Creationist Wisdom #189: The Legislator

This is as good as it gets. It’s a letter-to-the-editor appearing in the Knoxville News Sentinel of Knoxville, Tennessee. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font added by us.

It’s titled Mountains of evidence support creationism, and it’s from Jeremy Faison — a gen-u-wine member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. That link to his page at the legislature informs us that he “attended” Clearwater Christian College and Northland Baptist Bible College, so he knows what he’s talking about.

Jeremy is writing to clear his good name in response to a letter in the paper that appeared a month ago — it’s the fourth one down here, titled Evolved snakes take on talking snakes. Okay, here’s Jeremy’s letter:

This new bill does not put creation into our curriculum or require teachers to address it in any way.

He’s referring to the creationism bill we’ve been writing about (see Tennessee 2011 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead). Let’s read on:

I stood up on the House floor to defend this bill, and have been misquoted by the letter writer from Oak Ridge. I want readers to know exactly what I said. (You can verify this at the General Assembly website: http://www.legislature.state.tn.us. Search for HB 368 video and fast forward to 3:10:42.) I said, “Evolution between one species to another has never been proven.”

Oh, so that’s what he said. Well okay then. We continue:

Personally, I whole-heartedly embrace the Genesis 1 account. Evolution from one species to another is a theory — one that, for me, requires blind faith to believe in. Contrary to the writer’s statements, the battle of evolution versus creation is still very much alive today.

Jeremy is truly a great man. Here’s more:

I represent East Tennessee. Most of us believe in God. Most of us believe in creation. Most of us stand behind teachers who want to give honest answers to honest questions.

The folks in East Tennessee must be proud of Jeremy. This is how the letter ends:

The gentleman from Oak Ridge [who wrote the earlier letter] purposefully misconstrued my words while choosing to ignore mountains of evidence that scream intelligent design.

He’s got a point — who can ignore those mountains of evidence?

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #189: The Legislator

  1. Curmudgeon: “The folks in East Tennessee must be proud.”

    And for the same reason, some folks in Seattle must be silently screaming. It must be painful when one of their fans equates ID with creationism, and they have to suppress the tantrums that they throw every time a critic does the same thing.

  2. The clueless rube: “Personally, I whole-heartedly embrace the Genesis 1 account.”

    But not enough to demand that students critically analyze its mutually contradictory literal interpretations. I get the picture.

  3. I just watched the video recommended by Faison, including the rest of the HB 368 debate. While recognizing that this particular piece of legislative history does not scream “religious intention,” I think there’s enough to hint at it.

  4. Let’s try this link instead, for <a ref="http://tnga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=110&clip_id=3989"7 April 2011 House session.

  5. Nope, that last link won’t work either.

  6. I said, “Evolution between one species to another has never been proven.”

    His talk of evolution “between” one species and another is a good hint that he thinks evolution should be producing “crocoducks” and the like. In other words, yet another “critic” of evolution who doesn’t understand the most basic evolutionary concepts. He certainly didn’t learn science in a Bible college; unfortunately few seem to learn any science in public school, either.

  7. I represent East Tennessee…

    He must be referring to Bug Tussle, Tennessee – fictional home of Jed Clampett and Jethro Bodine. As the buzzard flies, it’s south of Dogpatch, Kentucky and west of both Mayberry and Hootin’ Holler, North Carolina. Because, outside of burlesque TV sitcoms and hillbilly comic strips, I’ve never heard a more patently ignorant hayseed.

    I wonder what he was wearing when he made those momentous remarks on the House floor? I picture him with vaudeville slapshoes and blacked-out front teeth, crudely-painted freckles and straw falling crazily from a bright orange fright wig – a relic from a Red Skelton sketch or a Pogo Sunday page. If I lived in a state that elected such a buffoon, I’d wear a feedbag over my head for the rest of my natural-born days. By gum, I would…

  8. It is often hard for me to understand how people can refuse to see reality. There is a controversy? There is a disagreement between science and religious fundamentalism. There is no controversy among scientists. There are tons of fossils showing transitions between species. There are tons of fossils showing the transitions in the line that gave birth to homo sapiens. Yes, there is disagreement as to just how all these fossils should be interpreted, and that is to be expected as we seek to learn and understand. These people are show the fossil, and they deny them. They refuse to believe that very few real scientists take creationism or ID seriously, even when shown.
    It is kind of like arguing with a fencepost.

  9. cloyd said:

    They refuse to believe that very few real scientists take creationism or ID seriously, even when shown. It is kind of like arguing with a fencepost.

    Precisely. That’s why the Curmudgeon refuses to let them debate on his blog here. They rarely have anything original to say and almost every one of their arguments can be rebuffed with a simple PRATT (point refuted a thousand times). The remaining arguments, such as Jason Lisles “Anisotropic Synchrony Convention” or “ASC”, have been well rebuffed by actual scientists, many on this blog (which is always fun to watch).

  10. Cloyd: “They refuse to believe that very few real scientists take creationism or ID seriously, even when shown. It is kind of like arguing with a fencepost.”

    Rubes like the legislator may refuse to believe that, but the perps who produce propaganda like the “dissent” statement (Discoveroids and other leaders of the anti-evolution movement) know it, and just play dumb. They know darn well that <1% of practicing biologists have any doubts of evolution, and only a small minority of them have any doubts of common descent. They know that the doubters who whine about being “expelled” only “expel” themselves by refusing to test any alternate ideas, and almost always demonstrate that those doubts are due to extreme political agendas not any honest skepticism about the science. The perps go out of their way to hide those inconvenient facts not just to the hopeless rubes, but to millions who would othewise see through the scam. It’s the latter that we need to reach, not the perps or the rubes.

  11. If I lived in a state that elected such a buffoon, I’d wear a feedbag over my head for the rest of my natural-born days.

    I’m trapped here in East Tennessee. Our Churches are bigger than our schools. Could you please send me a low thread-count feedbag? A “tater” sack would be too itchy.

  12. I cant decide whether to be dismayed or embarassed over the creationist bill sponsered by Mr. Faison . I dont live in his district but its the same all over these mountains . I am 63 years old and have been a non-believer all my life . People here seem to think that when they are through school {8th grade in many instances}, that their education is complete . Even my name confuses a lot of people .You would not believe how many times I have heard ,”Oh ! What a pretty name you have “! And that leaves me thinking “Yeah! Ignorance is bliss !” The subject cant even be broached with most of my family . I dont have more than a 12th grade education myself . But, I loved to read early in life and do to this day so I am self -educated —-of sorts . I dont know if Mr.Faison really believes in creationism or if he is just pandering to his constituents. Probably the latter . Whatever the case may be the Knoxville News -Sentinel is the only horse in town so the possibility of having a debate on opposing views is efficiently negated . Most dont know that the Scopes Trial occurred barely an hours drive from here and many have never heard of it . But there is hope farther down the road . My interest in reading and other forms of communication have taught me that the civilized world as a whole is moving slowly away from believing in gods .Places like East Tennessee will be among the last to relinquish their superstitious beliefs .Amen!!

  13. I like your name, JC Bible. It definitely adds a certain touch that was missing around here. Welcome aboard.

  14. @Cloyde : “It is often hard for me to understand how people can refuse to see reality.”
    If reality conflicts with what your holy book tells you, you’re required to discard reality. It’s one of the religious non-verbal non-written rules. «Don’t let reality fool you!». That’s why they think creationism is a valid scientific endeavour, the age of the earth is somehow connected to the theory of evolution, as is the Big Bang, and we’re all in some kind of a conspiracy to remove christians from public life, take their guns away, tag them and then usher 666, rapture or whatever crazy thing they’ll think next.