Creationist Wisdom #970: Your Designed Body

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Sudbury Star, a Canadian daily published in Sudbury, Ontario. They recently added a comments feature.

Unless a letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. This one is a preacher. He’s Rob Weatherby, Pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Whitefish, Ontario. We wrote about one of his letters back in January of 2010 — see Creationist Wisdom #102: The Pastor, and another in 2015 — that was #561: The Pastor Returns.

The rev’s latest letter is titled Our bodies proof of intelligent design. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Do you realize what an incredible body you have?

We’re shocked — shocked! That is no way to begin a conversation with a stranger. The rev should know better. Anyway, then he says:

Now your first reaction might be, “You must be thinking about somebody else’s body but surely not mine.” But actually, I am thinking about your body.

What is going on here? Calm down, it’s about to be explained. The rev tells us:

With the help of medical specialists, let’s take a closer look at your body …

The rev then presents us with a list of 12 different biological features of the human body. It’s a long and boring list, and it comprises most of his letter. Here are just a few of those items:

* Your heart beats more than 100,000 times every day in order to pump about 2,000 gallons of blood through your body. It’s at work right now.

* Your lungs breathe about 17,000 times every day putting oxygen in (and taking carbon dioxide out of) your body. They’re at work right now.

Don’t worry, dear reader. We’re not going to give you the rev’s entire list. We scanned it to see if he included anything interesting. There’s nothing, really, but here’s one more:

* Your eyes blink almost 29,000 times every day to keep themselves clean and moist. They are busily at work right now.

After that long and thrilling list, the rev’s flock must be awed by his knowledge. We assume they’re also trembling with religious ecstasy. His letter continues:

Some people today [hell-bound evolutionists] would have us believe that these incredible bodies of ours are the accidental result of unguided chance and random mutations over a long period of time. [What?] I strongly disagree.

The rev is so wise! He shares his wisdom with us:

All of this fascinating evidence shouts out to us (if we’re listening) that there is an incredibly intelligent Designer and Creator behind it all.

Ooooooooooooh! An intelligent designer! And in case you’re not yet convinced, the rev concludes his letter with some rock-solid evidence:

The psalmist David said it best, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14). All I can add to that is … Amen.

All we can add is a reminder that the amazing structure of the human body caused us to write Buffoon Award Winner — The Intelligent Designer.

Also, at the end of the rev’s letter, it says:

Pastor Rob Weatherby served [Past tense?] the Bethel Baptist church family in Whitefish [Apparently he’s retired.] and wants his wife to know what an incredible body God has given him.

That was a very tasteful letter. Thanks, rev!

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

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36 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #970: Your Designed Body

  1. “With the help of medical specialists, let’s take a closer look at your body …”
    Ah, yes, I already wondered why Pastor Robbie’s god didn’t help him.

    “I strongly disagree.”
    So do I. Fortunately there is no single evolutionary biologist who tells nonsense like pastor Robbie presented us.
    Now I’ve one question. When I receive a product that doesn’t function properly and hence costs me money I will receive indemnity. So can I send my medical bills to pastor Robbie, the representative of that “incredibly intelligent Designer” here on Earth?

  2. Off-topic: my congratulations to all American commenters. Their football (ie not handegg) team has just deservedly and convincingly beaten the Dutch Lionesses.

  3. With the help of medical specialists, let’s take a closer look at your body …

    My Olivia remains traumatised to this day by the dreadful occasion she encountered our Curmudgeon’s notorious chat-up line.

  4. Eddie Janssen

    Why does our perfect body produce waste products? Why doesn’t it use all the stuff we put into it.

  5. @ FrankB: and congratulations to the American captain, who convincingly beaten the genuine Orange opponent: Megan Rapinoe says ‘not many, if any’ US women’s soccer players would attend White House

  6. You missed the best bit:

    “Your brain processes up to 60,000 thoughts every day (that’s about 35-50 every minute). It also expresses as many as 5,000 words every day (2,000 for men; 5,000 for women). No further comment necessary or advisable. It’s at work right now.”

    So he has one new thought every two seconds! I think I’m doing pretty well if I have a new thought every two years. Note also that his wife talks more than twice as much as he does.

    But said wife needs to be told in a newspaper article just how wonderfull her husband’s body is. A remarkable family

  7. Megalonyx fantasizes: “My Olivia remains traumatised to this day by the dreadful occasion she encountered our Curmudgeon’s notorious chat-up line.”

    Compared to the horror of the Megalonyx approach to ladies: Leaping up and down, chest beating, and grunting “Ooook, ooook!”

  8. We should hear about the wonders of the bodies of Plasmodium falciparum.

  9. Indeed, TomS. And about how its developed resistance to chloroquine isn’t really evolution.

    Ooops! We already did, at length, from Behe

  10. jimroberts

    “as many as 5,000 words every day (2,000 for men; 5,000 for women)”
    Just on the strength of this absurdity, I will ignore the rest of the rev’s post. Real studies show generally either no detectable difference in loquacity between women and men, or that men talk a very little more.

  11. Our bodies was designed by (insert favorite mythic being). Which proves beyond a doubt that he is an incompetent idiot of a designer. He would be fired in any quality company!

  12. @L.Long
    Maybe the design was OK, but the manufacturer didn’t follow the design. It happens when the manufacturer cuts corners for the sake of increased profit.

  13. Dave Luckett

    Still, as FrankB says, what leaps out to me is the Rev’s utter misrepresentation of what evolutionary biology actually says. How many times must it be repeated? Evolution consists of selection among variants that are only random within fairly tight limits. It does not rely on random chance.

    The Rev’s falsehood requires not merely ignorance, but carefully contrived and cultivated ignorance – and that’s the charitable interpretation, for the alternative is that the Rev knows that it’s false; that is, he is merely lying. To repeat it in the public press requires an insouciant bounding confidence born of a lifetime’s experience of never being challenged. The Rev assumes that his audience has done as little as he to investigate his claims – in fact, that they have, like him, avoided doing it. The pity of it is that his assumption is pretty sound, on the whole.

  14. @DaveL produces a false dilemma: “the alternative is …..”
    My bet is that pastor Robbie is an ignorant liar.

  15. chris schilling

    My brain has to contend with creationists like the rev botching natural selection on a regular basis, obtusely referring to it as “unguided chance.” This is then flushed from my memory, only to be confronted with it again come the next entry in creationist wisdom, where the process repeats all over again. My brain is at work right now.

  16. Dave Luckett

    FrankB; Sensu stricto if he believes a falsehood, he does not lie by uttering it. Only if he does not believe it himself does he lie. Believe/not believe is a real dichotomy, not a false one. FWIW, I would also bet that he is an ignorant liar – it’s just that on the specific point of contention – “Some people today would have us believe that these incredible bodies of ours are the accidental result of unguided chance and random mutations over a long period of time” – he is either ignorant of evolution or is lying about it.

    One might say – I do say – that if it is ignorance, it can only be the product of his reckless neglect to inform himself about the subject. The information is readily available to anyone who looks for it. To pose as one who has examined the idea and rejected it on those grounds is in itself deceitful, of course. He has obviously not examined it at all, and he knows he has not. He then compounds this deceit by flaunting his misrepresentations in the public press, as if he had investigated the subject.

    It is at that point that the question of whether he is shamelessly ignorant or shamelessly lying becomes all but moot. But still, I follow the dictum “never ascribe to malice what can be explained by stupidity”. I cannot prove he is lying. I can prove that he is culpably and recklessly ignorant, and with that I shall have to be content.

  17. @Dave Luckett; the argument that chance mutations could not have produced biological complexity is of course when we meet all the time. I don’t think it’s ignorance (in the sense of not knowing any better), or lying (in the sense of uttering what one knows me a falsehood), but a refusal to think things through because you don’t like what you are going to end up concluding.

    I don’t think this is splitting hairs. I think it’s important for devising counter-strategies. Not “The Reverend is lying”, nor “The Reverend is uninformed”, but “There is a very important fact that the Reverend has left out of his calculations.”

    If we knock them down, they simply bounce right back again, but perhaps we can trip them up.

  18. @DaveL: “if he believes a falsehood, he does not lie by uttering it”
    As psychologists have found out people are perfectly capable of
    1. neglecting information they don’t like;
    2. convincing themselves that their lies are the truth.

    Your statement only applies to people who at least try to be rational. Creacrappers like Pastor Robbie typically don’t. In Oogity Boogity Land “ignorant liar” is not a contradictio in terminis. Creacrappers can lie exactly because they do their best to remain ignorant and this wilfull ignorance is a pillar of their lies.
    And it’s not only creacrappers who do this. Many years ago I read a doctoral thesis by someone who called himself The Laughing Theologian (you can google Lachende Theoloog), who used “evolution theory means randomness” as an argument for god (yup, in Oogity Boogity Land everything is possible). When it was pointed out to him, with a reference to TalkOrigins, that this was incorrect he replied “I needed a statement about evolution and randomness, so I asked a few people in the USA” – as if there were and are no Dutch evolutionary biologists. This was long before I came under the firm and reliable guidance of our dear SC, so you can imagine that I was baffled and speechless.

    @ChrisS: being confronted with, let alone trying to understand creacrap is a very demanding task indeed. It took me years (and again the guidance of our dear SC) to get a grip. And still creacrappers manage to amaze me.

  19. Paul Braterman, we always hear about the alleged improbability of “mere chance” to produce something useful. I blogged about that clunker back in the early days of this blog: The Inevitability of Evolution (Part II).

  20. @SC, we are in complete agreement about the nature of the creationist fallacy. I am exploring just one of the many possible ways of responding. Ridicule is a good one. Recognising the face appeal of the creationist argument is another one (remember Darwin’s famous paragraph about the eye) but of course carries its own dangers (we all know how creationists use this paragraph).

  21. mere chance is one of those arguments against evolution which is fallacious in so many ways.
    BTW, I note that it goes back at least as far as Cicero. See the quote in Wikiquote from “De natura deorem” begining “Must I not here express my wonder that any one should exist who persuades himself that there are certain solid and indivisible particles carried along by their own impulse and weight, and that a universe so beautiful and so admirably arrayed is formed from the accidental …”
    One thing which is seldom noticed that introducing a superpower, whch is capable of doing more things than nature, introduces more possible outcomes and thereby reduces the probabiltity of the observed outcome. It is just the wrong way of making an outcome to be likely.
    Another, more technical, is that “chance” does not mean that all possibilities are equal. Think of the famous “bell curve” to be reminded that some chance events can be very much more probable than others.
    And then …

  22. evoluton theory implies randomness is one of those arguments which are wrong in so many ways.
    I will ride a couple of my hobbyhorses:
    Even if the argument pointed out a weakness of evolutionary theory, appeal to a super-power would not solve the problem, but only make it worse. A super-power means that there are more possibilities, and that means that the probability of the desired outcome is less.
    If the argument pointed out a weakness in the scientific study of life, it would apply to the science of reproduction. Mendelian genetics relies on the chance combinations of genes. Which sperm combines with which ovum involves chance.

  23. @PaulB: “I am exploring just one of the many possible ways of responding. Ridicule is a good one.”
    Sure. But before mocking my standard reply to

    “these incredible bodies of ours are the accidental result of unguided chance and random mutations over a long period of time.”
    is pointing out that it’s incorrect, giving this link:

    http://talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions

    The paragraph called “The theory of evolution says that life originated, and evolution proceeds, by random chance.”
    And specifically the sentence “selection is the very opposite of chance.”
    It’s the very quote I gave The Laughing Theologian I wrote about in my previous comment. I’ve yet to meet the first apologist who as a result dropped the argument.
    And that’s the moment I start calling the apologist (after TLT invariably creationists) an ignorant liar. They know they are wrong but still decide to cling to it. Such apologists deserve all the mockery they deserve.

  24. @TomS displays some self-criticism: “I will ride a couple of my hobbyhorses.”
    What else, besides ridicule, can you do when creacrappers produce the same clunkers over and over again? As long as you keep in mind that you don’t need to convince anyone overhere it’s totally OK with me. Compare

    https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/49/Argument-by-Repetition

    These people are not convinced even by the best possible arguments and evidence.

    “Restating the same claims certainly does not make the claims any more true.”
    Correct, but repeating evidence and sound argumetns doesn’t make them false either.

  25. @FrankB
    Perhaps they deserve it.
    Perhaps they deserve it. But does mockery change anyone’s mind? For example, a famous politician has repeatedly been mocked, deservedly, with no perceptible change in his behavior to avoid mocking, nor perceptible change in his popularity.
    Anyway, when you point out that “slection is the very opposite of chance”, he can very easily say “you are wrong”.
    Not that my strategy is any better, but I try to point out that the arguments against evolution fail on their own. They are (1) empty (2) inconsistent and (3) parasitic (borrowed from arguments for long-abandoned hypotheses).
    I know well that my strategy doesn’t make the least impression on the argument:
    “The cleverest of engineers and brightest of scientists have not been able to design life from scratch; therefore life must be designed.”
    What is one to do?

  26. Michael Fugate

    A professor who debated Duane Gish in the 70s told me he asked Gish (who was a biochemist) after the debate why he kept repeating the 2nd law argument when he knew it was wrong and Gish replied that he used it because it works.

  27. “But does mockery change anyone’s mind?”
    Certainly not the mind of the victim of mockery. But then I have a counter question: is there any way to change someone’s mind who keeps on babbling about evolution is random, no matter what you tell him/her? If yes, anyone demonstrating it is welcome. I’ll stop mocking immediately.
    As for silent bystanders sitting on fences. there is no way to tell.

    “he can very easily say “you are wrong”.
    Like the Flat Earther when confronted with conclusive evidence. “You are wrong” is the easiest thing to say; it works for anything and everything. The difficult part is avoidng the strawman fallacy.

    Dutchman: The American flag has 50 stars because there is not enough room for 52, the actual amount of states.
    American: The USA has 50 states, that’s why the flag has 50 starts.
    Dutchman: You’re wrong.

    I was not this Dutchman, I was a bystander, who before this scene also thought the USA had 52 states.

  28. I’ve always said it’s a mistake to argue or debate with a creationist. If the creationist is literally deranged, or simple-minded, you are clearly wasting your time. And if he’s smart, then he’s a charlatan, and he will never change his mind. As for the audience of your debate, it’s the same issue. All you’re doing is giving the creationist credibility by showing up and spending time with him.

  29. @FrankB, given the anomalous status of the District of Columbia and of Puerto Rico, your error was forgiveable.

  30. Hey! TomS so the manufacturer is most likely at fault. So women are reason men are crap??? The xtians have it right after!! ;-}

  31. @FrankB
    What about the argument that there couldn’t be airports in the 18th century because airplanes weren’t invented until the 20th century?
    But there were lighter-than-air aircraft in the 18th century.

  32. chris schilling

    Mockery is its own reward. True, it doesn’t change minds — it probably only reinforces defensiveness — but it provides an example of the existential “other”: that’s to say, there are other ways of being, and thinking, in this world, and they can’t be brought to heel by dubious evangelical ones.

    This is enough to get under the ‘vangie’s skin — all authoritarians, really: the realisation they can’t control what some people say and think.

    That’s gotta be a victory of some sort, Shirley?

  33. Steve Gerrard

    The pastor has made an astute observation. Just think, all the living creatures around us have hearts beating fast enough to keep them alive! They are also breathing often enough to keep themselves alive! Isn’t it stunning that there are no living creatures around us whose heart beats and breathing are so slow that they cannot live? What possible natural process could separate out those that work well enough to stay alive from those that don’t?

  34. @Steve Gerard
    If there is a supernatural, superpower, responsible for keeping things alive, then they don’t have to have precise heart rates. The fact that they do is an indication of natural powers at work.

  35. @ our dear SC: “mistake to argue or debate with a creationist”
    Having fun never is a mistake, including pointing out to creacrappers their. stupidities and falsehoods

    @PB: “your error was forgiveable”
    Not that I ever asked for it. Neither was it my point.

    @TomS: It’s still easy to say “you’re wrong” – that was the point. See, while I don’t take over our dear SC’s conclusion I do agree with ” literally deranged, or simple-minded …. charlatan”. Again – I think especially creacrappers being totally capable of combining all these features.
    And such minds totally are capable of arguing that there were airports and airplanes in the 18th Century as well. Why not? Some creacrappers maintain that dino’s were still alive in the Middle Ages.

    @ChrisS: “Mockery is its own reward.”
    Exactly.

  36. Some people today [hell-bound evolutionists] would have us believe that these incredible bodies of ours are the accidental result of unguided chance and random mutations over a long period of time. [What?] I strongly disagree.

    That is, of course, the good reverend’s privilege.

    However, evolutionary biologists don’t say that “these incredible bodies of ours” are the product of “unguided chance and random mutation alone.” Unlike the reverend, they acknowledge the winnowing of life by natural selection. I can only hope that the reverend is writing out of ignorance rather than out of a deliberate effort to deceive.