Creationist Wisdom #602: You Have No Data

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Knoxville News Sentinel of Knoxville, Tennessee. It’s titled Evolution is not supported by data. The newspaper has a comments feature, but you can’t see them (if there are any) without a subscription.

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 James. This is the second time we’ve featured one of his letters. The first was less than a month ago: #597: Creator Is Revealed. James seems to be a real estate broker, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. Excerpts from his new letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Are Earth, energy and time sufficient to produce life? To be useful, energy must be used in measure and precisely. Uncontrolled energy is destructive to life and to its formation.

Ah yes, uncontrolled energy is destructive to life. That’s the well-established 69th law of thermodynamics, which explains why sunlight makes life on Earth impossible. James knows his stuff! Then he quotes some science for us:

“In the vast majority of processes in which we are interested (processes which produce an organic substance) spontaneous dissolution is much more probable than spontaneous synthesis” (“The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, August 1954). The result of Earth, energy and time is dissolution, not life. This is as true now as when the article was written.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! A single sentence, with no context, from 1954. Then James quotes another irrefutable scientific finding:

“In practice, Darwin conceded, the fossil record was much too spotty to demonstrate those gradual changes (required by his theory), though he was confident that they (intermediate fossils) would eventually turn up. But a century of digging since then has only made their absence more glaring” (Newsweek, March 29, 1982).

Wow — there are no transitional fossils! Shall we link to Wikipedia again? Sure — here’s their List of transitional fossils. Let’s read on:

Sufficient intermediates to validate evolution are still missing. Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University, assesses the real question about evolution, the efficacy of random mutation, from the available scientific data. Read his books, his critics and his responses. Behe is a superb scientist.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! James mentioned Michael Behe in his last letter. Not only is he a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, he was the Discoveroids’ star witness in the Kitzmiller case — see Kitzmiller v. Dover: Michael Behe’s Testimony. And he’s also a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. His colleagues at Lehigh are so impressed by his brilliance that they publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”. James continues:

Energy is destructive unless precisely used. The general theory of evolution is not supported by the data. The secularist looks to science. The problem is that the secularist is not listening to what science is saying.

As he has done before, James carefully refers to the general theory of evolution, and doesn’t confuse it with the special theory. At the end of his wonderful letter, he offers us some advice:

Yes, “Read a real science book,” one that deals honestly with what the data reveal about evolution and particularly the origin of life. Learn about the extreme precision of our universe and the unassailable uniqueness of Earth. Compare the Christian apologetic with the opposition, and appreciate the real source of life.

We hope that newspaper continues to publish letters from James. He’s fantastic!

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

11 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #602: You Have No Data

  1. “evilution is not supported by the data” Really? Cool now where is your data? And if as you claim gawd did it…what does that get you?? What good does that do in the world?

  2. So James was advocating for the General Theory of Unintelligent Design or the Special Theory of Unintelligent Design, he wasn’t quite clear as he presented no data or transitional angel fossils.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    The only supporting evidence this guy can scare up is from Newsweek in 1982. Get with it dude, link to the Wikipedia article SC posted, its 2015. I dare you to prove Wikipedia wrong.

  4. The whole truth

    “Learn about the extreme precision of our universe and the unassailable uniqueness of Earth.”

    James the creationist claims that the universe was designed-created by the imaginary christian god to be extremely precise and he obviously believes that the whole universe is still that way because it is maintained-guided by that imaginary god, but James also asserts that Earth is unassailably unique.

    Some questions of mine to James the IDiot-creationist are: What is extremely precise about the universe? And extremely precise for what? It can’t be extremely precisely designed-created-maintained-guided for life because life can’t exist in most of the universe. Most of the universe would instantly kill any life forms, and since James believes that Earth is unassailably unique he must believe that it’s because Earth is the only place in the universe where life exists and can exist (especially human life). So, again, what is extremely precise about the universe, the fact that most of it is extremely precisely deadly to life?

    If Earth is the only place where life exists and the only place that’s chosen and set up by ‘god’ for life to exist, and especially for human life to exist, then what’s the point of extremely, precisely (or even sloppily) designing-creating-maintaining-guiding the rest of the universe? Isn’t the rest of the universe just a massive waste of energy? What is “precisely” “used in measure” about the vast amount of energy in such an enormous universe if there is life on only one small planet? Shouldn’t James and his ilk see that as energy being totally wasted?

  5. Goddiddid is the whole truth, Whole Truth.

  6. Curmie — Nice touch, providing the link to transitional fossils. Too bad we can’t post it to the “Comments” section of the Knoxville News Sentinel without a subscription. With the Univ. of Tennessee being there and Oak Ridge National Laboratory nearby, there are many intelligent folks around Knoxville who would appreciate it.

  7. I often wonder how many other alien civilizations spend their time gazing at the universe and coming to the false conclusion that the universe was conceived and created solely for their own existence or is hubris a uniquely human quality?

  8. Dave Luckett

    I doubt that it is the intention of the small county newspaper that ran this piece actually to stifle rebuttal of it. But that is the effect of a “no-subscription-no-comment” regime. This example of the creationist noise machine, with its confident assertions that run flatly contrary to fact, cannot be countered unless there happens to be among the subscribers someone who knows enough, can write to the standard required, will take the trouble AND is also ready to face the reaction of his neighbors in a Bible-belt community.

    Of course the assertions of this writer are false. Of course there are transitionals by the score. Of course his take on the laws of thermodynamics is grotesquely wrong. Of course his notion of the effects of the energy available is patently idiotic. Of course his assertion about Behe is ridiculously false. Of course a convoy of trucks can be driven through his logic.

    But none of that matters if nobody rebuts. And the rebuttal has to be in simple, non-mathematical, easy-to-understand English. It can’t be technical. It can’t have jargon. It mustn’t include equations. It can’t even show contempt, and it mustn’t deride, richly deserved as those reactions are, because derision will only cause resentment among people who would otherwise be prepared to listen to reason – and those are the only people that matter. Convinced creationists are impervious to reason, and the leaders have a vested interest in dismissing it. But they’re not the target.

    Still, no rebuttal is no rebuttal. It’s material like this in publications like this one that keep creationism alive. And that creationism lives on there can be no doubt.

  9. robert van bakel

    Your policy of not ‘outing’ the identity of stupid people just for the crime of being stupid is gracious. However, if the stupid person is an identified repeat offender, such as the above twit, I think your policy should be amended: “Repeat offenders be warned, there is no THIRD chance!”

  10. Sufficient intermediates to validate evolution are still missing. Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University, assesses the real question about evolution, the efficacy of random mutation, from the available scientific data. Read his books, his critics and his responses. Behe is a superb scientist.

    How many “intermediates” does it take to “validate evolution”? No number can be assigned, because no number of intermediate fossils will ever satisfy the likes of Michael Behe, who is a “superb scientist” to creationists only because he tells them what they want to hear. So what if everyone else thinks he’s a quack?

  11. In addition to the 1982 article about intermediate fossils Charles Deetz pointed out, our friend James quotes a 1954 article in Scientific American dealing with thermodynamics. He than admonishes us to “Read a real science book”. I suggest before he spout off about thermodynamics, life and evolution again he ought to follow is own advice. I’d suggest Nick Lane’s The vital question: Energy, Evolution and the Origins of Complex Life for a start.

    Oh, wait, it deals with real thermodynamics, redox potentials, proton, electron and sodium ion gradients, and how these processes and the structures that guide them are similar and how they differ between bacteria and archaea, the two major groups of living things that are clear favorites of the sky fairy. Those are topics probably well beyond James understanding, but it might convince him he doesn’t have a clue about what he’s trying to discuss.