Creationist Wisdom #887: Amazing Preacher

It’s difficult to be certain after almost 900 of these things, but today’s letter-to-the-editor may be the best yet. It appears in the Daily Post Athenian of Athens, Tennessee, and they have a comments feature. The letter (perhaps it’s a column) is titled Pastor’s Pen – Fearfully and wonderfully made.

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 Dr. Jack Scallions, senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church of Athens. We’ll give you a some excerpts from the rev’s letter (or column), enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. We’ll also omit his scripture quotes and references. Here we go!

Man is the apex of God’s creation. To suggest that man evolved from some primeval soup not only borders on the ridiculous, but also is scientifically unexplainable when considering the complexity of the human body.

[…]

Even Charles Darwin, the founder of evolution, wrote in The Origin of Species, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”

Classic quote-mining! Creationists use that sentence to claim that Darwin didn’t believe his own theory. However, either through ignorance or dishonesty, creationists ignore the fact that Darwin then — in the very next sentence! — presents his explanation. That’s discussed in Evolution of the Eye.

Building on that, the rev says:

What holds true for the human eye [Hee hee!] can be repeated for the many systems of the human body. I read where scientists determined there to be 37 trillion cells (based off organ or cell type) in the human body. If a person could count 10 cells each second, it would take 10,000 years to finish counting. The fact that these trillions of cells can cooperate for decades giving rise to the development and functioning of a human body is amazing. Each cell is a universe in itself.

Wowie — each cell is a universe! The letter is long, the drool is deep. Skipping a bit, he tells us:

The Scopes Trial took place just across the river in Dayton. At that time, the only theory of origins that was taught was direct creationism. The evolutionists, led by Charles Darwin [Huh?] and the American Civil Liberties Union, went to court to overturn the law.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Scopes Trial was in 1925. Darwin died in 1882. We told you this letter was great! The rev continues:

The evolutionist says, “Millions of years ago there appeared primal germs or seminal spores. Some call them amoebas. From these all living creatures supposedly evolved. The singled cell became a tadpole. The tadpole developed into a pollywog, then into a fish that became a reptile. The reptile developed into a quadruped (an animal having four feet). That animal developed into a baboon and the baboon into a man.” Is there credible scientific evidence to support this hypothesis? Absolutely none.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Let’s read on:

You could read that Charles Darwin claimed to have found the Piltdown man in a rock quarry near Piltdown Common in Sussex, England in 1912. This was proven to be a hoax in 1953. Yet, this lie was being printed in many science books.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Darwin found Piltdown Man 30 years after he died! Skipping an ark-load of additional foolishness, here’s another excerpt:

Evolution, in a word, is the attempt of unregenerate men to deny God, their Creator. To admit divine creation would demand accountability to Him.

Unregenerate? Wow, that’s very painful. Here’s one last excerpt:

Evolution is the key element of the godless religion of humanism. It’s theory (and it is only a theory) collapses under its own weight. Proponents invariably leave it when honestly evaluating scientific facts and almost without exception, abandon it at the mouth of the grave as the prospect of meeting the Divine Creator, whom they deny, becomes apparent.

Perhaps you too, dear reader, will abandon your godless theory — it’s only a theory! — when you are facing the end. The rev predicts that you will, because almost everyone does.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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29 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #887: Amazing Preacher

  1. Michael Fugate

    That was comic – reminds me of….
    Bluto: What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
    Otter: [to Boon] Germans?
    Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.
    Bluto: And it ain’t over now. ‘Cause when the goin’ gets tough…
    [thinks hard of something to say]
    Bluto: The tough get goin’! Who’s with me? Let’s go!

    Dr. Scallions graduated from Temple Baptist Seminary in 1973, taking the M.R.E. and Master of Divinity degrees. He was honored by his Alma Mater with a Doctorate of Divinity Degree in 1996.

    Does that mean it is an honorary doctorate?

    Temple Baptist Seminary thoughts:
    CREATION
    We believe in the Genesis account of creation, which teaches that all things found their origin in God Who created by His own fiat, instantaneously, every living thing after its kind.

    Except when it doesn’t…

  2. Mark Germano

    “I read where scientists determined there to be 37 trillion cells….”

    And why should I believe those scientists?

  3. I know that everyone here knows this, but I can’t restrain myself:
    The singled cell became a tadpole. The tadpole developed into a pollywog, then into a fish that became a reptile. The reptile developed into a quadruped …
    That a single cell develops into an animal is just the process of reproduction from an egg.
    “Tadpole” is a synonym for “pollywog”, the common name for the larva of frogs, i.e. amphibians, not fishes.
    A reptile is a tetrapod.

  4. This guy is startlingly uninformed, even for a creationist!

  5. The evolutionist says, “Millions of years ago there appeared primal germs or seminal spores. Some call them amoebas. From these all living creatures supposedly evolved. The singled cell became a tadpole. The tadpole developed into a pollywog, then into a fish that became a reptile. The reptile developed into a quadruped (an animal having four feet). That animal developed into a baboon and the baboon into a man.”

    Gawd. I had the misfortune of attending a Seventh-Day Adventist elementary school for several years, and that’s almost word-for-word the caricature of evolution they hit me with. Even in fifth grade I knew it was ridiculous.

    egenerate? Wow, that’s very painful. Here’s one last excerpt:
    Evolution is the key element of the godless religion of humanism. It’s (sic) theory (and it is only a theory) collapses under its own weight.

    Groan. And ignorance is the key element of the Gawd-a-fearin’ religion of fundamentalist Christianity. “It’s only a theory”: need I say more?

    Actually, I think I will. Evolution is both a fact and a theory, which is probably one source of creationists’ confusion. It’s a fact that evolution occurred; the theory of evolution both states that it did so (and is still doing so) and lays out how, along with the supporting evidence.

  6. Dave Luckett

    SC, you are probably right. This may well be the flakiest yet, a parade of indomitable ignorance so profound as to suggest that the writer is much worse than merely a dim bulb. Even dim bulbs emit some light. This guy is more in the nature of an intellectual black hole.

    Every assertion made by creationists is commonly false. It’s quite normal for their assertions to be false in a number of different ways, often self-contradictory. But it is not common to find one the falsity of whose statements is so startlingly obvious, from simple common knowledge. This is the first I have found so lost to reality as to state that Darwin overturned the law against teaching evolution, or claimed to have found Piltdown Man.

    There are those who repeat various false rumours about Darwin – that he repented on his deathbed, that he abandoned Christianity aboard the Beagle, that he admitted that the eye could not have evolved, or claimed that the fossil record would yield all the transitional forms – but this is the first that I’ve seen that would rouse him out of his grave in Westminster Abbey and send him lurching across the world to persecute the God-fearing folk of Tennessee, or instruct in fossil fakery. (Good heavens, maybe he used his own bones! Rev. Scallions would clearly put nothing past the man.)

    If the author of Scallion’s torrent of reckless untruths were an anonymity on the internet, I would unhesitatingly call “Poe”. As it is, it proves the verity of Poe’s Law itself – there is no assertion so grossly, palpably, ridiculously false that a creationist will not make it, and therefore it is impossible to tell whether a creationist is serious or not, from which it follows that caricature of creationists and satire of creationism is not possible without explicit signals that the satire is NOT to be taken seriously.

    But as for the state of the Rev’s soul, if he has one, I shudder. Jesus told him that the truth would set him free, and he also told him where lies come from, and who is their father. Although the Rev doesn’t know it – he clearly knows very little – after a cataract of lies like that one, he would be best advised to hope Jesus was wrong.

  7. “That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!”

    Jesus wasn’t the only one to return from the dead, apparently. Who knew Darwin had a stab at it, too?

    From Darwin’s second obituary, published in the The Daily Mail in 1926:

    “After expiring in 1882, the co-discoverer of Natural Selection realised there was still more to be done in securing evolution as accepted science. He climbed up out his tombstone under Westminster Abbey and began the search for the elusive “missing link” in his theory on human origins.”

    “…invigorated from his success in finding Piltdown Man in 1912, he went on to play a starring role as an exhumed corpse in the Scopes Trial in ’25, wielding his formidable powers of observation and deductive reasoning against the opposing legal Titans of the day.”

    “Only after those Herculean labours, to which surely he had earned his eternal rest, did the Great Man finally go back to bed and we haven’t heard from him since.”

  8. On account of his wordy misapprehension of science, I’d call him rap-Scallions.

    Doctor, my plushy bum.

  9. “The fact that these trillions of cells can cooperate for decades”
    Yeah – the fact that trillions of trillions of grains of sand can cooperate for millennia to form a sand desert …..

    “leave it when honestly evaluating”
    And when the evaluation leads to staying it has not been honest. The No Honest Evaluation Fallacy! With compliments to Random and PaulB.

    @EricL: “Evolution is both a fact and a theory.”
    Or it’s neither, depending on the definitions you prefer. I prefer “abstract concept used to accurately describe a range and amount of empirical data”. Works perfectly for me when facing a creacrapper: “Evolution is just a theory, you say? Sure, so are gravity, electricity and democracy”.
    It’s all OK, as long as your definitions are unambiguous and have discriminatory power. That’s something creacrappers avoid like the plague. Just be aware that there is not something we could call truth in definitions. It’s all semantics. As long as your language is unambiguous and crystal clear you’re fine.

  10. I can’t access this column from the UK. I hope that those who can, will write in to point out that the Pastor is Fearfully and Wonderfully Wrong. It’s all very well talking to each other, but more important to talk to those who don’t agree with us. Otherwise, what’s the point? I’d also very much like to know what the Comments look like.

  11. Evolution is only a theory?
    My own take, which I realize isn’t popular, but I don’t know why:
    Evolution by definition is a process, something which can be observed, it is the change in the genetic makeup of populations over generations.
    A theory of evolution is a theory which explains how the process happens, or how the process explains features of the world of life.
    For me, this is like: flight is an observable process; the theory of flight is theory about lift and drag etc. which explains flight. Or like fire and the oxygenation theory of fire. Or sort of like how the theory of music differs from its practice.

    I realize that YECs may complain that we do not observe all of evolution. But that is true of flight, or music, or fire, or … Things continue to occur.

  12. Another great example of I’m stupid & delusional and aint from no monkey, but at the same time I will be hypocrite and use everything else science has given me.

  13. @PaulB compalins: “I can’t access this column from the UK.”
    Perhaps you can after the Brexit, because it’s the fault of nasty EU once again. I don’t have access either. Of course British economy going down the drain is only a small price to pay for accessibility to Jack’s creacrap (/sarcasm).

  14. Paul Braterman requests: “I’d also very much like to know what the Comments look like.”

    I checked this morning (Eastern US time) and so far there haven’t been any comments.

  15. I tried to log in to make a halfway constructive comment, as opposed to my usual nonsense, and I still couldn’t get in. I dunno; must give off some sort of cyber-scent of unregenerate Darwinist.

    Me: Open the bay pod doors, HAL.
    HAL: Shan’t. Now p**s off!

  16. Looks like you have to register to comment.

  17. Indeed, FrankB, it is because of EU privacy laws. Ofc, once we have Brexit we’ll be free of that, and EU Human Rights, and Health and Safety, and anti-slavery (successfully used against the UK government’s “job training” requirement for unemployment benefits), and other un-British nonsense.

  18. I commented yesterday, but it has not yet been digested by their bureaucracy. I find that hillbilly publications often don’t get around to such busywork until the next weekday.

  19. Holding The Line In Florida

    Verily SC thou hast spoken truly. I am completely in awe of such a powerful intellectual. His grasp of the seemingly incomprehensible beyond compare. I am not worthy to be on the same planet. Where is Herman when you need him most? Only he can help elucidate this marvel of true thought and guide me to the promised land!

  20. I suspect the rev’s understanding of history and evolution is like that of many Fundies understanding of the bible: unread, willfully ignorant and cherry picked from catechisms. It will be a long time before this letter is bested.

  21. @Scientist
    I agree, this one needs a gold star or at least appear on a hall of fame ballot.
    Although here I am guessing it would be a Curmudgeon’s Best ballot.

  22. Evolution, in a word, is the attempt of unregenerate men to deny God, their Creator.
    Unregenerated???? Is he saying that we Darwinists are Time Lords like Doctor Who???? Dang! Didn’t know we had such powers!

  23. Evolution, in a word, is [10 word phrase]

  24. @TomS
    Well spotted. And quite consistent with the rest of his claptrap article.

  25. Here is the full letter that that incredibly ignorant pastor wrote, for those of you who cannot access the article. Cheers!
    Man is the apex of God’s creation. To suggest that man evolved from some primeval soup not only borders on the ridiculous, but also is scientifically unexplainable when considering the complexity of the human body.

    Several months ago, I made an annual visit to my eye doctor. After checking in, they placed me in one of those holding rooms to wait. The walls were filled with pictures of the human eye and explanations of its abilities. I read where our eyes are called camera-type eyes where the cornea needs light to focus on the retina. The cornea bends these light rays to pass through the pupil so that it can enter the part of the eye called the iris. The crystalline lens then shortens or lengthens its width and focuses it properly. The light rays then pass through the globe of the eyeball and come to a sharp focus point on the retina. The captured light rays are processed into impulses through millions of tiny nerve endings sending light impulses through more than a million nerve fibers to the optic nerve then to the brain. The eye is so sensitive that on a clear moonless night a man standing on a hill can see a candle 50 miles away.

    When my doctor opened the door and found me hypnotically reading and studying these charts, he asked, “What are you doing?”

    I replied, “I was thinking how impossible it would be for the eye to have evolved.”

    Even Charles Darwin, the founder of evolution, wrote in The Origin of Species, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”

    What holds true for the human eye can be repeated for the many systems of the human body. I read where scientists determined there to be 37 trillion cells (based off organ or cell type) in the human body. If a person could count 10 cells each second, it would take 10,000 years to finish counting. The fact that these trillions of cells can cooperate for decades giving rise to the development and functioning of a human body is amazing. Each cell is a universe in itself.

    The systems of our bodies function in a circulatory sense much as the earth. The food we eat is prepared in the stomach for the small intestines where specialized cells in the walls grab onto sugars, amino and fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which are sent into the body nourishing each cell while waste is then transported to be released from the body. We are told that each square inch of human skin consists of 19 million cells, 60 hairs, 90 oil glands, 19 feet of blood vessels, 625 sweat glands, and 19,000 sensory cells.

    As a high school and college student, I loved biology, anatomy, geology, botany, zoology and any other study of this miraculous world in which we are allowed to live. I had my share of instructors that taught evolution (some as a theory, others as fact). The deeper I delved into God’s wonderful world, the more preposterous evolution appeared and the thought to repeat the lie longer and louder would make it a fact seemed a blaring insult to true science.

    The Scopes Trial took place just across the river in Dayton. At that time, the only theory of origins that was taught was direct creationism. The evolutionists, led by Charles Darwin and the American Civil Liberties Union, went to court to overturn the law.

    Darwin said, “It is the height of bigotry to have only one theory of origins taught in our schools.”

    Today (in less than 100 years), the bigotry is on the other foot. Liberalism and progressivism, with the aid of the same ACLU, is doing its best to keep one theory of origins taught in our schools because now it’s “evolution.”

    I have read the feeble attempts to support this hypothesis.

    The evolutionist says, “Millions of years ago there appeared primal germs or seminal spores. Some call them amoebas. From these all living creatures supposedly evolved. The singled cell became a tadpole. The tadpole developed into a pollywog, then into a fish that became a reptile. The reptile developed into a quadruped (an animal having four feet). That animal developed into a baboon and the baboon into a man.”

    Is there credible scientific evidence to support this hypothesis? Absolutely none.

    When we started the Fairview Christian Academy in the mid 1970s, we struggled to find curriculum that was not tainted by the theory of evolution. In most available textbooks, evolution totally dominated the area of biology, embryology, chemistry, anthropology, and all sorts of similar subjects. Page after page of science books pictured apelike creatures slowly transferring into human beings. You could read that Charles Darwin claimed to have found the Piltdown man in a rock quarry near Piltdown Common in Sussex, England in 1912. This was proven to be a hoax in 1953. Yet, this lie was being printed in many science books.

    Even as late as 1992, a picture drawn by Amedee Forestier called the “Nebraska Man” was published in the London news. The man and woman drawn were concocted from a single tooth that turned out to be from a pig. This farce began by a rancher in 1917 sent to Dr. Henry Osborn of Columbia University, who made the claim that the tooth was from the first anthropoid ape of America. To this day, students can view these made up stories as they visit the Smithsonian Museum in our nation’s capitol.

    The Psalmist noted that he was fearfully and wonderfully made. The marvel of the human body demands a divine, omniscient Creator. The more we learn of the complexity and function of the human body, the more we recognize God’s handiwork. Neurologists state that nerve impulses travel at 170 miles per hour. Cardiologists explain the heart at 80 beats per minute would beat 115,200 times each day, 42,048,000 times a year, and if you live 80 years would beat 3,363,840,000 times. AMAZING! Our bodies have 60,000 miles of blood vessels. We get a new stomach lining every 3 to 4 days. The surface of a human lung is equal to a tennis court. Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents. You use 200 muscles to take one step. Three hundred million cells die in the body every minute. Every human spends one-half hour as a single cell. The human body generates enough heat in 30 minutes to bring a half-gallon of water to a boil. And on and on, the miracles continue.

    We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made. Libraries could be filled from top to bottom with the factual truths of divine direct creation. The chance that all the functions of the individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity. A hundred, a thousand, or a million articles could be written concerning the miracle of creation; yet, never reveal all of its wonders.

    The most godless, when forced to stop and think, must be humbled by a sense of awe and wonder at the truth that by Christ were all things created that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers: All things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things and by Him all things consist (Colossians 1:16-17).

    Evolution, in a word, is the attempt of unregenerate men to deny God, their Creator. To admit divine creation would demand accountability to Him. Denying the eternal Creator does not tear one hole in His holy vesture, dilute one drop of honey from His holy hive, nor shorten His march of triumph by one step, or weaken His omnipotence by one pulse beat. These brief thoughts concerning the complexity and function of the human body could be expanded into every aspect of the world around us. Animal and plant life, the smallest insect, sea life, and the birds that fly all have the recognized stamp of the Creator’s hand. The vastness of our solar system and the intricate details of the molecular structure of all matter have, in my lifetime, been examined through telescopes and microscopes.

    Evolution is the key element of the godless religion of humanism. It’s theory (and it is only a theory) collapses under its own weight. Proponents invariably leave it when honestly evaluating scientific facts and almost without exception, abandon it at the mouth of the grave as the prospect of meeting the Divine Creator, whom they deny, becomes apparent.

    Yes, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

    I’m torn between pity for this person, and being angry at his sanctimonious arrogance( all while him being so totally ignorant)… the anger is mostly from knowing that he is infecting others with this rubbish.

  26. In the full version I see that the pastor claims “In most available textbooks … evolution totally dominated … chemistry…” I wonder what texts he was reading (or what he was smoking). As I recall, when I was a chemistry major in undergraduate school, I never saw anything about ionic bonds evolving into covalent bonds or benzene rings evolving into octane.

  27. Not relevant to this thread, but of interest to the problem of creationism as an aspect of wide-spread denialism.
    An article on The Guardian’s web pages on August 3
    The long read/Denialism: What drives people to reject the truth
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/03/denialism-what-drives-people-to-reject-the-truth
    This is derived from a book to be published in the UK in September:
    Keith Kalan-Harris
    Denial: The Unspeakable Truth

  28. @TomS, it’s highly relevant. How do we talk to someone who has been “educated” by the reverend? Does it help to say that Darwin is not Dawson of Piltdown obloquy, or that Nebraska Man was queried from the outset and never made it to the textbooks? Anything that helps us understand the underpinning of denial is important for us as persuaders, and we may even learn somethng uncomfortable but salutory by asking to what extent we show the same behaviours.

    Since we are not here merely to tell each other how clever we all are (true though that doubtless is), but to make an effective difference in the world, these things matter

  29. One thing that struck me is that some of these denialists will make up jokes as if they were their real beliefs. I guess that they can assume that the true believers can recognize the difference between jokes and what they really believe. Sort of a way of showing their superiority of intellect, to see the difference. Rather than, that there is no difference between jokes and what they believe.