Creationist Wisdom #281: The Challenge

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. It’s titled Theories vs. facts II. 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 letter “Theories, not facts” from Laura M. McDonald is right on.

It’s a bit confusing here, because the same newspaper has a letter in today’s issue titled Theories vs. facts I, but that’s apparently intended as a rational companion to the one about which we’re writing, so we’re not discussing it. Our man, the writer of “II,” is referring to Theories, not facts. We don’t know how we missed that one when it first appeared, but today’s letter-writer thinks it’s “right on.” Here’s one brief excerpt to show you what inspired him:

A simple question about the big-bang theory (an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe): Who lit the fuse?

Okay, let’s get back to today’s letter. After praising the earlier McDonald letter, it says:

Many people get confused because there are two parts to evolutionary theory: macro-evolution and micro-evolution.

Aaaargh!! Once again we must refer you to our Common Creationist Claims Confuted, where the exceedingly stupid “micro macro mambo” is debunked. Let’s skip the letter-writer’s discussion of that and get right to the fun part:

As a retired research engineer, I have offered the following challenge to scientists, biology teachers and others since 1997:

Ooooooh! A challenge! This is exciting! We eagerly present the challenge, and as we do so, we note that the letter-writer dramatically placed it at the end of his letter. Okay, here it comes:

I continue to personally offer a $1,000 prize to the first person who can submit to me on a single piece of paper (8.5 x 11 inches) any historical or empirical scientific evidence that corroborates and proves Darwin’s theory of evolution (macro-evolution via abiogenesis, natural selection, etc.; molecules to man).

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! There’s so much wrong with that! Fortunately we’re spared the burden of explaining it because the letter-writer’s problem is something we’ve written about before — see: Where’s the Proof — Evolution’s “Smoking Gun”?

Oh, and then there’s the amount of the prize money — a whopping thousand bucks! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Consider, dear reader, that four years ago we wrote Harun Yahya Offers Eight Trillion Dollar Prize! And that contest didn’t limit us to one measly piece of paper.

Well, we shouldn’t be too critical. Today’s challenge comes from Pittsburgh, a city not known for its sense of style. Or anything else, now that we think about it.

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

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13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #281: The Challenge

  1. I’m not a creationist by any means and hopefully they won’t read the scientific literature. But a number of prominent astronomists and physicists are questioning the BIg Bang theory. One of the first was the late Tom Van Flandern but many have came to the same conclusions but the literature is dense and very technical. But don’t tell the ID crowd.

  2. Hey, hold on a second! This is just Kent Hovind’s challenge but with a smaller cash reward! Could Mrs. McDonald have stolen Hovind’s challenge? Or did she come up with a similar initiative on her own that unconsciously mimicked that of Mr. Hovind’s? Could this be a case of… CONVERGENT EVOLUTION?

    Good to see that staple of anti-evolution rhetoric, “molecules to man” phrase come back. I’m surprised she didn’t throw in “millions of years” and “secular humanists” in her diatribe as well.

  3. I enjoy certain creationist arguments because they are so obviously at least as good as arguments against reproductive biology.
    “Molecules to man” is one of them.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Hey, SC, read your “Smoking Gun” and then “Tiktaalik” posts. Great stuff.

    Has anyone made the reverse challenge, a one page evidence-based proof of creationism (sans bible references)? Or would we be falling into the same trap of trying to disprove a ‘Theory’?

  5. Charles Deetz enquires

    Has anyone made the reverse challenge, a one page evidence-based proof of creationism (sans bible references)?

    My offered prize of 10,000 Air Miles to whomever can produce proof positive of the role of the Almighty Astral Artichoke in architecting the biosphere remains unclaimed.

  6. Megalonyx says: “My offered prize of 10,000 Air Miles to whomever can produce proof positive …”

    Child’s play! I offer five quatloos — yes, five! — to anyone who can conclusively prove to my complete satisfaction that the world isn’t flat.

  7. @ Peter #1
    Ummm…are you aware that evolution has exactly nothing to do with the Big Bang? And could you explain your comment, “hopefully they won’t read the scientific literature.” I’d kinda hope that ignorant creationists WOULD read some scientific literature for once. They might actually learn something, instead of regurgitating whatever their Babble or their pastor tells them.

  8. @Charles – I think it would be a mistake. The one page I would hand you would be a photocopy of the first page of genesis. There, trump card played first round. I then declare myself to be clever and correct and pass around the collection plate.

    Score: AiG: 1 / Intellectual Ethics: 0

    The real mistake is allowing an advertising campaign to be called a debate.

  9. No, you misunderstood me. The first paragraph in the letter mentioned the Big Bang. That’s what I was commenting on. Of course I know it’s not related to evolution. Creationists like Ham or ICR quote mine from scientific publications and never tell the suckers the truth.

  10. Hi Guys,
    I think we may be missing the main point here.
    The literalists don’t care about facts or knowledge or what is true – they are engaged in a strategy to, bit by bit, equate ‘Science’ with ‘Evolution’ in the minds of the general public – hence such statements as “Evolution can’t explain the Big Bang”, or “Abiogenesis” etc. On AIG’s website section on Evolution they say…
    “In fact, the term evolution can also be used to denote the philosophy of naturalism, which depends upon unobserved events in the past (including in astronomy, chemistry, and geology).”

    The main goal is ultimately to do away with Natural Science altogether and replace it with Biblical Science, so they can dictate and control what we can and cannot know – the necessary precursor to Theocracy.

  11. Jim says: “The main goal is ultimately to do away with Natural Science altogether and replace it with Biblical Science, so they can dictate and control what we can and cannot know – the necessary precursor to Theocracy.”

    We know. I’ve been saying that since this blog began. See Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment.

  12. Hi Curmy,
    I know, and you’re doing a fine job!
    I just think this is a public presentation issue, and not a science issue.
    Joe and Janet public do not really give a hoot about the finer points of Science. If they can be persuaded that Evolution need not be taught (It is too ‘contentious’) and come to equate other Sciences with Evolution (Geology, general Biology, Cosmology etc), then it becomes easy to just not bother to teach any Science at all.
    I just think we are fighting on the wrong battlefield, and the theocrats are quite happy for us to continue to do so!

  13. No need to pick on Pittsburgh. My mother and current girlfriend are both from there. That makes Pittsburgh important to me. Oh and steel mils. They did pretty good there for a while. On the evolution thing, keep up the good work.