Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Darwin Shot the VT Students, Take 2

And yet another con man creationist has pinned the blame for the VT shootings on poor ol’ Charles Darwin. This time it’s Grady McMurtry of Creation Worldview Ministries (coincidentally also past chairman of the board of Liberty Counsel). He says:

For years, he says, public schools and universities have taught the theory of evolution as fact, with no opposing viewpoints — and the result, he contends, is a lack of respect for human life.

Therefore, he asserts, people should not be surprised when mass shootings occur, such as the one on the Blacksburg university campus on Monday. “And at Virginia Tech, what do we have?” he asks rhetorically. “We have a person who, unfortunately, thought that humans had no more value than cats and dogs — and unfortunately, I think, probably felt the same way about themselves.”

Of course. Because before Darwin came along, there was no one to challenge the Christian ideal that says everyone is inherently valuable. I’m sure Calvin was thinking about the inherent sanctity of human life when he had Michael Servetus burned at the stake. And no doubt Luther was just defending the inherent value of each and every person – except Jews, of course, whose homes he demanded be burned down. And no doubt Torquemada had only the dignity of all God’s creatures on his mind as he strapped heretics and blasphemers to the rack. And witches don’t count as people, right?

The creationist continues explaining his premise. “And so what happens? If we are nothing but thinking animals, [and] if you have excess people, then you can just put them in a bag, throw them in the river the way you would too many kittens or too many puppies.”

Yes, of course, because we all know that those who believe in evolution just love throwing bags full of kittens in the river. I’m getting together this weekend with several evolutionary biologists for a belated 100th birthday party for Ernst Mayr that will no doubt involve lots of puppies fed in to wood chippers as we rub our hands together and cackle. But now that McMurtry has figured out our little game, we’re going to have to throw him in the river too (insert evil laugh here).


  1. #1 Steve Murphy
    April 20, 2007

    Wood chippers? How passe. We’re going to be using a steamroller on puppies and kittens and baby birds – we got the idea from the other cause of the shootings: violent video games and movies! Hail, Charles, lord of darkness.


    More serious note: Thanks for the link Ed. I recommend my students read your blog because you post materials that a lot of them don’t think could possibly exist because of the illogic and hyperbole that is written by the authors. The one you linked above is a good (bad?) example.

  2. #2 Shap
    April 20, 2007

    To me it sounds like he’s saying:

    Sure, it’s OK to drown puppies and kittens, everyone knows there’s nothing wrong with that. Darwin made it OK to do the same thing to humans, and that’s where I draw the line.

    (Unless of course, they’re atheists, scientists, homosexuals, muslims, liberals, pacifists, etc…)

  3. #3 Robert
    April 20, 2007

    Yah, because the belief that this life is just a transitory period between everlasting paradise, or everlasting perdition (justly deserved of course) is oh so wonderful for promoting the value of human life. If heaven is just around the corner for the dead, then why not go on killing rampages? What harm are you truly doing when you are speeding people to heaven or to deserved punishment?

    Also, how arrogant do you have to be to dictate other people’s beliefs to them? Plenty of people believe in evolution and religion. But of course, they’re just wrong (on the theological side… you know the unprovable one…)

    What a harpy.

  4. #4 Lynn
    April 20, 2007

    Wait! I don’t notice any of those unprincipled animals putting kitties in sacks and drowning them in the river! I can’t remember the last time I saw a chimp bludgeon a puppy.

    Ummm… only people do these things. Not those dirty *animal* animals. Only people. And they’ve been doing them since looooong before 1858.


  5. #5 Roy
    April 20, 2007

    Let me get this straight. Atheists think humans should be treated like animals, and religionists think excess puppies and kitties should be drowned in a sack?

    Ewww, that’s creepy.

    Okay, then I think for our own protection we should bag all the religious people and feed them to the fishes. It would be healthy for the fish, not cruel, and safer for us.

  6. #6 Gretchen
    April 20, 2007

    It creeps me out to hear the various sorts of horrible things some people think would be okay to do if a) evolutionary theory is true, or b) there is no god, or both. Apparently Grady McMurtry desperately wants to throw bags of kittens in the river (not to mention slapping a few puppies), and the only thing that holds him back is the belief that we are God’s special science project.

    No, wait….he wants throw bags of people in the river! Somebody please get this man a psychiatrist.

  7. #7 valhar2000
    April 20, 2007

    Ed, PZ noticed something very telling that seems to have scaped your attention. What this kook said implies that creationists drown puppies (becuase there life does not have a god-given value)!

  8. #8 Matthew Young
    April 20, 2007

    Surely if anything teaches insufficient respect for human life then it is all the idiotic religious doctrines that make up such preposterous nonsense about life after death.

    I would say the atheist position – or rather, decomposition – is more consistent with a respect for human life as we believe that the, hopefully, seventy-odd years we get here really is all there is.

    Does it make killing someone easier or harder if you believe they are going to heaven and their families may see them again if and when they get there, or if you know that this is it, finished, lights out?

  9. #9 Matthew Young
    April 20, 2007

    Whoops. Kind of, er, like Robert said.

  10. #10 Stuart Coleman
    April 20, 2007

    Ed, you’ve got it all wrong. He’s actually condoning the act of drowning puppies and kittens, and saying that Evilutionists would do the same thing to humans. Which is conveniently ignoring the facts that drowning animals is reprehensible and that no Evilutionist supports killing people because of evolution.

    It’s kind of funny that in his attempt to paint Evilutionists as being cold, heartless bastards, he reveals that he’s a cold, heartless bastard.

  11. #11 lauram
    April 20, 2007

    From my blog post on this genius of modern thought:

    “Um, but wouldn’t feeling that this life is the ONLY life (as opposed to an after-life) give this life FAR MORE VALUE? Wouldn’t you treat it as sacred and special and not just a rest-area on the way to the final Heavenland vacation? If it were me, and someone told me that the rest-area was all I got and that I would never leave it and go someplace more magical, I might paint the walls, put up some curtains, make a few knick-knacks and have some people over for beer and popcorn. I wouldn’t just take a dump, kick the vending machine and throw trash on the floor on my way out.”

  12. #12 PoE
    April 20, 2007

    It’s that problem of evil thing — Since everything has to have a reason, it had to be the devil. But since devils are not fashionable anymore, it’s that no true believer of God could do such a thing, and those unbelievers are who we call atheists.

  13. #13 Kristine
    April 20, 2007

    I’m sure Calvin was thinking about the inherent sanctity of human life when he had Michael Servetus burned at the stake. And no doubt Luther was just defending the inherent value of each and every person – except Jews, of course, whose homes he demanded be burned down.

    Let’s not forget that the Discovery Institute’s favorite figure from history, Isaac Newton, had at least 10 people hung and drawn and quartered, and delighted in it. (I don’t care that they were counterfeiters. Ick.)

  14. #14 386sx
    April 20, 2007

    Prof. Dr Grady McMurtry: “Please allow us to teach the truth about what is really in the ground, like the out of order layers and polystrate fossils, as opposed to what evolutionists say is in the ground.” That’s from the same Prof. Dr Grady McMurtry who says, “The solution to evolution is education!” Yeah. Boy, he sure doesn’t write like he’s a “Prof. Dr”. Lol, I wonder where he got his “Prof. Dr” from.

  15. #15 Ed Brayton
    April 20, 2007

    Predictably, his doctorate is not in science at all. He has a degree in “agricultural science” and no training in geology at all.

  16. #16 Ed Darrell
    April 20, 2007

    C’mon, Christians! Each of the shooters at these school tragedies has been affiliated with Christian groups. Each and every one.

    It ain’t Darwin to blame here. And while I don’t think it’s fair to blame the churches these kids attended, I think it’s worth pondering that despite the fact that Christians and their churches had opportunities to reach each of the shooters, enfold them in love, and generally love them out of murderous rampages, it didn’t happen.

    Plus, there is not an iota of evidence that any of the shooters knew anything at all about Darwin. None.

    Maybe, had they known about Darwin, they’d have not been shooters. That’s much less far-fetched than what D’Souza claims.

  17. #17 royale
    April 21, 2007

    Hey Ed – am I crazy, or this post a load of patronizing crap.


  18. #18 raj
    April 22, 2007

    Nice post, but a minor nit.

    Can we please refer to the shooting as VA Tech, not VT. VT is also the postal reference for Vermont. It took me a while to recognize that the shootings were not in Vermont.

    Disambiguate when you can.

  19. #19 bobby
    April 26, 2007

    i saw a chimp bludgeon a puppy once… very sad

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.