Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in a Gannett newspaper that doesn’t give its name, but it’s probably the Greenville News in Greenville, South Carolina, where state Senator Mike Fair lives. The letter is titled Education, indoctrination at odds in debate.
There’s rarely any reason to provide internet visibility for creationists, and 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. We can’t figure out who today’s letter-writer is so we’ll use only his first name, which is Clyde. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
Clyde begins by mentioning an earlier letter with which he strenuously disagrees:
Wade Worthen’s guest column on July 12, “Natural selection can be observed,” was somewhat misleading and implied that State Sen. Mike Fair does not believe in ice.
Here’s Worthen’s letter: Natural selection can be observed, and it contains no such implication. Worthen, a biology professor at Furman University, was indeed writing about Mike Fair, the hard-core creationist who tries to legislate against teaching evolution. His letter said, regarding Fair’s rejection of natural selection:
It is as if someone doesn’t believe in ice. He has seen pictures of it and he knows many other people accept the existence of ice. He even knows that many other people are using the process of freezing for useful things — like cooling food so it doesn’t spoil. Yet he is still unwilling to accept ice as a fact of nature because his faith in the absence of ice is so strong. So, to protect students from the knowledge that ice exists, he must protect them from understanding its cause.
Let’s return to Clyde’s letter:
There are only two scientific theories for the origin of life; Darwin’s 155-year-old theory of evolution (accepted by a large majority of scientists) and the new theory of intelligent design (ID, proposed by a small group of scientists).
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That “small group of scientists” undoubtedly refers to those brilliant visionaries in Seattle, like Casey and Klinghoffer. It’s clear that Clyde has no idea what a scientific theory is, which is why our title refers to him as a “citizen-scientist.”
Then he dances what we call the “micro-macro mambo.” It’s debunked in our post Common Creationist Claims Confuted. He ends that argument by saying:
Macroevolution proposes that new species of life evolved from existing species of life (e.g., birds evolved from fish or animals). This is Darwin’s theory and it has problems. ID proposes that life is too complex to have started and evolved on its own without an intelligent designer (e.g., life from other worlds, “gods,” etc.). They do not propose the source of the intelligence.
Oh — Darwin’s theory “has problems.” Okay. Clyde continues:
Dr. Worthen apparently believes that exposing students to alternative origin of life theories would “sow confusion” and “be a disservice to our children.” But good science requires that theories be subject to periodic peer review to maintain their validity.
Clyde is suggesting that evolution isn’t “good science” because it hasn’t been subject to peer review, so it’s nothing but Darwinist dogma. Presumably, that’s in contrast to the superbly conceived and well-tested “theory” of intelligent design. Here’s how Clyde wraps it all up:
Students can either be educated by being exposed to the pros and cons of all scientific theories and their alternatives or be indoctrinated to the teacher’s or the government’s viewpoint. It appears Mike Fair prefers education and Worthen prefers indoctrination.
So there you are. According to Clyde, the citizen-scientist, Mike Fair wants to educate the children of South Carolina and save them from indoctrination. What a great guy!
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