Creationist Wisdom #567: The Research Leader

Today’s letter-to-the-editor — like so many others recently — appears in the Midland Daily News of Midland, Michigan. The letter is titled Only two possibilities. The newspaper has a comments section.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But today’s author is an exception He’s Bruce Malone, who describes himself as having “over 30 years of experience using and understanding science, ending my career as a research leader for Dow Chemical.” He doesn’t say where he went to school or what degrees he has. We Googled for him. He’s all over the place at various creationist websites, always described as “a research leader for Dow Chemical.” So we’re using his full name. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

After … studying both sides of this issue for almost 25 years and authoring six books on the scientific evidence supporting a Biblical creation model, I feel somewhat qualified to address this subject. Science is simply a tool we use to understand the operation of the physical laws of the universe. These observational laws are one of the ways in which God points us to the truth about both the reality of his existence and our origin. Allow me expound upon two of a myriad of possible examples.

The research leader expounds:

Ultimately there are only two possibilities for our existence. If you think of the entire universe as a box, either the box made itself or the box has a box maker. The first law of physics states that, “Matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed.” To my knowledge there has never been an exception to this observable law of science. So which option does both the laws of science and scientific experimentation/observation support? The answer is obvious — the matter and energy of the universe could not have made itself, it has to have had a maker.

There are more possibilities. The universe — in one form or another — may have always existed, and the research leader has no reason to pounce upon his “maker” theory without first demonstrating that all other options are impossible. And he’s ignoring the perfectly obvious question of his universe-maker’s origin. Let’s read on:

At a time when the majority of his peers believed life came from non-life, Louis Pasteur (a Bible-believing scientist and the father of modern microbiology) proved — using experimentation and observation — that life can only come from previously existing life. That was 150 years ago and nothing has changed.

Absolute rubbish! That’s the so-called “law of biogenesis.” We discuss it in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. The research leader continues:

No one has come even close to showing how the extremely complex proteins, DNA and other chemicals of life could form themselves outside of a living cell. Claims to the contrary are more akin to storytelling than science.

Not entirely true — see, e.g., Princeton scientists construct synthetic proteins that sustain life. Here’s more:

Molecules-to-man evolution is promoted as a fact because there is only one alternative to believing that very different forms of life (starting with single celled organisms) “made themselves” — i.e., to acknowledge that very diverse forms of life were literally created fully formed and fully functional. And this possibility is “off-limits” for consideration throughout our education system.

Yes, the only alternative to a natural process is a supernatural process, and for some reason, supernatural phenomena aren’t included in public school science classes. Does the “research leader” think the movie Ghost Busters is a documentary? Should that be in the public schools too? Moving along:

Life does vary and modifications do happen, but these changes are based on coding already present with the DNA molecule of a given type of creature. These changes are called “evolution,” but the same word is dishonestly used to assume that bacteria have turned into people. This requires enormous amounts of useful, functioning information to be added to the DNA coding of a “simple” creature in order to turn it into a “more complex” creature … and this has never been observed.

Ooooooooooh — information! See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Another excerpt:

No fossil comes with a label attached. They must all be interpreted and if you leave a world restructuring flood out of your thinking, you will misinterpreted the rock layers of the Earth, the fossils found within those rock layers and the time frame for the formation of the sedimentary rock layers of the Earth. It is not that the majority of biologists, geologists and physicists are evil or that there is some huge human conspiracy to hide the truth. Macro-evolution believing scientists are simply wrong because they leave a straightforward understanding of what God’s word tells us is the history of this planet out of their thinking.

The fools! On with the letter:

If there is a creator as described in the Bible, we should find complex forms of life with vast gulfs separating distinctly different body structures. We do. If there was a world restructuring flood, the rock layers and fossils of the world would have developed rapidly and recently. They have. If those two events are denied, the only alternative is huge time periods and some sort of evolutionary process.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And now we come to the end:

Thus, by making actual events of history off limits for consideration throughout our education system (creation and a worldwide flood), and not allowing students to even examine the evidence which supports these events or casts doubt upon evolution, then fantasies like molecules-to-man evolution become facts in the minds of majority, and, as God states in Romans 1:21-22, “ … seeking to be wise, they become fools.”

Was that man really “a research leader for Dow Chemical”? He claims that he was. But then, he also claims that six-day creation and Noah’s flood were historical events. We’ll let you decide, dear reader.

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

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20 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #567: The Research Leader

  1. michaelfugate

    Evidence? I don’t see any mentioned in this letter.

  2. if you leave a world restructuring flood out of your thinking

    Which most of us do because there’s exactly no way to contort the available evidence to make it conform to such an event.

  3. First three comments in the paper put a proper perspective on his nonsense.

  4. > No fossil comes with a label attached. They must all be
    > interpreted and if you leave a world restructuring flood out of your
    > thinking, you will misinterpret the rock layers of the Earth, the
    > fossils found within those rock layers and the time frame for the
    > formation of the sedimentary rock layers of the Earth.
    —————-
    Yet another non-geologist who thinks he can tell geologists their business.

    There is no evidence for your mythical flood. Plain and simple. To paraphrase Eugenie Scott: I hate to use the “F” word here – but that’s a fact. Plain and simple.

    The highest sea level ever for which we have evidence occurred during the Ordovician. And even that didn’t eliminate dry land. And it didn’t happen quickly.

    This Dow Chemical maroon is better suited for delivering truckloads of plastic widgets.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    Wow, he does have self-published books on Amazon with reviews. If this letter is a sampling of his best summation of his arguments against evolution, he must have filled those books with drool.

  6. Ah, the world flood. Does he mean the mythological one that none of the civilizations that had written records spanning the time when it’s alleged to have happened noticed? And no scientist I know of assumes “…that bacteria turned into people”. This guy is so wrong about so much, it’s difficult to believe his claim of having been a “research leader”. It certainly wasn’t research on biology.

  7. So after the Watchmaker Analogy and the bicycle in the backyard depositor (I’m not kidding – a Dutch thesis on philosophy of religion) we have the boxmaker analogy.

    “Was that man really “a research leader for Dow Chemical”?”
    Ah, now there is a profound mystery. DC’s website prefers not to know our dear Bruce.

  8. Dave Luckett

    There simply isn’t any need to attack the idea that a creating force that is niether matter nor energy instigated the Universe. Call it “God” if you like. It does no violence to science. That hypothesis is one explanation. The worst you can say of it is that it’s arguably redundant, and that there’s no evidence. I don’t know, and I’m pretty sure that nobody actually does.

    The rest of Mr Malone’s piece is garbage. It consists, as ever with this particular strand of science-denier, of the argument from ignorance (“It is not known how precisely this happened, therefore it didn’t happen”), false dichotomy (living things made themselves or they were created by an agency outside themselves), false assertion about the science (there is some mechanism that prevents evolution beyond a certain amount, but I will specify neither the mechanism nor the amount; further, no change in the DNA ever has, ever will, or can ever produce new functions; geology and paleontology are not explained by slow change over deep time, but by a single catastrophic flood) and about the Bible as well.

    Perhaps for this man’s intended readership, the last is the worst of his falsehoods. The Bible does not describe “complex forms of life with vast gulfs separating distinctly different body structures”. It describes the sudden appearance of all forms of life, some with very similar body structures, others different, all appearing within six days.

    I, too, can find no scientific paper on which his name appears. I can find no reference to his scientific work at all, save the bare claim that he was a researcher. Creationwiki, FWIW, says he holds a BS in chemical engineering from U Cincinnati and that his name is on nineteen patents with Dow. Mr Malone limits his specifications of his output to “six books on the scientific evidence supporting a Biblical creation model”, and says nothing whatsoever of his professional endeavors beyond that.

    He appears to be retired, looks to be in his sixties or older, and is now apparently a full-time creationist activist, with the title of “Director” of an outfit named “Search for the Truth Ministries”, which gives as a postal address this charming semirural residence: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@43.683702,-84.237437,3a,75y,347.42h,65.66t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1ssjLGRnuD8RumWqRDA5iz9A!2e0!6m1!1e1. He also remarks on his website http://www.searchforthetruth.net/about-us/bruce-malone/ that his four children are also “actively serving the Lord”, which may mean anything, but possibly points to quite the family business.

    In other words, the man’s a semiprofessional component of the creationist noise machine, and his output is precisely what you’d expect of one.

  9. No fossil comes with a label attached. They must all be interpreted and if you leave a world restructuring flood out of your thinking, you will misinterpreted the rock layers of the Earth, the fossils found within those rock layers and the time frame for the formation of the sedimentary rock layers of the Earth. It is not that the majority of biologists, geologists and physicists are evil or that there is some huge human conspiracy to hide the truth. Macro-evolution believing scientists are simply wrong because they leave a straightforward understanding of what God’s word tells us is the history of this planet out of their thinking.

    Of course, this presumes that the Bible is “God’s word”–arguably the biggest assumption creationists make, and one they’re confident they can get away with because the divine origin of the Bible is so widely accepted on faith.

    As for Mr. Malone’s misappropriation of Louis Pasteur, the great microbiologist must be spinning in his grave. What he proved was that the simple notion of abiogenesis then in vogue wasn’t true, not that life can never, ever under any conditions come from non-life.

    Come to that, creationists believe life came form non-life: Genesis says man was formed from “the dust of the ground.” But of course they think it was a miracle, by which they mean, “we don’t understand it, so we forbid you to figure it out.”

  10. Garnetstar

    From long experience with my colleagues, I can report that many chemists fit the doctors-and-engineers stereotype: dullards in many ways, who cannot think outside of their narrow specialization. They’re mostly just quieter about any crazy views they have.

    Scientists who work in industry aren’t allowed to publish, their work belongs to the company. But, no one with only a bachelor’s degree is going to be a “leader” at Dow. A master’s, at least, is required for an entry-level researcher, and a Ph.D. to direct research. Bachelor’s degrees are hired as technicians.

  11. I’d like to point out that quantum fluctuations violate the “Matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed” Malone mentioned. If particle-antiparticle pairs can pop into existence without cause why not universes?

  12. If there is a creator as described in the Bible, we should find complex forms of life with vast gulfs separating distinctly different body structures.
    Why should we expect that?

  13. Tom Rowland

    @Garnetstar
    After having worked for several years at a specialty chemical company recently acquired by Dow, I have to concur with your statement:
    “…no one with only a bachelor’s degree is going to be a “leader” at Dow”.
    While I was not there under Dow management, my experience with that other company can be summarized as follows:
    BS degrees were common amongst the “technicians”, essentially lab assistants who washed glassware, cleaned animal cages, and very rarely, under the direct supervision of a much more senior researcher, actually mixed reagents and gathered observations.
    MS degrees were usually found amongst the above-reference supervisory group, as well as carrying our semi-independent, small-scale experiments in support of a larger research project directed by PhD-level scientists. Much of the mixing and observing was carried out by MS-level researchers. They generally did not undertake any truly independent research.
    It was the PhD-level scientists who were the “leaders” who could set up their own independent lines of research and form teams of researchers to investigate their theories. It is this class of scientist who is recognized as a “thought leader” and from whom it is expected that major findings would originate.

  14. What you’re seeing here is a padded résumé. “…responsible for key innovations which have resulted in 18 patents” as it says in one of his biographies is vastly different than the impression this gives as a Thomas Edison type figure leading an invention team. This is standard bait-and-switch creationist tactic: Establish a person as being educated with degrees (either from diploma mill or in a non-related field) and then lead the suckers into believing this makes one an authority on evolution.

  15. As Jason Lisle demonstrates, it is possible to earn an advanced degree in a science while at the same time not actually believing in commonly understood notions about scientific facts. Mr. Malone may be the same kind of “scientist.” And as I’ve found in other forums, people with a “Bible-based world view” often have very strange notions of what constitutes truth, logic and science. I’m at a loss when it comes to having a rational discussion with these people.

    But I totally agree with this part of the bible: John 8:32
    “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    Where I part company with some devout Christians is what constitutes “truth.” Even when we agree that something is scientifically true, these folks will often hasten to add that the scientist who made the discovery was a Christian (as if that had any relevance). When I point out that ancient Greek scientists and mathematicians (Archimedes, Pythagoras) lived long before Christ, they do not respond.

    “And all this science, I don’t understand,
    It’s just my job five days a week.” Elton John, “Rocket Man.”

  16. I used to enjoy pointing out to my students the fact that many of the paleontologists and geologists of the 19th century, when both sciences were young, started out with a young-earth perspective and the assumption that the strata were largely formed by the biblical flood. They all became gradualists, with a much longer view of earth’s history, through their study of the actual evidence.

  17. @Hideo Gump
    As far as scientists being Christians.
    Newton did not believe in the Trinity.
    While many scientists who have contributed to evolution and deep time were conventional Christians.
    As far as scientists who “did not believe in evolution”, they are almost exclusively people who lived before the scientific exposition of evolution.

  18. So this guy quotes basic physics by saying “matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed” – then uses that to “prove” that the entire universe of matter and energy was created from nothing.

    Wow.

  19. Not to nitpick but, ” you will misinterpreted”? I mean, that’s a fairly common mistake, but if you’re going to hold yourself up as an authority, you have to do better than that.

  20. Christine Janis

    @TomS

    “If there is a creator as described in the Bible, we should find complex forms of life with vast gulfs separating distinctly different body structures.”
    Why should we expect that?

    because he read Darwin’s Doubt and thinks that the Cambrian radiations disprove evolution