Creationist Wisdom — Example 82

WE present to you, dear reader, a letter-to-the-editor which appears in the Daily American of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It’s titled Design or chance?

We’ll copy today’s letter in its entirety, omitting only the writer’s name and city, and adding our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. The bold font was added for emphasis, as was a touch of color. Here we go:

Evolution not fact but theory. In fact there is more science that supports intelligent design. This is why evolutionists fight so hard to keep it from being taught in our schools.

Yes, we’re desperately fighting against real science. Let’s read on:

Evolutionists say that evolution is based on science and intelligent design is based on faith, but both require faith in something. Neither can positively prove the beginning of everything from nothing.

Jeepers! The theory of evolution just assumes that the universe exists. That’s a fatal weakness. We’ve been so blind! The letter continues:

Darwins [sic] theory of evolution requires working backward and sometimes ignoring facts that do not support their theory and requires millions of years opposed to the Bibles [sic] thousands.

The letter-writer’s brain seems to be missing the apostrophe lobe. Here’s more:

Carbon Dating measures the amount of carbon monoxide in material. Many things can vary these results; if buried or not and in what or exposed to air or sun and for how long, etc. Also you can set the scale from 0 to millions or thousands.

Aaaargh!! Moving along:

The rotation speed of the earth is slowing, if reversed the centrifugal force would overcome gravity and fling us from the earth well before the time required for evolution. Also dust on the moon increases at a given rate. The first moon landing they expected up to 22 feet; millions of years worth, but only found a few inches; 6-10 thousand years worth.

Wow — that’s a treat. We didn’t realize the moon dust argument and the earth’s rotation rate were still appearing in letters-to-the-editor.

Here’s the last of it:

The fossil record does not show any mutation between one animal and another. Evolution science is based on a false premise and therefore bad science, and mathematically impossible. In fact there are many scientists, teachers, and experts in every field that support intelligent design, and not evolution, search – intelligent design.

[Writer’s name and city can be seen in the original.]

Hey, that was good. Math, moon-dust, millions of years, carbon monoxide, and more. But don’t leap to the conclusion that the letter-writer is a record-holder. There are dumber people in Pennsylvania. There was once a school board in a town called Dover …

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

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom — Example 82

  1. “Carbon dating measures the amount of carbon monoxide in material.”

    That letter-writer owes me a new keyboard; plus, now I have to replenish my caffeine supply.

    On the positive side, I made a scientific discovery: that diet Pepsi, when spurted out through the nose, produces a stinging sensation. Not, however, as stinging as the letter-writer’s basic scientific illiteracy.

  2. For what it’s worth, here’s a great simulation to help combat that basic illiteracy. Minimal instruction are here.

  3. Cheryl Shepherd-Adams says: “… I made a scientific discovery: that diet Pepsi, when spurted out through the nose, produces a stinging sensation.”

    You may thank the intelligent designer for thoughtfully building that set of inter-connected passages.

    Nice link on carbon dating, but it doesn’t mention the all-important carbon monoxide technique.

  4. Ouch, that stings.

    I’m afraid this learned dude hasn’t kept up with modern ID talking points. Looks like he hasn’t kept up with anything. Should we tell him we use horseless carriages now?

    Typical regurgitation of talking points half remembered and wholly (I was tempted to spell that ‘holy’) misunderstood. Send him back to Doc Hovind’s modern economics and wooden dinosaur nail drivers bleeding palm stigmata carpentry class.

  5. Does strikethrough not work?

  6. OK. Correction:

    …wooden dinosaur nail drivers bleeding palm stigmata carpentry class.

  7. Sigh. I used to be a computer programmer. I guess HTML is tougher than C and assembler.

  8. That’s terrible. This guy’s way behind the leading edge of the creationists, so what does that make him?

  9. Albanaeon asks: “… so what does that make him?”

    A conservative creationist.

  10. That might be the nice way to put it…

  11. Carbon Dating measures the amount of carbon monoxide in material. Many things can vary these results; if buried or not and in what or exposed to air or sun and for how long, etc. Also you can set the scale from 0 to millions or thousands. The rotation speed of the earth is slowing, if reversed the centrifugal force would overcome gravity and fling us from the earth well before the time required for evolution. Also dust on the moon increases at a given rate. The first moon landing they expected up to 22 feet; millions of years worth, but only found a few inches; 6-10 thousand years worth.

    But our friend here has one major advantage over the standard cdesign proponentists: he’s wrong. Cdesign proponentists are not even wrong.

  12. retiredsciguy

    Unfortunately, there will always be any number of uninformed letter-writers with no fear of exposing their ignorance.

    It’s a shame that so many newspapers have editors who totally lack any shred of scientific literacy. How else do we explain how these letters keep showing up for the Curmudgeon to find?

  13. retiredsciguy asks: “How else do we explain how these letters keep showing up for the Curmudgeon to find?”

    Newspapers have comic strips, astrology columns, and “Dear Abby” columns. (At least they had such things. It’s been a long time since I read a paper other than the Wall Street Journal.) So why not publish creationist letters?

  14. retiredsciguy

    “Newspapers have comic strips, etc. …”

    And they are the best part of most papers, and (generally) the least biased. Well, maybe the Sudoku puzzle is less biased.

    The point I was trying to make about the totally uninformed letters to the editor is that the papers are doing a disservice by publishing them, and the editors SHOULD be smart enough to realize that.

    So, if a paper publishes a scientifically illiterate letter from an alleged creationist, we can take it that: A) the editor is scientifically illiterate himself; or B) the editor is also a creationist; or C) the editor knows better, but is so desperate for material to fill the paper that he doesn’t give a damn; or D) the letter is from his brother-in-law, whom the editor wishes to embarrass. Personally, I think A) is usually the case.

  15. retiredscienceguy, you missed a couple. E) stir up people to keep them reading your paper. F) keep things “fair”. Personally I think E may be more likely.

  16. retiredsciguy

    Albanaeon, I agree, but I think E) and F) are just subcategories of C). If the editors know better but publish these worthless letters anyway, it’s their lack of journalistic integrity showing through.

    And don’t get me started on the lack of journalistic integrity. “Advocacy journalism” is an oxymoron.