Creationist Wisdom #324: Dear Teacher

The creationists frequently say, while insisting that their nonsense should be taught in public school science classes, that we shouldn’t be afraid to expose the children to alternative “theories,” because it’s good for their “critical thinking.” Besides, they ask: “What are you afraid of?” If evolution is really such great science, we should teach the children about its [non-existent] weaknesses, and then … Let the children decide!

You’ve seen that stuff before. Well, what we have today is a letter-to-the-editor from one of those children who has apparently decided for himself, and his letter purports to be an open letter to his teacher. It appears in the Alexandria Echo Press, a twice-weekly newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota. The letter is titled: There’s something wrong with this theory.

We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do — especially here because the letter-writer is presumably a child — we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. It’s addressed “Dear Teacher.” Okay, here we go:

I know you must believe the theory of evolution is true or you would not teach it. But some things don’t add up. For instance, why do evolutionists attempt to suppress opposing views through legal action and academic boycott? What are they afraid of? Assertion, defensiveness and bullying suggest insecurity. If evolution is a fact, open up the classroom to academic debate. Invite all challengers, then overcome them with compelling, conclusive, unambiguous facts.

This letter may have been sent by a child, but we suspect he had help from a creationist adult. Anyway, the response to that paragraph would be that we don’t follow that course with other failed ideas — e.g., the miasma theory of disease, vitalism, phlogiston theory, the luminiferous aether, the geocentric universe, the flat Earth, the four bodily humours, alchemy, astrology, etc., and not even the creationists demand that we should. What’s so special about creationism? The answer, although creationists rarely admit it, is obvious — evolution contradicts scripture, and that’s the sole reason why it’s under assault. The letter continues:

Here’s something else: Darwin proposed that the diversity of life in our world evolved from a single source over long periods of time by numerous, gradual changes. He confessed that the fossil record in his day did not reveal those numerous, gradual changes between species, but he was confident that more digging would provide them. Now 150 years have gone by and we have so many fossils they are almost unmanageable, yet those all-important transitional links are still missing.

No transitional fossils? This is a really smart kid. Let’s read on:

Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” But this is precisely what Behe demonstrated. He showed that even the most “simple” machinery within the living cell requires a complete set of parts all simultaneously present and fully functioning or the machine will not work.

Michael Behe? Did we say this boy was smart? We were wrong. He’s a genius! We continue:

“Irreducible complexity” totally refutes the idea that life could have evolved by numerous, successive, slight modifications. How are evolutionists handling this? Many have abandoned Darwinian evolution. And those who remain have resorted to (forgive me for saying it) a real “Hail Mary” – life on Earth came from outer space!

We were wrong again. This kid is beyond genius. His intellect is literally cosmic! We’ll skip a bunch of other stuff you’ve seen before from various creationist websites. Then we get to this from near the end:

I look for a twinkle in the eye, the crack of a smile or an honest confession, but all I get is a bad grade for suggesting the emperor has no clothes. In my opinion, evolutionist Michael Denton sums it up: “Ultimately, the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the 20th century.”

He gives us a source. It’s that old creationist classic, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.

The letter ends with this: “From, your attentive student.” But he adds a PS. We’ll give it to you in full:

You might enjoy reading “Darwin’s Black Box” by Behe; “The Devil’s Delusion” by David Berlinski; and “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” by Denton. A couple good DVDs to watch include “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” by Illustra Media and “Expelled” by Ben Stein. If my memory is right, none of these materials has any religious content, so they would be safe for students.

So there you are, dear reader. Now you know what happens when you “teach the controversy,” allow “supplementary materials” in science class and teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution in order to enhance “critical thinking.” You get a kid like the letter-writer. So go ahead, let the children decide. What are you afraid of?

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

17 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #324: Dear Teacher

  1. Very, very hard to believe that this is written by a kid. The language is too good and the science too bad. An average teenager just hasn’t had the time to be this misinformed already. Creationist parents can surely take the credit for this letter.

    The Curmudgeon didn’t quote this one: “The journey from fish to elephant (gulp) is only half the problem. The other half is how a fish resisted the irresistible pressure of natural selection for 400 million years while its cousins were turning into elephants.”

    Even worse than “why are there still monkeys?” Quite a feat!

  2. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    Even worse than “why are there still monkeys?” Quite a feat!

    Yes! Why are there still fish?

  3. retiredsciguy

    The letter is addressed “Dear Teacher:”, and is signed “From, your attentive student”. Nothing therein states or even implies that the “student” is a child, or even an actual student enrolled in a school.

    Having read the writings of thousands of students spanning 27 years of teaching science, I can assure you that this letter was not written by a child — or even a college-age student, for that matter. Sounds too much like something churned out by the DI.

  4. retiredsciguy says: ” Sounds too much like something churned out by the DI.”

    Surely, you’re not suggesting that a fine outfit like the Discoveroids would do anything fraudulent!

  5. retiredsciguy

    Being curious, I looked up the letter-writer’s name and city on Google. There is a person of the same name in Alexandria, MN listed as the owner of Schonberg Produce, which appears to be basically a farm stand.

    Another Google item lists a 66-year-old man by the same name living in Alexandria, MN.

    I’d bet a fresh banana that he’s our letter-writer.

  6. retiredsciguy

    @SC: Discoveroids do anything fraudulent? Oh, no — nothing of the sort. But Mr. Schonberg got his ideas from someplace, and that someplace sounds like a certain Seattle fog bank to me.

  7. Right on. Didn’t sound much like a kid to me, either.

  8. BARBARA NECKER says: “Didn’t sound much like a kid to me, either.”

    I confess that I had doubts, but it was too good an opportunity for exposing the folly of letting the children decide.

  9. docbill1351

    As a former kid I read “Transendental Meditation” by the M.M. Yogi and Von Danikan’s “Chariots of the Gods” and was a big fan of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! For a start, you could get them at the local drug store (how appropriate) in paperback for about 35-cents. Good luck finding Behe’s book ANYWHERE. Much less Berlinski! The letter writer should be ashamed of himself except that he’s a creationist and we all know they have no shame. Or morals. Or ethics. Or education.

    No, it’s not a kid. Too many creationist talking points. Oh, and have I ever written that all creationists lie? Well, ditto that!

  10. Ceteris Paribus

    What a real school kid wants is for the fascist-commie-darwinists who run his school to change the lunch menu. Drop the Green & White Fettuccine with Tomato Basil Sauce and Green Salad, and restore the Corn Dogs, Tater Tots, Scooby Doo snack crackers and peaches in syrup.

    All that sciencey stuff the adults keep whining about is for sucks anyway, so who cares which textbook they use.

  11. “So go ahead, let the children decide. What are you afraid of?”

    I’m afraid he will grow up and become a member of congress without a clear understanding the world around him. My own thinking on many issues is influenced strongly by my understanding of evolution. I would describe an understanding of our origins as absolutely essential to correct thinking about a wide variety of other issues.

  12. Let the children decide!

    What’ll it be today, kids, 2+2=5? Let’s see a raise of hands for that! While we’re at it, is the earth flat or round? Oh, and does the sun orbit the earth or vice versa? Gosh, we’ve a lot of ground to cover today and many, many votes from you kids as you decide what is the “truth” about the world, and while we’re at it, please just chuck those nasty science books filled with lies and propaganda, open you Bibles, oops, good books, to page …

  13. Anonymous

    Ceteris Paribus is right to mention something that the kids really care about (rather than unimportant stuff like math and science). I’d also mention the stuff that the parents, taxpayers and school boards care about, and suggest that there be openness to alternative rules for the sports. Why not let the team with the lowest score win the game? Let the children decide!

  14. Mark Joseph

    “You might enjoy reading “Darwin’s Black Box” by Behe… If my memory is right, none of these materials has any religious content, so they would be safe for students.”

    “Why does the scientific community not greedily embrace its startling discovery? Why is the observation of design handled with intellectual gloves? The dilemma is that while one side of the elephant is labeled intelligent design, the other side might be labeled God.” (Darwin’s Black Box, hardcover edition, p. 233).

    Finding the religious content in the other sources listed is left as an exercise for the student.

  15. Anonymous

    Mark,

    Do you know if that part was deleted from the paperback edition of DBB? I have the paperback and don’t remember it at all.

  16. gnome de net

    And one more…

    What’ll it be today, kids, abstinence or safe sex with condoms?

  17. Mark Joseph

    @Anonymous:
    I don’t know. I only have the hardcover, read it once, and don’t feel any need to read it again. I suspect you could rustle up a copy at a library without too much difficulty.