Creationist Wisdom #268: Bill Nye is Wrong

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Quad-City Times located in Davenport, Iowa. The letter is titled Don’t believe Bill Nye, the evolution guy. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis.

We usually omit the writer’s name and city, but we’re making an exception this time. The author of today’s letter is Helmut Welke, president of the Quad City Creation Science Association. Here’s his page at their website. He’s from Bettendorf, Iowa (the other Quad Cities are Davenport, Iowa and the Illinois cities of Moline, East Moline, and Rock Island) Okay, here we go:

Science educator and TV personality Bill Nye recently insulted parents by saying that if you believe in creation, you should not teach it to your children.

We know. See Bill Nye Blasts Creationism. Helmut’s letter continues:

Actually, we should teach everyone the truth about Darwinism.

And what might that be? Hold on, dear reader, here it comes:

There is no evidence for evolution in the fossil record, and DNA shows us it is impossible.

Gasp! Our teachers lied to us! Let’s read on:

Instead, Nye wants to censor the facts because the evolutionary “story” is falling apart. The evidence used to prop up evolution is either fraudulent or simple natural selection, which is real and was not discovered by Darwin.

Oh no — even Darwin lied to us! The letter continues:

It was a known concept written about by creationists in the 1830s. He extrapolated the concept into a myth about all living things coming from a common ancestor. Biologists know that natural selection selects existing information and never creates new information. The late evolutionist JS Gould of Harvard admitted that.

This is crushing news. All this time we’ve imagined that natural selection runs around creating information. How could we have been so wrong? Here’s more:

Nye does not want children to think for themselves. He throws a red herring, insinuating creationists cannot do science. How patently false.

You know what’s coming now — the usual list of scientists who mostly were pre-Darwin. He’s got a couple of 20th Century guys too — but they weren’t biologists. Here ya’ go:

History shows great achievements occur when research is done in the context of acknowledging the Creator. Newton, Faraday, Pasteur, Maxwell, von Braun and Damadian (inventor of the MRI) were or are creationists

We’ve seen the list before, but ya’ know … we’ve never seen a single thing mentioned that any of those guys — or anyone else! — did which depends on creationism as a working theory. Ah well, moving along:

Nye is an avowed atheist and promotes his own faith in random chance. If Nye wants to believe that worms can morph into T. rexes, trees, giraffes and people, let him, but don’t teach this fairy tale as if it is a fact.

Worms don’t morph into trees? Egad — we feel like a fool! And now we come to the end. Whaddaya know — the letter-writer issues a challenge:

Hey, Quad-City Times, how about arranging a public debate with Dr. Hagar or Dr. Legg? Anyone interested?

Who are those guys? Probably biologists at a local university. If so, we hope they have the good sense to ignore the opportunity to debate with Helmut.

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

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17 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #268: Bill Nye is Wrong

  1. Helmut Welke proclaims:

    There is no evidence for evolution in the fossil record, and DNA shows us it is impossible.

    Man, I’ve been wondering whatever happened to Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, aka Baghdad Bob! Glad to learn he is alive and confabulating in Iowa!

    As for his list of researchers who worked while “acknowledging the Creator” — and of which our Curmy notes, “We’ve seen the list before” — here’s a little exercise: Google, in quotes, the list of names as it appears in the letter, thus: “Newton, Faraday, Pasteur, Maxwell, von Braun and Damadian”. Note how many hits turn up, with the names in the same order, but sometimes with other (less celebrated) names interleaved. Could all these webpages share descent (with modification) from a common ancestor?

    The elevation of Werhner von Braun to the pantheon of great scientists is mildly shocking to this reader in London, where an older generation still recalls the nocturnal arrival of V2’s from Peenmunde.

    Werhner von Braun, of course, always insisted that his enlistment in the SS was forced upon him and he was never a Nazi at heart, a claim I always thought somewhat suspect — but maybe it was the case that, when Creationist Werhner learned that Adolph was the rabid Darwinist which Klinghoffer claims, perhaps he really did lose enthusiasm for the Third Reich? 🙂

  2. Megalonyx says: “maybe it was the case that, when Creationist Werhner learned that Adolph was the rabid Darwinist which Klinghoffer claims, perhaps he really did lose enthusiasm for the Third Reich?”

    The creationists have stumbled onto one of the great ironies of history — a creationist rocket guy working for a Darwinist fuhrer. But somehow they put their differences aside and cooperated on bombing London.

  3. History shows great achievements occur when research is done in the context of acknowledging the Creator.

    Okay, then go to it. Society isn’t preventing you from doing research while acknowledging the Creator. Its merely preventing you from forcing others to acknowledge your (putative) Creator.

  4. The Curmudgeon notes:

    The creationists have stumbled onto one of the great ironies of history — a creationist rocket guy working for a Darwinist fuhrer

    This was indeed one of the “great achievements” arising when “research is done in the context of acknowledging the Creator.”

    One must imagine young SS-Sturmbannführer von Braun, before commencing his countdowns for V2 launches, leading the slave labourers of Peenemunde in a short prayer:

    Aboard is my warhead; it shall not miss.
    We maketh it to rise up with great pressures:
    and guideth it to blast by Thames’ waters,
    &c. &c.

  5. Von Braun a creationist? Don’t think so. Like many Nazis, von Braun probably became “born again” as he saw his Messiah, Hitler, going down in flames. It also helped him get a free pass to the US, like many other Nazi scientists. Operation Paycheck, i think it was called.

  6. The comments after Helmut Welke’s letter at the Quad-City Times website are almost all pro-science.

  7. Megalonyx says: “Aboard is my warhead; it shall not miss.”

    Okay, I’ll give you a von Braun quote-mine from Shakespeare’s Richard II:

    This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
    […]
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
    Ka-Boom-O!

  8. retiredsciguy notes:

    The comments after Helmut Welke’s letter at the Quad-City Times website are almost all pro-science.

    Indeed, I checked that myself, and found it very cheering — until I hit this post therein from one who signs himself reasonable dave:

    If we evolved from monkeys or apes then why are monkeys and apes still around?

    Damn! The Creationists now have a novel and irrefutable proof that Darwin was wrong!!!!

  9. @Megalonyx:
    I’ve always had a strangelove for this 1965 Tom Lehrer hymn:

    Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun,
    A man whose allegiance
    Is ruled by expedience.
    Call him a Nazi, he won’t even frown.
    “Ha, Nazi Schmazi,” says Wernher von Braun.

    Don’t say that he’s hypocritical,
    Say rather that he’s apolitical.
    “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
    That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun.

    Some have harsh words for this man of renown,
    But some think our attitude
    Should be one of gratitude,
    Like the widows and cripples in old London town
    Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun.

    You too may be a big hero,
    Once you’ve learned to count backwards to zero.
    “In German oder English I know how to count down,
    Und I’m learning Chinese,” says Wernher von Braun.

  10. @Megalonyx: “Reasonable Dave” posted after I had first viewed the website. A Dr. Hurd has since posted a very good response to him. I had previously left a reply to Dave that was along the same line but not nearly as kind.

  11. None-the-less, the rubes still eat up that kind of creationist trash talk and now consider Bill Nye an enemy of the state.

  12. Peter says: “Operation Paycheck, i think it was called”

    Actually, according to my Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, I believe it’s Operation Paperclip. I wonder what inspiring reading material creationists use when doing their business?

  13. There are now some very interesting comments to Helmut Welke’s letter at the paper’s website. I especially like the ones by Steve Greene and Dr. GS Hurd. Follow Curmy’s link the the letter, then click on “Comments”. There are 46 as of 10 PM EDT Tues.

  14. @ NeonNoodle: Thanks for the Tom Lehrer lyrics.

    @ retiredsciguy: Thanks for steer to fresh comments!

  15. The whole truth

    “Quad City Creation Science Association”

    Huh? What “Creation” science?

    By the way, I’m not “the_whole_truth” who posted some comments on the other site.

  16. The whole truth asks, “Huh? What “Creation” science?”

    Yes — quite the oxymoron, isn’t it?

  17. The whole truth

    Yeah, quite.