Creationist Wisdom #900: God, Darwin, & Hawking

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Morning News of Florence, South Carolina, which Wikipedia says is “probably best known for being the intersection of I-95 and I-20, and the eastern terminus of I-20.” They have a comments feature, but it’s disabled. The letter is titled God should be part of education.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. He writes a lot of letters — dozens of them — but that doesn’t qualify for full name treatment. His first name is Lawrence. 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!

On Aug. 24, the Morning News published a letter, "Private schools are the answer," by James K. Ward, a public school teacher for 18 years. I started first grade in 1949. Already public schools were falling behind. Fortunately, I went to private schools. Ward hit one of the nails on the head. In public schools, God and patriotism have been replaced by what I call "social anarchy."

Here’s Ward’s letter: Private schools are the answer. He ranted that God was no longer in the public schools. Lawrence agrees. He says:

One of Ward’s comments was that evolution is exclusively taught as the method of human development. [That’s horrible!] I consider this to be a violation of the First Amendment, because I consider it to be an attempt to establish atheism as the national religion. [Groan!] If a person’s education is to be complete and unbiased, the subject of God should be discussed. It should not be discarded just because some people do not like the idea.

Great, huh? After that he tells us:

I have an absolute belief in God and believe in creation. [We never would have guessed!] I also do not find that creationism and evolution are incompatible. [Huh?] I know that the concept of God is difficult to comprehend, but I find the concept of no Supreme Being to be impossible to comprehend. The more educated I became in the physical sciences, the more I believed that there had to be a Supreme Being, no matter the name. Maybe someday, to illustrate this, I will write about the unique properties of water, that “simple” substance that makes up approximately 70 percent of the human body, and the consequences to nature if these unusual properties did not exist.

You don’t really think we’re going to comment on that, do you? Lawrence continues:

I have heard and read many references to Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” [But did he ever read it?] I have never seen it mentioned that there are actually six editions of this work. The first edition was published on Nov. 24, 1859. Revised editions appeared in 1860, 1861, 1866, 1869 and 1872. These subsequent editions were published in response to numerous criticisms. … Why is it not taught that there are six editions? Because the question would then be asked, “Why?”

Darwin was obviously flopping around all over the place, and he kept putting out new editions to cover up his blunders. But Lawrence is too smart to be fooled. Let’s read on:

If a person were to compare the biblical story of creation to Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time,” he would find that the only contradiction would be the use of the term “day.” And since there was no such thing as day, night or time at the time of the big bang, this potential discrepancy is meaningless. Any unit would have been sufficient to indicate separation of activities.

Wowie — Hawking’s book is virtually the same as Genesis! And now we come to the end:

So what are we going to do to improve public schools? As always, nothing. As Ward said, “Not one darn thing is going to change; that is, things that really matter.”

There you are, dear reader. We’ve blogged about 900 of these things now, and they never cease to amuse.

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

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15 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #900: God, Darwin, & Hawking

  1. Mon dieu! Lawrence has discovered that On the Origin of Species had several editions, and therefore, for some obscure reason, should be ignored, as he apparently has. I wonder if he does that with the books he uses for his “education” in physical sciences. The physics text I used is in it’s 14th edition.

  2. abeastwood scoffs: “Lawrence has discovered that On the Origin of Species had several editions, and therefore, for some obscure reason, should be ignored”

    Well, there’s only one edition of Genesis — because it’s The Truth.

  3. Uh, this guy went to private school so he knows what is going on n public schools? Did he explain how this miracle occurred/?

  4. Derek Freyberg

    Thanks to Steve Ruis, I guess it’s time for the (in)famous “Were you there?”

  5. Did the author of this raving nonsense even finish high school? A university education is obvious right out (Liberty Baptist and Bob Jones are not institutes of higher learning).

  6. Michael Fugate

    Here is a random sentence from Cambell’s Biology 9th ed.
    ” The second instance of molecular recognition is the pairing of the tRNA anticodon with the appropriate mRNA codon.”

    How many gods can you find in this sentence?

    ” The second instance of molecular recoGnitiOn is the pairing of the tRNA anticoDon with the appropriate mRNA codon.”

    ” The second instAnce of moLecuLAr recognition is tHe pairing of the tRNA anticodon with the appropriate mRNA codon.”

    ” The secOnD INstance of molecular recognition is the pairing of the tRNA anticodon with the appropriate mRNA codon.”

    ” The second instance of molecular recognition is the pairing of tHE tRNA anticodon with the appropriate mRNA codon.”

    See, gods are everywhere in public education – you just need look.

  7. Hmm. Six editions of Darwin. Are any of them found in his private school libraries? How many editions AND versions of his bible exist?

  8. “God should be part of education”
    As long as The Flying Spaghetti Monster is meant I’m totally fine with this. I’m happy to point out that nothing in Lawrence’ letter suggests otherwise.

  9. @Anonymous
    I was going to point out that there are at least three variations of the Pentateuch (Genesis to Deuteronomy): Masoretic, Samaritan, Septuagint.
    But that would liken a sacred text to a scientific book. Perhaps one should point out that there is only one Quran.

  10. And since there was no such thing as day, night or time at the time of the big bang, this potential discrepancy is meaningless.
    This writer tells us that it is meaningless to speak of days and nights when there is norelative motion of the Sun across the sky. The Bible tells us that the Sun was placed in the firmament to make the difference between day and night and to mark the passing of days. On the fourth day! This, indeed, makes the enumeration of the first three “days” of creation week meaningless, if taken literally. (This literal meaninglessness was remarked on by some ancient commentators who favored non-literal readings.) This meaninglessness is truly different from the meangfulness of the descripton of the time between the Big Bang and the formation of the Earth.

  11. Our esteemed SC said “Well, there’s only one edition of Genesis — because it’s The Truth™.”

    It doesn’t need a second edition because it manages to contradict itself without being modified in second go-round.

  12. It would appear that Lawrence is a gradualist creationist – one who accepts the evidence for evolution, but holds that God’s supervision and guidance was necessary for it to unfold in the way it has. Perhaps, from his last paragraph, he’s also a “day-ager”, that is, one who believes the Genesis “day” really means “age” – vast, if unspecified, gulfs of time. What, after all, is the difference to Eternal God?

    The former proposition has the charming property of being impossible to disprove. The latter can be disproven from evidence, but it comes down to squalid consideration of details and wording, and these are easily dismissed as quibbling. Alas, science requires that hypotheses must be subject to disproof from evidence, and it is positively obsessed with getting the details right. Which is to say that Lawrence’s beliefs are not science.

    The rest follows. Since they are not science, they should not be taught as science in science class. Further, if they are religious beliefs – as would seem to be manifestly the case – they should not be taught in a public school at all.

    And so we come to Lawrence’s plaintive question: “What are we going to do to improve public schools?”. But that question is, in Lawrence’s mind, rhetorical. He really means, “Shall we teach (my brand of) creationism in the public schools?”

    The answer is, hell, no.

  13. @Dave Lucket
    If your analysis is correct, and I do not doubt it, then who is going to be satisfied with it being taught?
    Certainly not the large number of people who object to be related to monkeys. Not the loud mouth YECs. There

  14. “I also do not find that creationism and evolution are incompatible.”

    A creationist who not only doesn’t understand evolution, but- possibly a first- doesn’t seem to understand creationism, either. Blasphemer! Lawrence should be pelted with papier mache stones by the combined forces of AiG, ICR, and CMI.

    Probably Lawrence just means some form of theistic evolution, as Dave L. suggests, but all those double negatives got in the way of simple clarity.

    And Lawrence is supposed to be some sort of shining example of the virtues of private over public school education?

  15. I have an absolute belief in God and believe in creation. I also do not find that creationism and evolution are incompatible. I know that the concept of God is difficult to comprehend, but I find the concept of no Supreme Being to be impossible to comprehend. The more educated I became in the physical sciences, the more I believed that there had to be a Supreme Being, no matter the name. Maybe someday, to illustrate this, I will write about the unique properties of water, that “simple” substance that makes up approximately 70 percent of the human body, and the consequences to nature if these unusual properties did not exist.

    And once again a creationist gets causality backward, asserting that water had to be the way it is in order for nature to be the way it is, instead of the other way around as rational people (yes, including Christians, at least of the non-creationist variety) understand things to be.