Creationist Wisdom #478: Not Even Wrong

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Journal Star of Peoria, Illinois, which is named after the Peoria tribe. The letter is titled Darwin’s evolution, Mother Nature both figments of the imagination.

Today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, so we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Al. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Darwinian evolution is so far removed from reality that the concept doesn’t even qualify as being wrong.

Hey, not bad! That’s the first time we’ve seen Wolfgang Pauli’s stinging remark, Not even wrong, applied to evolution. And there’s more to come:

Think about it: How in the world could a rat become a bat? How could it possibly survive a supposed transitional phase when it could neither run like a rat or fly like a bat?

Yeah, that transitional phase is really a problem. It’s even worse than adolescence. Let’s read on:

How could a cow-like creature become a whale? How could a dinosaur become a bird?

It’s not easy, but if a cow wants to be a whale, and tries really hard, it might be able to do it. Al continues:

The list of Darwin’s magical transitional creatures goes on and on. Every supposed transitional creature would be unable to survive the transition. So much for the “survival of the fittest.”

Aaaargh!! Another theory down the drain. Here’s more:

Did anyone stop and think how a male and female of each created kind could be so perfectly harmonized with each other that the two can produce another of their own kind?

Hey, Al: We know it seems difficult, but if you’re determined and you really work at it, it’s possible that you could accomplish the deed. Well, in your case, maybe not.

Moving along:

I know these are simplistic statements but all living things are so awesomely complex that they defy human understanding.

Simplistic? No, Al, we find them to be profound. [*Curmudgeon is having a rare moment of politeness*]

And now we come to the end:

Darwinian evolution and Mother Nature have a lot in common: They both reside as a figment of the imagination.

Okay, that’s it. But if you liked Al’s letter, he wrote one almost as good a couple of years ago: Bible gives different view of Big Bang.

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

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19 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #478: Not Even Wrong

  1. Al is either a glaring example of the truly deluded, or pulling one gianormous fast one. In either case, I fear his straw man of evolution, where “transitional form” means catching a louse halfway into the process of becoming a mouse, is far more widespread than you’d think (cf. Comfort & Cameron’s crocoduck).

    More than that, I fear that the blame for such unutterably lame ignorance lies in large part with relevant scientists avoiding public engagement. At the very least, this variety of BS needs to be loudly denounced, derided even, at every opportunity. What’s so hard about interjecting an opportune “But evolution doesn’t say that a pumpkin can turn into a pony, and any suggestion to that effect is a laughable distortion!” to the point of monotony and boredom?

  2. A creationist referencing “not even wrong” take irony to a whole new level.

  3. Of course, there are “transitional creatures” (or at least their remains) throughout the fossil record. For that matter, there are fair numbers among the living. Monotremes, for instance, are very primitive mammals which actually lay eggs like reptiles and have a more primitive temperature regulation system than do other mammals. Seals arguably are transitional between land mammals and entirely aquatic ones like dolphins. And on and on. And they survive just fine.

    The tired old argument about transitional forms being non-viable has been exploded long since. In the “rat/bat” case, for instance (I’m ignoring the simple fact that evolutionists don’t actually say that bats are descended from rats), an animal lineage originally adapted to life on the ground might take to the trees (initially by climbing), eventually develop a primitive gliding ability and gradually refine and enhance that ability into true flight. Note that at each step, the animal would be functional in its own environment. I don’t know off hand if that’s how the ancestors of bats did it, but the letter writer only asks how it might be possible. In other cases, there are well-established evolutionary progressions, each step in which is fully viable on its own terms.

  4. Re the previous remark, note also that I said “lineage.” Creationists often say things like “Show me a monkey turning into a man” or (as in this case) “How could a rat become a bat?” as if they are demanding to see individual living creatures transform across species lines. But if any such case actually were to turn up, creationists would rush to point out, “But that’s not evolution!”–and would, for once, be correct.

    In other words, they are demanding as evidence of evolution what wouldn’t be evidence of evolution–and I’m sure at least some of them know that.

  5. SC: “Hey, not bad! That’s the first time we’ve seen Wolfgang Pauli’s stinging remark, Not even wrong, applied to evolution.”

    I’d be shocked (as opposed to “shocked, shocked”) if the masters of projection haven’t ripped that off before.

    As I often say, ID is not creationism (as the public knows it), because creationism is wrong, whereas ID, with it’s big tent scam, is truly “not even wrong.”

  6. What interests me about this is that you took the effort to find another letter from this same person.

  7. TomS observes: “you took the effort to find another letter from this same person.”

    It was an accident. I always Google for their names to see if they might be somebody. He wasn’t, but his earlier letter popped up.

  8. Off topic. Jeffrey Shallit has written a great piece:

    http://recursed.blogspot.com/2014/09/calling-all-id-advocates-employment.html

    How can any IDiot resist this?

  9. Al: “How could a cow-like creature become a whale? How could a dinosaur become a bird?”

    Maybe if they pray really, really hard…

  10. How could a worm-like creature become a butterfly? How could a fish-like creature become a frog?
    Aside from the far-too common fallacy of division/composition.

  11. Before I read the letter I’ll repeat my frequent contention: That these letter writers are “transitional fossils” between scammed and scammer. And that those who write more than one letter have pretty much completed the transition. Unlike these scammers, though, when I say “I could be wrong” I mean it.

    @SC:

    My kidding about you being “anti-male” aside, I trust that you don’t specifically look for male letter writers, but rather that a random search, even in a large sample of almost 500, turns up ~95% male, correct?

  12. The armadillo is clearly a transitional animal, after all, per Wikipedia, the Aztecs called them turtle-rabbits. That’s even more transitional that crock-duck. Despite being part turtle, part rabbit, armadillos do just fine.

  13. Ed, I believe it was comedian/storyteller Jerry Clower who claimed that in Mississippi armadillos are called “hard-shelled ‘possums”–another take on their transitional nature. Incidentally, the phrase echoes a nickname for members of the Calvinist sect officially known as Primitive Baptists: “Hard-shelled Baptists.”

  14. Ed says: “The armadillo is clearly a transitional animal”

    In Louisiana, it’s widely believed that they were intentionally created just as they are, to provide good roadkill eatin’ — they taste just like ‘possum! My favorite transitional is the penguin.

  15. Really? My favourite transitional is the crocoduck – exactly because it would totally refute Evolution Theory if it existed.

  16. By the way, armadillos are surprisingly fast. I was on a scout campout once in Texas, sleeping in a small pup tent with the front and back flaps rolled up, when an armadillo ran through the tent in the middle of the night. My buddy and I heard it coming through the woods – it sounded like some large animal hurtling toward us in the darkness – and we were about to bail out of the tent when this panicked little tank streaked through it right between us. If we weren’t confined in our sleeping bags we would have launched straight through the top of the tent. Of course, we stayed awake for about an hour after that wondering what the heck was out there in the dark that scared it so much, but nothing ever emerged.

  17. Holding The Line In Florida

    @Ed I had a very similar experience at Ft Smith AR while in the Army. A pair freight trained right over me and several of the boys one night. Sounded like a tank coming through the brush!

  18. I doubt that the letter writer understands what “not even wrong” means, or where the phrase comes from. He certainly can’t explain why evolution is “not even wrong”; if he could he’d be a potential Nobel Prize candidate.

    And how does Mother Nature reside in a figment of the imagination? No one actually thinks there’s an actual Mother Nature out there; it’s an expression or figure of speech. The Creationists are so literal minded that they can’t tell the difference between a figure of speech and the thing it refers to I guess.

  19. How can dust become a man and a rib become a woman?