Creationist Wisdom #625: Darwin’s Last Chance

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Tri-City Herald of Kennewick, Washington. The title is Mars water could prove or disprove theory of evolution. The newspaper has a comments feature.

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 — Pastor Kent Knight, retired, of the Hermiston Seventh-day Adventist Church. Excerpts from the rev’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

For years, I have been hopeful that evidence for liquid water would be found on Mars. The reason I have hoped for this may surprise many.

Okay, rev, we’re ready to be surprised. Why have you been hoping for water on Mars? He tells us:

As a Biblical creationist, I believe the discovery of even microbial life on Mars would validate the theory of evolution.

What kind of creationist is this guy? Let’s read on:

With the discovery of liquid water added to the previously discovered sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon — all discovered in material drilled out of an ancient stream bed — it would seem that the stage is set to prove or disprove evolution as being scientifically valid.

Uh … how would water prove or disprove evolution? The rev continues:

There is just one big question: Will the key ingredients for life have assembled themselves into living organisms by now, as is supposed they have on Earth? The fallacy we continue to hear is that if there is the combination of these key ingredients of life, with water for a long enough time, microbial life will evolve.

Aaaargh!! Where is the rev getting his information? Biologists don’t yet know precisely how life begins, but they assume that where the right conditions and materials are present, life can appear — and given enough such planets, it probably will appear on some of them. Mars may be such a world, or it may not be. Wherever life does appear, then it will almost certainly evolve — as it does on Earth — but that’s a separate issue. If the rev wants to disprove evolution, he can do it right here on Earth — if he has the evidence. Here’s more:

Yet they have failed to discover organic carbons — the building blocks of life.

That’s not true — see NASA Rover Finds Active and Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars. And we’ve only just begun to look. But if it turns out that there never was life on Mars, then what? The rev is terribly confused if he thinks that would disprove the theory of evolution. He concludes his letter with this:

When the evidence shows that chemical evolution is an invalid hypothesis for Mars, I will have added reasons to celebrate the truth that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”

Slow down, rev, it’s way too early for you to celebrate. Even if Mars has always been barren of life, that won’t prove much of anything. You’ll have better luck trying to find Noah’s Ark than you will disproving evolution.

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

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #625: Darwin’s Last Chance

  1. Great idea, Curmudgeon. Maybe all the creationists could go on an expedition to find the infamous ark and leave the rest of us alone! My guess is they could spend lifetimes looking and we’d all be better off.

  2. Except… this has absolutely NOTHING to do with evolution! He’s talking about abiogenesis, and thinking it’s the same thing as evolution. The first is how life started; the second is how life has evolved since it started. Two different things. It’s like when they say, “Evolutionists say that the universe started with The Big Bang.” THAT’S what makes me go, “ARRRRRRGH!” Why can’t they at least be honest and just say what they really mean, which is NOT “evolution says” but “science says”.

  3. …..and as Ben Carson says the “Big Bang” is the Devil’s work”. I’m still trying to understand how he got through med school and became a neurosurgeon. I guess that just proves that physicians are just technicians and not scientists.

  4. @Biokid-
    I just wonder what it must be like to have him as a boss.

  5. Dave Luckett

    This is what they’ve retreated to? No life on Mars, no evidence of life ever on Mars, therefore fiat Creation of life on Earth?

    What in Heaven’s name can the man be taking for his hay fever, these days?

  6. Dave Luckett asks

    What in Heaven’s name can the man be taking for his hay fever?


  7. Gary asks: “Why can’t they at least be honest and just say ….”
    If they were honest they wouldn’t be creationists.
    This particular rev for instance also doesn’t want to understand that disproving evolution/ abiogenesis/ Big Bang does not provide any evidence for creacrap.

  8. @Gary-
    One thing that I learned very long ago is that creationism is in its essence incoherent.
    There is no alternative to evolution. The smartest and best-informed people have tried to poke holes in standard science of biology without success as far as the core concepts.
    Therefore, it is not surprising that what is left over for evolution denial is not very impressive.

  9. Vulcanthunder

    This strengthens the evidence for life detected by the Viking landers back in the 70s. The radioactive CO2 released indicated microbes but was discounted by the chemists because the MSGC detected no organic compounds. Apparently the instruments have gotten a lot better in 40 years.

  10. Ben Carson actually said, in public, that the Big Bang (I assume he means the idea of the Big Bang) is “the Devil’s work”?

    No wonder he’s gaining on Donald Trump in the polls. It’s a race to see who’s the nuttiest Republican presidential candidate, and Carson just gained a lap! All he needs to do to catch up completely is steal Scott Walker’s idea of a wall on the Canadian border.

  11. Ben Carson is without a doubt the world’s dumbest neurosurgeon. In a speech delivered in 2012, Ben Carson said the big bang theory was part of the “fairy tales” pushed by “high-faluting scientists” as a story of creation. He even trotted out the hurricane through a junk yard analogy to deride the Big Bang. High-faluting? For gods sake Ben you’re a fricking brain surgeon!

    One thing I have learned about many doctors is their amazing lack of scientific curiosity. Ben takes this to an creationist extreme.

  12. Biokid:
    “I guess that just proves that physicians are just technicians and not scientists.”

    Good point. And most are extremely good technicians, but if they are good doctors they need to spend all of their reading time keeping up with advances in their field — no time left for reading about astronomy, geology, biology outside of human physiology, or any other scientific field not directly related to medicine.

    Likewise their time in pre-med and med school. The only general biology class that many took was likely in high school, and it’s likely that very few had any instruction in geology beyond seventh or eighth grade.

  13. Eric Lipps, if you lived in Wisconsin, you’d be in favor of a wall along the Canadian border too–provided it could be built high enough to keep out the arctic winter air.

  14. When the evidence shows that chemical evolution is an invalid hypothesis for Mars, I will have added reasons to celebrate the truth that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”

    I think he is being presumptuous in ruling out the flying spaghetti monster.