Creationist Wisdom #236: “F” for Evolution

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Free Lance-Star, of Fredericksburg, Virginia. It’s not easy keeping track of these things, but we think this is the sixth such specimen we’ve found in that newspaper — the last time was Creationist Wisdom #136.

The letter is provocatively titled Evolution as ‘science’: Virginia schools get an ‘F’ . 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:

This is in response to your March 27 editorial titled “Virginia aces science.”

The letter-writer is referring to this, about the Fordham Institute’s having awarded Virginia an “A-” for its K-12 science standards. In particular, that editorial says:

One pitfall Virginia (mostly) avoids is what Fordham calls “dissin’ Darwin” — i.e., treating evolution, especially as it applies to human beings, with unjustified skepticism.

That’s what aroused today’s letter-writer. Having introduced his subject, he writes:

Yes, Virginia is well within the box of atheist evolution. They don’t dis Darwinian evolution. It is easy to follow the politically correct crowd, even though it has been going down the wrong road for many years.

The “box of atheist evolution”? Hey, that’s a new expression! Let’s read on:

If one is a Christian, one believes God created everything, and everything was created with an apparent age. The day after Adam was created, a modern doctor would swear he was a young adult.

All living things were created with an apparent age. So the 4 billion years age of Earth was the apparent age. Try to imagine how life started, without immediately having an apparent age.

We tried to imagine how such a letter could be written without apparent imbecility, but we weren’t able to do it. Let’s just continue:

There is no scientific proof, or even evidence, that one species ever evolved to a higher species. Changes within a species due to various combinations of genetic information from each parent are numerous. This is microevolution. But changes to a higher species, with new genetic information not available from either parent, are nonexistent. This would be macroevolution.

Micro-macro — Aaaargh!! That’s debunked here: Common Creationist Claims Confuted. We try to avoid clichés in writing this blog, but in this instance it’s no cliché — if we see one more of these letters that babbles about micro-macro, we are literally going to vomit!

The letter continues:

Natural selection causing a new species is a fairytale with no proven example in all of recorded history.

We are sooooo tempted to snicker about all the fairytale in Fredericksburg, but that sort of thing would be way below our standards. We’ll behave and just move along with the letter:

If macroevolution were true, there would be millions of examples of intermediate species. There is none.

Not one! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And so, dear reader, we are linking to this yet again: List of transitional fossils.

Now for the end of the letter. This sentence, at least, is somewhat original:

If all reference to evolution were removed from all the biology books, we would still have the same biology.

Right, it would be exactly the same — except for one thing: It wouldn’t make any sense. Perhaps the letter-writer wouldn’t notice the difference.

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #236: “F” for Evolution

  1. “If one is a Christian, one believes God created everything, and everything was created with an apparent age.”

    This attitude is one of the most irksome things about these people: you can’t be a Christian unless you’re a Creationist.

  2. Tomato Addict

    >”… there would be millions of examples of intermediate species…”

    I guess fossils don’t count, Curmie, he wants Species.

  3. His letter gets a grade of “Meh”. It’s unimaginative fare of the standard “Admit nothing”, “deny everything” (Ex: “There’s no evidence!”), “make counter accusations” (Ex: “millions of intermediate… species!?!?”) Of the three further possibilities (“Demand proof, discredit witnesses, blame society”), he only gets some points for the third (“You’re only Christian if you believe in Creationism!”)
    So he gets a “Meh”, and a bored one at that.

  4. “If one is a Christian, one believes God created everything, and everything was created with an apparent age.”

    This points out a major problem with the argument from design. Identifying creation with design means that there is nothing which is not designed, and thus that there is no distinguishing of designed things from non-designed things. How can we distinguish between Paley’s watch and the stone? They are both designed/created.

  5. “If all reference to evolution were removed from all the biology books, we would still have the same biology.”

    This is creationist humor gold. He’s clearly way into biology.

  6. @TomS

    More importantly has anyone told the letter writer that OECs and most IDers, hence most of those who object to “evolution only” education, do not believe that everything was “created with an apparent age” but that life really is billions of years old. And that many of them agree that, whatever other cause of “higher species” that they nevertheless share common ancestors with “lower” ones?

  7. Charles: “This attitude is one of the most irksome things about these people: you can’t be a Christian unless you’re a Creationist.”

    Not just any creationist, but apparently only a YEC or Omphalos “kind.” Something tells me, though, that this clown will quickly learn how to bait-and-switch to keep peace in the big tent.

  8. “If one is a Christian, one believes God created everything, and everything was created with an apparent age.”

    Because One cannot be a True Christian™ unless one believes God lies.

  9. The delicious thing about the “apparent age” theory is that the universe could be any age at all. It could have been created 6,000 years ago, or 600 years ago, or even yesterday – there would be no way to tell the difference. We could have been created with all our memories, and our apparent age, a few minutes ago.

    So my answer is, if God created the universe with apparent age, then whenever he did so, he went to a lot of trouble to make it look billions of years old. He must have wanted us to investigate it, appreciate it, and learn from it. To be opposed to doing so would be to go against God’s will.

    The writer is a heretic.

  10. Here’s something I’ve never understood about this “apparent age” nonsense. If things were created with an apparent age, doesn’t that imply an apparent history? I mean, if this doctor looked at Adam and concluded that he was a young adult, wouldn’t she also conclude that he had a history (e.g., he was born 22 years ago, he was once a baby, he went through puberty, etc.)? If the evidence suggested anything different, then the doctor wouldn’t conclude Adam was a young man.

    So how is it different with the history of the Earth, or of life, or of the cosmos? Wouldn’t the apparent history have to match the history we do see in order to reach that conclusion? And if so, why fight the evidence, since it’s all consistent with “apparent age” anyway?

    This seems to make “creation” a rather arbitrary event. If the apparent history occurred in God’s head instead of in reality, then at some point God must have transferred his 13.7 billion year old virtual universe from his imagination to actual particles. It hardly seemed meaningful whether this happened six thousand, six million, or six billion years ago.

  11. Damn you, Ed! I spent too long writing my comment and you beat me to the punch!

  12. As for “apparent age,” keep in mind the mentality of the typical letter writer. They uncritically parrot anything that sounds nice. They may not yet realize that the “scientific” YEC line is that X lacks both the age, and the apparent age (the evidence supports millions or billions of years, but scripture overrules it) that an Omphalos creationist concedes. The latter are rare, and as rejected by the anti-evolution movement as we “Darwinists” are. People with a prior commitment to the movement gradually reject Omphalos arguments. And if they don’t find YEC arguments convining tend to go with “don’t ask, don’t tell” rather than OEC.

  13. retiredsciguy

    Ya know, all this “apparent age” gibberish is just that. We shouldn’t waste our time pointing out to each other why the letter writer is totally befuddled. We all know that.

    All of us also know that the universe “appears” to be 13.7 billion years old because the universe is 13.7 billion years old. Likewise for the earth’s 4.6 billion years, the Permian Extinction occurring ~250 million years ago, and the K-T Extinction 65 million years ago.

    To me, the biggest danger posed by all this denial of reality is that our policy-makers will not take the threat of another extinction event caused by cosmic impact seriously. Granted — the likelihood of one occurring during our lifetime is extremely low. But we know they have happened in the past, and will certainly happen again. It won’t take that much money to develop the technology to the point where we can do something to avert a future extinction; we just need the political will to do it.

    If a large portion of our citizenry does not believe what the fossil record is clearly telling us, our politicians aren’t going to fund the research.

    We are the first generation to have the means to prevent our own extinction. What a shame if we do nothing.

  14. Spector567

    I once had a guy tell me that Climate change wasn’t happening because god said he wouldn’t destroy the earth again after the flood.

    I quickly responded that Climate change was our own doing not gods and it wasn’t going to destroy the earth just make our life really difficult.

    He had no response and he didn’t change his mind in the least.