Creationist Wisdom #614: Possibility Zero

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel of Lodi, California. It’s titled Evolutionary theory is belief. The newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. After Googling around we think he’s an air conditioning contractor, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. His first name is Tom. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

After reading the Bible for the past 47 years (age 30 to 77 years old) I believe I have attained a degree of understanding about the origin and purpose for which our world exists.

Tom certainly has an adequate background for understanding the origin and purpose of the world. This should be good! He says:

Rather than accepting the “world view” which basically states that life came about by accident or “chance,” I know that chance is not an entity, it is not a thing that has power to affect other things. Chance offers us a rabbit without a hat and — what’s even more astonishing — without a magician!

“Chance” is not an entity. It’s powerless. Wow — this is fantastic! Let’s read on:

On the hand at least we have God, the Creator, a potential miracle-worker.

Great argument! You can’t beat something with nothing. Tom continues:

Modern science has shown that the possibility of a human cell happening by chance is zero.

We’ve seen all kinds of big numbers assigned to the improbability of life’s beginning, but we don’t recall any scientific demonstration that the possibility is zero. That’s a new one. Then we’re told:

Even evolutionists who are well known and highly regarded have stated that no one has ever seen any real evolution (from one kind of creature to a more complex kind of creature) take place.

Aaaargh!! There are numerous Observed Instances of Speciation, and also 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution, but creationists demand real-time visual evidence of very large-scale evolutionary progression — the kind that can occur only over millions of generations — and which are therefore evidenced only in the fossil record and in DNA. Here’s more from Tom:

Although some believe that evolutionary changes have taken place over millions of years of supposed earth history, none of those speculations can be proved or even tested. No human was present to observe or record them, so such ideas are entirely outside the scope of real science. Evolution must be “believed,” not observed. It is a matter of faith, not science.

Egad — evolution is faith! That means it’s worthless! Moving along:

Just imagine if you will, at this point in time, well over a centutry [sic] after Darwin and despite the lifelong effects of thousands of scientists and untold millions of dollars spent on elaborate studies and experiments, evolutionists have never experimentally observed the evolution of a single new species, nor do they have any idea of the mechanism by which evolution works.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Evolutionists are fools! They don’t even have an idea for a mechanism by which evolution works! On the other hand, that’s not a problem for Yahweh. Tom concludes his letter with a powerful quote:

One leading evolutionists, astronomer Robert Jastrow said, “Scientists have no proof that life was not the result of an act of creation.”

Admit it, dear reader — Tom knows what he’s talking about. Great letter!

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

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22 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #614: Possibility Zero

  1. Folks like that writer have no idea how ignorant they are in the issue they’re trying to criticize.

  2. Bring back Jack. Please.

  3. @sornord: Agreed. The one thing that the letter demonstrates has a possibility of zero is that Tom has any knowledge about what he’s ranting about.

  4. A dim reads a book of fairy tales and has now figured out how the universe works?!?!?! Sornord…I think you were giving this guy a compliment!!!

  5. Letter-writer Tom is just another example of a brain being fossilized by a misunderstanding of the Bible.

  6. I’d suggest Tom read some science books, but since it took him 47 years to read the bible, I think it’s hopeless.

  7. “After reading the Bible for the past 47 years (age 30 to 77 years old) I believe I have attained a degree of understanding about the origin and purpose for which our world exists.”

    He should have written, After reading Bronze age nonsense for the past 47 years I believe I have retained a fair degree of nonsensical drivel about the origin and purpose for which our world exists. Silly fundies, always listening to the lies of other men.

  8. Tom must not be aware of any history that occurred before his invisible friend was introduced.

    Any argument for an act of special creation would seem to have to favour the earliest known recording of such an act. The earlier accounts of creation where recorded long before even the Torah and Talmud made their transition from oral tradition to written form.

    So it is quite reasonable to reply to Tom’s wilful ignorance with the statement “Christians have no proof that life was not the result of an act of creation invoked by Ahura Mazda.”

  9. “Christians have no proof that life was not the result of an act of creation invoked by Ahura Mazda.”

    I rather favor the creation of the Mazda Miata, truth be told.

  10. The whole truth

    I personally observed my (ex) wife permanently become a monster in a nanosecond. Is that an example of very large-scale evolutionary progression? 🙂

  11. In a debate upon the development hypothesis, lately narrated to me by a friend, one of the disputants was described as arguing that, as in all our experience we know of no such phenomenon as the transmutation of species, it is unphilosophical to assume that transmutation of species ever takes place. Had I been present, I think that, passing over his assertion, which is open to criticism, I should have replied that, as in all our experience we have never known a species created, it was, by his own showing, unphilosophical to assume that any species ever had been created.

    Herbert Spencer, The Development Hypothesis, 1852:
    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Development_Hypothesis

  12. Trying again: [deleted]. And if that doesn’t work, I give up.

    [*Voice from above*] I stretched forth my mighty hand and behold: the link is fixed!

  13. “Wisdom”:”Rather than accepting the ‘world view’ which basically states that life came about by accident or ‘chance’…”

    What a shame. Had Tom taken a break from 47 years of looking for “evidences” in the Bible, and read some Dembski, he would have seen that there’s a 3rd formal ultimate cause – “regularity.” That would have made his “wisdom” much more clever. Though still wrong, as Dembski failed to show that the 3 ultimate causes are mutually exclusive.

  14. Biblical literalism is what happens when illiterates can read.

  15. Ceteris Paribus

    Tom says:

    “After reading the Bible for the past 47 years (age 30 to 77 years old) I believe I have attained a degree of understanding …”

    Tom’s casual rounding off the numbers of his years seems a little, um, slipshod for the work of a true believer. After all, the actual God opens up Genesis by handing out to us a robust calendar chronicling even his daily events. And God is immortal, which covers a long span of time, making it very difficult to keep track of those kind of details.

    I’m sure I would have been much more impressed with Tom’s mortal bible work if he had merely taken care to specify his own biographical details in units of weeks, or even months or seasons.

  16. I can’t tell from the excerpt if Tom is a young-earther (only ~10% of adult Americans are, despite the media’s obsession), but one thing I can say about young-earthers is that, when they do see how they had been misled – which is more often than you think – do one of 3 things: Some become old-earth Biblical literalists, others find the “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when” strategy convenient, but some simply get over it and embrace evolution. The latter are especially enlightening. When I asked one a few years ago if he would have ever arrived at his 6-day-~6000 year ago origins story had he never heard of Genesis he said “no” without hesitating.

    That supported what I had suspected for years, that “scientific” creationism – the pretense that the evidence just happens to independently validate one’s particular interpretation of Genesis – has been a charade all along. Indeed, we’d never have the ID scam had that not been the case. Even if anti-evolution movement had won “Edwards v. Aguillard,” all they would have had to do was ignore “creation” and “design” language, and just concentrate on how the independent evidence supports a 6-day-~6000 year ago origins story. But then and now, they – whether closet Omphalists or closet “Darwinists” – were painfully aware that it didn’t.

  17. As far as I can tell, if one is going to stick to what the Bible has a chance of telling us, there is nothing that can be remotely about evolution itself: change of the hereditary properties of populations, relationships between species, creation of taxa (rather than of individuals), … There is reason to take the rough idea of a “young earth” and the global Flood. But to reject evolution itself takes a heap of theologizing: what sort of thing God wouldn’t do, what moral consequences it has. Of course the speculation about super-fast evolution of species within “kinds” after the Flood is without any shred of Biblical backing. And ID is deliberately philiosophising without Biblical support.

    To me, this says that if one is convinced that YEC is wrong, then there is no Biblical reason to reject evolution. One still has, if that is one’s druthers, that it is yucky to believe that one is descended from monkeys.

  18. We’ve seen all kinds of big numbers assigned to the improbability of life’s beginning, but we don’t recall any scientific demonstration that the possibility is zero. That’s a new one. Then we’re told:

    Even evolutionists who are well known and highly regarded have stated that no one has ever seen any real evolution (from one kind of creature to a more complex kind of creature) take place.

    Considering how slippery the creationist idea of “kind” is, that’s no surprise. Mere speciation won’t cut it with them; they’ll just argue that the resulting species is the same “kind” as the original. And of course, evolution doesn’t necessarily move toward complexity.

    Although some believe that evolutionary changes have taken place over millions of years of supposed earth history, none of those speculations can be proved or even tested. No human was present to observe or record them, so such ideas are entirely outside the scope of real science. Evolution must be “believed,” not observed. It is a matter of faith, not science.

    This, from a creationist? BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

    And what human was alive to see the Creation?

  19. TomS: “To me, this says that if one is convinced that YEC is wrong, then there is no Biblical reason to reject evolution.”

    C’mon. You of all know that Biblical literalists of the Scopes era and before dismissed the YEC interpretation with “day-age” and “gap” interpretations. And even in the realm of “scientific” creationism, groups like RTB and other OEC organizations insist that the Bible rejects evolution and YEC.

    As you yourself often note, if one must be strictly literal, the Bible endorses not only YEC, but Geocentrism. Which means that it contradicts the positions of AiG, ICR, etc.

  20. Frank J, that’s reading the Bible literally, but not literately – if you read it as a recounting of facts, the facts are indeed quite wrong. It is, of course, not a recounting of facts and never has been. Or so several thousand years of rabbinical writing would seem to indicate.

  21. @FrankJ
    I was just speculating as if I were a person who took the Bible as a guide to the natural world, and were wondering about evolution. An idle pastime, to be sure. But that “hypothetical me” would come to the conclusion that the only Scriptural objection to evolution would not be against evolution per se, but only that evolution would require much more time than the “young Earth” reading of Genesis. If I were convinced that the “day age” or “gap” or “it’s clearly metaphorical” or other “other than young Earth” reading were preferred, I wouldn’t find any Scriptural basis for rejecting evolutionary biology.

  22. As TomS says there is nothing in the Bible about how God created – even the dust from the ground and breath is vague enough that evolution is compatible. They only become incompatible by reading things into the text that are not actually found there.