Louisiana State Univeristy recently hosted a creationist speaker with some (as always) interesting opinions regarding evolution:
A creationist lecturer drew sharp criticism from a few students Saturday while arguing biblical creationism is more logical than evolution.
Good for those few students! What a ridiculous idea. Creationism is religion with quasi-sciency PJs on and should be criticized accordingly. But hey – I could be wrong. Let’s see what this guy has to say:
Sid Galloway presented his “Evidence — Answers Seminar” at the Chapel on the Campus. His two-hour talk was condensed from a six-hour lecture Galloway gives as part of his “Good Shepherd Initiative.” “The Bible doesn’t teach that faith is a feeling — it is to be rational,” he said. “Don’t believe anything I say today unless you can find evidence for it.”
Whaaaa? I’ve never been religious and I could be wrong, but I always thought faith was believing in something regardless of the evidence. Even if evidence exists that would prove your belief wrong ( i.e. – god is supposed to love and protect you, yet you just got into a car accident, your dog died, you lost your job and you have super cancer) isn’t it that kind of situation when people tend to rely on or invoke faith the most? I mean, if faith entails evidence, what exactly distinguishes faith from informed opinion?
Galloway’s lecture was built around information from Christian scientists, including the inventors of the MRI, the Gene Gun at Cornell University and the TERRA geophysical supercomputer at Los Alamos Labs. Galloway argued scientists who challenge evolution in favor of creationism are often ignored.
…the same way any scientist trying to argue against an established theory using a failed hypothesis as the basis for their argument would be ignored. Regardless of previous accomplishments, the practice of pushing an already disproved scientific hypothesis is patently bad science. Not to mention it’s an annoying waste of time.
This is one of the reasons these kinds of speakers make me so upset. For one – they continually try to insinuate an equivalence between the theory of evolution and creationism which does’t exist. It’s like comparing delicious organic fresh squeezed apple juice to tang. Also, I’m not going to automatically trust information from a scientist that is identified as a Christian scientist any more than I would trust an atheist scientist, a Jewish scientist, or any Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian scientist. Science isn’t supposed to reflect personal religious, philosophical or political positions at all, so what is the point to distinguishing scientists in that way? It suggests bias and bias is bad for science.
“There is a very active persecution of those who stand for a biblical worldview, especially in the worlds of science and academia,” he said.
If by “biblical world view” this guy means creationism, what he’s witnessing or experiencing isn’t active persecution, it’s categorical rejection – creationism isn’t scientifically or academically viable.
The main points that Galloway seemed to rely on to decry evolution consist of an attack on the big bang theory (which has nothing to do with evolution), talking about the irreducible complexity of DNA (a weak argument that is founded on the idea that some stuff is really complicated, therefore god exists) and this:
Finally, Galloway said mutations — the mechanism he argues “drives” the theory of evolution — don’t lead to evolution, but to devolution. “Mutations don’t add,” he argued. “Mutations take away.” Galloway said mutations are slowly eroding humanity’s gene pool, which accounts for the lengthy life-spans of people in the Old Testament.
I am literally shocked by how stupid that last comment is. I am also increasingly angry that people like this get paid to speak at universities while I’m sitting at home, writing a damn blog. Mutations don’t add or take away – they cause change. And mutations are not the single or even the most influential mechanism by which evolution takes place – what about changes brought about by the influence of environmental conditions? What about non-mutative genetic change via inheritance over long periods of time – like genetic drift?
Galloway doesn’t address any of that, instead he takes an interesting (if not somewhat predictable) turn:
After arguing a biblical worldview was more logical, Galloway said an atheistic worldview is potentially dangerous. “It undercuts everything about morality,” he said. Galloway argued that evolution is often used to fuel racism. “If you read [Charles Darwin’s] ‘Descent of Man,’ it’s obscenely racist,” he said. “At the core of Hitler’s belief was evolution.” Galloway, who believes the universe is thousands of years old, not billions, said evolution directly contradicts Christianity, because suffering would have existed in the world long before Adam and Eve bit into forbidden fruit. “They cannot both be in harmony,” he maintained. “They are incompatible.”
Ugh. Wow. So – evolution is atheistic, atheists are amoral, Darwin primarily promoted racism and guided Hitler (Godwinned!), and evolution can’t be true anyway, since it contradicts the Bible – a book which must be true, since God said the bible is the word of God right there in the the bible.
Thankfully the reception wasn’t completely without some challenges and while I don’t condone interrupting the guy, I am happy that some students used the Q&A to challenge Galloway’s ideas:
Galloway’s lecture was interrupted several times by one student protesting his material. “You’re young. You’re passionate. I remember when I was like that,” he said after one interruption. “But please be nice to these other people who are trying to listen.” “I am being nice,” the student fired back. “I’m pointing out that you’re lying.” Galloway answered questions from the audience after his lecture, including students who challenged his arguments. “The Q&A was the most fun, with a number of angry atheistic evolutionists, who became so emotional it was fun maintaining order,” Galloway posted on Facebook. “As I shared during the outbursts, it reminded me of my zoo-keeping days when I had to go out into the wolves’ and hyenas’ enclosure and chase them into the right den with a stick.”
Boy how I love my lectures full of lies and served with a condescending tone toward dissent. Goooooo creationists!