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:: Thursday, November 17, 2005 ::

The DI Didn't Run My Letter Today

::This post is the proper beginning of the Evolution/Young Earth Creationism Correspondence Series::

Never fear, though, since I have managed to provide myself with some entertainment for over break! After writing my letter to the editor, I also wrote an email directly to Eric himself. I did it partly with an eye towards my boredom over break, partly because I've learned a ton since the last time I tried this, and partly because this one's a student who hopefully may yet be saved. He was so gracious to respond, and so I am posting the beginning series of our correspondence here. For those who missed it, Eric's original letter to the editor is online here.

It is my not so sad duty to inform you that the "overwhelming evidence against evolution" you cited in your letter to the editor has already been thoroughly debunked, most of which can be found at the Index to Creationist Claims.

As for your specific arguements:

Methodoligical Naturalism excluding the Supernatural? No problems there:

"Circular Reasoning to Date Fossils?" Nothing could be further from the truth:

Too few supernova? Based on early, incomplete data that excludes other findings from the same astronomical survey.

And that whole Dinosaur Blood thing? A misrepresentation bordering on complete fabrication:

I realize that Dr. Lockeith was being a tool for positing Ayn Rand's philosophies as the cure for all the world's ills, but your lashing out at evolution in response was very poor form. If you want to respond to this and talk further, that's fine, but please take some initiative yourself and make sure your "evidience" hasn't been debunked already. Also, if you respond, I'll post this letter and all further
correspondence between us on my blog for all to see. I already sent in my own letter to the editor in response to yours, but I feel this to be a bit more personal and satisfying.

Senior, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Eric responded with:
Hi [TheSquire],

I don't mind you putting our correspondence on your blog and look forward to emailing back and forth. I wouldn't consider my editorial to be "lashing out" so much as pointing out what I see are the facts against evolution. I'll elaborate on my position when I've had more time to do the research myself, but wanted to notify you of a couple talks you might find interesting. St. John's Lutheran Church (near the corner of Mattis and John) has invited Dr. David Menton to give a series of talks this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The schedule is here:


If you're around, I'm sure Dr. Menton will be more than happy to answer any question you have. I hope to go to his talk Saturday night myself, and bring up the points you've raised, so maybe I'll see you there. Have a good evening.

Eric Landquist
To which I replied

I'm interested to hear your position, but I still highly doubt that any arguement you would make from science hasn't already been debunked somewhere on the TalkOrigins site. Seeing as I view Sola Scriptura, and hence Bilblical Literalism, as heretical, most of your theological arguements will fall flat as well. If you actually have anything that'll make it past those two filters, then I will be greatly impressed.

As for the series of talks by Dr. Menton, I am disinclined to go for a number of reasons. First off, I'll be out of town. My family hasn't seen me since August. Secondly, any of his "facts" are likely as easily blown of the water by poking around the TalkOrigins site as yours were. (In fact, for a bit of fun, I suggest bringing a laptop with a network connection of some sort to his talk and cruise through the Index to Creationist Claims while Dr. Menton makes his points.) Thirdly, if I do have any questions on evolution, I wouldn't go to a religious source anyway. Instead, I'd talk to my professors, who are well-versed in the peer-reviewed literature on the subject. If this Dr. Menton managed to be an anatomy professor without acknowledging the morphological and developmental similarities between humans and, well, every known chordate on the planet, I have every reason to believe that he is eschewing known data to advance another agenda.

Since I'll be absent this weekend, perhaps you could do me a favor. While you're throwing the entire Index to Creationist Claims at Dr. Menton this weekend, perhaps you could see fit to also ask him to "Explain the conservation of the primordial pattern of aortic arches in all chordates, including humans, outside of an evolutionary context." If his answer isn't some extended ramble that boils down to "umm, err, because," then I'd really like to hear about it.

Thank you for responding to me. I hope to hear how Dr. Menton and yourself deals with this.

As you can see, I've already set down a couple ground rules. One is that anything that has been refuted on TalkOrigins will be responded to with a link, nothing more. The second is that anything that relies on Biblical Literalism is out of bounds. I'll give him brownie points if he manages to figure out which denomination I'm a member of from that rule. Hopefully, by focusing on science vs. ID, rather than the specific claims that ID supporters make, this'll go better than the last time.

UPDATE: Eric's responded.

:: The Squire 2:31 AM :: email this post :: ::


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