SINCE the recent events in Texas, there’s been a shortage of news about the evolution-creationism controversy, so we’re slumming among the creationists for entertainment. Today, dear reader, we hit the mother lode.
This is a letter-to-the-editor appearing on the website of MLive.com, which is the internet presence for several Michigan papers, and in this case it seems to be the Kalamazoo Gazette. The letter’s provocative title is: Evolution is not science, it’s an angry fist in the face of the intelligent designer.
Folks, this is a humdinger. In this one letter you will find a virtually complete catalog of arguments for teaching creationism in government-run schools. No, you won’t find some of the dumber creationist arguments like “Why are there still monkeys?” — but this letter could serve as a creationist’s handbook for the education controversy.
We usually don’t mention the names of these letter-writers, but we have to make an exception here. The author of today’s letter describes herself as “a University of Michigan graduate certified to teach science — and with many years experience teaching a variety of subjects in public and private schools, as well as to homeschoolers …” And her name — get this! — is Betty Orweller.
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. The letter is far too long to copy in its entirely, so we’ll give you a few of the more outrageous excerpts. Here we go:
Evolutionists are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birthday and the 150th anniversary of his book, “Origin of the Species.” I want to counter the prevalent fallacious viewpoint [Aaaargh!!] that evolution theory is science while intelligent design and creation science are philosophy or religion.
Right up front, we know what we’re dealing with. Let’s read on:
The definition of “science” has changed in recent years. My 1980 Webster’s Dictionary [Aaaargh!!] still stressed “systematized knowledge” gained “by study and practice.” Only in recent decades have humanist philosophers [Aaaargh!!] redefined and limited science to what can physically be observed and tested. Even given the new, limited definition, if intelligent design — or for that matter, creation science — is not real science, neither is evolution. [Aaaargh!!]
It takes a special kind of intellect to use a dictionary as authority in a science discussion. In this case, having consulted some definitions, Ms Orweller still doesn’t know what is and what isn’t science. According to her interpretation of her Ultimate Authority — Webster — science used to explore the supernatural world, until the “humanists” (whoever they are) changed everything. We continue:
Most people, even textbook authors, keep forgetting that evolution is only a theory [Aaaargh!!] — one possible explanation for the natural world which we observe. Whenever “science” deals with origins issues, no one can offer conclusive proof [Aaaargh!!], since no one can observe, experiment or repeat.
Ah yes, “only a theory.” And “no one can offer conclusive proof.” Ms Orweller seems clueless as to the nature of science, yet she considers herself a better authority on the status of evolution than virtually all the biologists in the world. Here’s more:
My studied conclusion [Aaaargh!!] is that the preponderance of evidence supports the premise that an intelligent designer — the creator described in the Bible — must have planned this universe for it to “work” so amazingly well at both macro and micro levels. [Aaaargh!!]
How could any universe not “work” well, at any level? Things are what they are, and do what they do. It would take a miracle for it to be otherwise. Thus, whatever exists in any universe will work just fine, according to what it is. Why would Ms Orweller expect our universe to behave differently? Here’s still more:
Intelligent design proponents, like creation scientists, are very experienced scientists [Aaaargh!!] trained in evolutionary assumptions, but who in the course of their work as professors in secular colleges, or as employees of government (like at NASA) or private research firms, have concluded that evolution cannot adequately account for observable facts. [Aaaargh!!]
But the magical mystery Designer neatly fills the bill. Right! Moving along:
Intelligent design does not express or represent any religious viewpoint [Aaaargh!!], though I suspect many intelligent design scientists end up “finding” God. To the contrary, most leading evolutionists not only ignore abundant evidence discounting their claims [Aaaargh!!], but are strongly-vocal God deniers who twist the facts to fit their chosen assumptions (such as Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion”). Evolution is not the pure science it claims to be, it is an angry fist in the face of God! [Aaaargh!!]
This is getting pretty long. And tedious. We’ll give you one more excerpt from the end of the letter. Then you’re on your own:
Numerous validated scientific findings by creation scientists [Aaaargh!!] and their religion-neutral intelligent design colleagues [Aaaargh!!] disprove or significantly challenge evolutionary claims [Aaaargh!!], but blind, deaf, and arrogant men prefer to ignore the facts, rather than to study with an open mind.
We would very much like to see some — or even one — of those “validated scientific findings by creation scientists” that “disprove or significantly challenge” evolution. We’ll keep an open mind if anyone wants to publish such findings in a respected journal. If the creationists have the goods, they won’t be “expelled.” Really they won’t.
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