Action & Reaction - October 1999

Community Dinner Feedback

Sometimes months go by without any feedback from the community. That’s why we feel it is important to participate in the Community Dinner. Of course, we participate because we want to increase our membership and get our message out; but it is equally as important to have the opportunity to get our visitors’ messages in.

We have just completed our third year of operation. In previous years we have had visitors to our booth who were quizzical, shocked, amazed, or confused. This year, practically everyone knew who we are. They had heard about the Fourth Friday Free Films. They also seemed to know about the newsletter, which isn’t surprising because we sent one to nearly everybody in Ridgecrest. Not as many visitors knew about our web page.

Several visitors volunteered the statement that they believe that natural selection is responsible for minor variations in species, but is not capable of creating entirely new species. They wondered if we believed that too. Just for the record, we do, and have tried to make that very point several times. We devoted an entire essay to it in January of 1997. Maybe it is time to emphasize that point again soon.

Not all our feedback comes from the Community Dinner. We don’t get very much mail, but occasionally we find things in our post office box like this encouraging postcard we received on September 21.

Dear Friends,
I was given a copy of your “Disclosure” newsletter (Vol.2 No. 7, April 1998). We could really use this kind of info now here in Kansas! Please advise how I can subscribe. Thanks & God bless!
Ellen

One can’t help but wonder how it took a year and a half for that issue of Disclosure to make its way to Kansas. It is almost like trying to figure out how a message in a bottle reached its destination. We certainly understand why they need “this kind of info now here in Kansas!” Of course, we told her how she could subscribe!

After sending out approximately 7000 unsolicited newsletters, we got exactly two very negative responses to our direct mail campaign. The first was the angry phone call we got in November of 1997, which we told you about in the December 1997 newsletter.

The second angry response came last August. Someone tried to write “refused” on the newsletter, but apparently the post office does not return bulk mail to the sender. So he (the handwriting looks male--but it isn’t bad enough for him to be a doctor) put the newsletter in an envelope and sent it back to us with a small pink Post-it NoteTM stuck on it. The note said,

I’m sorry, but the notion that “science” is “against” evolution is so antipathic [sic] that I do ask you to remove this address from your lists!

We suspect he meant to say that the notion that science is against evolution is “antithetical”, or maybe “antipathetic”. Perhaps he meant that scientists have emotions, but science itself does not have feelings. We agree that science neither likes nor dislikes evolution, and is neither for nor against anything. It is our position that most scientific evidence is against evolution, but that’s a little bit too long for a non-profit corporation name. Sometimes the price of brevity is confusion.

Of course, if he had bothered to read the newsletter, the cover page would have told him that he had to send $15 to get future issues. There is no need to be taken off the list because he isn’t on it. He either didn’t read the newsletter, or he managed to staple through 12 layers of paper exactly hitting the holes made by our original staple. The probability of him being able to do that is as small as the probability that life arose by chance, so we believe he didn’t even remove our original staple and read the newsletter. It is sad that some people are so closed-minded that they won’t even read an opposing point of view.

Our web page sometimes provokes hate e-mail. This is somewhat strange because we don’t force anyone to read the web page. It isn’t as if it shows up unsolicited in a mailbox. Here is the most recent message we received.

What science is against evolution? You haven't shown me shit. Ooops...on the other hand I believe you have shown me shit. My mistake. Tom B.

This is actually quite encouraging. This kind of emotional reaction generally comes from somebody who subconsciously knows he is wrong. He can’t come up with any logical argument for why he believes in evolution, so he lashes out in frustration. He may not be consciously aware that his belief in evolution is irrational and unscientific, so we asked him some questions to help him realize his situation. We sent him this reply:

Dear Tom,
Perhaps you can enlighten me. How did life originate? What evidence is there that one species can evolve into another species? How old do you think the earth is? What scientific evidence supports your belief? I look forward to hearing your answers.
Sincerely, R. David Pogge

We haven’t received an answer, and we don’t really expect one. ( We did receive an answer later.) But we hope that he will try to discover the answers. If he does, he may be shocked to find out that “facts” he has read in his school books are just baseless assertions. He has a much better chance of discovering the truth than the fellow who sent back the newsletter without even opening it.

The web page also gathers a few very favorable reactions, too. These messages tend to be longer, listing specific ways we have helped them. These e-mail messages often contain requests for advice or information, which we are glad to provide if we can. Here is a typical example:

Subject: Evolutionists and geology...
Date: Sat, 09 Oct 1999 08:47:20 CDT
From: "Bryan"
To: do_while@ridgecrest.ca.us

Your site is great. I've recently been involved in discussion with evolutionists (hordes of them), and find myself extremely outnumbered. But, with resources such as the one you have here, I am able to hold my own a bit. I don't talk about the marvelous things of God with them, because it degenerates their side of the conversation severely (in a way, I am talking about those marvelous things with them). Instead, I've been focussing on pointing out the fact that evolution has some monumental problems to overcome. The main guy that I've been dealing with is [name deleted]. When I backed him into a corner (so to speak), he insisted that I join an all pro-evolutionist group and post messages there instead of directly to him. It is amazing to see that an evolutionist with call upon evolution like it is a force or pressure that has acted throughout time to bring about new adaptations. For example, I read an article where an individual was attempting to show that it was easy for evolution to create the woodpecker from just about any common bird. When a feature of the woodpecker was already present in common birds, the beak for example, he would say that natural selection could account for the woodpeckers long and strong beak. But, where the woodpecker had a feature that wasn't present in other birds, such as the spongy shock absorber between the beak and the skull, he asserted that evolution produced it, seemingly forgetting about natural selection. Anyhow, I'm sure you've come across the same thing too.

I just wanted to write and say thanks for the site. If you ever could use some directed help, let me know. I'm a professional forester (B.S. degree) and currently live in North Carolina. Actually, I used to live in Bishop and other spots in the EHS [Eastern High Sierras], but I had to move away in order to get a permanent job. If I would have known about y'all down in Ridgecrest, my wife and I would have been coming down for the films all the time. Maybe I'll be back that way sometime.

I had a couple of questions for you. I don't know a whole lot about geology, but I'd like to know more. Is there a book around that details all the geologic layers as far as how and where they were discovered, by whom, when, and how they were initially interpreted or assigned dates or relativeness and how they are revised, if ever? I'd really like to get a grip on what the currently accepted geologic column is because it seems to me that it must be the backbone of paleontology and the classification of fossils for evolution, right?

Thanks heaps in advance and God Bless you and your work,

Bryan

The whole series on the dinosaur blood came as the result of someone who wanted more information about a report she had heard. We are working up a response about the geologic column that should appear in a few months. So, keep those questions coming in!

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