Creationist Wisdom #712: The Only Explanation

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Lincoln County News, a weekly newspaper in Newcastle, Maine (popu1ation 1,752). It’s titled The Only Viable Explanation, and the newspaper has no 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 today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Rev. David O’Donnell of the Faith Baptist Church of Newcastle. We’ll give you a few excerpts from rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go:

The scientific method is limited to that which can be tested, reproduced, or falsified. Anything which lies outside those parameters is not science, but is in the realm of faith.

Not bad. The rev doesn’t mention that science is based on verifiable evidence, but he probably understands that — at least your benevolent Curmudgeon will make that assumption — for the moment. Then he says:

The theory of intelligent design is ridiculed as “religious doctrine” and pseudo-science, while the justification for the ridicule is that creation is unprovable, therefore unreliable. Yet so is the theory of evolution unprovable and therefore unreliable. Therefore, evolution is a faith-based theory and not empirical scientific fact. Evolution is an unguided process of natural selection.

Oooops — we were wrong. The rev has no understanding of the role that evidence plays in science, nor does he know what a theory is. Let’s read on:

The theory of evolution is woefully inadequate to explain the observable universe today. The universe is a universe governed by laws. Where did those laws come from? The first law of thermodynamics, inertia, states that matter can only be changed but can be neither created nor destroyed. Where did the matter come from that was involved in the “Big Bang?”

Hey — the rev is right — the theory of evolution doesn’t explain those things! He continues:

Evolution is nothing more than a search for an explanation of the origin of life that does not include God. I believe the intelligent design model answers far more questions than the evolutionary model. Yes, I firmly believe that God created this world.

The rev may be on to something — the God of the gaps theory explains everything! Here’s more:

Here are some other questions that evolution cannot answer. How did life spring from non-life? How did every species develop male and female at the same time with all the reproductive organs and components necessary to bear offspring? How did our cellular information evolve, where each cell in our body communicates with the rest of the body, all 37.2 trillion of them? How can our body replicate DNA, exactly 3.7 billion pieces of information, 242 billion times a day? How did our thought process evolve? How did our memory evolve? By what evolutionary process can the eye be explained? The questions are endless.

If you want to dive into that mess of goo, dear reader, go right ahead. We’re not going to bother with any of it, but we won’t stand in your way. We assume that the rev’s theory can answer those questions, and that he will reveal it to us. Moving along:

The simple conclusion is that evolution is an inadequate faith-based theory, a theory that sates complex life evolved from simple life. The law of irreducible complexity dispels that notion.

The “law” of Irreducible complexity? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Another excerpt:

Admittedly, there is some indication of micro-evolution (adaptations of species). Where are the new life forms that evolution should, by the very nature of the theory, be producing? There are only extinctions taking place.

That was devastating! And now we come to the thrilling end, where the rev answers all the questions he raised:

I believe that intelligent design/creation is not only a credible explanation for life as we know it, I believe it is the only viable explanation for life.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What a wonderful letter! Thanks, rev.

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #712: The Only Explanation

  1. Eddie Janssen

    “The scientific method is limited to that which can be tested, reproduced, or falsified. Anything which lies outside those parameters is not science, but is in the realm of faith.”

    In the last sentence ‘faith’ should be replaced by ‘sport’.

  2. Rev. O’Donnell isn’t the first–and certainly won’t be the last–to ask one of my all-time favourite idiot questions:

    How did every species develop male and female at the same time with all the reproductive organs and components necessary to bear offspring?

    One wonders what on earth goes in the mind (or whatever passes for such) of Creationists when they whip that one out!

  3. “Yet so is the theory of evolution unprovable and therefore unreliable.”
    It didn’t take Rev O’Donnell long to go astray.
    1. Bring me a Cambrian rabbit and Evolution Theory is falsified.
    2. Dating fossils is repeatable.
    3. Evolution was tested when General Electric poisoned the Hudson River.

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/110301_pcbresistantcod

    We should apply “three strikes out”.

  4. Note that he equates “intelligent design” with creation.

  5. “The questions are endless.” Yes, and the answers too, they fill endless numbers of books. “The simple conclusion” is that he is too lazy to read them.

  6. @TomS
    Yes, a careless slip into honesty there!

  7. How did every species develop male and female at the same time with all the reproductive organs and components necessary to bear offspring?

    Perhaps the good reverend should reflect on, and explain, how single celled organisms can reproduce by splitting, or how various invertebrate and vertebrate species can reproduce by means of parthenogenesis.

  8. The good Rev states: The law of irreducible complexity dispels that notion.

    So it’s a law now! When did that happen?

  9. michaelfugate

    I think the law of irreducible complexity is describing what happens when you take apart a piece of machinery and don’t diagram how it was put together. You inevitably end up with extra nuts, bolt, screws, etc. Or you just never get it back together again so that it functions. Once again, an analogy that doesn’t fit organismal design (I purposefully used design to signify that RM + NS is a designer).

  10. “The universe is a universe governed by laws. ” WRONG!!!! The universe does as it does! The so called laws are man’s math & science trying to describe what the universe does!
    Also these religious nutjobs say that say that evilution is wrong because they can’t think of the workings of the simplest parts, but yet they can imagine a gawd SSOOOooo complex that it can do this stuff!! And then claim they can’t explain the gawd because? Well they just say they are too stoopid to understand gawd…or much else it seems.

  11. michaelfugate explores the Rev’s “law of irreducible complexity”:

    You inevitably end up with extra nuts, bolt, screws, etc. Or you just never get it back together again so that it functions.

    This has always been my experience with IKEA flat-pack furniture, which claims to be “self-assembly” but most certainly does not assemble itself.

    But you should mention that, in addition to the left-over nuts and bolts, one does generally get another Allen key to add to ones burgeoning collection thereof….

  12. michaelfugate

    I think you have to wait for a tornado to assemble it for you…
    The midwestern US during the summer is prime self-assembly weather.

  13. Cnocspeireag

    ‘The first law of thermodynamics (inertia)’. It seems the rev can’t even keep up with the basic science I was expected to know at fourteen years of age, He seems to confuse Newton’s Laws of Motion with the laws of thermodynamics, Education obviously disqualifies one from being his sort of rev.

  14. Imagine the outrage he would express if a biologist claimed to know his congregation better than he does.