Creationist Wisdom #335: Accounting Professor

This letter-to-the-editor contains the usual pile of creationist nonsense, but the letter-writer is described at the end as a “professor of accounting emeritus at Lehigh University.” Lehigh? That’s where Michael Behe is. How wonderful for both of them that they have each other for intellectual companionship.

The letter appears in the Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania (not far from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where Lehigh is located). It’s titled Is it time to end the evolution monopoly? Ohhhhhh — monopoly!

This is a long letter so we’ll have to skip over a lot. Trust us, you won’t be missing anything. 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:

[W]hen one examines the evidence supporting Darwinian macro-evolution, one is struck by the lack of actual scientific proof. The macro-evolution theory proposes that life magically appeared first as single-celled organisms (abiogenesis) and later as simple primitive species (the Cambrian explosion) that evolved into new and more complex species via natural selection or some random process.

Ah yes, the old micro-macro mambo — see Common Creationist Claims Confuted. The accounting professor obviously has a firm grip on things. Stay with us, it gets even better:

The standard evidence is the fossil record, examined over very long periods of time. Although there is clear evidence of Darwinian micro-evolution — changes within species — fossils appearing to document the macro-evolution of one species into another are rare.

How in the world would fossils reveal micro-evolution? As for fossils that were actual transitional species, they are indeed rare. Fossilization itself is rare — not every organism conveniently dies in a bog where its remains will be preserved. And not all that do so are later found. Nevertheless, transitional fossils definitely exist — there must be a hundred of them in Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils, and according to creationism there shouldn’t be any. Let’s read on:

The “missing link” remains AWOL. Moreover, evolutionary theory explains neither abiogenesis nor the Cambrian explosion, the two “creation” events central to the evolutionary process.

The missing link? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He wants evidence of that one magic moment when a porcupine gave birth to something that was almost but not quite yet a kangaroo — a porcupoo! As for abiogenesis, how many times do we have to tell creationists that it’s not part of the theory of evolution? Life must exist before it can evolve, and if you want to believe that life can’t exist without a miracle, so be it. But one day when life is created in someone’s lab you’ll have to either retract that claim or else curl up into the fetal position of reality denial. And the Cambrian explosion, although it’s regarded as something like the miracle of Lourdes for creationists, is no problem at all — see The Mystery of the Cambrian “Explosion”. We continue:

[C]reationism does not rely on historical fossil records, or on some yet-undiscovered random process. It considers the world around us as proof of a “creating power.” Everyone can observe and marvel at the physical world and all the living organisms that inhabit it.

He’s exactly right! Creationism doesn’t care one bit about evidence or the scientific method. Instead, they use the creationist method. A creationist gazes slack-jawed at the world, drools, moans, sways back and forth, and then slips into a mindless trance. From that transcendent experience he concludes that the world is a miracle. Neat stuff! Here’s more from the letter:

Former pastor Randy Alcorn offers this illustration of what macro-evolution can mean for humans: “You are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm washed up on an empty beach three and a half billion years ago. … You are a mere grab bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a meaningless universe. …You came from nothing and you are going nowhere.”

That’s his scientific authority? He takes the preacher’s word as being true? The letter-writer teaches accounting. We doubt that he does auditing like he does science. Well, maybe he would he take the preacher’s word for the financial condition of his church. But we suspect he’d he want to examine the evidence behind the preacher’s numbers. Maybe not. Anyway, moving along:

[J]ust as faith is essential in accepting the supernatural power central to creationism, faith is also required to accept the Darwinian macro-evolution explanation of who we are and how we got here. One must balance whether to place faith in the notion that people came from nothing and are going nowhere — Alcorn’s characterization of evolution — against more appealing alternatives that stress the sanctity and meaning of life.

Yes, it’s all a matter of faith. Let’s skip to the end:

Creationism offers a comprehensive explanation based on faith and everyday observation that also gives meaning to our lives. No person need accept that explanation, but in the marketplace of ideas it deserves equal treatment with the evolution hypothesis.

He’s right. And what is creationism’s “comprehensive explanation” that gives meaning to life? Come on, you know — it’s Oogity Boogity!

We like this letter-writer. In a way, he reminds us of Don McLeroy. Each of them is saying: “There’s so much more to me than merely being a boring accountant (or dentist or whatever) — I’m also deep thinker at the cutting edge of science.” And he’s right. A creationist accountant is so much more interesting than just a plain old accountant.

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

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7 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #335: Accounting Professor

  1. You are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm washed up on an empty beach three and a half billion years ago. … You are a mere grab bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a meaningless universe. …You came from nothing and you are going nowhere.

    Once again, I detect an argument against (among other things) reproduction and development masquerading as an argument against evolution. (And, of course, not and argument for anything.)

  2. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a meaningless universe. …You came from nothing and you are going nowhere.

    We may exist on a tiny planet, but we are the product of a much larger universe. If we can avoid killing ourselves, we may eventually expand into that universe and grow beyond anything we can dream of today. We have limitless opportunity and purpose.

    In contrast, creationists hold that we were created by some unseen entity to live on this small planet for a brief while until the creator destroys it. Not only is that “going nowhere”, but creationists believe that after we die the creator will either torture us for eternity or require us (if we agree to be his slave) to keep him company for eternity.

    What is amazing is that there are still creationists around, given their horrific worldview.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    If a creationist could just see (since that’s all they can do) the vast extinct multitude of creatures that have walked this earth, and have the majority of them fit (in their heads) into just a couple generations before and after the flood. Its not like the buffalo that European settlers could wipe out in a generation, this would have had to happen thousands of times. It should be unsettling to them, at the least.

  4. The emeritus Professor of Accounting proclaims:

    Creationism offers a comprehensive explanation based on faith and everyday observation that also gives meaning to our lives.

    And by jingo, he’s absolutely correct about that! Indeed, he’s pretty much given us a precise and succinct definition of a Cargo Cult

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    @ Megalonyx you pulled forward one word that we should pick on: comprehensive. How many kingdoms of life are there? Six. How many did the comprehensive creation science book document? Two.

    (I’m also looking at cargo cult info)

  6. anevilmeme

    @SC

    “curl up into the fetal position of reality denial”

    Brilliant! Sums up creationism/ID in a nutshell. I am adding that phrase to my personal lexicon.

  7. @Charles Deetz;)
    How many domains of life are there? Three. (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota. Not counting viruses.) How many are mentioned in the Bible? One.
    How many phyla of animals are there? How many phyla are mentioned in the Bible? I don’t know the answers, but off-hand, I can only think of a very few mentioned: Arthropoda, Chordata, maybe Porifera, Mollusca, and I don’t know which phyla are meant by “worms”.