Creationist Wisdom — Example 88: Cows & Trees

WE present to you, dear reader, a letter-to-the-editor titled Buhl Cummings: Are cows and trees related?, which appears in the Athens Banner-Herald of Athens, Georgia. That’s a college town, home to the University of Georgia.

Athens is also home to Athens Christian School, and as their About Us page informs us, the school was “was founded in 1970 by Drs. Buhl and Lois Cummings …” We also learned from this news article that Buhl was succeeded as headmaster earlier this year by his son, Steve Cummings.

Today’s letter-to-the-editor is signed by Buhl Cummings, presumably the same man who founded Athens Christian and served so long as its headmaster. Therefore, because of the author’s local prominence, we’ll forgo our custom of omitting the letter-writer’s name and city.

We’ll copy today’s letter in its entirety, adding some bold font for emphasis, and of course our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. Here we go:

The Banner-Herald’s Tuesday editorial page featured a commentary from a University of Georgia professor of cellular biology who proffered the following idea: “In the past 500 years there have been many great ideas that have affected human society, yet two stand alone.”

Buhl is probably referring to this letter from 24 November: ‘Origin’ should bring wonder, not fear. It’s a good letter, written by Mark Farmer, described as “a professor of cellular biology at the University of Georgia and a spokesman for Georgia Citizens for Integrity in Science Education.” We assume he’s a frontline warrior in local creationism controversies, and we’re guessing that he and Buhl have had their disagreements in the past. We’ll quote one brief portion of professor Farmer’s letter:

Through our genes we are connected to every living thing. Through our chemistry we are connected to the Earth. Through our very atoms we are connected to the stars and the universe.

Okay, but what were those two great ideas in the past 500 years that Farmer wrote about and which Buhl started out by mentioning? Let’s read on from today’s letter:

The professor then goes on to note two books: “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres” by Nicolaus Copernicus, who first offered the idea that the Earth circles the sun, and Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” which sets forth the theory of biological evolution. In its simplest form, the theory states that all life on Earth is connected by common ancestry.

Whoa! Buhl can’t let that go unchallenged. His letter continues:

Now, my dear professor, you completely overlooked the book that predates both of these books by hundreds of years and has shaped the lives of millions of people across the world. That book is the Bible. The Bible teaches that God is the Creator.

Uh, we thought the professor had specifically mentioned the past 500 years. Oh well. Here’s more from Buhl:

Regardless of Darwin’s views, it’s hard for me to believe that the cow chewing her cud and the tree under which she stands are connected, except that the cow appreciates the shade of the tree.

Smack! Socko! Wham, Bamm! How do ya like that one, professor?

And this is the letter’s end:

Try the Bible on for size. You might like the fit.

Ah ha! Brilliant put-down! And now, dear reader, we leave the happy town of Athens, Georgia. Bless ’em all.

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

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10 responses to “Creationist Wisdom — Example 88: Cows & Trees

  1. Obviously, the reference was to the One True Bible, the version in the Original English, that is, the King James Version 0f 1611.

  2. Good catch, TomS. Yes, that would fit nicely within the 500 year time frame.

  3. Nice letter. Let’s see, it begins with a quick summary of the other guys letter, proceeds to take out the handi-dandy, general purpose, smack people in the head with book and then does so. Afterwords, the author admits he’s a man of limited imagination and intelligence and finishes off with one more smack to the head for good measure. And creationists wonder why we don’t respect them.

  4. conducted a study among 304 viewers of a news clip discussing a new introduction to Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”. Results found that viewer support for teaching creationism in schools declined after watching the video. Furthermore, the majority of viewers (65%) indicated that they would read the original version of “On the Origin of Species”, while fewer viewers (60%) indicated that they would read the new introduction. More in depth results can be seen at:

  5. So Cummings certainly must have challenged Michael Behe, who not only agrees that cows and trees share common ancestors, but even called reading the Bible as a science text is silly, right?



  6. Thanks for the promo! I enjoy this website and I believe that this is the first time my work has been featured on it.

    My offers to Dr. Cummings, and others, to meet with them and discuss these differences between us largely go unanswered.

    Perhaps they only want a one-way discussion?

  7. Mark Farmer says: “Thanks for the promo!”

    You wrote a great letter. It must be fun matching wits with Cummings.

  8. Mark Farmer: “Perhaps they only want a one-way discussion?”

    Some of them like to debate “Darwinists,” as long as the latter “takes the bait” (keeps the discussion on “weaknesses” of “Darwinism” rather than focusing on the fatal weaknesses and contradictions of the alternative “theories”), or (2) the former controls the site, and deletes any inconvenient replies.

    But even the more brave anti-evolutionists almost always refuse to challenge anti-evolutionists with contradictory positions, thus admitting that their objection has nothing to do with “weaknesses,” and everything to do with their perceived implications of “Darwinism” (Hitler, etc.).

  9. I actually graduated from Athens Christian School in 1999. Their curriculum and values are every bit as crazy as you would imagine…and then some.

    They ignore any scientific evidence which disputes their fundamentalist, young earth, literal 6-day creation myth. Their students are not learning science. They are being indoctrinated into mythology which has no rational or scientific basis. Sadly, it took years for me to realize how badly my education suffered at ACS.

    And, don’t even get me started on the dress code.

  10. ACS Graduate says: “Sadly, it took years for me to realize how badly my education suffered at ACS.”

    I hope you continue to abstain from the abominable vice of self-abuse.