Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It’s titled Pursue the truth about Darwin’s evolution. 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 response to Mr. Steve Murphree’s letter …
He’s referring to Teaching evolution doesn’t dismiss God, which we found published in The Tennessean, owned by the same people who own the Daily News Journal. Okay, back to today’s letter:
[W]ith all due respect to Mr. Murphree, my position is not based on fear or the intent to spread fear. Rather my intent is to pursue the truth.
The letter-writer’s heart is pure. He seeks only The Truth™ Let’s read on:
I would encourage Mr. Murphree to take an honest look at the presuppositions regarding evolution. Darwin, in his tome, “The Origin of the Species,” concludes, “ … I view all beings, not as special creations, but as lineal descendants of some few beings … ” [Ellipses in the original letter.]
That triggered our BozoGuard alarm. Let’s verify that quote, shall we? In Origin of Species, Chapter 14 — Recapitulation and Conclusion, we find this in the book’s penultimate paragraph, which is where we’d expect conclusions, not presuppositions. The part quoted by the letter-writer is shown in blue font:
[Darwin says:] Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.
Now that we have the matter of Darwin’s “presuppositions” cleared up, we can continue reading today’s letter:
I ask again, has this view been experimentally proven using the classic scientific method? If not, how can we teach it as a scientific law? Mr. Murphree states that evolution is supported by countless peer reviewed scientific publications. I would ask how many of those publications are written using Darwin’s original presupposition.
The letter-writer demands that the entire biosphere of Earth be re-evolved in the lab, which is not only impossible, it’s also unnecessary. All evidence ever found supports Darwin’s conclusions, which is all that science demands of a theory. The letter-writer also claims that Darwin’s work was based solely on his “presuppositions” — notwithstanding that Darwin embarked on the Beagle fresh from divinity school with nothing like the theory of evolution in his mind. Speaking of presuppositions — does the letter-writer mean to imply that creationism has none of those, and is based on entirely objective, evidence-driven conclusions? Well, no, you’ll soon see that he doesn’t claim that. Here’s more:
On the other hand, scripture states, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them: male and female he created them: (Genesis 1:127). This explicitly states that humankind are a special creation, doesn’t it?
By golly — he’s got a point there! There’s no denying it. And now he claims that scripture is epistemologically equivalent to Darwin’s theory:
Admittedly, this view has not been scientifically proven either. Both views require faith to believe and both cannot be true.
Aaaargh!! Religion and science are totally different activities! Those who can’t grasp that shouldn’t be discussing such things — or anything else except their animal needs. It’s time we drafted a response to that popular but utterly erroneous presumption of equivalence — one which we can include in our ever-handy Common Creationist Claims Confuted, so here it comes. We’ll even put it in a box:
We’ll skip most of the letter’s paragraph about the recent results of the ENCODE project. For an example of something we’ve written about it, see ICR Goes Ape Over the ENCODE Research. The letter-writer purports to quote one scientist’s rhetorical reaction: “The creationists are going to love this. This is going to make my life very complicated.” In response to that, the letter-writer uncomprehendingly says:
Why? Would not a true scientist pursue the truth no matter where it leads?
Nothing needs to be said about that. Here’s the final portion of today’s letter:
Mr. Murphree is quite right when he states that Christians are to be working to fulfill the great commission. However, we are also not to be blown here and there by every wind of teaching but rather to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)
Ah yes, the Great Commission. We’re glad the letter-writer mentioned it, because now we have an opportunity to inform you of The Curmudgeon’s Prime Imperative, which precedes that or any other mission a creationist may choose to undertake: This above all — thou shalt not be an ignoramus!
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