Creationist Wisdom #953: Seeds Prove Creationism

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it’s actually a collumn) appears in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin of Walla Walla, Washington. It’s titled Seed miracle repeated throughout nature every year, and the newspaper doesn’t have 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 Lee Roy Holmes, described as “a retired Seventh-day Adventist pastor.” We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

Perhaps most people who believe in the Bible account of creation have their own favorite reason for that belief, a belief which also serves as the main reason for their having no confidence in evolution. [One belief, two results!] It could be anything from the orderly movement of the constellations through the heavens to the echolocation ability of bats or the migration of starlings.

The constellations prove creationism and disprove evolution? That’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s not the rev’s number one reason. He says:

Mine is seed. [Huh?] Any kind of seed. For instance, I find it mind-boggling that all of the complex structure, function and beauty of a 50-foot-tall magnolia tree can be shrunk to something no bigger than a pea. God repeats that miracle throughout nature every year, reducing every minute detail of millions of plant species, from pine trees to poppies, and encapsulating every feature in that tiny package we call seed.

Ooooooooooooh! It’s a miracle! Then the rev tells us:

Associated with that miracle is the fact most seeds seem so lifeless. Some could easily be mistaken for a tiny crumb of bread or a speck of sawdust. If someone from another world were visiting our planet at seed time, they could reasonably challenge the rationality of the gardener whom they find planting such lifeless matter and expecting a harvest. And yet, what a powerful life force is enshrined in those crumbs and specks!

Ooooooooooooh! Why hasn’t anyone else ever mentioned this? He continues:

In my view, believing that some evolutionary process accidentally invented seeds belongs in a book of fairy tales. [He’s right!] I have never understood why, if we have to have seed to produce our tomatoes and carrots today, how the evolutionary process could move forward in its early years without seed.

What’s he saying — no seeds, no evolution? Let’s read on:

What kept the process going at its embryonic level? For the first leaf of lettuce to wriggle up out of the mud is one thing [Yeah, no problem with that!], but if there’s going to be two leaves of lettuce next spring, somebody is going to have to come up with some lettuce seed.

Oh, we get it. He’s talking about reproduction. No reproduction, no evolution. Okay, here’s another excerpt:

The Bible says on the third day of creation week God made “the herb that bears seed” (Genesis 1:11). God created seed. And it is what the seed “knows” that fascinates me. Whether it’s a tiny sesame seed, a giant coconut or something in between, every seed knows how tall to grow, when to bud and bloom, and how to make its seed or fruit ready for the coming harvest time.

Ooooooooooooh! The seed knows! Here’s more:

Again, we are seeing the wisdom and power of the creator being expressed in this and a hundred million other ways in the natural world.

The rev keeps going for a few more paragraphs, but we’ve already given you his main points — seeds prove creationism and disprove evolution — so this is where we’ll leave him. Now then, dear reader, what do you think? Did the rev persuade you?

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

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29 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #953: Seeds Prove Creationism

  1. A retired minister. What did he do with his life?

  2. Mark Germano

    Yes, the wonders of the seed are noticeable this time of year, with trees, grass, and other plants competing for space in my yard.

    It’s a real miracle, sure, but nothing a little Round Up won’t fix.

  3. If the good rev thought it out, he might wonder about why pollination occurs, where the DNA of one plant mixes with the DNA of another, making new traits possible in the plant that grows from the resulting seed. After all, it’s theses new traits that are the driving force of evolution.

    Too bad the Bible doesn’t mention pollination and other forms of sexual reproduction where genetic material is mixed and matched. It would have been so easy for the G.O.D. to inspire one of the Bible’s authors to slip it in there somewhere. A truly perplexing omission.

  4. @Mark Germano:
    Your mention of RoundUp made me chuckle. Years ago a young couple new to home ownership moved in across the street, and one of the first things he did was attack the vast garden of dandelions in his yard. He mixed up some RoundUp concentrate, poured it into a hand-held spray bottle, and spayed each individual dandelion with a six-inch diameter of spray mist. It took him over an hour to do his whole lawn, but it was worth it — he had the most interesting polka-dot lawn in the neighborhood for half the summer, until crabgrass filled in all the spots.

  5. “Mine is seed. Any kind of seed.”

    Uh oh. For a moment there, I thought pastor Lee Roy was gonna’ reference the story of Onan. Who could be prepared for a preacher who went on to claim masturbation or coitus interruptus for his belief in God? (Yes: I know there are various differing interpretations of that tale, depending on which learned theologian you consult on this compelling topic. And yes: most just interpret it as a worthy pretext for God to get all Leviticus on Onan’s sorry, disobedient ass).

    But thankfully, the good pastor had more G-rated seed in mind. Lee Roy is retired now, but perhaps he could retire a bit further — like to the seventh planet, or somewhere equally remote?

  6. Hey Lee Roy, the billions of bacteria in and on your body manage fine without seeds. And I assume you think your favorite god thing likes them a lot because he made so many of them.

  7. Michael Fugate

    My favorite reason for believing the Genesis creation story – truth means whatever I want truth to mean.

  8. Rev Lee doesn’t understand hence evolution is impossible. Powerful indeed.

  9. Eddie Janssen

    Classical Dunning-Kruger, at least one part (the part that he does not seem to know his knowledge of the subject at hand is minimal, bordering on zero).
    As legal reasons prevent me from reading his letter I cannot tell whether the reverend is also guilty of the other part, correcting experts.

    Is there some sort of a formal training required to become a pastor or can anyone with enough enthusiasm and dedication become the leader of a congregation?

  10. In the USA separation of church and state entails no government interest in the operation of any religion. In particular, there are no rules about who has what status in a religion.

  11. Depends on denomination. Catholic, protestant, islamic and jewish ministers (or whatever you want to call them) receive a formal training indeed. Why do you ask? Even a thorough scientific training didn’t prevent Jonathan Sarfati to waste several decades of his life on creacrap (of the Young Earth variety!). So I don’t see how any formal training to become a pastor would make any difference. It’s about accepting the scientific method. All kind of secularists find it impossible as soon as the conclusions don’t suit them; there is no reason to expect believers to do better, formal training or not.

  12. Protestants are not universally governed by any rules. Anyone can decide to form a Protestant church and be an elder, deacon, minister, pastor, bishop or whatever. Even as far as Catholic, see the Wikipedia articles “Independent Catholic”, “Old Catholic”, or “Pius XIII”.

  13. If someone from another world were visiting our planet at seed time, they could reasonably challenge the rationality of the gardener whom they find planting such lifeless matter and expecting a harvest.

    The first alien visitor who springs to my mind is Jesus, and he apparently thought that lifeless matter could produce a harvest: “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)

  14. I teach a course on the evolution of vascular plants. The evolution of seeds of well-documented and supported by abundant fossil records showing the evolution of the integument etc. But it takes some work to understand the details and that is when most people bail out. Creationism is the most intellectually lazy pseudoscience ever.

  15. Michael Fugate

    The universal creationist “explanation” – just put miracle in front. As in “the miracle of the seed”, “the miracle of life, the cell, sex, etc.” In other words, no seeds, no plants; no God, no seeds – conveniently forgetting that Genesis doesn’t claim God created plants, but that came from the earth. Also several creationists have claimed plants aren’t even alive; I am sure there was a post here about that in the past.

  16. @Anonymous: Evolution of Land Plants was one of my favorite courses in graduate school, long ago.

  17. @Anonymous
    Creationism is the most intellectually lazy pseudoscience ever.
    That is a strong statement.
    David Hilbert once said, “If one were to bring ten of the wisest men in the world together and ask them what was the most stupid thing in existence, they would not be able to discover anything so stupid as astrology.”
    Yet ISTM that creationism leaves astrology far behind.
    Until the recent rise of the Flat Earth, I would argue that creatonism had the distinction that Anonymous awards.
    Creationists demonstrate intellectual laziness by making snap decisions in answer to difficulties, and then refuse to back off when those decisions lead to more difficulties. They have a very short attention span, so it seems, forgetting that they said one thing when trying to explain away point X, and then say the opposite when dealing with point Y.
    Creationism is more like politics than any art or science. They feel that launching an movement against evolution is enough, and that there is no need to offer an alternative. The Intelligent Design sort take the lazy way out of never attempting to tell us what they mean by design. They only claim that there is a better alternative than naturalistic evolution, but never offering any alternative, whether better, worse, or incomparable.
    I am tempted to say that creationism does not rise to the level of a pseudoscience.
    @Michael Fugate
    Genesis 1 does say that God created the plants, and the act of creation was carried out by the plants coming from the earth. The same as with animals, their creation was by their coming from the water or the earth.
    Because many of the conservtive Christians insist that there was no death before the Fall of Adam, they feel the need to argue that plants did not die, even though they were needed as food.

  18. Michael Fugate

    So they argue that they weren’t really alive – which is pure idiocy that even this ignorant author knows.

    Compare verse 11-12 with 20-21 and 24-25. In 11-12, the EARTH brings forth plants, but, in 20-21 and 24-25, GOD created or made animals.

    11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

    12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

    21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

    25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

  19. Michael Fugate

    Thanks SC. I knew you had posted on it in the past, but my search attempt failed to find it. Genesis 1:11-12 has the EARTH bringing forth plants – no GOD is involved. Genesis 20-21 and 24-25 has GOD creating and making animals.

  20. @Michale Fugate
    Genesis 1:11 KJV
    “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”

  21. Michael Fugate

    So God is giving permission for the EARTH to create plants – God is not actually creating anything.

  22. In chapter 1 God says “let” such-and-such happen. He says “let there be light”, “let there be a firamemnt”, “”let the waters … be gathered”, “let the dry land appear”, “let there be lights”, “let them be for”, “let the waterrs bring forth”, “let fowl multiply”, “let the earth bring forth”, “let us make”.
    And n chapter 2, 4-5
    “… in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew …”

  23. Michael Fugate

    So which is correct? Did God just let things happen on their own or did God actually do something – isn’t this deism versus theism? If I let someone rob a bank, does that mean I robbed the bank?

  24. Michael Fugate

    Letting things happen is perfectly compatible with chemical abiogenesis and evolution…

  25. @TomS thinks big: “Protestants are not universally governed by any rules.”
    No, but Dutch protestants are governed by their own, Dutch rules. You won’t find any protestant minister in The Netherlands who hasn’t finished a study at

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestant_Theological_University

    or a comparable institute. And I’m pretty sure the situation is similar in other European countries.

    “Anyone can decide to form a Protestant church.”
    Not in The Netherlands. Church, yes. Protestant or catholic church, no. You’ll have to think up something fancy like Levende Steen (Living Stone). I’m quite, though not entirely sure that old-catholic clergy also needs to finish a formal training. This guy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joris_Vercammen

    certainly has.

  26. The English use of the “let” with the verb corresonds to the Hebrew jussive mood.
    See this online essay: https://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/conference/07-CaucasusConference/pdf/talk/Gadilia_talk.pdf
    “The mood in the book of Genesis (1:3-28): jussive, cohortative and imperative”, especially pages 5, 7-8, 9
    Jouon & Muraoka, “A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew” 2nd edition, sect. 114h (page 348) “The jussive is used to express all the nuances of will: from a suoerior to an inferior – command, exhortation, advice, invitation, permission,…”
    Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, Second English Edition, section 109b (page 321), “The jussive standing alone … (a) In affirmative sentences ro express a command, a wish (or a blessing), advice or a request … Examples: Gn 1^1 Let there be light! Gn 1^8,9,11 &c. (the creative commands) …”

  27. Eric Lipps

    Perhaps most people who believe in the Bible account of creation have their own favorite reason for that belief, a belief which also serves as the main reason for their having no confidence in evolution. [One belief, two results!] It could be anything from the orderly movement of the constellations through the heavens to the echolocation ability of bats or the migration of starlings. . .
    Mine is seed. [Huh?] Any kind of seed. For instance, I find it mind-boggling that all of the complex structure, function and beauty of a 50-foot-tall magnolia tree can be shrunk to something no bigger than a pea. God repeats that miracle throughout nature every year, reducing every minute detail of millions of plant species, from pine trees to poppies, and encapsulating every feature in that tiny package we call seed.

    The good pastor may find it “mind-boggling,” but what he’s really saying here is “I can’t figure out a natural explanation for such things, and I don’t believe scientists have or ever will, so there isn’t one.”

  28. And, once again, an argument, SUV as it is, against a naturalistic exposition of reproduction, by use of the fallacy of composition, is tramsformef into an argument against evolution.