Creationist Wisdom #935: The Sand Castle

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it’s actually a column) appears in the LaGrange Daily News of LaGrange, Georgia. It’s titled In the beginning, God, and the newspaper has 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 a preacher. It’s Charles “Buddy” Whatley, a retired United Methodist pastor who has also been a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s column, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

When I was in seminary, Doug Oldham came to sing at the Wilmore United Methodist Church and one of my favorite songs was “God said it, I believe it, and that’s good enough for me.” [Yeah!] My basic presuppositions come from the Bible, but I’m also a scientist, and I’m constantly trying to make the two compatible.

We haven’t found anything about the rev’s career as a scientist — but he obviously knows his stuff. He says:

The Bible says God created the heavens and the earth, but it really doesn’t give much detail. It’s not much help if we’re asking, “How did God create the earth?” And that’s where my science kicks in. I’m always asking questions about my faith and my science.

Questions about faith are rarely a good idea, but the rev has found a way to do it. He tells us:

But at the heart of my faith and my science is the simple statement, “In the beginning, God….” Imagine you’re walking down the beach and see a sand castle sitting in the sand? What might you think? Did the waves wash up on the beach and carve out a sand castle? Did a bird fly down and peck out a sand castle on the beach? Or would you think some intelligent being planned it and built it and left it there?

Wow — that’s brilliant! He continues:

The evolutionist wants the creationist to “prove” creation and the creationist wants the evolutionist to “prove” evolution. Both are wrong. Creation and evolution are about history and not science. Science requires observation and repetition. Neither creation nor evolution can be observed nor repeated. So, neither one is science.

He’s right. After all — were you there? And now we come to the end:

Think about it, if you assume an intelligent being created the sand castle, how in the world could you believe that the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth, all of which are far more complex than the sand castle, simply created themselves? Now, I don’t know all the details. I just know that God created everything, and it was very good.

The rev knows what he’s talking about, dear reader. Do you?

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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24 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #935: The Sand Castle

  1. “My basic presuppositions come from the Bible, but I’m also a scientist, and I’m constantly trying to make the two compatible.”

    I know just what you mean, rev. I’m trying to teach my cat French, but she pretends she doesn’t even understand English. It’s frustrating.

  2. Doug’s sand castle sounds a lot like Paley’s watch. Be careful of the rising tide, Doug.

  3. “My basic presuppositions come from the Bible, but I’m also a scientist …”

    Claims yet another profoundly scientifically illiterate preacher.

  4. Michael Fugate

    According to Buddy’s linked-in page, he has a BA in biology from Emory and a Master’s in theology.
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-buddy-whatley-18815620

    He also claims science led him to God – but not why Christianity…
    https://www.moultrieobserver.com/opinion/columns/pursuit-of-science-led-me-to-god/article_38188bde-6442-11e8-a6e0-d7b096bab1a8.html

  5. but it really doesn’t give much detail
    … and when it does give details, everyone ignores them.
    Details like the waters existing before the first creative act. The sticking of the Sun, Moon and stars on the Firmament, on the fourth day.
    … when it doesn’t give details, people feel free to make up their own.
    Like details about “kind”. Details about what days were, before the Sun was on the Firmament, on a round Earth.

  6. “…but it really doesn’t give much detail.”

    Yes, those biblical scribes really should have submitted the Bible for peer review before publishing it as a scientific study.

  7. “Creation and evolution are about history and not science. Science requires observation and repetition. Neither creation nor evolution can be observed nor repeated. So, neither one is science.”

    I know that this argument appears in The Genesis Flood. Is that its first occurrence?

  8. “The evolutionist wants the creationist to “prove” creation and the creationist wants the evolutionist to “prove” evolution. Both are wrong.”
    And Pastor Buddy is most wrong of all. Science is not about proving things. It’s about formulating hypotheses that can be confirmed or refuted by empirical evidence.

    “Neither creation nor evolution can be observed nor repeated.”
    BWAHAHAHAHA! When I go to the beach and create the sandcastle Pastor Buddy asked for he nicely can observe what I’m creating and the resulting product, ie my creation. He also can observe the tools I use and the way I do it (ie the procedure).

    “Think about it, if you assume an intelligent being created the sand castle ….”
    Yeah, Pastor Buddy, follow your own advice for once and start to think about it instead of parroting a centuries old error. Hint: I gave the answer just one paragraph above.
    No wonder Pastor Buddy has been busy his entire life with “constantly trying to make the two compatible.” He simply never has made any progress.

  9. ” Imagine you’re walking down the beach and see a sand castle sitting in the sand? …” Demos his basic lack of intelligence. As if he saw such a thing, he should honestly say ‘I DON’T KNOW!’ until he experimented thru observation what happened! It could be a bird’s nest which he THINKS looks like a castle. Because birds are very intelligent and can make some very complex nests!

  10. “he has a BA in biology”

    Having a degree is a particular scientific field (note that it is a BA and not a BS degree) does not make one a scientist. The degree holder must actually work in biology or whatever field to actually be a scientist. There are numerous creationists with real (as opposed to the more numerous fake) degrees that are totally incompetent even within their degreed fields, which they do not actually work within.

    Michael Crichton graduated with an MD from Harvard College but he was never a medical doctor. There are lots of cases where someone gets a degree but never even works in the degreed field. Many years ago I knew an onion farmer who had a degree in electrical engineering but the only field he worked in was located on his onion farm. He told me that he got the EE degree, not because of any interest in that field, but rather because he thought that he should get a degree before getting too old to do so and he didn’t want to end up without having a college diploma.

  11. If the universe was in the shape of a giant sandcastle, I’d be more inclined to exclaim: “Gee: I wonder who planned and built that, and then left it there for me to come along and say: ‘Gee: I wonder who built that?’ ”

    This is all getting terribly meta, he said, as he disappeared down his own space-time wormhole and emerged out the other side of Uranus.

  12. I don’t think that anyone noted that we do observe evolution and can repeat evolution. It can be observed happening in farmland, as weeds and pests evolve resistance to the chemicals that we dump on them, and pathogenic bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics. These are predictable and measurable.
    As far as creation, if we’re talking about divine creation, or creation “ex nihilo”, or creation beyond the laws of nature, no, we don’t have any observations of that. We only have examples of human artistic creation, or design, and we know that to actually produce something, rather than just thinking about it, it takes physical work on material to produce the result. We can’t, for example, bypass the laws of thermodynamics in our creative work.
    We have to take account of the laws of nature if we are to produce a successful design/creation. Indeed, that is what makes design/creation necessary – and what makes it difficult, too!

  13. Eddie Janssen

    Think about it, if you assume an intelligent being created the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth, how in the world could you believe that God, who is far more complex than the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth, simply created himself?

  14. @TomS: “I don’t think that anyone noted that we do observe evolution.”
    I thought about it but let it pass, because this in the end is another stupid semantic game creacrappers love to abuse. For instance you can maintain that we cannot observe gravity and electricity either (we actually observe events like things falling downward and lamps being switched on and off). You know as well as me and everybody else where this is going.

    FrankB: “We cannot observe gravity either.”
    Pastor Buddy: “How do you mean? Drop something from a tower and observe what’s happening: gravity!”
    FrankB: “OK then. In the same way we can observe things like speciation, mutations and digged up fossils.”
    Pastor Buddy: “That’s not nearly the same! Those things do not prove evolution!

    Like I wrote , Pastor Buddy should start to take his own advise.

  15. @Eddie Janssen
    The standard reply to you puzzle is to deny both (1) that God is very complicated and (2) that God created himself.
    First of all, realize that I am not arguing this point. I’m just pointing out that you are going to get stuck in a morass of metaphysics. Now to the points
    (1) God is not complicated. Rather he is themost uncomplicated of all beings. He just is, and that is all there is to be said. There are no parts to God.
    (2) God is not created. God did not create God. God just is.

  16. Michael Fugate

    Molecular analysis of fossils is becoming more common and fits nicely with what we know of extant species. Here is one on comparing keratins in feathers of birds and dinosaurs.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/fossil-feathers-reveal-how-dinosaurs-took-flight?utm_campaign=news_daily_2019-01-28&et_rid=347435321&et_cid=2624586

  17. Eddie Janssen

    Ah, yes. Theology

  18. @Michael Fugate
    Thanks for that article.
    Every creationist should read it. The loss of amino acids in keratin can lead to a gain in flexibility, leading to the developoment of feathers.

  19. @Michael Fugate, any good reviews of this area, technical or otherwise?

  20. Per TomS, “I don’t think that anyone noted that we do observe evolution and can repeat evolution. It can be observed happening in farmland, as weeds and pests evolve resistance to the chemicals that we dump on them, and pathogenic bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics. These are predictable and measurable.”

    Creationists would answer that this is an example of microevolution, which they grudgingly accept (although their forebears of the Scopes Trial wouldn’t have — creationism has adapted and evolved). “Show me a weed turning into a man.”

  21. Michael Fugate

    Ham has a creationist forensics technician on his staff – which seems odd. How does one reconstruct the past for unique events such as crime scenes if one isn’t there to witness them? Why does circumstantial evidence work for solving crimes, but not for biology, geology and astronomy?

  22. @MichaelF asks for well known directions: “How does one ….?”
    Simple. If it agrees with Ol’Hambo’s particular theology the conclusion is correct, if not it’s incorrect.

  23. @Eric Lipps
    Brings up the “micro macro mambo”.
    Just as one does not see the macro-continuity of the same Sun rising every day. Yes, the same Sun that riose yesterday had micro-continuity with the Sun that sat yesterday.
    Just as Newton observed only micro-gravity when the apple fell from the tree, but he did not observe macro-gravity that kept the Moon in its orbit of the Earth. Not until 1971, when Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott dropped a feather and a hammer on the Moon did we observe macro-gravity?

    In an essay published in 1852, “The Development Hypthesis”, Herbert Spenser took up the creationist complaint:
    “In a debate upon the development hypothesis, lately narrated to me by a friend, one of them was described as arguing that, as in all our experience we know of no such phenomenon as the transmutation of species, it is unphilosophical to assume that transmutation of species ever takes place. Had I been present, I think that, passing over his assertion, which is open to criticism, I should have replied that, as in all our experience we have never known a species created, it was, by his own showing, unphilosophical to assume that any species ever had been created.”
    See:
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Development_Hypothesis