Creationist Wisdom #1,074: False Assumptions

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Marshall Independent of Marshall, Minnesota. The letter is titled Seeking the truth about Earth, and the newspaper has a comments feature (with no comments yet).

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 Phil. He writes a lot of letters, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. We’ve written about his letters before, and the last one was #1,056: Don’t Trust Science. Excerpts from his new letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

The Feb. 19, 2021 ‘Amazing science starts on Mars’ stated that scientists believe that if life ever flourished on Mars, it would have happened 3 billion to 4 billion years ago, when water still flowed on the planet. Two assumptions are made:

This is the article Phil is upset about: ‘Amazing science starts’ on Mars. It’s sub-titled: “NASA rover lands on planet to look for signs of ancient life.” Here are the two assumptions Phil says were made:

1. Life just starts up from a few dead chemicals, which amazingly produce self-assembling molecular machinery, ever growing in complexity as it proceeds up the intelligence ladder from microbes to animals and finally humans.

2. Our planet earth and the others have been around for billions of years.

Wowie — those are two big fat assumptions! But NASA can’t fool Phil. He says:

After many years of studying these topics and others within hundreds of weekly issues of the prestigious AAAS ‘Science’ publication, various books, and applying a little common sense I realized:

Phil appears to be very well informed. He learned two things from all of that study. Here’s the first:

1. Radiometric dating of rocks is just more ‘smoke and mirrors’ sophistry that ignores the scientific method and instead builds assumption upon assumption while ignoring real empirical data that the rocks and other physical phenomena are pointing to an earth of less than 10,000 years old, most probably about 6,000 years.

Your Curmudgeon is shocked — shocked! And that’s only the first thing Phil learned from his study. Now he tells us the second:

2. I am convinced the only reason ‘Old Age of Earth’ is kept alive is to prop up the rapidly rotting corpse of “Evolution”. [Gasp!] The religion of Evolution needs vast amounts of ‘time’ to do its magical wonders.

Jeepers, he’s right! He continues:

Macro-evolution (molecules to man without intellectual input) is dead. [Wow!] One of the greatest contributors to it’s [sic] death is the medical community, driven by its mandate to cure disease. Researchers have found themselves stumbling into a bottomless pit of new and extremely complicated information within the vast world of molecular machinery churning away in the cells that make up ‘Life’.

This guy is absolutely amazing! His next paragraph is a brief attack on a different article from the newspaper. Skipping that, we find ourselves at the end of Phil’s letter, which says:

Educate yourself, read books like ‘Darwin Devolves’ by Michael Behe, 2019 [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] and ‘Carved in Stone by Tim Clarey, 2020). Truth won’t necessarily make you rich, but it will set you free.

Fantastic letter, Phil! The Curmudgeon is proud of you.

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

13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,074: False Assumptions

  1. “proceeds up the intelligence ladder”
    I have to admit that creationists do their very best to prevent this.

    “real empirical data”
    See what I mean?

  2. We still don’t know if intelligence is, in the long run, an adequate attribute for long term survival. I mean, intelligent apes have been around for what, a few hundred thousand years? Dinosaurs, which nobody claims as being particularly intelligent lasted some 165 million. Just saying

  3. “ignores the scientific method”; that’s an immediate giveaway. I’m routinely told by Creationists that I am ignoring the scientific method, because science only deals with what can be reproduced, and the past cannot be reproduced. Despite this, or the creationist organisations accept the existence of an ice age.

    We have used science to establish that the actual father of the current Archbishop of Canterbury was not the person named on his birth certificate. We can replicate the DNA testing, just to check, but don’t have to go around begetting more archbishops out of wedlock, enjoyable though that may be

  4. If one starts with a false uderstanding of the scientific method, then many of today’s sciences are flawed. Astronomy does not follow Francis Bacon’s “scientific method”, for example. Many sciences do not. Nor does the distinction of “historical science” have any value in understanding modern sciences.

  5. @Jesso: bah, that first model obviously is Intelligently Designed and thus confirms creacrap.

    “Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute”
    Aha! Semantics determine reality, so these guys do ID-based research. The name Discovery Institute proves this. They just haven’t come out of the closet yet, because of Darwinist censorship.

    Unfortunately I’m an evilutionist too, incapable of looking beyond barren materialism, so thanks for the interesting news.

  6. Dave Luckett

    Look, somebody’s got to write in. I would, but coming from Perth, Western Australia, I’d look pretty stupid, writing reactions to a letter in a local newspaper in Minnesota. And I’m not on the book of face or any of the other social media dumpster fires, for very good reason. But really, Phil can’t be allowed to get away with this.

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    A YEC citing a DI book. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!

  8. @CharlesD: yeah, were we to take Phil seriously this combination

    “I am convinced the only reason ‘Old Age of Earth’ is kept alive is to prop up the rapidly rotting corpse of “Evolution”.”
    “read books like ‘Darwin Devolves’ by Michael Behe, 2019”

    would be pretty funny. MickeyB also keeps ‘Old Age of Earth’ alive. Despite being as non-American as DaveL I briefly considered pointing this out in a reaction on the Marshall Independent. Due to that medium not respecting privacy issues I don’t have access:

    “We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time.”

    I suspect a correlation – American media that publish letters full of Creationist Wisdom also are the ones inaccessible for Europeans.

  9. Dave Luckett

    In fact, I’ll go further.

    There really needs to be a sort of science fire brigade, to respond to spot fires like Phil’s letter, in the same forum where they appear. Calm, sensible, plain-language rebuttals, giving reasoned discourse without heat, avoiding personalities and zingers, solidly grounded in the science. Of course you’ll never persuade Phil, but you can show others what a loon he is, without ever calling him one. Remember it isn’t about him, but about the people he’s trying to persuade, who might be persuaded if they don’t see him refuted.

    It seems to me that you need three elements for such an effort: one, an alarm system. SC does a good job, with his Creationist Wisdom file. Two, a genuine scientist who’d be able and willing to point out the errors and downright lies, and state the facts. But three, and importantly, you need a writer to actually write up the response, one who can produce rhetoric. Not impassioned diatribe, mind, no oratorical flourishes, no ranting. KISS, limpid and direct. But someone skilled in the art of persuasion from cool reason.

    In the case of The Marshall Independent, you’d need to write a separate letter to the Editor, not a comment on Phil’s letter, because the site only allows a 300 character response. But country newspapers can always use good-quality copy, especially if it’s free. They published Phil’s vapid nonsense, despite his difficulties with standard orthography, didn’t they?

  10. “you can show others what a loon he is”
    That was my main argument pro.

    “a genuine scientist who’d be able and willing to ….”
    The danger is that creacrappers, dishonest as they are, will use this to proclaim that there is a serious debate on evolution indeed – similar to the Bill Nye effect after he debated Ol’Hambo. And Bill Nye isn’t even a scientist.
    Better to delegate this task to well informed laymen; you for instance could do this job just as fine as any other. Just make sure you have some credible sources ready. They don’t need to be profound and/or detailed.

    “you’d need to write a separate letter to the Editor”
    I’ve no way to find out where to send this letter to. The links given on the Wikipedia entry of the medium fail for the same reason.

  11. Jim is correct as intelligence is not a genetic survival necessity, cuz if it was 85% of the human population would vanish!

  12. Dave Luckett

    I didn’t have any trouble getting the editor’s email and the paper’s postal address from the “contact us” page on the paper’s website. But I’m absolutely certain that I can’t be the one to send the guy an email. I have no standing – I’m a complete stranger, a foreigner. It has to be at least an American, preferably from the mid-west. Better yet if they were within the paper’s catchment area, but that’s too much to hope for.