Flaming Idiocy About Evolution

In the Tampa Tribune, from which we’ve come to expect better, we find this incredibly confused article: Don’t Leave God Out Of The Discussion. Excerpts (with curmudgeonly commentary):

Evolution, also known as Darwinism, is a lie. Darwin was a naturalist; naturalists believe the universe of matter and energy is all there is. This rules out God and all spiritual beings or supernatural revelation. It is materialistic, atheistic, communistic, but most certainly not the true American way.

It would be the work of days to refute all the errors in that paragraph. First, the author confuses the scientific method, known as procedural naturalism (because it works with detectable matter and energy), with the philosophical position which is also called naturalism (which denies the existence of everything except matter and energy). Scientists employ procedural naturalism in their work only because they don’t have angel detectors.

Anyway, the trade-craft of science doesn’t “rule out God,” it just limits the kind of work that scientists can do. That is, scientists — when doing science — can only work with objectively verifiable evidence. The rest is the work of theology.

As for evolution’s being “communistic,” isn’t it odd that Darwin himself was a Victorian-era capitalist, and Stalin banished the Darwinian scientists from the Bolshevik empire. Stalin’s favorite biologist was an anti-Darwin quack named Trofim Lysenko.

If scientists are intelligent, then it must take another intelligent being to create that which is used to produce their product.

We slowly shake our head, gentle reader. Not merely because someone is toad-brained enough to write such stuff, but because an established newspaper has published it. The article continues:

There must be an external efficient cause that accounts for an object’s origin and continued existence. Such an efficient cause was needed for the physical universe as a whole. For this reason there must be a first, unmoved mover, who is not subject to change. Because there is regularity throughout nature, it must be concluded that this first cause is intelligent.

Ah yes, the old First Cause argument, the one where the conclusion (an un-caused entity) “logically” follows from the premise that everything has a cause.

The author then starts quoting scripture, as creationism and Intelligent Design advocates often do. Very nice, but hardly a scientific argument.

Copyright © 2008. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

2 responses to “Flaming Idiocy About Evolution

  1. I can’t find the author elsewhere on Google, perhaps it’s a letter to the editor that got promoted. It’s certainly letter to the editor quality.

  2. At the bottom of the article it says “Lyman Austin Benefield lives in Ruskin”. Leaving out his middle name, I found a Pastor Lyman Benefield of the South Bay Christian Center (Lyman Frnds Brdcast Ministries) in Ruskin. He is also listed as a Director of Friends & Family Assembly in nearby Wimauma. I was unable to find anything about Lyman Frnds Brdcast Ministries.