Creationist Wisdom #141: Leopold & Loeb

WE present to you, dear reader, a letter-to-the-editor titled Questioning of Evolution, which appears in the Ledger, published in Lakeland, Florida — somewhere between Disney World and the Gulf of Mexico. 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:

[We’d like to give you some excerpts from the letter, but that paper is being acquired by Stephens Media, and they’re suing bloggers who excerpt their content without permission. So you’ll have to click over there to read it for yourself.]

We searched, but we couldn’t find the letter-writer’s earlier item online. It must have been a spectacularly silly piece because it provoked a storm of rebuttals. [Addendum: It’s here: Polk County, Age of Earth.] As so often happens, the letter-writer won’t deal with the substance of what his critics said. Instead, he takes their opposition as evidence that he’s found The Truth and the evil ones can’t handle it. Let’s read on:


We’ve seen that line before. You can choose either the letter-writer’s version of religion, or else you’ve chosen a life of absolute evil. That’s a nice, simple, and totally absurd way to think about the world. But it does wonders for the creationist’s otherwise shriveled sense of self-esteem. Let’s continue:

We know that Darrow defended the two creeps, and they somehow avoided the death penalty, but was Darwin’s theory the basis of his defense? See for yourself: Closing Argument, The State of Illinois v. Nathan Leopold & Richard Loeb, Delivered by Clarence Darrow . Hint: Darwin isn’t mentioned; the boys’ mental condition is. Darrow also said: “He [Leopold] became enamored of the philosophy of Nietzsche.” Make of that what you will.

Perhaps the two killers should have received the death penalty; instead they were sentenced to life in prison because of a skillful defense lawyer. Therefore … it’s Darwin’s fault? Hey, why not? According to creationists, everything is Darwin’s fault. Here’s more:


Aaaargh!! The letter-writer is now revealed as another grotesquely misinformed yet supremely confident creationist who hasn’t even read past the title of Darwin’s book — a book which doesn’t deal with the evolution of humans. We’ve discussed that amazingly persistent bit of nonsense here: Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin. Moving along:


That may be one of the most contra-historical statements we’ve yet seen. It’s like saying that John Wilkes Booth assassinated Julius Caesar. But we have good news for you, dear reader. Today’s letter is coming to an end. Here’s the last of it:


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6 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #141: Leopold & Loeb

  1. The single most evil thing in this world is a closed mind.

  2. Lakeland writer typical. I worked in Polk County (Lakeland) as the Lakes Biologist for several years and this is very typical of the local population. Very conservative, pretend church goers (1-2 on every corner), uneducated, with an opinion. God was everywhere. Also the trashiest county with roadside litter everywhere. This is the County where a few years back had national attention of placing the ten commandments on the County Administrative building lawn. I had to hide my atheism. Could not get out of there fast enough. The two north corners are bedroom communities for Orlando and Tampa.

  3. Charley Horse

    I think the link below is the earlier letter to
    the editor.

    Here is another link with more posts.,%20P.E.

  4. Thanks, Charley Horse. I don’t know why your comment got delayed.

  5. Gabriel Hanna

    Darrow said that :

    There is not a sane thing in all of this from the beginning to the end. There was not a normal act in any of it, from its inception in a diseased brain, until today, when they sit here awaiting their doom. But we are told that they planned. Well, what does that mean? A maniac plans, an idiot plans, an animal plans; any brain that functions may plan. But their plans were the diseased plans of the diseased mind…”

    at different points he blamed it on their ancestry and Nietzche, but his argument seems to be that evil = insane.

    He also made the argument, beloved of those against capital punishment, that life in prison is worse than execution–yet at the same time says it would heartless, cruel and barbaric to kill them. It seems the vast majority of those facing the death penalty really, really don’t want and are willing to spend twenty years (on the average) and millions of the taxpayers’ money to avoid it–in prison all the while. Yet we are to believe that life in prison is truly the worse punishment.

  6. Curmudgeon: “As so often happens, the letter-writer won’t deal with the substance of what his critics said. Instead, he takes their opposition as evidence that he’s found The Truth™ and the evil ones can’t handle it.”

    Since this particular “enligtened one” apparently questioned the age of the Earth, was any of that substance about the terribly inconvenient fact that many creationists fully agree with mainstream science on the age of the earth (& life) and occasionally make it clear that those who “challenge” it are wrong?