Creationist Wisdom #1,040: Coronavirus & Death

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News-Gazette of Champaign, Illinois. It’s titled Virus has nothing to do with evolution, and the newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Bill. We’ve posted about his letters before. The last time was back in December: #1,014: Darwinist Fiction, and that links to five others. Excerpts from Bill’s latest letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

I would like to address the lies [Lies!] we are hearing in the news recently about the coronavirus.

You probably thought that all Bill could write about was the traditional anti-Darwinist stuff, but he’s smart enough to write about the coronavirus too. The rest of his letter consists of eight numbered paragraphs. Here are the first two:

1. Viruses have been around for thousands of years [Not millions!] and have been making humans and animals sick for a long time.

2. In all this time, viruses have not changed into something else; they are still viruses.

Good point! Viruses don’t evolve into spiders or squid — or people. Now get ready for the next two points:

3. Real science is being done to find a cure, which requires observation and repeatable experimentation.

4. Evolution is an atheistic fairy tale and is not science. This current pandemic has absolutely nothing to do with evolution.

Did you follow that? Bill says evolution isn’t real science, it’s just “an atheistic fairy tale.” Are you feeling foolish, dear reader? Here comes number 5:

5. George Will and all the other arrogant elitists are perpetuating a fairy tale by trying to tie this epidemic to their atheistic religion.

Bill doesn’t give us a link or any information about which of Will’s columns he’s upset about — probably all of them, so we’re moving on. Ah, number 6 is a scripture quote, and number 7 explains its relevance:

6. Matthew 15:12-14: “Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?’ Jesus replied, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.’”

7. Blind guides would not just be Jewish religious leaders in Jesus’ day, but many so-called experts with Ph.D.s and doctorates today.

Are you being led into a pit by a blind guide, dear reader? It’s not too late to start thinking sensibly.

Now we come to the end of Bill’s letter, which is his point number 8:

8. One hundred years from now, the 7.4 billion people living today will all be dead. [Gasp!] Everybody is dying! The fossil record and what we see around us today is death. This is the exact opposite of evolution.

That’s strange. Creationists like ol’ Hambo say that evolution is entirely about death — see, e.g.: Ken Ham: Death, Death, and More Death — but Bill says otherwise. We don’t know what to believe. What do you think, dear reader?

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,040: Coronavirus & Death

  1. I keep on meeting the “not really evolution” argument. I wonder what would count as evolution for Bill and people like him. He is of course quite right when he says “Real science is being done to find a cure, which requires observation and repeatable experimentation”. But for some strange reason, all the people doing this science are evolutionists!

  2. I could easily believe that some of the babies born yesterday will be alive in one hundred years…

  3. Michael Fugate

    It is the word they object to – if you call it something else, they will readily accept it as true. I have had people accept every premise of evolution and still reject it. My favorite all time is from my brief days teaching high school. I created a major fuss by openly teaching evolution and it spread throughout the school and community. A social studies teacher started a lesson by titling it “the evolution of governmental systems” and one of the students stated that she did not believe in evolution and would not be taking notes. So there.

  4. Jim Roberts

    @Michael Fugate, I’ve done similar, walking something through every tenet of evolution, but presented it as my definition of “microevolution,” before saying that everything I’d talked about actually resulted in brand new species.

  5. @PaulB wonders: “what would count as evolution for Bill and people like him.”
    Nothing.

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essays/the-two-questions/

  6. @FrankB, I can’t find the author’s name. Also, whoever it is seems to be very naive about falsification, stuck in the 1930s. A fact that doesn’t fit is not so much a proof that the hypothesis is wrong, as an invitation to do better, or, to be technical, an anomaly that invites explanation. My own take is at https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/in-praise-of-fallibility-why-science-needs-philosophy-with-examples-from-astronomy-and-chemistry/

  7. From his comments, Bill presents himself as one who accepts and promotes “real science”. Real science is determined by facts and data.

    So, when Bill states, “Evolution is an atheistic fairy tale and is not science, we should press him to cite the facts and data that support his premise.

  8. Michael Fugate

    Was god using the same parts in this saga of returning to the ocean?
    https://phys.org/news/2020-04-evolution-ear-canal-ancient-crocodile.html
    Or were ocean-going crocs created on day 5 along with ocean-going mammals?

  9. @Michael Fugate, it doesn’t really matter. They are unclean either way. If day five, they are unclean fish because they lack fins and scales. If day six, they are unclean animals because they don’t chew the cud

  10. I know nothing about the dietary laws, and I’m not going to look them up, so can anyone tell me if it’s okay to eat chicken?

  11. Michael Fugate

    If only God had provided instructions for a meat thermometer…

  12. @SC, of course it is. God wanted us to have chicken soup. Knoedlich are ok too, except during Passover

  13. chris schilling

    @PaulB: “God wanted us to to have chicken soup.”

    But where was the chicken soup when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt? WHERE? There was none. God’s people were crying out for chicken soup, but God refused to hear their pleas.

    Who was the more stiff-necked?

  14. Dave Luckett

    Yes. Chickens were already domesticated (from the South-east Asian Jungle fowl) before the iron age and were known in Palestine.by the sixth century BCE, about the time when the Pentateuch was being redacted and assembled from earlier sources. The Mosaic dietary prohibitions list “flying things” that may NOT be eaten – chiefly, birds of prey and scavengers (and let us not forget the bat), and imply that anything not on the list is “clean”. As new fowls – the turkey, for instance – became known, the rabbis had to apply what appear to be the principles behind the prohibitions to decide on whether they are clean or not.

    But always remember, for strictly observant Jewish people today, no item of food is “clean” if its provenance, raising, preparation, cooking, and whatever is served with it, is not exactly known to be in accordance with kosher rules, as interpreted by whichever rabbinical tradition they subscribe to. Also remember that what is kosher on ordinary days may not be kosher for Shabbat; and that what is kosher for Passover is even more restrictive. But chicken, correctly raised, killed and prepared, is kosher for meat meals, generally.

    I had the pleasure of having a friend who was strictly observant as a houseguest, on two occasions. It somewhat distressed me that the only item of food she could eat in my house was fruit with the peel still on, that she peeled carefully off, with her own (clean) clasp knife. But such was the case. The distress was purely that I could not extend full hospitality, I hasten to say.

  15. ” Virus has nothing to do with evolution,” I’m wondering if this is Bill’s own opinion or if he is speaking for the entire trailer park.

  16. Dave . A girl with her own pocketknife ? That might be a huge winner if you like the outdoors. 🙂 Almost a “fairy tale” ending if we coin a term from Bill’s excellent letter.

  17. @PaulB: the author is Adam Lee. Yes, the article is rather naive (and you might add superficial as well). But it’s creacrap he’s dealing with and the point he makes is the intellectual dishonesty of its fans. That again answers the question in your first comment.
    So naivity and eventual superficiality is rather irrelevant here. This doesn’t mean I’ll neglect your take, but that’s for later.

    @Rsg is naive too: “we should press him to cite the facts and data that support his premise.”
    Has that ever had any effect on any creacrapper? Billy simply doesn’t accept your definition of real science. No creacrapper does. The best we can expect from his is some exquisite cherry picking.

  18. @PaulB: your analysis dated 26 February 2018 is correct, subtile, well thought, nuanced, well balanced, even sophisticated and nearly useless in the fight against creacrap exactly because all those positive qualities. I suspect it’s even vulnerable to abuse by creationists. Examples:

    “The fault may lie with the theory itself, or with the assumptions we make while testing it.”
    I already can hear Ol’Hambo crow from pleasure.

    “every scientific theory gives rise to anomalies, as revealed by observation”
    See my reaction to the previous quote. Real science, with the correct assumptions (ie Biblical ones as interpreted by the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else) don’t.

    “there is no such thing as a pure observation”
    Exactly. That’s why we need Ol’Hambo’s Biblical lens.

    “It is rejected only when a superior theory is put forward, and the new theory is superior if it explains as much as the old theory, and more besides.”
    Yay! Creacrap explains everything, hence always more than anything evilutionists can bring up.

    And that, my well educated and well trained Scottish friend, is why you should leave debating creacrap to naive simpletons like Adam Lee and me. Rationality like yours is bound to lose against irrational folks like Ol’Hambo. You can’t afford, while I can, to simply ask them those two questions. I’ve done so and predictably never got a decent answer. For a philosophical approach to this phenomenon (because I totally agree that science needs philosophy) I recommend once again Herman Philipse’s God in the Age of Science. Chapter 10 is called the Immunization of Theism. It fully applies to creacrap.

  19. I have always wondered whether an “impossible burger” or their ilk with cheese is kosher.

  20. A purely vegetarian burger, even if it could convincingly imitate one made from meat, would still be kosher when eaten with cheese, despite the probation against mixing meat and milk. But you will have to ask a greater rabbinical authority than me what the status would be of a hypothetical burger grown in a dish from cloned animal muscle cells. My own bet would be that would be classified as flesh taken from a living thing, and therefore not kosher.

  21. @Paul Baterman: How about if one took some nice celery cells and inserted genes for actin and myosin from a cow, and grew a nice burger in a dish? I don’t particularly like cheese on my burgers, but I’m told some people do.

  22. But is it flesh taken from a mammal?
    Flesh taken from a fish, for example, is kosher when served with milk – if I am not mistaken.

  23. Paul Braterman mentions “the probation against mixing meat and milk.”

    I guess that means I can’t have whipped cream on my bat sandwich.

  24. @TomS, it’s got to be the right kind of fish. Must have fins and scales. So whale meat is out, and so is shark and turtle. As for shellfish, oh the horror!

  25. @FrankB: I wasn’t being naive. I was being a wise-ass.

    Just to set the record straight.