Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that state’s second-largest city. The letter is titled They should learn evidence against 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:
Your lengthy article (“Is Evolution Missing Link in Some High Schools?,” April 28) claims that comprehensive evolution is comparable to facts like living things being made of cells. This is not true.
The article he’s complaining about is the same one that prompted us to write: The Creationism Controversy in Pennsylvania a few days ago. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education also wrote about it here: Evolution in Pennsylvania. Today’s letter continues:
Evolution has never been observed by a scientist and has never been tested by repeatable experiments. Another very serious problem is that the standard cause of evolution, called neo-Darwinism or random mutations plus natural selection plus billions of years, will not produce evolution.
Egad — those are serious problems! Oh wait — take a look at this excellent essay at TalkOrigins: Observed Instances of Speciation, and if that’s not enough, they have a 5-part series on 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution. Okay, let’s see what else our letter-writer has for us:
A group of elite evolutionists concluded in 2008 that “neo-Darwinism is dead,” and “we don’t know how evolution works.” The theory of evolution today postulates an enormous sequence of effects (evolution) without causes, a no-no in science.
The letter-writer provides no source for that conclusion of “elite evolutionists,” but a Google search turns up loads of creationist sites making that claim. But then, they’ve been making such claims for a long time. We wrote about it years ago — see The Imminent Demise of Evolution. So far, today’s letter isn’t making a good impression, but there’s still more to go. Let’s read on:
The Discovery Institute mentioned has a list of 800 credentialed Ph.D. individuals (including myself) who consider themselves Darwin skeptics. Dr. Jerry Bergman has a similar list of 3,000 Darwin doubters. The objections to evolution include critiques of random mutations, natural selection and the alleged age of the Earth. Mathematical probability calculations render comprehensive evolution virtually impossible.
Lordy, lordy — the letter-writer is on the Discoveroids’ pitiful list. We found his name there, it says: “Ph.D. Biochemistry, Oregon State University.” We last discussed that list here: Discoveroids’ “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism”. As for Jerry Bergman’s list, we found a discussion of that at — of all places — the Institute of Creation Research: Book Review: Slaughter of the Dissidents. ICR says Bergman’s got 300 names, not 3,000. This is a rare instance — perhaps unique — when we’ll go with ICR’s facts. Okay, on with the letter:
Teaching evolutionary theory along with the scientific evidence against the theory is the best option. That is what education should be about; open minds with the evidence for and against and let the students decide.
Yeah, let the kiddies decide. Here’s more:
Biology is incredibly fascinating without myths and fables about how life may have started or evolved. In fact, there is not a single science which requires the scientific practitioner to assume comprehensive evolution in order to succeed.
Uh … how many sciences require acceptance of creationism? Geology, oceanography, astronomy? How many industries are hiring creationists — mining companies, pharmaceutical labs, companies exploring for petroleum — anyone? Moving along:
Scientific criticism of evolutionism is not “establishing religion,” but evidence-based criticism is actually more scientific than what is now in many schools — the restriction of free thought.
Some thoughts are so stupid and wrong that they don’t belong in school. Children should be taught useful and verifiable information. That’s what education is all about. And now we come to the end:
If students conclude that God is a better explanation than “everything came from nothing,” this is not the same as government-sponsored religion. That God did it is not the same as how God did it.
Right — that’s not government-sponsored religion. Of course not. It’s government-sponsored creationism. Not the same thing at all.
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