email - November 2015

Toying with an Evolutionist

Sometimes it is fun to see how far down the rabbit hole an evolutionist will go.

This email column summarizes 15 emails we received from Manuel. Manuel lives in Peru, and his native language is not English. Occasionally we will quote him directly, mistakes and all; but for the most part we will simply tell you what he said so his grammar mistakes will not be distracting, and unfairly make him appear to be stupid. You have to cut him some slack because he is trying to state his position in a foreign language.

There is no science in any of Manuel’s emails. We repeatedly asked him for examples of scientifically inaccurate statements we have made in our newsletters, but he never gave any. His arguments in favor of evolution are all unscientific. That’s because science is against evolution. He believes in evolution despite the scientific evidence against it. This column documents the irrational, irrelevant, non-scientific arguments he gave us for his belief in evolution.

An Irrelevant Question

The email exchange began when he asked an irrelevant question. He asked if I am the same R. David Pogge who wrote the book Turbo Charge Your Church. 1 I told him that I am.

He responded by saying that it is terribly dishonest of us not to say that prominently on the Science Against Evolution website. I told him that we don’t use Science Against Evolution to promote my personal activities. We don’t use the website to advertise my other book, Ada in Action. That’s why we never say that although the first edition is out of print, it still can be purchased from Amazon.com, 2 and an electronic version of the second edition can be downloaded for free from the Ada Belgium website. 3 And, I never, never, never, would even think of taking advantage of the Science Against Evolution website by mentioning my mildly amusing YouTube video in which I perform “All About That Bass” 4 (guitar, that is)

When I asked him to give examples of Christian bias on our website, he could not give a single example. He just insisted that since I wrote a Christian book, and produce a Christian radio program, that makes Science Against Evolution a Christian organization. I said that I also worked for the Department of Defense, the University of Nebraska, and Cerro Coso Community College—but that doesn’t make those three institutions Christian organizations. That’s when his email took a really bizarre turn. He wrote,

Worked for the Department of Defence, in which party administration, republican? A christian/xristian working for the same Department of "Defence" which disturb(ed) the peace of many growing nations?

Is it true that the Department of Defence isn't a christian organization, really?  Aren't your page free of any christian intention or goal, are the content of your web page neutral of any christian devotional bias, are without christian bias?

The government of that Department of Defence you are talking about isn't nominally a christian organization, but it was Bush who said in his christian spirit that "Gd told him to invade Irak". (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bush-god-told-me-to-invade-iraq-6262644.html) using the same Department of Defence you are talking about in that purpose.

Maybe that is why We can see on the web some reports of some people claiming that they sent to you a response to some of your writings and didn't receive any reply from you about it.

He believes the U.S. Department of Defense is really a tool of the Christian church, spreading Christianity throughout the world, which must be my main motivation for working for the Navy. The fact that I needed a job when I graduated from college, and we were fighting communism in Viet Nam had nothing to do with my employment decision! I really wanted to design weapons which would drop Bible tracts all over Southeast Asia, and I knew that was what the Navy was really doing there.

I decided to bait him some more (even though baiting him isn’t a very Christian thing to do ) by asking, “Why can’t we just examine the Theory of Evolution from a purely, secular, scientific perspective?  Why bring religion into it?” His one-sentence reply was,

Are not religion here, not at all?

I told him the only time we address a religious issue is when someone emails us about it, and we say as little as possible about it as we can. I challenged him, “Do you see any Christian bias on our website?  If so, what specifically?” He replied,

Did you see any christian bias in your christian brother Bush when he took his decision to destroyed many families, did you read his intentions? (Remember, that is a subtle internal phenomenon. That answer you may know better than me, because you know your intention) However I don't see scepticism in your christian-inspired patterns on your part., if so tell me: Why We can found some people claiming that you did reply their letters?

Our regular readers know we are very skeptical, and we strongly encourage our readers to question everything.

Clearly there was no point in trying to convince Manuel that the true mission of the American military is defense of the homeland, and not Christian ministry, so I didn’t even try. Instead, I asked him to clarify his charge that we didn’t respond to someone who wrote to us. He said that in 2006, an anonymous blogger claimed that I did not answer his email. That is most likely true; but I don’t know because I don’t know who that anonymous blogger was. We always respond to serious inquiries, but ignore profanity-laced hate mail from cyber-bullies trying to get us to stop publishing by telling us we are liars and fools. There is no point in writing back an email that says, “We aren’t liars and fools.” We just delete those emails.

That’s probably what happened in 2006; but to make sure, we asked Manuel what charge the anonymous blogger made against our newsletter. If he thinks we made a factual error, we certainly will look into it. Just tell us what the error is.

(Let’s digress for a moment to stress the fact that we rarely get emails questioning any of the facts in our newsletters, and we always address them when we do. Last August, Jim sent us an email questioning the equations in our February, 2001, article about “The Earth Moon System.” 5 He thought he had found an error and sent us his reasoning. We checked his equations, and found where he had misplaced a decimal point. We wrote back to him, and he agreed that it was his mistake, and confirmed our calculations are correct. Since we had not made an error, there was no reason to publish Jim’s email. If we had made an error, we certainly would have publicly corrected it.)

Getting back to Manuel’s charge that we ignored a legitimate criticism, we asked Manuel to tell us specifically what that legitimate criticism was because we don’t know.

Why are you asking me about the claims that he made (to you) to respond you? Who received his email/message? Was It me or you who received it? Or would you respond to me the claims that he sent to you? and would you do that privately?  Is it not irresponsible to do that? If you respond to me, where is he to reply your claims, here? It is very easy to do that in that manner, very easy.

What is the justification now, still trivial emotional ones? If we are speaking about science, that emotional issues are irrelevant.

Manuel does not know what the anonymous blogger claimed was incorrect in one of our articles—but he is sure that blogger’s claim is legitimate. Why? Because Manuel is biased. He has nothing upon which to base his belief that we are trying to cover something up.

We really don’t know what the anonymous blogger said nine years ago. We hate to sound like Hillary Clinton, but we deleted all the irrelevant emails on our server. 7 We are unable to produce the allegedly incriminating email.

(Digressing again, we really wish we had kept all the email received over the past 19 years so that we could do some analysis on it. It seems to me that the ratio of fan mail to hate mail has improved greatly over the past few years—but it is hard to remember exactly how may emails of which kind we received 5, 10, or 15 years ago. But, anecdotally, I can say that it seems like we get less hate mail and more fan mail now than we used to, and we do know for sure that the number of visits to the web page have remained generally constant over the last few years.)

My Pen Name

Since Manuel could not come up with the anonymous blogger’s unsubstantiated claim that we failed to respond to a legitimate criticism, he moved on to a personal attack on my honesty.

You are not using your original name, but a pen name. Why if you are a spokesperson of a supposed scientific work would you use another name than the original one?

He also failed to see the humor in my self-deprecating tongue-in-cheek biography.

In 1971, Do-While Jones received the degree of Bachelor of Science (with distinction) in Electrical Engineering, from a midwestern university better known for its football team than its engineering school. Since graduation he has been employed in the defense industry of a well-known free-world nation. During the course of that employment he was granted a patent for a radar signal processing algorithm.

He began his career in analog circuit design, but shifted to digital circuit design when he discovered it was easier to design digital circuits than analog circuits. Some of the digital circuits he designed were microcomputers, which he programmed in assembly language. He switched to full-time software design when he discovered programming computers was easier than building them. He then transferred to an organization that was planning a large software project because thinking about programming is easier than programming. Then he began lecturing about software engineering in general, and the Ada programming language in particular, because talking is much easier than thinking. He is now retired, doing nothing, because nothing is easier than talking. 7

He knows that Do-While Jones is the pen name of R. David Pogge because it is right there on our web page. How can he say we were hiding that fact when he found it on our website? (Now I feel like Ben Carson! 8)

Whether or not I have used a pen name has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the theory of evolution is true. The theory of evolution should stand or fall on its scientific merits (or lack thereof). But, to people like Manuel, my use of a pen name seems dishonest, and seems important, so it needs to be explained.

When I was employed by the Navy, the Navy encouraged its civilian engineers to publish articles to enhance the prestige of the Navy—but anything I published as a Defense Department employee had to be approved by my branch head, division head, department head, and Technical Information Department, to make sure it did not tarnish the reputation of the Navy. The approval process was so slow I would not have been able to meet the deadlines for my column in the Journal of Pascal, Ada, and Modula-2. Some of what I wrote was critical of the Navy software development process, and certainly never would have been approved for that reason alone.

At the time, I had an after-hours software engineering business. Since “do-while” has a positive connotation in software development, and is unusual as a proper name (and therefore easy to remember) and because Pogge is almost always mispronounced, I used the pen name Do-While Jones. I had a checking account and credit card in the name of Do-While Jones to keep my personal finances separate from my business expenses for tax purposes. Since I wanted to enhance the reputation of my software business, not the reputation of the Navy, I always published software articles as Do-While Jones.

Ada is an obscure computer language used primarily in large-scale mission-critical applications because it facilitates development by a large team of programmers, and prevents many interface mistakes. In 1990, if you had asked someone, “Name five Ada programmers,” most people would not have been able to name a single one. But if you found a computer programmer who actually could name five Ada programmers, three of the five names certainly would have been John Ichbiah, John Barnes, and Do-While Jones. I was an internationally known software celebrity, so posting a serious resume on my web page would have been like Meryl Streep trying to convince people she is a famous actress. Hence the whimsical biography on the website.

Because I write technical articles as Do-While Jones, perform on stage as Death Valley Dave, and produce The Word With Us radio programs as R. David Pogge, you might think I suffer from multiple personality disorder—but that’s not true. I actually enjoy having multiple personalities! My time on Earth is too short to spend it living just one life!

Non-scientific Arguments are Irrelevant

Let’s be careful not to miss the point. The issue is, “Why does Manuel believe in evolution?” It isn’t because of the science, because in 15 emails he never made a single scientific argument for evolution, despite my frequent requests that he do so. He believes in evolution because he hates George Bush and Christians.

You can’t argue with closed-minded people like Manuel—so we usually don’t. Month after month, we just report the most current scientific evidence against evolution so that people with open minds can make an informed decision. Occasionally, it is necessary, however, to point out that the arguments for evolution aren’t scientific.

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Footnotes:

1 Available on-line (for free) at http://krsf.net/tcyc/index.htm.
2 http://www.amazon.com/ADA-Action-Practical-Programming-Examples/dp/0471607088/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1446997889&sr=8-4&keywords=do-while+jones
3 http://people.cs.kuleuven.be/~dirk.craeynest/ada-belgium/aia/contents.html
4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WyRlXmAVoo&feature=youtu.be
5 http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v5i5f.htm
6 At the time of this writing, Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was accused of destroying incriminating emails.
7 http://scienceagainstevolution.info/dwj/index.htm
8 At the time of this writing, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was falsely accused of making up false stories in his biography—but Carson’s stories about his youth were easily proved to be true.