Creationist Wisdom #570: Evolution Is Fantasy

Today’s letter-to-the-editor — like the last one we wrote about — appears in the Spectrum, published in Cedar City, Utah. It’s titled Teach science, not evolution. An icon below the headline gets you to the newspaper’s 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 L. Ralph Rohr, M.D., a retired physician who has a couple of books listed at Amazon, including The Revelation of Jesus Christ-Comfort or Confusion?, from WestBow Press, a religious vanity publisher. He qualifies for full-name treatment. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Why the disagreement over how to teach science? Why must editors expound “that science is not a religion?” Why must the Utah State Office of Education science specialist proclaim the obvious, “the memorize and spit back out again mode of learning should take a back seat to more hands-on, thought provoking learning that challenges students to be scientists?”

Important questions! Now brace yourself for Ralph’s answer:

The simple answer is that science has been corrupted by the humanly contrived fantasy of biological evolution.

Science has been corrupted! Let’s read on:

The Spectrum editors aver that science “is simply facts leading to conclusions.” But biological evolution is a hastily contrived and barren theory that has arisen out of opposition to God as Creator of this world.

A contrived and barren theory! Ralph continues:

Hence, evolution, not science, is a religion that substitutes chaos and chance for God. The histories, words and writings of the evolutionists themselves testify to their religion.

Strong stuff. Here’s even more criticism from Ralph:

In this sound bite generation, propagandists have muddied the clear water of science with the lie of evolution.

Ralph finishes his letter with a challenge:

I will be happy to document this allegation to any open minded audience willing to participate in “thought provoking learning.” Please contact me if you would like a presentation.

Well, dear reader, do you have the courage to accept Ralph’s challenge?

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

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27 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #570: Evolution Is Fantasy

  1. Obviously this doctor is an expert in his field of practice, body humorism, ” is a system of medicine detailing the makeup and workings of the human body, adopted by the Indian Ayurveda system of medicine, Ancient Greek and Roman physicians and philosophers, positing that an excess or deficiency of any of four distinct bodily fluids in a person — known as humors or humours — directly influences their temperament and health.” http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a1/Humorism.svg/250px-Humorism.svg.png

    (sorry, this is just a related pic link, don’t know how to embed it here)

  2. Doctor Stochastic

    Science isn’t a fantasy; it’s a ricercar. Religion is a fantasy.

  3. Why is it these people invoke the Old Testament in their opposition to Evolution, yet ignore most of the other contents. According to the Old Testament, the vast majority of these Evolution-haters are abominations due to their failures to follow God’s rules and should be stoned to death. But those requirements they ignore.

  4. SC forces our hands: “Well, dear reader, do you have the courage to accept Ralph’s challenge?”
    Definitely no, after reading those quotes all my courage has sunk into my shoes, as we Dutch say.

  5. anevilmeme

    Ralphie Boy is deep, deep in the Hovind Zone, with the same ignorance and arrogance.

  6. michaelfugate

    I will be happy to document this allegation to any open minded audience willing to participate in “thought provoking learning.” Please contact me if you would like a presentation.

    A single fact would do.

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    Does anyone want to play ‘spot the lies’ in this single sentence? Cognitive dissonance shields up bigtime!

    But biological evolution is a hastily contrived and barren theory that has arisen out of opposition to God as Creator of this world.

  8. Stephen Kennedy

    Again, creationist ravings from another medical doctor. Medical doctors and engineers, of all college educated people, seem to be the ones most likely to be taken in by pseudo sciences like creationism.

    I am also an MD and I am trying to figure out what about being a medical doctor leads to this. When I was in medical school there were no traces of creationism in the curriculum and I do not recall any of my professors or classmates being creationists. Now, I went to medical school in Philadelphia which is a city that has a long tradition of reason and rationality and that may provide an environment for Philadelphia’s four medical schools that is very different from those of medical schools in other parts of the country like the south.

    I think the thing that connects medical doctors and engineers is that they have to take some science courses as part of their professional training and some begin to think they are scientists when they really are not.

  9. It’s understandable why engineers might be creationists. In order to aquire a Bachelor’s degree within four or five years, their course of study needs to be packed with math and physical sciences, leaving no room for biology. For most, the only biology or earth science class would have been no later than sophomore year in high school.

    But a physician being a creationist? That’s harder to understand. I would have a very hard time trusting my health to such a doctor.

  10. L. Ralph Rohr proclaims

    But biological evolution is a hastily contrived and barren theory —

    Hastily contrived indeed! Why, no sooner had Darwin stumbled upon the notion of Evolution on the Galapagos Islands in 1835 than he was breathlessly rushing pell-mell into print–a mere 24 years of study and research later, in 1859.

    And what a “barren” theory, too, of course! I mean, who even bothers with Darwin’s work these days, anyway?

  11. The histories, words and writings of the evolutionists themselves testify to their religion.

    Doubtless a slew of quote mines and, based on the quality of Rohr’s letter, probably the hoariest and most easily refuted.

  12. I would like to suggest the that it is not Engineers that become Creationists, but rather Creationists that become Engineers (or Doctors in this case). These people have likely been Creationists their whole lives.

    The Engineers I know seem to be Atheists more often than Creationists.

  13. @AR.: Good point.

  14. And why those Creationists chose to become Engineers might be because the job of Engineers is to design and create all kind of stuff. Perhaps SK can tell us if something similar applies to Medical Doctors?

  15. michaelfugate

    In MDs, I think it is the sole (or is it soul?) focus on humans. Many of my undergrads think that learning human bones would be somehow infinitely more interesting than learning cat bones. I agree it is creationist first and doctor or engineer later.

  16. I’ve run into a bunch of creationist M.D.s in Louisiana and the med school curriculum has nothing to do with their point of view. They came from very conservative churches and were creationists before they took biology in college. Even a college level biology class cannot dent their self-contained view of the world. I gave up talking to any of them years ago.

  17. This “Evolution is a religion!” nonsense is also yet another example of creationist contradictions. After all, the very same creationists also complain that “Science has been hijacked by rigid materialism!”

    Obviously, Science (and/or fields within Science) can’t be both a religion and “rigidly materialistic”. Why? In the religious studies academy, we define a religion as a recognition and reverence of the transcendent. What is the transcendent? It is that which is above and beyond the mundane and material!

    For example, when I pointed out to a anti-evolution blogger that he can’t rationally call Science a religion when in another blog article the week before he had complained that Science always refuses to recognize the transcendent, he told me, “Our critics use equivocation fallacies all the time so we can too. Science is full of contradictions–such as light being called both a wave and a particle–so we can play by the same rules. If they don’t have to be consistent, we don’t either. It’s all a part of post-modernist thinking.”

    Yes, that is so stupid it stings. But what I find especially ironic is the way creationists are proud of their religion and yet apply the word “religion” to evolution as if it is a great insult. The greater message of the “Evolution is a religion” cliche is that it is the creationist’s admission that Science enjoys much greater prestige and respect with the general public than does anything they have to say. So, seeing how they know deep down that “creation science” will never have the prestige of real science, they resign themselves to pretending to drag Science (or at least evolutionary biology and evolution) down to their level, one of religious belief alone.

    So when I hear “Evolution is a religion”, I interpret it as “Oh yeah?! Well….then your ideas are just religious also. So that makes your religion no better than mine!”

    Of course, the biggest disappointment of that strategy–the kind of “Oh yeah?! You’re one too!” taunt that’s found more often on the elementary school playground…..or a weekend “Creation Science Conference”–is that it goes over great and gets a standing ovation only when preaching to the home team choir. When the “Evolution is just a religion!” simplistic slogan is taken to an audience of mature adults, it goes over a like a lead balloon.

    As a result, I know of many creationists who privately recognize the strategy as a sign of desperation.

  18. There are a number of the fundamentalists who claim that they do not have a religion. One of those Jack Chick comics has a throw-away line where the hero says that he is a Christian and has no religion.

  19. My paleontology professor, and I, bow to this powerful argument for mysticism. We are not worthy.

  20. Sh’yeah. Evolution is a theory “hastily contrived” over 170 years, beginning with Darwin’s voyage aboard the Beagle. And just why, in any case would it have needed to be whipped up in a hurry? A genuine demonic conspiracy would have all the time in the world.

  21. Dave Luckett

    The term for the “Oh, yeah? Well, you’re one too!” line of… er… argument, is “tu quoque” which is fancy Latin and means, “you also”. More to the point, it is universally recognised as a fallacy. Even if it were justified, which in this case it is obviously not, it would only imply that both positions are equivalent, and would say nothing about their validity.

    But this meme, “evolution is a religion”, has become a staple of creationist discourse now. It’s an alternative equivalence ploy, I think. The previous generation of creationists were more prone to bend the other arm: “Creationism is a science”, they said, with equal fatuousness.

    Perhaps this represents a tactical change. I don’t think it’s a conscious one. I’d like to think that the evidence has just piled up too deep for them now to pretend that their refusal to accept it has anything to do with science, but I don’t think it’s anything so rational. I think they’re just throwing whatever dust comes to hand.

  22. ISTM that creationists are beginning to realize that they don’t have a defendable case, and are reaching for desperate measures in attacking. “No Darwin, No Hitler”, “How do you know? Where you there?”, “Evolution takes more faith” …

  23. Yes, the creationists saved their best arguments for last! (Yes, that’s gotta be discouraging.)

  24. It would seem that the creationists want the “belief” in evolution to be considered a religion so they can claim the same right to teach their religion in public schools as well.

  25. Perhaps the “M.D.” in L. Ralph Rohr, M.D refers to “Medical Deviate”

  26. Diogenes' Lamp

    Prof. Tertius tells marvelous stories as always, but as for this:

    when I pointed out to a anti-evolution blogger that he can’t rationally call Science a religion when in another blog article the week before he had complained that Science always refuses to recognize the transcendent, he told me, “Our critics use equivocation fallacies all the time so we can too. Science is full of contradictions–such as light being called both a wave and a particle–so we can play by the same rules. If they don’t have to be consistent, we don’t either. It’s all a part of post-modernist thinking.”

    I would sooo love a link to the original. I tried googling it, I couldn’t find it.

  27. Our Third Prof has forgotten something about his dark past:

    “Obviously, Science (and/or fields within Science) can’t be both a religion and “rigidly materialistic”.”
    Obviously creacrap has no problem at all to proclaim that science is a rigidly materialistic religion. Just ask your anti-evolution blogger.

    “So when I hear “Evolution is a religion”
    you should realize that according to creationists there is only one true religion and hence Evolution is a false one. Again there is no problem.

    I support Diogenes’ request. Who knows? There might be some good stuff for our dear SC for lazy days.