The letter-writer is Pastor Jeff Short. We can’t find a website for his church, but it appears to be Crosspointe Community Church in Jamestown, NY. We’ll copy most of today’s letter, adding some bold for emphasis and our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. Here we go:
A well-known atheist evolutionist has written a recent book which is supposed to lay out the evidence for evolution, but the curious thing is that every page or so he repeats in mantra-like fashion, “Evolution is a fact, not a theory.”
Presumably, Pastor Short refers to The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (Amazon listing) by Richard Dawkins. But why doesn’t he say so? Let’s read on:
I didn’t take the time to actually count how many times he repeats the phrase “Evolution is a fact” because he says it so often that it becomes annoying. One quickly feels as if one is in the presence of mere propaganda.
That’s one way to look at it. We continue:
Now my question is, if evolution is such an established fact of science, why does this leading voice of evolution need to repeat the fact over and over again? Why doesn’t he simply let the “facts” speak for themselves?
Uh, that’s what the book does. Didn’t Pastor Short notice? Or maybe he didn’t read it. Here’s more:
But this author’s behavior is symptomatic of the whole evolutionary establishment in public schools. If evolution is so clearly true — or in the words of many like the author above, if evolution is a “fact” — then why not expose it to criticism and permit Intelligent Design arguments against it to be heard? If evolution is so obviously true, then these other arguments against it will be shown petty, hollow and empty — thus confirming the theory as a result.
Aaaargh!! We’ve said this many times before, but here goes again — there are no scientific arguments against evolution. None. Nada. Zip. Nihil. And showing that the anti-evolution arguments are indeed “petty, hollow and empty” doesn’t confirm the theory of evolution. The verifiable facts and countless experimental tests do that.
However, that is not the approach taken by the education establishment here in the United States. Instead, the approach taken in most school districts is propaganda. The present approach is to allow for no alternative theory and no criticism of evolution is schools. Why not expose students to the very best criticisms of the theory of evolution and let them work their way through these arguments with class discussion? Why not take these opposing criticisms seriously?
Ah yes — the usual creationist blather. Our response is this: Pastor Short, you and your worthless criticisms don’t belong anywhere near a science classroom. Clear?
Does the Pastor have anything else to say? Let’s see another excerpt:
For example, if all living things have come about through small, gradual changes from one kind of living thing to another due to changes in the environment and favorable mutations, why doesn’t the actual fossil record show this process?
Aaaargh!! Hey Rev — read Dawkins’ book. On with the letter:
Darwin thought the absence of an abundance of fossils showing the blending of one thing into another thing was the strongest argument against his theory, but do most students who learn biology know this? Probably not; what a shame.
The only “shame” here is that the Pastor doesn’t stick with what he knows — whatever that may be — and leave science to scientists. And now we come to the end:
An educated student is one who knows how to explain the theory of evolution and knows the strongest arguments for and against it — and most importantly, makes up his or her own mind about it.
Presumably, Pastor Short considers himself sufficiently educated to make up his own mind on the theory of evolution. Well, opinions vary about that.
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