Creationist Wisdom #452: Preacher in Fiji

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Fiji Times, a daily English-language newspaper published in Suva, the capital of the Republic of Fiji, a country comprised of more than 332 islands located northeast of New Zealand. The letter is titled: Did we come from monkeys?

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we usually omit the writer’s full name and city. But there’s no problem with this one. The letter-writer is Pastor Kory Mears of the Nausori Baptist Church. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

In 1859 with the publication of the famous book Origin of the Species Charles Darwin would forever change the way our modern world looked at the issue of origins. His theory concluded that the biblical account of creation was false, that there was no intelligent designer, and that our universe and life was nothing more than a series of accidental mutations over billions of years.

You see, dear reader, why it’s so important to read these letters. Where else would you learn that Darwin’s book was titled Origin of the Species? And you probably didn’t know that it was also about the origin of the universe. Then we’re told:

Christians who still believe in the biblical account of creation are often accused of “ignoring scientific evidence” and accepting creation with “blind faith”. But this statement is simply not true. In fact, there is a growing body of scientists, both Christian and non-Christian, who have found the theory of evolution to have gaping holes and scientifically impossible explanations that require a huge amount of “blind faith”.

Wow — evolution has “gaping holes” and “scientifically impossible explanations” that require a huge amount of “blind faith.” Compared to that, creationism looks pretty good! Let’s read on:

One of the many “giant leaps” proposed by evolutionists is that living matter spontaneously evolved from non living matter. Their theory is that at some point in the distant past, there was no life on Earth just non living matter. It is hypothesised [sic] that there existed on Earth a “primordial soup” with just the right chemicals and atmospheric conditions and that life was “spontaneously generated”

Well, it’s not quite that big a leap. Abiogenesis — we don’t like that term, but it seems here to stay — suggests that the process began with the perfectly natural appearance of self-replicating molecules, which, by their nature, became abundant, and things gradually progressed from there. We continue:

Mind you, no scientist has ever been able to prove this theory by experiment or observation in a laboratory. We are just told to “accept it” with no evidence. Sounds like blind faith!

Blind faith? Egad — we can’t have any of that, can we, Rev?

Then the rev spends a few paragraphs lovingly telling about the views of Fredrick Hoyle, who is esteemed by creationists for his Junkyard tornado argument. The rev claims, quite correctly, that the spontaneous generation of just a single amoeba is wildly improbable, and from that he assumes that life couldn’t have begun by any natural process.

Then the rev tells us how much data can be stored in a strand of DNA, and he says:

The odds that DNA spontaneously generated with that level of complexity is so ridiculous that it is virtually impossible. But those are just the odds of spontaneous generation. Add to that, the odds that trillions of accidental mutations over time would give us the amazingly complex living systems of today, and you are really living on “blind faith”.

The rev is refuting the imaginary Theory of Spontaneous Assembly of Very Complex Molecules from Start to Finish from Utterly Isolated Atoms (TSAVCMSFUIA). That’s included in our Compendium of Curmudgeonly Concepts. Even that’s not the rev’s biggest objection to evolution. Here’s more:

But what is so significant is that if the theory of evolution is true, then the Bible cannot be true. The book of Genesis, which gives us God’s account of the creation of the universe, the earth, living matter and mankind, would all be false if the theory of evolution is true.

We can’t allow that! Moving along:

The theory of evolution has been responsible for a massive decline in morality in the world. Once you convince a society that there is no God, that all religion is fiction or a coping mechanism, you also destroy the basis for morality.

That explains why Darwin was such a savage brute. The final few paragraphs of the rev’s letter are a promotion of something called the Creation Science Conference, where:

You will be presented with evidence that reveals a wise, intelligent creator is responsible for the grandeur of the universe, not some unexplainable “Big Bang.”

We’re not told where that wonderful conference will be. But even if you have to fly to Fiji, it’ll be worth it. Great letter, Rev!

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

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20 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #452: Preacher in Fiji

  1. Have a look at pastor Mears’ credentials. The baptist bible college he hails from no longer exists. It was forced to move from California to Oklahoma City (hotbed of ignorance) where it was renamed Heartand Bible College (unaccredited). Pastor Mears is “working” a common business model.

  2. One of the many “giant leaps” proposed by evolutionists is that living matter spontaneously evolved from non living matter. Their theory is that at some point in the distant past, there was no life on Earth just non living matter. It is hypothesised [sic] that there existed on Earth a “primordial soup” with just the right chemicals and atmospheric conditions and that life was “spontaneously generated” . . .Mind you, no scientist has ever been able to prove this theory by experiment or observation in a laboratory. We are just told to “accept it” with no evidence. Sounds like blind faith!

    Except that it’s not “with no evidence.” As far back as the 1950s a simulated primordial environment was created in the laboratory (the Miller experiment) and basic organic compounds emerged in short order. Subsequent experiments have taken the process much further–to the point of assembling viable smallpox viruses from organic compounds derived entirely from non-living sources. It’s probably a good thing creationists don’t, or perhaps can’t, read the relevant scientific papers, or they’d be planting bombs in the researchers’ cars to stop this usurpation of the Almighty’s authority before Boris Karloff rises from the slab.

  3. At least the pastor seems to be aware of one fact; there is no reconciling the bible and evolution.

  4. The rev can’t have read much of OT if he thinks pillage and plundering increased after the publication of On the Origin of Species.

  5. As long as we’re talking about Abiogenesis, we’ll mention the creationists’ non-existent “Law Abiogenesis,” which declares that the spontaneous generation of life is impossible. Regarding that, here’s a tale we told in a comment a year ago:

    During the darkest part of the Dark Ages, there was an enlightened monastery known as the Abbey O’Genesis. They were famous for the ale which the brothers of the abbey produced. It was so good that many of the brothers were getting drunk on their brew before noon, and spent the rest of the day in unproductive slumber.

    Desperate to keep the monks attentive to their religious and ale-producing duties, the abbot ordered that no alcoholic beverages could be consumed until sundown. The monks rebelled, and the abbot was driven from his post. He found refuge in Rome, where it is said that he drank himself to death. A peculiar tale.

    Anyway, his tragic ruling became known as the Law of Abbey O’Genesis.

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    Pastor Mears says:

    [b]efore you tell your children that they are nothing more than a highly evolved monkey, put evolution to the test!

    Yes, testing children can be great fun, and profitable! Every year or two we get a chance to test yet another of our brood darling children. Take him to the state fair, dressed in a cute little tuxedo costume and cap, put a leash around his neck, and give him a tin cup to collect coins tossed by bystanders while I play the accordion on the midway. If the kid passes the “evolution” test, I get them a bigger tin cup next year.

  7. SC: “You see, dear reader, why it’s so important to read these letters. Where else would you learn that Darwin’s book was titled Origin of the Species?”

    I have learned a lot from people who see something other than what was actually written. In my years on Talk.Origins I would often ask an apparent evolution-denier their opinion on the age of life. ~70% repeatedly evaded the question, but several of the dozen or so that didn’t, curiously gave me an age of the earth instead. And if anyone is interested, ~half of the respondents conceded “billions.”

    I just also recalled another anti-evolution poster who misquoted Dawkins as saying that evolution made it possible to be a “self”-fulfilled atheist. Dawkins actually said “intellectually-fulfilled.”

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    Swear the letter is a repeat … or do all the creationists use about the same argument and approach? I really dislike the no-god therefor no-morals thread, it is disingenuous to say the least.

  9. Ceteris Paribus

    @ Charles Deetz

    Likely there is an actual medical pathology term used to describe full grown adults who still exhibit the “copy cat syndrome” commonly observed in kindergarten children.

    Or maybe the “singing from the same hymnbook” ploy used by members of gangs to avoid disclosing the actual perp of a crime applies also to some religious sects.

  10. Charles Deetz ;): “I really dislike the no-god therefor no-morals thread, it is disingenuous to say the least.”

    While it’s possible that I’m just noticing it more, it’s more likely that it really is becoming an increasing part of their script, as they increasingly fear that more people will not buy their “not enough evidence for evolution” arguments, particularly since they have been refuted so many times. And maybe they even fear that people will start noticing, and not appreciate, how little they describe about their own (mutually-contradictory) “theories”, and how they avoid supporting it on its own merits.

    …or do all the creationists use about the same argument and approach?

    As you know, activists that peddle Biblical YEC, Biblical OEC and non-Biblical ID use very different approaches, but there’s a common core to all 3, that strongly suggests that a common script is being passed around, with strong warnings to phrase things only certain ways (e.g. use the word “Darwinists” a lot), and of course, to keep as much focus as possible on the caricature of “Darwinism.” There are several bait-and-switch tactics that are mandatory – evolution with abiogenesis, evolution with atheism, the fact of evolution with the theory of evolution, etc. Another trick is to start claiming that you have a better scientific “theory”, then fall back on “‘Darwinism’ is a religion too” or “they both take faith, but ‘Darwinism’ takes more” if the audience doesn’t buy it.

  11. Ceteris Paribus

    @ Frank J Which reminds me that there is some kind of moral obligation which requires that any creationist who employs the word “Darwin” or “Darwinism” enough times in one letter is required to also throw in a gratuitous “Hitler” every now and then.

  12. @CD: “do all the creationists use about the same argument and approach?”
    What other option do they have? It’s not like creationim (to keep Frank J satisfied: no matter which brand) has provided any new insight say last 10 years.

  13. Tundra Boy

    “The theory of evolution has been responsible for a massive decline in morality in the world”

    I prefer to view it as ‘The theory of evolution has been responsible for a massive increase in fun in the world’

  14. “I really dislike the no-god therefor no-morals thread, it is disingenuous to say the least.”

    This is a necessary argument. If people are moral without their religion, then what is the point of their religion? But the question to them might be, were people moral before Darwin’s time? Has immorality sprung into existence ony since 1859, etc?

  15. Tundra Boy

    It isn’t how much info the genome can hold, but how the genome holds information (if you subscribe to the reification of information in the genome) that’s important. It holds it by building on a simple language comprised of 4 letters to form 22 (sometimes 23) different words. It’s an example of how simple elements can build far more complex structures just using iteration combined with trial & error.

  16. SC: “Anyway, his tragic ruling became known as the Law of Abbey O’Genesis.”

    I was wondering where you were going with that. You left out the best part — they called their famous ale “Primordial Brew”. Later, they learned how to distill it to make it more “spiritual”. That product is still available to this day as “Early Times” bourbon. (The recipe has “evolved” over the centuries; that explains why it’s now made from corn mash.)

  17. Jack Hensley

    Jack Hensley @ Charles Deetz [” I really dislike the no-god therefor no-morals thread, it is disingenuous to say the least.”] Not to mention dangerous as political and religious shamans down thru history have used this pretext to instill among populations an unquestioning belief in their leaders, e.g., Hitler, Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, etc. I don’t need an all star lineup of political clowns to tell me the difference between right and wrong especially when the world has become such a black and white cauldron of human rights issues. This is off the subject I know but they brought it up so … and I have plenty more where that came from.

  18. Charles Deetz ;)

    One of the most poignant moments in my life is reading Huckleberry Finn where he decides, “All right then, I’ll go to hell” … that his morality was the better choice, not society’s or the bible’s.

    That these fundamentalists would lease-out their moral base-code to an external, ancient, and out-of-date rule book creeps me out, to say the least.

  19. The odds that DNA spontaneously generated with that level of complexity is so ridiculous that it is virtually impossible. But those are just the odds of spontaneous generation. Add to that, the odds that trillions of accidental mutations over time would give us the amazingly complex living systems of today, and you are really living on “blind faith”.

    The Babel fish is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with the nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.
    Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen it to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
    The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
    “But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”
    “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
    “Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed on the next zebra crossing.
    Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo’s kidneys, but that didn’t stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God.
    Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.