Creationist Wisdom #371: The Guardian

Is the whole world degenerating — or is it only the world of journalism? Today we found another column in a newspaper that we’re going to treat as if it were just a letter-to-the-editor written by the usual maniac in a shack.

You can read this in the Guardian, published in London. It has one of the largest circulations of all British newspapers, and this is what they offer to their readers: Is Evolution Real? The author is Olajide Jatto, presumably a professional journalist, whose work has appeared in the Guardian before.

[Major correction: The column appears in something called the Las Vegas Guardian Express. Your Curmudgeon regrets the error.]

We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. It begins like this:

By far, one of the biggest debates that exist on the planet at the moment is whether evolution is real. Evolution can be defined as the metamorphosis of a biological being over a time range. Evolution leads to diversity of beings.

That’s rather bad. Any of our regular readers could improve on it. But let’s not get bogged down over a journalist’s shabby definition. Stay with us:

The origin of man looks like one of those questions that won’t stop being brought into discourse. The design of the human body looks like a perfect work of art and there has always been a fascination as to where it came from. A fascination of the genesis of it all. Where it all began from. How we all got here.

Aaaargh!! How can a British newspaper publish a column that includes a phrase like “questions that won’t stop being brought into discourse” — and then expect to be taken seriously? Maybe everyone in England talks like that and looks “like a perfect work of art.” Or maybe it only seems so to Jatto the journalist. Anyway, let’s read on:

Charles Darwin, in 1859, released what is generally now referred to as the Theory of Evolution. Darwin’s main argument is that there is often a struggle for survival of the fittest of any specific species over time and hence there are changes made for adaptation purposes and consequently new species over time arise from these continued variations.

Aaaargh!! This thing is bad. It’s really bad. And that’s precisely why we’re going to continue:

As stated earlier, on the other side of the coin of the valley in this debate is the camp of those who believe in creation. People who believe in a supreme being that controls the affairs of everything else and that He created everything else as well.

Huh? “The other side of the coin of the valley in this debate”? Don’t they have any editors at the Guardian? We’ll be fair here and mention that one of the paragraphs we skipped included a reference to “A seeming battle of Elah between the camp of evolutionists and that of the creationists.” Elah presumably refers to the Valley of Elah, where David fought Goliath. That’s not a very good analogy to The Controversy, so we ignored it. But now Jatto the journalist mentions a valley again, this time in the context of a two-sided coin. This may be the worst journalistic writing we’ve ever seen.

If you think this column has been so bad up to now that it’s got to get better, we don’t want to disappoint you, but … here’s more of the same:

Needless to say, they [the creationists] very much doubt whether evolution is real. They believe in creation. The biggest grouse they postulate with the evolution theory is

Hold on there! No seventh-grade English teacher would let a student get away with that. “Postulate” does not mean “offer” or “argue.” It’s not even close. Hey — maybe there’s an explanation for this linguistic catastrophe. Perhaps, as a cost-saving expedient, the Guardian is using low-wage writers and editors from foreign countries. Yes, that might explain this column. Anyway, let’s start that last sentence again. The italics are in the original:

The biggest grouse they postulate with the evolution theory is that if everything evolved into place, shouldn’t they have also evolved out of place? How can things so dramatically change over some billion years and then not change over the next few billion years? It is a bit difficult to argue with them in that regard.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! If that’s the biggest grouse they postulate, we don’t have much to worry about — at least not from the other side of the coin in that valley where this question won’t stop being brought into discourse.

Moving along, there’s a brief discussion of whether human evolution has stopped, as David Attenborough once suggested, because we now preserve our imperfect offspring, or whether it still goes on. Jatto the journalist says:

Though Attenborough makes some sense in his explanation, it is one which smells of convenience and desperation to fit in. If it was a case of man putting an end to natural selection as Darwin explains, what about wild animals? Antelopes? Lion? Even ants? Surely they have not had as much success in keeping their young alive as we have.

Yeah — why haven’t the ants done any evolving lately? That isn’t happening. You haven’t seen it, have you? Well, have you? So if evolution is said to have done so much in the past, why has it stopped? Huh? Huh???

Here’s the end of this great column by Jatto the journalist:

Whether Evolution is real or not is not a debate that will end anytime soon but one thing remains sure, the human body is a perfect machine. Probably the greatest machine to have ever been in existence, and whatever is responsible for it is on a level higher than our level of reasoning as human beings.

If we had a pet bird, we wouldn’t insult the pretty thing by using the Guardian as a bird cage liner. Even a bird’s droppings deserve better.

[Addendum: Once more, your Curmudgeon regrets his inexcusable error in attributing this thing to the Guardian in London.]

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

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23 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #371: The Guardian

  1. Christine Janis

    Author is clearly a creationist. Article ends with

    “Whether Evolution is real or not is not a debate that will end anytime soon but one thing remains sure, the human body is a perfect machine. Probably the greatest machine to have ever been in existence, and whatever is responsible for it is on a level higher than our level of reasoning as human beings.”

    I’m going to make a comment on this over at the Guardian (as I’ve been a subscriber for several decades)

  2. Christine Janis says: “I’m going to make a comment on this over at the Guardian”

    Be gentle. I don’t think they can handle reality very well.

  3. Christine Janis

    Hmm, this article does not appear to be in the actual newspaper, nor is the name of the author. Weird.

  4. Looks like it the Las Vegas Guardian not the British publication The Guardian.

  5. Curmy wonders—

    “Hey — maybe there’s an explanation for this linguistic catastrophe.”

    The author is Nigerian and his ill-informed and juvenile drivel was published in the Las Vegas Guardian Express, which I’m not sure is actually related to the UK’s Guardian by more than its name. I’m also not sure what sort of editorial policy the Las Vegas Guardian Express exercises but some newspapers allow pretty much unrestrained publishing in blog-like formats by any old twerp with an axe to grind. This may also be the case here.

  6. Christine Janis

    OK, so I’m not going to respond then. I’d only be outraged if it were in the British paper, not some rag from the heart of creationist America!

  7. Darn, bad HTML. Again. 😦

  8. Christine Janis

    Oh, and i see that the author is still young enough to believe that his body is “a perfect machine”. Tee hee

  9. Oh, well, bad luck keeping those names apart. And the URLs.

  10. Definitely not the UK Guardian. They wouldn’t let this guy in to hoover the carpet, let alone publish such a pointless and sloppily written article.

  11. One response begins:
    Claims of Evolution
    These are the tenants of Evolution
    Sir Terry Pratchett stated it clearly:
    “In the beginning there was nothing, and it exploded”

  12. Con-Tester says: “Darn, bad HTML. Again.”

    No problem. A Curmudgeonly Hand descended from above the clouds to fix it. I wish he would arrange for me to apologize to the Guardian in London. Ghastly mis-attribution error!

  13. Christine Janis: “I’m going to make a comment on this over at the Guardian (as I’ve been a subscriber for several decades)”

    Please ask this “creationist” if he agrees with fellow “creationist” (anti-evolution activist) Michael Behe that life has existed on earth for billions of years and that humans share common ancestors with dogs and dogwoods. And if not if he plans to challenge Behe directly.

  14. D’Oh, along with my usual formatting flubs I now see that this is not “the” Guardian that Christine planned to comment on. In any case, my request goes out to anyone who wants to leave a comment. It can never hurt to ask “creationists” questions that they hate to answer. The worst that can happen is that a few more readers will notice which side has something to hide.

  15. I have now edited the post to insert two separate apologies for my attribution error.

  16. Yeah — why haven’t the ants done any evolving lately? That isn’t happening. You haven’t seen it, have you? Well, have you?

    It’s not so much that I haven’t seen it, but that I wasn’t there.

  17. MY body is the perfect. My wife has told me that many times, “Bill, you’re such a tool!”

    Good, Craftsman good.

  18. Alex Shuffell

    I suspect that his postulative grousing comes from a poor understanding of how a thesaurus works. He also does not understand the coin metaphor, “on the other side of the coin of the valley in this debate…” A lot of confusion in this piece.

    Does anyone know where his definition of evolution came from, was it just pulled out of his perfect arse?

  19. Ahem. Talking of sloppy journalism, the piece isn’t from the (London) Guardian at all, but from the Las Vegas Guardian Express.

    For a moment you had me, because that has to be the most scientifically illiterate column I’ve ever encountered in an accredited newspaper. How, I thought, could the beloved Grauniad have plummeted so far?

    Some apologies, perhaps, to our friends in the Old Country? 🙂

  20. Oops! I see I arrived late at the party and others spotted the error before me.

  21. Christine Janis

    No worries —- I had almost hit the “reply” to respond to it when I thought “can this really be in The Guardian”?? Having subscribed to the paper for over 30 years, yes it can be controversial at times but never completely idiotic. (And my response was going to be basically what you said!)

  22. Ceteris Paribus

    What? Author of the piece Olajide Jatto is writing from Nigeria and not the UK? Oh crap. I already hit the send button and wired his brother 3 million dollars for the US publication rights to Olajide’s biology textbook, plus half the profits of his planned creationist theme park.

  23. Author of the piece Olajide Jatto is writing from Nigeria

    Laugh not so much about the Nigeria aspect. It’s in the US that he’s getting published . . .