Creationist Wisdom #667: No Proof of Evolution

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Tri-City Herald of Kennewick, Washington — where the skeletal remains of Kennewick Man were found 20 years ago. The letter is titled Science has not proved evolution, and the newspaper has a comments section.

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. He may own an art gallery, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. His first name is Charles. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Gary Boothe [who wrote this earlier letter] says that it is encouraging that 60 percent of Americans now believe in evolution. I am not quite sure where he gets his statistics, but it simply means that 60 percent of Americans have been deceived by the anti-theistic doctrine asserting that science has proved evolution.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Charles doesn’t read very well. That earlier letter cited and linked to this Pew Research poll, which reported what people think is the scientific consensus. It didn’t mention “proof.” We’re off to a great start. Then Charles says:

Evolution is not science and science has not nor can prove evolution.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Charles doesn’t know what a scientific theory is. Theories, unlike theological doctrines, are comprehensible and testable explanations of facts. Theories can be disproved — but never proved — by verifiable evidence and observations. If a theory continues to successfully survive testing, it is accepted, but always provisionally, because new evidence may be found that contradicts it. In the case of evolution, there is no contradictory evidence. That’s why it is all but universally accepted by scientists. Let’s read on:

It is true that the creation of the universe and mankind by God, the Creator, cannot be proved scientifically, but the natural laws of science can be.

The first part of that sentence is true, but what does Charles mean when he says “the natural laws of science” can be proved? And why does he change from talking about theories to laws? Doesn’t he understand the difference? He continues:

Actually science tends to prove creation as told in the Book of Genesis.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! This guy gets everything wrong! Here’s more:

The flawed doctrine of evolution says that the universe needed millions of years to evolve from nothing into something. That is ludicrous.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Now evolution is a “doctrine.” And like so many creationists, Charles thinks it includes cosmology. Moving along:

Evolution requires an increase in complexity over time, but in reality everything decreases in order over time. That is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is verifiable and provable.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims has several items on that clunker, but this should be enough. And now we come to the end:

God created the universe not millions of years ago, but probably 6,000 years ago. The un-prejudicial study of science tends to prove this.

This was spectacular! Charles had at least one major blunder in every sentence. His letter is a fine addition to our collection.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #667: No Proof of Evolution

  1. God created the universe not millions of years ago, but probably 6,000 years ago. The un-prejudicial study of science tends to prove this.

    It does? Has Charles ever opened a science book? Has he ever watched a Nova documentary? (Or does he regard PBS as a leftist tool of damnation and Satan, funded by socialist Kenyans like obvious extraterrestrial interloper Obama?)

    If Charles said that a possible scientific interpretation of the evidence might suggest that the universe is just 6000 years old, we ain’t no damn’ monkeys and by the way pigs fly, he’d still be talking baloney (I euphemize) but at least one could retain a bit of respect for his view. But the pretense that “The un-prejudicial study of science tends to prove this” is not so much baloney as downright unethical.

  2. Comments like these just illustrate the fear that theists have that the universe wasn’t created just for them. They are so insecure that any idea that requires thinking outside their tiny and restricted box just blows their mind. If there are things that threatens their particular brand of myth it might mean that their beliefs aren’t correct and they can’t face that.

  3. Dave Luckett

    I dunno about unethical. He probably believes it, having carefully insulated his mind from contact with actual facts that bear on the question. Human beings can believe in baloney that would be utterly annihilated by an examination of reality.

    Nevertheless, there is a certain level of dishonesty about this one. There comes a point where the willing cultivation of ignorance becomes actual fraud. This missive, and this man’s mind-set, has passed that point. He knows absolutely nothing about the subjects, plural, he has been moved to write about, but he imagines his own competence to much the same extent and effect as he imagines the facts themselves.

    Simply to contradict him is futile, however. As SC says, every single sentence of that letter is false to fact, usually in more than one way; but the evidence for the facts is voluminous, detailed and subtle. Paradoxically, all three traits work against its acceptance. Size, detail, and subtlety are challenges; the effort to understand the material is large, and many don’t make it. That would be OK, if it were not that ignorance includes ignorance of itself. This writer is catastrophically ignorant, but imagines that he is not.

    Of course the falsehood of his claims is obvious to readers of this blog, so much so that it were tedious to rehearse them yet again. But how to counter them to an audience that hasn’t investigated the facts? One which would tend to dismiss counter-assertions as merely a difference of opinion, and of equal value?

    I confess that the problem daunts me. How is one to convey the enormous body of evidence that supports evolution by natural selection over deep time without asking the recipient to actually acquire knowledge of it?

  4. As Heinlein noted decades back,

    Belief gets in the way of learning.

  5. Yet another YEC persecuting christians that don’t believe what he does. Is Ted Cruz going to do anything about this?

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    Its ashamed that Dave Luckett’s thoughtful and wise missive is wasted on the vapid drivel of letter number 667.

  7. There comes a point where the willing cultivation of ignorance becomes actual fraud.

    That’s actually what I was trying to point at when I complained of Charles’s lack of ethics. I cannot believe he doesn’t know he’s deliberately ignoring the facts in the matter. Call him unethical or call him fraudulent, it all seems much the same to me. He’s lying for Jesus. You or I would think that dishonest; Charles clearly doesn’t.

    But how to counter them to an audience that hasn’t investigated the facts?

    It’s a monumentally difficult question. A book of my own was recently reviewed five years after publication in a science mag. The review was overall favorable, but the reviewer had a few carps . . . with some of which I actually agree. (Like, things would have been a bit different had I not had to cut the text by ~40% from my first draft!) One such was his objection to my somewhat mildly smacking down some idiot science-denier. “As we’ve all seen,” said the reviewer (I paraphrase from memory), “this technique hasn’t worked too well with climate deniers.”

    My initial reaction was a sort of “fair point” nod. But then I thought further and realized that neither has any other technique, whether the topic be climate denialism, creationism, antivaxxerism, AIDS conspiracy theories, birtherism . . .

    Abuse ’em as the idiots they are? Doesn’t work, because you’re being “gratuitously offensive” or whatever else mild-mannered Richard Dawkins has recently been accused of being. Try the voice of sweet reason? That gets you nowhere; Bill Nye tried it, for one, and was knocked from all sides. Publish blogs like this one? I haven’t checked this, but I’d imagine the average punter who typed a search term like “creationism vs evolution” into Goodsearch or Google would find about a zillion creationist sites before getting to this one.

    My guess is that the only effective strategy is likely to be a mixture of all the techniques, from ridicule (as per here) to calm persuasion and all the stages in between. The combination will persuade almost exactly zero of the diehard creationists (although there’ll always be a few, which is cheering), but it will reach out to a goodish number of fence-sitters — people who through ignorance or inclination have been “keeping an open mind” or persuading themselves that (cue vomit) “the science isn’t yet settled.”

    Is wot I think.

  8. It’s a shame that Dave Luckett’s thoughtful and wise missive is wasted on the vapid drivel of letter number 667.

    Hear hear.

  9. Charles’ letter deserves to be numbered 666a.

    “Theories, unlike theological doctrines, are comprehensible and testable explanations of facts.”
    So theological doctrines are incomprehensible and untestable explanations, not necessarily of facts.
    I like that description.

  10. It is true that the creation of the universe and mankind by God, the Creator, cannot be proved scientifically, but the natural laws of science can be.

    True enough. But the Charles says,

    Actually science tends to prove creation as told in the Book of Genesis.

    So creation can’t be proved scientifically, but science tends to prove it. Doesn’t this guy keep track of his own arguments?

  11. Egad, Charles. In one breath, you are unable to distinguish between “accepted” and “proven,” and as a result a basic tenet of scientific inquiry, which is that everything accepted is subject to revision upon presentation of new evidence. But lo and behold, in the next breath you “effortlessly” throw the Second Law of Thermodynamics” around like a frisky dog treats a chew toy. I’ll never know how you managed to fail scientific concepts 101 while feeling confident to tackle physics, but you keep hedging those bets, pal of Pascal. And how rascally of you to make a bogus concession at the end–god created the earth millions of years ago–only then to reveal your inner YEC, “but probably 6,000 years ago.” Slick, Charley, slick.

  12. @Eric Lipps: “Doesn’t this guy keep track of his own arguments?” Consistent arguments and proofreading are skills that many religious writers ignore. Charles is attempting to follow the examples of the Bible and the Koran.

  13. We keep approaching these examples of willful ignorance as a rational problem when it is largely emotional. Only an argument that touches the emotions of these folk will have an effect.

  14. SC, if you have identified the correct Charles, his “About me” on his website explains quite a bit.
    “I am a born again follower of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have dedicated my life to serving Him and spreading the good news and the Glory of God.”
    i.e. Liar for Jesus