Creationist Wisdom #294: Fear of Truth

One of our far-flung network of clandestine operatives informed us of today’s letter-to-the-editor, which appears in the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky. It’s titled Evolution as fact. 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:

I was glad to see the article “Teach evolution as the fact it is,” then I read the article!

He’s probably talking about Teach evolution as the fact it is, a splendid article by Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education. It was much too rational for today’s letter-writer, so he proceeds to criticize it. Prepare for a fun ride, as the letter continues:

For one thing, the author and all who support their faith in evolution, fail to explain what they describe as “science.”

Uh … let’s see if we can guess where this is going. Well, there’s no need to guess. Let’s read on:

They hope the reader does not understand they are discussing origins instead of operational science. … Since the origin of the universe cannot be tested, cannot be repeated, and is not verifiable, origins science is open to interpretation.

Creationists have had some success in spreading that bogus dichotomy around, but it’s entirely worthless. See: ICR Says Scientists Don’t Understand Science. See also The Lessons of Tiktaalik. The letter continues:

Surely the author [Glenn Branch] knows that what one observes scientifically brings about dramatically different conclusions than they suggest. He surely knows there has never been an observed mutational change (a requirement to be science) that did not cause a loss of genetic information or an adaptation of the use of information already in an organism.

No new information from mutations? Really? But we know how these things happen — gene duplication, followed by mutation of one of the duplicates. We’ve written about several known examples (see Is Convergent Evolution Explainable?). Here’s more from today’s letter:

He seems to think those that believe in evolution must be “woefully ignorant” individuals.

That’s probably a drafting blunder. Surely he meant “those that believe in creationism.” Moving along:

Well, I guess I am in that company, and pretty good company to be in if I may say so. No less than Sir Isaac Newton, Johann Kepler, Francis Bacon, Galileo, Michael Faraday, Samuel Morse, Louis Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, George Washington Carver and many more of our most revered scientists spoke of their belief in God as creator.

Ah yes, the usual list of scientists who were religious, most from before Darwin. So what? No one doubts that a scientist can also be religious. However, even if they believed in a literal six-day creation, that belief didn’t contribute to their scientific discoveries. And now we come to the end:

So, why is it evolutionary supporters fear the teaching of creation as an option for our existence? I would think they would welcome the chance to shed the light of truth on this? Or could it be that is what they fear?

Good question! Well, Glenn, the letter-writer asked you a question. Do you fear the light of truth?

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #294: Fear of Truth

  1. Jim Thomerson

    Do you know who I am attempting to quote here? ‘A fact is a theory so well supported that it is useless to try to falsify it at the present time.’ The Theory of Evolution is a fact under this definition. I like it that the definition allows for possible falsification of today’s fact by tomorrow’s discoveries.

  2. Jim Thomerson asks: “Do you know who I am attempting to quote here?”

    Nope.

  3. Oh I see this post mentions The Lessons of Tiktaalik. That is one of my favorite posts from your blog! To honor this, since we came from fish, here is the 1980 Barnes & Barnes hit “Fish Heads” performed on a bicycle filmed last Saturday in the DeForest Kelley Memorial Gymnasium, better known as He’s Dead, Gym.

    (please delete previous post…more than one boo boo not honey)

  4. You’re an awesome talent, The Bicycling Guitarist. Have you thought of a duet, with a harpist on a Segway?

  5. No Jim, it doesn’t appear that’s a direct quote from anyone, at least by doing a web search. Perhaps you’ve adulterated the wording? Or are making it up?

  6. @The Bicycling Guitarist: LOVE THIS SONG! I was singing along as I was cooking dinner. Can I request some Tom Lehrer or, maybe, that old favorite “Dead Puppies”?

  7. …there has never been an observed mutational change

    Nylon eating bacteria, Pod Mrcaru lizards, mosquitoes on the London Underground, Lenski’s E coli….

    Sometimes I wonder how much effort it takes to remain so willfully ignorant.

  8. I believe Jim has only an approximation of a quote from Stephan J Gould.

    In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

  9. But, Dead Puppies aren’t much fun!

  10. Jim Thomerson

    I have read a lot of Gould’s writings and thought them good. But I never liked his ponderous writing style. I had thought about rewriting one of his essays in my style, but never got around to it. This litle bit is enough to satisfy me.

  11. thanks for the compliments folks!

    The Sensuous Curmudgeon said:
    “You’re an awesome talent, The Bicycling Guitarist. Have you thought of a duet, with a harpist on a Segway?”

    No, I don’t think I’ll duet.
    I sometimes segue from one song to another though.

  12. Oh, instead of dead puppies, how about Smelly Cat?

  13. @Poolio

    In my experience fundies work long hours , nights and weekends to remain as willfully ignorant as they do.

  14. They do fear the awsome truth: Charles Darwin’s ecological experiment on Ascension isle

    IOW, the identity of The Intelligent Designer is a secret no longer!

  15. @Bicycling Guitarist
    My daughter and I used to sing that song when she was younger and laugh. The You’re Dead Gym just made it even better. I’m sending her a link to the video.

  16. He’s Dead Gym….wish there was a preview here, ‘specially when I’ve only had half a cup of coffee.

  17. Why is it that no one proposes creation as an alternative to reproduction in accounting for our existence?
    Why is it that people are so concerned about “mankind”, that abstraction, rather than the personal relationship between the individual and their Creator?
    Why is it that people are so concerned about the material organs and functions, rather than the spiritual? Are those people who don’t have functioning eyes, functioning immune system, or functioning other “irreducibly complex” systems any less creatures of God?

  18. @Ellie
    thanks. One of the creators of the Fish Heads song has posted a positive comment on my video. The first time I posted the link here I accidentally said Jim instead of Gym (besides screwing up the code for the YouTube too).