A creationist reveals himself in two comments

The first comment below arrived yesterday at 4:24 p.m., it was an attempted comment—after I got Earl’s second “contribution” below, I didn’t let this one go through—on the post “Evolution denialism from the Left.” The name and link to “Earl’s” site were meant for public viewing. (Have a look at Earl’s two short posts on his site.)

Earl
earlsthoughtsandrants.wordpress.comx

I find information which supports the theory of evolution in almost every internet search result, and then I find contradictory information with a strong scientific backing. How does one go about refuting strong scientific conclusion with unfounded claims of evolution? Please advise.

Now this looks like someone who’s on the fence about evolution and simply looking for information (it’s called JAQ-ing off”, with “JAQ” standing for “Just asking questions”). If I think a query is honest, I try to respond; and I almost answered Earl by referring to my book and to criticisms of creationism by other people.

Then 17 minutes later, the comment below arrived, and Earl’s mask had slipped. This was an attempted comment on the post “More dumb antievolution statements from Jews“:

Earl
earlsthoughtsandrants.wordpress.com

Anti-evolution statements are more than warranted. Evolution is unfounded and goes against anything resembling logic or truth. What is presented as evidence in support of evolution is nothing short of conjecture.

I’ve let the second comment though, and you can find it here. Feel free to educate Earl about evolution if you wish. But be aware that your efforts will be futile. Any person who says “evolution is unfounded” after asserting that he’d found “information which supports evolution” is either completely clueless or, more likely, willfully ignorant.

53 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I ain’t taking the bait.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Earl? As in “My Name Is …” or “Duke of …”?

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      “UhhhEarlgitcha ‘nuther beer if’n y’all stop channel surf’n an’ leave the tv on one of them good ol’ Clint Eastwood westerns.”

  3. d3zd3z
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The linked website has only two “rants”, one about the world ending, and another asserting that being gay is a choice.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      … suggesting a fundamental uncertainty in his own sexual orientation, and a fear of dieing. Fairly typical for the variety.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I must say that Earl has many other problems besides his doubts concerning evolution. He should get off line and seek professional help. Just a piece of advice Earl, it’s not okay to be an ignorant bigot out in public. You are impressing no one.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      At least creationists of the ID(iot) movement like to nit-pick about interesting things like bacterial flagella. Of course the more specific the topic attacked, the more specific the advance for Evolution.😌

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Yeah, Driving down the road yesterday I saw an old lady carrying a big sign that said, Jesus is coming are you ready. Very harmless stuff really, but what does the public actually think about this person. Would you actually want to have a conversation with this person? Explore what she thinks about evolution?

        • Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          No, that would be pointless. Just vote for better schools so that maybe her grandkids can learn something. But change can be. a slow process.

          You might want to stay out of that neighborhood.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            Would have to move out of Wichita. This old lady was right there on Central and Woodlawn.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

            But change can be. a slow process.

            To quote Einstein, or Dirac, or someone of that ilk, change proceeds one funeral at a time.

        • Mike Cracraft
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          That reminds me of the time when someone approached me and said “Have you found Jesus ?”
          I replied: no, I didn’t know he was missing.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          “Jesus is coming are you ready.”

          Sounds like a line from a Mexican porn flick.

          Sorry…

          cr

          • Taz
            Posted December 11, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            Jesus is coming are you ready.

            For the money shot?

          • Posted December 12, 2018 at 5:49 am | Permalink

            The good ol’ “Jesus will reveal himself to you and come inside you” trope.

            -Ryan

  5. Serendipitydawg
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    evidence in support of evolution is nothing short of conjecture

    No Earl, it’s evidence; you meant so-called evidence, bad choice of phrase on your part. Consult the Creationist Phrasebook, widely available in all media.

  6. Pray Hard
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I stopped trying to convince people about evolution long ago. If they can look at a fossil in stone and tell me that God put it there to test their faith, I don’t see much point in continuing.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      + 1. I’ll re-blog this immediately.

  7. Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    He who argues with a fool is a fool.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Thank you, I’m a fool apparently.

      Nevertheless, I got several people up the fence, they’re doubting now whether evolution might be true, coming from an absolute conviction it is false. And one that I know I convinced it is true. (The latter, admittedly already a real fence sitter, actually read some books I advised her to read, WEIT among them.)

      • GBJames
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        More likely, the creationists you pick to argue with aren’t fools, just uninformed.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          Yes, uninformed they are for certain, and religious too, as most Saffies are.

          Often in early stages, I like to point out that one can be a Christian and evolutionist, Miller, Dobzhanski and Collins being helpful examples. However, I never pretend to be a Christian myself, I present myself as an ex-Christian, an apostate, which is true. And I also point out that that happened before I became somewhat knowledgeable about evolution, which is also true.

        • James
          Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          I’ve found that to be true 90% of the time, if not more. There are 2 flavors of Creationists: The ones fooling others, and the ones who are fooled.

          The latter simply don’t know any better–someone they trust told them “This is true”, and they accepted it. We can criticize them for doing so, but we all do it. It’s inevitable; there’s simply too much information for any one person to know everything. Sure, they chose who to trust poorly–but it’s an honest mistake. The trick here is that many don’t care about evolution per say; they believe that any evidence for evolution is an attack against them personally. If the person views it as a matter of faith, you can’t argue with them. But they remain merely misinformed, a symptom of a larger problem.

          The former is the real problem. They know they’re lying through their teeth, and are doing so for power over the dupes. Nothing will convince these people they’re wrong because they simply don’t care.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      As Nicholas’s example shows, it can be very hard to differentiate between the ignorant (uninformed, etc – consult the thesaurus – curable by education) and the idiotic (a mentally transmitted disease with a 100% mortality. Eventually.)
      It does get to feeling like beating your head against a granite wall though. (Bricks are relatively soft and compliant.)

      • Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        One has to discriminate fools from non-fools, and I don’t assume every believer is a fool. I know many who are not. Personally, I do not feel a need to convert anyone to atheism. Seeking converts is what religious folk do. I have no problem with trying to inform someone, but if they do not want to be informed I won’t waste my time.

  8. Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I just googled evolution to see what was there. One of the links on other first page was a picture of Mike Pence with an article saying Mike Pence does not believe in evolution. Earl is not alone. There are a lot of Earl’s and Mike’s our there. Outside the urban areas it gets pretty scary.

  9. rickflick
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I appended a simple reply before seeing this post. ☹️

  10. Bend
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    “Feel free to educate Earl about evolution if you wish. But be aware that your efforts will be futile.”
    Will *probably* be futile. People can change their mind. They do. Not as often as they should, of course, but I’ve seen a fair number of stubborn creationists soften and eventually accept evolution.
    One caveat, however, is that usually the impetus for reevaluating the overwhelming evidence comes from someone with whom they share theological leanings. So if the objective is to get Earl to believe that humans descended from pre-human apes and that all living things on earth share a common ancestor, then it might be better to direct him to the literature of Francis Collins. If the objective is to convince him of the error of his faith entirely…well then, that’s a tougher sell.

    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      I think that Earl is a hopeless case, because persuasion by scientific and logical arguments requires valuing the truth, and he is apparently deceptive.

  11. boggy
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Some anti-vaxers have changed their minds, normally as a result of their children catching measles and having complications, so It is worth trying to convert creationists to evolutionists.

    • GBJames
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure what the equivalent stimulus for an “oh… duh” moment for a creationist would be that is analogous to a parent having to deal with a kid with measles.

      • Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Perhaps the “evolution” of an additional limb. I’m sure that can really shock one into contemplating life.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        How about : having cancer ; getting remission by scientific medicine ; then having the cancer evolve around the drugs used, so recurring.
        This can be demonstrated in individuals, and is fairly likely to get one’s attention even if you’re not the person dieing in pain.

        • Posted December 11, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          That just resulted in the death of my friend and neighbor. The meds were kicking the cancers ass, right up to the point the cancer found a way around it. The next round of meds had no effect.

          Evolution happens, got to take the good with the bad.

          …and little use trying to educate Earl, he thinks he is already edumacated.

  12. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Earl’s website does only have 2 very short posts.
    One about the neighborhood going, end of times, of three sentences, the other about homosexuality being a choice, 2 sentences. Not really any arguments, let alone an elaborate reasoning. Just 2 short, non argued statements, and nothing about evolution.

    Earl, pray, if you’re reading this, care to elucidate us on ‘contrary evidence with strong scientific backing’? I’m not aware of any such thing.

  13. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Every once in a while I get engaged in a debate with one of these sorts. They claim they have looked into it. They did their own ‘research’. Not a good sign.
    Maybe they will figure things out one day, but they pretty much need to do it on their own. Trying to be the one who pursuades them is most likely a fantasy.

  14. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    “and then I find contradictory information with a strong scientific backing. ”

    I think there is plenty of peer reviewed literature with strong scientific “backing” arguing for the phlogiston model to explain scientific observations of nature. And there was a time when evolution by natural selection hadn’t been conceived, likely with “contradictory information”.

    So I’m not sure what that means for … whatever it means something for … and whom.

    • James
      Posted December 12, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      For a long time after Darwin proposed his theory of evolution, scientific theories of Creationism were widely accepted. Darwin lacked a mechanism for evolution, and therefore his theory was incomplete. Folks will say “Creationism lacked one too!” and they’re right–which means that many people legitimately saw the two arguments as being on par with one another.

      When I say “scientific” I mean that literally. Creationists proposed tests of their theories, and ran them. One reason Louis and Clark set out on their famous trip was to determine if allegedly extinct animals still existed in the interior of the North American continent, something that Creationists who didn’t accept the theory of extinction proposed as an explanation for why we don’t see animals that were once around. And the Creationists weren’t wrong–one way organisms escape extinction is to go to new habitats. There were other proposals as well, which were tested in due course as with any other scientific theory.

      It’s difficult for us to appreciate the arguments of that time period. Today the evidence for evolution is, to any honest reviewer, absolutely overwhelming. But back then, scientists were still trying to make sense of the mountains of data we had. And the evidence often appeared contradictory. It’s hard, knowing what we know now, to understand the ignorance and confusion of our intellectual forefathers. We read the past as a story leading up to our current knowledge (I cite every textbook I had on science from first grade through college as evidence!), and that’s the wrong way to read it.

      I’m not excusing Creationists here, though I’ve little doubt some will accuse me of it. In reality, I’m more disgusted with Creationists than most other scientists I’ve me (I’m a paleontologist/geologist, so that’s not a small number). Scientific Creationists of the past were genuine scientists, intellectual giants striving with other intellectual giants and holding their own. Today’s Creationists are a twisted, distorted cartoonish abomination of their intellectual forefathers. Creationists of the past were wrong, but that’s no crime in science; they were wrong in a noble, honest manner. Today’s Creationists don’t rise to the level of being wrong.

      • rickflick
        Posted December 12, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Louis Agassiz was the leading scientist of Darwin’s era and rejected natural selection. Other major scientists, like Asa Gray, supported it. Agassiz never accepted Darwin. He had to protect a career based on creationism.

  15. Historian
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    When peering into the world of loony tunes, it is hard to determine what is more bizarre: not believing in evolution or not believing that humans have landed on the moon.

    Star NBA basketball player Stephen Curry just announced that he does not believe men walked on the moon. Why do seemingly rational people believe this crap?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2018/12/11/stephen-curry-says-us-never-landed-moon-nasa-cries-foul/?utm_term=.6ce01653be89

    • tomh
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, he also believes that his god is responsible for all things. It’s not really worth paying attention to someone’s beliefs outside their field of expertise – in his case basketball.

    • Posted December 11, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I would be more worried about people who do not believe in the
      moon landing. Or believe that O.J. was innocent. Or that the US government started theWorld Trade Center disaster. And believe in other conspiracy theories. Those people worry me.

  16. Geoff Toscano
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I can’t understand why anybody would reject evolution (that’s a way of making a point, because of course I understand!): it’s such a logical and obvious process that once the idea is planted the wonder is that it didn’t occur to people sooner (and yes, I know it had been pondered). This is the problem for people like Earl, who clearly falls into the ignorant fool category. Not only is the evidence for evolution so overwhelming that denial amounts to delusion, but it is self evidently true.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted December 11, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      All you really need to believe in evolution is an appreciation of time. Millions of years. How could any species *not* change, almost out of recognition?

      But of course, time is one of those things that we can’t grasp. A hundred years is a long time, in human terms. A thousand years is difficult to really comprehend. Beyond that, it’s just numbers.

      (I do wonder if, when the precursors to the Bibble were written, four or six thousand years seemed as unimaginably vast to them as 4 billion does to us. One, two, many….)

      cr

      • rickflick
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        The alligator has not changed in millions of years. Take that evolutionist!

        • boggy
          Posted December 12, 2018 at 1:11 am | Permalink

          Two wrongs rick; the alligator was only created about 6,000 years ago and prior to the Fall of Man was only eating vegetable matter.

          • rickflick
            Posted December 12, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            😎 You got me there.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted December 11, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        For this specimen I don’t think any amount of such approaches will make a bit of difference.

        I think this is a case where an ostensibly good skepticism- evidenced by claiming to ask questions- has been poisoned by an extreme prejudice to anti-science in the favorable case, and a pathological skepticism analogous to an immune system that attacks its host.

      • James
        Posted December 12, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        The 6k years thing came from Bishop Usher. Of course being a bishop he took Catholic theology for granted; however, his attempt was not to establish Creationism as a scientific theory, but rather to constrain speculation as to the Earth’s age, which at the time was running wild. There were arguments that the Earth was infinite in age (Uniformitarianism sensu stricto demands such a view, with the Uniformity of State and Uniformity of Rate), and Usher was trying to combat such views. His timeline was an early attempt at rigorously establishing an age of the Earth. Wrong, yes–in theory, content, and approach–but at was a starting point.

        I’m not aware of any attempts to put a scale on the history of the Earth in the bronze age. Anyone familiar with the literature of that time period (translations are widely available) knows that the notion that they couldn’t handle large numbers is absurd; they did it all the time. To give an example: writing developed AFTER the concept of compound interest, and the first uses we’ve discovered were for contract records involving such interest rates. The thing is, they don’t appear to have cared about the age of the world. Ancient religions functioned very differently from modern ones. The question of how long ago the gods butchered one another, then slept with the pieces, then gave birth to the world (my Egyptian theology may be a bit rusty…) simply wasn’t a major question for them. They were more concerned with when to plant the grain, and when the rivers would flood, and if they’d survive the winter/early spring.

        • Posted December 12, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          Aristotle and Plato both give ages to the “cosmos” (ordering, world system). Aristotle says it is eternal (which is correct, but he gets the system disastrously wrong, so it isn’t much of a victory) and Plato, who says that a the motions of the heavens began, so time began a finite time ago. And hence (wrong, but never mind) the cosmos is finite age.

          I’d have to see if any presocratics take a stance on time this way or whether or not Plato is the first.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted December 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Usher was an Anglican. Church of Ireland, to be more specific.

  17. Debbie coplan
    Posted December 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I always feel sad for people that live their one life enraged.
    Did they have one too many disappointments in life?

  18. Lee
    Posted December 13, 2018 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    While we all to some degree filter the information coming in to our heads, the Earls of this world live in particularly narrow misinformation bubbles. I believe (perhaps because hope springs eternal and all that) that there are ways to reach into those bubbles and help people who have no understanding of the relation of truth with evidence learn something.

    I had a recent experience that still amazes me — a friend who staunchly believes in near death experiences and the immortality of the soul, who, after serious correspondence and dinner conversations, is open to the idea that NDEs may in fact not be “intimations of immortality”. I just had to learn the right words to say. I gave it a great deal of thought.

    I believe that learning to reach into the Earl bubbles of the world, to talk to people in a way that is both nonthreatening and comprehensible to them, to help change their worldview for the better, is a task on the level of a manned mission to Mars in difficulty, which must be undertaken if this civilization is to survive into the next millennia.


%d bloggers like this: