Creationist Wisdom #573: The Rev’s Question

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Salisbury Post of Salisbury, North Carolina. The letter is titled I have a question about evolution. 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 we’ve got a preacher — Jeff Long, pastor of the Trading Ford Baptist Church. Excerpts from the rev’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

In these modern and trying times I feel lot of us either struggle, or have struggled, with our faith. Faith is so simple — you just have to believe, yet so confusing, because you can’t recognize it with any of your senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste).

That’s the neat thing about faith — it doesn’t require any information from the outside world. Hey — get this:

As a science-based person, an engineer, I myself struggled with this concept, because I couldn’t prove it.

The rev is an engineer? We Googled around and couldn’t locate him that way, but taking him at his word, he fits the Salem hypothesis, according to which engineering types have a tendency toward the creationist viewpoint. This one has taken that to the next level by being a preacher. We’re in for a treat, so hang on! He says:

One day a man I worked with said, “If one doesn’t believe in God, what’s left? Evolution?” I was confused because yes, evolution had passed through my thoughts. He then said, “If we evolved from apes, why are there still apes?”

How did the rev react to his co-worker’s profound questions? Let’s read on:

This sparked my curiosity to the point where I opened my Bible and other reference books, and started looking for answers.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What did the rev learn? He continues:

“Evolution: the development of a species, organism or organ from its original or primitive state to its present or specialized state,” (Webster’s Dictionary). Well, this says that if evolution is true, there had to be something to start with. Oh yes, the “big bang” theory.

The rev not only consulted his bible, but also a dictionary. You gotta admit, dear reader, it’s thrilling to see a great mind at work. Here’s more:

Suppose, just by chance, there happened to be a minute particle in the middle of nowhere (remember, nothing existed yet) and it just exploded for no reason or through no external force acting on it. Then by that random act, a single cell of such complexity was formed, that it needed neither plan nor guidance for it to divide randomly through the years and to ultimately form each and every living organism in our society as we know it today. Wow! Seems like an awful lot of random ‘ifs” and “chances.”

Very impressive analysis! What did the rev conclude? He tells us:

To me, this is harder to conceive of than the creation as explained in the Holy Bible.

Then the rev gives us two reasons why it’s so difficult to conceive:

First of all, we still needed that first particle — which science has no explanation for. Second, we know scientifically by Newton’s Law that only an external force greater than the result (universe) could have caused this explosion and nothing (or no one) else existed at this time.

Uh huh — that’s Newton’s law all right — a greater force produces a lesser reaction. You never thought of the rev’s objections before, did you? But the rev did. Moving along:

Whichever way you care to look at this, there was something or someone here before time began, in order to orchestrate such a magnificent feat. I believe in Bible facts through faith that this conductor was God.

Yes — an orchestra requires a conductor! And now we come to the end:

I hope this has sparked your curiosity enough to cause you to seek answers for yourself. I feel your Holy Bible or church is a great place to start. I’m sure you’ll find the answers you’re looking for. God bless all!

Well, dear reader — that was quite an intellectual adventure! Perhaps the rev’s wisdom will set you on the right path.

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

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20 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #573: The Rev’s Question

  1. my Bible and other reference books

    Almost spilled my tea.

  2. I question this guy’s claim that he is a science-based person.

    In fact, I’m starting to wonder whether he is even a carbon-based person.

  3. @realthog: you beat me to it. I was going to mention that the dear rev was confused if he thought the bible was a reference book. He also seems a bit confused about Newton’s laws, so I’m not sure what sort of engineering background he thinks he has.

  4. If this guy has any engineering training or science training beyond elementary school or maybe kindergarten, then I would be surprised.
    The letter reads like a LIAR4jesus spouting BS.

  5. Derek Freyberg

    I liked the first comment:
    “Hey Jeff, if Americans came from Europeans, then why are there still Europeans? If you can answer that, then you can answer your question about apes.”
    First time I’ve heard it in that form, and a rather neat rebuttal to Jeff’s babbling.

  6. RationalWiki has a survey of most of the best responses to Why are there still monkeys?

    As far as if evolution is true, there had to be something to start with, that it equally true of:
    If reproduction is true, there had to be something to start with
    If rain is true, there had to be something to start with
    If the American Revolution is true, there had to be something to start with

  7. S**t, Derek, I just was going to quote that comment. It’s brilliant indeed and I hope I’ll ever get the chance to use it.

    “Yes — an orchestra requires a conductor!”
    Beware what you’re asking for – you might get it.

  8. Re “One day a man I worked with said, “If one doesn’t believe in God, what’s left? Evolution?” … He then said, “If we evolved from apes, why are there still apes?””

    “If one doesn’t believe in God, what’s left?” Answer: Reality … with hundreds of billions of stars in each of hundreds of billions of galaxies. (Don’t get me started on the Multi-verse.) Not enough for you?

    “If we evolved from apes, why are there still apes?” Answer: We evolved from some apes, not all apes. Just like there are still wolves, yet dogs evolved from them and there are still wild cats, yet house cats evolved from them.

    Next?!

  9. And we’re supposed to believe that a being capable of creating universes somehow just always existed. Like that’s more probable than whatever theory might be proposed for the big bang.

  10. I wonder if the Trading Ford church web site is out of date? It has Mike Motley as the senior pastor not Jeff Long.
    I suppose I’d be more tolerant of creationists if they’d try not to make evolution some sort of rival to the prescientific Genesis account. Do you notice how his argument leaves behind the nuances of evolution and immediately grows to the origin of the entire universe and abiogenesis. Of course in Genesis they are all tied together neatly in one book, but evolution doesn’t not require the big bang or abiogenesis to be true. It is interesting to note even Hambo advocates evolution, and much faster than would be possible.

  11. And we all came from parents, so why are there still parents?? Oy vey!

    Here’s an argument about evolution. Since creationists are convinced that their God made all creatures in their present form, we should ask why God would favor some animals over others by making them either stronger or faster or smarter or with better hearing, etc. so they can either catch other creatures for food or avoid being food themselves.

    It just doesn’t make sense. No — each “kind” must have its own Creator God. The God of mosquitos, the God of clams, the God of ash trees, the God of emerald ash borers, etc, etc.

    I mean, really. Why would God put Himself in such a terrible conflict of interest?

  12. @retiredsciguy

    Why would God put Himself in such a terrible conflict of interest?

    Because He moves in mysterious ways, obviously. Who are we to question the decisions of yadedadedadeyada . . .

  13. Whichever way you care to look at this, there was something or someone here before time began, in order to orchestrate such a magnificent feat. I believe in Bible facts through faith that this conductor was God.

    By definition, time can’t have a “beginning.” The phrase “before time began” essentially means “before anything happened at all” and a condition in which nothing can happen–including a beginning of time. Therefore, the good rev’s defense of “Bible facts” (an oxymoron if there ever was one) is little more than word salad.

  14. @Eric Lipps

    By definition, time can’t have a “beginning.”

    I’m not sure I can agree with you here. Within the context of our own universe (i.e., ignoring the multiverse, which normally I wouldn’t), it’s clear that time did have a beginning. You’re right, of course, to say that — again within the context of our own universe — there’s no sense in phrases like “before time began”, but that doesn’t mean the concept of time’s beginning has no validity.

  15. I don’t think that there is anything in the Bible about before time began. Not even about the beginning of time.

  16. Dave Luckett

    I see that some creationist has commented, with a reference to the left-handed chirality of amino acids in all life bar a few bacteria, and of course this has to be the result of a creator’s guiding whatnot. Of course this doesn’t follow, but I’ve often seen it used as an argument.

    I recall reading a number of rational explanations from natural cause for this phenomenon, to the effect that serine and other precursors catalysize handedness in daughter products, and there may be ultimate cause in the weak nuclear force producing beta decay electrons with only left-hand spin.

    Now, of course, pursuing natural cause with a mind like the one that wrote that comment is futile. He’ll simply want to know why serine or the weak nuclear force does this, and isn’t that evidence for God, you heathen?

    (The process is well-worn, and known to everyone who has ever looked into the creationist mind, if you will excuse the term. It goes like this:

    1) Point to some effect seen in nature – it doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it can be represented as extraordinary. Anything will do.

    2) Claim that science can’t explain it, and that the only alternative is divine or supernatural cause.

    3) When an explanation is offered, (a) demand more detail and then (b) demand an explanation of each individual detail.

    4) Rinse and repeat (3) (b) as many times as necessary. When the limits of knowledge are reached – as they must be, for all knowledge is limited,

    5) Declare victory.

    It’s simple and foolproof, so long as most of the audience are simpletons and fools. Or even if only the part of the audience you wish to reach are of that description.)

    But, supposing that a rebuttal to that last comment were made, can anyone suggest a pithy and cogent one that points out the evidence?

  17. @Dave Luckett:
    And, of course, the omnipotent or the spiritual or the transcendent are incapable of offering any explanation, any level of detail. Even if true, they are of a different order of discourse than “why this way, rather than the countless other possibilities”.
    Explanations involve limitations.

  18. Dave Luckett:
    “It’s simple and foolproof, so long as most of the audience are simpletons and fools. “

    Nice turn of phrase! You should copyright it.

  19. Richard Bond

    Dave Luckett:

    I suspect that chirality probably had a very simple answer. Very early life existed in both forms, and, in a classic example of symmetry breaking and purely by chance, one simply out competed the other for a limited non-chiral resource such as phosphate.

  20. Troy is correct, Jeff Long is not a pastor of the church. The paper has posted a “Correction Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 17, 2015″

    ‘Mike Motley is pastor of Trading Ford Baptist Church. A column on evolution in Saturday’s Post was written by Jeff Long, a resident of Rowan County and a member of the church. The Post published incorrect information in the tagline on the column.” [ http://m.salisburypost.com/2015/05/17/correction-154/ ]