Do I have to do this again?

I should warn you, I’m not in a good mood. The Xmas season does that to me, I’m soured on the ugly combination of raging religiosity and constant consumerism, and then the elevated expectations that the holiday never meets, and the fact that it’s just a brief break between labors that I have to spend getting prepared for the next semester. Just call me Scrooge, and I don’t believe in ghosts, so I don’t expect redemption.

Another thing that doesn’t help is other humans. See that grinning fellow on the right? That’s Richard Eggleston, retired ophthalmologist, and shallow Christian. Also a colossal motherfucking dumbass idiot who used his holiday to write a long cliched letter to his local newspaper in which he declared “We are seeing the last few gasps of macroevolution” and parrots the dumbest, most thoroughly refuted canards of the last 60+ years of creationism, failing to acknowledge even the slightest doubt his dogma.

Before I vomit all over it, let me say that I don’t think most Christians share his views. Most citizens of this country broadly accept the general idea that the Earth is very old and that life has changed over that long history, although many will try to vaguely credit some kind of god as having a poorly-defined role in somehow guiding it, and they may also have a reluctance to say humans are directly a product of that process. We’re special, you know. There is, however, a cult-like subset that actively and stupidly denies pretty much all of science in order to prop up their benighted beliefs about Jesus. Richard Eggleston represents these cancerous polyps growing in the feculent muck of intellectually impoverished Christianity.

He’s also a terrible writer who can’t maintain a train of thought for more than a sentence.

Here’s his opening argument, for instance.

Why do evolutionists spend so much time and effort attacking intelligent design? Not because they think it is wrong and want to “save science” but because they know it to be true and that it will demolish their humanistic world view beliefs. When questions are allowed, it is science. When not, it’s propaganda. True science is evidence-based, as is Christianity. Centuries-old prophecies, of which more than 300 about Jesus were fulfilled, and 1,500 others were mostly fulfilled. The rest are waiting for the apocalypse.

In sum: he knows what ‘evolutionists’ believe; we know that Christianity is true; we are afraid that our “world view” will be destroyed if we admit it. None of that is true. One of the hallmarks of the True Christianity is a complete inability to see the world from another perspective.

It’s the Christians who don’t allow questions…or rather, only tolerate one answer. In that infamous Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate, it was Nye who was willing to change his mind given evidence, while it was Ham, who seems to be the source of most of Eggleston’s ideas, who refused to consider the possibility. Eggleston then wanders off into Christian propaganda, claiming that “predictions” from a holy book are evidence, rather than ambiguous claims that have been extensively reinterpreted by apologists, and somehow we’re supposed to believe in an upcoming apocalypse. Focus, man, focus. There are at least a half-dozen assertions in that one paragraph and he can’t back up any of them.

The rest of his long op-ed consists of a string of creationism’s dumbest hits: all of the animal phyla appeared in the Cambrian explosion, there are no transitional forms, quote-mines to claim that well-known evolutionary biologists, like Charles Darwin, Colin Patterson, and Jenny Clack denied the evidence for evolution, and gross misunderstandings of what evolution claims. For example,

They believe billions of years of DNA mutations from nonliving goo somehow spontaneously, in a magical moment, eventually brought humans into existence, a process termed abiogenesis. The evolutionists will cite examples of microevolution as being macroevolution to falsely support their position. Most mutations are fatal.

Nope. No one believes in his “magical moment” that transformed goo into humans.

It’s just too tedious to dissect. And then he ends on nonsense about abortions because, of course, he’s just regurgitating familiar fundamentalist bullshit, and that’s part of the litany.

I am so fed up with the never-ending flood of lies pouring out of stupid old farts like Eggleston, or young farts who have been infected with the pathological poison of this peculiar literalist sect that just shrieks the certainty of their dogma but never pauses to think, and evaluate, and question. A child could see through the entirety of his opinions.


  1. says

    A Total Dunce who’s too stupid to abandon every oft-debunked claims about evolution while embracing the fantasy of creationism which is in my honest opinion a part of White Supremacist Ideology.

  2. larpar says

    If the bible was true, we wouldn’t need ophthalmologist.
    Either that or one of my distant ancestors picked up sticks on a Sunday and now I have to wear glasses.

  3. muttpupdad says

    If he truly followed his babble he and his clients would not be allowed in temple or church under Leviticus 21:18 rules on those with disabilities such as bad eyes. They need to read all the laws not just the ones they like.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    Why do evolutionists spend so much time and effort attacking intelligent design?

    He asks, before spending much time and effort attacking evolution.

  5. raven says

    Why do evolutionists spend so much time and effort attacking intelligent design?

    The first sentence is a lie.
    It is also wrong.

    Evolutionists spend very litte time and effort attacking intelligent design.
    Because there is nothing there to attack.
    Intelligent design is just creationism with a new name and it was discredited over a century ago.
    It lives on as a religious belief of a toxic subset of clueless xians known as the fundies.

    And there is no such thing as Evolutionists anyway.
    The correct term is biologists, scientists, evolutionary biologists or,…normal people.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    Centuries-old prophecies, of which more than 300 about Jesus were fulfilled, and 1,500 others were mostly fulfilled.

    Or not.
    Examination of the Prophecies, by Thomas Paine

    THE passages called Prophecies of, or concerning, Jesus Christ, in the Old Testament may be classed under the two following heads.

    First, those referred to in the four books of the New Testament, called the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

    Secondly, those which translators and commentators have, of their own imagination, erected into prophecies, and dubbed with that title at the head of the several chapters of the Old Testament. Of these it is scarcely worth while to waste time, ink, and paper upon; I shall, therefore, confine myself chiefly to those referred to in the aforesaid four books of the New Testament. If I show that these are not prophecies of the person called Jesus Christ, nor have reference to any such person, it will be perfectly needless to combat those which translators or the church have invented, and for which they had no other authority than their own imagination.

    I begin with the book called the Gospel according to St. Matthew…

  7. raven says

    Most mutations are fatal.

    Cthulhu another lie from this ignorant kook.

    Most mutations are neutral,
    They have no visible effects on the organism that carry them.

    This is basic high school level biology.

    The most commonly-observed mutations that are detectable as variation in the genetic makeup of organisms and populations appear to have no visible effect on the fitness of individuals and are therefore neutral.

    Neutral mutation – Wikipedia
    Wikipedia › wiki › Neutral_mutation

    If his kooky perversion of xianity was true, this guy wouldn’t have to lie all the time.

  8. raven says

    How many gene mutations does the average person have?

    When those copies are made inside the parents’ bodies, errors or “mutations” can occur. So how many unique mutations does each human have in their genes? A 2011 study in Nature Genetics examined the genomes of two human families and found that children in the study had an average of 42 unique mutations.

    Human Mutation Rate: How Many DNA … – Stated Clearly
    Stated Clearly › articles › human-muta..

    I’m going to expand on how and why we know that most mutations are neutral.

    Due to advances in DNA sequencing, we can now sequence the DNA of parents and their children and simply…count the mutations that occurred at each generation.

    It is an average of 42 new mutations per generation.
    If most mutations were fatal, all species on the earth would have died out in one generation.

    The reality is that mutations may be deleterious, fatal, neutral, or beneficial.

    He could have looked this up on Google or Wikipedia in less than a minute, which is what I just did.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    It’s the Christians who don’t allow questions…or rather, only tolerate one answer.

    We all seem to forget or ignore–especially those who make excuses for theism–that there are hundreds, if not, thousands to piles of ash that were once people who would happily testify to that… if they weren’t burned at the stake by Christians.

  10. killyosaur says

    Now i have this song stuck in my head (and yes it is totally this cover version :D) Thanks PZ (and Jerry Only)!

  11. John Harshman says

    The quote-mine from Jenny Clack has several ellipses, which I assume are big. What does the quote really say? Where did Eggleston find it, presumably with ellipses already in place? It seems very unlikely that he ever saw Clack’s book.

  12. says

    Notice how he leads by complaining about “humanistic world view beliefs?” That’s the basic driving force with these bigoted zealots: hatred of any principles, religious or secular, that elevate humans to a status worthy of respect, or accord us basic rights such as life, liberty, or pursuit of knowledge or happiness.

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    No one believes in his “magical moment” that transformed goo into humans.

    On the other hand, he and millions of other faithful Christians believe in a “magical moment” that transformed dust, and later a rib, into humans.

  14. profpedant says

    Assumption: All people who support evolution are the same.
    Observation: Much of the time when I say something against evolution someone tries to explain why I am wrong.
    Bonus Observation: There are books and websites supporting evolution! And some of those overtly say that
    Creationism is wrong!
    Conclusion: Evolutionists sure do spend a lot of time attacking Creationism!
    Bonus Conclusion: They wouldn’t be wasting their time attacking Creationism if they didn’t fear it, so clearly Creationism is Correct!!!!
    When I’ve done this sort of analysis in person with people like Eggleston I’ve been told that it is inexplicable why I don’t believe them….

  15. says

    That news that his medical license was in danger: on the one hand, but of course he’d bought into every bit of quackery you’d find on Facebook, because he’s a fucking idiot; on the other hand, it makes me a little bit happy that he’s getting some comeuppance.

  16. raven says

    Yeah, Richard Eggleston is an all around kook and science and medicine denier.

    He is under investigation by the State of Washington Medical Commission for lying about the Covid-19 virus pandemic, the Covid-19 virus vaccines, the PCR tests, and Ivermectin, the fake drug that killed a lot of right wingnuts.

    “This means that having an underlying condition, including being an older adult, is associated with increased risk of death from COVID-19,” according to the report. “It does not mean these individuals died from their underlying disease and SARS-Co-V-2 was accidentally found during their illness.”

    In the same column, Eggleston made several claims about the COVID-19 vaccine the report contested, including the claim that mRNA vaccines could alter human DNA, and that they do not confer long-term immunity.

    For COVID-19 vaccines to alter DNA, the virus itself would also need to be able to alter DNA, the report stated. That claim has never been made or established, according to the report.

    Eggleston’s claim that the vaccines do not confer long-term immunity is also false, according to the report.

    “Cells that denote long-term immunity have been identified in vaccinated people, even prior to receipt of booster doses,” according to the report.

    In a March 17, 2021, column, Eggleston claimed polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 tests are inaccurate.

    “This statement is harmful to the public because it suggests that symptomatic persons should not test for COVID-19, and persons that test positive by PCR should not assume that they are contagious or need to seek care if unwell,” according to the report. “(PCR tests have) been shown to be accurate, even in different types of transport media and in a variety of samples shown.”

    In the same column, Eggleston touted the antiparasite ivermectin as a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. He also cited a clinical trial from Egypt that was retracted in July 2021.

    “There have been numerous clinical trials conducted with ivermectin in people with SARS-CoV-2,” according to the report. “The results have been closely related to the quality of the studies, with the best conducted studies showing no effect on any of the outcomes of interest.”

  17. KG says

    I should warn you, I’m not in a good mood. The Xmas season does that to me, I’m soured on the ugly combination of raging religiosity and constant consumerism – PZM

    Well at least you’re spared the ritual obeisances before the House of Windsor!

  18. rwiess says

    We love the lights and decorations and food and family and friends. We celebrate Solstice, sponsor a big dinner with our neighbors. In a dark northern winter, it’s a joyful time. We don’t attach any religious meaning to it. We share homemade treats with each other, no big deal with presents, except with kid and grandkid. Ignore the stuff that bothers you, and use the darkness to build local community. I love our increasingly secular society. Now to tackle the pressures of capitalism.

  19. wzrd1 says

    Well, PZ’s admirably, with incapable assistance, show what happens when an incompetent attempts a Gish Gallop. Drivel spews at length, scattergunned all over the place like a portapot in a traffic accident.
    It’d be a kindness to tell Eggleston that a Gish Gallop only works in a “debate” and never in writing and he deserves no such kindness.
    A greater kindness would be to remind him that he did a far better job at his current enterprise of being the poster child for the local lead paint abatement program.

  20. wzrd1 says

    Oh, as for rubbish mood, I guarantee I’m in a worse mood.
    Nodded off after reading this entry over breakfast, had a nightmare of pushing a cart with my wife’s coffin around the countryside trying to find a decent burial place for her, while trying to get out of mandatory chapel service at a shelter and to my horror, someone informed me that “something smells like a dead dog in your possessions”, the possession being her coffin. Which oddly weighed as much as her ashes, since in the real world, she was cremated. I awakened initially mystified as to that dream, both given someone mentioning a smell, given I have no sense of smell such rarely is ever considered consciously or in a dream and as to the source of the dream. Then, I remembered, it’s our anniversary.
    So yeah, not in a great mood.
    So, I decided to walk it off and go to the mail room to see if any mail arrived. A neighbor got a box in, informed her and happily put it on her rollator, for it to promptly fall off, sliding down the front of my ankle, bruising the shit out of it. At least that gave me a chuckle, as that bruise will literally be healed by tomorrow.
    Helped her unpack the infernal box, grabbed the ice pack and found to my horror, it was dry ice – grabbed with my bare hand. I gently lowered it into the now empty box, as bending and dropping would’ve pissed off my already pissed off back (some idiot that shall remain me was hunched into a ball the other night changing my notebook computer’s CPU fan for nearly two hours of screw to remove decoding, but at least it booted on the second attempt (there’s always one connector that seems to be seated and isn’t)). Oh well, no dry ice burns.
    Entertainingly, she never heard of putting dry ice into a glass of liquid and the “smoke” effect from The Munsters, who made it famous.
    Still, I think I’ll assiduously avoid power tools today. Doubt I’d survive the experience… Bad enough that I’ll have to play with fire to make dinner.*

    *The stove is natural gas, oddly the oven is electric. Oh yeah, we pay for electric, gas is covered in the rent.

  21. nomdeplume says

    Yeah this is pure Hovind/Powell garbage.

    Oh, and I think you are being a bit optimistic about what the religious in America believe PZ.

  22. Akira MacKenzie says

    “Do I have to do this again?”

    That seems to be the way of things, isn’t it? We’re constantly have to re-argue and re-hash the same debates that we keep telling ourselves are resolved: Evolution, Racial and sexual equality. The efficacy and morality of capitalism. The humanity of LGBTQ people.

    I’m getting REALLY sick and tired of it.

  23. Akira MacKenzie says

    “That’s because you’re actually a smart person instead of a weird academic and so you understand that capitalism works because it reflects human nature as selected for through thousands of generations of evolution.”

    Another numbskull who thinks evolution can somehow be applied to economics and political science.

    Hey Nate, STAY IN YOUR LANE!!!

  24. birgerjohansson says

    Going off on a tangent:
    The gut microbiome is very important for the embryonic development of the neural system.
    (This boosts the evolutionary paradigm, as the gut microbiome and humans have co-evolved for so long that we have become dependent on the right kind of gut bacteria for out brains to develop optimally)

    “Study reveals relationship of gut microbiome on children’s brain development and function ”

  25. raven says

    “That’s because you’re actually a smart person instead of a weird academic and so you understand that capitalism works because it reflects human nature as selected for through thousands of generations of evolution.”

    Cthulhu, that is incredibly stupid.

    .1. The humans species is about 200,000 years old.
    For almost all of that time, we were hunter-gathers.
    More specifically, we were social omnivores living in small groups who moved around as needed.
    For all that time, we didn’t work in factories making stuff for the Walmarts of ancient Africa!!!

    There is nothing in our evolutionary history that makes Capitalism inevitable.

    .2. We were and are group living social omnivores.
    We cooperate to keep the group going and benefit greatly by living in those groups.
    You could just as easily say, that because of that evolutionary past, we evolved to make Socialism work well enough that it, in fact, is a huge part of every successful society on this earth.

    Consider the USA. We pay a lot of our income in taxes to the Federal and State governments. Which pays for a lot of what we need to be a leading country.
    The military, Medicare, Medicaid, the roads that go everywhere, mail, Social Security, the school systems that turn infants into functional adults, etc..
    Those are all aspects that could be called Socialistic.

    For comparison, the leading Libertarian paradise right now is…Somalia.
    No government, no taxes. No gun control laws.
    The leading occupations are Pirate and Warlord.
    The average lifespan is 55 years.

    .3. There isn’t really any such thing as Capitalism anyway.
    What type of Capitalism.
    Old style Liberal Capitalism?
    Libertarian Capitalism?
    Monopoly Capitalism?
    Or our form Regulated Capitalism.

    BTW, free markets don’t exist either.
    They are created and maintained by that Socialistic entity known as the government.

  26. Jazzlet says

    No argument with anything else you’ve said, but

    Ivermectin, the fake drug that killed a lot of right wingnuts.

    [my emphasis]Isn’t correct, as I am sure you actually know it’s a good anti-parasitic, it is of course useless against COVID.

  27. chrislawson says


    I’m sure raven was using shorthand and is aware that ivermectin is a real drug with effective outcomes…just not for the treatment of COVID.

  28. chrislawson says


    The more I used to read Nate Silver the more I became convinced that the secret to his success was taking a complex field (statisical analysis of political data) and presenting conclusions with unwarranted confidence that gave people without a statistical background a pleasing sense of certainty. I gave up on his blog after a few weeks of spiralling disappointment.

    Also, that he was part of the faux-progressive movement — a symbiote of the NYT/WaPo/MSNBC nexus — which talks up progressive values while insisting that conservative principles are baked into reality and cannot be changed. That quote about capitalism being evolution’s one true economic system is an excellent example of smug, regressive obstructionism.

  29. John Morales says

    chrislawson, but naive readers might not, which I reckon is Jazzlet’s intended point (“I am sure you actually know”).

  30. chrislawson says

    PZ, the bah-humbugging notwithstanding, I don’t think Scrooge is an apt comparison since his Christmas antagonism was driven by greed and uncharitableness rather than any objection to consumerism and hypocrisy.

  31. chigau (違う) says

    wzrd1 #21
    Heat and hot water is included in my rent.
    Electricity, I pay.
    We don’t do natural gas, as far as I know.
    But I live in Alberta, so it’s here, somewhere.

  32. wzrd1 says

    That’s OK, we shut down two and a quarter mile island (used to be Three Mile Island, but a minor accident and all…), as it was nearly twice the cost to generate energy than burning natural gas for electricity.
    Which reflects a national trend, showing precisely how dedicated the US actually is in making earth as much like venus as is possible.
    Oh, the SCOTUS some months back also decided that the EPA isn’t responsible for the air, specifically greenhouse gas releases, such as the massive leaks of methane in Texas, since the Constitution doesn’t mention an environment or something. Of course, the Constitution doesn’t mention life, liberty, pursuit of happiness or well, food, shelter or existence…
    Of course, the Constitution did direct that there be a Supreme Court, but its duties were not defined…

  33. Alan G. Humphrey says

    wzrd1 @ 35
    … but they do look about in confusion, wave their hands, and cough loudly to distract from that “general welfare” clause. That they take to be their duty to their masters.

  34. unclefrogy says

    Akira MacKenzie @24
    me too just means I am old and have lost my patience and desire to help the misguided. More apt to just state truth and ask for clarity and say nothing more if pressed I might get rather insulting. what passes for rational thought in “those circles” is just poor recitation of even poorer weak attempts at rationalize their own doubting faith and control others.
    whistling past the grave yard

  35. says

    Intelligent Design: The premise that a supposedly omnipotent being designed all living beings in a way that looks like it was haphazardly done, with all sorts of potential problems those designs can cause. Of course if you push some Intelligent Design types hard enough they’ll probably bring up the idea that God’s designs were perfect until Adam and Eve sinned.