This Guy Thinks Acceptance of Evolution is Responsible for All of Society’s Woes

It’s no surprise that newspapers are struggling, and one way they’re bringing something of value to their readers is by offering opinion pieces written by locals, something you can’t get anywhere else.

So if you’ve ever wanted to get published in The Roanoke Times, now’s the time to try it since it appears they’ll publish just about anything.

Clonnie Yearout, a retired fire department captain, wrote a piece that is based in so much scientific ignorance, you have to wonder how he ever got the job he had:

Many Americans are worried. We see time-honored traditions and cherished beliefs falling like dominoes, and we wonder what’s coming next. The American society that seemed so full of unity and promise at its founding is now staggering like a wounded albatross, pulled in myriad directions by forces that dilute our purpose and weaken our commitment to community. What brought us to this point? Where did we lose our way?

Gay marriage? Abortion? Where’s he going with this…?

I believe that the current downward trend of America and mankind in general can be laid largely at the feet of Darwinian evolution

Obviously.

Why is evolution the cause of the downfall of humanity? Because we apparently derive all of our morals and self-worth from Darwin’s theory and there’s no possible way society or our own experience or the Golden Rule play any role in how we live our lives:

If evolution is true, then there are no real and lasting societal values other than survival of the fittest. If evolution is true, ethics are situational and transitory, subject to institution, modification and elimination at the whim of those in power.

If evolution is true, then there are no moral absolutes. Expedience is the ultimate governor of all decisions, and the only moral right is that which advances the purposes of the most powerful. Nothing is right or wrong in and of itself. Only the perception and result of actions taken are important.

And that’s not even the dumbest thing he said:

If evolution is true, why abort millions of babies before determining their potential to advance the cause of human evolution?

Well, shit, Yearout just out-logicked us. Who knew all individuals had the potential to “advance the cause” of human evolution. Who knew human evolution had a “cause” in the first place?! Damn the Evolutionary Agenda! (Bastard son of the Gay Agenda, I’m sure.)

Finally, we get to my favorite part of the piece:

I’m not anti-science by any means, but…

I can finish that sentence for him. He’s not anti-science; he’s just anti-understanding-science, since if he listened to scientists instead of his pastors or Ken Ham, he might actually learn something.

(Thanks to Scott for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • corps_suk

    “no real and lasting societal values other than survival of the fittest.”
    Whats wrong with that, if we define fittest in a way that is a successful and prosperous society open to innovation, advancement through inquiry, and the successful upbringing of the least among us? Those seem like better values than subjugation to tradition and denouncement of progress…

    If every possible combination of DNA in our society is cherished as holding the key for the next steps of our evolution and we treat everyone, poor to rich, with that respect…making sure our society is the fittest becomes a noble goal for advancing humanity.

  • David McNerney

    If this guy thinks evolution is the cause of all our woes, then I 100% agree with him.

    If it wasn’t for evolution we wouldn’t have any of the societal problems we have – mainly because we wouldn’t have a society.

    • SeekerLancer

      Damn those ancient microbes for going and getting their act together!

    • Bdole

      I’m always having to make a second trip to get stuff from the car. I could’ve used a couple of extra arms.

      F*cking evolution.

      • Artor

        Forewarned is four-armed, I’ve heard.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          *groan*

  • Savoy47

    “The American society that seemed so full of unity and promise at its founding is now staggering like a wounded albatross…..What brought us to this point? Where did we lose our way?”

    That would be when “E pluribus unum” was kicked aside and “In god we trust” took its place as the nations motto. Funny how the “faithful” that complain the most want to go back to the time before trust was put in that god fellow.

  • liu

    “Evolution must not be true, because it would be horrible if it were true.”

    Creationist logic.

    • http://twitter.com/DanAllosso Dan Allosso

      “The interest I have in believing in something is not a proof that the something exists.” Voltaire

  • jdm8

    Usually, if someone says “I’m not A but B”, then yes, they probably are, because the B statement they make generally proves they are A.

    • Artor

      “I’m not a racist, but…”
      “I’m not a misogynist, but…”
      “I’m not anti science, but…”

      • Guesty von Guestheim

        I’m not racist, but I think one person one vote is a good policy.

        • Artor

          That at least isn’t racist, but it’s also a non-sequitur. If you had said, “…but I think one person, three-fifths of a vote is a good policy,” like the Emory University president said recently, then yeah, you’d be a racist.

        • Artor

          That at least isn’t racist, but it’s also a non-sequitur. If you had said, “…but I think one person, three-fifths of a vote is a good policy,” like the Emory University president said recently, then yeah, you’d be a racist.

  • busterggi

    Since Darwin advance his theory slavery has ended, exploitive child labor (in the US, we allow it for stuff we import) has ended, women have gained the right to vote, standards for food safety have been put in place and a huge amount of medical progress has eliminated smallpox, polio and extended human lifespans to about double what they were.
    Yep, its been pure hell.

    • WallofSleep

      Indeed. Despite what the 24 hour news cycle might have us believe, things in this country just keep getting better. Granted, it’s a long, slow march, but it is trending towards better.

      Every time I hear someone say “This country is going to hell” or the like, my brain translates that into “Fewer and fewer people are showing respect for my superstitious bullshit”.

  • SeekerLancer

    Sounds as bad as my paper’s local “pundits” for lack of a better term. To their credit they always publish the letters I send in with an opposing viewpoint.

  • C Peterson

    The problem is, this guy spent his entire life battling one of the four elements, fire, with another of them, water. This has left his four humors out of balance, with yellow bile now dominating phlegm. The resulting hysteria and probable demonic possession have led to the need to rant and rave in the public square. He just needs some leeches.

    There is a simple explanation for everything.

    • Artor

      Brilliant! It’s pleasing to see such well-educated medical professionals out there. Our nation could use more who think like you do. That Darwinian Evil-ution has spoiled the profession.
      /end snark

    • Anthony Edwards

      Perhaps if he just ground up some rhino horn and tiger bone into a paste and applied it generously to his genitals, he could fix what is truly ailing him.

  • PenR

    Never commented on here before, but this guy’s attitude is so common and it really winds me up – he’s totally missing the point. If evolution is true (and there’s a shedload of evidence to demonstrate that it is) THEN IT’S TRUE – no matter whether this guy approves of it or not, no matter who believes in it or who doesn’t, no matter what the effect on society, ethics or the price of fish. It’s all utterly irrelevant – attempting to deny established fact because you personally don’t like the moral or social implications of that fact is a very slippery slope indeed. End of…..

    • Ann Onymous

      When I debate theists, they’ll often ask things like “But wouldn’t it be nice if there were a place where we all live forever and can meet anyone?” and I have to explain to them, “Yes, but the appeal of an idea has no bearing on its truth.”
      Logic.

  • Stu Smith

    How can a scientific theory be the down fall of America when the population of America who accept the theory of evolution (Darwinian evolution?)? If anything he should be blaming religion for societies woes as America is the most religious Western country. Of course it’s much more complicated than that.

  • cipher

    Clonnie Yearout, a retired fire department captain, wrote a piece that is based in so much scientific ignorance, you have to wonder how he ever got the job he had:

    He’s a captain in a fire dept., Hemant. How much science education would the dept. require?

    Plus, you know – the South.

    • Artor

      You’d think at least a GED. I learned this stuff in 6th grade.

  • cipher

    Once again, a Southern fundamentalist with no knowledge of how secularism has benefited Western Europe.

    I’m shocked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.potter.73 Matt Potter

    I pulled up the link for the article and the ignorance is simply stunning. It’s a mix of Ken Hamm and Ray Comfort arguments combined! Here are some more quotes,

    “Properly understood, creationism and evolutionism stand in diametric
    opposition. If one is true, the other cannot be. Neither creationism
    nor evolutionism are sciences per se; both are belief systems about
    origins. Neither belief is testable by the scientific method, because
    we cannot travel backward in time.”

    “For those with the courage to honestly investigate and consider it,
    evolutionism is a bankrupt belief system with no proof in the fossil
    record, even after more than two centuries of frantic searching. In all
    cases where we know its source, life comes from other life.”

    • Bdole

      “…life comes from other life.”
      You’d think it was called “Darwin’s Theory of Abiogenesis” the way they always prattle on about life coming from nothing.

  • fentwin

    I love these perceptions and perversions of what the ToE actually is. They use arguments that have no bearing on what the science shows. When you try to point out that they aren’t actually addressing the actual idea of evolution, that they are relying on pulpit pablum and misinformation they just get self-righteously angry.

  • Wild Rumpus

    “If evolution is true, why do we house incorrigible criminals or, even worse, release them to repeatedly prey on society?”

    What? I don’t even…

  • Jasper

    And DON’T even get me started on all the crap that’s come from accepting the Theory of Gravity

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Eh, I’ve read stupider. And where is this marvelous country where they accept evolution? Cause it ain’t here.

  • Gerry

    Yikes. I had to go over and read the whole thing, and all I can say is…yikes. This jumped out at me: “Creationism sees a fallen, decaying world; evolution sees life now
    increasing in quality and complexity. Those who try to combine the two
    beliefs don’t have a good understanding of either.”
    Sooo, believing in god gets us a “fallen, decaying world”? And evolution only get us life increasing in quality and complexity? Ouch! you got me there!
    Um, and as for those who try to combine the two beliefs? Who’s doing that. this is the first I’ve heard of it.
    I noticed too that they don’t allow comments I guess, or did I overlook that?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    shorter old dood: gays, women, blacks and hispanics now have rights! i’m afraid!

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    And now, Bernie Zutz, Assistant Adjunct Custodian for the city of Obscure, Tennessee will share his insights on the psycho-sexual and sociological implications of recent research into dark matter, the Higgs boson, exactly how deep Justin Bieber’s foot is in his mouth, and what this all means for the fate of civilization.

    • C Peterson

      Yes, but keep in mind that Bernie’s views are only valid if they pass peer review, meaning that they get posted on the Internet somewhere.

  • Gerry

    Here’s the link for comments, though I opted not to leave one because, well, there are only so many hours in a day: http://blogs.roanoke.com/roundtable/2013/04/a-tale-of-two-belief-systems/#comments

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Nova’s latest is a great show about the entire 4+ billion year history of the Australian continent. http://video.pbs.org/video/2364995158

    They posted it on FB and asked for comments, and there were a few from people who said things like “I normally love NOVA but I won’t watch this one, I’m a creationist”

    /facepalm

    I just wish there was some way to get Americans to take a breath and learn something about evolution rather than parroting misconceptions. I’d love to see a show based on Jerry Coyne’s book- but sadly 40% of Americans wouldn’t consider watching it.

  • Greg G.

    Why stifle a child’s mind with creationism before determining their potential to advance the cause of human evolution?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I can’t even get past his goofy-ass name. “Clonnie”. WTF?

  • WallofSleep

    If evilution is true, why is my penis so small.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    Op Eds in local newspapers should be enough to make just about anyone stop reading the news all together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerome-McCollom/100000327150215 Jerome McCollom

    This is a quite common argument from Christian right-wingers, it is a fallacy argument that is basically an argument from bad consequences. They think of evolution as some kind of competing ideology to Christianity. They don’t seem to grasp that something isn’t true or not, based on its’ consequences or results of it being true.

  • kimiakay

    I see this kind of stuff in my local paper all the time. It makes me so crazy some days I don’t know if I can still read it, and feel I should stop taking the paper. There is an old priest who comments all the time in his letter to the editor and the things he writes make you cringe all day. It reminds me that the red/blue divide is a real thing, we need more education for some older people, and the longer religion has such a hold in the USA the scarier it is.

  • Bobby

    How could this fool be so wrong. A lot of the problems in society are caused by feminist theory.


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