Let Me Draw Your Attention…

…to this gem I just received about my post on the Dover creationism case:


It doesn’t bother you that the judge went beyond any human capacity to attack the board members, not for their actions, not for their efforts to remove science fiction from the science classroom (that would be a realistic description of Darwinian evolution as it is fictional and not factual), but rather because he stated they were trying to introduce religion into the classroom. The fact is that he could not possibly challenge the facts of the case, the facts of Intelligent Design – yes the SCIENTIFIC FACTS are incontrovertible, but because he knew he could not do this and the scientific community must rely on an environment closed to any scrutiny of Darwinianism, he made the case about religious intent which is a damnable lie.

God help him and you can be sure of this Carl, the reason you cannot see how wrong you are is that the god of this world, Satan, has blinded your eyes to the truth. May God have mercy on your soul.

In Christ,

So, to recap: Intelligent Design is scientific, and anyone who says it is not must be blinded by Satan. Are we clear?

0 thoughts on “Let Me Draw Your Attention…

  1. Mr. Burke,

    “Incontrovertible” is a mighty big word. Wait, I think I heard it once in a Pink Floyd song. Perhaps we should use “The Wall” for vocabulary lessons alongside “The Bible” er, I mean, “ID” for science lessons?

    thusly blinded by the horned one

  2. Where on Earth do such people get their assurance that the facts are on their side? What lame, half-arsed arguments does their faith magnify into slam-dunking “facts”???


  3. This sort of denial’s been an amazingly consistent theme among those disappointed by the Dover verdict. They refuse to believe that Judge Jones could have heard the ID arguments and not found them credible. This is especially true of the post-trial garbage coming out of the Discovery Institute, which keeps claiming that Jones must have ignored evidence to reach his decision. It’s apparently beyond their imagination (which otherwise seems expansive) that Jones could have found their evidence lacking.

  4. I was a biblical literalist, creationist, fundamentalist for about 20 years, and at the risk of sounding like those annoying “it’s a [fill in the blank] thing; you wouldn’t understand”: Unless you’ve actually been a fundamentalist, there is no way of understanding how they view the world, or what it would take to jar them out of that worldview. It frankly defies explanation. Imagine a cosmos-scale conspiracy in which you know the truth, and any evidence against that truth is due to the tricks and wiles of the Evil One, or to your own fallen, depraved ignorance. By now it’s probably a clichéd analogy, but it’s like living in “The Matrix.” That is why (and this might be an unwelcome and controversial thought) it is probably more effective to undermine people’s religious certainty first, then introduce them to sound science, rather than ever expecting that sound science will modulate their religious certainty. Fundamentalists are frankly immune from facts that come from outside their paradigm, but (and I’m a case in point), they are sometimes amenable to critiques from within that paradigm. Pointing out that Genesis contains two incompatible creation stories might have more impact, ultimately, than a comprehensive presentation of hominid evolution.

  5. You know, I thought Christianity taught there was only ONE god, and Satan was kind of his XO. This cat sounds kind of Manichaean to me.

  6. Basically, the first creation account in Genesis 1:1-2:3 has humans being created after animals, while the second account in Genesis 2:4-25 has the humans created first; in the first, man and woman are created simultaneously while in the second man was created before woman.

    Some people find other inconsistencies between the two stories, and Bible critics posit that this literary construction might be an example of the editors of Genesis trying to stitch together two parallel accounts of creation–with mixed success. Apologists find ways to “harmonize” these stories, or make excuses for the contradictions, just as they do with the four Gospel versions of Christ’s resurrection. It takes some pretty strenuous mental gymnastics to find those arguments compelling.

  7. I’m a Christian pastor, and I firmly believe in evolution. I guess that puts me in the minority camp of the faith community. I’ve just concluded that all truth is God’s truth. Why would God encourage his people to avoid some truths in defense of others? It just doesn’t make sense. If anything, I thought it was satan’s passion to obscure the truth. (Maybe that means I’ve been blinded too?!?)

  8. I wonder if this is the same yahoo that thoughtfully sent me a copy of the Jack Chick classic “Big Daddy?” the day after my last letter to the York paper was printed.

  9. I was a literalist for the first 15 years of my life, before I became a deist and later an atheist. I can tell you that when you believe something, you will grasp at any straws in order to justify that belief. “Incontrovertible facts”? Certainly. To a fundamentalist/literalist, because Bibical creation is a priori, said facts must exist, even if they could not name a single one. Besides, their leaders keep referring to them.

    I may be an exception, but generally speaking, science isn’t going to save anyone whose already this deluded; our only hope is that each passing generation is educated better than the last, and we see the crippling effects of religious nonsense marginalized.

  10. Reminds me of when my Four-Square church going neighbor said “Saddam is worse than Hitler”. When I asked for clarification she replied “well, my preacher said it so it must be true.”

    …and people wonder why I dislike the human race.

  11. I think the basic bottom line issue is self conceit and self worth. This is why the fundies flail and pull their hair out while pointing the accusatory “your the servant of the devil” finger at non-believers who question their so called “facts of faith”. As a reformed believer myself, I was “trained” that I am exclusively special to the big guy in the sky, and am above all non-believer satanic low lifes. I am special, I am one of the special chosen people. That’s the hook for people with low self esteem or needing a reason for life. The facts of proven science, and evolution specifically, effectively removes the veil of specialness and self conceited smugness. That’s why these self deluded people will fight this whole flat earth concept tooth and nail, suddenly, they are not special to themselves anymore, and above mere mortals.

  12. Randy wrote

    I guess that puts me in the minority camp of the faith community.

    I’m not at all sure of that, though it might be a close call. Google “The Clergy Project” for counterexamples.


  13. The gem I took away from this letter is “Darwinianism.”

    I’m used to seeing “Darwinism,” of course. It’s the word that, anytime you hear someone use it, it’s a dead giveaway you’re talking to a creationist.

    But “Darwinianism.” Woo. It’s got that extra-venomous edge. Almost sounds like a disease you might catch from De Debbil.

    I’m betting the godders will find it too good to let die, and I look forward to seeing it in future creationist diatribes.

  14. Greg Peterson’s point is very interesting that fundamentalist dogma may best be challenged on its own terms. As he says, the fundamentalist belief in a single, “literal” meaning of the Bible, against which all other readings are “mere” interpretation, is belied from the very first chapters of the first book of the Bible. While this seems obvious, the so-called “creationists” don’t seem to have attended to it very carefully, because once you recognize it, then you have to recognize that there are a range of ways of understanding the words of Genesis, and the rest of the Bible. We can, in fact, interpret the Bible in ways that are consistent with the facts that we observe in the world around us, and with the explanatory theories that science assembles from our observation of the world around us. This does not mean that the Bible has no determinate meaning, but only that we have to use our powers of reason and reflection to understand it, and that we can and should take account of the other sources of knowledge which the Creator described therein evidently chose to make available to us.

  15. Faith sure cuts through the whole fog of confusion, complexity and sorting through complex evidence: Here’s the truth, and anything to the contrary is misleading (probably deliberately so). The trouble is, of course, that anything at all can pass or fail the test and there’s no reason for anyone to take anyone else’s faith as anything but a delusion… I think it might be more helpful to start with simple common-sense ideas about evidence: How do you tell when there are mice in the house? It sure isn’t by ‘faith’!

  16. i like the image of satan gaily dancing around the planet with a giant picnic basket of facts. he’s just tossing them around in the air in his devil-may-care way in order to confuse and confound man and to throw a monkey wrench into god’s plan.

    and children that is why dinosaurs seem to be really really old.

    damn that infernal picnic basket of facts!

  17. As a former fundamentalist myself, it is indeed a tidy self-protecting system that has an explanation for everything. Which, of course, is another way of say it explains nothing. Answered prayer? God done it. Unanswered prayer? It’s God’s will. His ways are higher than our ways, etc.

    Nothing can happen in reality for the fundamentalist that would disconfirm their faith. In other words, their worldview is non-testable. Which, IMO, is as faith should be – EXCEPT when an article of faith makes a claim about an aspect of reality that IS within the realm of testability.

    Anyway, it’s hard to know what would eventually cause a fundamentalist to pursue a seed of doubt, but it does happen. Quite frankly, I don’t recall exactly what it was for me. But, I’m sure it was due to some skeptic putting an evil thought in my head that “bore fruit” later in my life when I was open to the possibility that I (and my parents/siblings) were wrong about biblical literalism.

    Finally, I would highly recommend the book, “The Mind of the Bible Believer.” While I don’t think you can fully appreciate the fundamentalist mindset unless you have been there, this book does help the “outsider” to at least began to grasp the nature of individuals who tend to gravitate towards a fundamentalist/reactionary worldview.

  18. I definitely agree with Greg Peterson’s comment. Faith is unassailable, so fighting it requires a different tactic than simple “the facts show you are a raving idiot.”

    100 judges could decide that the evidence doesn’t add up for ID, and its proponents would still claim that the judges are being biased.

    This happens on the fundamentalist articles of Wikipedia all the time; in my own experience, on the Jehovah’s Witnesses pages.

  19. A couple of things come to mind in reading this comment.

    It helps one to understand how people can be taken in by the Jim Jones/Raelian/Scientology types. (Oops! now I bet Tom Cruise will come jump on my couch).

    It also shows the despiration fundamentalists are experiencing as science pulls down those nice, ignorant fantasy worlds they have inhabited for so long.

    Flat earth, anyone?

  20. It is interesting to note, that if one were to make the assumption that ID is true, then the designer created purposely misleading creations. Since the designer is god, then god is deceitful. The very effort that is supposed to bring morality to the world, proves its god is evil and cause its followers to lie (see testimony of former school board members).

    I wonder where satan’s influence really is at work?

  21. No one wants to destroy anyone’s belief in their religion. In my mind, the real issue is that when people attack the theory of evolution, they are attacking the scientific method and the way in which modern western living has come to be. I think that most people don’t understand that. It seems that some of evolution’s loudest criticts haven’t even read “The Origin of Species”. I feel that the latest attack on evolution (and perhaps all previous ones) are wreckless and thoughtless. If people want to debate the merits of Evolution, they should do so intelligently. At least read the damn book!

  22. It isn’t included in the official discussion, but one of the strongest supports for Christian fundamentalism is the increasingly obvious fact of global warming – a lot of Americans put it right there on page 6 of the Book of Revelations.
    It’s a volatile subject.
    What’s concerning a beleaguered minority of us isn’t the prima facie argument, which evolutionary theory wins hands down, but the corollaries to both sides, that go mainly unspoken, but get confirmed and reconfirmed by the polarization that takes place.
    Moral repugnance at torture or the willing acceptance of it as pragmatic is another debate, though the dividing line isn’t parallel.
    Without some kind of moral alignment there’s no argument at all. Where does that moral alignment come from?
    The danger is that the creationist has become a kind of living straw man.
    Christianity may be a powerful institutional force in America, but Christian values are completely absent from its culture and the policies of its government.
    The devastation of New Orleans may or may not have been the willed act of an irritated deity, but the lived nightmares of its aftermath were the direct result of an atomized moral system. What’s going to replace it?
    Science has nothing to contribute to morality, there are no moral principles in biology or physics, and sociology doesn’t take sides.
    Scientists will say, truthfully, that it’s not the place of science to speak to this, to provide moral principles. Where do they come from then? Mixed with the superstition and mumbo-jumbo of the past? But we’re throwing all that away.
    There could be some big babies in that bathwater.

  23. Rollo, you’re confusing religion with morals. Religions come with moral codes.

    Do you think that those without religion have no morals? I have no religion, yet I believe I am moral.

    Science is not a replacement of religion. It is simply a fairly good method of discovery about the world we inhabit.

    And why must science comment on morality? In fact, science cannot, since morals are subjective. How can you prove that abortion is good, or bad, okay sometimes?

  24. “No one wants to destroy anyone’s belief in their religion.”

    Wrong. I do.

    Wouldn’t you have liked to destroyed the 9-11 highjacker’s belief in their religon before they boarded those planes?

    Wouldn’t you like to destroy Pat Robertson’s belief in his religion before he takes any more money from the sick and the old?

    Wouldn’t you like to destroy my Aunt’s belief in her religion, which kept her from attending her daughter’s wedding?

    Hell, the list is endless.

  25. Icky Chris has a point. I believe in freedom of religion, but only relatively. If your religion is harmful to members or non-members, that’s no good.

    How you would decide what’s harmful and how you would enforce such a policy, I have no idea. 😉

  26. I am always curious about fundamentalists’ aching desire to see their point of view backed by empirical evidence, as opposed to just being faithful. If it were just a matter of believing, why get so exercised about the fossil record and Darwin? When a fundie claims that Genesis is true (I personally avoid the topic with folks that are fundies but it does come up), I can just roll my eyes and change the subject, knowing that they have been misled. I don’t feel my world-view threatened. And yet, fundies are very concerned about explaining away the fossil record, finding geological evidence for the big flood (for a hoot, Google on “creationist geology”), and so on. So, there is a lot more to it than faith. For some reason, just about everyone, even the most dogmatic true believer in the text, wants to be on the side of scientific evidence. That means we win! (eventually)

  27. > If it were just a matter of believing, why get
    > so exercised about the fossil record and Darwin?
    > When a fundie claims that Genesis is true (I
    > personally avoid the topic with folks that are
    > fundies but it does come up), I can just roll my
    > eyes and change the subject, knowing that they
    > have been misled.

    Keep in mind that to the fundamentalist, the BIBLE (not Christ) is EVERYTHING. Some might even argue that liberal and mainstream Christians are more closely following the teachings of Jesus (helping the least among us), while fundamentalists are busy taking money from the poor to prop up their further politicizing of religion; and religion-izing science.

    Of course, it’s a bogus a dichotomy that fundamentalists have erected for themselves — namely that nothing in the Christian religion is worth a damn if its 66-book Protestant version (KJV-only to some) holy book is not TRUE in every aspect (according to the interpretation of denomination X).

    Personally, I’m with Thomas Jefferson on this one. Jefferson edited his own version of the Christian Bible, stripping away the “dung” (his words) from the “pearls” that were worth embracing. Admittedly, Christ wasn’t original in many of his moral teachings. But, like Buddha and other great teachers, there are some nuggets worth acknowledging without having to buy into the myth of an error-free god-breathed book.

  28. I’m tired of this BS that morals come from God. In the bible, God explicitly says, among other things, that slavery, rape, genocide, infanticide are all good, depending on who is the victim.
    God is immoral.

  29. Sorry, last post on this. But after reading Icky’s post again, I can’t help but to think that Pat Robertson would agree with him!
    It’s very obvious in statements like these how the current administration can find the support to take away some of the basic freedoms Americans enjoy.

  30. I call it “mind pollution.” In Transactional Analysis terms, it’s the same sort of contamination of Adult thinking processes by Child memories imposed by Parent authority figures that you see in, well, lots of evils: racial prejudice, sexism, cultural superiority (“Why can’t they learn English? If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me!”), people who KNOW they’ll fail because their parents didn’t believe in them, people who know women (or men) are only thinking about one thing, and so on; or that man in Pakistan who just killed his three small daughters because they’d only grow up to dishonour the family name.

    It might indeed be better to ask creationists about Biblical pronouncements about killing your own children if they are disrespectful or breeding spotted sheep by letting your ewes gaze upon spotted sticks, or the custom of getting substitute children on female slaves (“handmaidens”). Or that bit about working on the sabbath (Saturday, right?). One could try to get them to see that strict Biblical interpretation has already been modified many times. It is clearly wrong to work on the sabbath, so I guess you don’t want fire or police services on the weekend. Or television or radio or sports announcers. The Bible has clearly stated that spontaneous generation occurs, so where does that leave modern medicine? Does a “good Christian” go to a therapist or to someone who will cast out his devils? It’s possible that one of these questions will open the mind for consideration of scientific evidence in evolution.

  31. Jeremy, you missed Icky’s point. He wasn’t saying destroy Islam, he was saying destroy the hijacker’s belief in his religion. Not the same thing.

    Banning/destroying religion won’t take away people’s beliefs that suicide bombing/etc pleases God. Undermining the beliefs themselves is the only solution to putting a stop to such things.

  32. Konrad West said…

    “Icky Chris has a point. I believe in freedom of religion, but only relatively. If your religion is harmful to members or non-members, that’s no good.

    How you would decide what’s harmful and how you would enforce such a policy, I have no idea. 😉 “

    I would (will) decide via the number of news stories a religion generates and I would enforce the policy by medication for the afflicted and education as a preventative.

    Seriously, has the concept of combating fundamentalism and other extremisms via teaching critical thinking in schools ever been considered? Ask the person in charge of the curriculum standards in your education system if informal logic and critical thinking skills are mandatory subjects (or even offered) and you will likely be told that that kind of thing is “probably” dealt with in English Language classes (it is not) or else they will just not respond to your inquire.

    I think that Kevin Trudeau is running the world’s public education systems.

  33. Carl

    I had a back and forth with WBurke [in Christ Bill] on Derek Lowe’s blog , Poor Put-Upon ID. I wasn’t so much interested in debating evo/ID as I was trying to get him and an anonymous to stand still long enough so I could drill down and find a point that was internally inconsistant with these guys. I came close.

    Many ID-types have a great capacity for data and for pattern-recognition. This allows them to debate minutia and ideas at great length, and scientist way too often get sucked right into such debates — you can see this on Derek’s blog. It’s a mistake. In this kind of format, IDers can make abundant sense to the general public. There’s evidence these two actually believe they understand what science is.

    As a writer and student of communication I see trouble brewing, big time. ID is essentially a giant psychomarketing campaign, and the voices of sanity had better get on the same train, which is leaving the station.

  34. the voices of sanity had better get on the same train, which is leaving the station.

    … and will probably be headed for Europe and all points East.

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