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’s letter is written by The Rev. Art Zacher, pastor of the Berean Baptist Church in Fairfield.. Excerpts from the rev’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
How does one determine truth from error? The March 2015 cover story of National Geographic features “The War on Science.” This issue suggested that those who disagree with their current views of “science” are ignorant and uneducated.
The rev is talking about this: Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?, which was the March cover story. It must have hurt the rev’s feelings, because then he says:
Does science really have all the answers? Perhaps true science does, but often false science is used as a trump card. The Bible warns in 1 Timothy 6:20, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” Science is rarely settled. Often what is taught as true in one generation is discarded by the next.
You know where this is going. The rev likes his “science” to have all the answers, and he wants those answers to be be eternally true. Let’s read on:
Consider for a moment the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial that occurred in Dayton, Tennessee, where the validity of evolution was debated. Interestingly enough, all the scientific evidence used in that trial to support evolution and was strongly promoted by scientists at that time has been discredited.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The validity of evolution was not debated at the Scopes Trial. It was such a biased affair that Clarence Darrow wasn’t allowed to present any evidence for evolution. Wikipedia says Darrow “brought in eight experts on evolution. But other than Dr. Maynard Metcalf, a zoologist from Johns Hopkins University, the judge would not allow these experts to testify in person. Instead, they were allowed to submit written statements so that their evidence could be used at the appeal.”
Your Curmudgeon has a transcript of the trial. We read Metcalf’s testimony — during which the jury was excluded from the courtroom. Most of it was a review of his education and employment. He wasn’t allowed to present any evidence for evolution. He was barely allowed to define evolution, and he couldn’t discuss its acceptance among scientists, because that was objected to as hearsay. Nevertheless, the rev gives a long list of evidence he claims was presented at the trial, including: Neanderthal Man, Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, Haeckel’s drawings, peppered moth color changes, and vestigial organs. Regarding that list, the rev claims that:
All these proofs were believed by many of the scientists of that day as irrefutable evidence of evolution. Of course, this doesn’t disprove evolution, but it certainly doesn’t help the claim of “settled science.” It does show that this so-called “science,” though believed by many, was based on misinterpreted data, outright fraud and wishful thinking.
It would take pages to respond to that, and it’s not worth the bother. Anyway, none of those things were used as evidence in the Scopes trial. The rev continues:
Truth is not determined by majority consensus. This principle holds whether it is in the discipline of science or of morals. The Bible claims to be the truth. Jesus said in John 17:17, “Thy word is truth.” If one rejects the Bible as the source of truth, all sorts of problems arise, such as this: Where does truth come from?
Jeepers, without his bible, the rev wouldn’t know anything. Your Curmudgeon is always a gentleman, so we won’t say that even with his bible, the rev — no, we won’t say it. Here’s more from the rev’s letter:
Without absolute truth, you drift toward absolute chaos.
Wow — if it’s not one absolute it’s another, and the rev is trying to save us from chaos. What a great guy! Moving along, the rev has some suggestions for determining the truth — and none of them is even remotely related to the scientific method:
When considering hot-button issues such as abortion, global warming, nontraditional “marriage” or evolution, my first suggestion is, follow the money. If someone has financial incentives to lie, their testimony is unreliable.
The only reliable truth comes from the unemployed. Wait — the rev is employed, and his livelihood depends on his claim that he’s got the truth. So can we trust him? This is confusing, but that was only the rev’s first suggestion. He has three more:
Second, if a position is strong, there is no reason to lie or mislead by tampering with the data. Third, those who intentionally lie or mislead cannot be trusted – period.
If we follow those two suggestions, then no creationist can be trusted. Here’s number four:
Fourth and most important, if a theory contradicts the Bible, you can be sure it is wrong.
That’s a good one! This is the rev’s final paragraph:
Nothing from archeology, history or ancient documents has ever been able to sustain questions concerning the validity and the integrity of the Bible. The Bible can weather the storm. Truth does not change. It stands forever.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The rev’s statement is confined to archeology, history, and ancient documents. Even that limited claim is dubious, but somehow he left out biology, geology, physics, and astronomy. Oh, wait — they contradict the bible, so they’re worthless. Great letter, rev!
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