Fact or fiction?

Daniel W. Jarvis writes a regular column for a Marco Island community newspaper. I stumbled across his most recent piece, which announces that he will be poking evolution with a stick in his next few columns and promoting intelligent design. This first column doesn’t present much hope for the series as his arguments tend to wander around like a driver picking up random hitchhikers.

First he tries to paint evolution as nothing more than a fictional artist representation of a few random bones. This immediately reveals that Jarvis doesn’t take evolution seriously enough to even do some basic research or reading before launching his attack. I would go so far as to say Jarvis doesn’t take science as a whole seriously. He wants the reader to think that a fictional TV program can be repackaged as “fact” just so long as a scientist does the narration. Heck, those man-monkeys are just fanciful creations blooming in some nutty artist’s mind. I’m sure, though, that there are those who would disagree with that sentiment.

He apparently wants to plant the seed in his readers’ minds that evolution is nothing more than a special effects show put on by some mad scientists. I wonder what he thinks about educational programs that use recreations and artist representations to show the general public concepts in astronomy or ancient Egyptian history. Furthermore, Jarvis focuses on human evolution, leaving out all the rest of the planet’s life, past and present. This looks to be another attempt to play on the readers’ emotions akin to “my grandpa was no monkey.” And Jarvis decides to only mention a handful of bones, as if that’s all scientists have to go off of. Has Jarvis heard of something called a genome and all the research going on there? Maybe not.

Jarvis admits that evolution is widely accepted, or “trumpeted” as he puts it, but he claims it’s all just assumptions with no proven absolutes. Well, I hate to tell Jarvis this, but he’ll have a hard time finding proven absolutes in all of science. That’s not the way science works, further showing Jarvis’ lack of understanding, or caring for that matter. And the assumptions he might be referring to are not assumptions, but scientific theories. These theories are not just some wild guesses, but rather an attempt to solve a puzzle based on evidence. Jarvis has his own little straw man factory it would seem. Everything he has written so far has been a slipshod misrepresentation of reality.

Jarvis is just getting warmed up. Next he hints at a conspiracy preventing teachers from daring to contradict evolution. Supposedly, these poor teachers have all sorts of “hard evidence” against evolution and risk getting fired should they dare to reveal it to those impressionable students. “Freedom and discovery are not tolerated,” he wrote. However, the reality is that if only this hard evidence went through the same research and peer review process that all other science goes through, then those teachers would not only be free to show it all to students, they would be told to do so. The thing is that public school students are taught established, sound science in order to build a foundation on which further interest and schooling can be built. The public school classroom is not the place to introduce goofy ideas that have no research behind them. Hard evidence? If Jarvis has some of that, I think a Nobel might be in his future.

Finally, Jarvis reveals that he’s going to bring to light evidence for intelligent design in future installments. Talk about “artistically enhanced”! This ought to be entertaining.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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9 Responses to Fact or fiction?

  1. Phyllis says:

    Does this Marco Island gossip sheet have a letters to the editor section? It might be interesting to see what sort of response the article generates. If needed, we can send in something ourselves. Like how puzzling it is that Jarvis wants to advertise his abject ignorance.

  2. quork says:

    As I noted in a comment on that site (yet to appear), it is ironic that Jarvis wishes to use a venue entitled “The Faith Connection” to make the case that ID is science and not religion.

  3. Jonathan Smith says:

    Funny, I also posted a comment on that site early yesterday which
    has yet to appear.

  4. Ravilyn Sanders says:

    To be fair, the Marco Island sheet is posting all my comments without problems. They seem to be short staffed and do spam filtering manually. So the updates appears in batches.

  5. Ravilyn Sanders says:

    Daniel Jarvis has posted his second part now.


    The highlight is basically he wants science to consider supernatural causes to explain natural events. I sent a satirical piece imagining Jarvis as the defense lawyer blaming an invisible undetectable assailant. Don’t know if it will pass their screening.

    I wonder if these newspapers use people like Jarvis specifically as a troll to generate traffic. Would you have ever visited Marco Island Sun Times if it were not for the rantings of Jarvis?

  6. Pingback: Florida Citizens for Science » Blog Archive » Waiting for the evidence

  7. quork says:

    I found the second installment. Since he mentioned geology, I gave him a bit of Glenn R. Morton’s account: Why I left Young-earth Creationism.

  8. Pingback: Florida Citizens for Science » Blog Archive » Consider the evidence IV

  9. Pingback: Florida Citizens for Science » Blog Archive » Why, yes, I did gain some new information.

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