How many times has your Curmudgeon found some article by a creationist and thought: This has got to be the dumbest thing ever written in the history of the universe! Alas, we can’t count the times that’s happened to us as we’ve plowed through the creationist muck in your service. Anyway, it happened again this morning.
At a website called Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website,” we found today’s “dumbest ever” creationist article: My Personal Encounter with Evolutionary Theory. It’s by Dr. Melvin L. Johnson, described as the pastor of the Heart of Christ Community Church in Brazoria, TX.
Before we begin, take a moment to think about the rev’s title. How does one have a personal encounter with a theory? It sounds like “My personal encounter with Bigfoot.” If the title strikes you as odd, wait until you see what follows it. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
I cannot and never will be able to accept Darwinism because as a black man who understands why Charles Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species…” in the first place and the basic nature of the arguments you are reporting on. In fact, the actual title of this book continues with “… By Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.”
The truth is that Darwin wrote this book and the subsequent book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex as a means to explain through a biological format why black people could and should be maintained as slaves. What does “Favored Races” mean? The term race refers only to humans, and there have been no voices in any of the hearings that I am aware of who have pressed this point.
Darwin was always an outspoken advocate of emancipation. The beginning of the rev’s article is so stunningly ignorant that we don’t trust ourselves to comment about it. Instead, we’ll link to something we wrote four years ago: Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin, in which we said:
That title is often the only thing by Darwin the creationists ever read, and they mindlessly misinterpret it. In the on-line text of that book, we see that Darwin, like his contemporaries, uses the terms “race,” “sub-species,” “variety,” and similar expressions interchangeably in connection with a great number of animals (dogs, horses, etc.) and also plants (flowers, cabbages, etc.), sometimes intermixing them in the same context. … In any event, in Darwin’s book with the word “race” in the title, he doesn’t even talk about the evolution of humans, so the charge of racism — based solely on that title — is grotesquely misinformed.
Back to the rev’s article, he describes what he says is a bad experience his son had with a racist teacher in biology class. If it’s a true story, the teacher was an idiot, but from what we’ve just seen of the rev’s work, we can’t dismiss the thought that his story about his son is either fiction or an hallucination. Anyway, he says he complained to school officials about the biology text — which he never names — and he tells us some of the things he complained about:
For example, the most primitive fossils were almost always referred to Africa and the most modern findings were European (Neanderthal). For me, Darwin’s theory was as though I was being given some scientific, intellectual justification to accept that I was an inferior being — the reason Charles Darwin authored the book in the first place! (By the way, Darwin held a very low of opinion of women, including white).
Then he adds this:
In addition, we now know that there have been grievous mistakes as well as some purposeful and intentional fraudulent attempts to present what was believed to have been prehistoric men, ranging from creating and entire human body from a tooth that was later proven to have been from an extinct pig (Nebraska Man) to the combining human skull fragments with the filed-down, chemically-discolored teeth and jawbone of an orangutan (Piltdown Man).
But it doesn’t stop there. The cascade of creationist clunkers is just beginning. You can guess what’s coming next:
Since evolution is the accepted system of belief of the secular world, then it should not be out of bounds to quickly recall how some of history’s greatest practitioners have influenced human history and the world. Darwin’s principles in theory have been canonized, and even things not proven have been declared true. His disciples have certainly bolstered their positions not just on providing a new argument for continued view of black people as an inferior race, but it also freed men from the responsibility of answering to a higher authority, through which they unleashed some of the most unconscionable onslaughts of human cruelty the world has ever known.
Right. Before Darwin there was hardly any racism in the world. But now we’ve got — you know, dear reader — but we’ll let the rev tell you:
Men like Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Friedrich Nietzsche preached about the death of God. These were the philosophers who laid down a new gospel of the call of nature to produce the super race and super nation, who were destined to rule the world and exercise authority over lesser species men.
After the philosophers came practitioners like Adolf Hitler, an evolutionist who praised Darwin [Hey, rev: Your whole essay is nonsense, but we’re specifically calling you out on your “Hitler praised Darwin” point — give us an historically credible reference for that!], and his Axis allies Benito Mussolini (Italy) and Emperor Hirohito (Japan). Their individual visions of the super race and world dominance brought on World War II, and the loss of over 50 million lives. After Hitler came the communist empires of the Soviet Union, China and smaller but just as brutal leaders and governmental powers. They all were based in evolutionary doctrine, where men ruled as gods
We started out writing this thing with our usual lighthearted attitude, but the severity of the rev’s creationism is no laughing matter. Hey — see if you can spot the anachronism in this next gem from the rev:
From the rubble of World War II arose the next group of practitioners like Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Fidel Castro — evolutionists who spun off smaller dictators like themselves and enslaved much of humanity for over 70 years through communism. Truly, Darwin’s work has had a significant impact upon the world and human history, where we are still categorizing one another into different and various forms and levels of humanity, still in many instances basing our taxonomy on survival of the fittest principles.
Yes, of course you spotted it. The rev says that Lenin — who died in 1924 — was a post-WW II evolutionist. Okay, we’ve seen that all of the rev’s science and history is nonsense. Now here’s an example of the rev’s own thinking, and the ellipsis is in the original:
In all of this discussion and debate, I ask the same question that I asked the high school officials seventeen years ago: What contributory benefit has Darwin’s Theory of Evolution… made in the advancement of humanity? Has it actually added to the scientific body of knowledge in terms of concrete, provable evidence or are we actually incorporating statements of faith masquerading as fact?
Pretty bad, huh? Hey — here’s something we haven’t seen blamed on Darwin before. It may be original with the rev:
Even more, as a person of color, I cannot help but to wonder if so much of the murder, chaos and utter hopelessness we find in our inner cities and in other parts of the world is not influenced by Darwin’s survival of the fittest philosophy gives justification for such unrestrained violence and devastation. … For this reason and others presented, I implore you to focus some of your time studying evolution’s impact upon history as well as upon our society today.
Although there’s much more of the same, we leaving the rev’s essay at this point. Your Curmudgeon has reached his limit. This started out to be another funny post, but it’s no longer amusing. We regard most of the professional creationists as either entertaining hucksters or malignant theocrats, but they usually know what they’re doing. It seems different with the rev. We think he needs help, and so does that website where we found his essay.
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