Creationist Wisdom #230: In the Beginning

This is a big day for creationism at the Star Press of Muncie, Indiana. We found a second letter-to-the-editor which should interest you. It’s Creationism fills in the gap. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Okay, here we go:

In Brad King’s column of Feb. 19, he says we should teach science and not creationism.

He’s referring to this: Creationism has no place in public schools. Today’s letter continues:

OK, but what does science teach about where we came from?

That’s a fair question. The letter-writer proceeds to tell us what science teaches:

The universe was either created out of nothing or something always existed.

Well … okay. Let’s read on:

The First Law of Thermodynamics says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So the universe was created out of energy. In the beginning, all this energy was compressed into a very small area called a singularity that exploded in the Big Bang creating the universe. Simple.

That’s one way to express the First Law. It’s good enough for a letter-to-the-editor. We continue:

But wait. Everything has to have a cause and effect. If the singularity is infinite and had been hanging around forever, what caused it to explode in the Big Bang? We have the same problem with the creation of life.

Those are two very different questions, and even if the First Law were a problem for the Big Bang, it doesn’t apply to the creation of life. But let’s not get bogged down over that. Here’s more:

If Louis Pasteur proved that spontaneous generation, life from nonlife, is impossible, where did life come from?

Pasteur proved no such thing. We discussed that before in Common Creationist Claims Confuted, and we’ll repeat here what we said:

That so-called “law” which allegedly disproves evolution is a childish misunderstanding of Louis Pasteur’s work on spontaneous generation. This distortion of Louis Pasteur’s work is found only in creationist literature. Pasteur demonstrated that sealing food from airborne contamination would end the supposed “spontaneous generation” of mold and such. This has nothing to do with Darwin’s theory of evolution or with the ultimate origin of living things. Some fool or freak or fraud posted a crazed misinterpretation of Pasteur’s work at a creationist website and it’s been endlessly repeated ever since. Also, see Abiogenesis FAQs: Articles on the Origin of Life.

And that brings us to the end of today’s letter:

I have no problem with evolution. Once we have the beginning, science is doing a good job of explaining how the world developed. But it can’t explain the very beginning. That’s where creationism comes in.

That was interesting. The letter-writer accepts evolution (or says he does) but he still depends on the God of the gaps as his answer to unknowns — leaving them still unknown.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #230: In the Beginning

  1. what does science teach about where we came from?

    Is the letter writer proposing that Scientific Storkism has the answer?

  2. Curmy – why do you keep picking on us Hoosiers? Oh, I forgot – we’re Hoosiers!
    And to preempt the offended Hoosiers, this was just a bit of self-deprecating humor. However, it will be interesting to see how Santorum does in Indiana’s May primary now that he is on the ballot.

  3. Douglas E asks: “Curmy – why do you keep picking on us Hoosiers?”

    Because I can. No, actually this is an equal-opportunity blog. But it hurts when your state is in the spotlight.

  4. Don’t complain. We Texans have to take our share from the Curmudgeon. (although it’s been quiet lately, for some reason)

  5. And just to iterate a previous note – we left Hoosierland in 1968 but will always be natives and still have family and friends there. Thankfully Curmy does not have too much to pick on in Colorado, although we do have Dobson and Company.

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    It may cause pain and grief amongst the more sentient Hoosiers, but I am obligated to humbly make mention of a Feb 9 podcast by a secular/rationalist blog site hosted on the same freethoughtblogs site that is also home to PZ Myers.

    At around 20 minutes into the podcast, while discussing the Indiana creationist legislation, one of the speakers stated that Indiana was the home of John Scopes, and the site of the Scopes’ Monkey Trial. And there was no challenge by any of the others present.

    In for a penny, in for a pound: The Indiana legislature might as well sponsor an Ark Park to be built on the infield of the Indianapolis Speedway. Plenty of free parking and RV hook ups 364 days of the year.

  7. Douglas E said:

    And to preempt the offended Hoosiers, this was just a bit of self-deprecating humor.

    No offense taken. I’d only be offended if it were true. People can say what they want about my home state. I’d only suggest to them that jealousy is not becoming of them.
    Ceteris Paribus said:

    one of the speakers stated that Indiana was the home of John Scopes, and the site of the Scopes’ Monkey Trial.

    Well, they only missed it by that much! They were, what, only two states off? Maybe it was a rounding error?
    SC said:

    Because I can.

    Lovable candor. That’s what keeps me coming back!

  8. TomS: “Is the letter writer proposing that Scientific Storkism has the answer?”

    He admits that evolution and abiogensis are 2 different things, so there’s a glimmer of hope. In 99% of such letters I have read the writers confuses the two, either through legitimate confusion, or deliberately, due to being in on the scam. If most of what this writer hears from our side is accusations “lying for Jesus”, he could get “amnesia” about this particular letter and join the scam. But if we patiently and courteously correct his misconceptions, he might stop spreading them.

  9. Ceteris Paribus: “The Indiana legislature might as well sponsor an Ark Park to be built on the infield of the Indianapolis Speedway.”

    Oh Jeesus! Don’t give ’em any #%*!#ing ideas! They’re likely to go through with it, using my tax dollars! Remember, this is the same legislature that thought it was perfectly constitutional to give state funds to religious schools in the form of vouchers.

    Which goes a long way toward explaining why Curmy finds Hoosiers an easy target.