Hostility toward creationists is par for the course these days. Let me begin by clarifying what a “creationist” really is. This is nothing more than a label slapped on anyone who admits that they believe the Bible as written. How dare anyone believe that the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant in the original language, with a single intended meaning that is determined by the context and the writing style? One becomes a creationist when they admit that the Bible means what it says and they believe it. Of course poetry is poetry, and hyperbole is hyperbole, but that which is written as historical narrative is meant as actual history.
I had been contemplating writing a post about this issue when I read an article from Answers in Genesis today that struck a particular chord with me. The article titled Secularist Intolerance Against Scientific Paper That Briefly Mentions Creator is well worth a read for anyone who might be unaware or confused about the lack of freedom to draw conclusions in any scientific field that do not adhere to the religion of humanistic naturalism. In the case of this scientific paper there was an uproar because the word Creator was used twice (likely accidentally) by foreign scientists who may not have a solid grip on the English language. Even a brief mention of God in the humanist domain receives instant hostility…
To that end, I would like to share a series of emails that I recently received when attempting to contact an individual at another museum about a possible range extension for a species of centipede. This person is a well known expert in their field and has published many scientific papers about the natural history of invertebrates. For the record, I emailed them at their work email, not a private email address. Their response was extremely unprofessional, emotionally charged, and quite obviously meant to be insulting and goading. The hostility that saturates and permeates nearly every sentence really exemplifies what it is like for a creationist such as myself to attempt to work with or even contact these typically dogmatic evolutionists. It can be a challenge to stay professional when dealing with individuals bent on driving all non-humanistic, naturalistic, opinions on origins, and freedom of discussion of such, far from the realm of academia and relegated to a place where it can only be met with ridicule or hatred.
Below is my initial email in blue, followed by their email responses in red and mine in blue….
Hello, I found your information while doing an online search for Scolopendra aztecorum. I was wondering if you had any experience with this species or any contacts for any one working with Chilopoda in MEX. I have a suspected S. aztecorum field collected from rock flipping in , CA and I am having a lot of trouble finding data on the species. I have a paper “Cupul-Magana 2013 Chilopoda de Mexico”, and it lists aztecorum on page 35, but does not give any identification info. I cannot locate the original description from Verhoeff K.W. 1934. I know the paper is Beitrage zur Systematik und Geographie: Zoologische Jahrbücher, Abteilung für Systematik. 66: 1-112., but have not been able to lay hold if it.
My question is, is aztecorum a valid species, and if so has it been reported in the U.S.? The 2013 paper would seem to indicate that the taxa has not been sunk.
The specimen in question is alive and in my care. It differs from the local S. polymorpha by lacking the dark transverse crossbands, having a black head rather than red, and by its overall size being much larger. This specimen is almost exactly 7” in body length.
Also this is not an isolated find, I have found photos of the same species that I have reported on a field herping forum found on a road at night in Imperial County near the Mexican border.
Attached are a few photos of the beast in question in captivity.
One is of it laying a clutch of bright yellow eggs that it then promptly ate.
Thank you for your time,
Assistant Curator/ Museum Administrator [museum phone, address, etc.]
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Wake up sleepy head, you’re living in a dreamworld. [followed by their initials]
Ah, my beliefs aside, I was expecting a little more interest in the specimen.
I can only presume you would distort the information, as creationists do.
Sir, I mean you know [already rattled and misusing a homophone here] disrespect and have no ulterior motives. Although I disagree with many evolutionary interpretations, I agree with many others. I am somewhat used to your reaction to my beliefs when I am dealing with novices in scientific disciplines, but I must say it is out of the ordinary for someone of your stature. I have contacted Jim Berrian of the San Diego Natural History Museum and he is aware of my beliefs, but was very professional and helpful. If it would help you in your research I could possibly provide you with the specimen or field collect another. A range extension is an exciting proposal.
And I mean you no disrespect, as I do not know you. However, I “know creationism” and it is the Big Lie, meant to deceive by distorting the truth. I have been to your museum, and it is shocking in its falsehoods. It is designed to keep the public in ignorance. It is meant to deny the core of what being human means, the ability (and responsibility) to seek the truth. I cannot abide by such treacherous and devious human behavior.
While I deeply disagree with you on every statement that you just made, and truth and honesty are of my core values and the values of Christianity, arguing in this case would likely be counterproductive. Sir, again I do not wish to make enemies or hinder scientific research, my offer still stands for the provision of this species. This may be difficult for you to understand, but I am very much involved in field herpetology and as you can imagine most of my friends and companions in this field are not Christians. Some are devout atheists or agnostics and we still have a good time finding reptiles and amphibians together. I would even be willing to take you to the location that I found this specimen and look for others, but it seems you are probably not interested.
Sorry to waste your time.
I resent your sideways implication that truth and honesty come only out of Christianity, and that creationism has anything to do with Christianity. I am a Christian. Most Christian religions accept evolution. Even the conservative Catholic church embraces evolution — of course, they are blessed to have the Jesuits, who are true intellectuals (some of them are actually great scientists). And no, I am neither Catholic nor do I support the Catholic church — they have their own sickness they are cursed with (though it is probably no more harmful to humanity than is creationism). The point is, belief in evolution is an intellectual matter, not a religious one, and certainly not a Christian one. And what of Buddhism, Hinduism, and all the other myriad religions of the world that accept evolution?? Belief in creationism is a simple choice that an individual makes, and no more; it has nothing to do with the Christianity or religion. It is an intellectual choice, or perhaps I should say a “non-intellectual choice.” It is an expression of willful ignorance. You have made your choice as an individual not to follow the ways of science, scientific investigation, and scientific testing. Instead, you have chosen to follow a leader. And I, a good Christian, have made the choice to believe that the scientific method is the best way to get as close to the truth as possible. I follow a method, not a leader.
By the way, how can you say you believe in “honesty” when your museum’s exhibits are full of ridiculous lies, meant only to deceive the uninformed? One of the most shocking memories I have of your museum is the “fossil car keys” – keys caked with mud alleging to “prove” that fossils are not ancient (after all, cars are not ancient!). Really – do you call that kind of nonsense “honesty.” Frankly, you should be ashamed of yourself “teaching” people with such deceit. [initials]
You are not challenging my honestly, my integrity or my intellect, your objections are not exactly new to me.
Would you like to consider the topic that I originally emailed you about?
If not, have a good life.
You too Nathan. Adios.
Well there you have it. Judge for yourself which one of us was more interested in the advancement of science. And which one was trying to cram their belief system down the other’s throat. Consider my original email which mentions nothing about creation other than my email signature. Consider the topic, the species in question represents a possibly significant (up to 800 mile!) range extension! Normally a proposal of this type would be fascinating to someone who works in this specific field of biology. In my final response and attempt to guide the conversation back to the task at hand, I was so rattled that I couldn’t even spell the word “honesty”. I definitely tried to keep my emotions out of the exchange, but the “expert” made no such attempt. This individual who claims to be a Christian, did not bring Christ or the Bible into their reasoning, and obviously does not hold to Matthew 22:39. I wonder if the museum that employs them condones such repugnant behavior. I did not pursue that question, since it is likely that their supervisors will share their viewpoint. If you hold to a biblical worldview, the humanists who currently have a monopoly on public education and the common products of it, will not tolerate your stance. Science has never been the enemy of Christianity, but those that have a stranglehold on it today are another story.
‘Science … is not so much concerned with truth as it is with consensus. What counts as ‘truth’ is what scientists can agree to count as truth at any particular moment in time … [Scientists] are not really receptive or not really open-minded to any sorts of criticisms or any sorts of claims that actually are attacking some of the established parts of the research (traditional) paradigm — in this case neo-Darwinism — so it is very difficult for people who are pushing claims that contradict the paradigm to get a hearing. They’ll find it difficult to [get] research grants; they’ll find it hard to get their research published; they’ll, in fact, find it very hard.’
Professor Evelleen Richards, Science Historian, University of NSW, Australia, Lateline, 9 October 1998, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
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