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.
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