Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Anderson Independent-Mail of Anderson, South Carolina. The letter is titled Reader offers challenge. 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:
In the last several years, I have written numerous letters to the Independent Mail in support of biblical creation and in opposition to Darwinian and punctuationalist evolution.
Ah, hard core! That’s what we all admire. The letter continues:
In none of those letters have I suggested that there is disagreement between the laws and principles of true science and the doctrines and principles of true biblical Christianity.
The letter-writer has a horribly abstruse prose style, but he seems to be saying that “true science” agrees with the bible. Of course — how else would he know it’s true? Let’s read on:
I will, without apology, state that there is strong disagreement with regard to the philosophical beliefs of the majority of secular scientists and the provable facts of science.
After more than two readings, we think the letter-writer is telling us — unapologetically! — that scientists don’t have any facts to back up their beliefs. Creationists don’t have that problem, of course, because the facts are all on their side. The letter continues:
Consider the concept of natural selection. When Darwin proposed natural selection as the mechanism of evolution in 1859, many scientists believed that they had found the proof of evolution and that God could be dismissed. But creationists wrote of natural selection years before Darwin. It was described as a conservation principle, that is, nature’s way of preventing the propagation of harmful mutations.
The letter-writer offers no names for those prescient creationists, nor does he explain how his dubious history has anything to do with the validity of natural selection as the principal mechanism of evolution. Here’s more:
In fact, Darwin’s mathematical theory did not explain the “survival” or the “arrival” of the fittest.
That, dear reader, is the sentence that salvaged this letter from oblivion and persuaded us to add it to our collection. Read it again. See if you can figure it out. What is there to explain about “survival”? If a critter doesn’t die before it reproduces, it has survived. As for the “arrival” part, we don’t know what he’s talking about — but it’s probably covered, somewhere, in “Darwin’s mathematical theory.” Moving along:
In essence, it stated that the “most fit” would produce the most offspring. The corollary was that those which produced the most offspring were the “most fit.” This is nothing but circular reasoning. It is “proving” evolution true by “assuming” that evolution is true.
Ah yes, survival of the fittest is a tautology — circular reasoning. Except that it’s not, and that ancient creationist clunker is discussed here, in the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims. Another excerpt from today’s letter:
I repeat my challenge. Choose your venue. Provide one indisputable, irrefutable fact of science that proves evolution.
He wants one fact — just one. One fact is so much easier to dismiss than millions of them. We’ve already described the foolishness of that demand — see Where’s the Proof — Evolution’s “Smoking Gun”? And now we come to the end:
I contend that any supposed evidence for evolution can by refuted from the fields of science.
That’s his contention. We imagine he fantasizes that some champion of evolution will step forward and offer Piltdown Man as evidence, and — like a character in a Jack Chick comic — he’ll triumphantly show that it’s a fake. Such are the dreams of creationists.
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