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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