Christian Pastor Explains How He Denies Evolution Because He Doesn’t Want to Base His Life on ‘Myths’ and ‘Magic’

Here’s some advice for pastors: If you don’t know much about science, don’t write an article explaining why the foundation of science is wrong, exposing your ignorance for the world to see.

That’s what Pastor John Martens of The Connection church in Maple Ridge, British Columbia did with his opinion piece for a local newspaper:

John Martens with his wife

… I just see the whole idea that one form of life (dog, donkey, dinosaur) changing into another form as impossible, even if you give it millions and millions of years.

That is just too fantastical for me. It smacks of medieval sorcery. No one ever tells me how these animals change, just that they did. Magically. Although I love myths, magic and science fiction — for entertainment — I don’t want to base my life on such things.

… says the man who needs no explanation for Jesus’ miracles or a virgin birth.

His logic is amazing. He’s telling the world, “I don’t get it, so there’s no way it could have happened!”

He’s not done yet, either:

The problem is that what we know about science — the laws devised from actually observing the universe — do not allow for the kind of evolutionary scenario that I mentioned above.

Well. I guess that settles it then. The guy who own writing informs us of how little he knows about science says science itself disproves evolution.

Wait! There’s more!

Then there is this thing called entropy. You might have heard the word, but are not sure what it is. Entropy applies everywhere in the universe. The universe would not be the universe as we know it, were it not for entropy.

In terms I can understand, entropy is this: “Given time, all systems go from order to disorder.”

Actually, this is one of the few ways we can tell the direction of time’s arrow. Time makes things worse.

But according to evolution, over time, different life forms evolved and became more and more complex. It is almost as if evolution caused time to go backwards — but only for evolution. This sounds like a great fairy tale, but it makes for terrible science.

… Says a man who has clearly never heard of Google.

So why would any of us still believe in evolution when Pastor Anti-Darwin, Ph.D. has totally debunked the foundation of modern science?

Well, he tells us why:

Some people just follow the media and the academic elite because they think that those people must be very smart. But many of these very smart people cling to evolution because they want the approval of their peers, and they think that God would cramp their lifestyle.

We accept evolution because we just want people to like us. That’s really the secret of the whole scientific method right there.

I can appreciate one thing from Martens’ piece: He makes it clear at the end that you can’t possibly believe in both God and evolution. To deny evolution means accepting God. Since all of us immoral heathens want nothing to do with God, we cling to evolution, what with its “facts” and “fossils” and “mountains of peer-reviewed evidence.”

The comment section at the news site is just tearing Martens apart — and he totally deserves it. If only more pastors would follow in his footsteps and gleefully proclaim how out of touch with reality they really are.

***Update***: Martens has responded to the criticism in the article’s comment section and explains that he has a Ph.D. in Physics (?!?). On a bare-bones ZoomInfo page for him online, it unusually lists his education as “PhD, Physics” with no mention of where he earned his degree from. That’s weird, right? (***Update***: His PhD apparently comes from the University of Manitoba.)

Martens also says he has “friends who are atheists, pagans, gays, Muslims”… I suppose that’s possible, but I still don’t believe him. I want names. I want to talk to one of his atheist or gay friends. Just one. C’mon, Dr. Pastor Martens, give us a name!

***Update 2***: Commenters are saying that the University of Manitoba Physics program is not accredited.

They *may* have also found his Ph.D. thesis.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Donatello

    Yep, Pastor Martens is so right. You just have to utter the words “I accept evolution” and random strangers will buy you drinks and attractive people will want to have sex with you on the spot. Trust me on this, I have got a PhD in Pickup Artistry from Bullshit University.

    • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

      So, what was it like at Liberty University? Was the Jerry Falwell library any good?

      • b s

        “Was the Jerry Falwell library any good?”

        Very good. Most of the books haven’t been colored in yet.

        • stevo

          I thought they only had one book.

          • http://TheHeroSagas.com/ Michael Reed McLaughlin

            Yes, but you can color on the pages because the words are meaningless.

    • LJinFLA

      That hasn’t been my experience, unfortunately. Much more likely that just being young and having an average intelligence will get you that drink, lol. (PS, I’m old, lol)

    • Bdole

      I believe! I believe!
      *look left, look right
      *blink
      Heeeey, what gives?

    • Rain

      It looks like all of the comments on his article are negative comments. Could be an internet first. So in a way he wins! Possibly the worst article in the entire internet!

    • Oranje

      Bloody hell. And here I got mine in the humanities…

  • Quintin van Zuijlen

    If the man had a Ph.D in physics, he should know not only that, but also why his entropy argument is wrong.

    • Psychotic Atheist

      I think claiming to have a Ph.D in physics graduates his ramblings from ignorant to dishonest.

      • Quintin van Zuijlen

        And it really doesn’t matter whether he has a real Ph.D. He’s either lying about that or about entropy.

        • LJinFLA

          Or simply ignorant.

        • Joshua Barrett

          I think he might have his Phd . This does not change how the religious lie, especially to themselves. He and others give up intellectual integrity to believe what they want to believe

  • Rain

    This is why they wrote Poe’s law. Perfect case study. Everybody read everything he says so you can be up to date on your Poe’s law theory.

  • http://stevebowen58.blogspot.co.uk/ Steve Bowen

    His Micky Mouse ‘explanation’ of entropy is enough to convince me he’s no Ph.D

    • Chris Harmon

      If I was the source of his PhD I would be embarrassed…

  • Travis Myers

    There’s no way someone with a Ph.D in physics would say something so vague and misleading as “Time makes things worse.” Come to think of it, I don’t think any person who has taken a high school physics class would say something like that.

    • Erp

      I did find a reference to his PhD being University of Manitoba and a mention of him working with lasers. Hunting I found a John Martens (1960-), University of Manitoba, 1994, “The collision of slowly moving heavy biomolecules with surfaces and some fundamental studies related to matrix assisted laser desorption MALD”.

      • Don Gwinn

        Googling “‘University of Manitoba’ diploma mill” (call it a hunch) reveals numerous references on higher-education blogs to U of M as a university in the process of becoming a diploma mill. The most common reference is to a court case involving a Ph.D in mathematics awarded to a U of M student after he failed a comprehensive exam that was supposed to be a requirement. The student claimed after the fact that he had severe testing anxiety, so the university waived his results and awarded his degree, but an assistant professor (not the one in the class in question) sued to stop it.
        That could be an isolated incident . . . hard to say yet.

      • rlwemm

        He should either give it back, or the university should relieve him of it on the grounds that his public performance in this area will detract from the value of every other PhD issued in physics by this university. By allowing him to keep his degree without comment the U of Manitoba tacitly agrees that his mastery of physics is up to their (apparently extremely low) standard.

        This PhD’s incredible naivete is now being viewed and discussed all over the world, not just in Canada, and not even just in North America. If I were still in a position to assess and employ people, this guys dismal performance would ensure that a job applicant who admitted to having a PhD from the U of Manitoba would probably not make it onto the final “interview and select” pile.

        Is anyone here up to the task of informing the U of Manitoba of this current international threat to their academic credibility?

    • C Peterson

      While a solid scientific education (which a PhD is evidence of, but not proof) is a strong predictor of good thinking skills, it is by no means a guarantee. You can end up with people like Francis Collins, who is highly irrational, or with scientists who deny global warming.

      Maybe this guy has a PhD in physics, but the fact that he is a Christian is strong evidence that his thinking is broken, and the fact that he is a Christian pastor pretty much guarantees it. And of course, the article itself is proof.

      • Agrajag

        I doubt it. I don’t think you can have ph.d in physics, and believe that entropy always rise, even in a open system. That’s so trivially demonstrated to be bullocks.

        • Spuddie

          Physicists generally don’t know jack about biology. Many intelligent design nabobs have degrees in engineering, mathematics and physical sciences. It gets them thinking of such things with the wrong perspective.

          Critical thinking skills can easily be undermined by ridiculously strong religious belief.

          • C Peterson

            Neither engineering nor mathematics are physical sciences.

            A person with a higher degree in a physical science who does not understand first year thermodynamics is hard to explain. We either have a case of massive education failure (the granting of a degree to someone not competent to receive it) or some sort of psychological damage (the latter being common among religionists, of course).

            • Spuddie

              Corrected. I would probably go with the latter. Someone who has mastered the cognitive dissonance needed for ridiculous religious belief.

          • Kate Vasey

            It is possible to have a degree in physics and still be a stupid bastard. A lot harder maybe, but still just about possible.

            • allein

              Someone has to be at the bottom of the class…

            • Spuddie

              Michael Shermer’s book, Why People Believe Weird Things has an entire chapter devoted to people with advanced degrees who support nonsense.
              Here is an excerpt where he explains how that happens
              http://www.michaelshermer.com/weird-things/excerpt/

              • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                In line with the observation therein that “Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons”, there’s a recent paper out titled “Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government” (SSRN 2319992) which seems to lend strong support to that thesis.

          • Miranda Flemming

            my observation too – rare to get someone that understands both physics and biology. This man doesn’t even have comprehension of basic physics if doesn’t realise that energy is coming in from sun, so not closed system. I studied chemistry and found biology easy, but physics harder because it was bogged down with maths. Came across people that understood physics and chemistry and couldn’t get their head around biology. Weird, huh?

          • Agrajag

            True. But you don’t need to know anything about biology to know that here on earth, entropy can decrease, because we’ve got a huge input of low-entropy sunlight, and a huge sink of higher-entropy heat.

            It’s actually the other way around, you’d need a damn good explanation for evolution NOT happening given that the following happens every day:

            * Properties gets passed down from parents to children, but somewhat randomly so that not all children are exactly alike.

            * Some of the children die for various reasons. Whether they survive or die is influenced by their properties.

            * Occasionally the copying of properties from parent to child is imperfect, and random differences occur.

            From these 3 things alone, it’s a mathemathical certanity that evolution will take place. Creationists seldom argue that either of these 3 don’t happen, or that either of them violate termodynamics, but evolution is nothing more than the sum of those 3.

            When A, B and C can and do happen, and it’s a mathemathical fact that in sum they’ll result in Z, then it’s completely absurd to argue that Z violates some law that neither A, B or C does.

      • Dartheon

        It’s not necessarily a predictor of good thinking skills, but I learned what entropy was in first year physics at university and I understood then quite clearly why his assertion re: evolution is invalid and can describe it far more accurately than “Time makes things worse”.

        He’s claiming to have a post-graduate qualification in Physics (no sub-branch nor graduation year provided) and yet he doesn’t understand the importance and implication of the term “closed system” in one of the fundamental laws of the area of study in which he claims to have a PhD?

        I can find no reference to any academic papers published by a “John Martens” from the University of Manitoba. In-fact, will an accredited institution even take on a candidate for a PhD in Physics if their only undergraduate qualification is a Pastoral degree from a biblical college? I don’t think they will.

        Based on the information available, I don’t buy for one second that this individual holds any accredited qualification – postgraduate or undergraduate – in any branch of Physics.

      • Dartheon

        Follow up: Mystery solved – U. of Manitoba’s physics program is not accredited: http://www.accreditation.org/university_detail.php?uid=188

        His PhD isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

    • WallofSleep

      Time does make things worse, especially here in God’s America. Just take a look at the two people in the picture below. They represent a demographic that was once gainfully employed here in America, but now are forbidden, forbidden, by law to hold jobs like this ever again. Talk about time making things worse.

      http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/hine-empty.jpg

      • Chris Harmon

        oh ye gods, bare feet?!! So much wrong here. (Yes, I realize those are children!!)

  • Rain

    For some reason he has no problem at all with the “smarty-pants” ivory tower theory of entropy. Gee I wonder why.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    Evolution taking millions of years making gradual changes seems like magic to him, but his God waving his hand and making life appear doesn’t? This guy is seriously delusional. Like all intensely religious people.

    • Robert Sheppard

      yea, i don’t really get his definition of what magic is. so observable changes over time are magic, but walking on water, changing water to wine, splitting the red sea is what? normal? i will never understand these people.

  • Art_Vandelay

    I can appreciate one thing from Martens’ piece: He makes it clear at the end that you can’t possibly believe in both God and evolution.

    You can…you just have to water down your theology to the point where it doesn’t look anything like your holy book. This is where I begrudgingly admit to having more respect for people like this than the Ken Millers of the world.

    Stupidity > Intellectual Dishonesty

  • C Peterson

    This guy is just another badly educated, ignorant, superstitious fool. One of billions. Nothing to see here, and nothing to discuss. The real embarrassment isn’t the pastor, who is simply behaving as pastors do, but the newspaper that was willing to print this rubbish. Allowing something like this, even in the opinion section, utterly destroys any credibility it might have ever had.

    • Anna

      And in British Columbia, too! I’d expect something like that from a newspaper in the Bible Belt, but Canada?

      • 3lemenope

        I’m given to understand (from Canadians that occasionally complain) that there are parts of Canada that are just as not-so-quaintly backwards as some parts of the US tend to be.

        • WillBell

          We’re certainly not as bad as the bible belt anywhere in Canada, the Maritime Provinces have the highest popularity of creationism at 25% which I believe is better than most American states if not all.

          • Anna

            That’s interesting about the Maritime Provinces. I would have assumed places like Manitoba and Alberta had the most creationists.

            Still pretty shocking to hear this newspaper is from British Columbia, though. As far as I know, that’s one of the most liberal and secular provinces.

            • Simon

              It would be pretty ironic for Albertans to be creationists as their province contains one of the most important Dinosaur dig sites and is the site of the Albertosaurus!

              • JP

                There is actually a Creation “Science” Museum in the town of Big Valley, just a short drive from Drumheller. It’s perhaps the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing.
                I highly recommend it.

            • Jim Jones

              He moved there. And Maple Ridge is a bit of a joke area – not top class.

            • Thalfon

              It’s also worth noting that even the most sane/secular places will still have their nuts, and it only takes one sometimes. Maple Ridge may be in Greater Vancouver, but even in Burnaby (which is right next door to Vancouver proper) last election there were people running for school board in the hopes of overturning anti-bullying rules that were discriminating against their religious right to harass gay kids. (They failed… miserably.)

              I’m just going to assume that Maple Ridge’s local paper isn’t a reliable source.

            • Andrew S. Balfour

              Speaking from Manitoba, we don’t have the most of anything.

            • atheos

              Alberta has a creation museum! It’s pathetic, but we’ve got one. You can google it.

            • WillBell

              Alberta is second place with 19%. The maritime provinces have less education (New Brunswick has the least in Canada), lots of religion, and economic issues (the fishing industry failed, etc) which leads to their situation.
              It is definitely the most secular province (it is the only province where some regions have a non-religion as a plurality), however some regions are still have a lot of christianity.

          • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

            Not all, since most of the New England states also tend lower than that using the standard Gallup-type question. (It also varies depending exactly what questions you use for demarcation.) However, “most” seems likely from what I recall of the polling data.

            • WillBell

              Thanks for the info, I tried to find state specific data but couldn’t find it, do you know where I could find it?

              • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                I was using the General Social Survey, which in 2004 asked about the same question Gallup uses. State-by-state data isn’t available from NORC without a serious NDA (and would have too small an N for much confidence anyway), but Census region is in the public data set that I checked.

                Fun toy for geeks.

                • WillBell

                  That’s a shame – that is a really good time suck right there! Not that I’m complaining. ;)

                • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                  The most surprising tidbit I’ve seen is the results of SCITEST4 (one of several questions on belief in evolution) versus WORDSUM (a correlated proxy for IQ) when controlling for WORDSUM.

                  Although it’s also amusing that there’s a marginal correlation of “winter signs” (in ZODIAC), to consider Astrology unscientific (ASTROSCI). Have fun checking that, and throwing it out at the next atheist/skeptic group you happen to encounter in-person.

      • Chris Harmon

        there is a Bible Belt in CA as well. I should know, I’m in the middle of it. :/ This sort of thing is rampant in my community.

    • 3lemenope

      Allowing something like this, even in the opinion section, utterly destroys any credibility it might have ever had.

      Say what?

      • C Peterson

        Say that!

        Opinion sections at reputable newspapers aren’t free-for-alls. Opinion pages have editors, and one important job of those editors is to weed out the extreme craziness. Allowing the article we see today to be posted is no different than allowing an article opining that the Earth is flat. What we have here is a massive editorial failure.

        • 3lemenope

          The purpose of doing so can also be to:

          1. Make sure a view that exists in the community is represented in the pages of that community’s paper; a primary goal of a newspaper is informing people, and informing them of the views that exist in the community naturally follows from that purpose

          2. Open the ridiculous view up to public scrutiny and thus public ridicule

          Out of sight, out of mind doesn’t seem to be a particularly rational approach to there existing people in a community that believe stupid things. There are no gatekeepers at the entrance to the marketplace of ideas; that’s the whole point. Ideas ought to stand and fall on the arguments that can be mustered on their behalf. Saying that some ideas should never be aired in a public forum that exists for that very purpose is, in essence, declaring a desire to short-circuit the process by which we test ideas in public in the first place.

          • UWIR

            If a newspaper wishes to inform its readers of a particular view, they can do so by writing an article informing its readers of that view. And as a bonus, they can inform their readers that the views are complete crap.

            “There are no gatekeepers at the entrance to the marketplace of ideas; that’s the whole point.”
            There are gatekeepers at an article’s opinion section, and that is the whole point of C Peterson saying:

            “Opinion pages have editors, and one important job of those editors is to weed out the extreme craziness.”

            To go with the marketplace metaphor, Martens is free to try to sell his crazy out of the back of his truck. But Walmart is not obligated to stock his crazy. Walmart has limited shelf space and a reputation to uphold, and it is constantly making decisions about what to include and what to exclude in their store. If Walmart were to offer his crazy to their customers, it would be a major data point as to the reliability of Walmart goods.

            The whole idea of marketplace is not that everything is freely available, and everyone just takes whatever anyone wants to sell them. In a marketplace, customers make choices about what to buy, and businesses make decisions about what to stock. As customers reveal preferences for particular items, those items become more prevalent while less popular items die out. Ideas should stand or fall according to their ability to convince people of their truth. If the newspaper does not consider this to be a valid point of view, it should not print this view, and printing a point of view that you think has no merit at all out of some idealistic principle of letting every idea have its chance is silly. On the other hand, if the paper does think that this idea is valid, then that says something about the paper.

            • 3lemenope

              Newspapers are usually considered as engaging in a public role beyond their private profit-making role. They are in a sense a public trust, with newspapers playing an integral enough role in our polity that they are mentioned by name (“the Press”) in the Bill of Rights. Hence, the Walmart analogy is inapt. And in most places, this role is intensified by being de facto local monopolies; many communities can only really maintain a market for one local paper. In such circumstances, it is crucial for the paper to be broad-handed in its editorial voice, because the voices they choose to exclude are not likely to get an equivalent platform to participate in the marketplace of ideas, really, at all, and so the society can not be confident that the ideas so rejected really have no value.

              • UWIR

                It wasn’t a “Walmart analogy”, it was a “marketplace of ideas” analogy”, of which Walmart was a part, and you were the one who brought up the “marketplace of ideas” analogy to begin with, so it’s rather odd for you to now be saying that it is inapt.

        • Anna

          I agree. A letter to the editor is one thing, but a featured editorial is something else. My local newspaper allows the extremists to respond but they would never give a creationist his own article.

    • Sue Blue

      Must have been a REALLY SLOW news day. No yard sales or cute dog stories or any huntin’ n’ fishin’ stories to report.

  • Rain

    Quoting the pastor:

    You need strategic energy (energy mixed with intelligence) in order to move a system to lower disorder.

    So energy destroys stuff unless it’s intelligent energy. Otherwise the energy would just go around destroying the molecules and whatnot.

    • Oranje

      Is that anything like Intelligent Calcium?

      • Rain

        Energy just can’t be tamed. Therefore energy is Miley Cyrus. QED.

  • Andrew Hackman

    As deeply flawed as this Pastor’s argument is, it nevertheless will MORE than satisfy his followers. The congregation will chuckle at his jabs at scientists and “the world”, and another layer of cement will be added to their thinking on this subject.

    • LJinFLA

      I really don’t expect the ones under even one layer of cement to recover anyway. Jackhammers (reality/facts) to break them out usually just inflame them.

  • Rayne Williams

    A PhD in physics, but doesn’t understand why trying to apply the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics doesn’t work? I find that hard to believe.

    • Erp

      It unfortunately appears to be true. In the comments he also states “t is a pretty common misunderstanding that if you just pump energy into
      an open system you can decrease the entropy. But that is just not the
      case. Energy is an agitator. It makes molecules move out of their
      assigned places. It will rapidly increase the entropy of a system. You
      need strategic energy (energy mixed with intelligence) in order to move a
      system to lower disorder.”

      • 3lemenope

        I think the part that is more given to being doubted is his claim of having a PhD in Physics in the first place.

        • Erp

          Except (a) on various web sites associated with him as pastor he mentions working with lasers and having a PhD in Physics from the University of Manitoba and (b) I found a PhD thesis in Physics involving lasers for a John Martens from the University of Manitoba for a reasonable year given his known life.

          His church is Southern Baptist (he was born in Manitoba but lived to Texas and Indiana as a minister before moving to British Columbia). According to the church website “Briercrest Bible College (Saskatchewan) with a pastoral degree, and the University of Manitoba with a Ph.D. in physics”. Admittedly I’m not sure how he got the prereqs to get into a Physics PhD program at a Bible College even one that associates with another school that does provide science. Nor why he would want to.

          • Rob Bos

            Some good research there. Well done.

          • 3lemenope

            Nor why he would want to.

            Because he got to play with lasers, duh! :)

            BTW, seconding Rob Bos, helluva research job you’ve done.

          • Spuddie

            “Admittedly I’m not sure how he got the prereqs to get into a Physics PhD program at a Bible College even one that associates with another school that does provide science. Nor why he would want to.”

            Very low standards in the Manitoba provincial university system?

      • Jasper

        The hell?

      • Jasper

        I’m wondering how this guy explains plants – brainless organisms that take solar radiation and convert it into organic potential energy.. you know, states of matter with decreased entropy / decreased disorder.

        That’s where the biological potential energy starts on this planet.

        • Jasper

          This guy probably believes firewood is a fairy tale too.

          • Stev84

            The phlogiston makes it work.

            • Jim Jones

              Only if the aether flow is correct.

            • busterggi

              Only aas long as the ether lasts,

  • Rain

    So somebody in the comments asked him this:“So the good Pastor is claiming both the Pope and the Arch Bishop of Canterbury do not want God cramping their style?”

    And then this is what he answered: “What?”

    Totally in a denial bubble. Prognosis: no recovery ever.

    • Chris Harmon

      hahahaha facts no they are confusing!!

  • Intelligent Donkey

    I just love it when they use science to disprove science.

  • Rain

    Okay one more pastor Martens quote:

    Could you tell me what evolution is? What do you mean by that term? The problem is “evolution” is used in about 6 different ways.

    That’s Kent Hovind obscuration science right there. So he’s getting his science from one or both of the Hovind duo.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Kent Hovind, if you’re lucky; Jack Chick, if you’re not.

      • Rain

        Yeah I’m not too proud of my leapt conclusion there. He could have gotten it from any number of sources. Thanks abb3w.

      • Nohm

        If I remember correctly, Jack Chick uses Kent Hovind’s “six types of evolution” (if you’re talking about Jack’s “Big Daddy” tract).

        “Dr. Dino” is even referenced in the panel.

        • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

          Different panel of “Big Daddy”, but good point. That sounds like Chick likely swiped it (though I’m too lazy to ascertain who plagiarized from whom for that idea).

          Still, I have mildly more respect for creationists getting their “information” from Dr Dino’s books and videos than those who get it from Chick comics.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      And five of those six aren’t used in Biology. :P Preaching to the choir, I know.

      • Rain

        Yeah it’s a dodge is what it is. A red herring to throw out when he doesn’t feel like answering something or wants to be argumentative, lol.

  • Michael Harrison

    A cloud of dust is much more disorganized than eight planets and a star, right? So the solar system had to be created by God, because entropy!

    (Totally taken from an OpenCourseWare course on thermodynamics: there was an exercise asking the student to explain why this argument is BS.)

  • Sneezeguard

    Anti-evolutionary arguments seem to… change over time. It’s as though some process, like a sort of natural selection, thins and culls the weaker arguments from the herd.

    Random mutations, like an unusually religious scientist, will sometimes produce radically new arguments into the environment. Often being ignored but sometimes proving resilient and fit enough to be reproduced by others in the community who hear them.

    • 3lemenope

      Creationists hate memes, but memes love creationists.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      That’s not my experience. Creationists are using the same shit arguments they have been using for the last 90 years.

      • Spuddie

        “How come I never see a goose turn into a monkey?”
        -Ray Comfort

        They love memes. They are just too dimwitted to know they are using them.

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        Your timespan seems conservative. “Effects, evincing intelligent design, cannot be produced by purely mechanical agencies” — from a book dating to 1886.

        Ecological models, however, allow for periods of ebb and flow, and for encapsulated spores to remain latent for extended periods, re-emergence in a brief re-flowering, and then resuming their latency.

  • DesertSun59

    This pastor is a liar. It’s quite obvious. And he’s stupid, to boot.

  • Jasper

    Apparently, my cleaning my room is a violation of the laws of thermodynamics, because clearly, one cannot increase entropy from Object A and expend that energy to reduce entropy in Object B. That’s just violating ALL the laws.

    It’s not like we have a sun that’s increasing in entropy, that we use its energy to organize and decrease entropy here on Earth, or anything.

    • wabney

      +1 internets. :)

    • 3lemenope

      That’s just violating ALL the laws.

      [snerk!]

    • LJinFLA

      Finally, a scientific reason to not clean house!! YaY!

      • allein

        Awesome! That really frees up my Sunday afternoon :)

    • Thalfon

      That’s actually an excellent analogy, cheers.

      Order (clean room) cannot come out of chaos (messy room) without an outside energy source (room’s owner) putting energy into the system (cleaning up).

      Order (more evolved forms) cannot come out of chaos (less evolved forms) without an outside energy source (the sun) putting energy into the system (light, heat, etc.).

      • UWIR

        What is an “outside energy source”? Outside to the earth, or outside to the life form? There are life forms that use energy from the internal heat of the earth’s core. Just because life evolves on a planet, does not mean the planet experiences a decrease in entropy. And ranking life forms as being more or less evolved is somewhat illegitimate, and really is separate from entropy.

        • Thalfon

          Outside the system in question. Really, entropy should be considered in a system, and then if that system is closed (i.e. nothing outside the system is putting energy into the system) then the second law of thermodynamics applies.

          I imagine about the only truly closed system you could define would be the entire universe, although you could likely make many nearly-closed systems in a lab.

          And yeah, “more/less evolved” is poor terminology. But we could measure it by examining DNA and trying to determine the amount of useful information. That would surely show a net positive increase over extremely long periods of time (or such would be my guess, at any rate).

          Also, keep in mind that decreases in entropy are desired. I think you meant to say that the planet wouldn’t necessarily experience an increase in entropy. You are of course quite right, as the planet receives energy from the sun as well, and if you define the system in question to be all life on earth (as opposed to the entire planet), then the non-life aspects of the planet certainly would be an ‘outside’ source of energy for the life forms on/in the planet, I’d have to imagine. In general, though, I think the whole planet and everything on it is considered one big system, because it’s just too interconnected to do otherwise. (Of course, that means you need to consider the entropy of the planet in general, rather than just life forms, so the info-in-DNA strategy wouldn’t necessarily be sufficient… it’s a fun problem, lol.)

          In any case, the point is that because of the existence of an off-planet energy source, it is not necessarily true that entropy on our planet must increase, and hence it is also not necessarily true that entropy experienced by life forms on the planet must increase. If you consider it on any larger scale there’s a decent chance entropy is increasing (the sun’s entropy certainly does, which is related to its eventual demise), but that doesn’t mean everything *in* that system has increasing entropy, only that the net balance is increasing, so it’s still reasonable in that model to have entropy constant or decreasing on Earth, and increasing elsewhere to maintain the upward balance.

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        I strongly disagree on the quality of that analogy. A creationist would seem very likely to argue that the messy room only exemplifies how an intelligent agent (the room’s owner) is required; “therefore, God”.

        A more creationist-resistant analogy would be pointing out how if a mason jar of high-proof vodka is moved from a freezer to a humid room, ice crystals (a local increase in order) begin to form on the outside as an thermodynamically automatic consequence of the gradient-induced energy flow.

        • Thalfon

          You have a point about the intelligent agent problem. I wonder if you could convince the average creationist that the forming of ice crystals in an increase in order, however. We’d probably need a very simple system where there’s really no room for argument about what constitutes a decrease in entropy. Maybe a carrot growing in the wild or something, as an example of locally decreasing entropy.

          • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

            They do tend to object, since much as in Jim Carrey’s movie Liar, Liar “Because it’s devastating to my case!” Hypothetically, it could be addressed by pointing them to one of the Third Law formulations that specifies a perfect crystal at absolute zero having zero entropy.

            However, rather than denying that crystals are an increase in order, more often (in my non-representative convenience experimental sample of creationists I’ve tried it on) the responses to the mason jar example seem to be a mix of Message Distortion with Attitude Bolstering on the lines of “but that’s not the same thing as life!”, or resorting to Selective Exposure by refusing to continue the discussion further.

            YMMV.

      • Rick McCrae

        nice analogy!

    • UWIR

      The creationist counter-argument is that you are “intelligent”, and because you are “intelligent”, 2LOT doesn’t apply, and you’ve just shown how creationism is true, because just like you, an intelligent being, is needed to decrease the entropy of the room, God, an intelligent being, is needed to decrease the entropy of the world and create life.

      And the sun is decreasing in entropy, not increasing. Or, at least, the set of matter that is currently known as “the sun” has less entropy than the set of matter that, one hundred years ago, was known as “the sun”. The sun radiates energy, and the total system of the sun plus the radiated energy increases in entropy, but the sun itself is constantly decreasing in mass and entropy. dS = dQ/T; that is, the change in entropy is equal to the net heat flow divided by the temperature. As long as there is a net positive heat flow from the sun, the entropy of the sun will decrease.

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        Your solar entropy analysis seems to neglect the increase in entropy at the subatomic level resulting from the fusion of Hydrogen into Helium.

  • Fentwin

    “One of the tenants of the theory is that new information cannot come about by accident, but must always have an intelligent source. This is universally true. We have never seen an exception. But evolution wants us to believe that the vast amount of new information needed to create each new type of animal, just came out of nowhere. That’s not science. That’s Harry Potter.”

    Ah yes, shades of I.D.; The notion that science is too complex for some people to understand.

    • randomfactor

      “One of the tenants of the theory

      We really need to think about raising the rent to get rid of the riff-raff.

  • John of Indiana

    He may have a PhD, it’s not impossible. I know of one who believes the buy-bull is the Inerrant Word of Gawd. Of course, he’s a misogynistic, homophobic, racist bigot, too. So much for higher education making you intelligent…

  • Erp

    The Bible College he attended, Briercrest, has an article about him. “He moved on to the University of Manitoba to study physics after graduation, thinking he could use science for ministry.” His thesis info. BTW think Jonathan Wells as an example of someone who goes through the effort of getting a science PhD even while thinking much of what he is writing about is garbage.

    • Spuddie

      According to the article, he was pretty Bible thumper’y before he finished college. Once you specialize in an academic field, its easy to focus to the point of being able to exclude anything not related to it. He never had to accept evolution in physics, so it was easy to ignore it and still get a degree.

      He’s not a biologist or a doctor. Lots of people in physical sciences have trouble understanding the messiness of life sciences. They see perfect order and clarity in their field and assume so it to be the case when they see something biological. The well studied Intelligent Design mavens are typically engineers, mathematicians and whatnot.

      Michael Crichton made a good points about this disconnect in thinking about biology in machine-like technical terms In the novel Jurrasic Park his biologist characters were saying that living things only give the appearance of stability and design. That biological functions are always on the verge of falling apart and chaos. Life as a constant struggle of holding back ever present chaos.

      Crichton, was a graduate of Harvard Medical School who did a fellowship at the Salk Instutute of Biological studies.He was more than familiar with the messiness of biological functions in academic terms.

      • baal

        ” Lots of people in physical sciences have trouble understanding the messiness of life sciences.”
        QFT and to /cheer.

  • mikespeir

    Only God is allowed to work in mysterious ways.

  • WallofSleep

    “Although I love myths, magic and science fiction — for entertainment — I don’t want to base my life on such things.”

    *sigh* No one bases their life on the theory of evolution any more than anyone bases their life on the theory of gravity.

    Why is it that whenever one of these creationist nimrods try to take a shot at evolution (and atheism, as well), they always end up sounding like Pee Wee Herman? “I know you are, but what am I?!?”

    • UWIR

      There are several levels of irony of your use of the word “nimrod”.

  • LJinFLA

    Why does anyone even care what this guy is saying? His responses in the comment section are juvenile at best. PhD my ass. He read Darwin? So did I, big deal. People did respond to him in very enlightened ways and he ignored them. I have no respect for him nor his article.

  • ShoeUnited

    You don’t get a Ph.D. in Physics and not understand entropy. You can’t. I don’t care if he got it from the back of a mail-in cereal box, you can’t.

  • KBrent Alexander KThomas

    This has to be fake lol

  • Mitch

    Humor for my Sunday morning. Many appreciate!

    Almost right out of the gate, he gives us this gem, “I believe in a Creator for many reasons. For one, I’m not a ‘group-think’ kind of person. I don’t just go with the flow. I walk upstream. Put my face to the wind. Think for myself.

    But that often puts me at odds with the status quo.”

    • UWIR

      I look at the world, think for myself, and come to my own conclusions. Conclusions that just so happen to be exactly the same as everyone else in the culture that I was raised in.

  • JA

    The link to the response just goes back to the original article.

  • Layla13

    Pastor John Martens: “I don’t want to base my life on mythology and lies….so I’m going to worship an invisible man in the sky. Because that totally makes sense.”

  • GubbaBumpkin

    100 Years of Breed “Improvement”
    Some remarkable change in only a century.

    • allein

      I think that’s an example of that there “strategic energy.”

  • g75401

    Hmmmm….as a biologist and a doctor, my entire career is based on evolution. Seems real enough. BTW, when I tell most people that evolution is defined as a change of gene frequencies in a population over time and tell them the emergence of multidrug resistant bacteria is an example, they all are fairly stunned.

  • Bad_homonym

    Makes me sad to admit I live in his town!!

  • DaiCadno

    Of course he loves myths. He’s a Christian.

  • viaten

    “This sounds like a great fairy tale, but it makes for terrible science.” I think I see his “logic”. Creationism is at least as big a “fairly tale” as evolution, except creationism has an all powerful God making it all true. (So it’s no longer a fairy tale.) Evolution only has scientists trying to make it true with their “science” which can’t be done.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      I think it’d be instructional–and hilarious–to get a look at this guy’s dissertation. We might have another Hovind on our hands.

  • Jim Jones

    From the Facebook comments:

    “John graduated from Briercrest Bible College (Saskatchewan) with a pastoral degree, and the University of Manitoba with a Ph.D. in physics.”

    How can he get a doctorate in physics while failing to understand the basics?

  • Fred
  • Mario Rodgers

    Good thing the truth is still there whether you believe it or not. Evolution has plenty of evidence and is not magic. Unlike, say, pregnant virgins, talking snakes, and a big sky wizard poofing everything from out of thin air.

  • melvin lafleur

    it seems religious folk have mastered semantic double talk in order to spew forth nonsense disguised as reasoned argument.
    doesn’t science base its assertions on probabilities supported by evidence rather than asserting a divine TRUTH only supported by philosophical belief with no evidence other than anecdotal stories from the distant past. i think science can assert that the theory of evolution is at least 99.999% or more true supported in part by warehouses full of fossil evidence and peer reviewed research, and is so “true” that it is the bedrock of all life sciences.
    even an atheist though would reasonably give religion the courtesy of asserting it has some probability of truth–let’s say .0000000001% to be charitable because science never claims the infallibility that religion does.

  • Mario Rodgers

    Entropy in the universe is due to it being a closed system. There was only ONE Big Bang, thus the universe has no more input, only output. Evolution is an open system. Its continual source of energy is the sun.

  • Mario Rodgers

    I mean for crying out loud, you daft twat. We recently discovered feathers on a dinosaur species we previously thought was scaly!

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      Obviously the dinosaur had just killed a chicken. That it’d just given birth to. Get with the program here.

      (/sarcasm)

      • Justin

        Nah. The feather’s got stuck to it during the flood. All that mud just plastered them on.

    • allein

      See?! Clearly you evilutionists don’t know what you’re talking about! If you did you wouldn’t be changing your minds all the time!
      (/more sarcasm)

    • RobMcCune

      Quit ruining the pastor’s idiocy with all your information and facts!

  • Robert Sloan

    He’s correct about entropy being the reason that the Universe is the way it is. But, he came to the wrong conclusion. Entropy is the reason that evolution is possible. Brian Cox ,the scientist who does the shows on the Discovery channel, explains entropy so well, and I wish everyone would watch his shows and listen to him.

  • Juanjo

    I think it would have been pretty good to face pastor’s statements published some evidence of evolution. Is there currently any evidence to support evolution as scientific fact?

    • Obazervazi

      Look up the Lenski experiment. It’s neat.

    • Guest

      Yes, lots and lots. Look it up on Wikipedia.

    • ems

      There is no such thing as scientific fact. There can be a preponderance of evidence to strongly suggest some system works a certain way and that is used as a basis to expand human understanding from there, but science doesn’t deal in absolutes, that’s why it’s always expanding and changing. It’s an exploration that is never finished. You want to be handed answers that never change, look elsewhere.

    • C.L. Honeycutt
    • UWIR

      “I think it would have been pretty good to face pastor’s statements published some evidence of evolution.”
      Is that supposed to be English?

    • Sven2547

      Genetics, the fossil record, and anthropology all replete with evidence predicted by, and supportive of, the theory of evolution.

  • http://adderall-apocalypse.blogspot.com/ Adderall Apocalypse

    OMG! he said “tenant” instead of “tenet”! oops!

  • Guest

    Help , I just turned into a salt pilar……..

  • Thor Waldemar Wilhelmsen.

    Help , I just turned into a saltpilar………

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      *skeptical look from Sir Bedevere*

  • zamak

    He must be satirical if he has a PhD in physics.

  • sara

    I don’t “base my life” on evolution any more than he bases his on the sky being overhead. These things simply are, and don’t require any more attention than anyone chooses to give them.

  • ems

    Ask Martens if he believes that if you take two dogs who hunt well and breed them if he expect the pups will also be good at hunting. If so, then he believes in evolution. If he doesn’t believe in evolution then he doesn’t believe in breeding traits into animals because evolution is simply nature doing the same thing.

    • UWIR

      That’s not evolution, that’s inheritance. It doesn’t do the pro-science side any favors to argue for evolution with flawed arguments.

      • David Kopp

        Evolution is simply inheritance applied over a long time period… those inherited traits that improve survivability tend to be retained, and thus, evolution.

        • UWIR

          No, it’s not. Inheritance means a preservation of alleles. Evolution means a change in allele frequency.

          • guest

            The frequency of alleles was changed compared to what would have happened if mating had been random. So yes, a tiny bit of evolution did happen in that generation.

            • UWIR

              ::sigh::
              The discussion was about the phenomenon of offspring sharing the traits of their parents, not about differential reproduction rate.

  • Lord Aronsworth

    I sincerely hope Dr. Pastor Martens is trolling.

    • UWIR

      DO people get to have two titles? Or are you being sarcastic?

      • Lord Aronsworth

        Regarding his title(s), I’m being sarcastic. I do actually hope he’s just giving everyone aneurysms for his own amusement, and that he isn’t actually this stupid.

  • Justin

    I wonder. Does he believe that the earth is only 6000 years old as well?

  • The Dude

    How is that defending himself in the comment section? :) :)

  • SeekerLancer

    Yep…

  • Carmelita Spats

    American Gothic, circa 2013? Mrs. Dr. Martens’ hair…Mighty Aphrodite…Nothin’ says “rebel” like spiky bangs the shade of cotton candy on a 35+ -year-old matronly church lady…Her accessories are ALL WRONG…Jeeezus…Her jewelry is stamped with her husband’s face!!! See close-up of necklace and earrings…Creepy! Now, I realize that we are all made in God’s image so if we don’t look good, He doesn’t look good. Yes, only Jesus can save these Creationist tongue-talking frumps from Hell, but innocent bystanders can at least save them from looking like Hell in the meantime. If I were doing the makeover, I would use an Epilady, a dozen rolls of duct tape and a diesel Toro Weedwacker.

    • Justin

      You know, I didn’t notice that until you mentioned it. That is creepy. I guess that’s a sign of her ‘biblical submission’ to her husband.

    • ShoeUnited

      Some of the worst police are the fashion police.

  • scrzbill

    God raping Mary makes sense? Walking on water is not mystical? Giant flood that wipes out all species except two old farts in a tub who replenish the earth with their offspring. Brother marries sister and so on and so on. Not magical?

  • jremi

    Oh, so THAT’S what they mean when they say that entropy is disorder. Please, mr. PhD in physics, enlighten me more on how a theory is just a random guess at something, and how centrifugal force is a force pushing outwards on an object in circular motion

  • Dartheon

    I’m sorry, but based on “Dr.” Martens’ understanding of entropy and its implications, I do not buy for one second that he possesses an accredited PhD in physics. Can we dig into this because either he’s lying, or U of Manitoba needs to wind up it’s physics PhD program for good.

  • Robster

    Aw jees, like we need ANOTHER Doc Marten.

  • Michelangelo Evildeeds

    That’s a bunch of bullshit about him having a Ph.D. in physics. Because I have a Ph.D. in physics and in the process of earning said degree, I have met and spoken with hundreds of fellow physicists through classes, events, science conferences, etc. And we all come from different walks of life, different backgrounds, different countries, but the ONE thing we all have in common is that evolution through natural selection is universally accepted as science FACT. I have never in all the years it took to get my degree met a Ph.D. candidate or holder that believes in creationism, so if this guy actually does have a Ph.D. in physics, it’s from a mail order school with the word “college” in the name, because no actual university would give this jackass a doctoral degree. He got his toilet paper Ph.D. from McDonalds college.

  • Adjel

    Just because there was *a* John Martens at the U of Manitoba doesn’t mean it was him. He could have just done a search of his name with Ph.D. physics in the search and came up with a John Martens who got a Ph.D. in physics in Manitoba. I wouldn’t put it past a devout christian who wanted to try to make his lame point valid. What Ph.D. would use the words, “In terms I can understand….” ?? He’s not saying, “Simply put, in terms that you can understand….” He’s not trying to explain it to us, he’s trying to explain it to himself! Quite telling.

  • Nele Abels

    Is it only me, or is the comments section under the article gone now?

  • Kevin Ashton

    Could this possibly be this man’s PhD Thesis? http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1994PhDT…….151M

  • sbstarlite

    Evolution is proved by the fact this guy was born a human and became an asshole.

    • lolwut

      You sir, are a genius.

  • Leslie Wydeven

    I taught at a Catholic School for 20 years. I remember once a fundie parent transfered her kids to our school to get them away from the public schools. When she found out that we taught evelution in science class, she went to the principal to scream and yell. She said that if this was a Christian school we should be teaching creationism. Our pricipal responded by saying that “We do teach creationism-in religion class. In science class we teach evolution.”. Religion is religion and science is science. Why is that so hard for people to grasp?

  • Ellen Sandbeck

    If he really doesn’t believe in evolution, he should avoid modern medicine. Medical research depends upon the fact that all life on earth is related, and thus has similar biochemistry, this fact allows researchers to test new drugs and techniques on non-human organisms and then use that information to develop new drugs and techniques that can be used on humans. So, in that spirit, I strongly suggest that Pastor Martens quit getting tetanus shots.

  • labman57

    Most folks who deny experimental evidence, field observations, and scientific conclusions are basically clueless (read “scientifically illiterate”) about the methodology with which the findings are obtained.

  • Mark W.

    This is the good thing about Canada. When one of us steps up and says something idiotic, the rest of us slap them down, we don’t pat them on the head and tell them to keep doing “God’s Werk™”.

  • http://TheHeroSagas.com/ Michael Reed McLaughlin

    I don’t want to believe such ignorance and irrational thinking is possible in a grown human being; but I cede that it is certainly possible… it doesn’t even require a belief in something magical or mythical to do so.

  • Corby Ziesman

    “In terms I can understand, entropy is this…”?? Terms he can understand? Someone claiming to have a PhD in Physics says this? Here is something taught in first year physics courses, but I’m just a stupid Physicist with a PhD, so here it is in small words, so that even I can understand them? That makes NO sense.

  • lolwut

    As hilarious as this article is, and how insightful it is into the mids of modern day fundamentalist christians who STILL disprove fundamentals of accepted sciece, I have to openly disagree that evolution and God are more than compatible; they’re almost complementary. Even from a ‘scriptural’ standpoint. Why do you think the OT is riddled with crap about family abuse and punsihments of death for simple sins? Because they were more UNEVOLVED. Try explaining concepts of progression in biology and lifeforms in terms of bacteria, micro-organisms and even shifting land masses to someone 3,500 years ago (Moses times-ish). My guess is their summation would be pretty similar to the account in Genesis. Come on people, if you take someone’s interpretation of events 3,500 years ago you’re gonna have a bad time! Time to evolve and think outside the box, and that applies for both religion AND science.

  • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

    This “Ph.D” doesn’t know anything about physics.

    When it comes to entropy, or the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, Brian Green in his first book “The Elegant Universe” describes how evolution would pose absolutely no problem to it:

    “Everything tends towards greater disorder. Even if you clean your cluttered
    desk, decreasing its entropy, the total entropy, including that of your body
    and the air in the room, actually increase. You see, to clean your desk you
    have to expend energy, you have to disrupt some of the orderly molecules of fat
    in your body to create this energy for your muscles, and as you clean, your
    body gives off heat, which jostles the surrounding air molecules into a higher
    state of agitation and disorder. When all of these effects are accounted for,
    they more than compensate for your desk’s decrease in entropy, and thus the
    total entropy increases.” (pp. 334-335)

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    Lets accept the creationist claim that Earth is moving from a low to a high entropy state (ignoring inputs from the Sun). It still doesn’t mean that evolution is impossible.
    As an example: water is stored behind a dam (a low entropy state). When released, it flows downhill, converting its potential energy into the energy of moving water, and comes to rest in a lake at bottom (a high entropy state). The energy of moving water can float a boat downstream or (if you stick some blades into it) be used to grind corn or turn turbines to produce electricity. The movement from a low to a high entropy state is “work”.
    In the same way, the biological systems of the Earth perform the “work” of evolution as they move from a low to a high entropy state.

    If increasing entropy means that evolution cannot happen, then there cannot be enough energy for seeds to grow or animals to reproduce for generations. Same energy requirements – actually, they are pretty much the same processes.

    The “messy room”, “weedy gardens” examples of high entropy states used by Hovind to prove how “it’s all going downhill” amuse me. The highest entropy thing I can imagine (on Earth) is the dead opossum in my backyard. But the body is teaming with life – bacteria, fungus, bugs and small animals get their entropy lowered by feasting on its remains. Those abandoned cities of weed covered ruins become the home to wildlife (as in “I am Legend”). Stuff may not stay in the state that suits our personal likes, but is doesn’t become lifeless and barren because we personally don’t expend energy on it.

  • Rain

    Looks like it’s deleted. I don’t blame him either. I sure would delete it too.

  • ron

    This peacher I as dumb as a sack of rocks.


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