Creationist Wisdom #499: Creationism Is Science

Things are wild in Lincoln, Nebraska, the state capital. That town’s newspaper, the Journal Star, has been running a whole series of letters for us. It all started with one we wrote about here: #496: Strange Analogy.

That creationist letter resulted in a rational and well-informed response — Science over Creationism. We didn’t write about the sane letter, but it seems to have stirred things up in Nebraska. It soon provoked another letter that we did write about — see #498: Grand Synthesis. And now there’s yet another in that same newspaper.

Today’s letter-to the editor is titled Science in intelligent design. There’s a comments section at the end with 15 comments so far, but the newspaper makes you answer some annoying questions before you can see them.

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

This is written to respectfully challenge the letter submitted Dec. 6 by Norman D Smith, Denton, titled “Science over creationism.”

That letter certainly did awaken the droolers among the readers of the Journal Star. Garrick says:

The problem I have with Smith is that he uses scientism rather than science itself to make the case for evolution. This is a common strategy that the supporters of evolution resort to in presenting themselves as those who speak for science while those who support a creationist view are dismissed as “religious.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Garrick denies that his creationism is religious. He’s merely opposing “scientism” — whatever that’s supposed to be. Let’s read on:

The fact is that many serious scientists maintain that the evolutionary model fails to explain how complex life forms came into existence. The fossil record does not contain a single verifiable example of a transition species that could be described as a missing link between ape and man.

Egad — Garrick has seen through the fraud! He continues:

The reality is the evolutionary model requires that random mutations have the “creative power” to refine and improve existing life forms unguided by any intelligent power.

That seems to be a cornerstone of creationism. A mutation can’t have any effect by itself. It needs to be guided by an intelligent power. Our teachers lied to us! And if you find that to be a stunning revelation, wait until you read Garrick’s next disclosure:

Such an idea is at odds with every established norm of science, where statistically improbable events are excluded a priori.

[*Curmudgeon swoons*] And so we learn of another postulate of creation science. Here’s more:

When attempting to refute the alternative theory of intelligent design, evolutionists state that the theory is false yet fail to provide specific, coherent and logical arguments to support this view.

Sorry, Garrick, but the burden of proof is the other way around. Take a look at our Advice for Creationists. Those who advocate a “theory” have the burden of presenting evidence that supports it, and in the case of of intelligent design, that has never been done. Moving along:

Many examples could be presented to show how evolution has claimed certain fossils provide the elusive missing link, but none withstand close scrutiny.

It’s been just one Piltdown Man after another. And now we come to the end:

I recommend that those who are willing to pursue an objective, unbiased approach to understanding origins will find that evolution is simply a theory that cannot stand up to close scrutiny.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Great letter, Garrick!

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

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22 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #499: Creationism Is Science

  1. I’d just like to note that this letter seems to reflect the belief that the only evidence for evolution is fossils. And that evolution is only about the distant past.

  2. Many examples could be presented to show how evolution has claimed certain fossils provide the elusive missing link, but none withstand close scrutiny.

    “Close scrutiny” being defined as “what I believe.”

  3. Those must have been great comments (” There’s a comments section at the end with 15 comments so far”) because there are none there now. Somebody’s sensitivity threshold must have been exceeded.

  4. What’s truly mindboggling is cretinists’ apparent inability (or, more probably, unwillingness) to grasp the oh-so-elementary principle that in biological evolution, (natural) selection in all its various guises plays the role of the “guiding hand”, albeit blind, that operates on the raw materials supplied by mutation, genetic drift and recombination. I s’pose the whole “junkyard tornado” idiom is just too convenient a fiction.

  5. The reality is the evolutionary model requires that random mutations have the “creative power” to refine and improve existing life forms unguided by any intelligent power.

    No, the evolutionary model requires no such thing;. The model is of a non-normative process, so “refine and improve” in some Designer-impelled direction is a strawman. Whether it’s a deliberate strawman (aka “a lie”), or one built out of ignorance, is the question; I usually (maybe too charitably) assume the latter, since a viewpoint shaped around a religious conviction that life has direction is going to naturally struggle with the idea that it may not have any other than what we give to it ourselves.

  6. The fact is that many serious scientists maintain that the evolutionary model fails to explain how complex life forms came into existence. The fossil record does not contain a single verifiable example of a transition species that could be described as a missing link between ape and man.

    With apologies to Marvel Comics, my [*edited out* substitute “BS”] sense starts tingling whenever anyone starts a sentence with “The fact is”. What follows usually needs to be very carefully examined for error and outright lying.

    And when dealing with creationists, one usually needs to bring a shovel, if not a backhoe.

  7. I am fizzing with excitement as we stand on the threshold of Creationist Wisdom #500!

  8. Interesting to see that he never mentions God or JC in his letter, just the way the Discovery Institute likes it. A careful creationist, indeed!

    Hear, hear Megalonyx. I’m sure SC is fraught with worry and anxiety. Will our creationist friends meet the challenge and provide an unforgettable, Hall-of-Fame worthy letter for #500? Will we get a new creationist argument, or will it be a letter that will pack in as many of the old arguments as possible? Oh, oh! Or maybe a little of both? I tingle!

  9. Megalonyx says: “we stand on the threshold of Creationist Wisdom #500!”

    Your mathematical insight is awesome! As we approach that landmark, I’m worried. It has to be something spectacular, not the usual drooling letter. What are the odds against just the right letter showing up at just the right time?

  10. Mark Germano, I was writing my comment before I saw yours. Yes, you understand the situation.

  11. Well, SC, you’ve been a good curmudgeon this year. Maybe Casey Clause or Kris Kringlehoffer will provide you some material for Kitzmas. That will buy you some time to get the perfect amount of wisdom for #500.

  12. My God– will creationist wisdom #500 and the final Colbert Report occur on the same day? I cannot stand the suspense!

  13. O/T: our creationist politician friend from the government of Missouri, Rick Brattin, author of the wackiest creationist bills (and that’s saying something), has waded into the popular field of rape philosophy, which, as you know, has led to great electoral victories for Republicans in the past. Rick Brattin is even using Rep. Todd Akin’s term “legitimate rape”, yes, he has pulled that one out of the garbage disposal and dusted it off for use, gonna rehabilitate that term.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/12/18/missouri-republicans-bill-would-ban-abortions-without-fathers-permission-unless-it-was-a-legitimate-rape/

    He’s introduced a bill that no woman or girl in Missouri can get an abortion unless she has a notarized permission from the father of the embryo. If it’s rape or incest, she may not need the rapist’s permssion– if she just goes to the police, takes him to court, proves it was “legitimate rape” and gets him convicted. Which can surely be done in 9 months, what with the lightning-like efficiency and reliability of the well-funded US legal system!

    Yes, Rick Brattin assures us that no woman would hesitate to go the cops if it was “legitimate rape”…. which means, logically… if she’s afraid to go the cops, then it wasn’t really rape, was it now? Gotcha.

    Surely, Republican electoral victories will follow from this cunning strategy.

    (For those of you who don’t follow American politics, the above is sarcasm.)

  14. It is truly amazing that there are so many people out there blithely willing to expose their own total ignorance of science by writing letters such as this to be published in newspapers.

    It must be that they just want their neighbors to see “what good Christians” they are.

  15. Doesn’t say much for the journalism credentials of those at the newspaper, if one can call it that who publish this nonsense.

  16. > “. . . every established norm of science, where
    > statistically improbable events are excluded a priori.”
    ————–
    If an event is physically possible, but unlikely (i.e., rare or improbable), then such events HAVE to happen occasionally over geologic or astronomic time scales. Otherwise, they’d be physically impossible.

    Garrick is yet just another brain-dead faith-head who hates reality and science.

  17. Charles Deetz ;)

    Maybe we need a Curmudgeonly checklist for these letters. Something like this:

  18. Charles Deetz ;)

    Oops, my image link CS, I tried so hard and messed it up somehow.

  19. When they start worrying “the missing link” bone, there’s no need to read more.

  20. SC: “BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Garrick denies that his creationism is religious.”

    Of course creationism is religious, as is ID, and all replacement scams (strengths & “weaknesses,” academic “freedom,” etc.). But there’s no need for every reply to repeat it, as that only allows the scam artists and their trained parrots to keep playing their word games (creationism is not religious, ID is not creationism, etc.). In fact there’s no need for every reply to refute the PRATTs (points refuted 1000x), as that only gives them more facts and quotes to take out of context to play their word games. Sure, those games may not help them much, but the danger is their bogus sound bites are “catchier” than the valid refutations, given the attention span and science literacy of the average reader, a growing % (now ~30) of which are “unsure” about evolution.

    My reply is of the type: “Assume for the sake of argument that evolution is ‘weak’ and some designer did something else at some time(s) instead, exactly what happened, where when, and how , and how will you test it on its own merits and not your perceived ‘weaknesses’ of evolution?” I always mention Behe’s acceptance of ~4 billion years of common descent, and whether they agree, of if not, if they challenged Behe directly. The scammed go away, and the scammers-in-training reply with more obvious evasion. In both cases they say that creationism is religious – and a scam – far more convincingly than any of us can.

  21. SC: What are the odds against just the right letter showing up at just the right time?

    “Odds” means “chance,” and as you know “specified complexity” rules out that as well as “regularity.” The irony is that, given the independent evidence of a designer (you) that the DI lacks, this is one case where Dembski’s filter actually can apply. My hypothesis, then, is that you will use your designer skills to sift through several letters to “naturally select” one worthy of #500, and not just let one turn up at random. Surely you have been doing that already, as you have certainly come across well over 500 such letters since you have been citing them.