Creationist Wisdom #506: Empirical Evidence

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the High Point Enterprise of High Point, North Carolina. The letter is titled God’s world is empirical evidence of creation. There’s a comments section at the end, but no one has commented yet.

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

I am writing in response to Your View, Nov. 11, 2014, “Our worldview or not, evolution is reality.”

He’s talking about this: Our worldview or not, evolution is physical reality. Clayton didn’t like it. He says:

[The author of that earlier letter,] Mark Venable, the PhD. biology professor from Appalachian State University, stated, “Evolution is a physical reality based on empirical evidence.” Physical reality is not empirical evidence for evolution as claimed by Venable.

[*Groan*] Let’s read on:

Empirical evidence is derived from not only observation but also experimentation, all rendering the same results and never from one’s own personal experience, which may differ from person to person. Personal experience can verify a truth, but never the basis for truth.

That’s a bit confused, because the results of experimentation are observed, and it’s not clear what Clayton means by: “Personal experience can verify a truth,” but we’ll continue with his letter:

Venable asked, “Does evidence matter?” Evidence does matter when it is in agreement with an established fact (empirical evidence).

What? Evidence matters either way. It’s not ignored when it contradicts an “established fact.” Here’s more:

For example, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” and there is plenty of physical reality to prove it as well as some highly intelligent and trustworthy people who agree (parents). That would be empirical evidence for young, immature minds.

Aaaargh!! No, that’s not empirical evidence. It’s only a statement made by someone in authority — the sort of thing that must be verified by evidence before it can be accepted. Moving along:

One’s worldview does not alter the facts, however. There are two immutable facts that should govern one’s worldview: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (science) (Prov. 1:2-7) and “It is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18).

Aaaargh!! Yeah — “two immutable facts.” Another excerpt:

We retain an infant mind when we do not like to retain God in our knowledge. It is through faith in God and His Word that we have an understanding of the cosmos (Heb. 11:3) and also the witness, the empirical evidence, that is clearly seen and proven in God’s creation (Rom. 1:20).

There’s not much need to go on any longer. Here’s the end of the letter:

It is the empirical evidence that separates the two worldviews. “In the beginning, God created…” (Gen. 1:1).

So there you are. Now you know all you need to know about empirical evidence.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #506: Empirical Evidence

  1. Yup, bronze age myths are so much easier to understand than science. I gues that’s why Clayton’s so fond of them.

  2. “We retain an infant mind……” when we deny reality out of shear fear accepting the consequences of thinking for ourselves. I hope I’m not guilty of a little quote mining here but I think fear of the unknown and an inability to understand is what lies at the bottom of the average creationists problem with evolution and science in general.

  3. Dave Luckett

    The only remarkable thing I find about this letter is that it is so confused that I’m surprised that even a country newspaper on a slow day would publish it.

  4. Clayton must be very comfortable within his God-soaked brain.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” … NOT the right metaphor for a creationist to bringing up.

  6. @Charles Deetz: au contraire mon ami, although I’m sure Clayton does not realize how extreamly appropriate it is! It goes quite well with “Yes, Clayton, there is a sky fairy”.

  7. Empirical evidence is derived from not only observation but also experimentation.

    What experiments prove creation?

    And in the “historical” sciences, observation is crucial, since we can’t experiment on the past. All we can do is see what we can find of its remains.