Thursday, September 15, 2022

#2566: Kirk Blankenship

Kirk Blankenship is Associate Pastor at Meadowview Reformed Presbyterian Church. And Blankenship is a creationist. He wants public schools to “teach both sides” of what he perceives to be the evolution–creation debate, which is not a scientific debate but which he confuses not only with a scientific debate but with a debate over atheism vs theism. In other words, Blankenship maintains a very simple worldview where all distinctions map nicely onto each other. He needs his worldview to be simple.


So in his letter-to-the-editor s in The Dispatch of Lexington, North Carolina titled ‘Writers are dogmatic’, he bemoans the narrow-mindedness of freethinkers and recounts his own stint as a … science teacher in public schools and the errors and lies he himself chose to tell his students. For instance, Blankenship quote-mined Darwin by attributing to him a claim admitting that problems (e.g. lack of transitional forms) “would be fatal to the theory.” That of course, was Darwin’s description of an objection, to which Darwin also responded comprehensively (the current status of the record of transitional fossils is also pretty impressive, contrary to what Blankenship told his students). He also repeated a standard, dishonest creationist quote mining of Stephen J. Gould.


Even worse, he said “When I was teaching science to sixth-graders, they learned that part of the scientific method is being able to perform a repeatable experiment.” And this is so dumb a misunderstanding of science that you know you are talking to a deranged creationist. No, science isn’t necessarily experimential, and – more importantly – “repeatability” refers to the possibility or repeating the observation, not repeating the phenomenon the observation is evidence for. That other scientists find the same kinds of fossils in the same layers is successful satisfaction of the principle of repeatability! Blankenship, of course, is just parroting the misunderstandings over at Answers in Genesis. He has no real idea about what’s going on about anything.


Diagnosis: Denialist moron, supremely unfit for instructing anyone about anything. A minor but harmful figure whose background in public schools is terrifying.


Hat-tip: Sensuous Curmudgeon