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 today we have a preacher — Pastor Larry Parvin of the Elk City Main Street Baptist Church. We’ll refer to him as the rev. His church has no website, but it’s described here. That’s nowhere near Mitchell, South Dakota, but the Daily Republic published the rev’s letter anyway. We’ll give you some excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
I must speak out about a disturbing lie I saw being propagated in Sioux Falls, and around the world for that matter. I was sent a picture of a billboard in Sioux Falls that says, “Evolution is a fact, only witch doctors believe the earth is only six thousand years old.”
We assumed there must be something in the news, somewhere, about such a billboard, but all we found is another letter from the rev on the same subject. We’re confident that a good man like the rev wouldn’t make up a story like that, so we’ll take his word for it. Then he says:
Not only is this a lie, it is an insult to a nation that was founded on a Biblical Christian foundation.
[*Groan*] We see that claim all the time, which is why we wrote Is America a “Christian Nation”? Let’s read on:
I would like to give you a couple of quotes from some of their own.
Oh, goodie — here comes the quote-mining:
“Evolution is a fairy tale for grownups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.” — Professor Louis Bounoure.
TalkOrigins mentions that “quote” here. Guess what? Bounoure never said it. Here’s another quote from the rev:
“Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.” — Sir Arthur Keith wrote the foreword to the 100th edition of Darwin’s book, “Origin of the Species,” in 1959.
TalkOrigins discusses that too, right here, but you’ll have to search on Arthur Keith’s name or scroll way down to Quote #81. The “quote” is imaginary. Keith did, however, write an introduction to an edition of Darwin’s book — but it was “30 years before any centennial edition would have been printed.” He died in 1955, so he couldn’t have written anything for the 1959 edition.
Those are the rev’s only quotes. Are you impressed, dear reader? After that he declares:
Evolution is not science, it is a religion. The earth itself proves the Biblical flood taught to us in the Bible, from the fossil record to the Grand Canyon. The only way they can explain it is with a long period of time. They know this is not true, they just cling to the lie of billions of years because they do not want to acknowledge that there is a creator God and they will one day answer to Him.
After a couple of bible quotes, the letter ends with this:
If this belief I just described is from a witch doctor I believe I will cling to this truth because it makes way more sense than Evolution.
Well, dear reader, your Curmudgeon wouldn’t call the rev a witch doctor, but whatever he is, we thank him for his letter. It’s a great addition to our collection.
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