Creationist Wisdom #646: Shropshire Genius

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the fifth biggest-selling regional evening newspaper in Britain, the Shropshire Star of Ketley, in Shropshire. Charles Darwin was born in Shropshire. The letter is titled Darwin’s theories an argument for non-believers to hide behind. The newspaper has a comments feature.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But we can’t use his first name because he only gives us his first initial. We don’t know what to call him. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

I am told that evolution scientists believe in Darwinism, a paradigm just 150 or so years old.

We are dealing with a powerful intellect here, dear reader. His arguments are so incredible that we won’t do much rebutting. He then says:

A paradigm cannot be definitely proved, no more than creation by an all powerful, all knowing being outside of this universe. It is a collection of ideas and theories which those who do not want to believe in God hide behind.

Ah, so that’s what it is. Let’s read on:

As I understand their argument, or creed, it is that once upon a time billions of years ago there was nothing, then lo and behold an explosion occurred. This explosion brought into being gases and elements which had not been there before! This is all conjecture and neatly gets over the problem of everything coming from nothing, not a scientific fact, but, hey, they can believe it if they need to! Then, over billions of years the gases solidified, and gradually order came out of the chaos.

Yup — that’s evolution. Our mysterious letter-writer knows what he’s talking about. He continues:

Again, not a scientific concept. In all real experiments everything is breaking down and deteriorating, not becoming more complex unless there is an outside mind to order it.

That seems to be the creationists’ usual Second Law of Thermodynamics argument, but clumsily expressed. TalkOrigins easily debunks it. Here’s more:

In all this proliferation of order out of chaos our earth appeared, with an abundance of water and oxygen, absolutely essential for life, rotating around our sun in the right elliptical course at the right distance and speed, and angle. The moon also at the right distance away to allow life to exist. So far, in all the space exploration no other planet comes close to the complexity and wonder of our planet.

Wowie — our world is amazing! Then he tells us:

The sun is made up of hydrogen, it is burning up and the moon is slowly moving further from our planet in distances which are being measured.

The sun is burning up and the moon is moving away! What does our letter-writer make of that? We’re about to find out:

Had the moon been moving away at a steady rate as measured at present, then only a few thousand years ago it would have been close enough to greatly increase the tides making our tsunamis look like normal tides! Life on land would have been far worse than anything we fear from global warming!

The TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims discusses that — well, not that precise point, but close enough: the moon is receding, and the earth’s rotation is slowing down, at rates too fast for the earth to be billions of years old. Then the letter-writer tells us about the sun:

If the sun is burning up at a steady, measurable rate, how big and hot would it have been, and how close to the earth the billions of years claimed for the earth’s existence?

Lordy, lordy — this guy thinks the sun is literally burning, as in combustion. We don’t recall seeing that argument before — at least not since the process of hydrogen fusion was understood. And now we come to the end:

But never mind, Darwinists believe this un-provable narrative however un-provable or unreasonable, so long as they don’t allow a divine foot in the door.

This guy has it all figured out. Great letter!

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21 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #646: Shropshire Genius

  1. The Shropshirian writes:
    “…once upon a time billions of years ago there was nothing, then lo and behold an explosion occurred. This explosion brought into being gases and elements which had not been there before! This is all conjecture and neatly gets over the problem of everything coming from nothing, not a scientific fact, but, hey, they can believe it if they need to! Then, over billions of years the gases solidified, and gradually order came out of the chaos.”

    First off, I defer to Megalonyx concerning the proper term for one from Shropshire. That said, why do creationists think it makes more logical sense to have their God speak the universe into existence?

    Oh, well. Another mystery — why do creationists continue to conflate the origin of the universe with evolution? I can’t believe they are too stupid to know the difference. So, it must be a deliberate attempt to mislead.

  2. michaelfugate

    We don’t know what to call him.

    A Shropshire Lad?

  3. @ Pope Retiredsciguy: The term you seek, for a native of Shropshire, is Salopian.

  4. Doh! And the term for someone like me, who consistently screws up his html tag thingies, is an idiot.

  5. With geniuses like this guy fighting the good fight for the godly creationists, how can we evolutionists maintain the evil Darwinist hegemony?

  6. Creationists: no matter how bad their understanding of biology is, their understanding of astronomy is always worse.

  7. Megalonyx confesses: “And the term for someone like me, who consistently screws up his html tag thingies, is an idiot.”

    Olivia agrees.

  8. If the sun is burning up at a steady, measurable rate, how big and hot would it have been, and how close to the earth the billions of years claimed for the earth’s existence?

    This sounds like Lord Kelvin’s argument from the nineteenth century. Kelvin assumed the sun was powered by gravitational contraction, and calculated it would have been large enough to fill the earth’s orbit 25-100 million years ago, and probably closer to the low end.

    Kelvin was a respected scientist, and his argument troubled Darwin–but he lived to see the discovery of nuclear energy, which was quickly understood to be the actual source of the sun’s heat and light. Evidently the creationists haven’t heard the news.

  9. Ah, another rant from a creationist demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of Darwinian evolution, as well as physics, chemistry, astrophysics… How do these chaps find their way to work each day?

  10. As I’m sure Eric Lipps knows, the Salopian is concerned about the wrong end of the sun’s life. It’s when it is burning out as a red giant that it will be bigger than the earth’s orbit. Not to worry though, that’s a long time away, and we’ll all be dead long before it happens.

  11. “Evidently the creationists haven’t heard the news.”
    What else to expect? Creationists haven’t been able to accept any news since 1859 …..

  12. @Eric Lipps
    As far as Lord Kelvin having lived to hear of the nuclear explanation for the Sun’s energy … I don’t think it was quite so neat. Yes, the idea of radioactivity producing energy was known. But, of course, we know that it is not radioactivity, or even fission, that is responsible. It is hydrogen fusion. And the idea that stars are mostly hydrogen was not recognized for quite a while, as well as the possibility of nuclear fusion as a source of energy.

  13. I am told that evolution scientists believe in Darwinism, a paradigm just 150 or so years old.

    Doh! Evolution scientists believe in Evolution?! Incredible! Unbelievable! But apparently he just heard the news about Darwin and it was enough shock to bring Elmer Fudd out of the closet,

  14. > “Had the moon been moving away at a steady
    > rate as measured at present, then only a few
    > thousand years ago it would have been close
    > enough to greatly increase the tides making
    > our tsunamis look like normal tides!
    ——————–
    I’ll address the Shropshire Genius’ Moon stuff. The Moon is now ~384,400 km away from Earth – this is often shortened to “~60R”, with R = the Earth’s radius (6370 km). The Moon is retreating at 3.82 cm per year now. This retreat is on the quick side at present. The retreat rate has not been constant through geologic time.

    Based on fossil coral growth line studies and stromatolite layer studies and tidalite studies, researchers have determined the Moon’s distance in the past:
    Pennsylvanian (~310 m.y. ago) – ~58R
    Devonian (~370 m.y. ago) – ~58R
    Neoproterozoic (~620 m.y. ago) – ~58R
    Mesoproterozoic (900 m.y. to 1 b.y. ago) – ~57R
    end-Archean (~2.5 b.y. ago) – ~52 R

    Note that the Moon was “stuck” for a couple hundred million years – this was probably triggered by an orbital decircularization event caused by a resonance with Planet Jupiter in the late Precambrian (see chapter 8 of Bob Malcuit’s new book – The Twin Sister Planets Venus and Earth, published in 2015).

    Creationist nonsense foiled by evidence yet again – when will they ever learn?

  15. Breaking news (not related to this particular article): A TV commercial for “Ark Encounter” was just aired on the Fox Business network, minutes before the start of yet another debate between the Republican party candidates for president. I guess Hambo’s troops know where to find their prospective customers.

  16. @JStJ: “fossil coral growth line studies and stromatolite layer studies and tidalite studies.”
    Who cares about those studies? I have math! And you can’t beat math! Math says that the Universe can’t be that old! Checkmate, athiest communist fascist materialist naturalist (you like dancing in natura at moonlight, don’t you?) evolutionist Darwinist!

  17. Ceteris Paribus

    Hmm. That Salopian seems to have put a new twist on the old creationist conundrum: “If humans evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys around?” He now seems to be asking for an answer to the question: “If the scientist Darwin himself evolved out of Shropshire, then how come there are still idiots around Shropshire?”

  18. Good news; the comments on the newspaper site are uniformly contemptuous.

    Would this also be true if such a letter had been published in the US?

  19. SC: “But we can’t use his first name because he only gives us his first initial.”

    Do you know for fact it’s a he? Or just going but the curious fact that 95+% of these “wisdom” writers are male?

  20. abeastwood: “Ah, another rant from a creationist demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of Darwinian evolution, as well as physics, chemistry, astrophysics… How do these chaps find their way to work each day?”

    Simple. It’s not a “complete lack of understanding” but rather knowing many facts, but being selective when it suits them. So they’re unlikely to jump off buildings even though gravity is “only a theory.” Surely there are many inconvenient facts and explanations that they privately accept, but would never admit. Especially when they give it enough thought to write these letters. While most nonscientists – including, unfortunately most who have no problem with evolution – may be genuuinely clueless, these activists-in-training must have some inkling that they’re peddling nonsense.

  21. ,Paul Braterman: “Would this also be true if such a letter had been published in the US?”

    Absolutely. Since they honestly believe every word they say, and only make mistakes because they genuinely misunderstand the science, they always welcome comments, especially those that that critically analyze their case.

    Yes, Sheldon, that was sarcasm.