Thursday, April 18, 2019

#2175: Charles A. Rodenberger

It’s somewhat interesting to go dumpster-diving in the Discovery Institute’s ridiculous anti-evolution petition A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, and see what you dredge up. Charles A. Rodenberger appears to be fairly typical of the signatories – at least among those who seem to know what they actually signed their name to (many apparently didn’t). Rodenberger (apparently the husband of author Lou Halsell Rodenberger) does have a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, which of course is completely unrelated to evolution and should therefore not give him any authority when speaking about matters related to biology, and was for a while professor at Texas A&M University. Currently Rodenberger is retired, but continues to teach Sunday school and write for Livestock Weekly as a “creation scientist”. Rodenberger has said that he is “convinced that Evolution is a nonscientific teaching based on faith because the laws of physics and chemistry prove that evolution of living molecules from the random interaction of hydrogen atoms is statistically impossible,” which, of course, is both false and entirely irrelevant to the theory of evolution. (He is not entirely specific about what “laws” he is referring to, but it is not unreasonably to suspect it would be the laws of thermodynamics, which would be indicative of a breathtaking lack of understanding of physics, evolution or both.) At least he has implored the United Methodist Church to teach the “evolution/creation controversy” in church. Churches are of course great venues for settling scientific debates. This was never about scientific debates, of course.

Diagnosis: A fairly typical representative of the signatories to the Discovery Institute’s list: has a real degree, but is perfectly willing to reject any piece of science when it doesn’t fit what he wants to believe. Well into his 90s, Rodenberger is probably not a major threat to civilization, but as a typical representative of a way of thinking that certainly is, we nevertheless think it is worth giving him an entry.

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