Today’s letter-to-the-editor — it’s a column, actually — appears in the St. Catharines Standard of St. Catharines, which Wikipedia says is "the largest city in Canada's Niagara Region and the sixth largest urban area in the province of Ontario." The column is titled Humans designed by an intelligent master craftsman, and the newspaper doesn’t seem to have a comments feature.
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 Rob Weatherby, described at the end as “a retired pastor who now attends his home church, Fonthill Baptist.” 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:
Have you ever asked how we came to be? It may seem too philosophical for some, but your answer will have a profound influence on your worldview, values and behaviour. Here is a fairly simple exercise to help us figure it out.
This is the simple exercise:
You’re holding a newspaper right now (unless you’re reading the e-version). So, did this newspaper create itself or happen by accident? In other words, did the letters, words, colours, photos and materials just happen to come together or fall from the sky by accident? Most people respond by laughing and saying, “Of course not. That’s ridiculous and completely illogical.” And I would agree.
Clever, huh? Then the rev says:
The fact is a lot of work and brain power (design, writing, editing, arranging, etc.) went into the product in your hands — just ask the editor. Plus, it took a lot of really smart people to design the printing machines that took this material and produced a practical product that is useful in our daily lives. … And so, our unanimous conclusion is this newspaper is not the result of accident or chance but rather the product of a lot of thinking, design, intelligence and work.
After that brilliant analogy, the rev tells us:
DNA has been called the “book for life” or, for my comparison, I’ll call it “life’s newspaper. Those three letters stand for “deoxyribonucleic acid.” It has existed for a long time but we just didn’t know it. … We now know that everything alive has DNA. That includes plant life, animal life and human life. … If uncoiled, each human cell’s DNA would be a very thin thread measuring about three metres. Your body has about 37 trillion cells.
Then the rev gives us a really astounding fact:
So, if you uncoiled all the DNA in your body, it would measure 107.8 billion kilometres (or 150,000 round trips to the moon). [Ooooooooooooh! It’s overwhelming!]
The rev continues:
DNA contain the instructions needed for every living organism to develop, survive and reproduce. It is estimated that one person’s DNA would fill about 100 encyclopedia volumes with information and instructions. Bill Gates concluded, “DNA is far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”
Utterly amazing! Now the rev gets to the point:
So, let’s ask ourselves a question related to our first one: “Did DNA create itself or happen by accident?”
Clever, huh? In his final paragraph, the rev wraps it all up for you:
Our answer to the first newspaper question seemed like a no-brainer. No, newspapers don’t happen by accident or create themselves. Why is it that many people hesitate to answer no to this second question which involves so much more complexity, design and intelligence?
Well, dear reader, you must admit that the evidence of Oogity Boogity is overwhelming. You can’t possibly escape the conclusion that you owe your DNA to the intelligent designer — blessed be he!
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