Creationist Wisdom #686: A Mind-Boggling Letter

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Globe of Worthington, Minnesota. It’s titled Darwin has left an inglorious legacy. The newspaper doesn’t seem to have a comments section.

Today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, so ordinarily we wouldn’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But this one is an exception. His name is Mike Bogle. We thought it had a familiar ring, so we did a search. Ah yes, he’s been a long-time contributor to our Creationist Wisdom series. The most recent occasion was in #661: An Old Favorite Returns. Excerpts from his latest will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

In 1859, Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life” was published. It gave the world a “scientific” basis for racism and slavery present in his day.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Mr. Bogle is once again living up to his name. It’s obvious that he’s never read past the title of Darwin’s book, which wasn’t at all about humans, and in which the word “race” was used in reference to what we’d call sub-species or variety, as was commonly done by naturalists at the time. Also, as we know, Darwin was an abolitionist and one of the least racist people of his generation — see Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin.

Don’t leave us now, dear reader. Mr. Bogle is just getting started. He says:

His idea were not new, but he was the first to gather so-called evidence. He observed change within species and did some good work with insects and plants, but never addressed the origin of species.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In Origin of Species, Darwin never addressed the origin of species! Let’s read on:

He felt his hypothesis of macro-evolution would be vindicated by the fossil record, but it never has.

[*Sigh*] As we always do when that clunker pops up, we link to Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils. The Bogle letter continues:

Although “The Preservation of Favored Races” has been dropped from the title of modern editions for obvious reasons, the legacy left by it is mind-boggling. The race was on for a “missing link.”

It’s the imaginary quest for a missing link that is mind-boggling, as is the rest of Mr. Bogle’s letter. Here’s more:

So-called primitive races were chosen. All known Aboriginal graves were robbed and the living were rounded up, shot and beheaded. An African pygmy named Ota Benga was taken from his wife and children and locked in a cave with chimpanzees for the evolution display at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

There was a mindlessly cruel display of Ota Benga, but it’s hardly the sort of thing Darwin would have endorsed. Moving along, Mr. Bogle presents us with one of the standard collections of clunkers:

How different could the world have been if Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin had both become atheists from reading Darwin? They were both professing Christians in their youth. Pol Pot, an avid evolutionist, made the Guinness Book of World Records for killing one-third to one-half of the Cambodian population after the U.S. left Vietnam. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is page upon page of racism based on evolutionary theory.

We didn’t know Marx was a Christian in his youth, but that “fact” is as worthy as everything else in Mr. Bogle’s paragraph. Oh, all right — we’ll link to Hitler and Darwin. Another excerpt from the amazing Mr. Bogle:

While all honest scientists are discovering huge problems with evolution [Hee hee], we continue to teach it as fact in our public schools because educators think the only alternative is religion.

No need to comment. On with the letter:

The alternative is to reach origins at home and quit telling our children they are descended from apes via the rocks when they don’t know where they came from.

Yes, that’s the only reasonable alternative. And now we come to the end:

Strangely enough, evolutions [sic] don’t what know what animal monkeys descended from, either. That may prove God has a sense of humor.

It’s always good to hear from Mike Bogle. We look forward to more.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Mary Lou — The Election Countdown Ends Here

Mary Lou Bruner

Mary Lou Bruner

Final results, 100% of precincts reporting
Keven M. Ellis: 59.2%
Mary Lou Bruner: 40.8

This is what you’ve been waiting for, dear reader. Tomorrow, 24 May, is the big day! That’s when there will be a runoff election to choose the Republican candidate for the District 9 seat on the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE).

The leading candidate is Mary Lou Bruner. Her write-up in Wikipedia says:

[She] has been called the “looniest politician in Texas”, has been publicly ridiculed for her views. “I don’t know why I’m getting so much attention” Bruner said in an interview. “I’m just saying what I believe.”

Mary Lou’s opponent for the nomination is Keven Ellis, a chiropractor. Both are seeking the seat currently held by Thomas Ratliff, who is not running for re-election. Until 2010, that seat had been occupied by the legendary creationist dentist Don McLeroy, and as we reported earlier, Don McLeroy Endorses Mary Lou Bruner.

With the fading careers of past Creationist Hotties, Mary Lou has become our new creationist poster girl. We look forward to her success in winning the McLeroy seat. She is the embodiment of ideal creationist womanhood.

We’ve recently posted about some setbacks Mary Lou’s campaign has received. In Mary Lou Countdown — 9 Days To Go, we reported that the Longview News-Journal, located in Mary Lou’s District 9, had endorsed her opponent. And in Mary Lou Countdown — 5 Days To Go, we learned that a local tea party had withdrawn their earlier endorsement of her candidacy.

Can anything else go wrong? Apparently so. Today, on the eve of the primary election, in the Tyler Morning Telegraph of Tyler, Texas we read Tyler Paper makes runoff endorsements. Why is that important? Because Tyler is located in Smith County, one of the counties that comprise District 9, which Mary Lou hopes to represent.

Most of the newspaper’s endorsements don’t interest us, but here’s what they say about Mary Lou’s contest:

In the Republican primary runoff election for the State Board of Education, retired Mineola educator Mary Lou Bruner is facing off with Lufkin school board president Keven Ellis. Because of some troubling statements and claims made by Ms. Bruner – in the past and more recently – our endorsement goes to Ellis.

We’re getting worried. What will we do without Mary Lou? Well, it’s still too early to think about that. The newspaper also says:

Both are conservative Republicans who want to see more local control and less of the onerous high-stakes testing that plague our classrooms. But the truth is the issue here. Ms. Bruner has made, and continues to make, untrue statements and bizarre claims. She refused to admit a mistake. Ellis is a committed conservative and a proven leader. Ellis will bring a clear head and a responsible tone to the board.

That’s all they say about the Mary Lou election, but it’s not good. Tomorrow’s voting will tell the tale. This is where the results will be posted, so stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Klinghoffer: The Anguish of Evolution Skeptics

On rare occasions we upset many of our readers by posting about your Curmudgeon’s political thinking. Twice before we’ve mentioned that although Republicans may appear to be the anti-science party, they have no monopoly on idiocy. Our last post on that touchy topic was a couple of years ago: Is Your Political Party Really Pro-Science?, in which we said:

Our conclusion is that both parties, like the population as a whole, are mostly ignorant of science, but they tend to have confidence in science where it doesn’t conflict with their other opinions — like religion, environmentalism, “social justice,” etc. In other words, the parties are driven by ideology, not science.

There’s been some news coverage recently about a column by Jonah Goldberg in National Review, of which he is a Senior Editor. The title is Who Are the Real Deniers of Science? When denying science is a progressive moral imperative. It’s mostly about climate change — which Goldberg doesn’t deny. Instead, he discusses government policies about it, some of which are purely political and very debatable. Evolution isn’t mentioned at all.

In deference to our readers’ sensitivities, we ignored Goldberg’s article. However, a post about it just showed up at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Leaving Evolution Skeptics Out of a Discussion of Suppressing Scientific Dissent.

It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. We’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.

After quoting from and mostly praising Goldberg’s article, he says:

He [Goldberg] goes on, and there’s hardly a word to disagree with. Except there is no mention of the subject on which censors have done the most to silence dissenters. That subject is Darwinian theory, of course. Not one word.

So what? Creationism — ooops, intelligent design advocacy — isn’t what Goldberg wrote about. Klinghoffer is furious at the omission. He tells us:

I’m unsure how you’d prove this, but it’s certainly my sense that the intimidation directed against Darwin doubters puts in the shade the intimidation directed at, say, skeptics on climate change.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s because the “Darwin doubters” have as much scientific credibility as Moon-landing deniers. Klinghoffer thinks otherwise, of course. Let’s read on:

The social intimidation is so intense that even conservatives [like Goldberg, presumably] leave evolution out of a discussion about denying scientific dissent.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We might have missed something, but we’ve never seen the slightest hint that Goldberg is a creationist. If he didn’t mention the Discoveroids’ pet issue of the “social intimidation” faced by creationists, it’s probably because he doesn’t think it’s worth mentioning.

Klinghoffer continues with an example of someone who fears that if he came out positively for intelligent design, “I would probably be in danger of losing my job.” Regarding that presumably closeted creationist, Klinghoffer says:

He’s correct, and he’s chosen the right word to describe the treatment of ID scientists: “persecution.” Say the wrong thing, think the wrong thing, and your career is over.

Oh, the horror! Here’s how Klinghoffer wraps it up:

That’s likely true in some contexts for climate skeptics, but to the same extent? I’m inclined to doubt it.

Actually, Darwin deniers and other creationists can often find jobs teaching at bible colleges. As for climate change skeptics, your Curmudgeon doesn’t follow that issue, so we have no idea what alternatives they have. Klinghoffer may not know either. He’s only concerned about creationists. Hey — if the Discovery Institute were to shut down, what employment alternatives does he have? That’s probably what’s really on his mind.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Ken Ham: Darwin Plagiarized the Bible

Darwin's Tree of Life

Most of you have seen the rough sketch of the tree of life from Darwin’s notebook. He made it around 1837 when he first conceived the idea of the biological relationship of all life. You probably thought that simple diagram was the start of a great idea. But now, dear reader, here’s the rest of the story.

You can learn The Truth by reading Is the Tree of Life Dead? at the personal blog of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He’s the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Here are some excerpts from Hambo’s post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “tree of life?” Some of us will think of the tree mentioned in the Books of Genesis and Revelation. Others will immediately recall Darwin’s evolutionary ideas about the origin and descent of life.

What’s Hambo getting at? Are people ever confused about that? He tells us:

A recent article discusses why Darwin may have chosen to label his famous branching diagram the Tree of Life.

Hambo is referring to an article in the Guardian, titled The tree of life: with Darwin from Genesis to genomics, which has almost 200 comments. It was written by Petter Hellström, described as: “a PhD candidate at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University.” We know nothing else about him, but we get the strong impression that he’s a creationist. You’ll soon see why we have that opinion. According to the Guardian, Hellström wrote:

When he [Darwin] first set out to formulate his evolutionary ideas, in his private “B” notebook of 1837, he famously sketched three tree-like, ascending and branching genealogical diagrams to visualize various aspects of what he was already naming “the tree of life”. … Readers of the Guardian may not know their Bible as well as Darwin’s contemporaries did, yet in Victorian Britain it would have escaped no one that he was naming his tree after the tree in the Garden of Eden. The biblical tree of life is a symbol of immortality and regeneration. It is prominently placed in the Bible, appearing both in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, and in Revelation, the last book of the New. Darwin’s appropriation of the tree of life was no mistake.

Gasp — Darwin “appropriated” the tree of life! We’re shocked — shocked! And now you understand why we suspect that Hellström is a creationist. [Addendum: Commenters who have read Hellström’s original article say that it’s not creationist at all, so we regret having misjudged him based on Hambo’s post.] Okay, back to Hambo:

This writer [Hellström] is saying that Darwin took the idea of the biblical tree of life — and its connotations of eternal life — and was able to secularize it so that now people think of the “genetic continuation in our descendants” rather than the promises of God’s Word as the hope for eternal life. And this writer directly associates Darwin’s work with the increasing secularization of the West and the replacement of God’s Word with evolutionary ideas. Generations have been replacing the true God of creation with the false god of self.

Darwin was a wicked man! Let’s read on:

Even if Darwin was unintentional about the biblical association of the tree of life, he essentially replaced the biblical tree of life and deceived many people with his false ideas about the past. These individuals are putting their hope in a lie about the past and the future — a lie that has devastating eternal consequences!

Yes, eternal consequences! Hambo continues:

When we think of the tree of life, we should be reminded of God’s promise of eternal life for all believers [scripture reference]. We were originally designed to never die, but sin changed everything [scripture reference]. Because of sin, we all die [scripture reference].

The rest of Hambo’s post goes on like that, so we’ll quit here. But you might want to click over there to read the whole thing. It’s very inspiring. Now, at last, thanks to Hambo, we know how truly evil Darwin was.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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