In Dale Hemming’s Atheist Sioux Falls billboards: young Earth, Inquisition & evolution I noted that Dale Hemming, founder of the anti-Christian support group Sioux Falls Free Thinkers, claimed to have spent (read as “wasted”) $4,500 per month on a billboard “trying to educate people on what he calls the truth” a “truth” for which his worldview cannot account and “He refers to people as witch doctors if they educate against evolution” so his level of maturity is clearly on display. And this is a follow up since I had also noted that he employs the term “evolution” without a definition.
Thus, I wrote to him asking, “I was curious about your billboard which features ‘Worship The Skull’ (I LOVE it!!!): what definition of ‘evolution’ do you have in mind?” Here is the ad and I did get a kick out of the Worship The Skull bit—as misguided as it is:
He was kind enough to reply:
1. The process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
2. The gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.
“the forms of written languages undergo constant evolution”
3. I also consider earth’s constant change over geological time as part of earth’s continual evolution.
The first definition is the contextually relevant one so I followed up on that one, see below.
The second shows how lose the term can become when not defined since, for example, the forms of written languages undergo constant re-design or fine tuning which some term evolution. The third is interesting as is a perfect fit for those who believe in climate change but are skeptical that it is anthropogenic.
He further noted:
My thinking behind the “Witch Doctor” billboard is explained below.
Creationists, Revisionists, Fundamentalists, and Evangelists preach “There Is No Evolution” and the “Earth Is Only 6,000 Years Old.” During the middle ages believing otherwise could get you burnt alive at the stake.
I would certainly like to see even one citation for this very specific claim.
He further noted:
The truth is that Evolution Is A Fact and the Earth Is Not 6,000 Years Old. Just like science proved that the Earth Circles The Sun and that the Earth was not the center of the Universe, in spite of religious teachings otherwise then, we all now accept as facts that the Earth Circles The Sun and that the Earth is not the center of the Universe. We now need to accept Evolution and The Real Age of the Earth as FACTS.
Science has proven that Evolution Is A Fact and the Earth Is 4,000,000,000 Years Old! Religious leaders today preaching otherwise are no different than ancient Witch Doctors who used their power over their followers to control their very thinking. Facts and truth were not important. What was important was the power to make their followers believe as the Witch Doctors wanted them to believe.
Creationists, Revisionists, Fundamentalists, and Evangelists preachers are the same as the ancient witch doctors in my mind. And they would burn people at the stake again for “disbelief” if our laws would allow it.
I hope that clarifies what I am trying to say.
Well, these are merely a list of one-liner talking points and the fact that he is writing them against “religious teachings” shows that he is being generic enough to make his arguments virtually meaningless. I stated this because “religious teachings” covers every single religion the world has ever known and that is quite the broom with which to paint.
He also wrote, “FYI: There are 917 hate groups in the United States according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Over 700 of those hate groups are Christian based. There are a lot of good Christians, but also some really bad ones.”
I am unsure what this has to do with anything—except that as noted Atheism as a whole is an anti-Christian support group—nor why the Southern Poverty Law Center is any sort of authority. Yet, this too is illogical and fallacious since a merely statistical analysis results in the conclusion that in a Christian majority country there will inevitably be a Christian majority in virtually any category just like in an Atheist majority country there will inevitably be an Atheist majority in virtually any category.
Moreover, he does not define “hate group” nor “Christian” for that matter: for example, some claim that the KKK is a Christian group which is like stating that vegans are carnivores.
Back to the issue, I replied:
Thank you for elucidating, friend.
I wonder which (as is who) Creationist, Revisionist, Fundamentalist or Evangelist disagrees that “different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.”
Dale Hemming replied
They are on the Internet. I do not have specific names. Also various “believers” in Sioux Falls have challenged Evolution is Real and the True Age of the Earth.
Here is my reply:
Thank you for the follow-up.
I performed test to help you out. I wrote to Creation Ministries International which are young Eathers and I was told by Don Batten, B.Sc.Agr. (Hons 1), Ph.D., “creationist biologists believe that diverse varieties of organisms have descended from common ancestors” so that they agree with your most contextual definition which was your first one.
I had simply asked Batten, “would you agree or disagree that it is a fact that ‘different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth’?”
You see, Dale Hemming simply knows not of what he speaks in this case. Firstly, I found it fascinating, odd and rare that he referred to “different kinds of living organisms” rather than the more common term “species” (another term that requires definition). Kind is the term that creationists would use (based on Genesis 6) and, as evidenced, would certain agree that they “developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.” The difference is that these kinds are major categories within which diversity developed (which some term “micro-evolution”) but do not transform into other kinds (which some term “macro-evolution”).
The concept is that the originally created kinds consisted of enough genetic programming to allow for future diversification: so that some sort of canine could become wolves as well as common dogs of all shapes and sizes but not become felines, for example.
Dale Hemming’s view, the view of contention, is that evolution is “The process” which began when nothing caused nothing to explode for no reason and made everything without meaning—and on it goes. That they “developed and diversified” implies increased in information from allegedly simpler earlier forms which is scientifically unknown.
I could go on and on but the point is that Dale Hemming has very successfully argued against a claim that has not been made in the first place. He threw money away in a bankrupt attempt to demonstrate just how clever he is and did so again a generic “They” who “are on the Internet” somewhere abouts for whom he does “not have specific names.” It seems that he needs to break out of his Atheist circles and actually interact with people who could have told him such things ahead of his launching the sinking ship of his billboard.
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