Creationist Wisdom #1,009: The Rev Returns

Our last letter-to-the-editor, #1,008: The Rev Has Proof, must have been a big hit with the readers of the Murray Ledger & Times of Murray, Kentucky, because now they have another by the same writer. The title is The religion of humanism – Design without a designer, and we don’t see any comments feature. As before, this one is about Secular humanism, a philosophy despised by creationists.

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 John McKee, described as Evangelist of the West Murray church of Christ. We’ll give you some excerpts from the rev’s new column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

A religious tenet of Secular Humanism is that to even consider the possibility of a Creator is anathema. Yet we are obviously surrounded by complex designs in nature, thus the need for a theory that might serve to rationalize design without a Designer. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] The best the adherents of this religion have come up with is mutation and natural selection.

Is that the best you can come up with, dear reader? It’s pathetic! The rev says:

In other words, an impossible occurrence of spontaneous generation in the distant past spawned a single-cell organism and a nearly infinite number of impossible genetic accidents have resulted in the development of inconceivably complex structures with interdependent functioning systems. Good luck with that.

The rev has brilliantly penetrated to the rotten core of evolution and has exposed it. Then he tells us:

I want to use the extremely limited space allotted to focus on two insurmountable problems with this worldview: The assumption that mutations can create new useful code is unscientific and the theory fails to deal with irreducible design complexity.

The rev is regurgitating well-debunked Discoveroid ideas. His first claim is that evolution can’t create new “information,” about which see Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Then he’s going to preach about Irreducible complexity — regarding which Wikipedia says:

In the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, Behe gave testimony on the subject of irreducible complexity. The court found that “Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.”

It’s difficult to understand how the rev can write a column based on such well-refuted ideas, unless he never reads anything other than creationist websites. He continues:

Mutations are corruptions of existing DNA code. They nearly always result in undesirable defects and are often fatal. The notion that mutations could result in positive “design” features that are naturally selected by the survival of organisms with the “improvement” is pure faith with no real scientific foundation. The theory is collapsing [Hee hee!] under the sheer weight of the statistical impossibility, even assuming millions or billions of years of mutations.

The scientific literature is loaded with examples of mutations that have conferred beneficial characteristics to organisms and their posterity. Some are listed in this gem at the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims: Most mutations are harmful, so the overall effect of mutations is harmful.

The rev isn’t doing very well — but who knows? Things might get better. Let’s read on:

Evolutionists cannot point to a single legitimate example of new, useful genetic code created by mutation [Gasp!], yet we are expected to believe that the designs we see resulted from billions and billions of such positive mutations. Sorry, I can’t muster enough faith to join a religion like that.

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Another excerpt:

When Darwin suggested that really simple forms of life could evolve into more complex forms, his theory sounded pretty plausible to some. What Darwin didn’t realize was that even the simplest single-cell organism could not live, function and reproduce without a range of nano-machines. These amazing molecular motors and miniature transfer devices have been engineered in such a way that each is totally non-functional except in their completed form. In other words, their complexity cannot be reduced. … Natural selection as a design mechanism may sound ok to a second-grader, but adults must think for themselves and this is a tenet of pure faith that I find utterly unconvincing.

The rev promised he’d get around to irreducible complexity, and there it is. Good stuff, huh? Now we’ve arrived at his last paragraph. We’ll break it into two parts:

As I have stated before, it is not my intent to ridicule someone else’s religion. It is my intent to debunk the ridiculous notion that Secular Humanists have science on their side and that faith in God is mere superstition.

Got that? You, dear reader, are the superstitious nut-case. There’s nothing superstitious about the rev’s beliefs. And now we come to the end, which is a reference to the bible:

Three thousand years ago, David could look at his reflection and exclaim, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” The scientific evidence we have accumulated since then seems to support his observation beautifully.

There you have it, dear reader. Scientific evidence supports the rev’s position, and you’ve got nothing but superstitious nonsense. Aren’t you embarrassed?

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

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9 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,009: The Rev Returns

  1. Michael Fugate

    Worshipping false idols in the shape Michael Behe….

  2. Derek Freyberg

    John McKee is fortunate that the Murray Ledger & Times doesn’t have a comments feature, or someone would surely have pointed out the outright lies in his column.
    For example, Lenski’s E. coli have evolved the useful feature of being able to survive without formerly necessary nutrients; and John McDonald has demonstrated the reducibly complex mousetrap (http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/mousetrap.html), not to mention any number of articles on the bacterial flagellum.
    The rev should remember the Biblical bit about bearing false witness before posting.

  3. I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Psalm 134:14
    Does the Psalmist tell us about the way that God makes an individual, an alternative to the scientific account of reproduction?
    This proof-text doesn’t have anything to do with taxonomy, does it?

  4. Michael Fugate

    Psalms 139 for those keeping score
    https://biblehub.com/psalms/139-14.htm
    The variations are interesting
    Later the chapter, the author asks God for help in killing all of God’s enemies. The old school and bound to fail method for dealing with dissent.

  5. Yes, interesting:
    Good News Translation
    I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart.
    NET Bible
    I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing. You knew me thoroughly;
    Douay-Rheims Bible
    I will praise thee, for thou art fearfully magnified: wonderful are thy works, and my soul knoweth right well.
    Young’s Literal Translation
    I confess Thee, because that with wonders I have been distinguished. Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul is knowing it well.

  6. “It is my intent to debunk the ridiculous notion that Secular Humanists have science on their side.”
    Yeah, all those scientists on Steve List know nothing.

  7. chris schilling

    Sometime towards the end of the Permian, several hundred million years ago. Things aren’t looking too good for the trilobites:

    “But we’re so fearfully and wonderfully made!” they protest, waving their cute little antennae around.

    2 million years later, things are even more dire:

    “Is anyone here a marine biologist?”
    “No, they haven’t been invented yet. Nor have sit-coms.”
    “Uh-oh. I think we’re in serious trouble here.”
    “But we’re so fearfully and wonderf…”
    “SHUT-UP!!”

  8. SC is of course right to doubt the Rev’s reading of any actual science. The clunkers dropped in this little piece are enough to convince anyone of that. But the Rev’s take on religion and philosophy is equally ignorant, if that were possible. Secular humanism does not regard as anathema (a term from religion) the very consideration of a creator. The tenets of secular humanism are, in the words of the founder of the Council for Secular Humanism, Paul Kurtz (1925-2012):

    …”the principles of free inquiry, ethics based upon reason, and a commitment to science, democracy, and freedom”.

    It is implicit in this definition that if ethics are to be based on reason, they are not to be based on faith. The “secular” part implies rejection of religious control or influence over the common institutions of society. But there is nothing about rejection of the possibility of a Creator. Secular humanists, as such, are simply indifferent to the question. They have nothing to say about it, except that there is no evidence for one, and that one should not commit to a belief without satisfactory evidence. But there is no a priori rejection, no “anathema”. The Rev has projected his own religious values onto a system of thought that specifically rejects them.

    I don’t expect an evangelical cleric to know or to care beans about science. But there was a time when even they received a tincture of learning about systems of philosophy and ethics. Not this one, apparently.

  9. @Dave Luckett
    The cleric Cotton Mather, involved with the Salem Witchcraft Trials, yet he promoted vaccination!