The Day Evolution Died

In the Gainesville Sun of Gainesville, Florida, home to the University of Florida, we read Gainesville’s evolution vs. creation saga. It was written by Andrew Scholberg, described as “a freelance writer [who] is a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Gainesville.” The newspaper has a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from Scholberg’s long article, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A remarkable event happened in the 1980s on the University of Florida campus: a public debate on evolution vs. creation between two intellectual heavyweights on the UF faculty.

Representing the creation side in this monumental clash of minds was Dr. David Kaufmann, Ph.D., one of the few creationist scientists ever to be awarded tenure and a full professorship at a large secular research university. He taught human anatomy, kinesiology, exercise physiology and biomechanics at UF. Since 1986 he has also served as the secretary on the Creation Research Society’s board of directors. Kaufmann, who retired from UF in 1999, is a Lutheran.

We went to the university’s website to look up David Kaufmann, the “intellectual heavyweight” who participated in that “remarkable event” over thirty years ago. All we found there was a reference to a physical education professor by that name. However, at the website of the venerable Creation Research Society we found his biography. They describe him as “Professor of Exercise Science, University of Florida (l970 -l998) [sic]: degrees – B.S. Math & Physical Education (Slippery Rock University, l955) [sic]; M.A. Physical Education (University of Iowa, l958) [sic]; Ph.D. Human Anatomy (University of Iowa, l969) [sic].” An “intellectual heavyweight” indeed! Who was on the other side? We’re told:

Representing the evolution side was the late Dr. Robert Primack, Ph.D., of UF’s philosophy department. Dr. Primack was a Unitarian Universalist. The debate in Norman Auditorium was jam-packed with students eager to hear both sides of this controversy, most of whom had never heard the case against evolution.

It must have been an amazing debate! This is Scholberg’s description of that long-ago “monumental clash of minds.” He says:

I interviewed Kaufmann about the debate, and he told me that Primack put his foot in his mouth when he asserted that his “evolutionary presuppositions” were “factually true.” When it was Kaufmann’s turn to give a rebuttal he told the students they should take up a collection to buy his opponent a dictionary so he could look up the definition of presupposition, which means “a preliminary assumption, something that is not known.”

Devastating! Then:

When the debate ended, Primack immediately slipped out through a stage door with his tail between his legs while Kaufmann stayed in the auditorium to answer questions from the students who surrounded him, eager to hear more of his thoughts.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Let’s read on:

After the great evolution debate, the students were asking for more debates. But none of the UF evolutionists dared to debate Kaufmann, who told me, “They were hiding under their desks!”

University students are unlikely to hear another creation vs. evolution debate on campus ever again because UF and other American universities have shut down freedom of speech: They only allow the pro-evolution viewpoint to be heard. The rigid, draconian enforcement of this censorship is well documented in Ben Stein’s movie, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

At last, dear reader, we are learning about the sordid history of the evolutionists’ effort to suppress The Truth. Scholberg continues:

Darwin’s life-by-chance theory can’t be defended as scientific because 1) it can’t account for the evolution of the first life from dead matter (See Pasteur’s law of biogenesis), 2) it can’t account for the information in the biological cell, which includes complex programming, 3) it can’t account for the irreducible complexity of the biological cell (i.e., the cell is non-viable without all of its parts properly assembled and therefore never could have evolved from the “building blocks of life”).

Yes — oh yes! Here’s more:

Those who still believe in evolution might as well believe that the same person could keep on winning the Powerball lottery year after year after year. Similarly, the odds against life-by-chance are so overwhelming as to be impossible. Therefore, evolution has no legitimate place in any science textbook, science class or science lecture. Darwinism is a false worldview: philosophical materialism (atheism) dressed up to look like science.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Darwinism is dressed up to look like science. Moving along:

Kaufmann told me he’s still available to represent the creationist viewpoint in a public debate. Does any Darwinist at UF have the courage to debate him, or are they still hiding under their desks?

We know the answer, don’t we? Another excerpt:

The science of genetics explains the origin of new varieties within species. Contrary to what the “Darwin fish” car emblem suggests, no fish has ever morphed into a quadruped mammal in a line of descent. That’s science fiction. Proof that a fish sprouted legs, fur and mammary glands, and became warm-blooded is lacking. By contrast, the hypothesis of intelligent design squares with common sense because the design in nature is obvious. Equally obvious is that this design points to a designer.

Evolution is science fiction! Okay, but what’s the real deal? Scholberg tells us at the end of his article:

If the researchers sincerely want to find answers to the “big questions,” they’re going to have to open a book that begins with the words: “In the beginning …”

At last, dear reader, everything has been revealed to us. Now you know why there are no evolution-creation debates. Go forth, and spread the word.

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

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16 responses to “The Day Evolution Died

  1. In the meantime, ENV has a post suggesting that Darwinism died at the Wistar conference in 1966. Those U. of Florida folk might have been a tad late to the party.

    Hmm, I wonder why ENV even needs a web site, if Darwinism died already before there was an Internet.

  2. “Those who still believe in evolution might as well believe that the same family could keep on winning the Powerball lottery every few million years and then again a few million years later and then again a few million years later.”

    If the same family played the powerball lottery over several billion years should seeing some of the families get a roll in their favor now and again be that surprising?

  3. A remarkable event happened in the 1980s on the University of Florida campus: a public debate on evolution vs. creation between two intellectual heavyweights on the UF faculty.

    So remarkable nobody knows it happened, certainly nobody who follows science. Totally impact on the scientific community: Nada!

  4. michaelfugate

    Primack is long dead, so he can’t comment on the debate. It is interesting that he was a philosopher of education and had no science training that I can see.
    https://education.ufl.edu/news/2006/09/14/robert-primack-social-foundations-professor-dies-84/

  5. Michaelfulgate, it’s probably the usual trick – they pulled him into a debate about the philosophy of evolution or something and then argued about the science of evolution. It’s a common creationist trick, and I think our host includes it in his list of reasons you should never debate creationists.

  6. michaelfugate

    I see Klinghoffer is now writing for CNS – the DI is becoming more YEC every day….
    http://cnsnews.com/commentary/david-klinghoffer/darwinian-evolutionary-theory-under-siege-intelligent-design

  7. Ken Ham thinks he won the debate with Bill Nye, too. Every creationist will say that they won every debate they’ve ever been part of. Admitting otherwise is perilously close to admitting one is wrong about one’s religious beliefs.

    As a creationist, Kaufman’s memory of the event is likewise undoubtedly influenced by his absolute religious conviction that he is right, therefore he must have won the debate and everyone there must have agreed with him.

  8. You who worship at the altar of science are fools! For example, your “theory of gravity” has many gaps. Gravity “theory” can’t explain why my child’s piggy bank makes noise when I steal money from it. It doesn’t explain why, after converting my child’s money into beer, I have difficulty walking a straight line. You “gravitationalists” don’t know why I can’t successfully sneak into the bedroom reeking of booze. Yet despite these obvious deficiencies, arrogant academics continue to teach this obvious flawed “theory” as if it were a fact!

  9. The title of this post made me think of Don McLean’s “American Pie”:

    Oh, myyyy, myyy, this here creationist guy /
    Thought his bevy was too heavy, but it was a lie /
    That good, ole boy is drinkin’ whiskey while crying /
    Oh, why can’t this be the day evolution dies!

    Yeah. Best I can do on the spur of the moment.

  10. Dave Luckett

    This, er, debate, or whatever it was, happened, what, thirty years ago?

    And that it was a triumph is one creationist’s interpretation of what another creationist recalled, some time later. Years later, apparently.

    Non-historians are usually unaware of how prone the human mind is to myth-making and wishful thinking, and how rapidly facts are forgotten, elided, suppressed or augmented. To see these effects in full flower under strikingly similar circumstances, compare the Gospel accounts of the events of that first Easter Sunday morning.

    But suppose Scholberg’s interpretation and Kaufmann’s recollections were all unimpeachably correct – unlikely, but possible. What of it?

    A non-scientist lacking the necessary information was sandbagged by wordplay. In the only cite of what was actually said, we find simple bafflegab. The word “presupposition” was used, when the word that should have been used was “fact”, and the creationist leaped on that as if it were significant.

    That Scholberg is not in the slightest interested in fact – or doesn’t know what facts are – is indicated by the bumptious confidence with which he purveys the familiar lies: “no fish has ever morphed into a quadruped mammal in a line of descent. That’s science fiction. Proof that a fish sprouted legs, fur and mammary glands, and became warm-blooded is lacking.”… “the hypothesis of intelligent design squares with common sense because the design in nature is obvious. Equally obvious is that this design points to a designer.” Those are lies. Evidence is plainly available for the first and lacking for the second.

    Scholberg knows nothing and doesn’t want to learn. But the fact that he dwells on a long-forgotten evening of word-games is surely indicative of his sneaking apprehension that somehow or other he has lost.

  11. the hypothesis of intelligent design
    What is the hypothesis of intelligent design? What happens, when and where, how and why, so that something turns out as it does? Design is never enough, without production, without using materials according to the constraints of their natures, to produce a material object. What hypothesizing is there about the production and materials? How do the designers take account of the constraints of nature?

  12. Off topic, but I cannot let the date go by without wishing Our Curmudgeon and all his readers: Happy Uranus Day!

    Or–as the wonderful Bicycling Guitarist so aptly proposed as the appropriate greeting for the day: Bottoms Up!

  13. Darwin’s life-by-chance theory can’t be defended as scientific because 1) it can’t account for the evolution of the first life from dead matter (See Pasteur’s law of biogenesis),

    “Pasteur’s law” isn’t iron-bound under any and all conditions, any more than are Newton’s laws, which break down at relativistic velocities. But if and when scientists do create life from “dead matter” (and they may be close already), creationists will simply say it’s a lie because, you know, Pasteur. Never mind that the Bible’s creation story also involves abiogenesis; that’ a miracle, of course, so shut up, or else.

    2) it can’t account for the information in the biological cell, which includes complex programming,

    Actually, yes it can. By the creationists’ logic, no book could ever be written, since the author has to add information to do so.

    3) it can’t account for the irreducible complexity of the biological cell (i.e., the cell is non-viable without all of its parts properly assembled and therefore never could have evolved from the “building blocks of life”).

    Groan. Not this old chestnut. They keep pulling this one out even though example after example of “irreducible” complexity keeps turning out to be reducible after all.

  14. @Eric Lipps
    A) Creationism/Intelligent Design doesn’t even attempt to offer an account for anything. Not increase of information, not the diversity of life, not why humans are most similar to chimps and other apes, among all the possibilities for life.
    B) No scientific theory can account for everything. The atomic theory of matter doesn’t account for gravity. The theory of flight doesn’t account for rockets. Evolution doesn’t account for the orbit of the Earth.
    C) Increase of Information, in the sense used by evolution-deniers, is not well enough defined to ask for an account. No one asks for an account for its decrease, nor for its stability, why ask for an account for its increase? Actually, we are presented by the evolution-deniers with at least three cases of increase of information:
    i) Small increases, like the formation of crystals.
    ii) When humans are involved. Are humans exempt from any other law of nature?
    iii) The ordinary processes of life – for example, reproduction.
    And we are not presented for any reason why there is anything needing accounting for in other cases of increase of information. (And, anyway, go back to (A) and (B).)

  15. Eric Lipps says:

    “Pasteur’s law” isn’t iron-bound under any and all conditions

    Of course not, because first it would have to exist — outside of creationist literature, of course.

  16. I have to say, that’s probably the most astounding thing about the whole ID/creationist movement, to me – they literally just created a law whole cloth and act as though scientists know about it to, they’re just lying to preserve the status quo.