Creationist Wisdom #293: Anyone … Anyone?

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Indiana. It’s titled How about leaving discussion of how universe began out of science? 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; however, the letter-writer is described as “a sophomore newspaper editor at Heritage High School.” Okay, here we go:

After recently submitting a guest column supporting my view that all theories concerning the beginning of the universe should be given academic credit in the classroom, I received many negative replies in the form of online comments and printed editorials.

All theories? Oh yeah! This is what she wrote before: Creationism should be included in curriculum so students can choose. We don’t know how we missed that one — it’s a real beaut! Today the letter-writer is sticking to her guns and responding to some of the comments she got to her earlier letter. We’ll just give you the highlights:

Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, I was not trying to prove a point that creationism is truth. Because it technically is not; the idea has not been scientifically proved, and thus is only a theory. However, the same is true of evolution.

Won’t someone please teach that child what a scientific theory is? Let’s read on:

Now, please, hear me out. I am aware that there are, indeed, parts of the evolution theory that have enough evidential backing to be classified as fact. It’s been legitimately proved that some organisms do change over time, for example, but only to a certain extent. That extent reaches only to the point at which evolutionary ideas depend more on faith than proof and observation, but no further. So I do not completely disavow evolution.

Ah yes, the micro-macro mambo. How many times has that clunker been debunked? If you’re not familiar with it, see Common Creationist Claims Confuted. The letter continues:

However, because no human was in existence to witness the origin of the universe, there is no present way, excluding time travel, that scientists can ever be sure about how the Earth began. That is the bit of evolution that is not fact, because nobody can identify by what means the universe was formed or created.

The child seems to be a protégé of Ken Ham, because she’s asking “Were you there?” Aside from that, not only doesn’t she know that the Big Bang theory isn’t evolution, she also confuses the origin of the universe with the origin of the Earth. Was she home-schooled? Or maybe cave-schooled?

The rest of the letter is her responses to comments she got after her earlier letter, so it’s rather disjointed. The only way to fully appreciate this mess is to read her first letter and its comments, and then plunge into today’s letter. However, here are a few selected remarks she made in defense of her earlier letter, which are amusing enough to stand alone:

Dr. GS Hurd, who commented on my article via The News-Sentinel website, claimed that creationism should not be taught because “it is false.” However, that is a statement of complete opinion. My point was that, since no one idea has been proved, all theories should be acknowledged. I’m not trying to say that evolution is false; I’m simply stating that, in regard to “the beginning,” scientifically nothing is truth.

Here’s another:

Who’s to say that creationism will never be proved true or false? … Even if one were to say that creationism is not science, it would only be fair for that person to state that most areas of evolution aren’t either.

One more, and then we’re done:

Either the topic is opened up for discussion during class, as a matter of personal faiths (since all theories require faith), or any ideas about “the beginning” are left out of the science curriculum all together until mankind acquires sufficient enough technology to determine the absolute truth.

We’ll wrap this up by paraphrasing Expelled! star Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Can anyone help this child? Anyone?

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9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #293: Anyone … Anyone?

  1. Lots of focus on “proving” stuff. It does indeed sound like she’s getting her understanding of science from fundie sources.
    We need a “fundamentals of science for fundies” class. Exercise #1: read Asimov’s “The Relativity of Wrong” and write an essay saying how it is relevant to the claim that neither evolution nor creationism has been proven.

  2. Michael Warren (@MrMWarren)

    She also seems to think that creationism can be taught as scientific fact in British schools. This is expressly forbidden.

  3. As usual, “creationism” is being used to mean “Christian creationism”, i.e. creationism loosely based on naive reading of the beginning of Genesis. However, “all theories concerning the beginning of the universe” is a much wider field.

  4. How can you take these people seriously when they can’t tell the difference between biology and cosmology?

  5. “Now, please, hear me out.”

    No.

  6. Aaaaaaand… many thanks to doodlebugger for commenting to the young lady pretty much everything I would have said.

  7. Hopefully I helped her understand that she is a profoundly misinformed child. But, I probably only hurt her ‘feel bads.’ Oh, well.

  8. Great comment, Keelyn. Wasted on the child, perhaps, but great nevertheless.

  9. @Keelyn: (Stands up and vigorously applauds!)