Creationist Wisdom #631: Objective Evidence

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in appears in the Knoxville News Sentinel of Knoxville, Tennessee. That newspaper has had a lot of these letters lately. The last was #629: Evolution Hates You.

This one is titled Gaps in fossils don’t support evolution. 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 third time we’ve featured one of his letters. The last was #602: You Have No Data. James seems to be a real estate broker, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. Excerpts from his newest letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

“Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes, and phyla are systematic and almost always large,” stated George Gaylord Simpson (anticipating Stephen Gould’s “Punctuated Equilibrium”). That includes whales/mammals, reptiles/mammals, dinosaurs/birds and apes/humans (well above species classification).

George Gaylord Simpson? He was a respected paleontologist who died in 1984. We don’t know if James is quoting him out of context, but if that quote is supposed to support creationism, he probably is. Then he says:

Tiktaalik? Tracks of tetrapods have been found in Poland that predate Tiktaalik by 10 million years.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No one ever said that Tiktaalik was literally the first of its species. Since it was discovered in 2004 there have been many others found. Does James think that finding even earlier specimens of the same transitional species somehow invalidates the original discovery? Who knows? Let’s read on:

We also need a thousand geologically stable transitional forms for credibility. The fossil record does not provide the reasonably expected transitional fossils and is thus inadequate as evidence for evolution.

What in the world is a “geologically stable” fossil, and who decided that we need a thousand of them? Even one is sufficient to throw the concept of separately-created “kinds” into turmoil. As for the alleged lack of transitional fossils, we see that creationist clunker all the time. James also mentioned it in his earlier letter. Whenever it comes up, we always link to Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils. James continues:

The objective defense of and apologetic for the Christian faith consists of legal-historical evidence. Three major areas are 1. Extant ancient biblical texts, which allow an objective assessment of the time of writing, the reconstruction of the original text and historicity; 2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ based on the exceptional reliability and dating of the biblical texts versus the theories against it; and 3. Fulfilled biblical prophecy, utterly beyond human insight or manipulation. With respect to credible evidence, Christianity is absolutely secure.

Looking over James’ list of credible, objective evidence, it boils down to bible, bible, bible. No doubt about it — James has a solid case!

Hey — since James mentioned bible prophecy, we have to ask: What significant, unexpected historical events did the bible predict? Wikipedia has an article on it, Bible prophecy, but it doesn’t tell us much. If you, dear reader, are aware of any fulfilled prophecy that can’t easily be explained away as obvious (kingdoms rise and fall, disasters come and go, etc.), or as wish fulfillment, or maybe editorial license, perhaps you’ll inform us. For example, was the European discovery of the Western Hemisphere foretold? The American Revolution? The atom bomb? Visits to the Moon? We’d really like to know. Anyway, here’s more from James:

In the past, God was in full glory, recognized as the source of life. Some beings rebelled. God then established a plan, part of which was our universe and Earth, to restore his glory for our sakes, not his own.

What’s he talking about — the Flood? Probably. Moving along:

God doesn’t need us; we need him. The plan included suffering. Suffering is often the only thing that will get our attention. That alone is a sufficient reason.

Ah, suffering is part of James’ evidence, and he thinks it’s sufficient to prove his case. The end of his letter expands on that powerful point:

Romans 8:28 states that, for followers and, I believe, for those who listen and respond, the suffering will be used for good. I believe that can reasonably be extended to the innocent. The context is eternity. We will cry a million tears, then we shall behold him.

Well, there you are, dear reader. Another wonderful letter from James. If you’re not convinced, there must be something wrong with you.

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

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9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #631: Objective Evidence

  1. But was James there?

  2. His comment/claim “The objective defense of and apologetic for the Christian faith consists of legal-historical evidence. Three major areas are 1. Extant ancient biblical texts, which allow an objective assessment of the time of writing, the reconstruction of the original text and historicity; 2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ based on the exceptional reliability and dating of the biblical texts versus the theories against it; and 3. Fulfilled biblical prophecy, utterly beyond human insight or manipulation. With respect to credible evidence, Christianity is absolutely secure.” shows the problem here. The poor schleb doesn’t know that he has been fed a line of bull.

    The reliability of the texts describing Jesus’ resurrection make it a sure thing? Interesting. I wonder why all four accounts differ then? I wonder why nobody knows where J’s tomb is today. Don’t you think all of those folks who saw Jesus alive after he was dead would stake out his tomb and make a theme park out of it?

    If I want to know the truth of scripture I certainly wouldn’t go to a church, especially one which has a reputation for lying through their teeth before (which is all of them).

  3. Should we also be able to expect “Geologically Stable” apologetics from James? I wouldn’t expect him to provide over a thousand examples in an opinion piece but he could at least link to a supporting vanity title on amazon.

    Maybe James enjoys moving goal posts more than he likes the actual subject of his apologetics?

  4. Well James tried real hard to demonstrate his innate ignorance, and I wish to tell him he succeeded very well!

  5. michaelfugate

    In the past, God was in full glory, recognized as the source of life. Some beings rebelled. God then established a plan, part of which was our universe and Earth, to restore his glory for our sakes, not his own.

    How did that work out for your god, James? Has there ever been a time when beings haven’t rebelled against the god concept in one form or another? Have you read the Bible, James?

  6. > “We also need a thousand geologically
    > stable transitional forms for credibility”
    ——————-
    You need a high school education for credibility.

    Wow – another non-paleontologist who thinks he knows the fossil record. The only thing real estate people know is how to overprice land and homes.

  7. “Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes, and phyla are systematic and almost always large,” stated George Gaylord Simpson (anticipating Stephen Gould’s “Punctuated Equilibrium”). That includes whales/mammals, reptiles/mammals, dinosaurs/birds and apes/humans (well above species classification).

    I’m pretty sure George Gaylord Simpson knew that whales are mammals. That means that either the quote from him got mauled (and was supposed to refer to land mammals) or it was fabricated outright.

  8. michaelfugate

    That quote was easy to find:
    Simpson, G.G. 1980. Why and How: Some Problems and Methods in Historical Biology. Pergamon Press.

    It is found on page 10 in a chapter on the Fossil Record. The chapter in no way helps the creationist cause and no doubt James hasn’t been any where near the book.

    Of course when you Google it – creationist sites pop up first – Granville Sewell. Are your surprised?

  9. I remember reading George Gaylord Simpson’s book “The Meaning of Evolution” as a young boy. The book was old even back then but the message was clear from Simpson that evolution drove the course of life on this planet. Simpson was agnostic and clearly wasn’t providing fodder for the creationists but I thank our real estate friend for jogging some neurons for me.