The editors at the News-Gazette are clearly conspiring to give me a coronary, because they published not one, but two, creationist letters to the editor last Friday. I'm not sure which is worse: that fact, or that these two pathetic examples are the best that the local forces of ignorance could muster. You know their arguments are tedious when they've been rehashed so many times they can be referred to by number. Let's take a look at the first, written by Mr. (Ms?) Kerwin Brown of Champaign:
Zielinski should know that theology is the branch of science that deals with God.
Really? That's really odd, because I just checked, and we don't seem to teach a single class on it in any of our science departments. I only missed a few classes, but if they covered transubstantiation in my Physical Chemistry course, it must have been in one of the few classes I missed. Maybe they covered rivers of blood in Environmental Engineering; I didn't take any of those classes. Funny, for theology being a branch of science, we do seem to have a lot of courses in the Religious Studies department.
Intelligent design is just an answer to how some particular events happen. A plausible answer to an event is called a hypothesis.
Well, no. Intelligent design is just repackaged creationism. Kitzmiller vs. Dover proved that pretty much conclusively. That monkeys flew out of my butt is an answer to where monkeys came from, but that doesn't make it a reasonable hypothesis.
A person who backed the hypothesis of intelligent design as regards the beginning of life would propose that someone spontaneously changed the non-living matter into living matter.
Uh, yeah, that's what makes it creationism. This next bit may come as a news flash to Kerwin, but there's no difference between "non-living matter" and "living" matter. Life is not a property of matter like mass or color is.
They would back up their hypothesis by pointing to the fact that DNA requires enzymes in order to reproduce, and it is scientifically impossible for enzymes to get together with DNA by random chance.
- CB010.2. First cells could not come together by chance.
- CB015. DNA needs proteins to form; proteins need DNA.
Seeing as how evolution doesn't suggest things happen by "random chance," this really doesn't have anything to do with his argument.
No theory, including the atheistic/agnostic theory of evolution, can be proven even though it can be tested.
- CA202. Evolution has not been proved.
Since the Catholic Church doesn't have a problem with evolution, someone really tell the Pope that he's an atheist. Does this mean we're going to go back to teaching that the Sun goes around the Earth? After all, if that can't be proven, I guess we have to teach all theories. And lest you think I'm exaggerating, there really are fundamentalist Christians that are modern-day geocentrists.
In schools, they do not mention God when teaching the theory of evolution, which means they are teaching the atheistic theory of evolution.
- CA602. Evolution is atheistic.
Folks, I think we have an entry for the 2008 Dumbest Argument of the Year contest. We may even have such a stupid statement here that no one else need bother to enter. It you don't mention God, you're teaching atheism? So if we don't teach that God wanted the United States to exist are we teaching the atheistic Civil War? If we talk about antibiotics without mentioning Jesus, are we practicing atheistic medicine? Secular is not atheist.