Creationist Wisdom #207: Blatant Lies!

Today’s letter-to-the-editor doesn’t have much originality to it, but it’s got a nice collection of creationist silliness. It has a provocative title too: Disproven theories don’t belong in schools, and it appears in the Green Bay Press-Gazette of Green Bay, Wisconsin . We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and as we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Here we go, with a bit of bold font added for emphasis:

This is in response to Charles Haynes’ commentary (“Religious attacks of evolution have no place in science class,” Sept. 7). He should concentrate instead on keeping disproven, unscientific theories out of science class.

Feisty beginning! But he’s got a point — no one wants “disproven, unscientific theories” taught in science class. Unfortunately … well, we don’t want to spoil it for you. In due course you’ll see what the letter-writer has in mind.

The Charles Haynes item he refers to is Religious attacks of evolution have no place in science class. It’s very good, and it seems to have enraged today’s letter-writer. Here it comes:

Darwin studied scientific micro-evolution involving variations within a species. His theory (macro-evolution) assumes that life started from non-life, and variations can change one species into another species. Macro-evolution is not scientific because it has never been proven or observed in nature.

That’s the “micro-macro mambo,” debunked here: Common Creationist Claims Confuted — hereinafter CCCC. Let’s read on:

His theory is disproved by the Law of Biogenesis — spontaneous generation is impossible, life can arise only from other life, and life only perpetuates its own kind.

Hey — we haven’t seen that one for quite a while. Apparently it’s still making the rounds of the creationist websites. That’s also debunked in our CCCC. We continue:

His theory is also disproved by the Cambrian Explosion — a period when virtually all major animal forms appeared suddenly without transitional forms preceding them.

Oh goodie — the legendary Cambrian Explosion. We debunked that one a couple of years ago (see The Mystery of the Cambrian “Explosion”). Here’s more:

Darwin admitted that transitional fossils (between two species) needed to be found for his theory to be true. Today, with billions of fossils found, not one is transitional.

Aaaargh!! That too is debunked in CCCC. Moving along:

The examples in textbooks (Nebraska Man, Java Man, Peking Man, Neanderthal Man, Piltdown Man, and Lucy) have been determined to be frauds. Yet they are still in textbooks and taught in schools.

We discussed Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man in CCCC. They’re not in textbooks. The others aren’t frauds. Nebraska Man wasn’t a fraud either — it was a brief mistake that was corrected so quickly it probably never got into the textbooks. But it lives on at creationist websites.

Here’s the letter’s end, and it appears that even after writing it, the letter-writer is still furious about the Charles Haynes article:

Mr. Haynes, start protecting us from blatant lies instead of from the truth.

So there you are, dear reader. Be careful, because there’s a very angry creationist somewhere in or around Green Bay.

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

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12 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #207: Blatant Lies!

  1. I love reading the debunking of Creationists nonsense.

    I despair that it needs to be written at all.

  2. “Mr. Haynes, start protecting us from blatant lies instead of from the truth.”

    Uh .. .. the letter writer forgot to capitalize “truth”, and forgot to change color and fonts. I guess he isn’t a TRUE believer.

  3. I’m new to this site, so I hope I’m commenting in the right space here. I’m a Christian with a B.S. and M.S. in Engineering, working on my PhD. My major emphasis was in thermodynamics, fluid and gas dynamics, and heat transfer. Whenever I’ve asked an evolutionist the question of where everything came from – matter and energy – they can never give me a scientific, naturalistic explanation. Even Dawkins says he does not know where all matter and energy come from. How do evolutionists address the thermodynamic laws of conservation of mass and energy when it comes to the origin of matter and energy? Does evolution violate these thermodynamic laws? Is there a naturalistic answer or theory that can be tested? Can we expect new matter and energy to come about for no particular reason? I have the same question regarding information – is information materialistic? Thanks in advance.

  4. Kevin says:

    Whenever I’ve asked an evolutionist the question of where everything came from – matter and energy – they can never give me a scientific, naturalistic explanation.

    Why would you ask a biologist such a question?

  5. @Kevin: There’s little point in “asking questions”. If you really wanted to know, you would LOOK IT UP.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html
    But I’ll humor you.

    ” How do evolutionists address the thermodynamic laws of conservation of mass and energy when it comes to the origin of matter and energy? ”

    They were always there. The total amount of matter and energy in the Universe has never changed, because energy is CONSERVED. So matter and energy never “came from” anywhere.

    “Does evolution violate these thermodynamic laws?”

    No.

    ” Is there a naturalistic answer or theory that can be tested?”

    Do we find rabbit fossils or flowering plants with trilobites? No. When we looked for the ancestors of whales we wanted to find, was it where we said it was? Yes.

    “Can we expect new matter and energy to come about for no particular reason?”

    In the long run, no. In the short run, we see this in the lab all the time.

    “I have the same question regarding information – is information materialistic? ”

    As defined by scientists, yes: a snowflake contains more information than a drop of water and comes about without being handmade by God. Creationists have their own definition of “information” which they confused with “meaning”, leading them to absurdities such as saying that two copies of a book do not have more “information” than one copy has.

    All of your “questions”, which are really concern trolling, are listed at talkorigins with the answers. Creationists have been “asking questions”, the same ones over and over again, and not listening to the answers, for a very long time.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

  6. Gabriel Hanna says:

    @Kevin: There’s little point in “asking questions”. If you really wanted to know, you would LOOK IT UP. … All of your “questions”, which are really concern trolling, are listed at talkorigins with the answers.

    Good comment. I haven’t banned the guy — not yet. I was wondering if he’d return and justify himself. So far, it appears that he’s just the typical “hit & run” type of creationist, and deserving of banning, but I’ll give him a bit more time. It’s always possible that he’s sincere about his questions.

  7. In Kevin’s case I’m hoping he comes back, because I want to know what kind of guy has a BS and MS emphasizing thermodynamics but doesn’t understand what energy conservation is.

    Then again, it may be that he has spent all his time thinking about open systems.

    I don’t respond to these “questions” because I think people like Kevin care about the answers or will change their minds. It’s because they tell people that there IS no answer. That is dishonest and I think we should expose the lie.

  8. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Then again, it may be that he has spent all his time thinking about open systems.

    That would be a peculiarly lopsided course of study. But even if it were so, why then did he ask: “Does evolution violate these thermodynamic laws?”

  9. That would be a peculiarly lopsided course of study.

    Perhaps not for engineers. Heat engines, HVAC, electrical generation, all open systems. Very few engineers have to think about the energy budget of the whole Universe.

  10. Gabriel Hanna said:

    Very few engineers have to think about the energy budget of the whole Universe.

    Actually, I don’t think any engineers think about the energy budget of the whole universe. I’m not aware of any engineers who even get down to the level of a galaxy or just a solar system. We leave that to the likes of Hawking and other theoretical physicists. We engineers are in the business of designing and building things. We might think about the thermal budget of a planet (namely ours) or perhaps one of the ones that the various rovers are climbing over or the ones that a probe is heading towards. Most engineers that I’m aware of who build, say, circuit boards are worried about thermal issues on a very small scale (namely that of the circuit board and the components on the circuit board). So long as the board will not have thermal issues (read “does not let the smoke out”), they’re happy.

  11. Gary says: “Actually, I don’t think any engineers think about the energy budget of the whole universe.”

    Undoubtedly true. Indeed, very few humans have ever thought about it. But still, when one learns the laws of thermodynamics, I thought it was fairly standard, at least in an introductory way, to explain that entropy increases in a closed system. I donno, it’s been a long time since I thought about any of that stuff. Anyway, I think it’s absurd for an engineer to babble that evolution violates the 2nd Law.

  12. @SC: It’s easy to get into a routine. Oh, here’s my system, I apply this rule and that one and I get the answer.

    But if you don’t carefully check assumptions, it might not be appropriate to use this rule.

    So, I can see that Kevin might be thinking of a heat engine. In that situation, the first law says heat in + work in = heat out + work out + change in internal energy.

    And then he (erroneously) applies it to the whole Universe and says “where’d the heat and work come from, smart guy”, because he’s implicity assuming that there are reservoirs of energy outside the universe, which is a contradiction in terms.

    That the Big Bang obeyed the laws of thermodynamics is proved by the nearly perfect blackbody spectrum of the cosmic background microwave radiation.