Creationist Wisdom #1,003: Life Is Meaningless

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Rensselaer Republican, a twice-a-week newspaper in Rensselaer, Indiana — population 5,859. The title is If evolution were true, then we are all accidents. It’s actually a column, written by the newspaper’s religion columnist, and they don’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 Gregg Nydegger, described as “the evangelist at Christ’s Church at Monticello.” We can’t find their website in Indiana. Here are some 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:

Murder, violent crime, guns, gangs, rape, abuse … the list goes on. Our nation is becoming more vicious, violent and vile, with some — even young teenagers — acting like savage animals at times. [Gasp!] Drug addiction and alcoholism are increasing. Families are disintegrating. Too many people seem to care only about themselves. Should this surprise us?

It doesn’t surprise the rev. He says:

For the last 60 years, our public education system has taught that humans ARE animals [What?], albeit evolutionarily advanced ones. However, the biblical principle is true: “Don’t be deceived: God isn’t mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). We’ve sowed the wind; now we reap the whirlwind. The theory of evolution is foundational teaching in most primary and secondary public schools. Textbooks explain the science of evolution and the origin of the species. The alternate idea that God may have created anything is left to the home and the churches.

This is terrible — and it’s even worse! The rev tells us:

Intelligent design? Summarily discounted, disregarded and dismissed. [Oh no!] Thankfully, some educators supplement their curriculum with additional resources and information which challenges evolutionary theory. Higher education, the news media, and cultural elites take the theory of evolution for granted; a God-less beginning is assumed a priori. That’s how they teach, write, lead and operate. Only fanatic, Bible-thumping, religious nuts claim to believe that “In the beginning, God created …”

We hear and read that it all started with a Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago; that life on Earth began 3.77 billion years ago. Lifeforms have been evolving ever since. Random chance, natural selection, mutations (both good and bad), and eons of time have brought us to today. Humans evolved from lower order ape-like lifeforms to the superstar animal species we are now.

Wow — no wonder things are so bad! The rev continues:

Let’s ponder, if evolution were true, what would a few of the ramifications be? What would some of the effects of teaching only evolutionary theory be? Could some of the evil behaviors in our society be linked partially to the fact that our society is awash in teaching evolution in both public schools, higher education and news media? Let’s consider what might logically follow if evolution were true.

The rev gives us a list of things that would “logically follow” if evolution were true:

If evolution were true, then … we’re an accident. No more, no less. This earth we live on, everything we see around us, and even our own life is nothing more than a cosmic accident.

But just by happenstance, some stuff went to the exact right place at the exact right time with the exact right temperature and the exact right force and the exact right conditions for life to come into being. How fortuitous.

That first primordial life … did a lightning bolt spark it? Volcanic eruption? Meteor strike? Who knows, but over the course of a few billion years, random chance produced mutations, adaptations and more which have resulted in us being here today.

The probability that this could’ve all worked out the way it did is so astronomically small as to be non-existent [Yeah!], but scientists claim that given enough time and chances, anything can happen … . Thus, humanity, people — you, me, us — are accidents and freaks of nature. Does that help your self-esteem and self-worth?

Well, dear reader, how does it feel to know that you’re a freak of nature? Let’s read on:

If evolution were true, we have no purpose. If all life is accidental, if there’s no perfect plan, only time and chance, then all life — even our own — has no purpose. We aren’t here for a reason; we’re here for NO reason. … Can you see how these ideas could lead to hopelessness and helplessness?

Can you see it, dear reader? Now do you understand your feelings of hopelessness and helplessness? The rev’s column ends with this:

Continuing next month [Ooooooooooooh! Another column!], we’ll see that this thinking might cause folks to believe that life has no value, all life (whether animal or human) is the same [Gasp!], all events are random, death is the end, live for today, survival of the fittest, it’s all about me, all laws come from man, might makes right, there’s no right and wrong — only behavior, and we’re alone. Or, we can listen to Jesus who said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).

That was powerful stuff, don’t you agree, dear reader?

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

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,003: Life Is Meaningless

  1. These people keep making the same mistake. The purpose/meaning of life is not something that an outsider can hand you. (I though Monty Python took care of this in “The Meaning of Life.”)

    Purposes and meanings are little bits of fictions we write for ourselves to form part of the narrative of our life. If you want one of those, create one, but don’t expect some supernatural Sky Daddy™ to provide it too you, like in the Harry Potter hat ceremony.

  2. @Steve Ruis
    I suggest that this is just another example of “because I can’t think of an account based on the natural world, there must be a supernatural account.”
    That is, in particular, one does not feel the need to provide backing for the supernatural world of at least as much as is demanded of the natural world.

  3. Increased violence is NOT from evilution, but because too many “honest” politicians & cops are making huge profits with the totally pointless ‘war on drugs’ and because the rePUKEian aholes are fighting any form of gun control. Despite what gun-nuts say it is VERY difficult to kill 15people with a knife while they are all running away.

  4. Michael Fugate

    Violence isn’t increasing; humans have always been violent. Don’t these guys ever read the Bible – violence was the norm? Just because one believes things are bad now doesn’t make things better in the past (see TomS’ Ecclesiastes cite from previous post for this ancient wisdom). The typical cis straight white past 40 male tries to blame everything on the 60s as if the 50s were paradise. A myth that more religion and more Christianity will make a better world – just a myth.

  5. “If evolution were true, then we are all accidents.”
    If evolution were false we still are all accidents. It easily could have been another ovum and/or another spermatozoön.

    “if there’s no perfect plan”
    Given the mess believers like Gregg have made of this planet Earth god’s plan is not perfect anyway.

    “Can you see how these ideas could lead to hopelessness and helplessness?”
    No.

    “death is the end”
    Yes and that’s a good thing afaIc.

    @SteveR: “These people keep making the same mistake”
    Admitting any mistake equates admitting that their entire worldview is wrong.

  6. @FrankB
    If reproduction is true … if genetics
    Evolution is about populations, species, taxa. Reproduction is about individuals.

  7. RetiredSciguytoo (formly known as Holding The Line In Florida)

    Of course the Rev is concerned that people might just care about themselves instead of coughing up cash at his collection stations at his alter of confusion! He might just have to find a real job doing something constructive instead of just being a vampire on the body politic!

  8. @FrankB
    You beat me to it. I was going to point out to the dear Rev that he is indeed an accident, a random result of a sex (horrors) act. And if the random events of evolution, genetics, and such puzzle the IDers minds, they should certainly stay away from quantum mechanics! There are an awful lot of random things in the universe.

  9. I’m fairly sure that violent crime stats in the US are decreasing over all (give or take the occasionally statistical anomaly). I’m also fairly sure that in Western countries with higher acceptance of evolution, they’re even lower.

    Nice theory Gregg, shame about the actual facts completely contradicting it.

  10. @Hrafn: That’s what maddens me, too. Most of the Rev’s assertions are lies. Plain, flat, blank lies. Violent crime in the US has been in slow decline for upwards of two generations now. So it is in every western democracy. Illicit drug use levelled off in the 1990’s; alcoholism and especially nicotine addiction is declining. Anybody with an ounce of gumption could look the figures up. But will some local with an interest write into the paper to point that out? I doubt it. People will bob along to the Rev’s flimflam, because he’s the Rev. You wouldn’t call a pastor, an evangelist, yet, a liar, would you?

    Oddly enough, I know one bloke who had no trouble doing that. He called the clergy of His day liars, quite freely. He told them who their father was. I’ll follow him in that, at least. You’re a liar, Rev.

  11. Well then ! It seems the rev has this whole thing worked out. It’s all this scientific babble that’s making things so bad…
    And the aircraft I’m riding in right now is really a magic carpet…

  12. @och will
    And our exchange of words is made possible by quantum effects. Nobody relies on the supernatural to for communication.

  13. In addition to the random sperm and egg others have noted, all enzyme activity that keeps us alive is the result of random collision of molecules.

  14. “1 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
    Ecclesiastes 9:11

  15. “Murder, violent crime, guns, gangs, rape, abuse … the list goes on. Our nation is becoming more vicious, violent and vile, with some — even young teenagers — acting like savage animals at times. [Gasp!] Drug addiction and alcoholism are increasing.”

    I suggest our correspondent visit the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.
    https://themobmuseum.org/

  16. Techreseller

    superstar animal species we are now. –from the rev. Wait, are we a superstar animal species or are we god made? And if are a superstar animal species, why are you complaining about us?