email - July 2014

June Newsletter Reactions

Last month’s newsletter generated more email than usual.

We received more than the usual fan mail after our last newsletter. Since we no longer accept donations, we really appreciate the verbal encouragement. It shows us that we are not wasting our time.

We also appreciate the tips that readers send us. Readers often alert us to articles about evolution that we might otherwise miss. In particular, we want to acknowledge this email from Neal, which prompted this month’s feature article.

Just came across this "shocking" story: http://www.npr.org/2014/06/26/325246710/a-shocking-fish-tale-surprises-evolutionary-biologistshttp://www.npr.org/2014/06/26/325246710/a-shocking-fish-tale-surprises-evolutionary-biologists

Supposedly evolution came up with same way of producing electricity independently six different times ... but they are all identical.

Just another one of those things that shows that evolution can't possibly be the actual reason for this remarkable coincidence.

The link Neal sent us went to a story on the National Public Radio (NPR) website. Their story referenced an article in the journal Science which we had not read because Neal sent us the email on June 27, and the issue of Science containing the article didn’t arrive in our mailbox until July 2. Clearly, NPR was given an advance copy of the article.

As usual, we chose to review the technical article itself, rather than NPR’s story about the article. Of course, NPR didn’t question the conclusion that evolution caused the same miracle to happen six times; but they did honestly report that this is something that evolutionists did not expect. We do have to give credit to NPR for actually reporting on the article, and not just parroting whatever was in the press release they were given.

Furthermore, NPR recognized that understanding the genetic codes for creating electric organs could lead to the development of an artificial organ that could produce electric current which could be implanted along with a pacemaker, eliminating the need for batteries. Hopefully, Gallant and his associates will give up looking for proof that natural selection caused electric organs to evolve independently, and turn their attention to how to create a biological organ (or mechanical device) that converts blood sugar to electrical energy which could power a small rechargeable battery.

Sam’s Response

Not all of the email we received about our June newsletter was fan mail. Sam was not happy! Here’s what he wrote (in its entirety):

How typical of the creationist to use my email without permission.

How typical of the non-scientist religious fanatic to hide behind his personal website - where no rebuttal is allowed - to try to get the last word.

Have you ever heard of the Dunning-KIruger [sic] effect?

You should look into it.

You really should not have used my email without permission.

Now your whole crappy propaganda site is fair game.

Our response to him was simply,

Our whole site has always been fair game.

Our response to you follows.

Permission

If we had published Sam’s full name, email address, and physical address, it would have been wrong to invade his privacy and embarrass him by publishing his email. By simply calling him “Sam” (which may not even be his real name) we protected his identity, as we always do. Furthermore, Sam’s true identity is not important. We did not try to prove his statements were right (or wrong) based on his educational accomplishments (or lack thereof). We shared portions of Sam’s email simply because he expressed erroneous opinions commonly held by many evolutionists. If Sam’s statements had been unique to him, we would not have bothered to publish them. We published portions of Sam’s email in order to discuss his commonly held incorrect ideas—not to make fun of Sam.

In a free society, one does not need permission to discuss any idea. Sam does not own the rights to the opinions he expressed, especially since he did not originate them. That’s why we don’t copyright the articles on our website. Anyone may freely discuss everything we have written—and we hope they do.

We are aware that statements have occasionally been taken out of context from our website and ridiculed on evolutionists’ websites. That’s fine because it usually results in increased traffic on our website. Readers can see for themselves how the evolutionists have stooped to distorting our statements because they can’t refute them.

It doesn’t matter who thinks it, or why he thinks it—all that matters is what is true. It is important that people are exposed to both sides of the creation/evolution controversy so they can make up their own minds. That’s why some of the sites selected as “Web Site of the Month” are creationists’ websites, and some are evolutionists’ websites. (By the way, when we started publishing that column 18 years ago, “website” was written as two words. We have retained the archaic spelling in the title of the column for continuity.)

No Rebuttal

Sam complained that we allow no rebuttal. It is true that in our last newsletter, we only published part of what Sam wrote. We left out paragraph after paragraph of statements attributed to various people (from whom we doubt Sam received permission). Those paragraphs just contained variations on this same theme:

It may be noted that humans and chimpanzees are more than 98.3% identical in their typical nuclear noncoding DNA and probably more than 99.5% identical in the active coding nucleotide sequences of their functional nuclear genes (Goodman et al., 1989, 1990).

We omitted those portions of his email that were repetitive and irrelevant. We have never disputed that there is tremendous genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees. There is no dispute between creationists and evolutionists that such similarity exists, so there is no point in belaboring what everyone agrees to be true.

The dispute is about what caused the similarity. Is the similarity a result of a common ancestor or a common design? If Sam had tried to make the case that similarity must be the result of common ancestry, we would have shared that with you—but he didn’t.

The Dunning-Kruger effect

Ironically, Sam brought up the Dunning-Kruger effect (even though he did not spell it correctly), presumably because he thinks it applies to me (not himself). According to Wikipedia,

Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill. 1

Instead of pointing out any factual error in either of the articles in the June newsletter (or any other newsletter), he simply made a personal attack.

Of course, in the article about Jellyfish, Kiwis, and Moa, 2 we were merely reporting the conclusions of an article published in a prestigious, peer-reviewed, scientific journal. If there is anything factually wrong in that article, it is the evolutionists who wrote the article (and the review board that approved it for publication) who were wrong, not us.

In the email column, Religion and Probability, 3 we presented reasons why we believe it is possible to distinguish purposeful design from random chance. Applying that criterion to genetic similarity, we believe it shows that the similarity is the result of design, not chance. Sam could have kept the discussion scientific by contesting the validity of our logic. Or, he could have offered an alternate criterion that he believes to be more valid. But, he didn’t; and we doubt that he ever will.

As we said earlier, we shared the parts of Sam’s email that are typical of the emails we get from evolutionists. We have lost count of the number of emails we have received in which evolutionists tell us our website is full of factual errors (usually “too many to list”), but they never respond to our request to point out just one.

To his credit, Sam at least replied—but he failed to answer. He simply copied large sections from scientific journals saying that similar creatures have similar DNA (duh!), and made personal attacks on me and the Bible.

Perhaps the strongest argument against the theory of evolution is that its supporters can’t present good scientific arguments for the theory. They have to resort to personal attacks because science isn’t on their side.

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Footnotes:

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger
2 Disclosure, June 2014, “Jellyfish, Kiwis, and Moa”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v18i9f.htm
3 Disclosure, June 2014, “Religion and Probability”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v18i9e.htm