Creationist Wisdom #677: Evidence and Logic

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Muskogee Phoenix of Muskogee, Oklahoma. It’s titled Evidence and logic can help build your faith, and the newspaper has a comments section.

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 — Rev. Barret Vanlandingham of the Fort Gibson Church of Christ. If his name seems familiar, it’s because we’ve written about two of his letters in the past — most recently #425: The Missing Link, and before that #400: Preacher with Proof. Excerpts from the rev’s new letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

If someone asked you why you go to church, or why you believe in God, would you have a good answer? For me, I am continually sculpting my answers to these kinds of questions, not so much in the area of Bible doctrine, but in areas of evidence and logic that help me give answers that maybe someone hasn’t thought about.

The rev is going to use evidence and logic to help you out, dear reader. Isn’t that wonderful? He says:

My campus minister friend (who also happens to be a math teacher) brought up a very good point. If he waded through a creek, tipped over a rock, and found a Rolex watch with its tiny intricate 220 parts all still intact or not, most people would agree the watch, at some point, had been manufactured. In other words, the watch did not just appear there over billions of years because the stream needed it to appear or manufacture itself from elements found in the creek bed. Most rational thinking people would say the watch obviously had a designer.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That was the first time the rev ever heard of William Paley’s long-discredited watchmaker analogy. Let’s read on:

Oddly enough, the human body has thousands of living parts of varying sizes from the cell on up, all working perfectly to keep our bodies going, and yet, many people think the human body is just an accident that formed over billions of years, without God’s help. No Designer. Wow! You talk about a belief system that requires a lot of faith! That would be one. It makes no sense, but that’s exactly where a lot of people stand.

People are such fools! The rev continues:

As for evolution, not even one piece of evidence has ever been discovered showing that one kind of animal has ever turned into another.

He said the same thing in his two earlier letters. He’s never heard of Tiktaalik, or anything else in Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils. Here’s more from the rev:

I even have a few Christian friends who believe that God created the process of evolution in order to create us. That doesn’t work either, since so many of the tiny parts of our bodies such as protein, DNA, and cell’s energy producer known as ATP had to be in existence, fully formed at the same time, in order for each to play crucial roles in the manufacture of the other.

Yup — all the parts had to already exist, fully formed, or we wouldn’t be here. Moving along:

Similarly, the human eye, the cell’s locomotion device known as flagellum, and blood clotting are also examples of things that could not have come about through evolution since in order for them to work at all, the entire unit or process had to have existed in full form at the start, not evolved.

Wow — the rev’s got a lot of evidence — all of it from Discoveroid Michael Behe. Another excerpt:

For me, the fact that the Bible has proven to be the most accurate and oldest history book is a really good tool to add to my faith box.

The bible is the world’s oldest history book? How very strange. Wikipedia has an article on Recorded history which says:

The earliest chronologies date back to the two earliest civilizations: the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia and the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt which emerged independently of each other from roughly 3500 B.C.

Jeepers — that’s long before Genesis was written. The rev ought to contact Wikipedia so their article can be corrected. On with his letter:

Also, the Bible has been very helpful in discoveries related to all areas of science.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, it’s used all the time in science labs. And now we come to the end:

Also, the Bible has never been proven wrong, on anything. Yes, it still takes faith to believe in God. But one day, faith and hope will not be necessary. Only love will remain, forever.

Have a blessed week!

Great letter, rev. Thank you.

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

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #677: Evidence and Logic

  1. michaelfugate

    A walking, talking endorsement for Oklahoma Christian University – if ever there were one. “OC is Home. OC Grows. OC is Mission.” Nothing about evidence and logic, and for good reason. I also notice that their biology program carefully avoids all mention of evolution.

  2. “the Bible has proven to be the […] oldest history book”

    Of course! Because history started with Genesis. The Bible has Genesis in it. Therefore, the Bible is the oldest history book!

    Some blasphemers may label this “circular” reasoning. But God is perfect and a circle is perfectly round! Q.E.D.

  3. Ah, Rev, where to begin. OK “Also, the Bible has been very helpful in discoveries related to all areas of science.” Name one. I know of no scientific discovery helped by the bible.

    And there’s this “Also, the Bible has never been proven wrong, on anything.” Actually, it’s been proven wrong on nearly everything, including no Adam or Eve, no exodus of the Jews from Egypt, no world-wide flood (at least the other people with written history, two of which are mentioned by our dear Curmudgeon, didn’t notice they’d been drowned), and serious errors in the baby Jesus stories.

    Your “answers that maybe someone hasn’t thought about” are unlikely to convince anyone who actually knows anything. Sorry Rev.

  4. Nice comment made on the letter in the paper if you go read it.

  5. Dave Luckett

    This letter is ignorance erected into fantasy. Oddly, I don’t mind so much that the Rev has no clue about the science. What really irks me is that his assertions about the Bible are as baseless and as false.

    Others have pointed out the nonsense. Maybe you can get away with calling the first eleven chapters of Genesis myth and legend, not history. But the Exodus never happened, either, nor the fall of Jericho to Joshua. Luke and Matthew’s attempts to date the birth of Jesus are confused – the first census of Palestine was in 6 CE, the same year that Quirinius became Governor of Syria; Herod died 6 BCE. An event said to be the result of the first can’t have happened in Herod’s time. Another example: Ezekiel predicted the fall of Tyre to Nebuchadnezzar. Good bet, Nebuchadnezzar being king of Babylon and all – but it didn’t happen. The Babylonian siege failed.

    Assertion falsified. The Bible has been proved wrong. Another hypothesis bites the dust.

    Where do these loons come by the insouciance to pander such falsehoods? Only by relying – successfully, alas – on the even greater ignorance of their flock. But woe to them when the sheep look up stuff.

  6. I’m only concerned with the consistency of reliance on the Bible as far as the natural world is concerned.
    Compare and contrast two sciences and the Bible: (1) the fixity of species (or “kinds”) (2) the fixity of the Earth. As far as (1), there is next to nothing (2 Peter 3 – is not clear). But (2) is clearly stated by the Bible.
    If one allows (2) to be ignored, then don’t pretend to let the Bible be infallible about the natural world.

  7. “Also, the Bible has never been proven wrong, on anything.”
    Once again bats are birds.

  8. Another concern about consistency: rejecting expert interpretation of the natural world without understanding biology, but accepting expert interpretation of ancient text without understanding Hebrew or Greek.

  9. I even have a few Christian friends who believe that God created the process of evolution in order to create us. That doesn’t work either, since so many of the tiny parts of our bodies such as protein, DNA, and cell’s energy producer known as ATP had to be in existence, fully formed at the same time, in order for each to play crucial roles in the manufacture of the other.

    Not really. The evolution of DNA from simpler substances is an active field of study; for instance, researchers are looking at RNA (which also happens to be crucial, even now, in the formation of proteins) as a DNA precursor. The same goes for protein and ATP.

  10. Oddly enough, there are many examples of irriduceable complexity in our modern world.
    Take for example the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fansisco. That is irriduceably complex – if any major part of its structure was removed it would cease to carry out the function of a ‘bridge’.
    I venture to suggest that it did not ‘poof in to existence’ in 1933. The Golden Gate Bridge construction project was carried out by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Co., a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation founded by Howard H. McClintic and Charles D. Marshall, both of Lehigh University. – the alma mater of our old friend Michael Behe.
    In fact, the bridge was constructed in discrete steps (evolved) over the following four years and did not become irriduceably complex until its completion.
    Was god’s love involved? As 11 men were killed during its construction, I guess not.
    On his birthday the good reverend popped out of his mother, fully formed as a complete, irreduceably complex human being. I wonder what he thinks was going on during the previous nine months?

  11. @Timatheist
    The old example of step-by-step natural processes resulting in irreducible complexity is natural bridges. They obviously result from erosion.

    I think that it is interesting that the argument from IC was earlier brought up in the 18th century in support of preformationism – that the individual organism cannot arise by reproduction, but had to be created from the beginning.

  12. WTF? Re “Also, the Bible has never been proven wrong, on anything.” Uh, Rev. have you actually read the Bible, you know the place where pi equals three, serpents talk, and demons are the cause of disease … that Bible?

    I imagine the Rev got a little worked up and went off script (or, worse, wrote his own) but just sayin’ it don’t make it so.


  13. @Steve Ruis

    I imagine the Rev got a little worked up and went off script

    Or more disturbing, the good Rev got worked up and went off scripture

  14. Nah, he didn’t go off script. He’s being a good little literal gramamtical hermeneuticist.

    See, the Bible says, in a much later book, that it’s good moral guide for teaching people how they ought to live, and so obviously this verse means that it’s a perfect biology, chemistry, astronomy, history and engineering textbook. Obviously.