speaking about evolution) is subject to change. Creationism, with its great credentials, never changes, so it’s stuck with Babylonian ideas about the world. The continuous testing and revision of scientific theories to accommodate new evidence is a strength, not a weakness. Here’s more:

Darwin does not trace the origin of anything. He stops noticeably short of identifying the origin of the species or anything else. Read the book and check this out.

We’ve read the book. If the letter-writer has done so, he didn’t understand a word of it. Moving along:

Science and scientific study is a great and noble undertaking to which we are all indebted and proud. I respectfully offer that all of science is involved in deeper study and understanding of that which already exists in the universe. They are studying someone else’s product and making discoveries. It seems nothing new is being created by and through science.

What’s he saying — science studies the existing universe, but it doesn’t create new ones? Well, he’s got a point there. But we have created a few new transuranium elements. Hey, his next paragraph is a winner:

They are spending billions in Europe accelerating particles and colliding them in an effort to identify the smallest component of matter. This theoretical component was at one time referred to as the “God cell,” which probably put them more clearly on the right trail than they ever were. Scientists couldn’t live with this implication so it was changed to the Higgs bosun (I think).

I am inclined to think they will find, if successful, one of two things: (1) nothing, which is what the Biblical account says things were made from (how will they be able to identify nothing? or (2) the Creator of matter.

Uh huh, they originally called it the “God cell,” and then changed the name to Higgs bosun [sic]. Clue for the clueless: a “bosun” is petty officer on a merchant ship. The Higgs boson (the particle’s customary name) has never been referred to either as a “cell” or a nautical rank. And we’ll be sure to make a note of the letter-writer’s predictions. Another excerpt:

If one bothers to read Darwin’s book please make a note of how many verbs are used in the text. Darwin says a lot of action has been taken over the 14 billion years (natural selection is one of his biggies) that are absolutely critical to his conclusions, but never identifies the source of this power. He personifies nature as a power but does not identify the power and intelligence that makes nature work.

How many verbs? It’s probably at least one per sentence. But he’s right — Darwin failed to identify the “source” of the “power” of natural selection. What a fool he was! On with the letter:

I have decided, subject to change, that the reason the theory of evolution is so popular and so readily accepted as fact is two fold: First, the science fraternity is so driven by the desire to be accepted and to be published that they dare not depart from the “accepted” path. Second, many people and perhaps especially scientists cannot accept the possibility of the existence of an all knowing, all seeing Creator to whom everyone is accountable.

Ah yes, Scientists are afraid of being Expelled, and they don’t want to be accountable to “an all knowing, all seeing Creator.” That explains it. And now we come to our last excerpt:

People accept evolution but do not believe in it when it comes to such things as these:

He lists several activities that he claims are evolution-free, such as … brushing teeth! Really, that’s in the letter. After that there are a few more paragraphs, which you can read for yourself. We’re quitting here because we can’t take any more. That’s why we titled this thing “Pure Chaos.” Even your Curmudgeon has limits.

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

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #326: Pure Chaos

  1. “It seems nothing new is created by and through science.” Like television, formica, plastics…

  2. Did Darwin really write anything about evolution having happened over “14 billion years”? Sounds like a confused reference to current estimates of the time that has elapsed since the Big Bang (13.798 billion years), but such calculations are very recent (post-2000?) I remember when estimates were far more vague — scientists thought the universe was maybe somewhere between 10 and 20 billion years old. And of course, biological evolution on this planet hasn’t been going on for nearly as long, since the universe was already two thirds of its current age when Earth even formed.

    “God cell” is a garbled version of “God particle” as an amusing nickname for the Higgs boson. I don’t believe it was ever “changed” because scientists couldn’t live with the theological implications; the proper technical term was always Higgs boson.

  3. H.K. Fauskanger asks:

    Did Darwin really write anything about evolution having happened over “14 billion years”?

    The guy says he read the book, so it must be in there somewhere.

  4. Hi guys… you’ve probably already seen this, but just in case: Paleontologists brought to tears, laughter by Creation Museum

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jiVuN2BMp6tmuGBGOedALIY4_FaA

  5. Fauskanger is right, its official name was never “God particle” nor (erk) “God cell.” What an idiot. The Higgs mechanism was described prior to the formation of the electroweak theory which employed it as a way of breaking the symmetry between the photon, Z and W+/- bosons. It was never called anything except Higgs boson.

    And “Higgs bosun”… Ugh. Some people just HATE science. HATE it.

  6. Christine Janis

    “Paleontologists brought to tears, laughter by Creation Museum”

    Hey —- I Was There!

  7. Christine Janis says: “Hey —- I Was There!”

    I assume you’re a creationist now.

  8. I clicked on the link provided by john zande above (very interesting, by the way), and there was a photo with this caption — “Creation Museum president Ken A. Ham”.

    However, it didn’t identify which face in the photo was Ham. Any help, anyone?

  9. Yeah, I also wondered if it was the one in the foreground or the one in the background.

  10. It took me a while to figure out which is Ken, too, but I’ve got it figured it out. One of the two will leap onto you, pin you under its body weight, grip you tightly with the large, sickle-shaped claws, and rip you to pieces with its razor sharp teeth. I think the other one is a velociraptor. Hope that helps.

  11. anevilmeme

    Why do fundies mash together biology and cosmology creating their own Grand Unified Strawman?

  12. Thanks, Mark. I guess the one in the background of the picture is also the one with the bigger brain? Doesn’t that suggest that he can’t possibly be the founder of the Creation Museum? But of course, bigger size doesn’t always imply improved quality.

  13. Garnetstar

    I agree with MaryL.

    The first time I synthesized a completely new compound, I told my friend about the feeling of looking at the emerard-green crystals in my hand and realizing that this had never existed before in all the universe, that I was the first person ever to see it.

    That’s happened several times since then. It happens to every synthetic chemist.

    (To get my head out of the clouds, my friend replied “If it’s never existed before in the history of the universe, there’s probably a reason.”)

  14. LOL!! That sounds like a variant on the old line, “If nobody does it, there’s a reason.” Which leads to the question, “But is it a good reason?”