Creationist Wisdom #591: Evolution Refuted

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Stroud News & Journal, a weekly tabloid published in Stroud in the county of Gloucestershire, England. It’s titled Why I don’t believe in Darwin’s theory of 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 — at least we think he is. The letter’s byline is Graham Hobbs of the Minchinhampton Baptist Church, but the church’s website doesn’t mention him. Nevertheless, we’ll regard him as a preacher. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

After describing his childhood interest in geology the rev says:

The odd thing is that I am one of the minority of people who don’t believe in evolution.

That’s why we’re posting about your letter, rev. Please go on:

Before you think I am a mindless, unscientific fossil myself, I didn’t always think this way. I have a BSc [presumably a Bachelor of Science degree] in the subject and even taught it but, with honest analysis, things didn’t add up.

Ah, now it gets interesting:

I could argue against evolution scientifically but it would take a book, not a short article. Similarly I could argue theologically but, again, there isn’t the space.

Too bad we’ll never see the rev’s book. As for his theology argument, that would be irrelevant to science anyway. The letter continues:

I’ll just take one point. It’s this. Evolution depends on “the survival of the fittest”.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Darwin never used that phrase in his books. The principle mechanism in the theory of evolution is natural selection. Lots of unexceptional — but adequate — individuals can survive and procreate; however, those that are unable to do so will be naturally eliminated from the gene pool. What difference does the rev’s mistaken terminology make? Brace yourself, here it comes:

It works to some extent but it’s a blunt tool and its application regularly leads to places like Auschwitz or genocide of the sort we’ve seen in Rwanda or more recently the atrocities in Iraq and Syria.

Aaaargh!! Of all the species on Earth, only humans exhibit such behavior, and only when motivated by an irrational belief system. Here’s more:

The most successful person to have walked this earth didn’t live that way. Instead, Jesus was on the side of the weak, rejected, marginalised and least attractive people, usually life’s failures, not its successes.

We thought the rev wasn’t going to give us a theological argument. Ah well, moving along:

Unlike scientific theories, here is a truth that doesn’t change. In God’s eyes, our value doesn’t depend on our success, however we measure that concept.

Thr rev is correct — religion doesn’t change. It’s so much more dependable than science! And now we come to the end:

While evolution favours the successful, and writes off the unsuccessful, God values us whoever we are or whatever we have done. Can any of us be more of successful than that?

So there you are. The rev judges himself to be a success, and a living refutation of “the survival of the fittest”. Perhaps he’s right.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #591: Evolution Refuted

  1. “God values us whoever we are or whatever we have done.”
    Values??? Doubt it, judgmental and condemning most certainly.

  2. BSc [presumably a Bachelor of Science degree] —- It is and can be anything from Engineering, computing science, physics, biology, and whole raft of other areas.

  3. I’ll just take one point. It’s this. Evolution depends on “the survival of the fittest”. . . .

    But “fitness” depends on all sorts of things, cooperation as well as competition–or family groups, even animal family groups, packs, prides, etc., wouldn’t exist.

    It works to some extent but it’s a blunt tool and its application regularly leads to places like Auschwitz or genocide of the sort we’ve seen in Rwanda or more recently the atrocities in Iraq and Syria. . . .

    Congratulations to the Rev for mentioning countries whose leaders either didn’t believe in Darwinian evolution (it’s eye-opening just what nonsense the Nazis did believe about human origins) or don’t believe in it now (Iraq) or, as far as I know, don’t give a rat’s rear end about it (Syria).

    While evolution favours the successful, and writes off the unsuccessful, God values us whoever we are or whatever we have done. Can any of us be more of successful than that?

    Which has what, exactly, to do with whether the theory of evolution is true or not?

  4. This being England and not god-soaked America, the comments are so far 100% pro-science, including 2 comments I wrote. America (where I live) is about equal to the Muslim theocracies for denying the foundation of biology.

  5. The rev’s god however, puts all those “unsaved” into hell to experience the “second death.” Only the believers “survive” in heaven. This god is a direct practitioner of “survival of the credulous.” I can hardly see how this as an improvement on what Mr. Hobbs incorrectly criticizes as “survival of the fittest” even on his own terms.

  6. “Unlike scientific theories, here is a truth that doesn’t change.”
    Oh! Ya!! Tell that to the thousands of other religions that are just as true as yours!

  7. Several of those early 20th century social-political movements rejected “Darwinian evolution”. Their era has been characterized as the “eclipse of darwinism” because it was not understood how undirected change would not result in deterioration. Thus it was thought that directed intervention was needed.

    And these movements were speaking of the changes within “mankind”.

    Today’s popular versions of creationism often make a point of accepting “micro-evolution”, that is, evolution within a “kind”, such as “mankind”. And, of course, they insist that undirected change is doomed to deterioration by “the second law of thermodynamics”.

    This is not to say that creationism bears any responsibility for those movements. They just happen to share widespread pre-scientific ideas.

  8. Hmmm. Could we call him Calvinist Hobbs?

  9. Dave Luckett

    If Our Correspondent is a Baptist, he’s not by theological ancestry a Calvinist, exactly. He would probably tell you that Calvin’s predestination is a crock, and that one may rely on adult baptism and sincere acceptance of Grace for salvation.

    It’s interesting that he should call Jesus the most successful person to have walked the Earth, although not for the allusion but for the attribution of success. Jesus was painfully executed for sedition at about the age of thirty-five, and practically none of his admonitions has ever been really tried, let alone seen success. In fact the religion named “Christian” (after one of his unsuccessful claims) has most commonly been concerned with persecuting the rare individuals who tried implementing the admonitions.

    In fairness, some of those admonitions were not only impossible, they were downright idiotic. The dead can’t bury the dead, people have to take thought for the morrow, God doesn’t provide, and prayer is not more effective than leaving matters to chance. In recognition of the last, the laws we live by proscribe and penalise reliance on it.

    Mind you, other admonitions were brilliant, especially for the day. Jesus is responsible for one of the most pragmatically useful of all methods for assessing human endeavour: “By their fruits you shall know them.”

    But all in all, you’d have to call him less than successful. The success lay in creating something completely different to anything he imagined, co-opting his name, and the practice of effective politics. The successful individuals involved were not Jesus, nor even Paul, but some combination of the Emperor Constantine and Gregory the Great, at the head of a large company of others.

    Alas, here am I again, and the obvious ignorance of and prejudice against science that this person displays is not what engages me. No, no. It’s the theology and the history.

    Ah well. Cobbler, meet last.

  10. Eddie Janssen

    Minimal changes to Genesis 1:
    – Day 3 and 4 in reverse order
    – a very long nap (let’s say 4 billion years) between these two days

    How much would that influence the acceptance of evolution by christians?

  11. @bobcur:
    Yes, I was surprised just how thoroughly the commenters roasted this guy’s fanny.

  12. @Eddie Janssen
    Whatever the Bible actually says has little effect on what people believe about evolution.

  13. He is, or was, a church minister: http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/9105469.Christian_Comment_with_Minchinhampton_Baptist_Church_minister_Graham_Hobbs/

    I see there are currently 22 comments under Hobbs’ 5.7.15 Comment piece (which is nor reacting to any specific news story). Almost all of them are highly critical.

  14. @Dave Luckett: In case the strip wasn’t carried in your part of Australia, this is the “Calvinist Hobbes” I was thnking of:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_and_Hobbes