Creationist Wisdom #267: Which Came First?

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Winston-Salem Journal of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The letter is titled Delving deeper. 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:

The ‘theory’ of the ‘big bang’ would explain only the distribution of mass and energy spread throughout the universe or multiverse. The distribution of matter does not equal life. No one has been able to take an element or elements from the Periodic Table and create biological life.

Right away, the letter-writer points out a glaring flaw in the big bang theory — although it somehow explains “only” the mass and energy in the universe — and the multiverse! — it doesn’t explain life. After that insightful beginning, he continues to demolish everything else you’ve foolishly believed. Continue reading, if you dare:

The complexity of a human cell and its contents are difficult to fathom [list of features and processes omitted]. How does a natural process even produce a cell wall to hold the contents? I wonder which came first, the cell wall or its contents, kind of like the chicken and the egg. How does life emanate from inert matter?

Hey — that’s a great new original question: Which came first, the cell wall or its contents? Let’s read on:

The evolutionists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins argue that suboptimal designs exist. They imply this is an argument against intelligent design.

Neither sloppy design nor anything else can ever prove the intelligent designer’s non-existence, but it certainly demonstrates that if he does exist, his handiwork is that of a blundering boob. We continue:

This is a self-contradictory position since natural selection would eliminate suboptimalities.

Where did the letter-writer get that idea? Natural selection tolerates a lot of less-then-perfect features. Here’s more:

Our world is interpreted by the eye of the beholder. One can choose to believe he evolved from algae and another from design.

Yes, it’s just that easy. Flip a coin and choose your reality. Moving along:

I do not believe in the supernatural by default and would ask the following questions: explain blue stars, the explosion of human genetic diversity 5,000 years ago, statistical population growth based on an evolutionary time frame, and brine concentration in our oceans.

The letter-writer threatens to continue with his creationism unless we spend what remains of our weekend to explain those things to his satisfaction. Your Curmudgeon declines the opportunity, but you, dear reader, may accept the challenge if you wish. Here’s how the letter ends:

I personally cannot connect the dots to trace my lineage to a pond. My original question, ‘Where did the matter/singularity come from?’ still stands.

A powerful and thought-provoking letter! The newspaper published someone’s attempt to answer the letter-writer here: Delving into pseudoscience. It wasn’t a great response, but how much time can anyone be expected to spend on such things?

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

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6 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #267: Which Came First?

  1. Of course, he can’t connect his ancestors to Noah or Adam and Eve either… but let’s not quibble about hypocrisy when we can actually talk about the science.

    The stuff he’s asking questions are utterly ridiculous. brine concentration in the oceans? That hasn’t been a creationist argument for decades. Even they recognize that it’s stupid. You can’t extrapolate a time based on a process that is in equilibrium. Statistical population growth? You mean like how, based on statistics, there were 120 humans on the planet to build all the pyramids and the great wall of China? Explosion of human diversity? Like how creationists require that 672+ HLA-B alleles all appeared by mutation from a maximum of 10 alleles in less than 4000 years?

    Stuff like that?


  2. Regarding the “cell wall” stupidity. Once you have the appropriate molecules, all that is needed is for there to be suficient concentration of aid molecules and agitation (as might be provided by wave action or surf) and cell walls assemble themselves automatically. Just one chemical added to water and shaken in a container results in little sacks of water separated from the rest because they are surrounded by perfectly ordinary cell walls. The chemicals need to make such walls are not much more complicated than soap.

    Why is it that idiots who don’t know what they are talking about insist that since they can’t understand it, it must have been magical fairies that did or, maybe . . . Satan?! (I miss the Church Lady!)

  3. I suspect the cell membrane (not the cell wall, something which plants have) came first, because it is very easy of micelles to form. One can picture a successful self replicating molecule trapped in a micelle and facing the benefits of a separation from the environment, and the problems and benefits of getting things in and out through the cell membrane. Today, reactions at and across cell membranes are ubiquitous and important for all living things.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    So this smartical god who was able to weave these cells is the next logical choice, since nature itself couldn’t do it? Then why do these cells keep getting broken on my son, and why won’t he fix them?

  5. OgreMKv: “Of course, he can’t connect his ancestors to Noah or Adam and Eve either… but let’s not quibble about hypocrisy when we can actually talk about the science.”

    Actually we need roughly an equal dose of both. Remember the audience we’re trying to reach. It’s neither the committed evolution deniers nor the ones who already know that creationism/ID is nonsense. Rather, it’s the mostly religious ~1/2 of the population that is neither, but lacks the time or interest to follow the science in enough detail to truly appreciate evolution. They would be interested in knowing the double standards, evasion, logical fallacies and other word games played by the peddlers of creationism/ID. Even if they didn’t understand the science very well, they’d be able to smell a rat.

  6. The complexity of a human cell and its contents are difficult to fathom…

    Speak for yourself, ignoramus.