Category Archives: Evolution

Creationist Wisdom #479: Three Pillars of Truth

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the High Point Enterprise of High Point, North Carolina. The letter is titled ‘Cosmos’ attempts to counter intelligent design.

Yowie! It’s been months since we wrote about Cosmos: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. We thought the series was great, but like everything else that offers people an opportunity to gain some knowledge, there are those who become (and remain) enraged that anyone would dare such a thing.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Clayton. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

I’m responding to the renewed 13-part series “Cosmos” aired on U.S. television and around the world to counter creationism and intelligent design, but which has deepened the problems for evolution theory.

Lordy, lordy. This promises to be a great letter. We can’t stop now. Come on, Clayton, don’t hold back:

“Cosmos” was produced by Seth MacFarlane and hosted by Dr. Neil Tyson, both outspoken atheists. MacFarlane was asked by the Los Angeles Times what he was hoping to get out of “Cosmos.” MacFarlane replied, “We’ve had a resurgence of creationism and intelligent design ‘theory’. There’s been a real vacuum when it comes to science education.”

We haven’t checked that quote, but it’s probably true that since the original Carl Sagan series, there hasn’t been anything like it until the Tyson series came along. Does Clayton disagree? Let’s read on:

There has indeed been a real vacuum in scientific education created by the evolutionists themselves by substituting their three pillars of truth: imagination, speculation, and exaggeration instead of empirical (scientific) evidence.

We haven’t run across that “three pillars” claim before. Is it original with Clayton, or did he get it from come crazed creationist website? It doesn’t matter. He continues:

With the ever-increasing knowledge through modern technology in biology and all other disciplines of science, the evidence overwhelmingly supports intelligent design and also confirms the accuracy of the biblical record, resulting in many evolutionists’ renouncing their faith the evolution theory. It is poorly supported with real scientific evidence and is greatly exaggerated.

We don’t need to say anything about that paragraph. It speaks for itself. Here’s more from Clayton:

One excellent example of exaggeration is found in Tomoton Stiftung’s book “Pro Evo” which is mailed to college students and others. Pages 16-17 state “The evolution from hydrogen up to man can already be explained and proved. … The processes from hydrogen to protein can … already be reproduced in the laboratory.”

We’re not sure, but Clayton may be referring to this: Pro Evolution: Guideline for an Age of Joy (Amazon listing). We never heard of it, but Clayton doesn’t like it. Why? Stay with us:

The truth is that scientists have yet to produce the right combination of amino acids to produce just one favorable protein — the building blocks of a living cell.

Oh dear. That’s not quite true, Clayton. Well, nobody starts with hydrogen, but nevertheless, see, for example: Self-assembling anti-cancer molecules created in minutes. And Wikipedia discusses the subject: Protein biosynthesis. Anyway, now we come to the end:

One of the most fundamental laws of biological science is that life can only come from life itself; it cannot come from dead matter. The same is true of knowledge (intelligent design). In the beginning, God created …” (Genesis 1:1).

We’re grateful to Clayton because we had forgotten about that “most fundamental law” of science — uh, creation science, that is. We’re also grateful to be reminded that like every variety of creationism, intelligent design is ultimately inspired by Genesis. Great letter!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #478: Not Even Wrong

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Journal Star of Peoria, Illinois, which is named after the Peoria tribe. The letter is titled Darwin’s evolution, Mother Nature both figments of the imagination.

Today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, so we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Al. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Darwinian evolution is so far removed from reality that the concept doesn’t even qualify as being wrong.

Hey, not bad! That’s the first time we’ve seen Wolfgang Pauli’s stinging remark, Not even wrong, applied to evolution. And there’s more to come:

Think about it: How in the world could a rat become a bat? How could it possibly survive a supposed transitional phase when it could neither run like a rat or fly like a bat?

Yeah, that transitional phase is really a problem. It’s even worse than adolescence. Let’s read on:

How could a cow-like creature become a whale? How could a dinosaur become a bird?

It’s not easy, but if a cow wants to be a whale, and tries really hard, it might be able to do it. Al continues:

The list of Darwin’s magical transitional creatures goes on and on. Every supposed transitional creature would be unable to survive the transition. So much for the “survival of the fittest.”

Aaaargh!! Another theory down the drain. Here’s more:

Did anyone stop and think how a male and female of each created kind could be so perfectly harmonized with each other that the two can produce another of their own kind?

Hey, Al: We know it seems difficult, but if you’re determined and you really work at it, it’s possible that you could accomplish the deed. Well, in your case, maybe not.

Moving along:

I know these are simplistic statements but all living things are so awesomely complex that they defy human understanding.

Simplistic? No, Al, we find them to be profound. [*Curmudgeon is having a rare moment of politeness*]

And now we come to the end:

Darwinian evolution and Mother Nature have a lot in common: They both reside as a figment of the imagination.

Okay, that’s it. But if you liked Al’s letter, he wrote one almost as good a couple of years ago: Bible gives different view of Big Bang.

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Mike Fair: Confessions of a Creationist Idiot

This is fantastic! In the Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina we found something that is certain to become a classic: Follow constitutional process for debating evolution.

It’s not the headline, it’s the author — State Senator Mike Fair (R-Greenville) — the South Carolina creationist war horse. As you know, there was a recent stirring of creationist madness in his state in which he played a central role, supported by a certain creationist think tank in Seattle, but the theocratic effort failed. Our last post about it was There Are Weird Creationists in South Carolina.

We thought the creationism story in that state was finished for this year, but now — to the delight of mental health practitioners everywhere — Fair is writing about it. This is a wonderful opportunity, because merely by reading his article we can all see what brain death looks like. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee suggested a minor language improvement to the evolution standard, and The State Board of Education rejected the request. Winning and losing is part of the experience of developing public policy. One of the hopes is that decisions will be made with the best interest of those who will be affected.

Mike Fair was the force behind that minor “language improvement,” and it didn’t work out. Win some, lose some. Okay, now what does he say about it?

My world view is Christian, and I have that perspective on issues when it applies. As an elected official I am sworn to obey the Constitution. … [A]s a Christian, my faith becomes the focus if evolution is the subject. Facts are notwithstanding.

Isn’t this great? Let’s read on:

The courts have placed a stranglehold on the search for truth in science. The “truth” must conform to Darwinism, or it is not allowed. I don’t suppose it matters what your eyes see or your mind tells you.

The man is insane. There can be no doubt. He continues:

Webster’s 1828 definition of the Constitution includes these words: “The Christian New Testament is the Moral Law for the United States.” So Noah Webster was reflecting the fact that the majority of our Founding Fathers promoted the Christian faith as individuals but agreed the government would not establish a state faith funded by taxpayers. However, over time, the courts have come to determine what the words in the Constitution mean. Every set of Supreme Court Justices gives us a new set of “founders.”

Fair seems to know nothing about the Founders. It’s the ghost of Noah Webster who whispers words of encouragement to him while he’s writing creationist legislation. Here’s more:

I believe the principles established by the Founders are being removed from the public square by a series of narrow decisions of the U. S. Supreme Court. I am bothered that the Supreme Court has changed the Constitution by a series of 5-4 votes clearly outside the methods duly established to properly change our Constitution.

We all get upset at various court rulings. But can you guess, dear reader, which rulings have Mike Fair upset? He doesn’t keep us in suspense for very long:

Consider these decisions now in place through Supreme Court rulings rather than the process established to change our national Constitution: No prayer in many public places; atheism, a religious belief, is allowed to be a factor in driving Darwinism in public schools; Darwinism or naturalism is the only theory allowed in public school science class on Evolution; The Big Bang Theory confirming the truth of a beginner, judged to be a conclusion or debate that is not allowed; many facts are excluded from science and astronomy because of their non-atheistic implications that point directly to intelligence.

Only a madman could write such a paragraph. And he’s not finished yet.

Making inferences to the best factual information is not allowed if it points to a religion other than atheism. Consideration that the fine tuning of our galaxy is a miracle (or made that way) is a discussion that is not allowed.

Another court case ruled “Intelligent Design” violated the Establishment Clause and was therefore ruled unconstitutional. It is hard for me to believe that intelligence has been ruled unconstitutional in the public schools.

Our tour of the chamber of horrors that is Mike Fair’s mind is nearly over. This last excerpt is from the end:

Why should a young person care about character if he is just a random conglomeration of particles? We all are here for a purpose and random causes do not fit with the facts.

There’s no point in trying to analyze that mess, and anyone who tries to debate him is crazier than he is. It’s sufficient for our purposes to understand that people like Mike Fair exist, and they get elected to office. That’s why we can never relax. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Discoveroids’ War on Science Continues

The latest campaign from the bowels of the Discovery Institute is a war on something at the heart of the scientific method, and that is methodological naturalism. Wikipedia says:

Methodological naturalism concerns itself not with claims about what exists but with methods of learning what nature is. It is strictly the idea that all scientific endeavors — all hypotheses and events — are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events. The genesis of nature (for example, by an act of God) is not addressed. This second sense of naturalism [in contrast to philosophical naturalism] seeks only to provide a framework within which to conduct the scientific study of the laws of nature. Methodological naturalism is a way of acquiring knowledge.

In other words, science does not, and can not, examine that which is supernatural. That’s because such phenomena can’t be observed or tested, nor can their existence be objectively verified. We discussed this a while ago in Bring Me An Angel Detector!, and we distinguished methodological naturalism from philosophical naturalism, which holds that only the observable world exists.

Science doesn’t require that belief and it doesn’t arbitrarily rule out the existence of supernatural entities, ab initio. But the process of science limits the kind of work that scientists can do. That is, scientists — when doing science — can only work with objectively verifiable evidence. The rest — whatever it may be — is the province of theology. In other words, methodological naturalism is an operational constraint of science, not a philosophical attack on theism.

The Discoveroids may or may not know this, but it doesn’t matter. They insist that science should include their admittedly transcendent designer — blessed be he! — who, they claim, is a “better” explanation of everything, notwithstanding that such an entity is utterly outside the purview of science. Their latest post on this topic is William Dembski Explains Why Intelligent Design Does Not, and Cannot, Make Sense Under Materialist Premises. They say, with bold font added by us:

It often seems that in conversation with our Darwinist interlocutors, there’s a fundamental non-meeting of minds. For them, intelligent design doesn’t make sense, as if the language itself that we use were incompressible [sic] to them.

Yes, “incompressible.” They go on:

That’s because under their premise — methodological naturalism, their picture of the world and how it must work — ID can’t make sense!

Oh, we understand intelligent design. There isn’t much to understand, really. It’s just that science can’t do any work with it — or with Zeus’ thunderbolts, or Aphrodite’s enchanting spells, or any other activity attributed to a supernatural being. They continue:

In his forthcoming book, Being as Communion: A Metaphysics of Information, eminent ID theorist William Dembski sketches the alternative scientific worldview based on information theory where ID becomes intelligible.

“Eminent ID theorist.” BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s conceivable that in his latest book, Dembski has finally made his rambling thoughts intelligible, although we haven’t seen him accomplish that trick yet.

The final paragraph of the Discoveroids’ brief post is an ad for the book. If you act swiftly, you can take advantage of a pre-publication discount, and the price of this paradigm shattering tome will be only $22.95, “which includes free shipping!” Well, dear reader, what are you waiting for?

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