More of What We’re up Against

| 149 Comments | 3 TrackBacks

Appearing in this morning’s Greenville News (SC) online opinion section:

The theory of evolution does not and cannot explain so much about the universe that we know. For instance, when and how did water evolve? How does it happen that gravity can hold us to the Earth, and at the same time allow us to step up without any trouble? How did it happen that the Earth is spinning at the exact rate that keeps us from feeling that movement?

This is your brain on creationism. Be afraid.

(Hat tip to Rodney Wilson of SCSE.)

3 TrackBacks

Steve Rueland writes More of What We’re Up Against. Unfortunately Steve fails to assign the proper blame here. What he’s up against is a high school science teacher that failed to teach the letter writer the basic laws of physics. These ... Read More

The South Carolina schools system is in a worse state than I ever expected. Carol Crooks, of Greer SC, opines: The theory of evolution does not and cannot explain so much about the universe that we know. For instance, when... Read More

Some people, when I start ranting about the cr/evo debate, ask me, “Don’t worry, your Hierophant-ness. The situation isn’t that desperate.” An example of just how bad it is can be found in crap like this: The theory of evolu... Read More

149 Comments

Dont be silly water didnt evolve it was created, water comes from rain and the rain is god tears.

Isn’t it amazing that we drive on parkways and park on driveways? Is it colder in the north or in the winter? Evolution is revealed as a failure when such basic questions remain unanswered.

Wow, now that is scary. I understood the poor state of science education in the US but this seems to show how a little ‘knowledge’ can be quite dangerous. So what would ID do to help these poor people understand science?

Is “Icons of Evolution” the answer to their needs? For better of for worse?

Oh, well. At least there’s also a letter in the same section by a mainstream Protestant who sees Christian Exodus for the political extremist movement that it is.

That’s it, I’m convinced. The logic is indisputable.

Something I noticed years back (and I think I’m not the first) is that if I read something that is wrong on some specific points, a counterargument kicks in and I soon have a response, but if read something that is just mind-blowingly wrong on too many levels to enumerate, I freeze up and cannot even figure out where to begin.

Assuming the quoted text is not a parody, this is about the best example ever of that effect. Just to avoid this being a complete cop-out, I’ll try to respond.

Water evolving? Water simply occurs as a repeatable chemical reaction wherever hydrogren and oxygen are present. Hydrogen, consisting of a single proton is the most common element in the universe, and oxygen is also reasonably abundant. Water is the ubiquitous result of chemical laws.

I’m not even sure what the point about gravity allowing us to step up is supposed to mean. The author has identified a “paradox” on the order of: how is it that a bungee cord can let us drop and yet pull us back away from the ground at the same time.

“How did it happen that the Earth is spinning at the exact rate that keeps us from feeling that movement?” Arghghgh! No, this has got to be a joke. And I fell for it and wasted this much time responding to it already. In fact, your inability to feel (approximately) inertial movement has nothing to do with the spin of the earth. It could be spinning at any rate you wanted… ANYWAY AS LONG AS YOU’RE WEARING HEAVY ENOUGH BOOTS AND NEITHER ID NOR EVOLUTION EXPLAINS HOW A THERMOS KNOWS WHETHER TO KEEP YOUR COFFEE HOT OR YOUR JUICE COLD… IT’S GOTTA BE THE WORK OF THE FAIRY FOLK, DON’T YOU THINK?

Explorers must have a hard time walking near the poles if they didn’t have the benefit of centripetal acceleration to precisely counter the otherwise crushing gravity of the Earth.

500 Quatloos to the first person who calculates (in g’s or %g), the centripetal acceleration experienced by a person at the Earth’s equator…

From the same letter:

Now we have an “educated” minister who claims that seminaries have proved that the beginning chapters of the Bible were not written according to the Word of God, but by unknown authors and added to the Bible by some editor. How about the words in John 1:1-4?

There you go. The Bible is the word of God. How do we know? It says so in the Bible.

Now we have an “educated” minister who claims that seminaries have proved that the beginning chapters of the Bible were not written according to the Word of God, but by unknown authors and added to the Bible by some editor.

My guess is it was someone from CNN or the New York Times.

Julie Stahlhut Wrote:

Oh, well. At least there’s also a letter in the same section by a mainstream Protestant who sees Christian Exodus for the political extremist movement that it is.

Yeah, but even that’s a little disquieting. I suspect the letter writer felt the need to explain what’s wrong with Christian Exodus because too many Greenville News readers like the idea.

Christian Exodus? You mean they’re all gonna pack up and leave?

Why is it that these evolutionists are trying so hard to deny that God created the Earth and all that is on it? Now we have an “educated” minister who claims that seminaries have proved that the beginning chapters of the Bible were not written according to the Word of God, but by unknown authors and added to the Bible by some editor. How about the words in John 1:1-4?

Help! We are being attacked by the educated, intelligent segment of our population!

About .003 g’s.

You can donate my Quatloos to PT.

The theory of evolution does not and cannot explain so much about the universe that we know. For instance, when and how did water evolve? How does it happen that gravity can hold us to the Earth, and at the same time allow us to step up without any trouble? How did it happen that the Earth is spinning at the exact rate that keeps us from feeling that movement?

So David Heddle is writing for the Greenville News now?

Too proud to beg, I guess.

500 Quatloos to the first person who calculates (in g’s or %g), the centripetal acceleration experienced by a person at the Earth’s equator

It’s roughly 0.0034 g.

Curses!

The sad thing is that Behe has 10X the science education of whomever wrote this.

AAARRRGGG! The whole second half of my post dissappeared!

I will have to summarize.

The opinion piece that I posted above more accurately represents what we are up against I think. ID Is about religion and not all religious folks look as phycologically twisted and dangerous as the one steve posted.

So what happens is that we think we are dealing with sane people who have simply been brainwashed by a very large cult when in fact, that is not the case at all. We are dealing with highly functional insanity.

So David Heddle is writing for the Greenville News now? Actually the arguments are isomorphic. Heddle says that if the cc wasn’t tuned to it’s present value (whatever that is), if it were instead way bigger, life wouldn’t be possible. Since Heddle doesn’t know the CC to within even say 3 orders of magnitude, let’s say the earth was rotating 1000 times faster. Whoops! We’re all flung into space. No life! and there you have it. The earth’s rotation is so Sensitive, it required an Intelligent Designer. Named Jesus.

The theory of evolution does not and cannot explain so much about the universe that we know. For instance, when and how did water evolve? How does it happen that gravity can hold us to the Earth, and at the same time allow us to step up without any trouble? How did it happen that the Earth is spinning at the exact rate that keeps us from feeling that movement?

What…the…hell?

PvM said: “I understood the poor state of science education in the US but this seems to show how a little ‘knowledge’ can be quite dangerous. So what would ID do to help these poor people understand science?”

A little science is a dangerous thing, combined with pseudoscience it’s fatal.©

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

I’ve interviewed schizophrenics that made more sense than this.

The quoted part reeks of satire to me. Then I read the rest. *sigh* I still vote for satire.

Curses! Simply using angle brackets is apparently enough to fool the software.

That whole article reeks of satire to me.

The theory of evolution does not and cannot explain so much about the universe that we know. For instance, when and how did water evolve? How does it happen that gravity can hold us to the Earth, and at the same time allow us to step up without any trouble? How did it happen that the Earth is spinning at the exact rate that keeps us from feeling that movement?

And more importantly, why is it that sharks haven’t evolved legs and taken over the earth?

So David Heddle is writing for the Greenville News now? Actually the arguments are isomorphic. Heddle says that if the cc wasn’t tuned to it’s present value (whatever that is), if it were instead way bigger, life wouldn’t be possible. Since Heddle doesn’t know the CC to within even say 3 orders of magnitude, let’s say the earth was rotating 1000 times faster. Whoops! We’re all flung into space. No life! and there you have it. The earth’s rotation is so Sensitive, it required an Intelligent Designer. Named Jesus.

Well then, I assume that Jesus paid a personal visit to all of the other 10 billion or so planets in the the observable universe that may harbor some form of life, and he died for their all of their sins, each and every one of them. Busy guy, this Jesus.

I wish that Rapture thing would just hurry up so the rest of the world can get back to sanity.

The theory of evolution does not and cannot explain so much about the universe that we know.

So true…for instance, how do neutrons reproduce, since neither protons nor electrons are attracted to them?

Registered User, there’s no way a shark with legs would take over the earth. It’s survival of the fittest.

“Contrary to what most people say, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It’s a shark riding on an elephant’s back, just trampling and eating everything they see. “ -Jack Handey

Until you understand their perspective, you aren’t fit to debate them.

again, as i said before, it’s clearly yourself that doesn’t understand the perspective.

and again, read the first line.

now ask yourself again, is this REALLY a person expressing wonder at the universe, or is it simply a person who thinks science in the whole is without merit?

how on earth can you call yourself a scientist?

If you want to see how one can express wonder at the universe without expressing contempt and ignorance at the same time, I would refer you to the writings of Carl Sagan, or Rachel Carson.

this isn’t poetry, it’s an attack, pure and simple.

If you want to ignore direct attacks against your claimed profession, go right ahead.

The rest of us who see through this drivel won’t.

But having said all that, you didn’t seem to want to comment on the factual truth of their “poem”. What say you, is it not true that we don’t know how or why hydrogen and oxygen came into existence and that the earth’s frequency of rotation is vital to preventing destructive wobbling? I know it wobbles, you moron, but if the earth’s spin were just a little more or a little less we probably would’t want to live here.

ok, now i see, you’re simply an idiot.

you want to claim that the “poem” represents faith and wonder, and at the same time claim it as “factual truth”??

make up your mind.

as to the “factual” content of your statements about wobbling and spin and the creation of elements…

if the earth wobbled, you would have no physical sense that it does. know why?

as to elements.

starstuff.

your own arguments from incredulity strain my own.

What say you, is it not true that we don’t know how or why hydrogen and oxygen came into existence

Um, no that is not true. We do know how hydrogen and oxygen came into existence.

And Fred Hoyle should have won a Nobel Prize for discovering it.

As a scientist

Let me guess —– an engineer. Right?

Comment #89080

Posted by Glenda on March 25, 2006 01:28 AM (e)

I’m astonished at the stupidity of posts here in response to an Innocent poem penned by an Innocent human being. Did anyone consider that this person is not the least bit interested in science, but instead is interested in the poetry of the workings of our universe? Nothing this person wrote is untrue. This is a poem guys. Grow up and smell the roses. Let’s all try to table our irrational contempt of the faithful for a moment and rewrite the post in plain english [sic]:

The theory of evolution cannot explain everything about the universe. For example, how did hydrogen and oxygen come to be and why can they form water so easily on earth and yet seem so rare everywhere else we look? And how does gravity work so consistently throughout the university that men can walk on the moon with the same motion as on the earth without worying [sic] about sudden changes in Newton’s laws? The earth itself spins at precisely the right frequency needed to prevent undampened oscillations or wobbles that we would easily feel - dizzying undulations - why is this the case?

Granted that the poetry isn’t the best, but that’s all is is. It does take a bit of imagination to think this way - a certain respect for nature and awe at her doings. Apparently none of you have either (imagination or respect, that is).

I’m astonished at your stupidity and grandiosity. Well, no I’m not. There’s no poetry in that woman’s screed. It’s about superstition, hate and ignorance disguised in self-righteousness. Which you support in your idiotic creationist drivel comments and self-righteous indignation.

Great news: God’s wife is pregnant!

Who’s gonna have the baby shower?

Zec 14:17 And it shall be, [that] whoso will not come up of [all] the families of the

earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall

be no rain.

Rev 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun,

and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be

delivered. Her husband said in Jhn 16:21, “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because

her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no

more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”

Rev 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of

iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne.

It’s not over till the fat lady (pregnant wife) sings.,

Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold,

thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon

an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. She said, “If I come back, I’m comin’ as a man. My husband rests every seventh day. He sits on his ass, but woman’s work is never done.” Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might

fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times,

and half a time, from the face of the serpent. (She’s a stay-at-home mom.)

It’s all about family.

Zero

This has got to be intentional, there’s no way anyone could be so stupid.

I mean evolution is about the simplest core scientfic idea there is, how could anyone misunderstand it like THIS!

Comment #89423 Posted by Timothy J Scriven on March 26, 2006 11:59 PM (e)

This has got to be intentional, there’s no way anyone could be so stupid.

Comment #89424 Posted by Timothy J Scriven on March 27, 2006 12:01 AM (e)

I mean evolution is about the simplest core scientfic idea there is, how could anyone misunderstand it like THIS!

Zero

xxxxxxxxxxx

Tim, what is “THIS?”

I’m astonished at the stupidity of posts here in response to an inocent poem penned by an inocent human being.

And I’m sure we’re all astonished by the sheer hypocrisy of statements like this. Unfortunately, it’s not just limited to a few internet boards. N.B. according to your definition, my first sentence above was “poetry,” i.e. expression of awe.

Maybe you should look up “poetry” in a dictionary, and while you’re at it, look up “innocent” and “literal” for spelling purposes, too.

What say you, is it not true that we don’t know how or why hydrogen and oxygen came into existence

No, it’s not true. Someone explained that to you 45 minutes before you posted that (again). Also, every eighth grader I know understands that this is the realm of physics, not biology.

I know it wobbles, you moron, but if the earth’s spin were just a little more or a little less we probably would’t want to live here.

And this is based on…what? The idea that if our days were slightly longer or shorter than ~24 hours there would be no life on our planet? Please explain.

Ignorance comes from an inability (stupidity) or unwillingness (laziness) to acquire knowledge. It’s funny how the stupidest and laziest among us seem to be the most eager to call others “stupid.”

Zero maybe Tim means THIS “this”

THIS is the meaning of life.

should be up your ally ;)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 10, column 2, byte 540 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

btw i was concerned about that NY bill because so many other states are currently flooding their state assemblies or the senate with these IDC bills .….

as far as that specific bill that NY asemblyman IDiot keeps changing the language …and ive noticed that in some of the other state bills as well .….theyre REALLY trying to push this crap thru so that it’s legal and it seems to me that they are trying to spread ALCU (and scientists/educators who are able to testify in these cases) thin

i really wish i could actually do more to fight this superstitious claptrap

“And this is based on…what? The idea that if our days were slightly longer or shorter than ~24 hours there would be no life on our planet? Please explain.”

I second that. The earth didn’t always have a 24 hour rotation interval-it used to be shorter.

btw i was concerned about that NY bill because so many other states are currently flooding their state assemblies or the senate with these IDC bills .….

It’s just grandstanding. The people who introduce these bills KNOW that none of them will pass – most of them won’t even get out of committee. That’s not why they introduce them — they’re just a sop that they can throw to the fundies so they keep those checks and votes coming.

The fundies are just suckers. (shrug)

Kim said in reply to: “And this is based on…what? The idea that if our days were slightly longer or shorter than ~24 hours there would be no life on our planet? Please explain.” I second that. The earth didn’t always have a 24 hour rotation interval-it used to be shorter.

Well THAT would explain where all the EXTRA time came from. No wonder man invented gods, he had all that EXTRA time left over because the days got longer.

Man those fundies, all they need to do is sit down and think for a few minutes and they figure it out all by themselves!

What you have effectively done is created a straw man argument. I have never heard this argument before and I hope to never hear it again. Just because a newspaper prints uneducated comments doesn’t mean that this is the majority viewpoint. In fact, I would be willing to say that they pick the less educated responses just to make the creationists look bad. And guess what? You’re perpetuating the problem.

Hey did you guys know about the whole “evolution of the developing fetus” argument? Wikipedia. For those who don’t know, it says that humans develop a tail and gills in their developing process. It was disproven long ago (although the theory survives today in a much, much more subdued manner, read the article). I keep hearing it from sources that should be more educated: textbooks, movies, etc., even though it’s not regarded as a decent theory anymore. Yep, it’s not just creationists who use old and/or bad arguments.

This is your brain on evolutionism. Be afraid.

No Mark, we’ve never heard about this ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’ stuff. Wow! Thanks for the link! There’s so much we could learn from you!

Steve: from reading this article, I can rightfully assume that there are people who made it through grade school that lack a basic grasp of common sense. I figured a little background information wouldn’t hurt. :-P

What are you trying to prove? Are you trying to say that because of this one ‘creationist’s’ ignorance, that all ‘creationists’ are ignorance? That is fallacious reasoning, something I’ve found the ‘evolution-only’ camp to be quite adept at.

Are you trying to say that because of this one ‘creationist’s’ ignorance, that all ‘creationists’ are ignorance?

no, I think that you’re doing a fine job of that all by yourself.

Why have a bunch of nutters suddenly decided to invade a two-week-old thread . … ?

The only possible comment on statements this insanely foolish and ignoran is “[expletive deleted].”

And these are the people who run Congress and the White House. Boy, that explains a LOT.

Coming soon: “Evolution explains so little. It doesn’t explain why Joanie loves Chaci. It doesn’t explain how those little candies get into the Pez dispenser. It doesn’t explain why my couch makes a creaking noise when I sit on it.”

Wait…I shouldn’t say stuff like that. It has a way of coming true…

It doesn’t explain why Joanie loves Chaci.

mate choice theory, subset of sexual selection, subset of natural selection, subset of evolutionary theory.

works for me.

It would be great if most people here in the US could explain why these questions are naive.

As a former science teacher, I have to say … alas, they couldn’t.

While evolution has nothing to say about water, chemistry and astrophysics have a great deal to say about it. All of which is backed up by careful observation.

It’s great that people have other points of view on how things are. It’s only when they try to impose them on others that there’s a serious problem. We’re now in that, twilight, zone.

If you are so sure God doesn’t exist why have you filled up pages talking about how you know He doesn’t exist? How come you are waisting time trying to persuade people. Why do you live inside of a society instead of do whatever you want. If after this life you believe that’s it, well, you sure are making some dumb choices spending time posting stuff on the Internet.

If you are so sure God doesn’t exist why have you filled up pages talking about how you know He doesn’t exist?

oh? where do you see us talking about how god doesn’t exist? I thought we were talking about scientific theories vs ideology.

How come you are waisting time trying to persuade people.

why did you come here? Who is trying to persuade who again?

Why do you live inside of a society instead of do whatever you want.

what’s the price of eggs in outer mongolia?

If after this life you believe that’s it, well, you sure are making some dumb choices spending time posting stuff on the Internet.

so sayeth the person posting stuff on the internet. did you think you will be able to continue posting nonsense on the internet after your life is over? Otherwise, it must have been a complete waste of time for you to post what you just did, right?

Very funny. I love stupid. Makes me feel right smart.

Most people familiar with religious debates will have certainly come across Pascal’s Wager at some point or another. The general formation of this is as follows:

God exists or does not exist, and you can wager for or against this belief. This gives you four possibilities:

1. God exists, and you believed. 2. God exists, and you did not believe. 3. God does not exist, and you believed. 4. God does not exist, and you did not believe.

The pay offs for this wager after you die are as follows:

1. Infinite (ie, you go to heaven) 2. Negatively Infinite (ie, you go to hell) 3. Nothing (no afterlife). 4. Nothing (no afterlife).

It is generally assumed that the pay offs before you die are insignificant either way. Thus we end up with the following total pay offs:

God: Some infinite value. Disbelief: Some negative infinite value.

Therefore, the argument follows, that you should believe, because in that case you have a shot at an infinite payoff in heaven, whereas if you don’t believe, you get nothing or a spell in hell.

This is all well and dandy. But having demonstrated that Pastafarianism is a religion, we need to introduce this additional complication into the scenario, which I shall call Pasta’s Wager.

1. God exists, and you believed in God. 2. God exists, and you believed in the FSM. 3. God exists, and you did not believe. 4. FSM exists, and you believed in God. 5. FSM exists, and you believed in the FSM. 6. FSM exists, and you did not believe. 7. Neither God or FSM exists, and you believed in God. 8. Neither God or FSM exists, and you believed in the FSM 9. Neither God or FSM exists, and you did not believe.

In order to calculate the pay offs, we need to understand what some of the tenets of Pastafarianism are regarding belief and disbelief:

1. The FSM’s Heaven is way better than your gods - because it features a beer volcano and stripper factory. 2. Every Friday is a religious holiday. 3. The FSM takes care of and loves all his creations, not just his followers - so everyone goes to heaven. 4. Flimsy moral standards.

This helps us work out the pay off for when you die:

1. Infinite value (you go to God’s heaven) 2. Negatively infinite value (you go to God’s hell) or infinite value (God lets you into heaven as you believed in a deity and merely got the details wrong) - thus averaging nothing 3. Negatively infinite value (you go to God’s hell) 4. A finite value (you go to FSM heaven but get annoyed about the stripper factory and beer volcano because of your strict moral standards, thus not an infinite pay off) 5. An infinite value plus a finite value (you go to FSM heaven and enjoy the beer and strippers too) 6. An infinite value plus a finite value (you go to FSM heaven and enjoy the beer and strippers too) 7. Nothing 8. Nothing 9. Nothing

As we can plainly see, the pay off for believing in the FSM is the same as the pay off for believing in God. It should also be nothed that the pay off for disbelief improves in Pasta’s Wager too:

God: A single infinite value plus some finite value FSM: A single infinite value plus some finite value Disbelief: Some finite value

Therefore to decide between the two best results, we need a tiebreaker of some sort. This is the pay off before death.

1. You believe in God - difficult moral standards to meet, few religious holidays. 2. You believe in the FSM - easy moral standards to meet, plus every Friday as a religious holiday. 3. You do not believe - whatever moral standards you decide upon (usually humanism), plus no religious holidays at all.

So what is the pay off for these? It seems obvious to me that the followers of the FSM get the best payoff in the Wager prior to death, and just as good a payoff as the believers in God afterwards.

Therefore, Pasta’s Wager suggests that you should believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster - not only is the pay off in the wager better, but the beliefs themselves aren’t as silly as those in other religions, and you get to talk like a pirate too :-D

http://www.pure-virtual.org/ian/Per[…]ef7b561d58d5

So there

The thing that makes me the most crazy about what the original letter writer wrote is this bit at the end:

I find it much easier to believe that Genesis tells us the truth of the creation when we know from God’s own Word that nothing is impossible for him to do.

Circular Reasoning: see Reasoning, circular. The bible says that god wrote the bible, therefore god wrote the bible because the bible says that god wrote the bible.

Do these morons honestly not see the ridiculousness of this argument?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve Reuland published on March 22, 2006 11:28 AM.

Schism Emerges in New Intelligent Design Theory was the previous entry in this blog.

DI book rebutting Kitzmiller decision is the next entry in this blog.

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