Creationist Wisdom #387: Tea Party Genius

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears at the website of the High Point Enterprise of High Point, North Carolina. It’s titled Show me your evidence of evolution. We always look for titles like that, and when we find one it’s always a winner.

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. But this letter is an exception. It was written by Robert L. Youngblood, chairman of the Randolph County TEA Party. Youngblood lives in Trinity, a city in Randolph County, North Carolina.

We’ll give you a few excerpts from today’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go:

Dr. Mark Venable, in a resent guest column, wrote approximately 500 words stating “Evolution theory is backed by much evidence,” but there was not one piece of evidence provided. This is a tactic used by liberals today when they do not have the facts to back up their accusations.

A tactic “used by liberals”? We can’t find that earlier column, but it doesn’t matter. Venable’s column isn’t the only “liberal” claim today’s letter-writer is upset about. Here’s another:

Dr. Atkinson, of the department of public instruction used this strategy when asked by Lt Gov. Dan Forest, about the common core curriculum. She referred him to, in over ten thousand pages, thousands of web pages and articles without ever stating her own knowledge of the curriculum and directly answering his questions. That has a flavor of, “we must pass it to find out what’s in it.”

Today’s letter-writer is a no-nonsense kind of guy. If you make a claim, you’d better be ready to back it up. And if you don’t, then you’re nothing but a gull-durned librul! Let’s read on:

A favorite communist trick is, “it is not the evidence you have but what your enemy thinks you have.” I challenge this professor, or any other professor, to provide one, just one, piece of the so-called millions of pieces of evidence he claims that prove evolution’s existence. It cannot be done, for in fact, evolution is a religion that requires faith.

Aaaargh!! Liberals, commies, and evolutionists! We continue:

Creation science is based on solid empirical evidence, for we can demonstrate, observe and verify the proof. It is quite foolish to state otherwise.

Your Curmudgeon, who is not what today’s culture considers a liberal — and certainly not a commie — is screaming: Hey, Tea Party boy — show us your evidence for creation science! Get ready, dear reader, that’s coming next:

Dogs produce dogs and cats cats; I don’t remember seeing a DAT!

Great evidence! Now that we think about it, we haven’t seen a crocoduck either. Here’s more:

Dr. Steven J. Gould and Dr. Richard Dawkins have abandoned Darwinian evolution for they have calculated for each species of animals, there are one times ten to the 20th power transitional creatures that would be required to go from one type or kind to another. That is 20 places to the left of the decimal point, that is a big number only government can understand; there are fewer grains of sand on the earth than that.

Wow — we somehow missed the news that Dawkins had abandoned evolution. Moving along:

You would be able to dig up a million transitional creatures in your own back yard, but there has not been one found

This guy thinks every creature that ever lived becomes a fossil, and they should all be down there, stacked up, waiting to be uncovered. But your back yard doesn’t yield a deep fossil layer. Why not? Maybe nothing ever dies? Or maybe the Earth is young! Such speculation is too profound for us, so we’ll get back to the letter:

More fossils have indeed been dug up, but each contains carbon C14. That proposes a big problem for the willing ignorant pseudo-science flock, for its appearance is undetectable after 10,000 years.

Your Curmudgeon doesn’t want to have all the fun. We’ll let you play with the clunkers in that paragraph. Here’s more:

There has not been one aspect of evolution that has been beneficial to science, all it has done is limit the areas researchers dare to delve into.

Yeah, okay. And now we come to the end of the letter:

Then the statement “not one piece of evidence contradicts or disproves evolution.” My question to that, how do you prove something that isn’t, isn’t? Long, long ago and far, far away,” that means a fairy tale is a coming!

This is a great example of what makes us so grumpy and pessimistic. It’s no secret that we think the party currently in power is botching things up badly; but when we look at the opposition party … well, that’s why we’re a Curmudgeon.

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

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22 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #387: Tea Party Genius

  1. The letter writer, Robert L. Youngblood, is a perfect example of the adage, “If you keep your mouth shut, no one will realize just how ignorant you are.”

    I followed the link to the letter to see if the typo “resent” for “recent” in the first sentence was in the original. It was, and reading the rest of the letter led me to believe it wasn’t a typo at all; but a misspelling. There are so many factual errors in this letter, it has to be one of the all-time greats in your storied collection, Curmy.

  2. I’m not sure why Tea Party conservatives have to be so wrapped up in religious fundamentalism but clearly they are. They don’t want the government in their lives because they are more than willing to cede that role to their church! The Tea Party is a weird mashup of a political movement that doesn’t work for me either. I need a movement that is willing to forgo the government and the church!

  3. The biological tree of life does not have branches that bridge two other branches, forming a triangular branch structure. It’s that impossible bridging branch that creationists want when they talk about transitional forms, rather than the common-ancestor joint where one branch splits from another. In fact, such a bridging branch would refute evolution.

    It’s apparent that this simple concept is beyond the intellectual horizon of the committed evolution-denying godiot. On the upside, it does make for some very amusing ex recto argumentation.

  4. Somebody please explain to me why some ignorant fool publishing a letter in a backwater news rag thinks he’s going to overturn all of modern science. The Tea Party seems to be a frothy brew of ignorance and paranoia.

  5. Our Curmudgeon notes

    We can’t find that earlier column

    It’s here: Guest Column – Evolution theory is backed by much evidence

    The writer of the original column is Dr. Mark E. Venable, Professor of Biology at Appalachian State University. It’s a good piece, written in response to a previous guest column that was of similar tenor to the crazed Tea-Partier’s rant; it really is a futile game of Whack-a-Mole with some folks.

  6. As a Dutchman I welcome RL Youngblood.
    After the debate of the decade I was afraid for a while that American creacrappers had learned a lesson, that American creationism would fall into obscurity, robbing me of daily confirmation of my silly Dutch prejudices about American stupidity.

  7. Carbon-dating fossils doesn’t work because fossils don’t contain carbon. Not C14 or C12 or any other isotope.

    The increasing pressure to identify creationism as the only possible conservative position is troubling.

    Let’s divide ourselves instead into rationalists and irrationalists. The rationalists can then form poilitcal parties everywhere along the conservative/liberal spectrum, and get down to rational discussion.

    The irrationalists can keep looking for carbon in fossils or evidence for the water canopy or vegetarian carnivores, or whatever else floats their (large, wooden) boats.

  8. Another example of a dud that is smart enough to say stupid stuff to cater to the dimwits that support him. He knows what they want to hear and gives it to them. What we think is irrelevant as we do not put or keep him into his position of power and influence. We can insult his intelligence all we like and he will smile all the way to the bank!

  9. When is the “evolution is a religion” meme going to die? Drive a stake thru its heart and bury it at a crossroads so it stays dead.

    Judging by the increase in creationist insanity this week the creatards must understand that Ham got beaten like a rented mule. One more high profile loss like that and they might need to be out on a suicide watch.

  10. anevilmeme sends forth a plaintive cry

    When is the “evolution is a religion” meme going to die?

    Shortly after “There’s absolutely no proof of evolution,” “Galileo was a persecuted Creationist,” and “No Darwin, No Hitler” finally go out of fashion. Which will be at about a quarter past never, I’m afraid…

  11. @Garnetstar: We know what you mean, but for the sake of scientific accuracy, we should point out that fossils don’t contain organic carbon compounds of the type that would contain C14. However, fossils do commonly contain carbon, as they are often composed of limestone, which is calcium carbonate (CaCO3). But none of that carbon is C14, so we can’t use the radiocarbon dating method to date most fossils.

    I say most because using the term “fossil” loosely, if we have a sample of organic material (e.g., bone, wood, charcoal, etc.) that’s less than 50,000 or so years old, there should be enough C14 left to get a date. Technically, such material isn’t a fossil yet, but scientists are about the only people to make that distinction.

    The point is, Youngblood was dead wrong — a truly mineralized fossil will not contain C14. Anyway, we don’t date fossils using the C14 method anyway. As I implied in my earlier post, he should have kept his mouth shut so his ignorance wouldn’t show. He’s even wrong about how long it takes for C14 to decay to the point of undetectability — it’s about 50,000 years, not the 10,000 he claimed.

  12. “Carbon-dating fossils doesn’t work because fossils don’t contain carbon. Not C14 or C12 or any other isotope.”

    That is incorrect. Fossilization should not be confused with mineralization.
    The Latin root word for fossil is fossilis, which essentially means that which
    is found by digging. i.e. something that was buried long ago. There are lots
    of fossils with sufficient amounts of C14 in them to be carbon dated. Carbon
    dating is limited to organic remains no older than about 50,000 years since
    the half life of carbon 14 is about 5,730 years and after about 8 or 9 half lives
    there is an insufficient amount of C14 still remaining in the sample to be able
    to reliably date it using that method.

    By convention, anything organic surviving more than about 10,000 years of
    burial is an organic fossil. Mineralization replaces the original material with
    minerals. When sufficient mineralization has occurred C14 dating cannot be
    used due to the lack of sufficient amounts of C14. Hence, many of oldest
    fossils tend to be completely mineralized with none of the original organic
    material intact.

    It is quite common for plant fossils to be found in coal seams, and in that
    case the original organic material has not been mineralized, but no C14
    remains so that form of radiometric dating is inapplicable.

  13. “When is the “evolution is a religion” meme going to die?”
    That will only happen after creationism dies. The reason why they repeat this meme is that they have so thoroughly lost their scientific arguments (the last significant creationist within the scientific community was Louis Agassiz and he died in 1873), that the only arguments that they could win now are religious ones. Religious arguments are generally won by the degree of conviction that someone shows (belief systems have invented all kinds of alleged short cuts to “knowledge”). Hence by pretending that science is a religious belief creationists automatically “win” that argument since their convictions are unalterable. Of course science doesn’t work that way but since reality is not their guide, creationists routinely make grandiose and absurdly counterfactual claims.

  14. Oops, sorry “retiredsciguy” (I could use that nym as well), I now see that you have already addressed what I stated. I was answering these postings as I read them.

  15. What number of zeros you have on the left of the decimal point is really irrelevant. A one, a decimal point and 20 zeros still equals one.

  16. Charles Deetz ;)

    Tea bagger + creationist = super ardent argument without logic, grounds, facts, or courtesy. Or any understanding or care of what other people think.

  17. @Zetopan: Hey, no problem — happens to me all the time, since I’m a slow typist. I’ll be thinking about a response, type for a while, fact-check something at Wikipedia or wherever, come back and type some more, and by the time I post, five new comments have shown up addressing the same point. Anyway, your answer was better — I forgot all about coal. Duh. And you included the half-life of C14, which I couldn’t recall off the top of my head and didn’t bother to look up.

  18. Thinking about this some more, it makes no sense for a tea-bagger to favor creationism. Creationists are pushing hard for school vouchers that would send state tax money to private and parochial schools where creationism is a part of the “science” curriculum.

    Doesn’t “T.E.A. Party” stand for “Taxed Enough Already”? Don’t they make the connection that sending tax money to private schools will of course increase taxes??

  19. This is so embarrassing for us North Carolinians. Half the state is stuck in that back-woods hick religitard mentality and the other half is desperately trying to change things only to have insane pushback from that crowd. We took a few steps backwards lately and the religious right has been trashing our state for the past 4 years. Hard times for NC

  20. Not to mention the effect John Edwards had on your state, Sean.

  21. “Don’t they make the connection”
    Of course not – that’s well spend tax-money. Teabaggers and other taxhaters typically don’t mind spending a lot of money on weapons either.

  22. The scariest thing about this idiot is he ran for the school board a couple of years ago, and came within a few hundred votes of being elected. He downplayed his anti-science schtick during his campaign, but returned to full dumb*ss mode shortly after. Unfortunately, types like him are all to common in this area.