According to the Rockdale Citizen, on whose website the oped with this title appeared, its author, the Reverend John Pearrell, is
pastor of Gateway Community Church in Covington. For more information, visit the Gateway website at www.gatewaycommunity.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless I've misunderstood, this is his 150th contribution to the Rockdale Citizen; certainly there's lots of evidence that his articles are a regular feature. I discovered ample proof when I was forced to search around the site in the wake of . . . but see below.
The Rev. Pearrell is motivated by a recent occasion in which nonbelievers objected to the outfitting of all the cabins in Georgia's state parks with bibles; a compromise was reached, apparently, whereby the bibles were paired with appropriate rationalist literature. (It seems Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists et al. weren't catered for.) The pastor doesn't object to this, he tells us, but demands a quid pro quo: the teaching of creationsm in Georgia's public schools. Why do atheists object to this? Why do they insist that freedom of speech be, as it were, a one way street.
It doesn't require a superfluity of brain cells -- or more than a passing acquaintance with the US Constitution -- to see the flaw in his argument; in fact, it's more or less all flaw. But, leaving that to one side, he made a number of factual errors as he moved on to attack evolution, errors that, three days ago, on the 24th, I endeavored to correct with a mild-mannered comment (quotes from Pearrell's piece in italics):
evolutionist Richard Leaky III
Who is this person? Even correcting the surname to "Leakey", I can find no trace. I checked several generations of the Leakey family in Wikipedia, and there seems to be no such individual.
In fact, even science has shelved Darwinian evolution (the antiquated view we still teach in our public schools) in favor of the theory of punctuated equilibrium — the sudden appearance of various life-forms during various ages rather than the old Darwinian mutation model.
This is nonsense; quite clearly you haven't bothered to check the meaning of the term "punctuated equilibrium". When/if you do, you'll discover that, far from replacing the theory of evolution by natural selection, this accepts it entirely. All that the punctuated equilibrium hypothesis suggests is that long periods of fairly steady evolutionary change can be punctuated, at least locally, by periods of relatively rapid change -- a radical change in climate conditions, for example, might extinguish many species while (to simplify) offering new opportunities for others to adapt.
Case in point is when Darwin unearthed his Australopithecus he hid for 50 years under the floor board of his house, evidence that clearly contradicted his find.
This is hilarious, Darwin was long dead by the time the first Australopithecus fossil was discovered. And, if indeed he'd found one, it might have served to support rather than rebut his theory. What on earth can you be talking about?
Up came a little notice to tell my comment was awaiting moderation. Well, guess what? The term "moderated" proves in this instance to be a euphemism along the lines of "extreme prejudice". If anyone else made similar comments -- and I can't imagine I was the only one to spot these and the plenteous other errors -- those comments suffered the same fate; indeed, the comments section for this oped remains resolutely empty.
At first, of course, I expected my comment would appear, and so I kept an eye on the page on the assumption that there'd be angry rebuttals from creationist knuckleheads that I might want, in turn, to rebut. As time went on, though, and still my corrections failed to "pass moderation", I eventually posted a follow-up:
So, my long and detailed comment has been "moderated" into oblivion, eh? I've been checking around the site and, as far as I can ascertain (I may be wrong), there has been not one single comment permitted on any of Rev. Pearrell's opinion pieces.
This makes the heading of the current one, Athiests want double standard when expressing their views in public, quite hilarious. Does no one at the Rockdale Citizen have an irony meter?
Oh, and you folks ought to learn to spell "atheist".
That was "moderated" as well, but it did seem to produce a reaction of sorts. The Rockdale Citizen changed the oped's URL . . . so I'd have difficulty finding it again?