Creationist Wisdom #567: The Research Leader

Today’s letter-to-the-editor — like so many others recently — appears in the Midland Daily News of Midland, Michigan. The letter is titled Only two possibilities. The newspaper has a comments section.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But today’s author is an exception He’s Bruce Malone, who describes himself as having “over 30 years of experience using and understanding science, ending my career as a research leader for Dow Chemical.” He doesn’t say where he went to school or what degrees he has. We Googled for him. He’s all over the place at various creationist websites, always described as “a research leader for Dow Chemical.” So we’re using his full name. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

After … studying both sides of this issue for almost 25 years and authoring six books on the scientific evidence supporting a Biblical creation model, I feel somewhat qualified to address this subject. Science is simply a tool we use to understand the operation of the physical laws of the universe. These observational laws are one of the ways in which God points us to the truth about both the reality of his existence and our origin. Allow me expound upon two of a myriad of possible examples.

The research leader expounds:

Ultimately there are only two possibilities for our existence. If you think of the entire universe as a box, either the box made itself or the box has a box maker. The first law of physics states that, “Matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed.” To my knowledge there has never been an exception to this observable law of science. So which option does both the laws of science and scientific experimentation/observation support? The answer is obvious — the matter and energy of the universe could not have made itself, it has to have had a maker.

There are more possibilities. The universe — in one form or another — may have always existed, and the research leader has no reason to pounce upon his “maker” theory without first demonstrating that all other options are impossible. And he’s ignoring the perfectly obvious question of his universe-maker’s origin. Let’s read on:

At a time when the majority of his peers believed life came from non-life, Louis Pasteur (a Bible-believing scientist and the father of modern microbiology) proved — using experimentation and observation — that life can only come from previously existing life. That was 150 years ago and nothing has changed.

Absolute rubbish! That’s the so-called “law of biogenesis.” We discuss it in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. The research leader continues:

No one has come even close to showing how the extremely complex proteins, DNA and other chemicals of life could form themselves outside of a living cell. Claims to the contrary are more akin to storytelling than science.

Not entirely true — see, e.g., Princeton scientists construct synthetic proteins that sustain life. Here’s more:

Molecules-to-man evolution is promoted as a fact because there is only one alternative to believing that very different forms of life (starting with single celled organisms) “made themselves” — i.e., to acknowledge that very diverse forms of life were literally created fully formed and fully functional. And this possibility is “off-limits” for consideration throughout our education system.

Yes, the only alternative to a natural process is a supernatural process, and for some reason, supernatural phenomena aren’t included in public school science classes. Does the “research leader” think the movie Ghost Busters is a documentary? Should that be in the public schools too? Moving along:

Life does vary and modifications do happen, but these changes are based on coding already present with the DNA molecule of a given type of creature. These changes are called “evolution,” but the same word is dishonestly used to assume that bacteria have turned into people. This requires enormous amounts of useful, functioning information to be added to the DNA coding of a “simple” creature in order to turn it into a “more complex” creature … and this has never been observed.

Ooooooooooh — information! See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Another excerpt:

No fossil comes with a label attached. They must all be interpreted and if you leave a world restructuring flood out of your thinking, you will misinterpreted the rock layers of the Earth, the fossils found within those rock layers and the time frame for the formation of the sedimentary rock layers of the Earth. It is not that the majority of biologists, geologists and physicists are evil or that there is some huge human conspiracy to hide the truth. Macro-evolution believing scientists are simply wrong because they leave a straightforward understanding of what God’s word tells us is the history of this planet out of their thinking.

The fools! On with the letter:

If there is a creator as described in the Bible, we should find complex forms of life with vast gulfs separating distinctly different body structures. We do. If there was a world restructuring flood, the rock layers and fossils of the world would have developed rapidly and recently. They have. If those two events are denied, the only alternative is huge time periods and some sort of evolutionary process.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And now we come to the end:

Thus, by making actual events of history off limits for consideration throughout our education system (creation and a worldwide flood), and not allowing students to even examine the evidence which supports these events or casts doubt upon evolution, then fantasies like molecules-to-man evolution become facts in the minds of majority, and, as God states in Romans 1:21-22, “ … seeking to be wise, they become fools.”

Was that man really “a research leader for Dow Chemical”? He claims that he was. But then, he also claims that six-day creation and Noah’s flood were historical events. We’ll let you decide, dear reader.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

John Scopes Was Arrested Today

Today, 05 May, is the 90th anniversary of the day in 1925 when John Scopes was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in a Tennessee public school.

It is well worth remembering that despite endless moaning and wailing by creationists about “Darwinist” bullying, “viewpoint discrimination,” and other forms of persecution, nothing remotely like that has ever happened to a creationist. Creationists don’t have to meet secretly in the catacombs. They are totally free to preach, lecture, sell their books, and display their films at churches, bible colleges, creation museums, or any other facility willing to offer them meeting space, and no one ever thinks to interfere.

The Discovery Institute promotes Expelled, their “documentary” narrated by Ben Stein, allegedly detailing the horrors experienced in academia by creationist professors, but as is explained in Expelled Exposed, the Ben Stein film is nothing but distortions and anti-science propaganda.

The only adverse consequences facing a creationist teacher in a secular institution are failure to get a job he wants, or failure to have his teaching contract renewed, or in extreme cases — like that of John Freshwater — getting fired for violating school policy. But those who have achieved tenure, like Michael Behe (a Discovery Institute “senior fellow”), aren’t fired. He’s still a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, although he does endure a bit of ridicule. His colleagues at Lehigh have publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”. But that’s as bad as it gets for creationists. No creationist has ever been arrested and fined, like John Scopes was.

Nevertheless, creationists are quick to point out that they have their martyrs. There’s Stephen Meyer, Vice President and “senior fellow” of the Discovery Institute, whom the Discoveroids praise for his book about the Cambrian “explosion,” Darwin’s Doubt. Meyer was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. And there’s Guillermo Gonzalez, another Discoveroid “senior fellow” who failed to get tenure at Iowa State University and who ended up teaching at some bible college. He’s a co-author of the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth. He’s one of the creationist martyrs featured in Expelled, but since then he’s been hired by Ball State University, where we assume he’s a Discoveroid sleeper agent.

On the other hand, we’ve seen historical examples of of the consequences that were faced by secular thinkers when religious doctrine was official policy. The examples range from being poisoned, like Socrates, to being burned at the stake like Giordano Bruno, or, like Galileo, to “merely” being threatened with torture, forced to recant his teaching about the solar system, and then being kept under house arrest for the remainder of his life. Galileo’s confrontation with the Inquisition (see the Galileo affair) is the all-time classic example of reason vs theocratic tyranny. We think it even outranks the trial of Socrates, who was executed for “corrupting the youth” of Athens by encouraging his students to question authority.

We emphasize that despite endless propaganda to the contrary, it’s never scientists who commit those atrocities. Science is a product of the Enlightenment — particularly the Scottish Enlightenment, which (quoting from the Wikipedia article) “… asserted the fundamental importance of human reason combined with a rejection of any authority which could not be justified by reason.”

If creationists ever do any research — with verifiable results — that contradicts evolution and supports their “theory,” it will be published in science journals. If there’s a genuine scientific controversy — as there was, for example, in the days when Big Bang theory was challenged by Steady State theory — both theories will be in the textbooks. Litigation won’t be necessary, nor will there be any need for creationists to organize grass-roots movements or to sponsor legislation to get their ideas into the public schools. No genuine science has ever resorted to such activities, but it’s typical of pseudoscience.

So today’s the day when we remember John Scopes. His trial for violating Tennessee’s Butler Act is a striking contrast to all the silly claims of mistreatment we constantly hear from the creationists. Let’s not forget that throughout history, all the genuine persecution has been by religious fanatics, never by scientists.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Free Fire Zone of the Gaps

Our ceaseless news sweeps haven’t been producing much, but we have a couple of items you may find interesting.

The first is about the Louisiana creationism situation. See Why Zack Kopplin Is Losing Ground In The War Against Creationists. Here’s one excerpt to get you interested:

For the past eight years, 21-year-old Zack Kopplin has been fighting to keep creationism out of Louisiana’s science classrooms. Despite a series of setbacks and the feeling that he’s continually losing battles, Kopplin still feels he’ll win the war. We spoke with him to learn more.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, here’s a brief video from Rev David Rives: He’s launching something called the Genesis Science Network. He says it’s a 24-hour television network. That’s difficult to believe, and it’s even more difficult to believe that the necessary funding is available. Not even ol’ Hambo has ever attempted anything like this. We don’t know what to make of it.

That’s all we’ve got, so to fill the news gap we’re declaring this post to be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. Talk about whatever you think is interesting — science, politics, philosophy, etc. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Creationist Wisdom #566: Transmutation

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Post-Bulletin of Rochester, Minnesota — home of the Mayo Clinic. It’s titled Darwinism is too often confused with evolution in debate of issue. The newspaper has a comments feature.

Because the 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 Rex. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Evolution and Darwinism are two different subjects.

Not really. But in our experience, what biologists call evolution is often derisively referred to by creationists as “Darwinism,” a pejorative term they’ve coined to suggest something like Marxism, as if the suffix “ism” brands it as an ideology and not a science. Is that what Rex has in mind? Alas, no. Stay with us, you’ll see:

The further the distance an individual is from the sciences, the stronger the illusion that evolutionary biologists are objective. Those who are most prone to idealize the objectivity of evolutionists are people who know almost nothing about science, people for whom it has become a kind of religion.

Rex implies that he is not distant from the sciences, therefore he is under no illusions about the defective thinking of biologists. Let’s read on:

Evolutionary thought has a long historical development with theology playing a primary role. [Aaaargh!!] Evolution cannot be understood without understanding the history of its development and the underlying “materialist religion,” which controls the science and evidential reasoning.

Uh huh, the theory of evolution developed out of theology. We continue:

Science confirms evolution, but this is confined to microevolution, which includes change and local adaptation and differentiation of populations. This is completely different from Darwinism.

Okay, now we see where this is going. Rex is dancing the micro-macro mambo, discussed in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Does Rex have anything new to say? Oh yeah! Here’s more:

The central thrust of Darwinian evolution is macroevolution — that bears can be transformed into whales — and science does not confirm this mythical set of process. Science does not confirm macroevolution or speciation, which is called transmutation.

Transmutation? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s a word from alchemy — using the philosophers’ stone to transmute base metals into gold. Or maybe he’s thinking of Dracula’s transmutation into a vampire. Moving along:

Macroevolution is a myth borrowed from fictions dating back to the dark ages. Macroevolution (Darwinism) is superstition. Conclusions drawn from “imagined processes” and never determined by actual data or actual findings are called superstition.

No doubt about it — when Rex uses the term “Darwinism” he’s thinking about Dracula. Another excerpt:

Darwinian “processes” of macroevolution are “umbilically linked to the imagination” — not scientific data.

Those quote marks are in Rex’s letter. We don’t know what they mean. And now we come to the end:

Macro-evolutionary processes cannot be detailed, documented, verified, validated or tested. These are mythical processes exclusively. So let’s not confuse evolution science with Darwinism.

That’s good advice. Thanks, Rex.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article