Darwin Was Wrong, Part 5: The Big Revelation
[This is the latest installment of my experience at the Darwin Was Wrong lie-fest put on by Logos Research Associates and held at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa (which is actually in Santa Ana—they can’t even get their own location right!). You can start from the beginning of this story in Part 1, or you can jump to the first speaker in Part 4. If you’re filled with self-loathing, you can punish yourself by watching the videos of this conference at the Logos website.
Yes, this whole story will be relayed over many installments. The reason I went was to study these people in their native habitat. My findings need to be documented in depth.]
I see that Logos just updated their website today. They added a two-sentence synopsis of each person’s talk. Here’s how they describe Baumgardner’s:
Arguably, Charles Darwin advanced the cause of atheism more than anyone in history. Ironically, even as the world celebrates the “Year of Darwin”, science is debunking every aspect of Darwin’s hypothesis.
If you’re going to lie, lie big! “[S]cience is debunking every aspect of Darwin’s hypothesis[!]”
That’s what’s great about living in a fantasy world. You can wave your hands and all of your problems go away. Evolution: *Poof!* It’s gone. Atheists: *Poof!* They’re gone. The Establishment Clause: *Poof!* It’s gone.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, evolution is stronger than ever, there are more atheists than ever, and the Separation Clause… Umm… It’s actually looking a little faint. Damn!! Their magic really does work! Quick! Somebody nominate some Supreme Court justices!
Biggles! Put Her in the Comfy Chair!
As Baumgarder was finishing his talk, I glanced around the church. I have to say that this place is actually pretty nice. It has a spacious, wide-open feel to it. It’s a nice wide building with nice wide aisles and nice wide seats for all the nice wide people (They were no fatter than typical Americans, but no thinner either.). The plush theater-style seats and the carpeting on the floor absorb sound, so there isn’t any of that echoey sound you get in old-style churches. I wish we had seats like this in my old church. My recollection was that we had hard, wooden pews. If we’d had cush seats like this back when I was going to church… well I still would have hated going to church, but it would have at least been a little less uncomfortable.
In fact, these seats they have here are so plush that it would be very easy to get too comfortable. And then, the next thing you know…
Wait! That’s not me! I turned around. The guy sitting two rows behind was slouched back in his seat, head tilted back, and snoring softly.
I guess I won’t have to ask him for his opinion when this is all over.
Short Break Between Speakers
Baumgardner finished his indoctrination of the crowd, then left the stage. I’ve already survived a third of tonight’s program! Woohoo! I might be able to get through the whole ordeal. Just as long as I don’t have to hear those God-awful* singers ag—
Oh, Jesus Freakin’ Christ! The singers are back!
Apparently I can look forward to hearing them between each of the featured speakers. I might not be able to make it after all.
*(And just how awful is something that can be described as “God-awful”? Well, just read the Old Testament!)
I tried to tune out the singers as best I could, and I continued to look around the church. Demographically, I saw a somewhat diverse group. There were lots of white folks, of course, but I also saw a bunch of hispanics. My recollection is that I saw some Asians, too, but I don’t remember how many. I couldn’t see any black people, though.
Maybe 10% of the crowd was kids, which was a relief. I was afraid there would be a lot more of them. The kids here on Friday night tended to be younger, perhaps 12 and under. On Saturday, maybe 15–20% of the crowd was kids, and many of them were teenagers. I suspect most of those were from the attached Christian high school.
Looking at the adults in the room, they spanned the whole range of ages. If I had to peg the age distribution, I’d say that the group skewed a little old. Maybe I’m being optimistic, but this could explain what I was about to hear.
After the first song, some guy from Logos came onto the stage and told everybody that lies don’t come cheap. This was a very expensive conference to put on. (My notes don’t record him actually using the word “lie”. I’m sure that’s an oversight on my part. He must have told people these were lies, because if he didn’t, he’d be lying!)
Let’s stop a moment and contemplate just what these creationists are trying to accomplish here. The entire conference is devoted to bashing Darwin. They’re doing a major assault on every front: Geology, fossils, complexity of life, inheritance, natural selection, tree of life, origin of man, etc. Just about everything Darwin wrote is being shredded by fundie tooth and claw. To anybody in the audience without much scientific background (and that’s probably most), Darwin is left completely and thoroughly discredited. Everything he promoted is in tatters.
For what purpose? How does refuting evolution advance their cause? Let’s say you watched this train wreck on the internet and came away “doubting Darwin”. Does that automatically turn you into a faithful, church-going God-bot? For most of my readers, the answer is no. God does not win by default.
So why do they bother to do this?
It’s because you aren’t the intended audience! Yes, they’ll stick their junkyard-into-747 or 2nd-law-of-thermodynamics pamphlet under your windshield wiper, but if you convert, that’s just collateral damage. You weren’t who they were after.
The Big Revelation
The guy who was standing on stage and asking for money said this:
70% – 80% of Christian youth who go to college leave the faith.
Reread that quote. Stare at it. Absorb it. Enjoy it!
They’re hemorrhaging followers! And not just any followers; they’re losing them young! These are the people they need to keep the racket going in perpetuity. They see them slip away, and they’re feeling helpless.
That is who they’re targeting, not just with this conference, but with much of the other anti-evolution propaganda that all creationists produce in abundance.
That’s because if you can convince somebody who already believes in God that evolution is bunk, then that person automatically returns to the faith.
God really does win by default.
Logos-guy tells us to please give generously.
With your $50 contribution, you’ll get this lovely Logos Research Associates tote bag. (OK, OK! I made up that last sentence. I just had a flashback to too much PBS. I wonder if Logos ever did try giving out “thank you” gifts? It probably wouldn’t work. I think only liberals are attracted to tote bags.)
He tells us that they want to send “missionaries” to the U.S. colleges to keep the Christian kids from escaping. No, he didn’t use that word (but it’s in my notes!), but that’s what he meant. Notice that he didn’t say he wanted the missionaries to get new followers? That’s the usual goal of a missionary. Instead, he wants to use these missionaries to stop the bleeding! The patient has lost a lot of blood already and is about to go into shock.
Scanning the crowd, I see that most people are whipping out their checkbooks.