Creationist Wisdom #894: A Massive Ark-Load

We don’t recall seeing as many whoppers in one place as we discovered in today’s letter-to-the-editor. It appears in the Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton, Michigan (population 7,708) in the northwestern portion of that state’s Upper Peninsula. The letter is titled Some evolution based in myth, and the newspaper has a comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Robert. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

Atheists reject the Bible’s history of creation but their theory of evolution is a creation myth without a creator. [Hee hee!] Natural selection does occur but not in unlimited ways that cause radical changes over long periods of time. It is impossible for reptiles to evolve into birds, non-human primates to evolve into human beings, etc.

Ah yes, the micro-macro mambo, described in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Then he says:

An evolutionist even admitted that a main function of DNA is to prevent evolution. [Huh?] There are limits to biological change, a scientific fact the theory of evolution contradicts. [It’s a fact!] Even Darwin said the idea that the eye was produced by natural selection was “absurd.” [Quote mining debunked in Evolution of the Eye.] He accepted atheistic evolution because the death of his daughter caused him to reject God.

Yes, that was Darwin’s only reason. Robert is just getting started. Next he tells us:

Darwin knew nothing about DNA. It’s more complex than the eye [Robert didn’t show his math] and isn’t fully understood by scientists. It is illogical to believe that the mindless forces of nature created DNA millions of years ago.

What is Robert saying? DNA is “more complex than the eye,” and if Darwin said the eye couldn’t evolve, then surely Darwin would have agreed that DNA couldn’t evolve either. Right! He continues:

Sir Arthur Keith wrote the introduction to the 100th edition of Darwin’s “Origin of Species.” He admitted: “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.”

Yeah, he “admitted” it. Except that the Wikipedia write-up on Arthur Keith totally debunks it — scroll to the heading “Spurious quotation.”

Robert ends his wonderful letter by invoking Stephen Hawking:

Stephen Hawking asked why there is something rather than nothing. “Spontaneous creation” was his atheistic answer that the creation created itself from nothing. That is impossible. In his book “A Brief History of Time,” Hawking did make a wiser comment: “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”

Here’s an online copy of Hawking’s book: A Brief History of Time (pdf). We found Hawking’s “wiser comment” on page 65. However, for the next several pages, Hawking discusses alternatives, and that chapter ends with this:

So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?

So Robert finished with yet another example of quote-mining. And that’s the letter. Make of it what you will, dear reader.

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

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11 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #894: A Massive Ark-Load

  1. So, suppose that the universe has a creator. What does that have to do with evolution?
    And think a moment, suppose that the univrse has a creator, a supernatural being wich is capable of doing anything. This means that the creator can equally well create a universe like the one that happens to be, with a beginning with a Big Bang, one in which life would be a natural product, and in which evolution proceeds on Earth for billions of years – who can say that the creator could not do that? Or the creator could create a universe in which life is impossible. Or the creator could decide not to create any universe.
    That is to say, the existence of an all-powerful creator does not explain how or why, when or where, there is this particular universe.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Robert, seems to believe many things are impossible, but his Bible claims all things are possible with God. Is Robert wrong about things or God?

  3. Hi Curmudegon,

    You quoted/wrote: “An evolutionist even admitted that a main function of DNA is to prevent evolution. [Huh?] ”

    In fact this is right, or at least almost right. From the cell’s point of view, mutations are mistakes, and it spends a lot of time and effort trying to prevent its DNA from mutating. There are enzymes whose job is checking for and repairing mutations in the DNA. But the error-checking isn’t perfect, and some mutations slip past. Those surviving mutations are the raw material for variation, the first step in evolution.

  4. Michael Fugate

    But that isn’t the function of DNA.

  5. Being Robert Kohtala:

    Reading that letter was like entering a portal into Robert’s head and looking
    out at the world through Robert’s eyes. A somewhat disquieting experience.

    The only common theme I could find in that general mishmash was that all the big names Robert referred to are dead: Charles Darwin. Arthur Keith. Stephen Hawking.

    Oh, and Robert’s god.

    Take that, Robert!

  6. Sometimes it’s both superfluous and impossible to mock creacrap (a sort of reverse Poe’s Law). Robert provides a fine example. It may very well be that he does more to put creationism in a bad light than all of us together ever could. If you read this: thanks, Robert, and keep up the good work. Why don’t you write a book? I’ll be happy to write an introduction and praise it – for reasons you won’t like.

  7. I commented in the paper:

    No, Darwin did not say that the evolution of the eye by natural selection is absurd. He said it *seems* absurd, and then goes in, in the very next sentence, to explain how it could have (we can now say did) happen. The other quotations are either bogus or misleading. To Robert and those who [typo; I meant to say “argue”] like him, I suggest a reading of the Ninth Commandment

  8. I corrected tmy comment in the paper. Shame we can’t correct our comments here

  9. wolfwalker says: “From the cell’s point of view, mutations are mistakes, and it spends a lot of time and effort trying to prevent its DNA from mutating.”

    Gasp! You admitted it too!

  10. Curmudgeon: [snork]

    Michael Fugate: I did say it was “almost” right, didn’t I? 😉 No, preventing mutations is not the function of DNA in general, but certainly the function of _some_ DNA is to code for those error-checking enzymes. And there is machinery in the cell to prevent genetic variation because for the most part (not always, but mostly) genetic variation is a bad thing. There are many, MANY more deleterious variations than beneficial ones…

    One of the creationists’ most annoying tactics is saying something that is true or somewhat true, but not the whole truth. This is an example of that. “A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.” — Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

  11. My understanding – I am not a scientist – is that most change in DNA makes no difference. Most changes are synonymous, or in non-coding DNA.