Creationist Wisdom #969: Scientists Create Nothing

This is your lucky day, dear reader. We have a second letter-to-the-editor for you. This one appears in the Waco Tribune-Herald of Waco, Texas. The letter’s title is God help scientists (it’s the second letter at that link), and the newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.

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

Have you ever considered that scientists create nothing but seem to be given credit for everything? [Huh?] Some examples: Scientists who discovered gravity, electricity, fire, oil, natural gas, metals, etc., did not create them but only discovered them and proceeded to find uses for them. Inventors of things like automobiles, airplanes, rockets, large sailing ships did not create the laws that govern them. These were already in force which in turn made these things possible.

Wowie — Peggy is correct! Scientists don’t create anything! All they do is discover things that were already created. Then she says:

Someone saw mention in the Bible of rivers in the oceans and proceeded to map out these currents, which are used to move vessels through the ocean with less outside power.

Peggy is probably thinking of Benjamin Franklin. His Wikipedia write-up mentions his work on the Gulf Stream — but they don’t mention any biblical inspiration. After that she tells us:

From the Bible comes this question: Where were you when I hung the earth on nothing? The flat-earth folks finally had to admit that this presents an important truth.

Peggy’s quote is difficult to find. She may be thinking of Job 26:7, which says: “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” But we can’t be sure. Anyway, the bible is unquestionably a flat Earth book — see The Earth Is Flat! She continues:

Scientists have also discovered many other laws. Another from the Bible, “like begets like.” Women are especially grateful for this assurance that when they give birth, it will not be to a monkey, puppy or kitten.

Well, yeah! What pregnant woman isn’t grateful to know that her offspring won’t be a squid? Let’s read on:

Especially useful are the laws of how things relate to one another which are used to predict future events such as the weather.

The laws of “how things relate to one another”? What are those? Who knows? Who cares? Here’s another excerpt:

There is enough information on these things to fill many books, but you get the point. All these things were created by a creator before they were discovered by man.

What’s the point here? We agree that the universe existed before scientists began to observe and understand it. But so what? Where is Peggy going? She finally explains it at the end of her letter:

How can any scientist be an atheist when he constantly uses laws already established in his work of invention and discovery?

Peggy has it all figured out. Scientists are just a bunch of plagiarizers, who refuse to give credit where it’s due. Scoundrels, all of them!

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

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21 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #969: Scientists Create Nothing

  1. Hi Peggy. The framers of our Constitution ADN The declaration of Independence firmly rejected supernatural authority and embraced science, free enterprise, the rights of man and logic. Looks like you slept through your elementary, junior high school AND high school civics and government classes.mThere’s a reason the study of government is called political science. But hey, thanks for sharing. And the good news is Dumbski of intelligent define fame once taught fake science in Waco at Baylor U. The bad news Peggy is he didn’t last long before getting tossed out on his ear.
    Enjoy.

  2. Eddie Janssen

    I think Peggy should become a member of The Society To Put Things On Top Of Other Things.

  3. The writer was a little too reticent. It should have read:
    Designers create nothing.

  4. docbill1351

    The Society To Put Things On Top Of Other Things

    I do believe there was a motion to adjourn forever, seconded and the motion carried.

  5. Michael Fugate

    The old intelligent design can’t create something from nothing – therefore intelligent design is the only method to create something from nothing.

  6. I’d be a lot more impressed with Peggy’s favorite god if he’d dictated Maxwell’s equations to the Israelites, rather than silly stuff about hanging the earth from nothing. Even something about how something real, gravity, influences its orbit would do. It would have been a lot easier if he/she/it had thought to tell us about how the universe works rather than leaving it up to scientists to puzzle out.

  7. @Michael Fugate
    Exactly.
    How can one argue against that?
    @abeastwood
    I don’t think that there was the vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew to say anything about electromagnetism, particuarly as it involves differential equations, when the audience had no idea of pre-algebra or plane geometry.
    But couldn’t there have been a hint in the laws of cleanliness to say something about treating the water before using it, by boiling or passing it through a filter?
    It takes a heap of intepreting non-literally to get anything about a planet Earth out of hanging on nothing. No wonder why nobody noticed that meaning before the year 1500 or so. Even in the 1600s, Galileo was motivated to find somebody who said something like that, but couldn’t find anyone.

  8. The Wacko Tribune-Herald published Peggy’s profound insights into the world of science. Surely Peggy verified her writings and conclusions because without a doubt she was there. Curiosity begs to ask where she was educated, if one could call her ideas the result of a rational education?

  9. This is not worth mentioning in the context of such writing, but I can’t resist any more.
    What about the Casimir Effect? Not, strictly speaking, out of “nothing”, but out of a vaccum.

  10. Dave Luckett

    Peggy hews straight down the religiously anti-intellectual line characteristic of a certain subset of western culture. It originally started as the disdain for clericalism that grew out of the Protestant reformation, but extended to dislike and distrust of any book-learning at all, as effete, impractical and ineffectual. It is found most strongly among those influenced by the Scots-Irish diaspora, but has permeated into much of heartland America, and elsewhere.

    Peggy has some difficulty in applying this attitude to science, since science is not mere scholarship, and it is manifestly of enormous practical benefit, but still she is prepared to give it the ol’ I-didn’t-go-to-no-fancy-pants-college try by denigrating its real achievements. Thus, asserts Peggy, scientists don’t actually do anything. They just find stuff that was there for the taking anyhow. And they got their start from the Bible.

    This line of, er, argument doesn’t require any knowledge of the Bible, mind. Actually the exact reverse. Such knowledge is also to be profoundly distrusted, probably more so even than that of science. Asking what the Scripture actually says is the same as questioning it, and we all know where that leads.

    Peggy actually knows nothing whatever of either science or the Bible, but in her, er, intellectual world, that’s no impediment to pronouncing on either or both. And see the practical benefit of that: she can never be made uncertain or unsure of herself by argument from either. That would be some kind of know-all wiseass egghead flim-flam, and instantly dismissed.

    It works for Peggy – or at least, it seems to. Me, if I were to ask God for anything, it would be to spare me from the iron cage of an unquestioning certainty, unless I really do know. And even then, I’ll question how I know. I actually prefer the ability to question, frustrating as the lack of answers may be.

  11. Dave: excellent analysis!

  12. “How can any scientist be an atheist when he constantly uses laws already established in his work of invention and discovery?”
    By not not assuming that those laws were created by a “lawmaker”. Really, Peggy needs lots of words to commit the logical fallacy “natural laws require a lawmaker”, when only five would have done the job.
    What intrigues me though: her argument equally applies to the laws of evolution theory …..
    What also intrigues me: some mothers are a lot less grateful for that “Biblical assurance” when their babies are born with tails, as sometimes happens.

  13. @Abeastwood is demanding today: “if he’d dictated Maxwell’s equations to the Israelites”
    Given Aristotelian mechanics Newton’s laws of motion and gravity would have sufficed, especially in modern 20th Century notation.

    @DaveL hurts my Dutch chauvinism and also forgets jewish contributions: “It is found most strongly among those influenced by the Scots-Irish diaspora.”
    I’ll grant that in our days the most important creacrap “thinkers” belong to this category. But Klincklekclapper and from New Zealand YECer Jonathan Sarfati obviously stand in their own religious tradition.
    Plus I would have thought that you would have understood from my regular reports that there live precious few Scots-Irish diaspora in the Dutch Bible belt. See, this “disdain for clericalism that grew out of the Protestant reformation” definitely began in my native country. Already at the end of the 16th Century bigot calvinism had made school in the Dutch Republic! I mention Franciscus Gomarus. And American calvinism (whether mild or bigot) directly can be traced back to Dutch immigrants, Alvin Plantinga being an example. Also of course before Ol’Hambo’s crypto gay wooden box Dordrecht (of all places – Dutch orthodox protestant bigotry won in that very same city in 1619) already had an ark – one that actually floats.

    Before bragging about Australian and American christian bigotry you first should try to top Dutch theologian, professor and resistance fighter Klaas Schilder. He definitely had the right priorities: in august 1944, with operation Bagration in full action, the western allies breaking out of Normandy and the last trains riding to Auschwitz Schilder was heavily involved with a schism.

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

    The issue was the exact meaning of baptism – and also the question whether the snake literally talked (ie spoke words) or not.

  14. @TomS: “….. the vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew ….”
    That’s the point. Had Newton’s laws/ Maxwell’s equations/ natural selection made it into the Holy Book, using our modern linguistic symbols, then we unbelievers would have had a serious problem, exactly because the authors of this Holy Book neither would have had the ability to understand what they wrote nor even the alphabet to write them down.

    “What about the Casimir Effect?”
    The apologist still can maintain that “goddidid” is necessary for making the circumstances possible. The big problem with stuff like this (also atomic decay) is that it leads to a god playing loaded dice.
    We may use the steelman technique:

    https://conversion-rate-experts.com/steel-manning/

    and look for the best possible formulation. Then we get something like

    a) Newtonian laws/ Maxwell’s equations/ natural selection etc. explain parts of our natural reality;
    b) these explanations need to be explained;
    c) infinite regress is undesirable;
    d) the only possible explanation for the most fundamental naturalistic explanation(s) is “goddiddid”;
    e) because of c we don’t need to explain “goddiddid”.

    Of course this is totally unacceptable for creacrappers. That makes Peggy’s letter so funny.

  15. Theodore Lawry

    Do creationists write these letters so that SC can mock them? Do they take bets on who will be ridiculed the most? Is the only thing worst than being ridiculed by SC, not being ridiculed? Has anyone done any web searches for undercover creationist betting pools? Inquiring minds want to know!

  16. Excellent point, TheoL. The Grand Old Designer especially created creationists for our entertainment. Blessed be MOFO!

  17. I have decided to learn science from the Bible, as Peggy recommends. I find (Psalm 104:5) that “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”

    And there you have it. From Aristarchus to ibn al-Haytham to Copernicus to Galileo to Newton and all his followers, astronomers are impious fools. Some of them, I have heard, even deny that the Earth stands on pillars! I thank God for my own superior wisdom.

  18. Dave Luckett

    FrankB: Klaus Schilder actually was an intellectual. Peggy and her ilk would dismiss his work as a waste of time, mere piffle. Yes, they are Christian bigots both, but they come from two different cultural traditions.

    But anti-intellectuals can come from a number of religious traditions – and other traditions, too. I merely make the point that antagonism to learning is a particular feature of the Scots-Irish tradition in America, along with hostility to government, clannishness, bellicosity, fecundity, drink, and a propensity to move further out.

  19. @DaveL: sure Schilder was an intellectual. The folks of Logos.nl, that nice Dutch YEC-site, stands in the same tradition as he did. And Logos.nl displays exactly the same “antagonism to learning, along with hostility to government etc.” One important issue in those circles is: can true christians have TV and computers?

    “they come from two different cultural traditions.”
    Of course. I didn’t claim otherwise. The Scots-Irish tradition goes back to John Knox, the founding father of presbyterianism. The Dutch tradition goes back, as I already mentioned, to Calvin. And you can thank the Dutch for bringing the calvinist tradition to the USA (I don’t know about Australia).
    No worries, when it comes to fighting the real enemy, evilutionism, all YECers join hands. Next FFZ I plan to demonstrate that calvinist Logos.nl has allied with conservative catholics. Rather the Whore of Babylon (Rev. Ian Paisley) than Darwin and Dawkins!

  20. from the Bible, “like begets like.”
    I wondered about this, so I searched through several Bible translations for the phrase, and didn’t find it. In the Wikipedia article on Zosimos of Panopolis, an alchemist of the 3rd-4th century CE, it is said that Zosimos is often cited as the source.

  21. Eric Lipps

    Have you ever considered that scientists create nothing but seem to be given credit for everything? [Huh?] Some examples: Scientists who discovered gravity, electricity, fire, oil, natural gas, metals, etc., did not create them but only discovered them and proceeded to find uses for them. Inventors of things like automobiles, airplanes, rockets, large sailing ships did not create the laws that govern them. These were already in force which in turn made these things possible.

    Of course scientists didn’t create the laws of nature. They never claim anything of the sort.

    Someone saw mention in the Bible of rivers in the oceans and proceeded to map out these currents, which are used to move vessels through the ocean with less outside power.

    I suppose it just couldn’t be that currents were known before the Bible was ever written and were then mentioned in Scripture.