Creationist Wisdom #468: Could It Be?

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Spectrum, published in Cedar City, Utah. The letter is titled Some things are beyond comprehension.

We don’t embarrass letter-writers by using their full names, unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures. Today’s writer cranks out a lot of letters for that newspaper, but he doesn’t seem to be prominent otherwise. We’ll use only his first name, which is Garey. Here are some excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and a bit of bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

The Theory of Evolution is the only acceptable explanation for human existence allowed to be taught in public schools these days. No creation allowed. References to any religious ideas about how and when humans populated the world have been replaced with metal detectors and closed campuses. Students are locked in, and God is locked out.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Creationists always make that claim, but if one believes as they do, then how can God be locked out of anywhere? It would be like locking out gravity. It’s true that public schools aren’t supposed to have a religious curriculum, but how many have a gravity-centered curriculum? Yet gravity is always there. Ah well, we shouldn’t be too critical of Garey this early in his letter. After that unpromising start he says

So, what, exactly is a theory? Is it mere conjecture, a guess, as is commonly thought? Or, is it, as Webster says, “A formulation of apparent relationships or underlying principles of certain observed phenomena which has been verified to some degree?” Now that, is a mouthful.

That “mouthful” isn’t the best definition we’ve seen, but it’s better than what we get from the typical creationist, who says a scientific theory is just a bunch of godless nonsense taken on faith. Let’s read on:

According to Evolutionists, we humans, and everything that has ever lived are the result of accidental coalescence of perhaps trillions of elements that began bombarding the Earth some 4 ½ billion years ago.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! “Trillions of elements.” Garey continues:

Then, as time passed, all living things added or subtracted elements of their being that made for successful evolving into whatever form it takes today. Simply put.

Is that the most incompetent description of the theory of evolution we’ve ever seen? Probably not, but it’s up there in the top ten. Here’s more:

Creationists, on the other hand insist that all living things were suddenly created full blown about 5,000 years ago [blah, blah, blah]. The theology can be argued endlessly, and is, by hundreds of churches and sects and each believes its conclusions are the only correct notions on the subject. They have “faith” that what cannot be logically explained and understood simply must be the truth.

Okay, Garey. You’ve presented the two alternatives. Now what? Moving along:

There are some things that are beyond the comprehension of the human brain. Things like “infinity,” which is best defined as “having no beginning, and will have no end.” In other words, an infinite thing has always existed. That is a concept beyond human ability to explain or defend. Thus, it requires faith. A belief in something without scientific evidence of its existence. That is the only way theology works for the only “reasoning” animal on the planet.

That’s a fair description of “faith,” but Garey’s description of “infinity” is limited to theology. The concept is understandable and has utility elsewhere. It requires no faith at all to grasp that the number of numbers is infinite, or that a straight line in Euclidean geometry is of infinite extent. Another excerpt:

So, how do evolutionists explain rational thought, intelligence, the development of language, and that only humans are capable of those things? Well, they can’t.

Aaaargh!! Some of that is explainable and some hasn’t yet been explained. Like all creationists, Garey seizes upon the unknown to justify his beliefs. Stay with us, dear reader, we’re nearly done:

There can be no doubt that most, if not all forms of life on Earth have changed in some ways over however long the planet has been orbiting its unremarkable star, but scientists cannot really tell us how or why.

Aaaargh!! Scientists can indeed explain “how.” That’s what science does. The question of “why” is left to the theologians — and to people like Garey who write letters to the editor. In fact, that’s exactly what Garey does right now at the end of his letter:

Could it be that a supernatural entity is responsible? If one thinks about it, one might just conclude that this entity created the spark that set off the “Big Bang” of scientific theory. That the only logical explanation for the existence of that entity is that it is infinite and beyond the comprehension of both science and theology.

Garey asks: “Could it be?” What can we say? Yes, Garey, it could be. But it also could be any of a zillion other things — including natural, comprehensible things that we haven’t figured out yet. But if we were limited to that which is known today, your Curmudgeon would attribute all unknowns to the Olympian gods. They had style! Anyway, Garey, thanks for the letter.

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

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17 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #468: Could It Be?

  1. “There are some things that are beyond the comprehension of the human brain. Things like infity.”
    Weird. I can totally comprehend that. A circle for instance is infinite. I guess my brain is not human then.

  2. Time Cube stupidity fueled by brain-dead religiosity is on display here. Thanks for playing, Garey!

  3. There was a time when it was generally accepted that we could not comprehend infinity. I think that Georg Cantor, in the 19th century, broke through that barrier. There are rules for treating infinity, which are somewhat different from those treating the finite. And there are many different infinities, of different orders of magnitude as well as different in kind. If one doesn’t keep them straight, or doesn’t follow the rules, then I would say that one doesn’t comprehend infinities.

  4. There was also a time when we didn’t have an abstract to represent zero. Then and now the cretinists have little comprehension of what they bring to the table, zero.

  5. ‘Things like “infinity,” which is best defined as “having no beginning, and will have no end.” In other words, an infinite thing has always existed.’

    Hasn’t Garey confused infinity with eternity here?

    ‘So, how do evolutionists explain rational thought, intelligence, the development of language, and that only humans are capable of those things?’

    Human beings are not the only ones capable of these things. Human beings may be better than most animals of complex rational thought, intelligence and language, but this doesn’t mean other animals are incapable of these things on any level.

  6. I’m always amazed at the lengthy print space these letters receive. The paper’s in which they appear must have nothing else with which to fill their pages than this pulp fiction.

  7. So, how do evolutionists explain rational thought, intelligence, the development of language, and that only humans are capable of those things?’

    How do creationists explain those things? Or anything else?

    There only “explanation” is “it couldn’t be evolution”. Or “an agent which is apt to do anything is as apt to do this”. As apt to do this as anything else.
    As apt to make the Earth round like an orange or round like a donut. As apt to make the sky blue, as apt to make the sky a cerise and beige tartan. As apt to give humans eyes like a typical vertebrate as eyes like a potato.

  8. TomS asks a question he already knows the answer to:

    “How do creationists explain those things?”
    Goddiddid.

  9. I know that I don’t have to convince anybody here, but I have been trying for years for the language to make it clear that “god/intelligent designers did it” is not an explanation for anything. Even if it is true.

    “Why does the Mona Lisa have a smile?”
    “Leonardo was the artist.”

    True, but it doesn’t answer the question.

    Question on an English literature exam:
    “Why did Hamlet say, ‘To be or not to be’?”
    What grade would you give to this answer:
    “Shakespeare wrote it.”
    Well, OK, at least the student knew that Shakespeare, not Milton, wrote it.
    “An intelligent author wrote it.”

    But maybe it would work better if I avoid some unneeded complication by asking it as a negative:

    Why don’t humans have eyes like hawks? (Or octopuses, or mantis shrimp, or potatoes?)
    Can anyone bring themselves to say that humans don’t have eyes like hawks because God did it?
    The Mona Lisa doesn’t have a frown because Leonardo was the painter.
    There are not giant cubes in Egypt because the Egyptians were the builders.

  10. There are some things that are beyond the comprehension of the human brain. Things like “infinity,” which is best defined as “having no beginning, and will have no end.” In other words, an infinite thing has always existed.

    Evidently plain English is beyond this writer’s capacity, since as Dave godfrey notes above, he doesn’t know the difference between “infinity” and “eternity.”

    So, how do evolutionists explain rational thought, intelligence, the development of language, and that only humans are capable of those things? Well, they can’t.

    Perhaps because it isn’t true. Humans may be more intelligent and more sophisticated language users than any other species, but it has been thoroughly established that other species are capable of these things to one degree or another.

    Could it be that a supernatural entity is responsible?

    Or aliens? Whenever someone uses the phrase “could it be,” my [BS] sense starts tingling: they’re usually setting up to sucker their audience into buying some loopy notion or other, usually attached to a custom-built conspiracy theory.

  11. “Trillions of elements.”

    Darn. I guess I gave to give back those 2 degrees in chemistry. Last I heard there were only about 120 with at least 20 too unstable to stick around for a second or so. If I have been that mistaken about my own field for 50+ years I must really be mistaken about “Darwinism.” Maybe it and abiogenesis really are one and the same, and you “Darwinists” have been fooling me all along. And maybe the earth can be 4.5 billion years old and 6000 years old at the same time. Hey, this “open mind” thing is fun. Maybe I can convince Garey to give me all his money because God told me that it’s really mine. 😉

  12. Trillions of elements?
    I thought that there were only five: earth, water, air, fire and aether.

  13. My in-laws used to drive a Honda Element. That makes six. Closer still.

  14. MG: “My in-laws used to drive a Honda Element.”

    Until an alchemist got behind the wheel, and it turned into a driveway.

  15. @retiredsciguy
    The mysteries of the universe which naturalistic science can never explain, so must be due to supernatural causes:
    Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?
    Why does a mirror reverse right and left but not top and down?
    How does a thermos bottle know how to keep hot things hot and cold things cold?

  16. Why is abbreviation such a long word?

  17. So if Garey gave you all his money it might, maybe, without tip, allow you to buy breakfast at IHOP. Not sure it is worth the time to talk Garey into giving you all his money.