Creationist Wisdom #483: Steve Daines Supporter

There’s a creationist running for the US Senate in Montana. He’s a Republican, of course. We’re talking about Steve Daines. We wrote about him once before: Creationist in Montana GOP Senate Primary.

That was back in June. Since then he’s won the primary election, and now he’s facing Democrat Amanda Curtis in the November election. (Daines’ previous opponent recently withdrew from the race due to a plagiarism scandal.) Amanda is a state legislator who teaches high school math and physics. We assume she’s not a creationist, but we’re not certain. At the moment, Daines is considered the likely winner.

Today’s second letter-to-the-editor appears in the Ravalli Republic of Hamilton, Montana, the county seat of Ravalli County. The letter is titled U.S. Senate Race: Let creationists run government, and there appears to be a comments section at the end, but there aren’t any comments at the moment.

We don’t embarrass letter-writers by using their full names unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures. We don’t know who this one is, so we shall use only his first name, which is Dale. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Matthews Bradley says Rep. Steve Daines, R.-Mont., should not be a senator because he is a creationist (letter, Oct. 3). Maybe we should let creationists run the government for a while; the evolutionists have done a rotten job.

This is the letter Dale is complaining about: Creationist Daines not qualified. From an earlier letter he wrote, it appears that Bradley is a biologist. Okay, back to Dale’s letter:

Creationists wouldn’t do something stupid like declaring CO2 to be a pollutant. In the order of nature, it is a nutrient. Without CO2, agriculture would be impossible, and we wouldn’t be here.

Wow — good point! How did we all miss that? Let’s read on:

Bradley says, “The evidence for (evolution) is overwhelming.” Not so. A valid theory must make predictions. Charles Darwin predicted numerous transitional forms in the fossil record, which is the only “evidence” for evolution. We have over 100 million identified and cataloged fossils collected for more than 155 years, but none are indisputably or even likely transitional. Instead, the fossil evidence suggests that every organism reproduces “after his kind.”

[*Groan*] Once again we’ll link to Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils. Oh, fossils are not the only evidence for evolution, but you already know that, so let’s not waste time. The letter continues:

Quoting Darwin himself: “Why then is not every geological formation and every strata full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory.”

[*Another groan*] We love it when a creationist quotes Darwin to disprove evolution. It’s just flat-out stupid. Dale has quote mined from Origin of Species, Chapter 9, On the Imperfection of the Geological Record. Right after asking that question, Darwin proceeds to answer it for the rest of the chapter. But Dale wouldn’t know that, because he only reads creationist websites. Here’s more from his letter:

Evolution is defined as “random variation by mutation.” The key word is “random,” meaning no plan, no purpose and no direction.

We’ve seen worse definitions, but that’s pretty bad. Moving along:

The formerly “simple cell” has been shown by molecular biology to be incredibly complex – mathematically impossible because too many functions would have had to arise (i.e., mutate) simultaneously. Bradley has a degree in molecular biology, and yet still believes in evolution. Now that’s incredible. Overwhelm us, Dr. Bradley; show us some evidence.

Dale is right! Whenever we see something complicated, the only possible explanation is Oogity Boogity! Another excerpt:

If evolution is true, then, as Scott Adams says in the comic strip Dilbert, “You are nothing more than a temporary arrangement of matter sliding toward oblivion in a cold, uncaring universe.” Somehow, creationism seems more comforting, historical and scientific.

Very impressive! We don’t recall seeing a comic strip used as evidence before. And here’s the last line:

Vote for Daines.

Poor Daines. He may be a creationist, but we like some of his other issues — balanced budget, opposition to an Internet sales tax, support for Second Amendment rights, etc. He deserves better than this.

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

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #483: Steve Daines Supporter

  1. One thing which has bothered me about these quote mines of Darwin. Do people really think that Darwin argued against evolution in “Origins”, and that people took him seriously after that?
    Is it perhaps that creationists are accustomed to self-contradictory arguments, they being so much a feature of creationism? So they assume that others are, too?

  2. If evolution is true, then, as Scott Adams says in the comic strip Dilbert, “You are nothing more than a temporary arrangement of matter sliding toward oblivion in a cold, uncaring universe.” Somehow, creationism seems more comforting, historical and scientific.

    And here we get to the meat of the matter. We’re supposed to reject evolution because creationism is more comforting.

    The claims for creationism “somehow seeming” more “historical and scientific” aren’t the point at all. Creationism is to be supported because it promises (implicitly at least) an escape from “oblivion” in a mean ol’ universe that doesn’t care about humans in particular and therefore doesn’t guarantee that our precious selves go on forever (and doesn’t ensure that some of us, Darwinists for instance, spend “forever” burning alive in a lake of fire while true believers get to watch). But “believe or be, gosh golly, uncomfortable” doesn’t pack quite enough punch all by itself, so bogus claims about science and history have to be grafted on.

  3. [*Groan*] Once again we’ll link to Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils.

    This argument fails to sway the Creationist — I know, I’ve tried it. The standard response you get is something like: “Oh, they’re just saying those are transitional fossils, but they’re not.”

    The gods themselves contend in vain, etc. Sounds like Daines is getting the supporters he deserves.

  4. Dale parrots (squawk, squawk), “Evolution is defined as “random variation by mutation.” The key word is “random,” meaning no plan, no purpose and no direction.”

    Again, we need to say natural selection is anything but random. It is supremely efficient at sorting out traits that work from those that don’t. The Discotooters are putting this [stuff] out there knowing full well it’s BS, and the droolers just lap it up.

  5. Ceteris Paribus

    SC muses:

    Poor Daines. He may be a creationist, but we like some of his other issues — balanced budget, opposition to an Internet sales tax, support for Second Amendment rights, etc. He deserves better than this.

    Votes do tend to flow toward candidates who promise what the electorate lusts for. I might be tempted to vote for Daines myself if his campaign platform promised to have free double-fudge chocolate malt machines set up on every street corner in my town. But that temptation would be quickly extinguished given the information that Daines is a creationist.

    Consider what Thomas Jefferson wrote two centuries ago in his Notes on the State of Virginia. In the section on “Minerals” Jefferson made the observation that on a mountain in Virginia “petrified shells” could be found that did not match any shells he had found in the tidewater. This prompted him to discuss the suggestion that the shells may have been deposited by the Great Flood. Jefferson made some calculations on how high the flood water could have reached in that area, and dismissed the flood hypothesis, along with two other other hypotheses.

    Jefferson concluded his study with the statement that more information was needed to solve the mystery. And in his closing remarks he notes [with bold added]:

    [t]herefore, the three hypotheses are equally unsatisfactory; and we must be contented to acknowledge, that this great phaenomenon [sic] is as yet unsolved. Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, then he who believes what is wrong.

    If Jefferson is correct, it may be more wise to vote for a candidate that believes in nothing, rather than one who believes in creationism.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    CO2 is a good thing, we need more or it? Water is a good thing but look what God did with a lot of water … He nearly killed everything on the planet. What an idiot.

  7. “Evolution is defined as “random variation by mutation.””

    Is it though?

  8. We have over 100 million identified and cataloged fossils collected for more than 155 years, but none are indisputably or even likely transitional.

    If that endlessly parroted line were remotely close to being accurate, by now every “creationist” would never miss an opportunity to state exactly which are the “kinds,” and when they all originated. And there’d be no embarrassing confusion like this.

  9. I would like Dale to acquire experimental evidence for his claim of the universal benefits of CO2 by leaning down into a dry ice chest and taking a deep breath.

    Well, not unless his experimental apparatus includes paramedics standing by with their cardiac jump-starting paddles already charged.

  10. Garnetstar says: ” would like Dale to acquire experimental evidence for his claim of the universal benefits of CO2 …”

    Dale’s problem here is that he’s arguing against a strawman. In excessive quantities, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Nobody says it’s a pollutant, which is the “claim” he’s disputing.

  11. When all is said and done he deserves what he gets because he’s a politician and cant be trusted.

  12. Retired Prof

    Ceteris Paribus says, “If Jefferson is correct, it may be more wise to vote for a candidate that believes in nothing, rather than one who believes in creationism.”

    Somewhere (maybe on this site?) I recently read an expression of this sentiment succinct enough to be printed on a T-shirt:

    NOTHING IS BETTER THAN GOD
    That’s why I believe in nothing

    Regrettably, in my social circles I’d better resist the temptation to have such a T-shirt printed up.

  13. SC: :Nobody says it’s a pollutant, which is the “claim” he’s disputing.”

    If anything O2 is the pollutant, and the worst one in Earth’s history. If there really was a “Fall,” that was it. The autotrophs could not leave well enough alone 2-3 billion years ago, so the designer, blessed be he, designed us heterotrophs to punish them.

  14. One thing creationists do better than sane people–they are much better at packing a large number of lies, and a large amount of ignorance into relatively few words.