Creationist Wisdom #1,010: Retired Professor

Today we found a column in the Marshall News Messenger of Marshall, Texas. It’s titled Creation and Evolution, and the newspaper has a comments section — with no comments yet.

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’s author definitely qualifies for full-name treatment. It’s Jerry Hopkins, described at the end as “a retired university professor.” We Googled around for his name and found a few references to someone in the religion department at East Texas Baptist University, located in Marshall, Texas. That’s probably our man. Here are some excerpts from his column (which is very long), with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Evolution is not an empirical science. [It isn’t?] It is a matter of absolute faith. In fact, it cannot be proven by any exercise of science. It cannot be demonstrated by observation, tested or otherwise verified. It is unproved and has no way of being proved. The transmutation of one species into another has never been observed and will not, because no man can live the millions of years necessary to verify the process. [He’s right!] Evolution should not be classified as a theory because by definition a theory must be testable so as to justify that designation.

That, dear reader, is a great beginning! And it stays like that all the way through. The professor says:

Evolution is a speculative philosophy, a religious construct devised by man to exclude God. [Gasp!] Evolution exists outside the realm of science and experimentation. It is not questioned or doubted in the scientific or academic worlds. Evolution reigns supreme in universities, even those who claim to be Christian and supposedly believe the Bible.

It has become “a sacred cow” that no one challenges or opposes. If you question evolution you are immediately condemned as an ignoramus, a religious fanatic and uneducated. Brilliant scientists and well-educated academics have lost their positions, tenure and respect when they have merely used the forbidden term “intelligent design.”

He’s right! They’ve been Expelled. After that he tells us:

The philosophy of evolution is not scientific. It is a religious belief. Evolution is a worldview, a belief system, built on atheistic presuppositions without proof intellectually or materially. This religious philosophy is based on religious presuppositions held to by faith. This philosophy is an assault on the biblical doctrine of creation and the reality of God as Creator.

Skipping some scripture references, he continues:

As I prepare this, I’m thinking of how some of you will respond because of my experiences in the past when I’ve raised this issue in classes, academic settings or in columns such as this. I anticipate that I will be charged with unscientific thinking, anti-intellectualism and foolishness. My plea is that we civilly discuss the alternatives and come to a reasonable and sensible conclusion to explain what exists and what we can observe.

That sounds reasonable. Let’s read on:

Consider all the marvels in our bodies — our brains, eyes, ears, hands, feet, sex organs [Egad!], lungs, digestive system, nerves, cells and many other things. There is no way these marvels could have come into being by chance or thoughtless actions. The “Big Bang” could not have created anything. Evolution is not a reasonable explanation and has no scientific proof supporting it. I cannot accept it. I confess that I accept God’s creative design of all things and believe this is a more acceptable explanation than an irrational and unprovable “theory” like evolution.

Who would dare to challenge the professor’s conclusions? You, dear reader? No, of course not. Only a fool would dare. Another excerpt:

A bio-chemistry professor at Lehigh University, Michael Behe [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] has contributed two significant studies on what he has termed “irreducible complexity” challenging the possibility of evolutionary change, particularly between species or other organisms.

We’ll skip his praise of Behe, but you might consider Kitzmiller v. Dover: Michael Behe’s Testimony. Now we’re going to skip all the way to the end:

We need to encourage one another as we attempt to understand God’s creation and His purpose for our lives. We must logically consider what reality is and how it has come into being. There cannot be an association of theism and evolution given the underlying presupposition of that philosophy based in naturalism and atheism. Let me hear from you on what you think about how we came to be and what we need to do as creatures in God’s world.

The professor wants to hear from you, dear reader. He’ll probably discover this blog before very long, so let him know what you think.

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

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19 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,010: Retired Professor

  1. “…The philosophy of evolution is not scientific. It is a religious belief. …” So he is saying that evilution is BS & is a religion! So by logic religion is BS, so creation is BS by his own words!!!

  2. “Evolution is a speculative philosophy, a religious construct devised by man to exclude God. [Gasp!] Evolution exists outside the realm of science and experimentation”

    “The “Big Bang” could not have created anything”

    “Evolution is not a reasonable explanation and has no scientific proof supporting it. I cannot accept it.”

    “My plea is that we civilly discuss the alternatives and come to a reasonable and sensible conclusion to explain what exists and what we can observe.”

    Sure sounds like he wants a “reasonable” and “sensible” conclusion as long as real scientists are not at the table.

  3. Michael Fugate

    I take it he never studied history or philosophy of science…

  4. Michael Fugate

    This no doubt the author’s dissertation
    BILLY GRAHAM AND THE RACE PROBLEM, 1949-1969
    HOPKINS, JERRY BERL. University of Kentucky, 1986.
    The primary conclusion of this study is that Billy Graham ultimately could not dissociate himself from the racial status quo. He was unable to realize the plight of blacks and criticized them for challenging the inequities in American society. His opposition to the civil rights protest movement marked his failure as a social reformer.

    So I am probably correct on his knowledge of history and philosophy of science.

  5. This shows no awareness of the very popular creationist literature on “created kinds” and speciation after the Flood. It is difficult to understand such a gap in a educated creationist.

  6. Stephen Wilson

    “…an ignoramus, a religious fanatic and uneducated.” – Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  7. @Michael F – Apparently he was a history professor, but obviously history of science wasn’t his speciality. He throws philosophy around a lot, but that wasn’t his strong point either.
    But how can he say “Evolution is a speculative philosophy, a religious construct devised by man to exclude God”? As a university professor he must have been aware that the majority of theologians don’t see a conflict. How can he simply ignore that fact? Looks like he didn’t know much about theology either.

  8. Prof. Hopkins says of evolution,
    ”In fact, it cannot be proven by any exercise of science. It cannot be demonstrated by observation, tested or otherwise verified. It is unproved and has no way of being proved.”

    Wow. A lot to unbundle here; somewhat like a Gish gallop.

    First off, most, if not all, theories cannot be proven. A theory is the explanation that best fits all available evidence.

    Second, his claim that evolution cannot be demonstrated by observation reveals Prof. Hopkins’s lack of scientific understanding — or his total ignorance of the fossil record. The fossil record is the bedrock of the Theory of Evolution (pun intended or not – your choice).

  9. Michael Fugate

    And the Flintstones are the Bedrock of creationism?

  10. Prof. Hopkins:
    ”Evolution is a speculative philosophy, a religious construct devised by man to exclude God.”

    Not true. This certainly was not Darwin’s intent, a fact that Hopkins should be well aware of. I can have very little respect for a person, professor or not, who is willing to mislead in order to create the false dicotomy of “either believe in God, or believe in evolution.” The two ideas are not mutually exclusive, even if many who accept evolution self-identify as either agnostic or atheist.

    Perhaps Hopkins thinks he’s “serving God” by denigrating evolution. To the contrary, he does a disservice to religion by speaking against something that can be plainly seen to be true. He should read and heed St. Augustine.

  11. Oops. Forgot to turn off the “bold” after “Prof. Hopkins:”.

    Thank you, Almighty Hand. Your service to all humanity is greatly appreciated, as is your patience with this careless commentor.

    [Voice from above] All is well, due to your devotion to the Cosmic Aardvark.

  12. Sometimes the first sentence already is so bad that it’s impossible for the rest to get any better. This

    “Evolution is not an empirical science.”
    is such a sentence. Our retired prof could have consulted Merriam-Webster: empirical means originating in or based on observation or experience.
    The fossil record is observed.
    Mutations have been observed.
    Speciation has been observed.
    Evolution, just like gravity and electricity, is the concept that allows us to correctly describe these categories of observations.

    “The transmutation of one species into another has never been observed ”
    Our retired prof could have googled “observed speciation”. Man, even Ol’Hambo is not stupid and dishonest enough to repeat this old clunker.

    “If you question evolution you are immediately condemned as an ignoramus, a religious fanatic and uneducated.”
    Given the facts above I’m more than happy to add “stupid liar”.

    “My plea is that we civilly discuss the alternatives”
    As soon as our retired prof is civil enough to stop repeating stupid lies.

    “I cannot accept it.”
    Which excludes at beforehand any attempt to “come to a reasonable and sensible conclusion”.

    “We need to encourage one another ….”
    Keep up the good work, retired prof – your stupid lies result in exactly the opposite.

    “Let me hear from you on what you think”
    I gladly would have told the retired prof, but unfortunately as a European I don’t have access to the MNM.

  13. Michael Fugate

    He has conflated evolution with atheism. I wonder if he believes all other scientific theories include gods as causal mechanisms? Does a straight or a flush from a poker deal require the intervention of gods?

  14. Laurette McGovern

    Fine–let’s “civilly discuss the alternatives.” So, Rev., what are the SCIENTIFIC alternatives?
    (sound of crickets chirping)

  15. He also ignores the fundamental question all creationists ignore: Which God is responsible for the “Creation”. You cannot just assume a priori that it is the Christian God and Genesis.

    I think this is more colorful!:

    Coatlicue was the mother of Centzon Huitznahua (“Four Hundred Southerners”), her sons, and Coyolxauhqui, her daughter. She found a ball filled with feathers and placed it in her waistband, becoming pregnant with Huitzilopochtli. Her other children became suspicious as to the identity of the father and vowed to kill their mother. She gave birth on Mount Coatepec, pursued by her children, but the newborn Huitzilopochtli defeated most of his brothers, who became the stars. He also killed his half-sister Coyolxauhqui by tearing out her heart using a Xiuhcoatl (a blue snake) and throwing her body down the mountain. This was said to inspire the Aztecs to rip the hearts out of their human sacrifices and throw their bodies down the sides of the temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, who represents the sun chasing away the stars at dawn.

  16. Ross Cameron

    To re-phrase ‘Creationism is a speculative philosophy, a religious construct devised by man to include a god’

  17. Michael Fugate

    The commenters on Jerry’s post are not buying it.

    I notice ETBU has no philosophy department or courses and barely has a biology department – so no help for Jerry among his colleagues.

  18. chris schilling

    I confess: it was me who stole into the professor’s apartment in the dead of night, and painted colourful targets on his shiny shoes. I left him a full quiver of arrows while I was at it.

    Then I slipped back into the atheist darkness whence I came, and waited for the fun to begin — heh heh.

  19. @FrankB: Exactly. Either you have more patience than I, or more time on your hands. Whatever – nice answer, Frank.