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!
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