Creationist Wisdom #716: Studied Hard

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Reporter of Greenfield, Indiana. The title is Faith not really under attack — everyone is. The newspaper doesn’t have 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 today we’ve got an exception. It’s Max T. Russell, described at the end as a writer “for the international business intelligence and nonprofit communities.” He’s also written a few books, but they’re not about religion or creationism. Here’s his Amazon listing: Books by Max T Russell. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go:

American Christians ought to quit belly-aching about their faith being under attack. Everybody is under attack these days, especially on the internet. If you feel persecuted for your faith, don’t feel special. Chances are that what you call faith is just your opinion about what God thinks.

A strange beginning. Then he spends a few paragraphs talking about abortion — a subject which doesn’t interest us, so we’ll skip that and move on:

Another alleged attack on faith is evolution. Many Christians complain that a widespread indoctrination into Darwinian evolution has taken over. Taken over what? What do you teach yourself and your children about the origins of the universe?

The universe? Let’s read on:

I’ve studied evolution hard, and I have more questions and doubts about it than when I started.

Max has “studied evolution hard,” but he has doubts. What might those be? He continues:

I believe all that garbage in the Preamble to the Constitution about people being “created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, Max — all that “garbage” is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

So far in his discussion of evolution, Max has mentioned the origin of the universe, and he has shown that he knows nothing about American history. We’re still waiting for something about evolution. Here’s more:

An atheistic Purdue chemist told me recently, “Evolution is just a theory!” He doesn’t rely on it for his understanding of the world, and he isn’t bothered by it. I’m not, either.

This is great! In addition to the other gaping holes in his grasp of things, Max also has no understanding of what a scientific theory is. Moving along:

People who say we should find truth and meaning for life amid scientific theories of chaos, chance and natural selection are exhibiting extraordinary faith in how they do science. Not too many people laying a loved one to rest or receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer will find comfort in those theories.

Yeah — what good is evolution? It’s “just a theory,” and all that nonsense about “chaos, chance and natural selection” doesn’t comfort the bereaved. Another excerpt:

But we all live with inner contradictions we don’t have time to sort out. We should be able to have discussions without feeling our faith is threatened.

Well, at least Max doesn’t feel his faith is threatened. This is the last of his discussion of evolution:

Is your goal to convince others of your view of creation? I reject all explanations of creation. I keep it simple: “In the beginning, God….”

The rest of the letter is about “same-sex issues.” We have no interest in that, so this is where we’ll leave Max. He says he has “studied evolution hard,” and we’ve seen the result. Great letter, Max!

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

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9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #716: Studied Hard

  1. The “just a theory” folks are missing the point big time. The stuff they fed us in grade school about how science makes headway is to go to the laboratory, get some facts, make an hypothesis about why they are the way they are and it might lead to a new theory. This is grossly stupid. I do not know a scientists who will even consider doing and experiment unless he has a very good idea how it will turn out. Those reasons are based upon theories. We start with theories (“God” is one of them) and then figure out ways to test those theories to see what will happen “if”….

    The “just a theory” folks think a theory is some kind of wild ass guess instead of a major viewpoint, a very successful viewpoint, to look at problems of a certain nature. They are undermining their own complaint, but this not be recognized by their “folk” who think it is a major weakness of Darwinian theory when it is a major strength.

  2. I think Max forgot the “ly” at the end of “hard”.

  3. Got Dementia?

  4. Not too many people laying a loved one to rest or receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer will find comfort in those theories.

    Unfortunately this is the basis of the religious/creationist argument. Knowledge and evidence take a back seat to the human feeling side, life and death, and what happens after death. It’s a scary proposition to them and they do feel comforted by the thoughts of an idyllic afterlife, just as the pharaohs did. It doesn’t matter if the sky is blue or green for whatever explanation you might want to use. The only thing they’re concerned about is the “other side.” There are no facts or evidence to support their assertions, but that makes no difference to them.

  5. Theories, of course, are attempts to tie together sets of related observations to provide some explanation for them and make it possible to make educated guesses as to what further observations will find. When observations turn up something unexpected (such as the precession of Mercury’s orbit or the constancy of the speed of light in a vacuum), existing theories may have to be modified or even abandoned.

    Creationists tend to forget that this has already happened where evolution is concerned. Until the nineteenth century it was assumed, even by the overwhelming majority of scientists (in the “Christian world”) that Genesis provided an accurate account of the origin of life, the universe and everything (sorry, Douglas Adams; I couldn’t resist). But evidence accumulated not only that this wasn’t so but that the universe was very old and that life had evolved from earlier forms over hundreds of millions and even billions of years, and divine creation as taught in the Bible faded as a credible theory.

    The evidence in favor of an ancient universe and the evolution of life via natural selection has continued to pile up. Creationists are fighting a battle they’ve already lost.

  6. In regard to the emotional problems felt on the death of a loved one. My wife of 45 years died in 2013. Those people who thought that they were helping with their “prayers” and “assurances that she is now in a better place” did not help with the process of grieving – I felt that their comments were cruel! Neither my wife nor I believed in any of that mythology. I suppose it may help some people but I prefer reality over wishful thinking. I still cry on occasion when I think of her, I’m getting teary as I write this, but I still hold to my beliefs that christianity is worse than useless; it’s a drag on our lives.

  7. Studied hard or hardly studied?

  8. Where’s Pope RSG? Belittle a Purdue chemistry professor, will he? He doesn’t get to do that! (That’s Pope RSG‘s and my job!)
    All kidding aside, every chemistry professor I had at Purdue (yes, albeit 30 years ago) would NEVER have said, “Evolution is just a theory.” Heaven forbid one of us students utter such a sentence, and we’d get at least 10 points deducted off of our next test just because.

  9. I’m right here, fellow Boiler Gary!

    In defense of Purdue professors, letter-writer Max T. Russell didn’t say the Purdue chemist was a professor. (An atheistic Purdue chemist told me recently, “Evolution is just a theory!”) Coulda just been some bloke who studied chemistry while at Purdue, and besides, “So what, Max?” How would a chemist necessarily be an expert in the field of evolution?

    And you are right, Gary. I can’t imagine any prof at Purdue making such an inane comment. Now IU? That’s a different story. And we already know what the story is at Ball State. Scary that they graduate so many teachers.