Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in a Gannett newspaper with a website that doesn’t provide the paper’s name, but it’s probably located somewhere in Maryland or Delaware. The letter is titled It’s not unscientific to cast doubt on a theory.
Like Creationist Wisdom #378, the letter is a response to this column by Tom Krattenmaker: Evolution is about science, not opinion, so it’s part of an exciting series for the newspaper readers in that area. 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’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Okay, here we go:
In response to Tom Krattenmaker’s recent column, I would like to counter that evolution is about science — and opinion. Since the days of Lamarck and Darwin, the theories of evolution that have been proposed have been based on scientific observations recorded in the present, but interpreted to suggest what may have happened in the past.
Ah yes, the letter-writer is firmly in the camp of the “Were you there?” school of thought. In his mind, the laws of nature may have been wildly different from those we observe today — sufficiently different to account for the otherwise impossible events recorded in Genesis, but somehow not different enough to interfere with the existence of the Earth, the Sun, etc. A tricky state of affairs, but certainly not beyond the abilities of an all-powerful intelligent designer. We’re off to a great start. It gets better:
I very much appreciate the fact that Krattenmaker did not resort to belittling the character of those who do not support the current theory of evolution. For in truth, many well-trained scientists do not accept Darwinian evolution as “settled science.”
Right — “many well-trained scientists” reject evolution. For a hint of how exaggerated that is, take a look at this from the National Center for Science Education: Project Steve: n > 1300. We’ll have more to say about that in a later post. Let’s proceed with today’s letter:
Darwin did not know all that we know today about genetics, microbiology, and biochemistry. These modern sciences have shown that DNA is marvelously copied with phenomenal accuracy, but there is no nuclear enzyme that could add new, orderly information to a cell’s DNA that would elicit new structures in an organism.
No “nuclear enzyme” that could add “information”? Who claims that such an enzyme exists? Further, we don’t know what the letter-writer means by “information.” Language should be used to impart meaning, not to obscure it. However, there certainly is a mechanism that is known to add new features to an organism. See How One Gene Becomes Two Different Genes. The letter continues:
Darwin himself suggested that the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record, and the fact of the Cambrian explosion cast doubt on his theory.
Oooooooh — no transitional fossils! Well, except for this list of transitional fossils. We’re told that Darwin was dubious of his theory not only because of that, but also the Cambrian explosion. Does the letter-writer know that “explosion” occurred over about 50 million years? See The Mystery of the Cambrian “Explosion”, and also Stephen Meyer: “I Don’t Use God of the Gaps”. Here’s more:
If he [Darwin] had reservations about his theory, what is unscientific if some scientists do today?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Good point — we don’t know any more today than Darwin did 150 years ago. And now we come to the end:
The reader could learn more about this issue by watching (online) the upcoming debate between Bill Nye, the famous “Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis, which will take place Feb. 4 in Petersburg, Ky.
That’s a perfect example of why we advise against debates with creationists. Anyway, good letter. A fine addition to the collection.
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