Creationist Wisdom #676: Put Thinking Cap On

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News Virginian of Waynesboro, Virginia. The letter is titled Signs of intelligent design are all around us, and 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 this time we’ve got a preacher — Mark Wingfield, described as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Grottoes. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

The rev begins by describing some TV show, the name and source of which he can’t remember, about some underwater ruins — or something — off the coast of South Korea. He says:

What got my attention was a comment one of the experts made concerning what it could be. He said whatever was down there had to be manmade because it had such order, that the observable distinguishable pattern indicated that whatever it was, it had to have been put there intentionally. I smiled to myself as this man stated the classic argument for an intelligent designer, a.k.a. an argument for the existence of God, whether he meant to or not.

[*Groan*] That’s the kind of argument we see all the time from the Discovery Institute — see, for example, The Discoveroids’ Design Detector in Action. The rev then tells us:

If you walk through a forest and see a pile of neatly stacked rocks, you don’t assume they got there by random chance; you assume that they were placed that way by an intelligent being who had a specific design in mind.

Yes, we know. Then the rev gives a few other examples of the same sort of thing, which we can skip. You know where he’s going, don’t you? Let’s read on:

This is common sense. No one would argue against it. Yet, many of the same people who would acknowledge that things with distinct order in our world today come from an intelligent designer will argue that the universe was formed randomly, by chance, with no great mind and power behind the details, details which are infinitely more complex than the care it would take to stack a pile of rocks in the woods.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! If a pile of neatly stacked rocks in the woods is intelligently designed, then what about universe? Well, what about it — huh? Huh? The rev continues:

We are living in a time where consistency and rational thought is no longer required. This is a time where a man can admit that a simple building can’t construct itself and then turn around and say that no intelligent designer/creator is necessary concerning the perfect placement of our earth in the solar system so that we don’t burn up or freeze or concerning the intricacies of things like DNA coding, photosynthesis and gravitational pull.

Yes, it’s frustrating to see how irrational people can be. We’ll skip his rant about gays and abortions. Here’s some more:

The faulty thinking so many proudly put on display for the rest of us to endure often finds root in a rejection of a sovereign God as creator. Start there, end up right where we are. I once had a teacher who told us to “Put on our thinking caps!” Those words make no sense to many people in today’s culture, but they surely are needed.

The rev is frustrated that no one is thinking any more — no one but him. Moving along:

If saying that an intelligent mind is needed to build a watch but not design the universe makes me wise according to the world, then call me a fool. I’m OK with that!

As you wish, rev. And now we come to the end:

God gave me a mind, and I intend to use it for His glory, regardless of how that may look to the world.

Well, dear reader. The rev says you’re guilty of faulty thinking. Whatcha gonna do about it?

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

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11 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #676: Put Thinking Cap On

  1. If you walk through a forest and see a pile of neatly stacked rocks, you don’t assume they got there by random chance; you assume that they were placed that way by an intelligent being who had a specific design in mind.

    Don’t let this man anywhere near the Giant’s Causeway . . . his tinfoil thinking cap would erupt in flames.

  2. I have lived in South Korea for 17 years and have never heard of these ruins. It is possible that he his talking about ‘yonaguni’, a structure that seems to be near Taiwan from my quick Googling.

  3. We are living in a time where consistency and rational thought is no longer required. This is a time where a man can admit that a simple building can’t construct itself and then turn around and say that no intelligent designer/creator is necessary concerning the perfect placement of our earth in the solar system so that we don’t burn up or freeze or concerning the intricacies of things like DNA coding, photosynthesis and gravitational pull.

    As is all too typical of creationists, the good reverend simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He appears to assume that the universe was created in order to allow humans to exist. Yet the alleged miraculous placement of the earth, for example, is meaningless, since an omnipotent and omniscient God could surely have designed life to thrive under other conditions. As for DNA coding and photosynthesis, scientists are learning more and more about them, and so far see no reason to invoke the supernatural — except, perhaps, for the occasional profanity when there’s a laboratory accident.

    I’m not exactly sure what he even means about gravitational pull, unless it has to do with how “miraculous” it is that the force of gravity is “just right” for life. If that’s it, he’s again assuming that the universe needs to contain life, and that “life” means the creatures we know. But that is just an assumption.

    Suppose gravity were much stronger or weaker than it is because the gravitational constant was different. In that case our familiar universe wouldn’t exist . . . but something else would, and that “something else” would get along fine with or without life.

    On a smaller scale, suppose it was just Earth whose gravity was different, perhaps because the planet was larger or smaller. Life might or might not appear on such a world. If it did not, the world would go on, and so would the universe. If, on the other hand, life did emerge, it would be different from the life we know — but so what?

    Actually, though, this is a big deal for creationists, who assume that God is basically a gigantic super-powered human — an entity more Zeus than Zeus, that is, thunderbolts and all–and so naturally humans, made in his image, must look as we do. (By the way, don’t get me started on the parallels between the Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection and the mythical accounts of another divine offspring, Hercules.)

  4. I’m not exactly sure what he even means about gravitational pull, unless it has to do with how “miraculous” it is that the force of gravity is “just right” for life.

    I’ve always found it impossible to follow this particular creationist argument. If we and gravity were intelligently designed to be “just right” for each other, then people who did something so mundane as slip on a banana skin wouldn’t run the risk of breaking bones or even killing themselves. Either gravity’s too strong or our bodies are insufficiently strong and thus poorly designed.

  5. @surprisesaplenty

    I think he’s referring to one of Graham Hancock’s “documentaries” — and that, yes, with his usual attention to detail Wingfield means Taiwan rather than South Korea.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    Okay, it is intelligently designed, Rev, you convinced me. Show me when ID stopped and the universe started running on its own. Why he stopped fixing his designs like my son’s awful disease. And why the world didn’t have rainbows before Noah.

  7. Broken record time: The way to answer that parroted nonsense is not to attempt to refute it (even money they already read a refutation and rehearsed some “buts”). Rather it’s to ask: “Assuming for the sake of argument you’re right, that ‘some designer intervened somewhere, at some time’, do you agree that life on Earth began in the water ~4 billion years ago, and that you and I, dogs and dogwoods, share common ancestors?? Then have fun. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they give the “6 days in the dust” thing, but mostly these days it’ll be evasion. Which means that if there’s an audience present, chances are some in that audience will smell snake oil in that “wisdom.”

  8. Having decoded the drivel pouring forth from the rev’s tin foil hat, I’m reminded of the late Christopher Hichens’ observation “That which is offered without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

  9. When you walk along the beach and you see a very complex pile of shaped rock it must be intelligently designed….like the giant causeway in Ireland???? Which were put there by ancient giants, right!?!?

  10. Techreseller

    What am I going to do about the reverend’s letter and challenge. First. bemoan my home state. So many top notch scientists, yet so many creatards. Second, absolutely nothing. See no need to change my evil ways,

  11. @waldteufel
    I’d just like to remark that the saying attributed to Hitchens is a variation on a principle from the Middle Ages.