Creationist Wisdom #419: Teach Both Theories

Today’s letter appears in the Alpena News of Alpena, Michigan. The title is How to teach both evolution and creation.

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we’ll just use the letter-writer’s first name, which is Marlin. We wrote about one of his earlier letters in this post: Creationist Wisdom #412: Two Letters! His was the second letter we discussed there, and we mistakenly called him “Martin.” We’ve corrected that, and now we’ll give you a few excerpts from his new letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go!

How could creation and evolution be taught as models in the public schools?

A stimulating question! Marlin offers two possibilities. Here’s the first:

As a Model — Since both Creation and Evolution cannot be Scientifically Tested (that means Earth’s origin cannot be repeatable in a scientific experiment), they could each be taught as a Model and applied to the observable world around us to see which of the two explains the real world more completely.

He’s right! Earth’s origin can’t be duplicated in the lab. Let’s read on to learn of Marlin’s second possibility:

As a Belief — Since both the Creation Model and the Evolution Model are belief systems, and they each qualify as a Religion, should both be taught in the public schools? Parents wishing to have their children taught just one Model or the other could seek schools that do just that.

Have you ever seen such clear thinking before? He continues:

The Evolution Model proposes that, due to Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest, new kinds of organisms can be produced even though there does not exist a mechanism that can change the genetic makeup from one organism to another (as in the “Monkeys to Man” theory).

Wow — there’s no mechanism for evolution! Well, except for mutations, but Marlin doesn’t mention that. Here’s more:

In the Creation Model, the existence of different kinds of organisms, as in plants, animals, and Man, is due to God’s creation, as stated in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

Yes, that’s another model with no mechanism — except for Oogity Boogity, but Marlin doesn’t mention that either Moving along:

Since there is a difference in regard to origins, these two Models could be used in the Public School without demanding that we believe one or the other.

Perfectly reasonable! Hey — why stop with those two untestable models? They should teach the astrology model and the Zeus model too. One last excerpt:

Today the Evolution Model is demanding to be the only teaching Model acceptable in the Public School. Public awareness to change this discrepancy is the responsibility of us all.

Yes — public awareness! If everyone had Marlin’s awareness of the issues and appreciated his exemplary civic responsibility, all our problems would vanish. Great letter!

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #419: Teach Both Theories

  1. Richard Bond

    Dismissed for Unnecessary Capitals. Also, Marlin seems to have no idea of what a model is: testability anyone?

  2. Pete Moulton

    Marlin’s last letter convinced me that he’s profoundly ignorant of evolutionary theory, and this one shows that he’s losing ground.

  3. The silly creationists can suggest anything they wish, but it aint science until THEY produce experimental evidence that supports their view and can be used predict anything useful, unlike the totally worthless ‘gawd did it’!

  4. A truly worthy addition to our Curmudgeon’s Almanac of Creationist Acumen (or CACA for short). Darlin’ Marlin’s missive is missing a few critical bits in the Evidence, Parsimony, and Coherence Departments.

  5. Aaargh! [Edited out] HTML!

  6. They have not learned the right to teach their theory until …
    Well, until they have a theory. One which describes a mechanism so that things turned out the way they did … rather than one of the vast (if not infinite) number of other ways they could have been. Why did the human turn to be most similar chimps and other apes? Is their “theory” going to tell use that we are deliberately that way for some common purpose (so that we should not try to frustrate that purpose, but act like apes)?

  7. Marlin the Michigan Moron regales us with his utter ignorance of science.
    What a [edited out]!

  8. In the Creation Model, the existence of different kinds of organisms, as in plants, animals, and Man, is due to God’s creation, as stated in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

    There are many, many more “Creation Model”s than the Genesis myth. If it’s a matter of teaching the different the “models”, there’s no reason to exclude any of the other equally well supported myths, such as those of other religions, the various american indian myths, etc. Let the children choose the one they want to believe!

  9. @Ed There are more than one version of origins in the Bible. Genesis 1 (roughly) has one, Genesis 2-3 has another, These are more complete, but there are others, not much more than hints, in Psalms and in Job.

  10. @TomS That’s a good point and it underlines what I suspect is true of most of the creationists: they haven’t actually read the bible. A number of xians I know are astonished (and generally refuse to check) when I point out, usually around Xmas, that there are two mutually inconsistant stories of the alleged birth of their hero. I’m sure that’s because they’ve only heard the combined version that most ministers tell from the pulpit, and they never actually read the book that’s supposed to contain all the truth there is.

  11. “Since both the Creation Model and the Evolution Model are belief systems, and they each qualify as a Religion”
    Look, I know I’m just a stupid evilutionist, but shouldn’t this be followed by “should both be taught in church and Sunday Class?”

    “The Evolution Model proposes that, due to Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest”
    SC, how does your dog react to reading “SotF”? Aargghh? Or is that going to be [edited out]?

    In addition to TomS I would like to ask our dear friend Merlin, if he happens to read this page: according to the Model called Creation, which came first, birds or homo sapiens?

    @Beastwood: why do you think the RCC discouraged translating the Bible in vulgar languages? Of course they didn’t know much about psychology and hence enormously underestimated the skill of the believers to delude themselves, something Ed gives such a nice example of.

  12. Well, Marlin, you there’s a couple of problems with your proposal. First, the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection says absolutely nothing about origins. Zero, nada, nil, zip. Where did you ever get that idea? Actually, there is no evidence found in the natural world that would definitively help us understand how life began.

    No, the Theory of Evolution is an explanation of how different species have originated. It is based on multiple lines of EVIDENCE, confirmed innumerable times, that shows clearly that new species have branched off from existing species, and that this process is driven by natural selection.

    Darwin didn’t just sit down one day and dream this up. He formulated the theory based on many years of careful observations of nature. His findings have been confirmed and amplified by countless scientists working over the past 150 years.

    It’s based on evidence, not faith. It is the only explanation of the origin of species (not life itself) that has earned the right to be taught in science classes, at any level.

    Enroll in a community college biology or geology class and expand your horizons.

  13. Marlin, I should have mentioned earlier that you, of all people, would really appreciate the PBS series, “Your Inner Fish”. you can view all three episodes online. Seriously, it will definitely help you understand how science works.

    And don’t worry — watching it won’t make you any less of a Christian, nor will it interfere with your chances of making it to heaven.

  14. Where can one see all episodes online?

  15. TomS asks: “Where can one see all episodes online?”

    I don’t think Episode 1 is available any more, at least not at the PBS website. Here’s Episode 2. The link to that and to Episode 3 don’t work, but if you click on the link to Episode 2 you can probably scroll around and find it, along with #3.

  16. Episodes 2 & 3 are still available until 5/7/14 at “http://www.pbs.org/your-inner-fish/watch/”. It’s a shame Episode 1 is no longer viewable there online. I just watched it again two days ago. One would think they’d keep it available for a good while. Guess they want to sell DVDs. If your local library is like ours, they’ll be happy to order the DVD if you mention it to them. It may also be viewable “On Demand” from a cable provider.