Creationist Wisdom #364: Unsettled Science

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Kansas City Star of Kansas City, Missouri, on the Missouri–Kansas border. It’s titled Science not settled. If you click over there you’ll have to scroll down because it’s the second letter at that link.

We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Because we don’t like to embarrass people, we’ll omit the letter-writer’s name and city — but we did locate a woman with the letter-writer’s name in her town; she gives cello lessons. Maybe today’s letter is from her. Okay, here we go:

An Oct. 7 “Stifle this challenge to evolution quickly” editorial ends, “They don’t need to revisit a controversy settled decades ago.”

She’s referring to: Stifle this challenge to evolution quickly. It’s critical of the lawsuit that was filed to block Kansas from adopting the evolution-friendly Next Generation Science Standards (the “NGSS”). We wrote about that suit last month: Kansas Creationism: It’s Back Again. Today’s letter-writer didn’t like the editorial, and she explains why:

This statement [the one she quoted from the editorial] presumes there are no recent scientific discoveries with new implications for the questions of the Earth’s age and life’s origin. We owe our children this new scientific information. Some of it is the direct opposite of what our textbooks state about ages of fossils, relationships among species and formation of Earth’s features.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! She knows about “new scientific information” that contradicts the textbooks. Let’s read on:

Why are we not telling the whole story? I urge your readers and your opinion writers to consider published works from reputable scientists of today, not decades ago, about whether evolution can provide its own evidence or whether these new discoveries are disproving the theory of evolution.

Oh, goodie! This woman is gong to tell us about the latest discoveries that disprove evolution. We continue:

For just one example of recent publications by scientists, see Bruce Malone’s book, “Censured Science.” [sic — the actual title is “Censored Science.”]

Wikipedia never heard of him or his book, but it has an Amazon listing. Like all paradigm-shattering books, it appears to be self-published. Here’s more from today’s letter:

Another excellent source of monthly scientific discoveries disproving evolution is available from the group Reasons to Believe.

“Monthly scientific discoveries”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That bunch is in Wikipedia: Reasons To Believe. They say it’s a “creationist ministry that promotes day-age forms of old Earth creationism.”

But wait — the letter-writer saved her best evidence for last:

The new documentary created by evangelist Ray Comfort, “Evolution vs. God,” is 38 minutes of interviews with four evolutionists and many college students at the University of Southern California and University of California-Los Angeles. There are no creationists interviewed, only evolutionists. Not one can give scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Ray Comfort, best known for his starring role in Ray Comfort’s “Banana video”. The last time we wrote about his new “documentary” was here: Ray Comfort’s Film Thrills Creationists.

And now — much sooner than we would like — we come to the end of the letter:

The science is not at all settled, so why aren’t our educators questioning it?

Lordy, lordy. What a great letter!

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

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9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #364: Unsettled Science

  1. Christine Janis

    ‘For just one example of recent publications by scientists, see Bruce Malone’s book, “Censured Science.”’

    There’s no “look inside” feature for the book on Amazon, but one of the reviews lets us in on some of the erudite content.

    “I eagerly learned about dinosaurs and brontosaurus was my favorite. Guess what? Now many scientists believe there was never a “brontosaurus” – it was a FAKE by some claiming to be a scientist who wanted to exaggerate the size of the creature and so he deliberately misaligned and placed the fossil bones to make his find the largest dinosaur ever found to that date (and it held the record for a very long time). Yes, it still was a dinosaur, just not so record-breaking. The scientist fooled people for a very long time.”

  2. This instance exemplifies yet again the popular appeal the cretinist narrative has over diligent science: A facile touchy-feely account that preserves the specialness of humans versus meticulous objective study.

    I think that relevant scientists should be far more publicly vocal about it being a cretinist-manufactured ruse that biological evolution is standing on increasingly shaky foundations. Once that particular leg of the cretinist strategy has been lopped off and the stump cauterised, the other leg, viz. the false dilemma of creation being the only alternative, will simply wither away by its own functional inadequacy.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    @ Con-tester, a Monty Python reference would have been more entertaining, but I think you were going for metaphorical accuracy. Standing on one leg has the added effect of repeatedly falling on one’s face.

  4. Charles, not to diminish your suggestion, but one could well argue that cretinists do frequently fall on their faces despite having two legs; however, it’s so deeply a part of their routine that few people notice it…

  5. Just a small typo, but one which may cause confusion when searching for the book. The title of the book is “Censored Science”, with an “O”, not a “U”.

  6. Good catch, TomS. That explains why I had trouble finding it at Amazon. I added a brief note about the letter-writer’s error in the original post.

  7. Part of me feels sorry for this foolish woman. She seems to believe the sources she cited are credible and represent real scientists doing real scientific work. The there is the other part of me who wants to look this woman up and sell her the Brooklyn Bridge because she’ll apparently buy anything……

  8. The lady seems a little confused. Reasons To Believe is an Old Earth creationist organisation.
    The lady is also confused about the workings of science. The works of scientists today do not replace those of scientists of ‘decades ago’. Scientific knowledge has been accumulated over hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years. New discoveries generally enhance our existing understanding. When a new discovery is in opposition to what we already know, it must first show that it explains all the phenomena explained by the old and furthermore it must explain additional phenomena. Thus Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion explained the observations that were explained by older theories and in addition explained the motions as observed using more accurate methods.
    In the case of the age of the Earth, we know this from very precise measurements. It also fits in with what we know about the history of the Earth and of the entire Universe, much of which is also supported by precise measurements. Now it is not possible to have evidence supporting an old Earth and evidence supporting a young Earth. The Earth can only have one age. Something must be wrong with one lot of evidence or the other. Thus any new evidence has to show that old is in some way invalid. In this case it would have to show that measurements that have been repeated using different methods and which have shown to produce precise and consistent results are all systematically wrong. It would also have to explain all the phenomena that are accounted for by the the old measurements.
    Another thing that the lady should bear in mind is that science is all interrelated, one theory strengthens another. Overturning one established theory may well mean having to re-write a large part of science. To overturn the measurements of the age of the Earth will involve changing what we know about a wide range of fundemental phenomena. Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity should not be lightly discarded, we know that these theories give answers that correspond with observations to a very high degree of accuracy. Changing the age of the Universe would impinge on the theories that are used to make the Global Positioning System (Sat Nav to you) work.

  9. Ceteris Paribus

    Give the confused lady a break. It is Kansas after all, and in addition she probably doesn’t get out much. It is a few counties away from me, but I know the area where she is writing from. So looked up some info:

    Of the 105 counties in Kansas, hers is one of just 13 counties which have never allowed liquor by the drink (i.e. “bars”) since prohibition of alcohol was passed by the state legislature in 1881.

    The population density of the county is 14 people per square mile.

    The county has lost population in every census but one since 1890.

    Only about 7% of their current population is between the ages of 18 and 24. And they are outnumbered 3 to 1 by residents in the 65+ age group.