Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Mike, a Shawnee, KS father and Sunday school teacher passes us a note about an interesting conversation at this church's Adult Sunday School. There's some food for thought in there, but I'm afraid I filled up on An Open letter to the Board of Education, about The Atomic Theory of Matter:
… We ask for a spirit of true open-mindedness in science, and a willingness to question established authority.

In that same spirit, we propose that the other theory that should be reconsidered is the “atomic theory of matter.”

An open minded and fair hearing of the following arguments will show why the State Board of Education should consider requiring the teaching of alternative theories of the nature of matter, just as they are considering alternatives to the theory of evolution.

First, it should be noted that the modern development of this theory has led some physicists to adhere to a number of logically impossible and absurd assertions. For example, there is the widely held “uncertainty principle,” which says it is physically impossible to know both the exact location and speed of a particle. This principle defies common sense. Simple observation of a dust particle shows the location – right in front of your eyes – and the speed -- very slow. [TfK emphasis. This cracks me up. I'm not sure why.]

Even stranger is the notion in quantum physics that particles have no definite existence until they are observed. This kind of thinking was rejected by the greatest scientist of all time, Albert Einstein, who famously said; “God does not play dice with the universe.”

Second, most of the so called “evidence” for the atomic theory of matter does not hold up to close scrutiny. For example, Ben Franklin did not actually see any electrons, he just saw a flash of light. (Lucky for us he lived long enough to claim to have invented electricity). No else has ever seen electrons, people can see only light. And the fact that we get sparks when we rub our feet on the carpet and touch metal doesn’t prove anything – the muffler on my car sparks as it drags across the pavement, and no one claims that is proof of the existence of “electrons.”

The atomic theory of matter ignores the existence of a supreme creator. A few scientists claim that matter “came into being” in some mysterious process at some indefinite time after the “Big Bang.” (Don’t get me started on that!) That’s not what the Bible says. In fact, I read the Bible once, and I don’t remember anything about any atoms anywhere in it. (Well, I only read the first few pages – but that’s where the story of creation is, anyway.)

In conclusion, Kansans won’t tolerate queerness in our marriages; so we not should tolerate it in our physics either.


Mortimer Simplex, B.S., M.S., PhD;
Executive Director
Kansans for a Christian Public Education
Our Motto: Aude sapere via reductio ad absurdum.
I think it says something that even Kansans have trouble taking this nonsense seriously. There are truly some things that can only be discussed through satire. And this pretty much does what can be done. ID is an extended argument from incredulity justified by arguments from ignorance. (Arguments from ignorance do not require that the arguer be ignorant, just that there be a generalized ignorance about a topic, a gap to fill with speculation.)

Note that the author of this teaches in his Sunday school. This isn't an attack on religion, just an attack on bad religion masquerading as bad science. (Or vice versa.)