Creationist Wisdom #145: Don’t Be Afraid

WE present to you, dear reader, a letter-to-the-editor titled Don’t be scared by creationism, which appears in the Daily Herald — “suburban Chicago’s information source.” Here’s a Wikipedia entry on them: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights), which says:

The paper’s longtime slogan has been “To fear God, tell the truth and make money.”

We’ll copy most of today’s letter, but we’ll omit the writer’s name and city, and we’ll add some bold for emphasis, plus our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. Here we go:

My hero Lindsey Stevens is correct.

Lindsey who? Oh, he’s the 14-year-old creationist who wrote this 03 July letter which appeared in the same paper: Creationism is based on real science, more valid theory. It’s difficult to believe that we missed that one, but somehow it’s not included in our collection.

Well, it is now — thanks to today’s letter-writer who admires young Lindsey. Let’s read some more:

Creationism is real science. Disbelievers are those who have not studied the subject since they were in grade school. They have accepted the bazaar [sic] teachings that one day there was water, then tadpoles, then apes, and then – presto – man.

How very strange — that “presto” stuff accepted by the “disbelievers” seems to be a fairly accurate description of six-day creationism. Anyway, we continue:

Wow, it has to take some really strong faith to believe anything so ridiculous. It is a “theory”.

A theory! That’s the creationists’ term for “blasphemy accepted on faith,” in contrast to The Truth accepted on faith. Here’s more:

I don’t know why evolutionists are so afraid to expose students to creationism along with evolution. Let me suggest one book for starters, “The Case for a Creator.”

That’s one of the popular creationist books. It’s written by Lee Strobel. He lives in the same location where the Daily Herald is published, and it’s likely that he’s a local celebrity in creationist circles. Hey — he’s highly regarded by the Discovery Institute. See: Lee Strobel, Moderator – Darwin Vs. Design Conferences. They also promote him and his book here.

Let’s get back to today’s letter:

The “science” of creationism is amazing and educational. Lindsey and I are not afraid of evolution – why are you afraid of creationism.

That’s an interesting question, dear reader — why are you afraid? While you’re pondering that, we’ve arrived at the letter’s end:

All we say is, teach a little of both. Do some current research. Don’t let it scare you!

[Writer’s name and city can be seen in the original.]

When people sense that they’re not achieving success with whatever it is they’re promoting, they often comfort themselves by thinking that their opponents are afraid. This is not unique to creationism.

Your Curmudgeon would like today’s letter-writer to consider an alternative explanation: Sometimes, rejection isn’t based on fear. In this case it’s the result of complete comprehension — and revulsion.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #145: Don’t Be Afraid

  1. DI needs to do a little more work – the editorial letters keep referring to creationism and creation science when the operative term is “intelligent design”. If they allow this sloppiness to continue, they will eventually be unable to sustain the fiction that ID is separate and apart from creationism.

    You’re right, labeling ones opponent (even if it’s the entire scientific community of thousands of researchers all over the world) as afraid is very common. The anti-vaxers do it, the truthers do it, any nut with a conspiracy theory will do it.

    It’s still fun to read these letters. The fact that people can be so crazy certainly argues against “intelligent design”. What designer would create an irrational mind like that?

  2. So, let me get this straight: a letter writer claims we all fear creationism, implying that fear is a bad, irrational reason for rejecting it. They challenge us not to fear it. Don’t let it scare us!

    And they publish this letter in a paper whose slogan starts “To fear God…”

    Hmmm….methinks whomever selected that letter for publication did not put two and two together. Or they have a strong sense of irony.

  3. NDaBoonies

    Lee Stroebel the king of straw man conquerers.

  4. There is such a ‘bazaar’ choice of words here.
    I would recommend the letter writer do some research of his own, starting with a dictionary.

  5. “…one day there was water, then tadpoles, then apes, and then – presto – man.”

    Ah hah! I knew that Aristotle was on the right track with those four elements. Let me be the first to coin the phrase “WTAM theory”: W (water), T (tadpole), A (apes), M (man) .

  6. Carson says:

    Let me be the first to coin the phrase “WTAM theory”

    But you’re afraid of Light, Firmament, Waters, Land, Plants, Sun, Moon, Stars, Animals, Man theory, or LFWLPSMSAM theory.

  7. But you’re afraid of Light, Firmament, Waters, Land, Plants, Sun, Moon, Stars, Animals, Man theory, or LFWLPSMSAM theory.

    No, no, no! You got it wrong!

    It’s “Light, Firmament, Waters, Land, Plants, Sun, Moon, Stars, Animals, and then — Hocus Pocus Preparatus from mud — Man.”

    Oh… and maybe he did mean “bazaar”… In the derogative sense, of course — something like a small chaotic place where all sort of odd junk is to be found. (Or am I giving too much credit to the letter-writer?)

  8. Yipe — this is my back yard! I’m in the Daily Herald’s suburban Chicago territory.

    I looked up the original letter and the commenters on the Daily Herald site assume “Lindsey” is a 14-year-old girl. Natural evolved protective impulses come into play, so even the critical comments are relatively kind. This latest letter is more obviously written by a male of the species, and the comments are less kindly.

    It also seems to me that there are indications the second letter was written by someone not much older than young Lindsey. Creationist kids’ letters have certain distinguishing characteristics (besides parroting arguments they don’t really understand, they often refer to some easy-to-read popular-level Creationist book as an irrefutable source, often sounding like it’s the only book they’ve read on the subject), and I believe I discern a few here.

  9. Ugh! Lee Strobel? Cause a journalist is well acquianted with the intricies of advanced biology???

    Well. I guess someone has to stand up to the experts.