It’s Back. Part 2.

A few days ago, I wrote about the re-issuing of the Creationist pamphlet on a local church’s website. A person who attends the church had contacted me about some upcoming sermons they are having. I told her that I was disappointed that Parkview Christian Church had decided to put up the pamphlet even after they said they would remove it due to the massive errors.

Well, now I received a brief email response from Pastor Tim. He says (referring to me):

You can tell him I took out the parts in question.

That’s it.

No, Pastor Tim. No you did not. There are still loads of errors. Scientists are still quoted out of context. Basic science information is misconstrued. Pharyngula readers wrote about many of these problems here.

If any of you care about this, please call them, point out the errors, and urge them to remove it. Don’t be mean. Just ask to speak with someone who is in charge of this and list the mistakes. I’m not sure what else I can do at this point.

Their number is 708-478-7477 and the email address the church lists on its website is I’m not yet giving the pastor’s email.

[tags]Creationism, evolution, Parkview Christian Church, Pastor Tim, Tim Harlow, Pharyngula, Creationism for your Child’s Teacher, atheist, Christian[/tags]

  • txatheist

    I have to wonder if the call will do any good. You’ve asked him politely. He is certainly aware of the errors and has willingly not changed them. I hope he has a change of mind but I think that until he changes his mind of the pamphlet he will continue to be obstinant.

  • Siamang

    Took out the parts in question?!!?

    It was he who ended the dialogue, not us. I offered to go over the entire document point by point and vet it with him, it was he that declined. In his mind he may have removed the questionable parts, but he decided to end the discussion while we only had a couple of corrections on the table by way of illustrating the problems. I said up from that the document was “chock full” of errors and contained pages and pages of pseudoscientific crapola (a technical term).

    But let’s look at how he addressed two of the items I brought up with regards to intellectual dishonesty, quote-mining, and just plain making stuff up (Bearing false witness, lying, tomato-tomahto)

    In my very first post back in june, I pointed out to Pastor Tim his false quote supposedly by Dr. Colin Patterson.

    For instance just as you falsely used National Geographic to bolster your case, you falsely quote Dr. Colin Patterson.

    Here’s the story on the Patterson quote you use:

    “I was too naive and foolish to guess what might happen:
    the talk was taped by a creationist who passed the tape
    to Luther Sunderland… Since, in my view, the tape was
    obtained unethically, I asked Sunderland to stop circulating
    the transcipt, but of course to no effect. There is not much
    point in my going through the article point by point. I was
    putting a case for discussion, as I thought off the record,
    and was speaking only about systematics, a specialized field.
    I do not support the creationist movement in any way, and in
    particular I am opposed to their efforts to modify school
    curricula. In short the article does not fairly represent my
    views. But even if it did, so what? The issue should be
    resolved by rational discussion, and not by quoting
    ‘authorities,’ which seems to be the creationists’ principal
    mode of argument.” (Letter from Colin Patterson to Steven W.
    Binkley, June 17, 1982).

    Eugenie Scott wrote about this incident:
    “The ‘Patterson story’ illustrates two common creationist enthusiasms: taking statements out of context, and refusing to recognize corrections when made.”

    He didn’t remove or correct that.

    I also pointed out his invented false quote from the Newsweek article from 1980. Here’s what I wrote at the time:

    You quote the huckster and fraud suspect Hank Hanegraaff’s quote of Newsweek’s quote of “leading evolutionists” saying the fossil evidence overwhelmingly points away from classical darwinism. That’s blatantly out of context, and again, completely the opposite of what you take it to mean.

    Here’s your quote from your letter:

    ‘Newsweek summarized the sentiments of leading evolutionists gathered together at a conference in Chicago: “Evidence from fossils now points overwhelmingly away from the classical Darwinism which most Americans learned in High School. Rather than becoming creationists, however evolutionists have simple become more creative.” ‘

    Here’s the quote in context:

    “Evidence from fossils now points overwhelmingly away from the classical Darwinism which most Americans learned in high school: that new species evolve out of existing ones by the gradual accumulation of small changes, each of which helps the organism survive and compete in the environment.
    Increasingly, scientists now believe that species change little for
    millions of years and then evolve quickly, in a kind of quantum leap-not
    necessarily in a direction that represents an obvious improvement in

    This Newsweek article appeared in 1980 and talks about “Presidential Candidate Ronald Reagan.”

    You give the impression that Newsweek and the scientists were saying that the fossil record was overwhelmingly pointing away from Darwinism. In fact it points overwhelmingly toward Darwinism, but the writer was making a distinction between what was being discussed and Darwinism as it had been taught in high-schools in the 60’s and 70’s. This is a snapshot in time of a discussion of evolutionary rate of change happening in the scientific community thirty years ago, and you quote it completely dishonestly.

    Further, you manufacture a quote (or use a quote manufactured by someone equally unscrupulous) : “Rather than becoming creationists, however evolutionists have simple become more creative.” This quote does not appear in the Newsweek article, but you use it as if it does.

    This text has not been removed, changed or corrected. In fact, since he has seen and responded to my post on this matter, and SPECIFICALLY NOT CORRECTED the Newsweek cite, I take that to be blatant lying and dishonesty.

    As before, I could go on and on with this document. It is CHOCK FULL of mistakes, and I could spend hours and hours taking apart every assertion. I merely chose some as representative of the whole.

    I wrote this comment back in July, and it’s still, sadly, relevant:


    I’m sorry if this discussion has left a bad taste in your mouth. I think I have been measured and respectful, while still attempting to draw you into a deeper discussion. I’m not sure I’ve been successful at those points. I’ll remind you of them in passing.

    My main questions still are unanswered, and would be these:

    Do you believe that you have a responsibility when quoting other people, especially people who disagree with you, to quote them as accurately and honestly as possible?

    Do you believe that as a figure of authority you have a responsibility, when writing documents that you provide to your church membership, to perform due diligence in checking the reliability of the materials you provide?

    Do you believe that when you write something and sign your name to it, that you have a responsibility to those whom you quote and those whom you intend to read it, that you stood by and continue to stand by the accuracy and honesty of the statements therein?

    Because if not, then all my writing here is moot.

    It’s my hope that when I first posted a response to this document that you’d take a critical look at your own actions in creating it, your own level of scholarship when fact-checking it, and your own responsibility to your flock when posting it.

    Instead, I see no response but defensiveness.

    Take care.


  • Logos

    I don’t think anything will work, a leopard can’t change it’s spots!

  • cautiousmaniac

    A leopard can change its spots by having offspring without spots who survive and have children of their own. ;)

    Uh, we can see if the phone campaign works. After phoning comes…what, mailing? Road trip?

  • Siamang

    I’ve washed my hands of Pastor Tim. He has not shown himself to be a man of honest character, in my eyes.

    The people of Parkview may come upon this discussion on their own, and make their own judgements about him. I won’t chase after them. I don’t know the people of Parkview, so I don’t have a judge of what they value or what moral standards they hold to. Perhaps Pastor Tim is exactly what they want in a leader.

    Not my church, not my god, not my battle.