Richard Dawkins David Rice Care of W.W. Norton + Company, Inc. 500 Fifth Avenue New York,

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Richard Dawkins David Rice Care of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 500 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10110 I've read and thoroughly enjoyed your book The Blind Watchmaker. It was GREAT. I wish it were required reading in public schools. It troubles me to know that public schools produce students that are not just less informed than their parents, but MIS-informed by Creationist fools bent on indoctrinating any and all children into their cults via covert (well, not quite so covert in some locations) means. In fact, it makes me DAMN ANGRY. This very day I read over three million bytes on the Evolution / Theistic Anti-Evolution (otherwise known as "Creationism") so-called "debate," and my head is still spinning at the arrogance, lies, deception, deliberate mis-quotes, immoral, unethical, and blindly superstitious ignorance espoused by Creationists. For over three years I've been butting heads against Creationists. To tell the truth, I'm getting real tired of it. An example--- words you will never hear from a Creationist: "Stop me if you've heard this one before." What I mean is, their assertions never change, even when utterly refuted long ago. They may reword them some times, but the baseless claims stay the same. It gets so damn tiresome correcting the same mistakes by Creationists over and over and over again. One must be a Pitt Bull Terrier, jaws firmly clamped into the Creationist's deceptive blathering prattle, just to keep from giving up due to exhaustion. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Six days ago I read an article in FidoNet's A_THEIST message base that had a quote from you and your book The Blind Watchmaker. Since I was reading the book at the time, I looked the quote up, and was NOT surprised to see that the person making the quote had done some highly selective editing, to make it say something utterly different than what you actually wrote. The person who posted the quote is, of course, a Creationist. Doesn't this frost your balls to no end?! She gave the "quote" as follows: "Evolution is the only thing that allows an atheist to be intellectually fulfilled." She then went on to assert that all people who believe evolution is correct MUST be atheists, and other inane and wrong assertions. I very quickly posted what you REALLY WROTE, and now every one knows she misrepresented you. For every lie and deception a Creationist makes, so few are countered because the resources (mostly time) to do so are not available. She also mis-quoted Gould and Eldridge, so you're in good company! I very highly suspect that the ICR is at the root of your being mis-quoted. The ICR is morally and ethically bankrupt. The following is their basic methodology, and it appears to be the only "work" they do (they sure as no-Hell are not doing real scientific research). Quote from scientist: "I am more likely to flap my arms and fly away than I am to beat my wife." Creationist quoting scientist: "I . . . beat my wife." I actually read the following quote from a Creationist: "Science has the serious flaw that it is self-correcting." - Ray Cote Mr. Ray Cote is a few months away from getting a degree in physics. Scary thought, no? This says a lot about the state of education in the United States of [North] America! In another 70 years I expect the US to be a "third-world" country, thanks in part to Creationist's efforts to "dummy up" science classes, and it seems no one gives a shit about how poorly the outlook our future appears. Americans ARE NOT being equipped to compete with the world, and we will no doubt suffer for our ignorance and apathy. But then, I never graduated high school, so who am I to judge? Speaking of quotes, here's a few that I use "against" creationists: "Apes evolved from Creationists." This is my all-time favorite. "WARNING! Evolution may be hazardous to your sense of self- importance." I think Creationism is a peculiar form of arrogance and a bloated sense of self-significance. "Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof." -Ashley Montague The One True explanation for the K/T border: "Some of the more aware dinosaurs were worried about the environmental consequences of an accident with the new Iridium enriched fusion reactor. 'If it goes off, only the cockroaches and mammals will survive...' they said." Some Creationist crap I've contested in various forums (you've no doubt encountered all of these, and more): 01) shrinking sun 02) missing moon dust 03) missing helium in atmosphere 04) decaying "c" (speed of light) 05) confusing abiogenesis with evolution 06) the argument "schools that teach Creationism have higher academic achievement than schools that teach evolution" 07) calling evolution "evilution." 08) Velikovsky and his peculiar delusions 09) "Higher" vs. "lower" life forms 10) "No value to human life" if evolution is true. 11) "Second law proves. . . ." 12) "Theory of Abrupt Appearances" (i.e. "Creationism" without calling it "Creationism." 13) "Evolution supports racism" argument 14) Conspiracy of scientists to hide the truth 15) Polonium Halo (which has been falsified. Want data?) 16) CBS "documentary" [sic] on "Noah's flood." 17) Darwin On Trial "proof" 18) "God the deceiver" theory (known as "last Tuesdayism") 19) "It's only a theory" argument. For the "shrinking sun," the Creationists claim that Sol is shrinking at 1% every 100 years. I ask them to calculate back 10,000 years (the time they believe Sol and Earth were created) and produce a figure for the size of Sol back then--- cumulative (compounding per cents) gives us a much more massive, very hot sun: the Garden of Eden must have been hot as Hell! Concerning Velikovsky, there is a person named Ted Holden who is an arch disciple of his, and he claims that he "proved" that Earth had a "less felt effect of gravity" because it is his contention that Saurapods could not stand in 1G. He believes that Earth orbited Saturn, and that Venus was ejected as a comet out of Jupiter and knocked Earth into its present orbit--- all witnessed by humans at the time! His claims get much more bizarre. He's good for a laugh or two when I'm feeling down. Here's an actual quote from Ted: From: news@fedfil.UUCP (news) Ted Holden. Message-ID: <413@fedfil.UUCP> "The methodology for driving change which Velikovsky postulates is utterly unlike standard evolution theory, hence is not fubar [fucked up beyond all repair--- d.rice] for the same reasons. It explains change which we see in the living record. It doesn't do magical things, as evolutionism attempts to do." I rather like the "Conspiracy of scientists" theory that Creationists enjoy. They fail to understand that a great many (perhaps most?) scientists working with the knowledge that Evolutionary Theory is sound and correct are also theists, and very commonly Christians (in the USA at least). I imagine Creationists view the scientific community as some great cabal which is run by some evil Master Scientist who dictates policy which must be accepted without question. Many people in general think poorly of scientists, which I cannot comprehend. I had a punching fight (with words, not fists) with a Creationist two weekends ago--- I used scientific terms so that I would be very clear and precise in what I said, and he accused me of being a "pseudo-intellectual trying to impress with big words." I think the "biggest" word I used was "Allele" or "genetic drift." This individual claimed to have two degrees, one in engineering and the other in mathematics. Gentry's claim that "Polonium Halos" are somehow "fingerprints of god(s)" (from Dr. Gentry's Creation's Tiny Mystery) has been falsified by John G. Brawley, Jr. Gentry REFUSES to tell people where he got his samples, except in the most general of terms, so Mr. Brawley went out and did his own study which he meticulously documented. He will make his data available to anyone who wants it (including photographs). He demonstrated conclusively that "Polonium Halos" are the results of known processes in Radon-222. In my opinion Gentry either deliberately lied or is wildly incompetent. (Brawley's address: PO Box 224, Eureka, MO, 63025-1134.) The author of Darwin on Trial, Phillip E. Johnson, showed up in usenet's talk.origins newsgroup. He implied that evolutionary theory was a form of racism because it was his contention that evolution is an "Anglo-Saxon" version of a creation myth, and to teach it exclusively is culturalism and imperialism. He posted very large articles stating wild assertions, and refused to address most of the questions put to him. Even though he is a Creationist, he would not answer the question of if he was or not. In fact, the few replies he did make were so vague and free of content, he sounded like a lawyer (which he is). He has no training or education in biology, and yet Creationists consider him an authority on "Darwinism." The "God the deceiver" Creationist theory is one I particularly enjoy. It means that God Jehovah Yahweh actively set out to deceive us by making the universe appear very old, even though it is only a dozen thousand years old at most. "God could have done it, therefore God did." Their "proof" is "God's word" in Genesis! No really! It seems to me this kind of God sounds more Satanic than otherwise. I counter the argument by saying God could have made everything last Tuesday--- prove me wrong! Many "main stream" Christians consider Creationism to be bad theology. They feel that Creationist lunacy pushes people away from Christianity and "Jesus" (though what contemporary Christianity has to do with Jesus I have NO idea ). I have read quite a lot of Creationist "literature" (for lack of a better word, though "propaganda" comes to mind). I have yet to find the Theory of Creation Science. There's a six-volume set called "Creation Science," but the theory isn't in it--- I guess Morris forgot to include it (ran out of room perhaps?). In fact, when I talk to Creationists who call themselves "Creation Scientists," not one of them can tell me their theory--- they all say "Buy these books. They will explain it to you." (I have; they didn't.) "Creation Science" is a money-making business, and has nothing to do with science. (A circus comes to mind.) I've often thought about becoming a "Creation Scientist," because I could use the money, and would enjoy going on lectures across the nation. Problem is, unlike the ICR crowd, I have morals and ethics, and taking money from ignorant fools who would pay to listen to my lies and deceptions is something I could not do. Gish and Morris seem to have no problems with doing so, it appears. Remember Duane Gish claiming that there was a protein study done that said "bullfrogs are closer to humans than chimpanzees?" (July 1983, the Public Broadcasting System.) It took over 8 years of constant hounding by scientists to extract the admission that he didn't have access to the data, and that he took someone else's word for it. He still maintains that his claim is true; now he just says he can't prove it. At the start he promised "I'll send the data to you" and at the end he said "I haven't got the data and no way to get it. Sorry! You'll just have to believe me." Is this supposed to impress his Gods? He refuses to accept evidence that said "study" was more than likely a joke by Berkeley geochronologist Garniss Curtis, which Mr. Gish jumped on like a duck on a Junebug. Concerning Punctuated equilibrium, you provided Creationists with a massive amount of quotes that they may edit, dice, and slice to meet their agenda. One such quote that I will bet Creationists will convert towards their own ends: ". . . Both schools of thought agree that the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation, and both would reject this alternative." Can you imagine what a Creationist could do with this? Why, he or she could turn you into a staunch supporter of Creationism! All that would be required is to edit out the last six words. In fact, I suspect some Creationist somewhere has already done this. By the way, another explanation is that a space ship from Planet X came here and "seeded" Earth--- but this seems to me just as unlikely as the Gods doing it! The "equal time" crap that seems to be flourishing in American public school boards: I demand that The Stork Theory be given equal time with the Copulation Theory for where babies come from. I demand that The Solar Chariot Theory be given equal time with Heliocentric Theory! I demand that The Hungry Dragon Theory be given equal time with orbital mechanics to explain the Lunar Lunation Cycle! (Which MUST include the Goddess Selene, or you'll all go to Hell and society as we know it will become an anarchy full of murderers, sodomites, sheep molesters, and Democrats.) Your book was great.

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