Creationist Wisdom #579: We Were Deceived!

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Citizen of Dalton, Georgia, known as the Carpet Capital of the World. The letter is titled Chaos cannot generate order. The newspaper has a comments section.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Maynard. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

I want to thank all who commented on my “butterfly” letter of May 6, both pro and con. Most of the negative comments were much as I expected — politically correct and somewhat condescending.

This is Maynard’s earlier letter: Evolution can’t explain it. It’s the usual creationist rant — about “irreducible complexity” and the miracle of the monarch butterfly.

Today’s letter is a continuation of that rant. It’s an amusing catalog of additional creationist clunkers, all of which are debunked in the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims. Because his arguments are so familiar, we won’t bother with any additional debunking. Maynard says:

To those negative responders, I would say you might be surprised to learn that there are many creationist scientists today with Ph.D.s who actually became creationists only after studying the evidence. I would also like to mention a few scientific creationists from the past: [the usual list — Isaac Newton, etc.].

Oh, wait — Maynard’s list also includes Leonardo da Vinci and Alexander Graham Bell. We haven’t seen them in this context before. Let’s read on:

Also, if Earth was millions of years old our oceans would have long ago become too salty for the survival of marine life, Earth’s protective magnetic field would have weakened beyond the point where life could survive and the soft tissue containing DNA, proteins, etc., which is being found in fossilized dinosaur bones would not be possible.

Maynard continues:

Additionally, scientists generally agree that our universe had a beginning — as per the Big Bang. They also agree that it is presently in a state of constant deterioration — as per the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In the Big Bang scenario, chaos is supposed to have self-generated into order. Yet, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, order is presently de-generating into chaos.

Wowie — Maynard has spotted the flaw in every scientist’s thinking. Here’s more:

Question: Did the laws of physics change? Creationists answer: Chaos cannot now and never has generated order. In the beginning God created everything complete and in order.

Ah, that explains it. Moving along:

Sadly, my dear doubters, you have been deceived by both the persuasive power of peer pressure and by repetitive authoritarian misinformation which has been pounded into your head since day one.

You’ve been deceived, dear reader! Wake up! Listen to Maynard! Here’s another excerpt:

Some, I am sure, simply refuse to give any credence to God in their consideration of scientific evidence. The Bible speaks of such people, telling us “they are willfully ignorant.” I truly wish I was wrong in that assessment, but that is the way it is.

Not only have you been deceived, you are willfully ignorant. And now we come to the end:

I pray that your eyes will be opened to the abundant evidence which shows that the “theory” of evolution is seriously flawed and that it is primarily propagated by those who have much to lose; because they would be subject to sacrificing their intellectual integrity, and possibly their careers and/or monetary investments, if they ever admit they are wrong.

As we said, there’s nothing new in Maynard’s letter, but it’s nevertheless a good addition to our collection. And it’s comforting to know that Maynard is praying for us.

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

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25 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #579: We Were Deceived!

  1. anevilmeme

    With drool dribbling from the corners of his mouth down to his keyboard the brave letter writer wrote: “Chaos cannot now and never has generated order.”

    Really? Then explain the humble snowflake.

  2. @anevilmeme
    Explain the grological record as a result of the Flood.
    Fossils in particular order. Strata.

  3. Another dim member of the flock of sheeple dribbling BS down his chin. He has NO understanding of science and most specifically how chaos works or even what it is. And sheeple is what they call themselves, as in ‘the lord is my shepherd….’

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Ya know, Maynard, if the evidence for god’s hand in creation truly was obvious and evolution a scam, don’t you think that the majority of Americans who claim to be Christians would run with that evidence? So much more likely that evolution is popular and trusted purely thru “peer pressure and by repetitive authoritarian misinformation”.

  5. Charles Deetz is right. And, I might add, if any scientist had any evidence that evolution and its main mechanism, natural selection, were wrong and they had proof of a better explanation, they’d probably win a Nobel prize. Good luck with that, Maynard. Oh, by the way, Bronze age myths don’t count as proof.

  6. Then there’s the awkward problem of how, if evolution is a fraud, it came to be accepted in the first pace by a scientific community which previously assumed Genesis to be true as written. Surely if it were bogus it would have suffered the same fate as the phlogiston theory of combustion.

  7. BTW, today is D-Day. The Normandy Invasion took place 71 years ago. I shudder to think what the world would be today if our fathers and grandfathers lacked the will and the courage to do what needed to be done.

  8. Dave Luckett

    Credit where credit’s due, retiredsciguy. All honour to the brave souls who went ashore at Normandy. They did that so that we and our children would never have to do such a thing, and they succeeded. But the Red Army deserves as much honour. We should be celebrating Kursk Day or Stalingrad Day with as much fervour. The road to Berlin from Moscow cost ten thousand Russian dead for every mile. The European part of the Second World War was won there, in western Russia, by the suffering of the Russian people and the valour of their armies. Never let it be forgotten how much of a debt we owe them, no matter what happened afterwards.

    Debt. It can reasonably be argued that even the debt of blood owed for Normandy is dwarfed by the debt of the Marshall Plan. Normandy cost thousands of lives, but the Marshall Plan saved millions. God alone knows what would have happened if the US had turned its back on Europe in 1945 as it had done in 1919.

    I had to research the situation in Europe of autumn, 1945, for a book I was writing. The more I read, the more I saw, the more astonished I was that European civilisation (Mr Gandhi’s mot to one side, if he ever made it) survived at all. The odds at that time would seem to have favoured the emergence of cannibalism in the coming winter, and the reimposition of the feudal system within a decade, as the only alternative to utter chaos, amid the starvation and depopulation of the entire continent, in a catastrophe unparalleled since the Black Death.

  9. Dave Luckett

    I commented earlier, but it would appear that the spam filter dislikes me. I will only remark here that there appeared to be no dissenting comments on Maynard’s letter when I looked at it.

    [*Voice from above*] It is beyond even my comprehension, but your comment has been restored.

  10. Once again, ignorance rules! This person’s understanding of the Second Law is not even rudimentary. Allow me to suggest an experiment. If you live near an ocean, take a glass to the shore and scoop up some ocean water and then go home and put it on your kitchen window sill or any other prominent place. Then wait. After some weeks you will find the glass empty (The water, it disappeared!) and quite a few salt crystals in the bottom of the glass (in the bottom, not hovering half way!). Even a small magnifying glass will show these salt crystals to be highly ordered, with all of the edges and faces in consistent relationships.

    Out of chaos … order. All allowed by the Second Law which only requires more disorder to be elsewhere when order forms here. (The disorder that paid for this new order was in the form of the evaporated water.

    Why is it ignorant people so often choose an argument based upon understanding they do not have? Maybe this is the defining characteristic of said religious people.

  11. Pete Moulton

    I take it Maynard never grew a crystal ‘garden’ as a kid.

  12. “it is primarily propagated by those who have much to lose; because they would be subject to sacrificing their intellectual integrity, and possibly their careers and/or monetary investments, if they ever admit they are wrong.”
    Credit where credit is due – this conspiracy lunacy is a very nice touch, strategically place at the very end.

  13. A thought for Maynard — life is nothing more than a series of self-perpetuating endothermic and exothermic chemical reactions. That’s it. No spirituality required.

  14. …repetitive authoritarian misinformation…

    Many of you have heard my hypothesis, that these letter writers are “transitional fossils,” caught somewhere in the rapid “evolution” from honest, deceived believer, to activist who’s in-on-the-scam. Maynard’s quote above is one of the slickest examples of projection I have seen in 18 years of monitoring these antics. 99+% of critics of “creationists” dwell on how “religion” motivates them. But a few of us see something even more basic, the disease for which religion is a mere symptom. That disease is a radical, paranoid authoritarian ideology. One that forces them to claim what they “know ain’t so” because they think the “masses” can’t handle the truth of evolution, and ~4 billion years of common descent.

    Maynard has fooled almost everyone. He knows who the real authoritarians are, and how they repeat any misinformation that they think will sell. He has all bases covered. He sticks mainly to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ID script, but throws a few bones to current or potential young-earthers.

  15. Rsg is scared: “I shudder to think what the world would be today”
    Not that much different. The Ruskies would have reached the Atlantic Ocean not later than 1946, communism would have falled due to lack of consistency and Western Europe would have been where Central Europe is now.
    But yeah, I thank your fathers and grandfather for me not being born in a communist country (though it were actually the Canadians who liberated it, but still).

    DL analyzes: “The odds at that time would seem to have favoured the emergence of cannibalism in the coming winter.”
    For The Netherlands it couldn’t have got any worse than the winter of 1944-45.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_famine_of_1944

    “as the only alternative to utter chaos”
    Order in The Netherlands was restored as early as September 1945 – and things continued as before the occupation. There is some Dutch literature about the happy, pseudo-anarchistic summer of 1945.
    But yeah, to get the economy on her feet again the Dutch government was even willing to give up the Pearls of the Far East (slogan: “East Indies lost, Everything lost). Your forefathers blackmailed with Marshall Aid. That was the right thing to do, because the Indonesian Liberation War was a proto Vietnam.
    Sidenote: between the surrender of May 1945 and the Air Bridge of Berlin the Allies (specifically including the USA) had not that many problems starving the German population.

    March 1947. “We want coals, we want bread”.

  16. IMHO the 2nd Law argument is an ideal red herring for creationists.

    It is bait for scientists to talk about thermodynamics, and for non-scientists to make mistakes about thermodynamics. And the creationists can luxuriate in the confusion that they sow. But we can show that the 2nd Law argument is baseless without getting into mathematics.

    First of all, even creationists realize that order can come from disorder. Ask them about how the geological record and pattern of fossils can come from Noah’s Flood. They will come up with come up with an idea like “hydrodynamic sorting” as a way that order can come from disorder.

    How about a rainbow? How does that come from the random raindrops? The sound from the wind blowing over a hollow log? The pattern that “Jack Frost paints”? An oak tree growing from an acorn? Natural arches, balancing rocks, and hoodoos?

    But, on the contrary, intelligent design is not enough to account for supposed violations of thermodynamics. The laws were formulated in the 19th century when it was realized that there were limits to what the clever engineers could do. Intelligent design cannot produce a perpetual motion machine.

  17. The road to Berlin from Moscow cost ten thousand Russian dead for every mile.

    True…and yet a huge percentage of the carnage and suffering was attributable more to Stalin than to Hitler. I have great respect for the fortitude of the Soviet peoples, both Russian and non-Russian, during those terrible times. Their abilities to endure were incredible. They were also too often wasted and their terrible sufferings tragically unnecessary.

    Of course, the ultimate measure of an army is not its sacrifice but its ability to inflict sacrifice on enemy forces and, thereby, to end sacrifices and hostilities on every side, ideally, as soon as possible. Equally obviously, the “ideally” aspect rarely happens in the real world and the “soon” is never soon enough. Inevitably, the suffering of war is soon followed by the suffering of the so-called “peace”.

    Your excellent comments on the Marshall Plan are a fitting reminder that “winning” that peace which follows a war is where too many strategists after too many wars fail all too miserably. It is easy for many younger Americans to forget that the most important “battles” of that era stretched on much longer than WWII itself. Rationing in Europe (and much of the world in general) lasted long after Americans tossed out their unused rationing coupons as a reminder of a time they wanted to forget. The Berlin Airlift reminds us that so many heroes of the air continued to make their contributions to final victory long after most ground soldiers of the war had packed away their uniforms. [For that matter, more than a few times I shared cargo space with the seemingly inexhaustible supply of CARE packages made from surplus WWII rations which continued to feed Europe and many other areas of the post-war world long after the guns went silent. Even though I don’t see cigarettes listed among the contents by various on-line articles about CARE packages, I saw many stacks of them get ripped open and rifled by those desperate for a nicotine fix, creating distribution delays and considerable waste when lives literally depended upon the calories. It always angered me that precious fuel was wasted expanding markets and addiction for the American tobacco trade in this way. My youthful indignation even calculated the percentage by weight of that component and presumptuously sent it along with a report my civilian semi-boss long story] was taking to a meeting with Gen. Eisenhower. I’d entirely forgotten about that for many years and have wondered if my silly protest addendum ended up in the Eisenhower library–or met an immediate ignoble end in the circular file.)

    I guess old men and their endless old war stories will always inflict suffering on the innocent and unsuspecting.

  18. How many veterans of WWII carried good will to the cigarette companies for the rest of their lives for the free cigarettes? And imagine the reaction against anyone who would stand in their way. If Roosevelt would be able to get cigarettes (and Churchill, cigars), why couldn’t the GIs?

  19. Having learned our lessons the hard way after WWI, we handled the aftermath of WWII far more wisely, relatively speaking. Incredibly, what we learned from the de-Nazification of Germany (and the necessary compromises which went with it) was forgotten when it came to the de-Bathification of Iraq. The older I get the more I affirm the wisdom of “Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.” I’ve been told that that blunder was due to the casual ignorance of one clueless administrator with more power than his limited wisdom and skills deserved.

    I guess each generation insists on finding new ways to make old mistakes. I might wish that a team of scholars, a diverse federal commission of historians and other academics from various relevant fields of the humanities, published a required reading list along with summarizing abstracts which administrators, bureaucrats, ambassadors, and military governors were tested on before assignment to their posts. Obviously, old age has made me a silly dreamer.

    Many who saw horrific combat in war–and the terrible sufferings of the non-combatants–carry a silent dread of the key anniversaries of those events. Some kinds of nightmares find no relief from waking up because the worst memories never seem to dim. Some actually grow with time. Sometimes the smallest stimulus–a forgotten odor, a semi-unusual sound, or even a particular kind of cloddy soil crumbling under one’s shoes on a forest path–turns back time and the dreadful immediacy and palpable weight of imminent threat floods one’s consciousness. (Has a sniper put a bead on me from that stand of trees? How could I have so foolishly stepped outside of my cover? Why didn’t I take advantage of the bright sun’s angle to take a different path?) The seemingly mundane can bring much more recurrent stress than the more cliched triggers assumed by the many screenwriters who never saw combat.

    I find the phrase “the greatest generation” disturbing, as well as woefully inaccurate, because it inevitably presumes to assess and rank relativer sacrifice, suffering, and heroism on the impossible apples and oranges comparisons of one war with another. Nobody asked for the generation nor the particular war in which they found themselves. Wouldn’t we all prefer to fight in a “noble” war, a popular war that brought out the very best (we imagine) in everyone throughout our society? For all that talk about “greatest generation”, Jesse Owens lamented that Adolph Hitler and the German people treated him far better, both before and after his Olympic victory, than did his own country–where rigid “race laws” forced him to take a freight elevator to a ceremony recognizing his achievement. The hypocrisy of rampant racism is hardly a proud legacy of a “greatest generation”. The indignities suffered by my African-American, Hispanic, Asian comrades anger me to this day.

    To the many heroic and outstanding combat veterans of later wars, you have my deepest respect.

  20. With all the talk of the Russian struggle against Hitler, no one has mentioned that before Germany’s invasion of Russia, Hitler and Stalin were allies — at least they had a non-aggression pact. Churchill regarded Hitler’s attack on Russia as an incredible stroke of luck. Although Churchill had almost as much disdain for Stalin as for Hitler, and rightly so, he realized that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” — at least a temporary friend. The bleeding of both Germany and Russia in that senseless attack helped to preserve Civilization.

  21. …no one has mentioned that before Germany’s invasion of Russia, Hitler and Stalin were allies…

    You’ve stirred my curiosity as to how the average high school textbook addresses that history. Are you implying that that is no longer general knowledge for recent generations?

    For my generation, the double-cross Stalin got from Hitler was something EVERYBODY but Stalin predicted and it was not easily forgotten. (Indeed, some of the supplies that the Soviets sorely needed were actually en route by train going west to Germany at the very same time Hitler’s Operation Barbarosa was invading the Soviet Union, heading east. That was some of the “unnecessary suffering” Stalin inflicted on his own people, even though a simple reading of Mein Kampf would have explained Hitler’s plans and Roosevelt had warned Stalin that once Hitler conquered France, Russia would be next. Of course, nobody around Stalin was ever brave enough (i.e., foolish enough) to say “I told ya so” behind his back, let alone to his face.)

    I don’t know if there was any truth to this–and I’d never put large stakes on half of the stories that float around in wartime–but State Dept. staff claimed that the scuttlebutt from the various foreign embassies at the time Ribbentrop visited the Kremlin to work out the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was this tale: Soviet hatred towards the Nazis was so intense and long-standing that when there was this unexpected reversal of Soviet policy towards Germany, Stalin’s people were in a sudden panic to find German flags for use in the expected protocols and courtesies of a visiting representative of state. The story claimed that at nearly the last minute, just before Ribbentrop’s plane landed at the airport, someone got the idea to visit the set of one of the film companies which produced Stalin’s anti-Nazi propaganda films. Sure enough, there they found a sufficient supply of Nazi flags and several of Stalin’s staff were spared being sentenced to a gulag. (Failing to satisfy an order from Stalin suddenly ended many a career–literally.)

    Regardless of whether that story is true, it well illustrates just how crazy and unexpected was that sudden 180 degree turn. So even though Hitler’s invasion of Russia was a complete about-face at the time, it was actually a semi-sudden reversal of a sudden reversal. Stalin was so euphoric about helping Hitler carve up Poland (i.e., the Soviets got the eastern portion) that he was willing to turn on a dime to get a Polish doggie biscuit from the Fuhrer.

    Two of my grandchildren complained that the school year would end about the time that their junior high history classes would get part way through WWII. I’d be curious to learn if most public school students today get a reasonably complete study of WWII and the fall of the last European Empires (in terms of loss of their colonial territories after the war, such as the Dutch in the Indies.)

  22. Professor Tertius asks: “Are you implying that that is no longer general knowledge for recent generations?”

    I have no idea. But there was — and still is — a segment of the American left that was delighted to find the US allied with Stalin. They clammed up during the Cold War, but these days, for all I know, they’re writing high school history texts.

  23. The difference between the American left that sided with Stalin and the American right that sided with Hitler is that the left clammed up.

  24. How many veterans of WWII carried good will to the cigarette companies for the rest of their lives for the free cigarettes?

    Some cursed them. And especially in the years after the war, I heard more than a few enlisted men complain that “Nobody would dream of asking their commanding officer for a ‘snack break’ or a “rest-my-back break”–but it was common practice to allow ‘smoke breaks’.” So the complaint by at least some was that a soldier needed to take up smoking to avoiding doing far more than his share of the hard work. Foxhole and Latrine digging was one of the common examples. If one wasn’t smoking, one was expected to keep digging. So, I’m told, non-smokers got worked a lot harder than smokers. Of course, the older smokers were incapable of the hardest aerobic work! (Again, the majority of my time was not in the field even if technically classified as at the front.)

    My complaint about cigarettes representing a percentage of the weight of flight cargo was that the standard excuse for our perpetual shortage of all sorts of important supplies was “Everything has to be shipped in—and that’s very expensive, especially by air.” Yet, I saw LOTS of surplus cigarette stores. (Admittedly, my locations may not have been entirely typical. But I found it interesting what was called “logistically impossible” and what wasn’t.)

  25. Dave Luckett

    Germany and the USSR weren’t precisely allies. They had a non-aggression pact with secret clauses to partition Poland and eastern Europe generally between them. Separately, the USSR agreed to supply the Germans with materials (eg tungsten ore) vital to war production. But there was no alliance, that is, an agreement to come to each other’s aid. What there was, was bad enough. It had the effect of bringing Hitler’s armies hundreds of miles closer to Moscow.

    It passes my understanding how Stalin, whose whole method consisted of not trusting anyone, and of destroying anyone who might have become a threat, could trust Hitler. But, in effect, he trusted the Nazi far more than he trusted his own military staffs. When the invasion came, Stalin’s only immediate reaction was to retreat to his dascha, where he cowered in silence. He must have been genuinely astonished when, after days, and with the Soviet armies in the west being ground into hamburger and the air force practically destroyed on the ground, his minions came, not to have him shot, but to grovel and plead with him to resume command. Even then, his first care was to gather the reins back into his personal control; to ensure that no general would ever be trusted.

    I can’t account for it. He should simply have been led out to execution. I am reduced to observing that terror is effective in ways unconnected with the reality of the threat. The implications for the Christian doctrine of damnation are obvious.