Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Reflector located in Greenville, North Carolina. The letter is titled Cartoon on evolution misses fact. 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.
The letter begins by referring to a cartoon the newspaper published a few days earlier, and although we’ve tried we can’t seem to find it. Here’s what today’s letter says:
The cartoon on the April 19 Opinion page featuring a science teacher contrasting evolution and creationism merits comment. The implied message is that those who believe we are the result of a long series of random unsupervised events are intelligent thinking people, while those who believe we are here through the deliberate act of a being outside of space and time are naive primitive thinkers.
That must have been a great cartoon! Anyway, the letter continues:
However, this message misses the fact that the more we study the universe, the more evidence we find for a creator.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, here it comes:
One of the more stunning discoveries was announced 20 years ago this month — that measurements from the cosmic background explorer (COBE) confirmed the Big Bang creation event, the beginning of the universe indicated by Albert Einstein’s equations of general relativity. The COBE project leader declared, “It’s like looking at God.”
Cute bit of quote-mining there. Three seconds with Google reveals that he’s talking about George Smoot, who actually said: “”If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God.”
Let’s read on in today’s letter:
Turning our focus from the cosmos to the cell, the more we discover about the incredible code of life programmed into our DNA …
Yeah, yeah. It’s a miracle. The letter continues:
Evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala estimated the probability of intelligent species arising from single-celled organisms at 10 to 1 million (or 999,999 zeros between the decimal point and the “1”).
Huh? To begin with, Francisco Ayala is a big critic of creationism and intelligent design. Then there’s that number alleged to be what Ayala calculated as the odds against the emergence of an intelligent species. What’s the number? Is it “10 to 1 million”? That would be one in 100,000. We can’t find where Ayala said that, but even if he did, it’s not a bad estimate. Or did the letter-writer (not Ayala) mean to say “10 to the one millionth power”? Maybe. Creationists toss around numbers like that. Does that translate to the letter-writer’s “999,999 zeros between the decimal point and the 1”? We don’t care. Here’s more:
Calculations by others yield even smaller probabilities. The more we learn about the details of life, the closer these probabilities come to zero.
Jeepers! And here’s the letter’s conclusion:
This should give us all plenty of food for thought.
Go ahead, dear reader. Let your brain feed on that.
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