Creationist Wisdom #989: Evolution Is Heresy

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Mankato Free Press of Mankato, Minnesota. It’s titled Christianity, evolution are mutually exclusive, and they 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 Rev. Randy Pemberton of Christ Church in Mankato. Here are some excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

The Free Press is delivered to my door every day and I appreciate its information about our community and our world. However, on Sept. 16 the paper made some claims about how we should understand our world. I must respond.

What was it that motivated the rev to write his letter? He doesn’t tell us what story he’s responding to, but it’s probably this: Evolution| A vital piece of science education, which discusses something we recently blogged about — see Drooling School Board Chairwoman. He’s not the only one who’s upset — see Creationist Wisdom #988: The Seminarian.

Okay, now that we’re oriented, let’s see what the rev says:

First, the claim that “evolutionary theory has been strengthened over the decades” fails to recognize recent events. [What events?] In the last few decades there have been numerous scientists who have found that living organisms are too complex to have evolved by random mutations. Considerable controversy has erupted among scientists.

Ooooooooooooh! Controversy has erupted. Let’s find out about it. But before we do, the rev give us a list of his other complaints:

Secondly, the claim that “Christianity and evolution are not mutually exclusive” is false in my view. [Really?] Darwinian evolution claims that life emerged on earth by accident [Gasp!] and increased in complexity by undirected, random mutations over millions of years. [Undirected and random?] Such a process intentionally leaves no room for a Creator.

Powerful stuff, huh? The rev continues:

Holy Scripture reveals that God created all forms of life in a six-day period. Christianity and evolution are mutually exclusive.

It’s revealed! Wowie! But what about the National Center for Science Education’s list of Statements from Religious Organizations that support evolution? We don’t know what the rev would say about them — but we can guess. Let’s read on:

Finally, I agree that students don’t get a well-grounded education in biology. However, this is not due to teachers’ reluctance to speak for evolution. The problem is that the Darwinian theory (including neo-Darwinism) is inadequate.

Inadequate? Egad! How so? The rev explains:

Over 1,000 scientists from around the world have signed The Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, which states: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.”

That old clunker? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The rev is impressed by the Discoveroids’ pathetic list of dentists, proctologists, and sociologists who have signed their Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. Wikipedia has an article about it, and the last time we discussed it was The Discoveroids Are Gaining Momentum. In that post, as we always do, we contrast the Discoveroids’ list with “Project Steve,” a splendid enterprise of our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). It has its own page at their website, and the rev ought to read it — but he won’t.

Still dazzled by the Discoveroids’ list, the rev finishes his letter with this:

The signers hold doctorates from universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Dartmouth, Rutgers, University of Chicago, Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley. Their fields are biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, and more. Why isn’t the word getting out?

Someone should explain to the rev that the word is out. Anyway, nice letter.

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5 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #989: Evolution Is Heresy

  1. Michael Fugate

    It is right there in the Westminster Confession of Faith
    Of Creation
    1. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.

    Of course, that’s not what the Bible says, but when has that ever mattered?

  2. Secondly, the claim that “Christianity and evolution are not mutually exclusive” is false in my view.

    The good reverend is, of course, entitled to his view. However, as noted in this post, there are quite a few greatly respected religious organizations which see things differently.

  3. The Christian Clergy Letter Project has 15,291 signatures as of today.

  4. Rev Randy: ““Christianity and evolution are not mutually exclusive” is false in my view.”
    Our dear SC: “[Really?]”
    Really, because Rev Randy has the god-given authority to decide what qualifies as christianity and what not.

    Rev Randy: “undirected, random mutations over millions of years.”
    Our dear SC: “[Undirected and random?]”
    Yes, evolution theory leaves Grand Old Directors (blessed be MOFO!) out of the equation. And mutations indeed are random; it’s natural selection etc. that makes it happen.

    Rev Randy: “Such a process intentionally leaves no room for a Creator.”
    ‘Cuz Rev Randy gets to decide what his Creator can do and cannot do. Making use of random mutations is one of the don’ts for his Creator.

    @TomS: now that’s the kind of info that puts a nasty smile on my face.

  5. Regarding the “controversy” between creationism and evolution: it is a truth universally acknowledged (well, by me anyway) that the four-series “Blackadder” is the second-best sitcom ever – the first, of course, being the two-series “Fawlty Towers”. Here’s an excerpt from “Potato”, an episode from the second series, set in Elizabethan England, in which Blackadder sets off to discover the New World on a ship commanded by the incompetent Captain Rum. Blackadder has just discovered that Rum wouldn’t have a clue how to captain a sailing ship:

    BLACKADDER: Someone in the crew will know how to steer this thing.
    RUM: The crew, milord?
    BLACKADDER: Yes, the crew.
    RUM: What crew?
    BLACKADDER: I was under the impression that it was common maritime practice for a ship to have a crew.
    RUM: Opinion is divided on the subject.
    BLACKADDER: Really?
    RUM: Yes. All the other captains say it is; I say it isn’t.


    (Blackadder’s response: “Oh God. Mad as a brush.”)