Creationist Wisdom #239: Seek the Truth

One of our clandestine operatives, code-named “OO,” informed us of today’s letter-to-the-editor which appears in the Shawnee News-Star of Shawnee, Oklahoma. The letter is titled Belief in God, evolution are incompatible. 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. Here we go:

Atheist wins again. Now that Republicans control both the Senate and House and even the governorship, Christians still can’t seem to win. The simple answer, atheists fight harder than complacent Christians.

Egad — atheists in Oklahoma? How did they get in? The letter continues:

The National Center for Science Education seems to have great influence over our Legislature no matter which party is in control. First we had Senate Bill 1742 by Josh Brecheen (R-District 6). This bill was described as requiring every publicly funded Oklahoma school to teach the debate of creation vs. evolution. This bill died in committee on March 1, when a deadline for bills in the senate to be reported from their committees passed.

Brecheen’s bill (which we described here) wasn’t his first creationist effort (he introduced this mess the year before). He is a singularly stupid man. Let’s read on:

We continue to see bills important to Christians die without receiving a hearing. Our last hope was HB 1551 whose original author was Sally Kern (R-Dist. 84 Oklahoma County).

Sally Kern’s bill (see Oklahoma’s 2nd 2012 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead) was the letter-writer’s “last hope”? His situation seems hopeless indeed. We continue:

The Oklahoma Senate Education Committee in the last meeting of this secession on Monday, April 2, did not consider the bill. This is the way it goes folks. What is amazing is 77 percent here in the United States claim to be Christians (source Wikipedia; Gallop Poll says 78 percent).

The letter-writer has simplistically equated Christianity and creationism. He seems unaware of the many denominations that don’t agree with him — see the National Center for Science Education’s list of Statements from Religious Organizations supporting evolution. Here’s more from today’s letter:

Oklahoma is definitely a Christian believing state, population wise. Is our Legislature afraid they might upset the ACLU? There are other states which aren’t intimidated by the ACLU. Jesus said “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

That’s a lovely quote from the Good Book, but the letter-writer somehow imagines that it’s the law. Someone should inform him that the Constitution — not the bible — is the supreme law of the land, and legislators have taken an oath to support it. Moving along:

Belief in God is incompatible with evolution. You cannot believe in God and evolution at the same time. That would be the true example of an oxymoron.

If the letter-writer wants to reject evolution, that’s his affair. But it’s tyrannical to impose such a belief on everyone in his state. Another excerpt:

For those who simply don’t know what to believe, there is new scientific information coming into the light almost daily which reveals Darwinism is a false doctrine. Check it out for yourselves.

We have checked it out for ourselves, and we continue to do so. Where does the letter-writer get his information? He provides a link to this flamingly creationist website, the design of which seems inspired by The Time Cube. After that, he concludes his letter with this:

Seek the truth. The anti-Christians (evolutionist) will push back harder than most Christians.

Seek the truth? That’s good advice. And so we depart from Oklahoma. Swiftly.

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

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #239: Seek the Truth

  1. The simple answer, atheists fight harder than complacent Christians.

    Right. That must be it. And remember, the fact that you don’t see any evidence of this atheist conspiracy just shows how successfully devious it is.

  2. Having a wild day at the office, I decided to drop an email to Bill Dunn, one of the truly brilliant sponsors of Tennessee’s recent “academic freedom” bill. Much to my surprise, I received a response to my query .
    It was of course, unsigned and could have been written by an assistant, but nonetheless, I show it below.
    Bill feels that the teaching of the topic of evolution is in fact, scientifically controversial, as his email indicates. So, enough of the acdemic freedom
    guise I’d say.

    When I asked the Speaker a pertinent question after our first exchange,
    the conversation ended as quickly as it had begun.
    Bill Dunn, a man of intellectual stature and a legislator of true integrity.
    The teaching of evolution is Tennessee can be scientifically controversial.
    Who knew!
    My email to him and the response is shown below and was recorded earlier today.
    From: Fxxxxx, William [Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 2:12 PM
    To: Bill Dunn
    Subject: Bill !
    Dear Bill,
    If evolution is scientifically a controversial subject Bill,
    I am the shah of Iran.
    Your most recent, was a very disappointing and destructive piece of “legislation”.
    Will xxxxxx
    Oil and Gas Geoscientist

    Bill’s response:

    Bill Dunn
    The teaching of it can be.

    My response to Dunn’s statement that the teaching of evolution is “scientifically controversial”

    Only if the teacher is a creationist Dunn.
    Are you one?

    And then the screen goes blank, no more responses.
    I’m surprised curmudgie.!!

  3. will says: “Having a wild day at the office”

    It doesn’t get any wilder.

  4. @SC: I noted that one of the comments on the site calls your blog a “popular national science blog”. Now that you’ve hit the big time, please remember us mere minions as you catapult to the top!

  5. garystar1 says: “Now that you’ve hit the big time”

    Oh yeah. Fame, fortune, Hollywood starlets, I’ve got it all.

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    SC: Watch out if they offer you a chance to have your footprints immortalized in a concrete “walk of fame”. Check to make sure there aren’t any dinosaur juvenile delinquents in the neighborhood waiting for a chance to jump in too before the concrete hardens.

    But back to Oklahoma and their downtrodden Christian majority: An indicator of just how dearly Oklahomans hold onto the idea that theocracy is the official American way of government , is that in 2010 fully 70% of Oklahoma voters approved a constitutional amendment that would specifically ban the use of Sharia law in their courts.

  7. Ceteris: Yep, but a court has thrown out the Sharia law bill. We hope it stays out. We can claim to be the reddest of all states, since every county went against Obama in the last election. Thus, our battles against creationist bills have been very tough.

  8. If evolution and god are incompatible, then God isn’t real. Evolution can be seen occurring. Anyone can examine nature or a laboratory experiment long enough to see it in action. The theory of evolution explains the fact of evolution. It’s too bad the creationists are staking their bets on a lost cause.

  9. I live in the state and town this article came from. I can say that I both love and hate living here. Oklahoma is such a beautiful state and there are many great things to experience here. However, I experience some very disgusting people everyday. They spew their hate and vitriol on a regular basis in the local and state papers as well as many other mediums. But, I am proud to say that in the small rural area of Oklahoma that I live in, I am surrounded by like minded individuals. My close circle of friends are all proud Democrats and a majority of them are either Agnostic or Atheist. I personally consider myself to be Atheist. GASP!! Atheist’s exist in Oklahoma!? Yes we are here but a small majority. However, I am forced to keep this a “secret” for fear of what might happen to me if it were very public. I am not ashamed to admit that I am an Atheist, but if I advertised it on my shoulder, I fear that I might wake up with a horse head in my bed. I also have many good friends who spew the very hatred that I fear. It is quite the delima. I consider these people to be very good friends but I find their views to be very toxic. I don’t want to judge them for their views because, to me, they are my dear friend regardless of their beliefs. However, I know that if they knew how I felt I would be cast aside like a piece of trash. It is very disconcerting. But, at any rate, please don’t judge our beautiful state on the opinion of these disgusting people. Yes, the majority of the state believes as the person who wrote this article does, but not all of us do. There are some good people here. We might be a minority, but it’s a start.

  10. aturingtest

    From the letter: “Belief in God is incompatible with evolution. You cannot believe in God and evolution at the same time.”
    But why? Why? Look, Spector567 made a comment a couple of articles ago (at “Creationist Wisdom #238”) that I like because of the simplicity of the argument (which is necessary in talking to the simple). I hope he won’t mind if I quote a bit of it:

    “God did it.
    And then I demand that they prove that god couldn’t have set all the criteria up and then created a process to allow the big bang and evolution to happen.”

    I think that’s a great argument because it forces them either a) to admit god is not all-powerful (when they say he couldn’t use evolution), or b) their own presumption in knowing god’s mind (when they say he wouldn’t have). In either case, they’re limiting their own supposedly omnipotent god.

  11. Belief in God is incompatible with evolution. You cannot believe in God and evolution at the same time.

    Take it up with the Pope, doofus. And then with the tens of thousands of mainstream Protestant ministers who accept the ToE.

    This is the real “controversy”. The TRVE “controversy” is a sectarian religious controversy over interpretations of the Bible and Genesis. In the Dover trial the plaintiffs were Christians. They were verbally attacked, mocked, and condemned by “Christian” neighbors and received many anonymous threats from their “Christian” neighbors.

    There is even a “controversy” amongst Catholics. Both Behe and Kenneth Miller are Catholic.

    Polling shows that atheists compromise only about 2% of the population. Yet 45-50% of the population accepts the science of the ToE (“believe” is the wrong word), and about 85% of the population self-describes as Christian.

  12. A comment to the letter refered to this blog, so rather than register to comment there I’ll just do it here, where at least some interested readers will find it.

    The obvious comment to the letter writer, and to all who pretend that one must be either a YEC or an “evolutionist-atheist” is what to they consider OECs and IDers, and whether they have the guts to challenge them. If not they can be reasonably suspected of at least lacking confidence in their supposed YEC belief – if not worse.

  13. @Frank J

    I think the author of the letter is probably okay with OECs and IDers as “believers”. Though misguided and misinformed they may still be saved. What matters most is rejecting the ToE because accepting evolution = not really believing in God = listening to Satan and going to hell, and tempting others to follow Satan, too, etc.

    The activist and militant YECs, OECs, and IDers rarely argue amongst themselves, but all will argue with and warn, and many will condemn, theistic evolutionists like the Pope and Ken Miller.

    The real controversy is over theological differences, not science.

  14. I am glad to see someone voicing an important aspect of the issue: “The real controversy is over theological differences, not science.” Yes, the “culture war” is inter-religion war among true religious zealots . However, the controversy is more complex, because also involved are the scammers – whose zeal is money and power – and who prefer the broader stroke of religion vs science to achieve maximum political exposure and adoring, if dim-witted, fans (sex of some sort must be added to the equation, although arguably it’s included in “power”. And yes, these delusional egotists are willing to wage an egregiously selfish “war” against intelligence, civilization, our nation’s economy – even their own children’s futures, etc. to fulfill this self-agrandizement. Basically, it’s a form of sociopathy.

    Unless you are a Biblical fundamentalist/literalist, beliefs in evolution and the Bible are smoothly resolved, as evidenced from above statistics. However, even the funds/lits must necessarily pick and choose their ideology from a book that is full of repulsive (to use another blogger’s term) commands, which patently makes them hypocrites (as if we didn’t know, from countless other examples).

    Also, dear CM, no essays on the Tea Party? – which has always struck me as yet another tool of the Adversary. Incidentally, I found your marvelous blog after seeing smarm-monger Don McLeroy embarrass himself on the Colbert Report. So glad that he and that pernicious Young Earth/Creationist movement have gotten this type of extremely wide exposure. Have you noticed more hits to your site since the show aired?

  15. Donna asks: “Have you noticed more hits to your site since the show aired?”

    Not really. That was a well-viewed post, but McLeroy isn’t quite enough to make much of a difference.

  16. My comment above was precipitated because I live in the Northeast where, for the present at least, we are somewhat shielded from extreme manifestations of creationism that affect us personally and make local news . Thus, many folks in these parts are fairly oblivious of the fact that the ridiculously inconceivable is actually occurring elsewhere and, apart from the crazy rhetoric we’re used to hearing, is comprising majority votes and influencing policy (I daresay the recent primaries were a wake up call, however). Perhaps because of my Southern roots, I’m more anxious about and consequently more aware of this insidious problem than a good number of my geographic peers. For those who do not keep up with Texas news or textbook publishing, or believe that anti-science sentiment remains relegated to a few hillbilly states, it was instrumental that McLeroy’s “acheivements” were introduced and disseminated to a wide, national audience.

    But, perhaps I’ve misunderstood and you meant that he isn’t enough to make much of a difference in your readership? Well, it’s still early days, and now you have little ole me; distracted from my work, staying up late reading – even posting.