Creationist Wisdom #923: Powerful Arguments

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Winston-Salem Journal of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The letter is titled Reasons to believe. It’s the second letter at that link, 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. He’s a retired money management counselor, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. His first name is Harvey. 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!

The writer of the letter “An entertaining column” (Dec. 7) states that she prefers science and the human ability to reason rather than believing that a god controls our destinies.

Harvey is talking about this letter, the writer of which says she prefers science to religion. Harvey is outraged, and he says:

I believe that she has not adequately considered the reasons to believe that God does exist. Word limitations for letters enable me to mention only a few of these reasons.

Presumably, Harvey is going to give us his best reasons. He tells us:

Nuclear physicist Hugh Siefken [whoever that is] declared, “My faith can be summed up in this one paradox: I believe in science, and I believe in God.” And, according to Lee Strobel [a creationist author], “many other scientists see no inherent conflict between their profession and their conclusion that a miracle-working God is responsible for creating and sustaining the universe.”

That’s pretty good evidence! What else does Harvey have? He continues:

Antony Flew, who previously was widely regarded as the world’s most notorious atheist, asserted, “I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God.”

When Flew flipped out — based on no scientific evidence whatsoever — the Discoveroids were all excited — see Dembski: The Collapse of Darwin’s Berlin Wall. Harvey is all excited too. Let’s read on:

For intelligent life to exist, all the vital organs need to be functional at the same time. [For non-intelligent life too.] Statistically, it would be virtually impossible for the brain, the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the liver and the other vital organs of the first intelligent life on Earth to all become functional at the same time as a result of mere chance.

*Groan* They didn’t “all become functional at the same time.” But assuming they did is one of Harvey’s powerful arguments for creationism. And now we come to the end:

Therefore, it can legitimately be argued [Hee hee!] that a person needs more faith to believe that intelligent life came into existence by mere chance rather than to believe that God created intelligent life.

Well, dear reader. Harvey is convinced. Are you?

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17 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #923: Powerful Arguments

  1. Mon dieu! Another creationist demonstrating confusion about evolution. No one who has studied evolution thinks “intelligent life” popped into existence fully formed with a brain, heart, lungs, etc. That’s how the mythological god thing is alleged to have done it.

  2. He does not show confusion on evilution. He demonstrates the voluntary st00pidity of those who “are terrified of death and thinking”.

  3. ” He demonstrates the voluntary st00pidity of those who “are terrified of death and thinking”.”

    Some people are so very afraid of doubt that they voluntarily elect to embrace absurdities with certainty. And since supporting evidence is not only not required but regarded as worthless, that removes all doubt no matter what the actual evidence is.

  4. “No one who has studied evolution thinks “intelligent life” popped into existence fully formed …”

    In order for religionists to win an argument against science they have to first misrepresent the science side as being like a religion (the “wrong” religion, of course) so that their “superior” religion can vanquish it. Voluntary brain death always leads to profound levels of ignorance.

  5. “Science leads to God.”

    But that isn’t even remotely any of the gawds in the bible! All of the biblical gawds have a flat immobile earth, just to name a couple of differences. Also note that the apologetics at the link talks about “evidences” a word only found in religious apologetics and not in science. The former always uses the plural form while the latter always uses the singular form. Hugh has OD’d on the religion addiction.

  6. Closest thing science could conclude about gods is, if they exist, there must have been a bunch of them with deeply conflicting interests.

  7. Michael Fugate

    Of course it’s apologetics – either you believe or you don’t.

  8. Some day there is going to be someone who will tell us about the positive evidence for the positive belief in God, rather than telling us about the deficiencies in science.
    Or is this being Pollyanna?

  9. I haven’t seen sufficient evidence that Harvey is a creationist. He passes the test on just one of three criteria: a version of Paley’s Watchmaker Analogy (“all the vital organs need to be functional at the same time” plus “not mere chance” is derived from it). But he hasn’t really brought up the God of the Gaps fallacy. He has left the option open that “God created all the functional vital organs at the same time” by using natural means (disclaimer: this is still as thick as horse manure plus half as useful; my point is just that not only creacrappers produce crap). Also he hasn’t rejected Evolution Theory.
    While creacrappers invariably bring up PWA and GotG they are not the only apologists who do so. There is a reason most philosophers are unbelievers; this source mentions 62%, but I’ve also seen 88%.

    The author is charitable – I think “philosopher of religion”, with very few exceptions, rather a flag on a boat full of [*bleep*].

  10. Michael Fugate

    Siefkin references theologian Keith Ward who has used the awe-ful trope which is easily an awful reason to believe. Ponies and rainbows are transcendent, therefore god? Once you believe, design is seen, but you need to believe.

  11. @Zetopan: “religionists to win an argument against science ”
    Unfortunately creacrappers are not the only ones who try this. I’ve read a Dutch doctoral thesis in which the author rejects the Multiverse hypothesis with “why don’t we observe fresh universes pop up every day?” and another one that maintained that Evolution Theory depended on chance. It was published a year after I referred the author/promovendus to the relevant TalkOrigin article …..

    “But that isn’t even remotely any of the gawds in the bible!”
    “Philosophers” of religion (ie apologists) claim they’ve found another road to their god, independently of the Bible. Science is part of that road, so they claim.

  12. @MichaelF: still it seems to me that Siefken doesn’t reject Evolution Theory either. That second link of yours just contains standard apologetics:
    – accept teleology to conclude a goal set by a designer;
    – fine tuning;
    – the cell looks designed hence a Grand Old Designer (Ie Paley);
    – christianity caused modern science.

    It’s with the Cambrian Explosion (Siefken calls it “a Second Big Bang!”, carefully neglecting the fact that first one lasted a split-second and the Cambrian Explosion at least 20 million years) that he comes close to the blurred line that separates creacrap from “pure” apologetics. And yes, I’m fully aware that all apologetics has a strong tendencey to reject at least some science. We’re talking gradations, not sharply separated categories.

  13. So I’ve looked at the site of Greenville University for further evidence. No links this time; all the info is easy to google. Neither the Lifestyle Statement nor the Statement of Academic Freedom directly or indirectly rejects Evolution Theory. Two articles betray more sympathy for creacrap than is mentally healthy for a university, but that’s all.

  14. Michael Fugate

    Frank, I agree. He is a OEC at worst. I just can’t see that either the natural world or science gets you to god, but better theologians than l say different.

  15. Michael Fugate, be fair to Keith Ward. He regards creationism as dangerous nonsense, dangerous to religion as well as everything else, and I persuaded him (along with Richard Dawkins) to sign a letter to the then education secretary for England that helped lead to a Government statement that creationism and intelligent design are not to be taught in English publicly-funded schools.

  16. Michael Fugate

    Paul I agree. He believes YEC is a threat to Christianity and it is. I just think his philosophy is weak. His reply to Dawkins’ atheism would have been much more interesting if it weren’t “Why There Almost Certainly Is a God”.