Today’s letter-to-the-editor has a great title: Evolution should not be taught in schools. It appears in the Daily Globe of Worthington, Minnesota. 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:
My objection to teaching evolution in schools is based on honest science and not religion.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Great start. We know you’re hooked, so keep reading:
Darwin himself said that if life turned out to be too complex, his theory would not work. He did not know about cells, much less DNA, at the time. A single cell has more moving parts than the city of New York. The chances of …
We’ll skip all the usual blather about how complicated things are, and therefore the odds are kazillions to one, and therefore Oogity Boogity! Let’s read on:
I can’t muster that much faith, can you? You need DNA to make protein, and protein to make DNA. This requires creation, but in a fairy tale anything can happen.
Right. Let’s have creationism instead of fairy tales. We continue:
Darwin also said that if transitional fossils were not found, his theory was dead. One hundred fifty years later and multiple millions of fossils later, none have been found (except for a few elaborate hoaxes).
Yeah, yeah — there are no transitional fossils. Isn’t there anything interesting in this letter? Up to now it’s the usual creationist nonsense. Oh — this is something we haven’t seen before in one of these letters:
In November 1999, National Geographic published a 10-page story on a missing link between dinosaurs and birds. An expert was hired to analyze it, and the story was found to be an elaborate hoax. Twenty-six of the bones were from four other animals. The story was published anyway, and four months later National Geographic printed a two-sentence retraction in an obscure part of the magazine.
Aaaargh!! We thought everyone connected with that had been either bribed to keep quiet or else eliminated. Now, to our horror, we see that this letter-writer in rural Minnesota knows the whole shameful story. What shall we do now? The game’s over. We’re ruined!
Oh, wait — the truth of this incident is much more mundane than today’s letter-writer imagines. It’s mentioned in TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims. There’s also a long Wikipedia article on it: Archaeoraptor. Yes, the fossil was a fake. No peer-reviewed journal would publish about the find. National Geographic decided to go with the story anyway, and then they had to retract it. It wasn’t their finest moment, but we always thought they were best known for publishing photos of topless native women. We like their maps too, but National Geographic isn’t the place where one looks for the latest scientific discoveries.
Moving along in today’s letter:
Another dirty little secret evolutionists seldom mention is that hundreds of modern species of birds and even mammals (one with a small dinosaur in his stomach) have been found with dinosaurs. They show no change but are given different scientific names to obscure the obvious.
We never heard that before. Does anyone know what he’s talking about? Okay, here’s the end of today’s letter:
My conclusion: Man has an almost limitless capacity to deceive himself.
That’s very true. We are pleased to end this post on a point of agreement.
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