Creationist Wisdom #1,062: You Have No Evidence

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News-Gazette of Champaign, Illinois. It’s titled Christians created modern science, 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 April: #1,040: Coronavirus & Death, and before that in December: #1,014: Darwinist Fiction. That one 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 have been listening to scientific lectures for over 30 years. [Very impressive!] I get tired of Darwinian and Freudian atheists saying they believe in science and Christians don’t. Here are the facts.

O goodie — Bill is going to give us the facts. He says:

Christians are the originators and creators of modern science. Almost all of the founding fathers of the modern sciences were Christians. Ninety percent of major discoveries and inventions that benefit mankind today were discovered by Christians.

It’s true that what we think of as modern science started in Europe following the Renaissance, and then it really got going with the Age of Enlightenment. It’s also true that most Europeans were then Christians. However, there were Christians in Europe before the Renaissance, yet there was virtually no European science back then. Why not?

It didn’t happen until the Crusades, which resulted in the arrival of Muslim texts that-preserved Greek philosophy. That got the Europeans thinking again. As for the scientific contribution of the Church — well, there’s always the Galileo affair and the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. So judge for yourself, dear reader, the role of Christianity in the rise of science. Anyway, after that clunker, Bill tells us:

The scientific method was invented by Christians and not atheists. Every time an atheist scientist makes a hypothesis and performs repeated experiments to test that hypothesis, they need to thank Christians, because they are the founders of the scientific method.

Yeah, right. Bill is really obsessed with this idea, so he adds:

The first scientists who were Christians reasoned logically that the God of the Bible was a God of order, and because he is a God of order and not disorder, he would create a universe that can be studied and learned from.

Indeed, one might expect a mono-theistic religion to be compatible with an orderly universe — but the Greeks were remarkably rational, despite their devotion to the Olympian gods. Anyway, Bill continues:

Please note that atheistic evolution says everything came about by chance. [Everything? Or just mutations?] If the universe came about by chance, it would not logically be orderly. Atheistic evolution is not based on facts.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey — now Bill gets specific, with a list of five things claimed by “atheistic evolution” that aren’t true:

1. Primordial soup no evidence. [Gasp!]

2. Life coming from non-life through natural processes no evidence. [He’s right, for now.]

3. A single cell animal that all human, animal and plant life came from no evidence. [Does he want us to show him the ancestral cell?]

4. Fossil record no evidence of any intermediary forms. [But see: List of transitional fossils]

5. Mutations and natural selection changing one animal to another kind of animal no evidence. [He’s right, there’s no Crocoduck.]

Wowie — “atheistic evolution” is a catastrophe. Of course, there’s not much evidence to support Genesis, but Bill doesn’t worry about that. Okay, now brace yourself, because here comes Bill’s powerful ending:

Psalm Chapter 14 vs. 1, “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.’”

That’s eight letters from bill that we’ve written about, and they’re all impressive. What did you think of this one, dear reader?

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

11 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,062: You Have No Evidence

  1. “It didn’t happen until the Crusades, which resulted in the arrival of Muslim texts that-preserved Greek philosophy. That got the Europeans thinking again.”
    Scholars in Byzantium – the successor of the Roman empire – were familiar with those texts too. That didn’t get them thinking. The arrival of those muslim texts already happened in 1085 CE, with the conquest of Toledo with (thank the muslims again) its library intact. That didn’t lead to modern science either; it did lead to scholasticism.
    The decisive factor must be found elsewhere.

    “As for the scientific contribution of the Church”
    well, there were also Popes Clement VII and Paulus III and Tiedemann Giese, bishop of Kulm – all supporters of Copernicus. Now this man proposed nothing that had been proposed before; his heliocentric model is largely the same as the one formulated by Aristarchos of Samos. It’s even possible that Copernicus read about this Greek in Aristoteles of Stachyra’s works during his years in Bologna.
    Modern science began with the Danish Tycho Brahe, who was the first to systematically collect observations that could be used to decide between two conflicting theories. It’s this addition of empiricism that sealed the deal. Interestingly Brahe was (of course) a christian indeed, but didn’t care enough to prevent him from working for both a protestant Danish king and a catholic Austrian emperor. That’s remarkable, because Brahe worked in a time of religious wars.
    I mention this because the links our dear SC refers to are woefully incomplete and superficial regarding the role of christianity during the origin of modern science in the 16th Century (the Galilei trials happened a few decades later and hence had little influence anyway). Not that I claim to be complete; Luther and Calvin (two more famous christians but not exactly catholic) played a role too.

  2. “but the Greeks were remarkably rational, despite their devotion to the Olympian gods”
    Not to mention Chinese and Indian scholars, who weren’t exactly inferior. Every time Bill writes down an Arabic number, especially 0, he should thank hindus. But I somehow doubt he ever will.

    “Please note that atheistic evolution says everything came about by chance.”
    Now if Bill had paid attention to the – christian – physicist Max Planck he might have understood that probablism is not the same as mere chance, but is the foundation of science as we know it.

    “A single cell animal”
    A nice contradictio in terminis.

    “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.’”
    The fool also says in his heart that Big Bang, common descent and abiogenesis exclude any god(s). Well, perhaps Bill’s god, but that’s because he rejects what christian scientists have proposed.
    Creationist wisdom at it’s very best, that’s what I think of the letter.

  3. Bill quote:’because he is a God of order and not disorder’. So, the creator of everything gave us Covid-19 to keep order? Or another mass punishment like other plagues and the Flud? Weird sort of order.

  4. Just because some scientist claims to be Xtian does not mean he was one!!! If my life depended on say i was xtian i would say so!!

  5. Michael Fugate

    Bill parsed
    I believe a god created the universe
    Order exists in the universe
    Therefore this god is a god of order

  6. If Bill is confused by random events in evolution, he should check quantum mechanics.

  7. For some reason the site identified me as Anonymous (above). That’s never happened to me before.

  8. FrankB makes very good points about the European progress towards science, or perhaps one might say, the scientific method, and his nomination of Tycho Brahe as its first systematic exponent is well-taken.

    I think perhaps it might have something to do with the basic European political structure, which might in turn be explained by European geography and landscape: kingdoms and other polities, separated by geographical barriers – rivers, mountain ranges, and arms of the sea – in long-term strong rivalry with each other, but no long-lasting unifying Empire after the Roman. Even the Holy Roman Empire, even the Habsburg Empire, were hardly single states. As FrankB notes, Tycho Brahe worked for two directly opposed rival polities.

    In such a structure, practical application of innovation was rapidly rewarded. It was certainly Arabs who pioneered optics, but Europeans invented eyeglasses as far back as the thirteenth century, and then the telescope and microscope. The Chinese developed paper and solid-block printing, but Europeans invented moveable type printing – although it must be said that the alphabetic script that all European languages are written in lent itself to that far better. But there’s more, going far back even into the “Dark Ages”, of humbler but still useful European innovations – the horse collar, the European wheelbarrow, the combination of fore-and-aft and square rig to produce a ship that had the advantage of both, clinker-building that made large wooden ships sturdy enough to face the open ocean. The Chinese first manufactured black powder, but the Europeans first made guns. And so on.

    It is this application of an idea to a practical and immediate purpose, that I think forms a bridge to empiricism, and eventually, the scientific method.

    Bill, of course, is talking nonsense, the usual hodge-podge of strawman-hunting and downright mendacity. I have no idea what he thinks he means by “primordial soup”. That there was a wide variety of reagents in water solution and theshhold energy for reaction on the early Earth is undoubted; and that’s ample. The usual biogenesis clunker – “you don’t know how it happened, therefore God”. One ancestor to all living things is not required by evolution. (I pass the “single-cell animal” piece of ignorance in silence.) “No intermediary forms” is a straight, open, simple lie. There are hundreds. “One animal changing to another” has been actually observed in the lab and in the field. (Bill, if confronted with that evidence, will of course say that the two are not different enough to be different according to his lights – or, more accurately, darknesses.) It’s all tediously familiar, long-refuted and tiresome.

    It’s sad to say, but it can’t simply be ignored, alas. So here we are again.

  9. Darwin suggested that evolution extended as far as one, or a few, original forms. Maybe we could say today that the tree of life has the same pattern back to the first eukaryotes, and different rules were operating when all there were were non-eukaryotes: bacteria, archaea, viruses and maybe some unknowns? I’m thinkingy that there is half a billion years of grand scale evolution among the vertebrates (including that tiny sub-branch of primates for a few million years) but that it is important that outside that world of vertebrates the supernatural rules.

  10. Clarification. That last sentence, I meant to say that nobody accepts half a billion years of vertebrate evolution, but that things were different before that.

  11. Robert van Bakel

    Hitchens talks about that lame quote, ‘The fool in his heart says, “There is no God”.
    Hitch says there are only two things we can learn from this pathetic theistic fear mongering, and they are; When the writers wrote this they were aware atheists existed, and two, they hated and persecuted these wise atheists.
    I agree.