WE present to you, dear reader, a letter-to-the-editor titled Fear pervades debate, which appears in the Amarillo Globe-News of Amarillo, Texas. We’ll copy most of today’s letter, omitting the writer’s name and city, adding some bold for emphasis and our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. Here we go:
The left fears the takeover of education by the right. They claim their science is more reliable, holding to the scientific method untainted by religion.
Aaaargh!! Science is the study of reality. Neither the left nor the right owns the scientific method. Indeed, the extremists at each end of the spectrum all reject reality, but that’s another story. Let’s read on:
Problem is they alter that method by excluding certain conclusions before evaluating evidence. Avoiding contamination of science by religion, they acknowledge nothing man cannot measure.
That’s an astounding distortion. The scientific method doesn’t consider anything that can’t be detected, measured, tested, etc. Because the spirit world offers no verifiable evidence of a scientific nature, there can’t be any theories based upon spiritual matters. This isn’t a “problem” of science, it is science. We continue:
They declare “we don’t know what the explanation is, but we know what it is not.” Scientific thought should go where evidence leads, even if it contradicts non-religious viewpoints.
Here’s more where that came from:
Charles Darwin’s crucial miscalculation, the view that the smaller the biological unit of study, the simpler it became, could not have been more wrong.
Ah, at last we have it — Charles Darwin’s crucial miscalculation. What is the letter-writer telling us?
We now understand cell processes unimaginable in Darwin’s day. Microscopic cell machinery function rivals mankind’s most complex manufacturing processes. These complexities suggest intelligent design rather than random interaction.
That’s it — complexity suggests design? Is that what the letter-writer offers us? Where have we seen that doctrine before? Right — it’s William Paley’s watchmaker argument — which has benefited humanity enormously by giving us the well-established Theory of the Snowflake Fairy. (Don’t laugh, it’s serious stuff in Seattle.) Here’s more from today’s letter:
Some scientists acknowledge the failings of Darwinism, even suggesting alien “seeding” for introducing life on earth. This is “real” science as opposed to intelligent design?
The response to that clumsy, strawman-type of distracting question is this: Produce such a drooling “scientist” and we’ll deal with his ravings. Or leave him in the asylum where he’s happy. For each such poop-in-pants “scientist” you can drag in, we can produce ten thousand religious nuts, but what would any of that accomplish? Let’s stick to the topic at hand — whatever that is.
There have been many deeply religious scientists in world history making significant contributions to scientific advancement. Their religious views didn’t hinder, but contributed to their accomplishments.
It’s undeniable that there have been many religious scientists. The letter-writer leaps upon that to assert that their science came right out of scripture. He doesn’t give us any examples, of course, because there aren’t any. This is as vacuous as the claim that the US Constitution is scriptural, but … well, that’s a subject for another day. Let’s stay with the letter:
Recently in William Yeatman’s Globe-News guest column on the man-made global warming debacle, scientists by their own admission predetermined their desired outcome and customized evidence to support their view, then covered up contrary evidence.
We can’t locate the column to which the letter-writer refers, but we’re familiar with the latest feature of the letter-writer’s argument, which goes like this: “Those global-warming guys lied, and that means the evolution guys are lying too, and that means creationism is true!”
Most persuasive. And now we come to the end:
If the left wants the right to respect their view of science, they’ll have to come up with better “evidence.”
[Writer’s name and city can be seen in the original.]
That letter had a little bit of everything, didn’t it? It touched on the scientific method, Paley’s watchmaker, global warming, and left vs right politics. The amazing thing is that the letter-writer managed to be wrong about absolutely everything. But then, that’s the nature of creationism.
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