Creationist Wisdom #459: Three Choices

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Richmond Review of Richmond, British Columbia. The letter is titled On evolution, Carl Sagan, Christianity and Robin Williams. It’s rare to find anything that mentions both Carl Sagan and Robin Williams, so this letter grabbed our attention.

There’s no 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 figured out who today’s letter-writer is, but he’s not prominent enough, so we shall use only his first name, which is Branko. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Carl Sagan, evolution proselytizing astronomer who died on Dec. 20, 1996 (aged 62), opens his famous 1980 book Cosmos with this sentence: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” This bold statement is not science, it is not objectivity, it is not a fact proven scrupulously by the scientific method! It is simply an expression of Sagan’s irrationality and his blind faith in his atheistic, materialistic, and evolutionist theories so zealously propagated by Sagan and other atheistic, evolutionist, anti-religious scientists and educators.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Branko writes a good letter! And it’s just getting started. Then he says:

These same evolution promoting scientists and educators have virtually stifled, eliminated and censored all debate and discussion on the validity of their evolutionist theories so that no challenge is allowed of these illogical, unproven and contradictory evolution theories at all levels of public education or the academy. This is amply demonstrated by Ben Stein in his 2008 film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Branko is impressed by Ben Stein’s execrable creationist clunker, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It’s possible that there’s a connection between Branko and Walt Ruloff: The Man Who Bankrolled “Expelled”, because they’re both living in British Columbia, but there’s no time to research that. Anyway, let’s read on:

Here is how C.S. Lewis, that great Christian thinker, apologist and writer addressed this issue in one of his essays:

Branko devotes a few paragraphs to quoting Lewis. We don’t know if he’s done so accurately or not. Stripped down to the basics, he claims Lewis wrote that if it were true that only nature exists, and we are the products of evolution, then “there are three things you might do”: (1) commit suicide; (2) live hedonistically, pursuing “only the coarsest of sensual pleasures;” or (3) “defy the universe.”

We’ve only read a bit of Lewis, but we know that he was far from being an idiot. Surely he knew of more possibilities than that. And what’s that weird third option all about? Branko doesn’t tell us. All he does is provide a dictionary definition of “defy.” Then he continues:

I would say C. S. Lewis was absolutely right in his assessment of how people today respond to meaningless and purposeless implication of such materialistic, evolution based theories of modern atheistic scientists. A few take option No. 1, like that great and talented comedian and actor, Robin Williams did recently.

Oh. So that explains it. How insightful of Branko to know Williams’ final thoughts. He then elaborates on the other two options:

Many take option No. 2 and in their excess, lack of self-restraint and zeal to grab all the pleasures of life, burn themselves out or completely ruin themselves, physically, financially and spiritually!

Typical of Darwinists. And what about that cryptic third option? Here it comes:

Many also take the path of option No. 3 and openly “defy the Universe”! I would restate this option as our vain attempt “to escape from reality” which is often unpleasant, uncomfortable and often terrifying in order to achieve some fleeting state of bliss, happiness or a state without pain or suffering.

What’s he talking about? It isn’t explained, and although we were expecting Sagan’s name to pop up again, it doesn’t. The rest of Branko’s letter is praise of Lewis and then some bible quotes. At the end he says:

If Robin Williams had known that fact [about Jesus], he might have been a little bit less depressed than he was and as a result he might be alive today.

We don’t know what to say, except that Branko’s letter is unique, and it certainly deserves a place in our collection.

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

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #459: Three Choices

  1. I wonder who piddled in Branko’s maple syrup, ay? 😉

  2. “This bold statement is not science”
    Good start indeed.

    “evolution promoting scientists ”
    according to Branko make propaganda for something that’s not science. Classy!

    “we know that he was far from being an idiot”
    You may overestimate Lewis a bit. His Jesus trilemma (Lunatic, Liar or Lord) is quite idiotic indeed.

  3. Carl Sagan’s introductory words to Cosmos are often derided as an affirmation of atheism: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”

    Honestly, all he is saying is that “here we will use the word ‘cosmos’ to denote the sum total of all that exists.”

    Whether or not this grand sum total may include one or more deities is not adressed at all. Sagan would probably say that this is not a question that can be explored by scientific means, and leave it at that.

  4. @mnbo on overestimating Lewis:

    And let us not forget his argument against naturalism when making an evaluation of his contributions.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    Just to contradict Lewis and the writer, I think that meaning is something that is hunted for by humans regardless. Sagan is a perfect example of that. Williams is an example of the writer’s failed attempt to find meaning in the meaningless.

  6. @hnohf: Exactly. Sagan simply meant “all that is or ever was or ever will be” as a definition of the word “cosmos”.

    Branko is obviously more interested in stirring the pot than adding anything to the recipe that will enhance our understanding of reality.

  7. Here’s what Lewis meant by “defy the universe”:
    “Let it be irrational, I am not. Let it be merciless, I will have mercy. By whatever curious chance it has produced me, now that I am here I will live according to human values. I know the universe will win in the end, but what is that to me? I will go down fighting. Amid all this wastefulness I will persevere; amid all this competition, I will make sacrifices. Be damned to the universe!”
    In other words, just because the universe is cold, remote and uncaring, I don’t have to be. Really, nothing to with anything the letter writer’s going on about.

  8. Jim is right. C. S. Lewis often expressed admiration for non-theistic religions which required people to behave ethically and humanely without hope of future reward. It is intellectually dishonest to quote him accurately yet to give his words a meaning he himself would have rejected. He thought it courageous to be despairing of absolute meaning yet to rise above that despair to be a bright spark before the eternal darkness.

  9. What an inelegant and classless piece of crap this guy is. Its awfully easy to pick on people who aren’t around anymore. And since Robin never complained publically about his problems(at least , not to my knowledge) how does Mr. bunko know what was on his mind and what might have saved him. And to think for one second that C S Lewis, in his cocaine and absinthe addled of mind was an apologist, of all things, for anything but his own troubles is, well… Classless,uninformed and ignorant. You, Mr bunko are a real piece of work, and by work I mean s***.

  10. Lewis was on record as accepting evolution, and that was when the evidence was far less than it was now. He might not have liked Sagan’s wording, of the cosmos or biology, but I have no doubt he would have objected to the astonishingly sleazy propaganda of “Expelled.” But unlike Branko, and others who like to quote mine people who are no longer here to defend themselves, I admit the possibility that I could be wrong about Lewis. But Stein is still here, and in 6 years has never bothered to reply to “Set Ben Straight.” Either to humbly (which impresses Christians and Jews) admit having been misled, and correcting it, or to “challenge” it. If Branko had a shred of integrity, he’d contact Stein to clarify, instead of pretending to “channel” Lewis.

  11. Oops, 2 corrections:

    [*Voice from above*] All is well.

  12. Integrity seems to be in short supply with some people (I’m still so [edited out] mad I don’t even want to type his name). And I’m probably wrong about Lewis’ being constantly under the influence I don’t think I am about Blanko. Sometimes I hope there is a hell so I can save these jerks a seat.

  13. And I made the rookie’s mistake of taking a quote mine for what it was presented as. Reminder to self: Always be suspicious when dealing with creationism.

  14. Who gives a rat’s hind end about what Ben Stein thinks about science? What credibility does Ferris Bueller’s nemesis have in that area?

    And I’m sure I join many here in finding the attempt to blame Robin Williams’ suicide on the theory of evolution utterly despicable. To paraphrase a choice moment from the 1986 musical remake of Little Shop of horrors, it just goes to show the lengths to which creationists will go, the depths to which they’ll sink.

  15. @Eric Lipps One might hope that their overreaching on blame might awaken the general public. Darwin the cause of Naziism, WWi, … ?! Everyone knows that there was great evil in the world before Darwin, and it can not be that he is the sole explaining factor for all of it ever since.

  16. TomS, I’m surprised Lewis isn’t quote-mined more frequently, really. He writes like a true Oxford don – an introductory sentence that seems confusing, and then a long explanation. Quoted out of context, he says all sorts of nonsense. Quotied in context, he says a fair bit of nonsense as well, but . . .