Creationist Wisdom — Example 34

WE HAVE a special treat for you today. This isn’t your typical creationist letter-to-the-editor. No, this one is an actual editorial — well, it’s a guest editorial. The author is Oscar Thorsland, who is described as follows:

Oscar Thorsland of Liberty is a member of the Pickens County School Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in zoology from Clemson University. He has been a biology teacher at Easley High School and a principal at Liberty High school.

We present to you, dear reader, Oscar Thorsland’s Creationists forced to hide in the closet, which appears in the Greenville News from South Carolina. Greenville has the distinction of being the home of Bob Jones University.

As is our custom, your Curmudgeon will politely insert this subtle signal [Aaaargh!!] after each howler so that we don’t interrupt the letter-writer’s learned discourse. We may apply some bold font for emphasis, and we’ll also be adding Curmudgeonly commentary in between the excerpted paragraphs. Otherwise, we’ll copy the editorial in its entirety. Here we go:

Recently a guest column appeared in The Greenville News extolling the virtues of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. The column even implied the United States’ position in the global economy is directly related to the acceptance of Darwin’s theory. But let’s take a look at some facts that will dispute these claims.

This should be interesting. Let’s read on:

First, many of the foundational laws and principles of science were discovered generations before Darwin [Aaaargh!!] by scientists who were committed believers in the master designer. A classic example is Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered the laws of motion and gravity. These laws are still foundational in the physical sciences today. Newton was a devout believer in God and his scientific research was centered on studying God’s awesome creation.

Oscar’s reference to scientists before Darwin is utterly useless in this context, because he has no idea what they would have thought about evolution — or atomic theory, relativity, plate tectonics, quantum mechanics, etc. We continue:

It is a monumental tragedy that in today’s educational climate Sir Isaac Newton would not find employment in our public universities and schools [Aaaargh!!] because of his views on creation. [Aaaargh!!] Just a hint that a candidate believes in a creator or intelligent designer would sound the death knell for employment. Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” accurately provides a chilling account of this open hostility. [Aaaargh!!]

Whoa, baby! It really doesn’t get more bizarre than this. First, your Curmudgeon humbly suggests that Sir Isaac would find his services eagerly sought by most universities. Second, Oscar doesn’t have a clue whether Sir Isaac would be a creationist in the post-Darwin world. We suggest that he wouldn’t be — so his services might not be sought by the university located in Greenville. And third, any reference to Ben Stein’s “Expelled” other than in a derisive manner is a sign of intellectual vacuity.

Here’s more:

A molecular biologist working with the complex DNA code commented that to be a molecular biologist you had to hold on to two insanities at all times. First, it would be insane to believe in evolution [Aaaargh!!] when you can see the truth while doing your research.

That must be a brilliant biologist. Moving along:

Second, it would be insane to say you don’t believe in evolution. The reason: employment, all government work, research grants, etc. would come to a grinding halt. [Aaaargh!!] So today we have thousands of closet creationists [Aaaargh!!] in our universities and schools, unable to make their views public because doing so would result in ridicule, hostility, reprimand and finally unemployment.

Not quite. Michael Behe is a creationist, and his employment at Lehigh University hasn’t “come to a grinding halt.” As for Oscar’s reference to “thousands of closet creationists,” that’s too obvious an opening for a tasteless response, so we’ll leave that one alone.

And now we come to the end of the editorial:

Science has no factual or valid answers for the origins of matter and life. [Aaaargh!!] So, why is it taboo to inform our students that there is overwhelming evidence for a master designer? [Aaaargh!!] It would certainly be refreshing and most importantly pro science if in the very near future the climate will be such that our teachers and professors will be able to come out of the closet [Aaaargh!!] and teach that God created all [Aaaargh!!] and gave man the mind to study and discover.

There’s just too much wrong with that for us to deal with. As for teaching that God created all, that what we have churches for — and Bob Jones University. Relax, Oscar. Your beliefs are being taught — where they belong.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Creationist Wisdom — Example 34

  1. “Overwhelming evidence ” ????

    Hahahaha ………………………….. 😉

  2. mightyfrijoles

    I am so ashamed that my politics often puts me in the same room as these clowns.

    We need a new party!

  3. mightyfrijoles: “We need a new party!”

    Why? Surely, you can decide between a party led by Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi on the one hand, and a party typified by Don McLeroy and Ronda Storms on the other.

  4. mightyfrijoles

    Decide what? To launch the ICBMs?

  5. The arguments never change, they just vary in shrillness.

  6. In graduate school I had a professor who believed that any Ph.D. in the biological sciences (or any other degree for that matter) should have that degree revoked if they did not accept evolution as the foundation of biology. I agree. This is like a physician not accepting the germ theory of disease and beliving in the old Greek view of humors out of balance as the basis of disease.

  7. retiredsciguy

    It’s hard to fathom how a seemingly well-educated person can steadfastly refuse to open his eyes and take an open-minded look at the 150+ years of accumulated evidence supporting natural selection as the driving force of evolution.
    I suspect ulterior motives. Perhaps he wishes to start a private “Christian School”, and is laying the groundwork for political acceptance of vouchers to fund it?
    More likely, though, he’s plugging for an anti-science “Academic Freedom” bill in South Carolina.

  8. Wow. A masterful display of the technique of argument via the red “Aaaargh!!”. Who could fail to be convinced?

  9. Matteo says:

    Wow. A masterful display of the technique of argument via the red “Aaaargh!!”. Who could fail to be convinced?

    Don’t be coy. Say what you came here to say.

  10. “Empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing” to “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations.”
    is what the “intelligent design” folks want as a teacher’s guide.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if Sunday schools were also held to the same standards? “empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing” to “analyze and evaluate RELIGIOUS explanations.”
    It should be against the law to teach children in any other way. Sunday schools are essentially intellectual molestation.