Creationist Wisdom #342: Not Proven!

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Salina Journal of Salina, Kansas, and it’s titled Evolution is just a religion. 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, but we will disclose that at the end of his letter the writer is described as a factory worker. Okay, let’s get started:

Gerald Martin begins with a definition for how good science is established, and then makes the statement, “So it is with evolution.”

He’s referring to this, Martin letter, the sort of letter which, when we encounter it, triggers a response like: “Well, of course!” and then we continue scanning for funny stuff that we can write about. But not everyone reads rational letters as we do. Some people, like today’s letter-writer, are apparently filled with rage and feel the uncontrollable urge to respond. Here it comes:

Has evolution been tested and proven? No.

If you read the earlier letter that generated today’s response, you’ll find that the definition provided there didn’t speak of evolution — or any theory — as having been “proven.” Instead it said this:

It is very easy to see precisely how a scientific theory is defined — Google and you will see: “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world based on a body of knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Scientific theories created from hypothesis that have been corroborated through scientific method, then gather evidence to test their accuracy.” So it is with evolution. [Emphasis supplied.]

Let’s see how today’s letter-writer deals with a claim that wasn’t made regarding a theory he doesn’t understand. The next few sentences are all in one paragraph, but each is so wonderful that we’ll present them separately:

There are no creatures turning into other kinds of creatures, or sprouting new appendages, or growing a new set of wings.

Aaaargh!!

Evolutionary theories are not observable, cannot be tested and proven, and have not earned the right to be included within the realm of science.

Aaaargh!!

The fossil record shows no transitional forms at all.

Aaaargh!!

They have no answer to the question of how life began, the biochemistry required is far too complex for the simple lightning bolt and primordial slime explanation that evolutionists give.

Aaaargh!! We are not going to respond to that paragraph, because we’ve dealt with those things too many times before. The letter continues:

Martin [the prior letter-writer] moves on to geology as a benchmark for evolution. Here again he is mistaken. The Earth’s crust is made of granite rock. Granite cannot be formed in the laboratory, and the conditions under which it would form are not known. The reasonable assumption would be that granite rock was made, not formed.

Here we must confess our ignorance of granite, but even if its origin isn’t well understood, or if the geological conditions required for its formation can’t be reproduced in the lab, it’s not reasonable to assume that its existence is a miracle. However, because we’ve never before seen granite used as “evidence” for Oogity Boogity, we consider it a worthy argument for you to ponder. Let’s read some more:

As for the geologic column, it exists only in textbooks. Over 75 percent of the Earth’s surface is missing 70 percent of the strata systems that make up the geologic column. Another instance of a theory with minimal proof being taught as fact.

That’s a creationist oldie-goldie, included in the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims. See The entire geological column does not exist anywhere on the earth. And here’s the letter’s very predictable end:

The only fact that we can readily see is that evolution is like religion. We cannot prove that God exists, and in the same way, science cannot prove that evolution exists. Both are built upon faith. Both are just religion.

So there you are, dear reader. Another fine addition to our collection.

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

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #342: Not Proven!

  1. Granite rock can be made in the laboratory. The conditions under which it forms is known (all of the many dozens of variations of the stuff). This man’s ignorance knows no bounds, which is probably why he must ascribe all of the things he doesn’t understand to be the work of fairies and elves and aliens.

  2. Charles Deetz ;)

    And what would happen after a scientist calmly explained the answers to all his conjectures? He’d just say that the scientist is relying on his faith in the religion of science without checking for proof, therefor he doesn’t have to listen to him.

  3. waldteufel

    The benighted factory worker who wrote the letter obviously doesn’t know anything about science. He certainly doesn’t know anything about the theory he criticizes, and I just shake my head in wonder that podunk small-town rags publish this sort of rubbish.

  4. Retired Prof

    I like the implied conclusion: if a suite of ideas is “just religion,” there’s no reason to believe it.

  5. Charles Deets: “He’d just say that the scientist is relying on his faith in the religion of science without checking for proof, therefor he doesn’t have to listen to him.”

    IOW “Heads I win, tails you lose.” To which one just plays along and says “Yeah, I hear that evolution takes more faith…The question is more faith than what?”

  6. “That’s a creationist oldie-goldie, …”. I’ve taken to using “moldy oldie,” kind of like Nervous Norvis’s Transfusion.

  7. Hey! it’s Kansas! What else is new, I’d be a lot more surprised if they printed a real science article on real science.And these people are not only stupid but they are hypocrites as they say they do not believe in the science but will tell you so over the infernal net, using iPhones & computers. And until they give up the infernal-net, iPhones, computers, cars, TV, etc and then claim gravity is only a theory and start floating in the air, I will continue calling them just what they are….delusional hypocrites.

  8. He must have life-time membership in AiG and the ICR. I hope his factory job doesn’t extend any further than sweeping the floors.

  9. Charles Deetz ;)

    &FrankJ Thanks for the link to lots of things that take less faith.The coin analogy is apt, I was going at it with a creationist recently who would accept archaeopteryx as transitional, but was SO much more concerned about the problem with the order of hominid fossils. He just gish galloped his way out his cognitive dissonance.

  10. @Charles Deetz: Sorry for the typo in the last comment. If you haven’t already, show your creationist this. Then also mention the Discoveroids, and how they either admit that modern humans share common ancestors with all the species represented by those fossils or just play dumb about it. Of course it works best with an audience present. The only point of “debating” any “kind” of committed science denier “one on one” is for the personal satisfaction of seeing how they contradict some other science denier.

  11. At least some of the ammunition for the creationists claim that evolution is a religion,comes from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. It’s ez to look up,but in brief,atheism is considered a religion only to provide the same rights under the First Amendment. It is not actually a religion. Christianity is also considered atheism towards all other religions,not that Christians are actually atheists.

  12. Mark Joseph

    Until we atheists get tax-free status, atheism is not a religion (see: not stamp collecting, abstinence as a sex position, off as a TV channel, bald as a hair color, etc.).

  13. Ken says: “At least some of the ammunition for the creationists claim that evolution is a religion,comes from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.”

    I’ve written about that before. It’s Kaufman v Mccaughtry, from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which holds that a prison inmate’s religious liberties include allowing atheists to conduct study groups, just as religious prisoners are allowed to do. That case does, however, mention a few US Supreme Court opinions that give atheism the same protection as religion, so they may be regarded as equivalent with respect to an individual’s freedom — but no case literally says that atheism is a religion.

  14. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Frank J, thanks for the link. This was in a large political debate group on FB, and this guy was certainly outnumbered. He knows a lot, and links to TO didn’t faze him. But he was very aggressive about the confusion in how ‘super-smart’ evolutionists couldn’t figure out the order or classification of hominids. I like your link, in that it shows the same problem creationists have. There is a whole problem for creationists in considering there are hominids AT ALL, but I haven’t studied this.