Creationist Wisdom #1,068: Clunker Heaven

Today’s letter-to-the-editor — it’s a column, actually — appears in The Sentinel of Hanford, California. The thing is titled Christ and Common Sense: How old is the earth? The newspaper has a comments feature, but there aren’t any 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 we’ve got a preacher. It’s Tim Dinkins, described at the end as “the teaching pastor at Grace Baptist Church Lemoore.” We’ll give you 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:

Our Sunday morning Equipping Class just finished watching a fascinating documentary called “Is Genesis History?” I believe it is the best documentary on the subject because of its high production quality and its unique content. Everyone who watched it was encouraged to see scientific evidence that supports the Bible’s account of a literal six-day creation and a global flood. [Ooooooooooooh! Scientific evidence!] It made me think, “If this got out it could have a dramatic impact on how Christians think about the age of the earth.”

Wowie — if that film got out, Darwinism would be doomed! Then the rev says:

Many of us were surprised at the evidence in the documentary. [Gasp — evidence!] We weren’t surprised because we thought it was difficult to believe. We were surprised because it is so rare to see professional scientists support the idea that the world is thousands of years old instead of millions or billions of years old.

What was the evidence in the film? The rev tells us:

I did a little research and came across the story of Mary Schweitzer. In 2005, she discovered soft tissue inside of dinosaur bones that were supposed to be at least 150 million years old. The problem is soft tissue breaks down at a very fast rate and should only be able to survive thousands of years, but certainly not millions of years.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Creationists have been misrepresenting Mary Schweitzer’s work for years! We wrote about her a few times before — see, e.g.: Dinosaur Fossils Found with Hot Red Meat? What other wonders were revealed in the rev’s “documentary”? He continues:

I also came across the story of a biologist who was recently fired because he allegedly shared dinosaur research with his students. Mark Armitage claims he was fired from California State University Northridge because he shared information about dinosaur tissue samples with his students. In 2016 he was awarded $399,500 in a settlement with the university after suing them for wrongful termination.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Armitage case is another creationist clunker, and we’ve written a few times about it. This one sums up the whole shabby story: Mark Armitage — The Legend. Also, he wasn’t a biologist, and that settlement wasn’t a court award. Is there anything else in the rev’s column? Let’s read on:

The Church is one place that should be welcoming this kind of research. Unfortunately, it is becoming less common for Christians to hear evidence that supports a young earth perspective. We need to see this trend change. We need Christians to realize this is not just an issue that is limited to to [sic] the first chapter of Genesis. The whole Bible supports a young earth view as well.

He’s right. The whole bible also supports a flat earth view too, so why doesn’t he mention that? Anyway, he babbles on for a few paragraphs, and then wraps it all up with this:

Let me end with this bold quote from pastor G. I. Williamson. He said, “I do not believe that there is, or ever will be, any scientific discovery that will be able to discredit what God has spoken. Yes, scientific theories do appear to discredit that creation account. But be patient. In time it will be seen that those humble Bible believers were right all along: it was a six-day creation.”

That’s quite a prediction! Wikipedia has an article on rev Williamson, which doesn’t tell us much except that he’s “an outspoken young earth creationist.” We’re not surprised that Timmy Dinkins finds him authoritative.

Anyway, that’s the end of the rev’s column. Impressive, wasn’t it?

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

15 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,068: Clunker Heaven

  1. Yesterday we were asked why there is only one human species around.
    Wrong question. There are two species: creationists, who live in a 6,000 year old universe, and the rest of us.

  2. There is one point we should concede to Rev Timmy:

    “The Church is one place that should be welcoming this kind of research.”
    Indeed. Crap should be welcoming crap.

  3. Theodore J Lawry

    It seems the creationist PR machine isn’t working very well. The film came out 23 Feb 2017, according to IMDB. almost 4 years ago. The film made rather a splash too, by creationist standards, and yet the good reverend is only just now hearing about it!

    He also says he never saw anything like it, and yet there is nothing new in the film, creationists have been saying the same stuff for decades. There plenty of youtube videos he could have watched for free. It appears that creationists not only don’t much science, they don’t know much creationism either. Perhaps it is just as well. “A little learning is a dangerous thing!”

  4. @TheoJL: thanks for the recommendation, the ten star comments are well worth reading. I mean, aren’t these quotes wonderful?

    “After years of watching creationist and intelligent design movies and reading the books we have come to a place where the creationist are on the offensive and the evolutionists can do nothing but give bad reviews and pretend the evidence is not scientific.”

    “Darwin died in 1882 for God’s sake! Why would anyone still cling to that ancient delusional rhetoric?”

  5. I just read:
    There is a pharmacist who is accused of spoiling vaccine by taking it out of refrigeration. Now the story goes that he is a flat-Earther who believes that the sky is shield put up by the government.

  6. chris schilling

    “But be patient. In time it will be seen that those humble Bible believers were right all along: it was a six-day creation.”

    As the QAnon loonies say: TRUST THE PLAN.

  7. Dave Luckett

    I wish I could cultivate FrankB’s attitude of amusement at the mental debility on display here. This is a “teaching pastor”, ffs. Yes, he’s a baptist, and nobody ever accused them of intellectual rigor, or scholarship, or anything remotely associated with, you know, thinking, but really!

    Clearly, he has made absolutely no attempt to access any material oustide the creationist noise machine on any of the topics he writes about. If he had, he would know that Mary Schweitzer did NOT find “soft tissue” in dinosaur bones; that what she did find was indeed extraordinary, but that its remarkable preservation for 65 million years was entirely explained by natural means. He would have known that Mark Armitage was an electromicroscopy technician, not a biologist, that he did not win in court, and his dismissal had nothing to do with what he taught students. Mind you, SU of Cal at Northridge should be ashamed of their pusillanimity at offering a settlement.

    And the rest of that wretched complex of elaborately mounted falsehoods is at least as bad or worse – a disgusting jumble of carefully crafted elaborations of ignorance, aimed with great cunning at people who won’t check.

    In short, the pastor has been fed lies, and is now regurgitating them. You can say he knows no better, but I don’t see how that improves matters. Apparently, he has no ability to critically examine anything. I wish I could find this richly amusing, as FrankB apparently does, but I must confess that I don’t see the funny side. This is testament to the power of untruth. I didn’t find Trump amusing. I don’t know why I should find this any more so.

  8. @DaveL: my amusement is a faint shadow of some jokes Central-European jews made in the late 1930’s, which can be described as “humour despite”. Example: a jew was asked what he would do when the nazis invaded his country. His reply: “Move to Germany and let me persecute.”
    Likewise my amusement serves to compensate for the despair I feel when I realize how popular antiscientific attitudes have become. Donald the Clown is another example – what other weapon did I have but mocking him? Now he’s gone, so I stopped. I hope I won’t have to, but I am ready to give JoeB the same treatment. Perhaps now you can place “my favourite hobby is to piss off everyone” in this context.
    If I’d take Rev Timmy etc. as seriously as you do (and I’m absolutely not condemning you for this) I’d become depressive very quickly. So perhaps you should reconsider your wish.

  9. Eddie Janssen

    Why on earth can they get away with denying and/or ignoring dating techniques?

  10. Young Earth Creationism was nearly dead in the early 20th century. Radioactive methods were accepted in the mid 20th century, which could give solid dates like never before.
    Yet it was just when radioactive methods and more were giving these results that YEC became popular. Why this perversity?
    Creationists almost universally accept that fossils are the remains of dead life. Why do they accept that?

  11. Eddie Janssen: They get away with it mostly by ignoring them, while relying on the ignorance of their target audience.

    If they bother to mention them at all, they will refer to various early examples of the reservoir effect, well-known to scientists for the last seventy years, and sometimes to an utter fraud committed by ICR, who obtained a piece of mineralised fossil sauropod vertebra collected in the nineteenth century and had it CARBON DATED (!!!) at a few thousand years old. What they were actually dating was the shellac with which it had been coated to preserve it, which in the nineteenth century was made from the carapaces of some species of beetles.

    Sometimes they throw out the idiotic conjecture that “decay” rates were much faster in the past, This, of course, ignores the fact that the rates are built into the structure of matter itself, and also that if they were speeded up to the extent that they need, every radioactive isotope on Earth would have immediately undergone a runaway chain reaction.

    Fairy tales for morons succeed because of the total inability of their targets to check facts, let alone think critically. It’s what I was complaining of, about this “teaching pastor”, above. I would be prepared to bet that he has never attempted to read any source on either Schweitzer’s research or the Armitage affair other than creationist crapperie, and the same would go for every other assertion made in that mockumentary.

  12. If radioactive decay rates were different by enough to make YEC plausible, then the laws of physics would not be well designed. The world would just be operating heater skelter on the nuclear level.

  13. @EddieJ: creacrappers don’t care about coherence and consistency. They don’t care about evidence and are totally OK with all kinds of logical fallacies. Everything is allowed as long as the conclusion is: evolution theory is false, hence creationism (doesn’t matter which variation) is true. That alone is already a logical fallacy.
    Do a search at AIG, Ol’Hambo’s blog, on radiometric dating. You’ll find stuff like

    “Radiometric dating measures the decay of radioactive atoms to determine the age of a rock sample. It is founded on unprovable assumptions such as 1) there has been no contamination and 2) the decay rate has remained constant.”
    It’s balderdash, but so what? All creacrap is balderdash. Their targeted audience swallows it.

  14. @FrankB
    And they don’t care what the Bible says, beyond their own peculiar interpretation of select passages.
    Such as the stuff that somebody thought up about baraminology or the Flood geology.

  15. Theodore J Lawry

    @TomS “Young Earth Creationism was nearly dead in the early 20th century.” Correct, but it was revived by the popularity of The Genesis Flood by Henry Morris and Whitcomb in 1961. The book argued that the Flood could explain away fossils and the Grand Canyon. It also said that compromises about the Flood and the age of the earth, such as “day-age” are totally un-Biblical and geologically wrong. The “facts” showed that the Flood and a young earth were real!Morris went on to found the Institute for Creation Research. The book and Morris basically

    The giggle is that the book actually has no evidence to speak of for the existence of a global catastrophic Flood! Shows how well creationists do at “strengths and weaknesses!”