Creationist Wisdom #378: The Science Teacher

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in a Gannett newspaper with a website that doesn’t provide its name, probably the Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland. It’s titled Sound science requires no belief in evolution. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis.

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians or otherwise in the public eye), so we usually omit the writer’s name and city. We’ll make an exception today. The letter-writer is Jeff Fears, described as “head of the science department at Salisbury Christian School.” Here’s their website: Salisbury Christian School. It’s a hard-core creationist academy. Okay, here we go:

Do you “believe” in evolution? Let’s cut to the chase. Science requires the interpretation of evidence. Most scientists embrace philosophical naturalism — before they ever walk into the lab — and interpret the results of their experimentation from the worldview that perspective provides.

Not necessarily Philosophical naturalism, which implies atheism, but definitely methodological materialism — a procedure (not a philosophy) which is inherent in the scientific method. There’s not much point in trying to interpret lab results in terms of spirits and ghosts. For more on this, see Bring Me An Angel Detector! Let’s proceed:

This was not always so. The founding fathers of modern science — giants like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton — interpreted evidence from a decidedly Judeo-Christian worldview and made what are arguably the most significant scientific discoveries the world has ever known, precisely from that vantage point. They were demonstrably not naturalists.

Aaaargh!! The scientific work of those people was not bible based. Let’s read on:

Columnist Tom Krattenmaker does a disservice to his readers by perpetuating the false dichotomy between religion and science when he writes that, “evolution is not a matter of opinion, or something one chooses to believe in or not, like a religious proposition.”

He’s referring to this: Evolution is about science, not opinion. The letter continues:

Krattenmaker claims that in talking about evolution that there are, “No leaps of faith or life-altering commitments required.” However, since macroevolution (salmon becoming salamanders) has never been observed, faith most definitely is required.

Lordy, lordy. Yet another genius expects us to live long enough to literally observe hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Here’s more:

Faith is belief in the unobservable. Hence, by definition, acceptance of macroevolution requires an ocean of faith, especially since it is attributed, not to an intelligent deity tinkering with his creation, but rather to random acts of chance. Nowhere in our collective memory have we ever observed such chance producing anything approaching the specified complexity of even the simplest living cell, let alone the vast array of organisms the Earth hosts today.

Right. Never mind the evidence of the fossil record, strikingly confirmed in the DNA of living things. That’s unobservable, so it doesn’t mean anything. But the tinkering of an intelligent deity — that’s solid science. Moving along:

Limited change (microevolution) has undoubtedly produced astonishing variation within each group of organisms, but never seems to cross family boundaries (breeding cats from dogs).

We have yet another creationist who is adept at the micro-macro mambo, which we described in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Another excerpt:

It would seem, therefore, the willful ignorance Krattenmaker supposes is not on the part of the religion, but on the part of those who refuse to acknowledge another worldview might make better sense of the evidence.

Yes, believing that our DNA is being manipulated by invisible phantasms makes much better sense. And now we come to the end:

Do you “believe” in evolution? Be relieved: The scientific answer can still be a resounding “No.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Great letter!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #378: The Science Teacher

  1. “Science” Teacher proclaims

    However, since macroevolution (salmon becoming salamanders) has never been observed, faith most definitely is required. …[snip]… Limited change (microevolution) has undoubtedly produced astonishing variation within each group of organisms, but never seems to cross family boundaries (breeding cats from dogs).

    Sounds like some splendid new critters to add to the Crocoduck menagerie: the salmonmander and the cog (or possible the dat).

  2. Our intrepid letter writer would probably accept the idea that biological evolution is kept alive by little else besides a conspiratorial priesthood among practising scientists in a wide range of relevant disciplines. However, I think there’s more reason to suppose a conspiracy going in the opposite direction: A flood of dupes directedly making similar asinine claims in the hope that real scientists will self-destruct, perhaps by spontaneous human combustion brought on by unrelenting exposure to a hotbed of ho-hum hogwash.

  3. Con-Tester notes the

    flood of dupes directedly making similar asinine claims in the hope that real scientists will self-destruct, perhaps by spontaneous human combustion brought on by unrelenting exposure to a hotbed of ho-hum hogwash

    That “self-destruct, perhaps by spontaneous human combustion” is about to commence any second now–according to no less an authority than Casey Luskin, in latest magnetically-aligned parcel, What to Expect When the Evolution Bubble Is About to Pop

  4. Megalonyx mentions Casey’s latest.

    I’ve been thinking of blogging about that one, but there’s not much to be said about it. I’m waiting for the muse to inspire me.

  5. “head of the science department at Salisbury Christian School.”

    Isn’t this an oxymoron statement?

    Ah, and to even be admitted to this illustrious school, one must submit a form from their church regarding their religious behaviors and beliefs, pretty, and petty, fundamentalist questions.

    http://www.salisburychristian.org/admissions/Church%20Reference%20Form.pdf

  6. an intelligent deity tinkering with his creation

    So, Mr. Fears’ (great name for the god-fearing) god isn’t omniscient and omnipotent but has to tinker with his creations to try to get them right? At my age, I wish he’d get around to fixing the human spine!

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    At least this guy coherently throws all the basic creationist arguments into one letter without being coming across as wierdo … just wrong.

  8. “giants like …. Kepler ….. interpreted evidence from a decidedly Judeo-Christian worldview”
    Yeah, this guy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_Brahe

    did not have anything to do with Kepler formulating his laws. He found them by decoding the Bible. Hallelujah Amen!

  9. The founding fathers of modern science — giants like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton — interpreted evidence from a decidedly Judeo-Christian worldview…

    Fat lot of good it did Copernicus and Galileo.

    Kepler was a practicing Lutheran, but he had a number of beliefs that the writer would not recognize as part of a Judeo-Christian worldview, including the belief that the earth had a soul, the sun was god (or at least represented god, the background stars were the son, and the space in between was the holy spirit. He also was proficient at casting horoscopes, presumably a good Christian activity. His mother was tried as a witch, but luckily acquitted (a rare event in that time).

    Newton’s odd beliefs are well known. Once you believe in one supernatural system, you can believe in any of them…

  10. Jeff Fears invokes non-biologists of the past — “…The founding fathers of modern science — giants like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton — …” to justify his teaching of creationism in a science course. Of course, all four of these scientists were long dead before Darwin was even born, so even if they had been biologists, they would not have had the advantage of Darwin’s insight, as we do now.

    But that’s not the reason for my comment. Didn’t we just see another creationist letter invoking the same four astronomer/physicists? Sounds like a creationist echo chamber…

  11. OK, everyone, listen up. The next time you hear anyone with the chutzpah to pretend that we “censor” anything, feel free to cite that “wisdom” as a clear example of who is really doing the censoring, including self-censoring. Every one of his (and again it’s a he – what is it, 95% by now?) parroted misrepresentations has been thoroughly refuted. There is no way these wannabes have missed it all. One of the commenters even put a link to the TO FAQ (Theobald’s) that demolishes the “micro-macro” nonsense, and even proposes several way that one could actually falsify “macroevolution.” So far, no takers in the ~13 years since that FAQ. What does that tell you about the scam artists, if not their trained parrots?

  12. BTW, Kepler’s mother was accused of witchcraft and barely escaped with her life from the grips of the church, and the Thirty Years’ War (caused by religious tensions) was raging, and agents of the Catholic Counter-Reformation placed most of Kepler’s library under seal.

    In 1628, Kepler became an official advisor to Wallenstein. Though not the general’s court astrologer per se, Kepler provided astronomical calculations for Wallenstein’s astrologers and occasionally wrote horoscopes himself.

    Yes, he did good work, and also strange work, and he dabbled in the sphere of astrology, and Newton in alchemy.