Creationist Wisdom #456: Jamaican Preacher

Today’s letter-to-the-editor comes to us from an exotic location — the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean Sea. It appears in The Gleaner, published in Kingston, Jamaica, and it’s titled Faith’s anchor stronger than evolution’s.

We usually omit the letter-writer’s full name and city, unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures, but there’s no need to be discreet in this case. The letter-writer is Rev. Earlmont Williams, who is not only Pastor at the Battersea New Testament Church of God, but he is also Academic Dean at Bethel Bible College — “the oldest Pentecostal training College in Jamaica.” 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!

Please allow me to respond to the recent articles in your illustrious paper on the purpose and meaning of human life. Most of the writers postulated that life has no transcendental or ultimate meaning beyond that which the human person attaches to it. I am responding to this view as a Christian pastor and theological educator.

Pay attention, dear reader. You may think you know a thing or two, but you live in darkness. The rev is going to explain the purpose and meaning of life. He says:

One of my challenges with the humanistic evolutionary view of human life on this planet is that it is grounded in the very reality that the proponents skilfully attack – faith. What these Darwinian enthusiasts have failed to acknowledge in their reflections is that evolution is unscientific in that it has no basis in empirical fact. It was grounded in Darwin’s observations and conjectures, which have not been demonstrably and irrefutably verified.

Whammo! You pathetic Darwinist fool — your evolutionary worldview is built on nothing but faith! Whatcha gonna do now — tell the rev about Piltdown Man? Is that the best you can do? He’s way ahead of you, and although you probably don’t know it, he’ll explain that it’s a fraud — like all your so-called evidence. Let’s read on:

Some people are claiming, on the basis of the evolution of species and the supposed accidental emergence of life in the universe, that human existence is purposeless and meaningless. I refuse to accept that.

The rev refuses! How’s that for inner strength? The next section of his letter has a heading: Survival of the ‘unfit’:

This perspective would have led us as a species to the edge of nowhere millennia ago. We are not here today because of the survival of the fittest, but because of the survival of the ‘unfit’ because of divine providence.

That’s what we like to see in these letters — an original argument. Deep down, you know you’re unfit, dear reader. Your survival is only because of divine providence. The rev continues:

History has demonstrated that the underdogs who have lived on the margins of society and on the underside of history have emerged to leave their mark on the world because they were driven by something more and beyond themselves.

Ah, that explains the collapse of classical civilization and the triumph of the Dark Ages. Here’s more:

The wise man says in the biblical book of Ecclesiastes that the great Divine One has placed eternity in our hearts. That is why we yearn for “something more,” something beyond the meaninglessness of a humanistic, evolutionary, and self-determined existence.

Don’t deny it, dear reader. For once in your meaningless life, find the courage to admit that you yearn for something more.

And now we arrive at the inspirational conclusion of the letter:

I choose to believe in intelligent design and in a grand purpose behind the existence of the universe, not just because the Bible tells me so, but because life itself demands it.

Wow — what a powerful letter. Thanks, rev!

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

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13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #456: Jamaican Preacher

  1. The Rev could be right. I’ve been working all morning and I’m yearning for a nice cup-o-coffee.

  2. So what’s his point? We already know that the answer to “life, the universe and everything” is 42 so what else is there. Here’s alink to a legit article that I thought was pretty interesting and ought to have the Creationists up in arms pretty soon. http://discovermagazine.com/2014/june/9-are-we-all-martians

  3. The Jamaican Reve “choose(s) to believe in intelligent design” and to stick his head firmly in Jamaican beach sand. Only thus he can maintain that “Darwin’s observations and conjectures …. have not been demonstrably and irrefutably verified.”

  4. If we believe that we were purposefully designed, and accept the obvious fact that humans are most similar to chimps and other apes among all the forms that life has taken, then …

    The designer(s) had similar purposes for humans, chimps and other apes.

  5. TomS: Ah, there’s a new idea for the creationists. Since a) the sky fairy allegedly designed us in his image; and b) we’re most similar to apes, it follows that: c) the sky fairy must be an ape.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    Why do they automatically assume that the byproduct of evolution is a hedonistic & meaningless existence? Survival of our species depends on our actions all the more than if god is going to fix things no matter how bad we screw things up.

  7. One of my challenges with the humanistic evolutionary view of human life on this planet is that it is grounded in the very reality that the proponents skilfully attack – faith. What these Darwinian enthusiasts have failed to acknowledge in their reflections is that evolution is unscientific in that it has no basis in empirical fact. It was grounded in Darwin’s observations and conjectures, which have not been demonstrably and irrefutably verified.

    So “Darwin’s observations” don’t qualify as “empirical fact”? What does–the Book of Genesis?

    As for his “conjectures” not having been “demonstrably and irrefutably verified,” nothing will convince some people, but the evidence in favor of those “conjectures” has been piling up for 150 years. Creationists have built quite the cottage industry trying to prove it’s all fraudulent, but haven’t succeeded. (Of course, the real hard-core types who aren’t afraid to admit that their views come from religion and have nothing to do with science have a handy explanation for all evidence pointing to evolution: Satan created it to deceive us. But that’s kind of hard to squeeze into a public-school science class.)

  8. Eric Lipps, your first version of that comment ended up in the spam filter for some incomprehensible reason. Should I let it be posted, or is it obsolete?

  9. You are awesome Sir Curmudgeon. To tolerate this level of stupid, You either have awesome psychic & mental powers or you drink a lot!!!!

  10. @Eric Lipps credits the hard-core types Satan created it to deceive us.

    And it has been pointed out that that is one of the earliest threats to Christianity: Gnosticism.

  11. TomS: “then …The designer(s) had similar purposes for humans, chimps and other apes.”

    You may recall a few years ago that I was fighting a loss of interest in the “debate.” I did give up on Talk.Origins, though that was more due to the site becoming much less user-friendly. Your refreshing out-of-the-box, bait-avoiding replies kept me going, here, and even on sites that allow troll-feeding. Well, that loss of interest is returning, so I’m once again counting on people like you.

    Ever since Michael Behe – one of the most approvingly-cited anti-evolution activists of all time – went on record as conceding common ancestry of humans and chimps (and of both with dogs and dogwoods for that matter) the cat was out of the bag. For at least the 18 years since “Darwin’s Black Box,” we have been handed an opportunity on a silver platter. And yet 99+% turn it down, with a “why bother?” Quite simply, anyone who repeats long-refuted falsehoods about evolution need to be asked point blank – in the presence of an audience of course – if they agree with Behe about common descent, and the ~4-billion year age of life. Most will either say no or evade the question of course, but that’s the whole point of asking. If they disagree, why are they not challenging him directly? And if they are, or pretend to be, unsure, why can’t they at least give a best guess? Why are they afraid?

    Radical fundamentalists infiltrating school boards are a nuisance, but what ought to be far more alarming is that most people, including many who have ho problem with evolution, think that creationists are more open and honest about what they believe than scientists. In the American stereotype scientists make nasty “chemicals” and “expel” dissenting opinion, so many can’t be trusted, but creationists are all honest, if deluded, believers. The more hard questions we ask of “creationists,” the more people will see which side is really trying to hide something, and demanding unearned handouts, and which side is just doing its job. Radical fundamentalists won’t admit it of course, but they constitute less than half of those who have been fooled about evolution and the nature of science.

  12. Can anyone think of the sudden appearance of the major features of today’s life which does not entail Omphalism?

    Doesn’t sudden appearance mean that there is a discontinuity, with appearance of a continuity?

  13. @TomS:

    As you know, evolution-deniers contradict each other often, and on many claims. Rarely to each other, but almost always to their audience, and “Darwinist” critics, conveniently ignoring the contradictory claims from other deniers, and occasionally what the same individual said before. Note how some of them say that all life popped up recently with the “appearance of age,” while others insist that there’s not even that appearance. As for continuity regardless of age, I don’t know of any who claim even appearance thereof. And that includes Behe, who concedes that whatever discontinuity there was occurred in-vivo, thus not requiring new origin-of-life events as most other deniers claim or suggest.

    As for Omphalism, I have long noticed that most deniers-on-the-street, when made aware of how little they thought through the statements they parrot, backpedal to “I believe this whatever the evidence says.” But lately I notice that even most Biblical anti-evolution activists do the same, though only after throwing out whatever “evidences” they can get away with, and always more “against evolution” that for whatever alternative they’re trying to peddle. Whether it’s that all “kinds” popped up in a few days a few 1000 years ago, or periodically the billions of years, they eventually backpedal when faced with the absurdity of their claims in light of all the evidence, not just what they cherry-pick and/or fabricate. They figure that their sympathetic audience – not all radical fundamentalists – is OK with the “consolation prize” of believing in spite of no evidence. But skilled activists have no problem recycling the “evidences” approach to fool the next audience.

    Back to the rank, and file: I’ll bet that a large minority, maybe even a majority, of the 40-45% that answer that idiotic poll question by choosing “man was created in his present form on the last 10,000 years” would, if encouraged to give it some thought, concede that they “probably” had biological ancestors, though not with “souls.” But they rarely give it any thought, and almost no one ever asks them. Instead, many prefer to ridicule them, and often ass-u-me that they believe the whole 6-day nonsense. Never mind that other polls suggest that only 10-20% believe all that.