Creationist Wisdom #392: Science Student

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (like several others recently) appears in the Shreveport Times of Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s titled Science just reveals scope of God’s work.

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we’ll omit the writer’s full name and city. We will mention that his first name is Wayne. He claims he has “a bachelors degree in science, a masters and [is] working on a doctorate,” but he doesn’t say where he’s getting his education, or what kind of science he’s studying. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go:

I would like to say I respect the view expressed by Mr. Lord in the noted editorial, however I disagree.

Wayne is talking about this: Creationism has no place in our schools. Here is what he says about it:

Yes, science should be and is taught in classrooms. Creationism and the theory of evolution are permissible to be taught alongside one another within Louisiana public schools, per bill passed under Jindal’s administration more than five years ago.

We agree, that’s the clear purpose of the Louisiana Science Education Act, although the Discoveroids, who drafted and promoted that bill, continue to deny it. Let’s read on:

Yes, science is objective but not all scientists have been objective. Evolution is a theory. You may know then that theory is not scientific fact; it is just that … unproven theory, not proven science. Many scientists have imposed their belief in evolution as true because they cannot fill the gaps or may not want to accept that the universe has intelligent design, which Einstein did admit from his study of astronomy.

Aaaargh!!. We’ve debunked that Einstein allegation a time or two before — see Klinghoffer Defends the God of the Gaps. See also, in Wikipedia: Religious views of Albert Einstein. Wayne continues:

This theory proposes that life forms “evolved” into other Kingdom life forms, for example; a protozoa becoming a plant or animal life form: of which there is no recorded or testable proof that has ever been put forth. Evolution has never been proven. Let me say that again … never.

We can safely rule out biology as Wayne’s field of study. Here’s more:

The scientifically-proven, recorded and testable Second Law of Thermodynamics stands in direct opposition to the theory of evolution. It states all things change/move from a state of higher organization to disorder … which is the opposite of evolution proposes.

It’s not only proven, it’s recorded! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We can probably rule out physics too. Moving along:

The idea that things on our planet are millions of years old is full of “holes” and is more assumption than fact. A commonly used dating method has been carbon-14 dating. For carbon-14 dating to be accurate, one must assume the rate of decay of carbon-14 has remained constant over the years, 5,730 years for each half-life (which is an assumption as well). … Environmental changes surrounding samples can alter decay rates. It’s like taking your heart rate for one minute then assuming your heart rate will be constant at that rate for the rest of your life.

The amount of carbon-14 in the environment is somewhat variable, but not the decay rate. Well — the Flood could have changed all that atomic stuff! As we read Wayne’s letter, we keep wondering: What science is he studying? Another excerpt:

The numeric chance or statistic that life just came to “be” is too great to simply be the result of random chance. It’s like placing a bunch of watch parts in a shoe box, close it, shake it long enough and somehow over time the parts fall into place forming a functioning, accurate timekeeping watch.

Probably not a math major. Hey — why didn’t Wayne use the example of a tornado in a junkyard? Oh, here’s another:

It’s like Stonehenge: no one questions that it just evolved or came to be but all conclude there was intelligent design behind it. Right? There are more credible proofs and facts supporting accurate history from the same book that teaches creationism, the Bible. I’m sorry but evolution simply falls impotent.

Yeah — Stonehenge was designed, therefore … Oogity Boogity! And now we come to the end:

I think real science simply uncovers all that God has done. The real problem here is admitting someone designed it all … because then we have to wrestle with the question: “If there is design then there is purpose, and what does that have to do with me and the way I live?”

We Googled around for the letter-writer’s name and all we found was an insurance salesman in Shreveport. We didn’t find any references to a university science student, so Wayne a mystery. Fun letter, however.

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

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20 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #392: Science Student

  1. Let’s see. Clearly not a biology major, nor a math major, nor a physics or chemistry major… what’s left? Perhaps a creation science major, eh?

  2. “If there is design then there is purpose, and what does that have to do with me and the way I live?”
    If we are designed to be like chimp and other apes, that does say what purpose our designer has for us.
    If we are like chimp because of common ancestry, that does not say anything about the way we should live.

  3. Dear Jesus,

    Could you please instruct your followers learn the proper meaning of the word theory?

    Thanks lots,

    -anevilmeme

  4. The effects of that Louisiana law are becoming clear – a generation of mis-educated youth. It’s like having an entire state of home-schooled kids.

    Caveat: not all homeschoolers are taught nonsense, and not all science teachers teach creationism. Still, it’s a worrisome trend.

  5. If the letter-writing clown has any sort of science degree, it has to be from Bob Jones University or Liberty University or some other crackpot factory.

  6. Ed: “…not all science teachers teach creationism. Still, it’s a worrisome trend.”

    I’d posit that very few science teachers at the secondary level teach creationism. The problem is in the elementary and middle schools, where in most states a teacher can teach any subject with just elementary certification. In other words, they don’t need to have taken any specific science courses in order to teach science. Somewhat like a tone-deaf person teaching music, a blind person being a driving instructor, or me teaching theology (even if some insist on calling me Pope RSG).

  7. Ceteris Paribus

    Wayne concludes: “I’m sorry but evolution simply falls impotent.

    Aw, Wayne, that even happened to the biblical character Goliath. Maybe if you get some good sleep instead of staying up late to write creation stories for the newspaper, things will go just fine for you next time.

  8. I’m sure his PhD thesis will be along the lines of Ken Hovind’s. His understanding of doctorate degrees seems to be on par with his understanding of science.

  9. “The idea that things on our planet are millions of years old is full of “holes” and is more assumption than fact. A commonly used dating method has been carbon-14 dating. … Experiments have been performed using the radioactive isotopes of uranium-238 and iron-57 and have shown that rates can and do vary.”

    Brings out the old C-14 argument, he does. And I’d like to know what experiements he references for U-238 and Fe-57 decay rate variability. Must have been those “scientists” at the ICR that conducted those studies.

    Interesting, though, how much press space these people receive, e.g., 602 words for this little LTTE, or was it an OpEd? But it appears the Shreveport paper supports this nonsense. Some of the comments online to his LTTE were more to the point.

  10. Any scientific measure can be expected to show some “variability”. But do the variabilities in radio chronometry fall in the range of less than 1%, rather than the range of many orders of magnitude which YEC would need?

  11. Aren’t U-238 and Fe-57 both stable? Thus (or otherwise), they would have different decay rates than C-14, so yes, decay rates can and do vary.

  12. Jim Roberts asks: “Aren’t U-238 and Fe-57 both stable?”

    I think all the isotopes of uranium are radioactive, and they all have different half-lives. Every radioactive isotope of every element has its own half-life, and they don’t vary. As for Carbon-14, the amount of it in the atmosphere, and thus in living things, will vary. I think there are methods of calibrating that for various eras, so accurate results are still obtainable.

  13. The natural decay chain of U-238, decays through alpha-emission, with a half-life of 4.5 billion years to thorium-234, then goes through 13 much shorter decays until it reaches lead (Pb)-208, a stable isotope. And yes, Fe-57 is a stable isotope of iron. Carbon 14 does decay, and it is used for dating items, but has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years, can only be used to date back only so far, but not in the millions or billions of years.

    So it would appear our letter writer doesn’t know squat about half-lifes and radioactivity. Did he really get a degree? And in what? Hopefully it wasn’t science.

  14. I think the letter writer does have a BS degree; unfortunately, “BS” in this case does not mean “bachelors of science”.

  15. Or as my old Geology prof once said
    “MSc means Master of Shovelling the C%^#.
    PhD stands for Piled Higher and Deeper…..”

  16. It’s clear to me. He’s either an engineer or a dentist.

  17. There are Degrees and then there are degrees that mean a state of competence as everyone knows academia and the real world are
    two different realities. It is a shame this person has wasted his education
    and life for sometime resulting in a empty mind.

  18. Scientists have tested every “environmental condition” they can to see if decay rates of isotopes can be altered. That includes extremes of temperature and pressure (although, perhaps Wayne is thinking of a global flood). Nada, so far, that alters any half-life enough to make any difference.

    Also, only those isotopes with half-lives of billions of years still are found in the earth’s crust. All of those with half-lives in the thousands and millions of years are not. (excluding isotopes that are continually formed by natural processes.)

    Must be a coincidence.

  19. There is the quantum Zeno effect (more here) that can affect particle decay rates. However, it comes with a host of troublesome difficulties. These difficulties notably can, of course, be obviated by omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience — it’s another proof for Oogity-Boogity!, I tell ya. Still, given the letter writer’s very obviously appalling knowledge of matters scientific, it’s a certainty that this effect is not what he was thinking of. In fact, it’s clear he wasn’t doing much thinking of any consequent kind at all.

  20. It would seem one of the commenters on that site tracked down the author’s facebook page, where he listed his education as coming from the (unaccredited) Louisiana Baptist University and Theological Seminary. If true, this would explain much.