A truly horrible piece, solid creationist nonsense from beginning to end, appears in the Washington Times. It’s not just another letter-to-the-editor; this is a signed column. That newspaper has a very strict policy about reprinting their precious content, so all we’ll do here is describe what awaits you when you click over there to read it. We won’t be giving you any actual excerpts, except for a phrase here and there, and a couple of alleged quotes by other people.
The headline is a question, which tips you off to the nature of what follows: Is there credible proof for Darwinian Evolution? The author, Bill Randall, has run twice for Congress, losing both times. Alas, he’s a Republican. He begins his column with a well-known quote from Richard Dawkins:
It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet someone who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane.
We have a whole post about that: Creationists: Ignorant, Stupid, Insane, or Wicked. Randall doesn’t like it. Not a bit. He knows more than Dawkins and all those smarty-pants scientists, and his column demonstrates why he thinks so. After reading it, you can reach your own conclusion.
After the Dawkins quote he starts his rebuttal by quoting something said by Alan Guth in 1984 about the origin of the universe, which is offered by Randal as an “example of what is being taught by sympathizers of the Darwinian Evolutionary theory.” We can give you his Guth quote:
The observable universe could have evolved from an infinitesimal region (i.e.: smaller than the period at the end of this sentence). It is then tempting to go one step further and speculate that the entire universe evolved from literally nothing.
We haven’t verified that quote, but it doesn’t matter. You may have noticed that it’s utterly unrelated to the theory of evolution. Randall seems not to know that. He says people are putting their faith in “interpreted facts, not actual facts,” and he moans that those who question Darwinian evolution are scorned and ridiculed.
As evidence for that, he discusses the notorious “documentary,” Expelled, staring the very brilliant and courageous Ben Stein. Randall says that while some in academia may actually believe in evolution, most haven’t really examined it. But he has, and he says that the theory has not only been debunked, it’s been exposed as a major fraud. The rest of his column presents his evidence.
What evidence? That’s a fair question. First he offers a bunch of mined quotes, many of which we’ve debunked before. It’s too much work to plow through that material yet again. Go ahead and take a look.
Then he says that the geologic column and the fossil record are a case of circular reasoning — with the age of one arbitrarily assigned merely to suit the desired age of the other. But were that true, then the discovery we described in The Lessons of Tiktaalik would have been impossible.
Then he claims that radiometric dating techniques are worthless. He says there are no transitional fossils, and his authority is that familiar and worthless mined quote from Colin Patterson, which we previously discussed here. Patterson himself has rebutted it (see this at Talk.Origins: Patterson Misquoted).
What else does Randall have for us? You guessed it — racism and eugenics. He even quotes the full title of Darwin’s book, On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, utterly unaware that the book doesn’t mention the evolution of humans at all. We discussed that one in Common Creationist Claims Confuted.
As is typical of such tirades, he also claims “a strong correlation between the Holocaust” and Darwinian evolution. Then he wraps it up with a recommendation that you should get a copy of Ben Stein’s “documentary.” This is really quite a column.
So, dear reader, we’ll end this where Randall began — with Dawkins’s dictum: “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet someone who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane.” Which of those adjectives — if any — describes Mr. Randall is up to you.
And what do you know? We posted about Randall’s column without violating the property rights of the Washington Times. They paid for the column; they can keep it.
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