Sunday, July 27, 2008

The third yokel's the charm

I had enough fun poking fun at the first two creationist yokels that wrote in to the News-Gazette, I thought I'd wrap up by looking at the letter from the third. This one is by Dan Yagow of Champaign:

Can a Christian accept evolution as fact? Can we believe human existence evolved from lower forms of life? Many say it is possible, but I see conflict. If a Christian accepts evolution, then what purpose or credibility does the Bible serve us?

One thing that's interesting about this line of "argument" is that it focuses entirely on human evolution. But evolution isn't just about how H. sapiens arose, it's about every species on the planet, from the towering dinosaurs to the bacteria that live all around us. They're every bit as evolved as we are. In the creationist mind, humans are special, dammit. We're not one of those dirty monkeys!

Notice the argument implicit in his last statement: if evolution is true, then the Bible is of no use. But that's not really an argument, is it? It's like saying that if the Earth isn't the center of the universe, then we're not special in the eyes of God, therefore the Earth is fixed in space and everything revolves around it.

A Christian follows Christ, claiming him to be holy and one with God the Creator... [snip irrelevant Bible quotes] If we embrace evolution, it's impossible to give God the credit he deserves. We would diminish his awesome power and exchange it for a faith in man's accomplishments.

Again, note the same implicit assumption as before. If evolution is true, my faith will be challenged, therefore evolution isn't true.

Why would evolution being true require awesome faith in man's accomplishments? It seems to me that if evolution were true, the credit belongs to all the billions of critters worldwide that crawled around in the muck and slime and dirt, from Tiktaalik to Archaeopteryx.

We would say that man's interpretation of how life originated makes more sense than the infallible intelligence of God. To claim that man evolved from lower forms of life does not fit with God's inerrant words.

In other words, "If it contradicts my interpretation of the Bible, it must not be true." A better excuse for intentional ignorance has never been spoken.

Consider this. There has been no scientific experiment that has successfully produced living cells from an arrangement of molecules evolution suggests.

Consider this. You haven't a freaking clue what you're talking about. Evolution doesn't say that a random arrangement of molecules got together to make a cell. Evolution isn't about the dawn of life. Even if God said "poof" and suddenly there was life on a barren Earth, evolution still could have caused that life to grow and develop into what we are now.

The odds of it happening are remote. To believe that it can be done and that it occurred by accident over millions of years without any intelligence behind it would require immense faith.

Now wait a minute. We just went from "it couldn't happen" to "it couldn't happen without any intelligence behind it." So God-driven evolution is possible? Somehow I don't think that's what Mr. Yagow is saying.

Again, we see that there's nothing new under the sun when it comes to creationist claims. Maybe evolution isn't true; otherwise, we'd expect to see their arguments (ahem) evolve to more persuasive forms.


Anonymous said...

Now that my home delivery of the N-G has finally started (only three phone calls and a little over a month from when it was supposed to start) I get to enjoy all of these letters first-hand before I move on to doing the crossword.

My personal favorite was the letter on Saturday (?) from some putz in Farmer City saying that it was name-calling when (his, obviously) a minister, whom wrote a letter condemning the eeeevul homos, was referred to as a bigot. To top it off, he asked for good proof against the minister's arguments.

My eyes just about rolled out of my head. First of all, if you act like a bigot and talk like a bigot, well, you know. On top of that, any "proof" he'd listen to would have to come from that toe-smashingly large book he (and his minister) obviously worship. That's not proof, son, it's ancient myth.

Why that type worry so much about who's kissing whom is beyond me.

I'm thinking that if the archaeology thing doesn't work out, I should become one of the N-G's resident crazy letter writers. There are more around here than in the Kank!

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leowwaaa said...

Having grown up in a small town listening to the rants of a Catholic priest who called Darwin a heretic, I was very much surprised to grow up, go to college and read about John Paul II speaking about how evolution does not have to run counter to religious faith. Why does it have to be one or the other? I find it very difficult to watch some of my colleagues say that they don't beleive in evolution yet in almost the same breath they can talk about the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Evolution is happening around us as we speak, if you just open your eyes and watch. Science is a study of how the world works, based on observation and testing things out. In an ideal sense, a scientist is like a child, watching his surroundings and learning from paying attention. The vehement creationists focus on why the world works, yet turns a blind eye to it. Is it not sad that in proclaiming faith God's creation, they fail to see it?

Narc said...

Wave hello to my sister everyone! *wave*

Anonymous said...

Hi Narc's sister!

I should've known that you were one of us fallen Catholics, Narc.