8. Mr. X Comes Back for More

 

                                                                    May 27, 2006

Mr. X,

 

On May 8, 2006, I received another hand-delivered letter from you in response to my last communication.  In what follows, selected statements from your letter are presented in bold type.  My comments on those statements follow in regular type. 

 

Before you start, please consider this:  Only a person who knows everything and has never been wrong or God Himself can make this statement:  “In other words, if I am wrong, then all of science is wrong.” [quoted from me from my previous response]

 

My statement was made in the context of a discussion we were having about which approach is more reliable for discerning the truth - faith (your approach) or reliance on logic and observable evidence (my approach).  What I said was:

 

If I am right, it most certainly does make a difference.  If I am right, that means that it is possible to use our senses and logic to gain insight and propose useful explanations about how the world operates.  In other words, if I am wrong, then all of science is wrong. 

 

Indeed, if I am wrong and we cannot rely on our senses and logic to provide meaningful explanations about phenomena that occur in the world around us, then all of science is wrong as well.  It is wrong because that is what science gives us – meaningful explanations based on logic and reliable evidence gleaned through our senses.  There would be no science as we know it if all we had to rely on was faith – belief in that which one wishes to be true rather than on acceptance of that which is backed up by hard evidence.  Faith and superstition ruled the Dark Ages.  How many major scientific achievements can you name that came out of that dismal period of self-imposed ignorance?

 

But your militant stand has made you blind to errors proposed by evolutionists, which you never address.   

 

You owe me the replacement cost of a new irony meter.  That statement just blew my old one to smithereens.  Throughout our communications I have made a concerted effort to address a great many of the erroneous claims made by your fellow creationists. Due to the shear volume of the misinformation they peddle, I have not wasted my time dealing with all of them.  I don’t have time to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, every time you present me with yet another example of creationist twaddle.  Virtually all of these erroneous claims have already been thoroughly rebutted – many of them repeatedly.  For a compilation of these critiques, see the Index to Creationist Claims at http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html.  Nonetheless, I have prepared rather detailed rebuttals to various sections of “The Evolution Cruncher” and “Other Evidence Against Evolution – Book Three”, both of which, you informed me, presented damaging evidence against evolution. (See here and here.)  If you had bothered to read my responses, you would know that all Vance Ferrell  (the author of those articles) has accomplished in publishing his pseudoscientific piffle is to reveal his profound ignorance of science in general and evolutionary theory in particular.

 

You claim that I have failed to address “errors proposed by evolutionists.”  At the same time you inform me that you did not read my rebuttal to “Other Evidence Against Evolution – Book Three” (which I sent you on a floppy disk) because you did not have a means of reading floppies.  How can you honestly accuse me of not addressing the issues if you do not bother to read the material I send you in which I address the issues?  Most of Ferrell’s articles deal with, what he falsely considers to be, “errors proposed by evolutionists.”  By rebutting his arguments, I am addressing those very issues that you accuse me of neglecting.  May I remind you that the public library (the big building on Division Street with all the books in it) makes computers available to the public free of charge.  You can either play the disk on one of their machines or read the rebuttal on my website (home.nctv.com/jackjan/index.htm ).  It is included in the section entitled, “A Frank Dialogue with Mr. X.”   But please do not blame me for your own lassitude.

 

Although you returned the aforementioned floppy to me, I am once again including it with this letter.  Obviously I cannot force you to read it.  (As the saying goes, “You can lead a creationist to evidence but you can’t make them confront it.”)   However, to maintain what vestige of credibility you have remaining, I suggest that you refrain from accusing me of dereliction of duty until you have at least met your obligation of reading my responses. 

 

You have not addressed any of my technical rebuttals to the creationist literature you have delivered to me – nor have you dealt with any of the points raised in my Challenge to Young-Earth Creationists which is available on my website.  Why is it my responsibility to wade through the creationist codswallop you foist on me, but you are absolved of any responsibility to address the issues that I raise in response?  Like most creationists, you seem to think that drowning your opponents in a steady stream of pro-creation effluvia, while ignoring any rebuttals those opponents might offer in response, constitutes an acceptable defense of your position.  That’s why creationism is not science.  It is not science because it shrugs off or misconstrues any objections that are raised against it – something that is not permitted by the scientific method.  If you will recall, I told you that I would not play this one-sided game with you anymore until you make a concerted effort to deal with the topics discussed in my Challenge.  That condition still stands. 

 

Creationists are fond of accusing “evolutionists” of taking a “militant stand” against creationism, as if that is a bad thing.  Considering what a mockery creationism makes of the scientific process, somebody needs to take such a stand.  As far as being “blind to errors” is concerned, nobody can be any more myopic than one whose thought processes are influenced by religious fundamentalism.

 

The only reason I put in evolutionist was to make a point of how a belief in the theory does not make one a better citizen of his country.

 

Really?  I got the impression that you singled out “evolutionists” because you thought they vastly outnumbered creationists and you could blame most of society’s ills on them.  After all, you did say:

 

“…the majority of Americans are evolutionists and must outnumber the believers in the literal 6 day[sic] Creation of the world, (what would you say Jack, perhaps 20 to 1?)”

 

You then went on to recite various problems with society (alcoholism, teen pregnancy, indebtedness, etc.) and attributed them specifically to “evolutionists.”  Now that you have learned that “evolutionists” are not in the majority, you are forced to back peddle.  Sorry, but I am not willing to let you wriggle out of the hole you excavated for yourself that easily.    

 

Regardless of your motives, your basic premise is wrong.  Acceptance of evolution does make one a better, more scientifically informed, citizen of this country.  The theory of evolution rests at the foundation of the biological sciences.  The theory is endorsed by every reputable scientific organization in the world.  Rejection of the theory of evolution entails rejection or misapplication of many other critical lines of scientific evidence (e.g., radiometric dating, genetic inheritance, biogeographical distribution of species, geologic interactions, cosmological time scales, embryological development, fossil deposition, drug and pesticide resistance, etc.).  A citizenry that is misinformed about such things will be at a disadvantage in making appropriate choices that will enable them to prosper in this increasingly more technologically oriented day and age.   

 

If you want to know what life would be like if people were generally ignorant of scientific topics such as those listed above, check out the conditions during the Christian Dark Ages.  One gets the impression that it is a time to which most creationists long to return.  Mainstream science must do all it can to see that their wish is not fulfilled.

 

…I was taught evolution in the Catholic school I attended.  Of what use was that “knowledge”?  Totally worthless, and a waste of time.  And you have proven this to me.

 

What you have proven to me is that it is an emotional commitment to your religion that plays the predominant role in your renouncement of evolution.  (Not to mention the  contribution from your not-so-well-disguised anti-Catholic prejudices.) That being the case, it is doubtful that any amount of evidence in favor of evolution, no matter how convincing, could win your acceptance because your rejection of the theory has very little to do with the evidence, pro or con.  It is obvious from comments you have made on the subject that you have only a meager understanding of the scientific evidence that supports evolution and you are satisfied to keep it that way.  The fact that evolution is rejected by your church is enough to turn you against it.  Rather than spending the time and effort to determine if there is any scientific validity to those anti-evolution articles you have given me, you are perfectly content to accept, on faith, that they are factual.  And when I show that Ferrell is a shameless mountebank and that his articles are rife with errors and falsehoods, you ignore my comments and pretend they don’t exist.  Religious belief can have positive benefits, but when it extinguishes critical thought, it is much worse than a waste of time.

 

In college I took a course in advanced engineering mathematics.  Have I ever used those mathematic techniques in any practical applications at any time in my life?  No.  Do I consider the course to have been totally worthless and a waste of time?  Of course not.  Learning novel and complex concepts exercises the mind, expands its capabilities, and helps stave off brain disorders that come with aging.  In addition, learning those concepts helped me to appreciate the kinds of problems engineers must deal with and to familiarize myself with some of the mathematic tools they utilize to solve those problems.  You seem to be of the opinion that if a subject isn’t of interest to you, it shouldn’t be taught.  Assuming you do not use calculus in any of your various endeavors, do you think it should not be taught as part of high school math instruction because some students, like you, would consider it to be totally worthless and a waste of time?             

 

Is it really a waste of time to learn about basic biological concepts like evolution – even if one does not personally apply that knowledge on a regular basis?    What if that knowledge helps one understand how drug and pesticide resistance occurs?  What if it helps one understand why species are distributed about the earth the way they are?  What if it helps explain the steps in embryological development, factors involved in genetic diseases, factors involved in the mutation of disease causing organisms, or the causes of biodiversity?  Speaking more generally, why is it a waste of time to learn, simply for the sake of learning? 

 

You say “science has guided me since a child.”  However, all the subjects you discuss in that regard have to do with physical processes, i.e., crystal radios, aerodynamics, combustion, hydrodynamics, metallurgy, etc.  There is another aspect of the sciences about which you appear to have had very little interest – biology.  Believe it or not, there is more to life than machines and many scientists are attracted to the study of things that actually live and breathe – thank goodness.  They are the ones who are responsible for advances in such areas as crop development, disease prevention, health care, genetic analysis, animal husbandry, and environmental preservation. 

 

I am sorry that you consider your instruction in evolution to have been a waste of time.  Considering your apparent preference for the physical sciences, it is not entirely unexpected.  Nonetheless, I am thankful for the biological scientists who do not share your narrow perspective.  They are the ones who help provide us with the abundant sources of food and advanced health care capabilities that have lead to the steady increase in longevity in this country.  And they are the ones who recognize the value of evolutionary processes and put their knowledge about them to practical use.

 

(Incidentally, reading Popular Science and Popular Mechanics, as you do, does not make a person authoritative or even necessarily well versed on the technical details of scientific subjects.  It normally requires many years of college-level studies and research to become an expert in a scientific discipline.  While it is commendable that you read these magazines, I hope you are not of the opinion that doing so qualifies you as some kind of science whiz kid.)      

 

Your error is in that you believe evolution is science, a proven thing, and you always associate them together.

 

First let me clarify that science does not deal with “proven” things.  A scientific theory is the current best explanation for a natural phenomenon that is consistent with the available evidence.  Scientific theories are not etched in stone.  They are subject to rejection or modification in light of new evidence.  If you want proofs, you will have to restrict your investigations to mathematics and logic.

 

(Start of satirical comments.)  How silly of me to “believe evolution is science.”  Just because it is endorsed by every reputable scientific organization in the world is no reason to think it is a viable scientific theory.  Just because it is accepted and taught by every major university science department on earth is no reason to think it is a viable scientific theory.  Just because it is accepted by more than 99% of earth and life scientists in this country is no reason to think it is a viable scientific theory.  (See http://home.nctv.com/jackjan/item25.htm .)  Just because there are science libraries throughout the world brimming with evidence in its favor is no reason to consider it as science.  Of course not.  Instead, I should rely on public opinion polls taken in a religion-brainwashed society that consists primarily of people who have only a rudimentary understanding of science and on the babblings of incompetent ultracrepidarians like Ferrell.  I’m indebted to you for straightening me out on that matter.  (End of satirical comments.)

 

I associate evolution with science, for the same reason you associate the resurrection with Christianity.

 

If this is true “Nonetheless, in the bigger scheme of things, a wider acceptance of evolution (and other scientific concepts in general) by the U.S. population could have beneficial ramifications.” [quoted from me from my previous response] how come in all these pages you sent me there was not one “beneficial” ramification shown?

 

Here was my chalenge[sic] that you never addressed.  The chalenge[sic] for you is to tell me how believing in evolution can help me to help my country and those around me better than I am doing or have done.

 

Au contraire.  I most certainly did point out potential beneficial ramifications.  Since they appear to have escaped your astute powers of observation, let me repeat part of my response for you.  First, with regard to the question of how your acceptance of evolution might influence you personally -

 

Stated succinctly, young-earth creationism (YECism) is anti-science, pure and simple.  YECism not only runs counter to the basic tenets of the biological sciences.  It stands in stark disagreement with other branches of science as well; including geology, physics, and, astronomy – the accumulated findings from all of which show conclusively that the earth is some 4.5 billion years old.  One cannot be a believer in YECism and, at the same time, be an advocate for quality science.  You wonder how it could help your fellow citizens if you were to see the light and accept reality of evolution.  Well, you might become one more voice in the growing chorus of concerned citizens who are calling for improvements in the way science is presently taught in this country.  Instead of badmouthing evolutionary biologists and their work as you do now, you might encourage some young person to pursue a career in that discipline. Who knows, that person might even someday discover a method for curing cancer or viral infections using their knowledge of evolutionary processes.  Perhaps, if you were to become an adherent of the theory of evolution, you would speak out against the YECs when they threaten to further hinder science instruction through their attempts to introduce their pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo into the science classroom.  Maybe you would become a staunch advocate for increasing science teacher’s salaries so as to attract more qualified personnel into science education.  The possibilities are endless.

 

Second, with regard to acceptance “other scientific concepts in general” by the general public –

 

Regardless what effect the acceptance of evolution might have on your relationships with others, it is critical that something must be done about improving the quality of science education in this country.  Emerging countries like China and India place a much higher premium on science than we do in this country.  Unlike the situation in the U.S., they do not consider belief in anti-science dogma (like creationism) to be a virtue.  They recognize that, in this increasingly more scientifically and technologically oriented world, a well-educated work force and science literacy are the keys to their future economic prosperity.  As a consequence, they are rapidly increasing the number of graduate level scientists and engineers.  In this country, those who diligently study the sciences are often ridiculed as being intellectual snobs and nerds.  (Those who pursue careers in evolution-related fields are sometimes even accused of being in league with the Devil.)  When they take their jobs, they normally receive salaries that are inferior to those for other professions such as law and business administration.  In China and India scientists and engineers are respected as vital contributors to the future success of the nation, and they are compensated accordingly.  In those countries, scientists are often admired as popular role models for children.  In our country, it is predominantly air-headed pop stars like Brittney Spears and Michael Jackson who fill this role. If we do not get our act together and improve science education in this country soon, the developing countries will eventually come to dominate us in the fields of science and technology.  If you think it is hard to find a “Made in the U.S.A.” label on merchandise now, just wait until the Asians surpass us in scientific and technological expertise.  While I have nothing against learning a new language, I am not real keen on the prospect that it will become a requirement for future generations of Americans to speak Chinese so they can converse with those in control.

 

For my complete response to this topic, see about a quarter of the way down the page at http://home.nctv.com/jackjan/item39.htm .

 

…perhaps you could tell me how “Evolution” has helped you yourself as I have shown science has helped me.  But in fact you sidestepped the challenge entirely.

 

I reread your previous letter and do not see where you posed this challenge to me.  Could you please provide a copy of the sentence where you specifically asked me to tell you how “Evolution” has helped me myself?  In the meantime, let me address your elusive challenge.

 

When I was in graduate school, I conducted enzymatic studies using rats that revealed a novel pathway for activation of a human carcinogen.  Because of the evolutionary relationship between rats and humans, it was reasonable to assume that specific enzymatic pathways that existed in one species would also be operative in the other – which, no surprise, turned out to be the case.  If creationism were true, there would be no reason to expect identical metabolic pathways in these two species.  If rats and humans were independently created, they could have metabolized the carcinogen in completely different ways.  It is this principle of common evolutionary heritage that makes it reasonable to use other animal species to study biological phenomena that, in most cases, are also applicable to humans.  Many of the advances in health care have been derived from such studies.

 

In addition to this personal hands-on experience, I also benefit (as do you) from the influence that the theory of evolution has had on a variety of scientific areas of research.  (See the attached Claim CA215 for some examples and see http://evonet.sdsc.edu/evoscisociety/eb_meeting_societal_needs.htm for a more extensive list of contributions in the areas of human health, agriculture and renewable resources, natural products, environmental management and conservation, and analysis of human diversity.)  Many of these applications have lead to improvements in the quality and quantity of our food supply and have contributed to significant advances in medicine.  Just because you and your creationist cronies refuse to acknowledge the value of the theory does not mean that it is “totally worthless and a waste of time.”  It is fortunate that there are others who do not share your self-imposed ignorance on this issue.  By the way, what scientific advances can you name that have resulted from research programs stemming from so-called creation science?    

 

My study of evolution has provided me with a logical, evidence-based explanation for how I (and the rest of the world’s biota) came to exist.  Previously, all I had to go on was the guesswork of pre-scientific Bronze Age goat herders.  Some people prefer comfortable guesswork to theories that are corroborated by science libraries full of evidence.  I am not one of those people.  My knowledge of evolution has helped me expose the duplicity and ineptitude of the science-bashing purveyors of the myth of creationism on my website.  As far as I am concerned, that is one the most worthwhile benefits of all.

 

You should have told me how believing in plate tectonics or atomic theory could make my life better.        

 

This statement was made in response to my statement: “Your question refers specifically to evolution.  You could just as well ask the same question about “believing in” plate tectonics or atomic theory.”

 

The point I was trying to make is that, just because you do not have an interest in such things as plate tectonics, atomic theory, or evolution, does not mean that these areas of scientific study do not benefit you in some way.  Plate tectonics, for example, explains and helps predict the occurrence of earthquakes and tsunamis.  And atomic theory can be put to use for the generation of electricity and for the application of nuclear medicine.  Whether you personally “believe in” such things is independent of the fact that you may benefit from them.

 

If you want to disbelieve in such things, that is certainly your prerogative.  Just be appreciative of the fact that others do “believe in” them. 

 

And what does this [the Chart “Education Makes a Difference”] have to do with evolution? 

 

You are the one who was insinuating that “evolutionists” were in a less favorable financial position than were creationists.  I was simply showing the direct correlation between education level and income.  Since “evolutionists” are, in general, better educated than creationists (See "Education and Evolution" chart about halfway down the page here.), this chart shows that they would also be expected to be better off financially than the creationists.  The chart was included to show why you were wrong in insinuating “evolutionists” were in a financially inferior situation.  If you are having trouble understanding this rather straightforward relationship, it is no wonder you are having difficulty grasping the intricacies of the theory of evolution. 

 

Is this chart to insinuate I am not educated?  Or to not believe in the evolution theory is to be uneducated?    

 

Anyone who is not familiar with the basic evidence in support of evolution cannot be said to be properly educated in this day and age.  And anyone who, in spite of his/her exposure to that evidence, continues to ignore it and cling to the myth of creationism has wasted a valuable opportunity to be properly informed about this aspect of the biological sciences.  A more straightforward answer to your question that takes into consideration what it means to be well educated in the 21st century is yes.  (Lest you accuse me of impugning your intelligence, let me hasten to add that being intelligent is not the same thing as being educated.  Intelligent people are uneducated about a lot of things.  Few would downplay Albert Einstein’s intelligence, but it is likely he was not well informed about such subjects as crocheting, timber cruising, or bee keeping.  Intelligence refers to the capacity to learn and apply knowledge.  Education pertains to the act of acquiring and assimilating information.  Intelligent individuals may be uneducated about various subjects for a number of reasons.  They may have lacked access to pertinent information, they may have been disinterested in the subject, or, like creationists, they may reflexively ignore or reject any information that threatens their worldview.)    

 

You may be impressed with some of the charts and “facts” you sent me but I am not.

 

That’s not surprising.  Creationists are rarely impressed by any hard data or factual evidence that contradicts their worldview.  On the other hand, any hearsay, anecdote, testimonial, falsehood, or far-fetched scenario that can be twisted to make it appear to support their beliefs never fails to impress them greatly.  Hence the creationist motto: “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

 

When I say evolutionist I clearly defined them as people who do not believe in the 6 day literal creation period.  The Gallup poll asked an entirely different question.

 

 The poll reported that more than half of all Americans agreed with the statement, “God created man exactly how the Bible describes it.”  The last I checked, the Bible described creation as a literal six-day event.  If more than half the people believe it happened exactly how the Bible describes it, then they must believe in the literal six-day creation, which includes the creation all the other living things.  Sorry, but your apologetics do not change the fact that your original supposition that the majority of Americans are “evolutionists” was wrong.

 

The writer of the artical[sic] is obviously an Evo. because he (or she) speaks of “preponderance of scientific evidence,” and rejects the p.o.s.e. of creation, which of course pleases you, but is (excuse me here) Bull Crap to me.

 

You’re excused for your use of colorful language.  But you are not excused for repeatedly claiming to have an abundance of evidence in support of creationism and then failing to produce any of it.  All of the pro-creation material that you have brought to my attention does not contain an iota of evidence that has not been thoroughly refuted, trashed, and discredited (much of it numerous times) by mainstream science.

 

If you ever find your way to that big building with all the books in it and access one of their computers, go to my website and read my Challenge.  Then explain to me how, considered in their entirety, all those observations make a more convincing scientific argument for the literal, biblical, 6-day, young-earth, creation scenario than they do for the theory of evolution.  If you can do that, I will eat your hat full of Bull Crap.  I wonder just how firm you are in your conviction that there is a preponderance of scientific evidence in support of creationism.  If you are unable to meet my Challenge, will you agree to dine on your fair share of Bull Crap as well?  Would you like a side of fries?

 

…I have proven how real science is useful (in my life), The challenge still stands for you to prove to me how The Theory of Evolution which you imply is “useful’” really is in your life.         

 

See above.

 

In the winter when I have more time I will deal with the booze and bible issue.

 

In the meantime, follow the advice of Eccles. 9:7 but try to keep your consumption of wine to no more than a glass or two a day.  Everything in moderation you know.

 

 

The following comments are made in response to my viewing of the DVD by Dr. Walter Veith , “From Evolutionist to Creationist, ‘My Most Difficult Journey’”, that you included with your letter. 

 

You should enjoy this, as this guy is a real scientist, and taught evolution.

 

Sorry, but people who are functioning as real scientists do not casually attribute feces flying around the room to the action of demonic forces.  Nor do they claim to have witnessed a live exorcism of their demon-possessed child.  When someone like Dr. Veith starts making uncritical claims about such things as disembodied heavy breathing, animated walking canes, dishes spontaneously flying through the air, mysteriously rocking cars, witchcraft, Satan possession, etc. they lose all credibility, scientific or otherwise.  The good doctor is an engaging storyteller, but that is all that he is doing – telling entertaining stories, many aspects of which are uncorroborated and of dubious veracity.  It is clear from his easy acceptance of the bizarre occurrences listed above that he has a serious problem distinguishing between reality and fantasy.  (Perhaps those raps on his head from the nuns that he claims to have sustained as a child eventually lead to impairment of his mental faculties.)  A blurb on the jacket of the DVD speaks of Dr. Veith’s “miracle conversion story.”  The miracle is that he can get anyone to take him seriously.

 

When watching this I was wishing I could be sitting with you at the same time.

 

Why, do you enjoy seeing people laugh hysterically at creationists who make asses out of themselves?  Actually, I see Dr. Veith as a man who is to be pitied.  If he really believes half of the nonsense he talked about, he would be in need serious psychiatric counseling.  Dr. Veith’s self-proclaimed conversion to creationism is a classic example of the deleterious effect that religious indoctrination can have on one’s ability to objectively evaluate evidence that threatens their faith-based beliefs.  Critical thinking (i.e., scientific thinking) is the first casualty of religious indoctrination.   

 

Dr. Veith did not elaborate to any great extent during his presentation on the specific technical issues that lead him to renounce evolution.  Since this DVD dealt primarily with the supposed “miraculous” events that contributed to Dr. Veith’s conversion from evolutionist to creationist, it was not possible to evaluate the quality of his scientific arguments against evolution.  However, a review of one of his articles, “The Genesis Conflict: Putting the Pieces Together” does critique some of these arguments from the scientific standpoint.  (See http://packham.n4m.org/veith.htm )  The following is a quote from that review:

 

I am not a scientist, but I am educated sufficiently and trained in evaluating arguments to judge the validity of Veith's evidence when compared with conflicting evidence.   I have checked in the scientific literature available on the Internet and in my own reference works many of Veith's claims about the scientific evidence.   I have not taken the time to check them all, but every single one I have been able to check has turned out to be demonstrably wrong.   Some of his arguments are illogical.   Some of his facts are wrong.   And he fails to deal with many facts that demonstrate how he is wrong. 

 

Emphasis mine.

 

As this review shows, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Veith’s arguments are “totally worthless and a waste of time.”  Mr. X, when is it finally going to dawn on you that there aren’t any valid scientific arguments against the theory of evolution or for creationism?  And when will it finally sink in that, no matter how many anti-evolution articles, tracts, screeds, videos, testimonials, etc. you dredge up, in the final analysis they are all going to be exposed for what they are (to borrow your nomenclature) – pure, unadulterated Bull Crap? 

 

So-called creation scientists have been struggling desperately for over a century to dream up even one anti-evolution argument that can stand up to scientific scrutiny.  Their failure rate in that wild goose chase is a resounding100%.  Nonetheless, they continue to beat their dead horse, blinded by faith from seeing the futility of their efforts. It is disconcerting to contemplate all the wasted resources that are being expended on this profligate endeavor when there are so many serious problems now confronting mankind that could benefit from their attention.  With the very future of mankind at stake, the time for religious windmill jousting is fast drawing to a close.  

 

Incidentally, Dr. Veith is no longer affiliated with the University of Western Cape, South Africa.  In 2000, the university called in two psychologists to deal with problems he was having in the zoology department. (You don’t suppose it had anything to do with his teaching creationism do you?)  As a result of that investigation, Dr. Veith was transferred to another department and was absolved of his former teaching duties in the zoology department.  It appears he retired from teaching altogether in 2004.  Furthermore, his training seems to have been primarily in the area of nutrition rather than zoology, in contrast to what he insinuated in the DVD.  (See the attached, “More Crap from AIG” for more information on his questionable academic career and a critique of another one of his sophomoric arguments against evolution.)

 

 It seems that Dr. Veith’s discussion of his career on the DVD leaves out some pertinent details.  One wonders what other relevant details he has omitted or, more importantly, what details he has fabricated in spinning his fanciful yarn.  It is reasonable to speculate, for example, that his claims about demon-powered poop sailing about the room fall in the latter category.  Mercifully, he did not share his recollection of what happened when it hit the fan.

 

Freethoughtfully,

 

 Jack DeBaun

 

P.S. – I have honored your request not to reproduce your last two letters in their entirety on my website.  However, I have taken selected statements from them, commented on those statements, and posted that exchange on my website in the section entitled, “ A Frank Dialogue with Mr. X.”  I have not used your surname nor have I included any sensitive personal information about you in those exchanges. This letter, after removal of your name, will be included in that section.  The same was done with my previous letter to you.  

 

Please understand that the purpose of my website is to promote good science and to expose the fallacy of creationism.  Your statements exemplify many of the arguments creationists commonly regurgitate in opposition to evolution.  They are, therefore, fair game as far as I am concerned.  Also understand that any future correspondence you send me will be handled in the same manner.

 

In previous correspondence, I have attached a hard copy of all the articles I have referenced because of your convenient inability to access them on the Web.  I now realize that this practice is a waste of ink and paper, since you appear not to have conscientiously read any of them.  I have included copies of a couple of short articles with this correspondence, but this is the last time I will do so.  Since I have a self-serving motive in corresponding with you (see below), all my references in these exchanges will henceforth be in the form of hyperlinks to the Web.  If you want to read them, you will have to use the computers at the library or elsewhere.   

 

Finally, I hope you are not laboring under the misconception that I have been responding to your submissions to me because I have taken a personal interest in winning you over to the acceptance of the theory of evolution.  In dealing with other hardcore creationists, I am fully aware that nothing, short of God personally endorsing The Origin Of Species, has a chance in hell of convincing you of the validity of the theory.  (And even God’s endorsement would most likely be considered a trick perpetrated by Satan.)  To put it bluntly, I am shamelessly exploiting your comments and the pro-creation literature you have given me to further demonstrate, on my website, why “creation science” is the ultimate oxymoron.  My responses are not meant to influence your thinking on the subject. They are intended to educate those whose minds have not yet been calcified by religious dogmatism.   Thanks for your contributions thus far.

 

Return to A Frank Dialogue with Mr. X