Creationist Wisdom #538: Gracious Preacher

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Herald Times Reporter of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Wikipedia says the town’s name means “dwelling of the great spirit.” It’s titled Topic is complex, so let’s be gracious in addressing it. An icon below the headline will get you to the newspaper’s 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’s letter is written by David Endorf. He’s pastor of St. John – St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cleveland, Wisconsin. Excerpts from the rev’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

He begins by telling us that at the request of “one of my members” he is responding to a pro-evolution letter in that newspaper. This is the earlier letter to which he is responding: Belief vs. evidence. It’s brief, and it criticizes earlier creationist letters, saying only that they offered “one misapplication of the second law of thermodynamics, one incorrect metaphor of natural selection and two out-of-context quotes from famous evolutionary biologists.” It ended by saying: “I would invite a local pastor with a strong science background to help us out here.”

The rev boldly steps forward and says:

Let’s start with the application of the Second Law of thermodynamics, using the development of life on Earth as an example. Clearly this is an increase in order, but they respond by saying that Earth is an open system so the Second Law doesn’t apply.

How does the rev deal with that? You’re thinking that surely, he’s stumped, right? Wrong! He provides an answer we’ve never encountered before:

However there is no mechanism for the solar radiation that makes Earth an open system to start life, which is what is needed to make their defense work.

Aaaargh!! Let’s read on:

For now they theorize that life must have started on other planets and seeded Earth somehow. Because of course you can theorize aliens, just not God.

The earlier letter said nothing about that. The rev continues:

As far as the metaphor goes, it’s hard to respond to that because he [the earlier letter-writer] never really states his problem with it. It was never meant to represent how evolution works, only to point out the absurdity of random chance making a complex machine. That would certainly be an extraordinary claim, which would require extraordinary evidence, as Carl Sagan reminds us.

We’ve never seen a creationist rely on Sagan before, but if anyone actually did propose that “random chance” is responsible for everything, it would be appropriate. But of course, evolution isn’t about random chance suddenly assembling complex machines — or organisms. That is a ghastly metaphor. Mutations occur according to the laws of nature — so they’re entirely understandable, albeit unpredictable, and their preservation isn’t random at all. Here’s more:

Which leads us to the quotes. This is an oft-repeated claim by evolutionists that when they comment on how little evidence there is for evolution it’s taken out of context. Now sometimes they are correct, which we shouldn’t do.

Wow — the rev doesn’t approve of quote-mining. Or does he? Actually, he defends quote mining by saying this:

However, what happens much of the time is that they object to the conclusion that is drawn. In effect they are saying that they recognize the lack of evidence for evolution but you can’t use that to conclude that evolution lacks evidence. If they put the data out there then it’s fair game for anyone to use.

Aaaargh!! Here’s how the rev concludes his letter:

The reality is that nobody in 300 words is able to address topics like these in the manner they deserve, so let’s be gracious with one another.

Okay, dear reader. The rev wants us to be gracious. That’s a lovely thought.

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Ken Ham Rages Against “Secular Religion”

On slow news days, we can usually count on something entertaining from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Ol’ Hambo just posted this on his blog: Religious Symbols Attacked—Unless They’re Secular Ones! Ah yes, those satanic secular symbols. Hambo is furious again. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Secular groups are becoming increasingly aggressive in trying to remove any Christian symbols from the culture in America. They are intolerant of any religion but their own!

Yeah, yeah. That which is secular is — according to ol’ Hambo — an alternative religion. So what’s he complaining about this time? He tells us:

I’ve blogged before about several of these instances when Christian symbols — like nativity scenes or an ark-related display — were removed from public places.

Yes, that’s when we wrote You’re Either For Ken Ham or Against Him. It was about a Bible-themed display in a public park in Delaware. Let’s read on:

One of these secular groups is also behind the recent attacks on Ark Encounter that resulted in the state of Kentucky unlawfully discriminating against us because we are a religious group.

It’s a dirty rotten shame. A creationist theme park isn’t allowed to get millions in tax rebates from the state. Hambo continues:

Well, according to the Christian News Network, a secular group called the American Humanist Association (AHA) is “now raising funds to erect a statue in a courthouse lawn of Clarence Darrow.” Reportedly, this group wants the statue placed on the lawn of the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee — the very courthouse where Clarence Darrow defended evolution in the famous 1925 Scopes trial.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s more:

Groups like the American Humanist Association are known for aggressively campaigning for the removal of any religious — especially Christian — symbol from public places, and yet they apparently want what is basically a secular symbol of evolution and agnosticism placed in a public place. So, according to the AHA, religious symbols are apparently unacceptable — unless they promote their religion!

Let us all bow our heads and pray to Clarence Darrow. One more excerpt:

Why are these groups really so adamant that Christian symbols be removed? Because they know in their hearts that God exists, but they are fighting against Him and suppressing that truth in unrighteousness [scripture reference].

Hambo has more to say, but that’s the guts of it. We suspect that he understands the concept of separation of church and state, but he doesn’t like it — not when it applies to his religion. That’s typical of all theocrats. Sorry, Hambo, but that’s the way it is.

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Thrilling News from the Discovery Institute

This is so amazing that we won’t delay with any introductory blather. At the Discoveroids’ creationist blog we found this: Privileged Species with Geneticist Michael Denton Gets Its Online Premiere; See It Now! Here’s what we’re told, with bold font added by us:

Finally, the stirring and profound documentary with geneticist Michael Denton, Privileged Species, is available to see now, free online.

Michael Denton? He’s a Discoveroid “senior fellow” and the author of the 1985 creationist classic, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. The last time we discussed him was Discoveroids: The Universe is Platonic. Okay, back to the big announcement:

Dr. Denton extends the argument for intelligent design to the ultra-, ultra-fine-tuning of the cosmos for carbon-based life forms like ourselves.

“Ultra-, ultra-fine-tuning”? Ooooooooooooh! [*Curmudgeon is so exhilarated he has to dash away from his computer to change his underwear*] Okay, we’re back. Let’s read on:

You cannot watch these 33 minutes without coming away with the very powerful conclusion that the universe was designed with us very specifically in mind.

The Discoveroids provide a link to Denton’s video, but we’re going to tease you. You’ll have click over to their website to see it. We continue:

The documentary investigates the special properties of carbon, water, and oxygen that make human life and the life of other organisms possible, and it explores some of the unique features of humans that make us a truly privileged species.

The “special properties of carbon, water, and oxygen”? Well, if oxygen atoms didn’t have 8 protons, then there wouldn’t be any H2O. Denton is right! Wowie! Why didn’t anyone tell us about this before? Here’s more:

Dr. Denton himself is currently on a national speaking tour to celebrate the release of the film. Casey Luskin traveled with him in California last week …

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Traveling with Casey must be a special reward for Discoveroid fellows.

We have to stop now, because we’re too excited to go on. If any of you have the courage to view the video, let us know what it says.

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Ken Ham’s Crusade Against the “Nones”

It’s time for another visit with Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

A few months ago we wrote You’re Either For Ken Ham or Against Him, in which we expressed our growing concern for ol’ Hambo. His post today doesn’t ease our worries. It’s titled America Is 21% “None”. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

I often point out in my talks that America has the most Christian bookstores, Christian colleges and universities, Christian radio and TV programs, and the most churches of any nation in the world. I then ask my audience, “Is America becoming more or less Christian everyday?” My audience always replies with “less Christian.” Even with the unprecedented number of Christian resources, America is increasingly becoming less and less Christian with each passing day as the foundation of biblical authority has been replaced with man’s word.

Oh, how horrible. What’s happening to us? Hambo explains that it’s worse than you think:

Sadly, this trend is only increasing. Reportedly, the latest General Social Survey was recently released. Apparently this multimillion-dollar analysis of the American population determined that “since 2012, the U.S. has about 7.5 million more Americans who are no longer active in religion.” Now 21% of the US population is considered a “none.”

This link to the outfit that conducted the survey is the best we could find: General Social Survey: Chronicling Changes in American Society. You’ll have to scroll down about half-way to find a chart with the data. Let’s read some more from Hambo’s reaction:

But those who claim to be “nones” really do have a religion! They have a man-made religion of secularity. They have developed a worldview through which they view and interpret the world.

Jeepers, he’s right. Everything you see, everything you think, everything you do — it’s religion! He continues:

Now, everyone has a religion, but ultimately there really are only two religions: for Christ or against Christ [scripture reference]. There is no neutrality!

Yup — that’s the only way to look at it. You’re either for Hambo’s religion or you’re against it. Here’s more:

Sadly, the number of those who falsely think that they have no religion only keeps growing in America. And it will only keep growing, if the statistics are any sign. But what should Christians do?

All sorts of things have been tried in the past — inquisitions, witch burnings, slaughter of infidels. What does Hambo recommend? He tells us:

Preach the gospel!

Yes — of course! Then Hambo elaborates:

We need to reach out to these nones and this dying culture. Chances are you live beside, work with, or are friends with some of these nones. We need to be bold in sharing the gospel with them and be prepared with solid, biblical answers to the questions that they have about the Christian faith. [Etc., etc.]

So there you are. And while you’re at it, send those wicked nones some tickets to the Creationism Museum. That’s guaranteed to do the job! Or better yet, make a generous contribution to ol’ Hambo. He knows what to do.

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