WE present to you, dear reader, a letter-to-the-editor titled Doubts not denial of science, which appears in the Gazette of Colorado Springs. It’s the second letter at that link, so you’ll have to scroll down to find it.
We’ll copy most of today’s letter, omitting the writer’s name and city, and adding our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. Actually, we added the paragraph breaks; this thing is only one paragraph. The bold font was added for emphasis. Here we go:
In response to John Horner’s article (“Is science denial intellectually honest in our modern world,” editorial page, Nov. 19): Doubts about the theory of evolution are not denial of science.
That refers to a guest column by John Horner: Is science denial intellectually honest in our modern world? Horner is a psychology professor at Colorado College. It’s not a bad column, but it concludes with a bit of a false dichotomy:
Either become a scientist and test that knowledge for yourself, or give up all the benefits you’ve accrued from humanity’s ever-expanding scientific knowledge. If you aren’t going to believe in the knowledge that science has given us, then give up all those things that science has made possible. Give up your computer, your cell phone, your Internet, your microwave, your antibiotics, your cancer treatments, your Lipitor, your Viagra, your GPS, your telephone, your airplanes, your digital camera, your television, your cable, your ….
Okay, we’re oriented. Let’s get back to today’s letter:
There are creationists and intelligent design advocates who not only have Ph.Ds but also field and lab experience. There are creationists who used to be evolutionists and who abandoned the theory for scientific reasons, not due to a religious conversion.
There are indeed some fools and charlatans with Ph D degrees. But among creationists, we suspect there are none who were once evolutionary biologists, but “who abandoned the theory for scientific reasons, not due to a religious conversion.” We continue:
Like most creationists, I believe in natural selection and other observable factors but the belief that life arose from chemicals by chance has not been proved by the scientific method.
Nor is that part of the theory of evolution. Here’s more:
Louis Pasteur disproved the theory of spontaneous generation and the Miller experiment was a failure, not a success. Dr. Miller’s experiment only produced amino acids, not life, and the results were accomplished in an artificial environment unlike the primordial soup evolutionists believe in.
Aaaargh!! Pasteur again. That stuff continues to linger on creationist websites. Here’s a good discussion at Talk.Origins: Spontaneous Generation and the Origin of Life.
The Miller–Urey experiment wasn’t intended to create life. It was a spectacular success in accomplishing its purpose — synthesizing organic compounds from inorganic precursors.
Okay, moving along, we come to an argument we’ve never seen before. This is what’s so fascinating about these letters — the variety is a never-ending festival of foolishness:
It can also be argued that natural selection prevents progressive evolution from taking place: it is the average animal that thrives, freaks (transitional forms) are culled out by natural selection factors
How about that one, dear reader? You never knew that natural selection prevents evolution, did you? Nor did you know about that hot new creation science discovery — survival of the average. Isn’t this great?
And now we come to the end:
Also, there is no connection between Darwin’s theories and modern technology, in most cases technological breakthroughs come from the study of physics, not evolutionary biology. People can doubt evolution and still appreciate their cell phones and computers.
[Writer’s name and city can be seen in the original.]
No connection? Darwin’s theory is supported by geology, radiometric dating techniques, biochemistry, etc.; and it’s consistent with every other branch of science. On the other hand, it’s true that creationists use computers — mostly to access creationist websites. But despite such cognitive inconsistencies, they’re still reality-deniers.
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