Evolutionist Zoologist Turned Creationist After Child Was Demon Oppressed

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Skepticism is a virtue, and gullibility is not. It seems to me many religious organizations throughout history prefer followers who follow blindly. Many churches fostered a culture of gullibility and were often led by sociopaths who preyed upon the gullible. Such experiences left a bad taste in my mouth to this day, and hence I’ve grown to have a high regard and admiration for the skeptical community. For those reasons I’m on more cordial terms with skeptics than most Christians are.

That said, there has always been a persistent, scholarly, skeptical and scientifically inclined minority that hold to a belief in the miraculous, the after life and non-material spiritual forces. Dawkins and others believe that religious belief is perpetuated via culture and parenting, that it could be eradicated through teaching scientific method and changing culture. For sure, it is probably the case that most religion is culturally imposed and thus perpetuated, but not always.

Whether one believes in the miraculous or not, I think the video below is at least a sincere witness of a man who converted from being an evolutionist to being a creationist. Whether the man is right or not is a separate question. I provide a video link for those curious as to why someone from a skeptical background would become a creationist.

Here is the wiki entry this man, Walter Veith:
Walter Veith

Walter Julius Veith (born 1949) is a South African zoologist and a Seventh-day Adventist author and speaker known for his work in nutrition, creationism and Biblical exegesis with the Amazing Discoveries media ministry and on their international television network found in North America on Galaxy 19.

Veith was professor of the zoology department at the University of Cape Town and taught in the medical bioscience department. During this time the department was awarded a Royal Society London grant for zoological research.[1]

After the graduation Veith became an adjunct professor at the University of Stellenbosch and until 1987 gave lectures in zoology.

Early in the 1980s, after his young son fell seriously ill and recovered, he and his wife returned to the Catholic faith. But a few years later he developed doubts about Catholicism and, through the influence of a craftsman who renovated his kitchen, he and his wife joined the Adventist faith.

In his first lectures as an adjunct professor, he had had a student who rejected what she called the lie of evolutionism and instead maintained the truth of the biblical creation story. He soundly put her in her place. Now, his new faith and his own Bible studies led him to adopt this belief, which brought him into conflict with what he was teaching. Because of his lectures on the alleged scientific evidence for biblical creation story he was asked to leave the University of Stellenbosch.[14]

He sold his house in Stellenbosch and obtained a wheat and dairy farm but experienced a catastrophic crop failure during an economic depression in 1988. So he accepted a position as associate professor at the University of the Western Cape in zoology. His serious concerns about the theory of evolution had been resolved by the proviso that he only needed to carry out research.

The mention in wiki of “his young son fell seriously ill and recovered” is a euphemism for Veith’s claim that his son was demon oppressed or possessed.

For any interested to hear how it is possible that someone who is educated could convert, here it is:

74 thoughts on “Evolutionist Zoologist Turned Creationist After Child Was Demon Oppressed

  1. Sal, do you think Crocker’s egregious dishonesty

    Even assuming for the sake of argument she is wrong, mistakes don’t count as dishonesty.

    And you’ve yet to give good reason why she would lie.

  2. stcordova

    And you’ve yet to give good reason why she would lie.

    She’s a Biblical Creationist. Lying about science is what they do.

  3. stcordova

    My analysis was regarded highly enough in the ID community, the Discovery Institute weighed in:

    That’s another of the many reasons the DI and its fellows are viewed as a clown circus by the real scientific community. The DI thinks ridiculous non-applicable analogies are a substitute for scientific research and published positive results.

  4. She’s a Biblical Creationist. Lying about science is what they do.

    She’s not a Biblical Creationist as far as I know, she had been a Theistic Evolutionist most of her life and has know strong opinion on creation vs. some amount of common descent. Her non-insistence on biblical creation has precluded her from finding employment in some Christian universities that would have otherwise welcomed her.

    I know her personally. Not once did she say to me, “hey we need to put up a marketing campaign with some dishonest material. We have to lie for Jesus.” Frankly, I can’t recall that I ever heard her say, “we have to fight evolutionary theory in order to further the gospel.” That’s something I might say, but I don’t think she ever brought herself to ever say that even during the year she and I served with IDEA clubs.

    Like many of the IDists I’ve known personally, they’d say, “I used to believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, I don’t anymore.”

    Lot’s of you guys are making comments about people and events I have far more knowledge about. You say it with such absolute certainty too, and you demand I agree with you. Reminds me of the bullying I sometimes experienced in church rather than impartial skeptical discussion.

    Dr. Crocker is a caring, charitable, and dutiful citizen. She spoke from conscience. If she were a liar and coward, why then did choose to dissent? She could have been on a cushy tenure track if she just followed the party line. I actually pleaded with her and others not to be so forward, but she did what she believed was the right thing to do.

    Lots of you are calling me and my friends cranks, liars, desipicable individuals, whiners, even douchebags. Not exactly a way to persuade me or others you’re tolerant and willing to entertain viewpoints on issues for which all of us have very very little in the way of direct facts. You strike me as willing to make judgments on people’s character without due process merely because you don’t like their viewpoints. Me and my friends can be mistaken (I don’t believe we are), and being mistaken doesn’t deserve the sort of name calling being dished out in this thread.

    Not once in my church life did I hear of conspiracies to ruin someone academic career, but I’ve heard it from evolutionists as it pertains to me. I don’t find that very reassuring as far as integrity of some of the evolution’s defenders.

  5. stcordova

    Dr. Crocker is a caring, charitable, and dutiful citizen.She spoke from conscience.If she were a liar and coward, why then did choose to dissent?

    I have no doubt she thought lying for her religion gives her more “get into heaven” points.

    She could have been on a cushy tenure track if she just followed the party line.I actually pleaded with her and others not to be so forward, but she did what she believed was the right thing to do.

    Which was lying for her religion and demonstrating zero ethics in doing the teaching job she was hired to do.

    Lots of you are calling me and my friends cranks, liars, desipicable individuals, whiners, even douchebags.

    If the shoe fits…

    Not exactly a way to persuade me or others you’re tolerant and willing to entertain viewpoints on issues for which all of us have very very little in the way of direct facts.

    I and most of my fellow scientists have zero tolerance for the lies and subterfuge the ID-Creationists bring to the table. If you don’t like it, tough. Get off your lazy asses for a change and do some real work instead of whining about how you’re all poor persecuted martyrs.

    Not once in my church life did I hear of conspiracies to ruin someone academic career, but I’ve heard it from evolutionists as it pertains to me.

    Anyone pushing ID-Creationist woo ruined their own academic career.

    I don’t find that very reassuring as far as integrity of some of the evolution’s defenders.

    Heh. I remember when you had your “Young Cosmos” blog you would routinely modify and often directly fabricate posts from pro-science posters to score points with your YEC readers. You’re in no position to lecture anyone else about integrity.

  6. Sal:

    Even assuming for the sake of argument she is wrong, mistakes don’t count as dishonesty.

    Her statement was an outright lie:

    I did one lecture where I gave them the evidence for and against evolution, just the scientific evidence.

    I was so careful when I wrote that lecture not to be partial in any way. I was very careful to make sure that I would talk about point by point the evidence that the book would put forward for evolution and then talk about point by point the experiments and say “Well, you know, there’s a problem here.”

    And then I did at the end of the lecture talk about, “Well, this is evidence for a new theory that several, that some scientists are considering, and it’s called Intelligent Design…”

    Read that statement and then look at the slides I linked to. The only possible conclusion is that Crocker is lying.

    And you’ve yet to give good reason why she would lie.

    It’s obvious. She got caught pushing ID in her class, so she lied about it in order to burnish her martyr cred.

    “I was just trying to be impartial, and they persecuted me!” sells a lot better than “I knew I wasn’t supposed to push ID, but I did it anyway and then lied about it.”

    One more faux martyr for the ID movement.

  7. Sal:

    You strike me as willing to make judgments on people’s character without due process merely because you don’t like their viewpoints.

    Not at all. My low opinion of your character, and of Crocker’s, is based on your behavior, not your beliefs.

    Your reputation for dishonesty is well-deserved.

  8. stcordova: Lots of you are calling me and my friends cranks, liars, desipicable individuals, whiners, even douchebags.

    Well, I haven’t called you a liar, a crank, or a douchebag, but this comment of yours certainly looks like the comment of a whiner. C’mon, Sal, are you really going to whine that Someone Was Mean To You. On. The. Internet.
    Ferchrissake, grow up. You actually seem like one of a handful of decent christians I’ve ever met (and I’ve met thousands of them: how could I avoid them? I live in a nation which is overwhelmingly christian and in my locality in particular people are not shy about talking about which church they belong to). So don’t spoil the mostly-decent impression you’ve made by turning into a wah-wah-persecuted-for-christ whiner.

    I don’t hate you and there’s nothing I could do which would ever harm you in any way. There’s no excuse for you to whine that people should be nicer to you. You’ve already won — you’ve got the numerical majority on your side; you can say anything you want to about religion in public (with the only exception being in science classes in taxpayer funded public schools); you can pray in public; you can expect that if you do pray out loud at a city council meeting or a high school sporting event or whatever, that everyone will act respectfully towards your prayer (even if they don’t happen to agree with it); on the bizarre chance that one person happens to object to your christian conduct, you can be almost certain that law enforcement will be on your side and will eject your “oppenent” for causing trouble, not eject you. Wake up, dude, you’ve won. Now quit expecting that the oppressed minority (that’s us mostly atheists, non-theists, and secular humanists) will say nice things about you.

    Yes massa, no massa.

    No I won’t submit to your privileged expectation that the minority never get to say anything “mean” about the oppressive majority or that I, personally, have to play nicey-nicey to be worthy of you listening to me.

    And yeah, ad hom time again: Sal, there is absolutely no question under god’s blue heaven that you are wrong about young Earth. God made it billions of years ago and god left 6×10^24 kg worth of evidence of its ancient origin which you – in some kind of religious delusion – have chosen to ignore. So that means that absolutely nothing else you have to say can be trusted without being checked against reality. When you’re that wrong about something so obvious as Earth’s age, who knows what else obvious you’re wrong about? Balance of probabilities: you’re wrong about lots else.

    You should listen to me. You’re under no obligation to appreciate my tone, but you should listen anyways. You would learn something about reality. Better than church, I am!

  9. keiths:

    And you’ve yet to give good reason why she would lie.

    It’s obvious. She got caught pushing ID in her class, so she lied about it in order to burnish her martyr cred.

    “I was just trying to be impartial, and they persecuted me!” sells a lot better than “I knew I wasn’t supposed to push ID, but I did it anyway and then lied about it.”

    One more faux martyr for the ID movement.

    It’s as if they think we’ve forgotten their Wedge Document which promised to overthrow modern science and replace it with “theistic convictions”.

    No coincidence that douchebag Crocker is best buds with the Discovery Institute, the promoters of the Wedge. I don’t know her; she may be a decent human in many ways and she may not be allied with the DI out of money-grubbing vanity. (However, being on their lecture circuit sure pays a lot better than being an untenured professor, even at a major university). She may not personally be the venial hack that she appears to be. But her choice of allies certainly makes it clear that she is tainted and untrustworthy.

    Defending her as being a nice person who has no “reason why she would lie” is like defending the nice old guy who’s a KKK member. Sure, he’s not one of the cross-burners! Oh, no, he’s just a nice guy and he attends meetings with his friends who just happen to belong to an organization which advocates returning America to “Protestant values”.

    Strange, isn’t it, that both the DI and the KKK have “Protestant values” which involve wanting to destroy public education, decimate modern science, and overthrow the principle of separation of church/state upon which the American nation was founded. Violently, if necessary, in the case of the KKK, underhandedly, in the case of the DI.

    At best Crocker is a useful idiot, giving cover to the theocrats at the DI. At worst, she’s explicitly signed on to the Wedge. I don’t know. I do know that she’s been caught lying – perhaps to hide her embarrassment at her own stupidity – but perhaps in the (paid?) service of their strategy to persuade gullible Fox viewers that the science establishment can’t be trusted and should be dismantled.

  10. stcordova: So says GMU and Christensen her boss and the participating admins who refused to comment.Edward Sisson, Crocker’s atty was at a law firm that discovered GMU also had a contract with that law firm.GMU told the firm to drop Crocker as a client or that firm wouldn’t be getting any more money from them.

    It’s more complicated than you’re representing.Further I met Crocker’s former students, they regard her highly.The one who complained about her was about to flunk because of underperformance.

    And what about Kenyon and Sternberg?

    What would count as competent to you?Teaching evolutionary speculations as empirical facts (which they are not).

    I.e. you don’t want to believe the evidence and have no contradictory evidence.

    Her contract was not renewed.

  11. hotshoe_on

    You actually seem like one of a handful of decent christians I’ve ever met

    What a nice thing to say! Thanks. Hugs. 🙂

  12. I am not sure what Sal thought he would be proving with this. The wiki link lays it all out very clearly:

    “After joining the Seventh-day Adventist Church he rejected the theory of evolution in favor of creationism[2][3] and so had to give up teaching at the University of Cape Town.”

    It apparently takes a religious conversion to become a YEC, no doubt about it. The ‘science’ is secondary, at best.

  13. stcordova: The first ID event at George Mason University I organized was attended by professor of biology, Caroline Crocker in 2005. A reporter from Nature was there, and shortly our stories were published in Nature, Dr. Crocker was removed from her teaching posts. Her lifelong career as a scientist was destroyed.

    You MUST know that what you wrote here is not very accurate, and borders on disinformation.

  14. stcordova: In politics atheists don’t have the upper hand, in the area of academia as it pertains to biology, evolutionists (both atheist and theist) have the upper hand. Evolutionary biologist Sternberg was not some sort of religious crusader, neither was Dean Kenyon or many others.

    Please just stop with the whole martyr thing. Incompetence, dishonesty, attempts to push one’s religious nonsense off in science classes – these are the signs of a zealot, not a scientist. If any harm was done to their careers, it was of their own doing.

  15. stcordova:
    From the article about my friend:

    Despite this, Crocker was an evolutionist most of her life.She had quite a change of heart once she arrived in university, and the behavior of the powers that be, assured her permanent disdain for most of evolutionary theory.

    And why the change of heart, pray tell? Was it because she, too, had a religious conversion and suddenly evolution did not add up for her? What a coincidence!

  16. stcordova: So says GMU and Christensen her boss and the participating admins who refused to comment.Edward Sisson, Crocker’s atty was at a law firm that discovered GMU also had a contract with that law firm.GMU told the firm to drop Crocker as a client or that firm wouldn’t be getting any more money from them.

    It’s more complicated than you’re representing.Further I met Crocker’s former students, they regard her highly.The one who complained about her was about to flunk because of underperformance.

    Surely you’ve seen the online slides from her ‘Darwin’ lectures, yes?

    And what about Kenyon and Sternberg?

    What about them?

    Kenyon started teaching creationist nonsense in his classes – to include, I have read, the long-ago debunked ‘moon dust’ nonsense. All after his religious conversion.
    Sternberg and pals dramatically embellished his situation, to include outright lies about how he ‘lost his office’ and such. Why do you Christians nearly always feel so compelled to lie about your fake martyrdom?

  17. keiths:
    Caroline Crocker lies through her teeth, as I discovered in 2008:

    I especially like the gratuitous appeal to false authority in her quoting (supposedly) “Werner von Braun (rocket scientist)”.

    I do wonder why the slide did not say “Werner von Braun (Nazi party member, used slave labor to make rockets that targeted civilians)”…

  18. stcordova: Even assuming for the sake of argument she is wrong, mistakes don’t count as dishonesty.

    And you’ve yet to give good reason why she would lie.

    Lying for Christ is a very old tactic. She is doing her Christian duty, I’m sure she believes.

    Making mistakes is fine – we all do it. Making “mistakes” that any sensible, rational, supposedly well-read and educated “scientist” would not possibly make – I mean, come on – how much digging did she do to conclude that Darwin was a ‘gambler’ yet still claim that the skeleton of Hyracotherium is ‘just like’ a modern day hyrax? What, does she has selective research ability?

  19. Sal, all that is required for ID to be taught in the science class is to actually publish some peer reviewed papers using clear evidence to support ID. Yes, there will be resistance, but if the arguments are sound and the evidence is not fabricated, or cherry-picked, it will be published. Do that and then we can discuss the merits of the papers. Get enough of them, and it can be added to the science curriculum.

    But keep in mind that criticism of evolution, which is all ID has going for it, is not evidence of ID. I would really like to see legitimate research being conducted that examines ID. You know, stuff like proposing the mechanisms used by the Creator (oops, designer), the nature of the designer, etc. And then testing these proposals; using them to make predictions. But any time we bring this up at sites like UD, we are told that ID is not about the designer or the mechanisms, only about identifying design. And then we are silently banned.

  20. keiths:
    hotshoe, to Sal:

    You’re new here, aren’t you?

    Sal’s sleazy behavior is well-documented, including episodes like quote-mining PZ Myers’ 17-year-old daughter to make it appear that she was into bestiality..

    Well, I imagine that he might have become a more decent man since then … and (usually) I can just forget about past offenses even if the offenders have never apologized for, nor specifically renounced, their former piggishness, as long as they don’t keep reminding us by continuing to do the same old shit.

    I’ve been following all the threads Sal has been in at TSZ this year (I think) and he isn’t behaving like slime (unlike some other commenters). Have I missed any recent bad behavior that I should be concerned about?

    And maybe Sal is getting the benefit of my low standards: my experience of (1000s of ) christians is that they are immoral, treacherous, assholes in general. Bad behavior is their norm; you can even say that bad behavior is mandated by their genocide-loving god. So it wouldn’t be hard for Sal to (perhaps temporarily) be better than the norm of his kind, merely by his refraining from fresh attacks on evolutionists and with only the smallest amount of unseemly whining about “persecution”.

    I remember when Skatje commented occasionally at PZ’s — I think that must have been after the switch away from NatGeo/SB — and I remember getting acquainted with the persona SalCordova about the same time, and thinking that he was an un-redeemable creep.

    But, maybe I was wrong; maybe he was redeemable after all. Maybe, he has taken steps to redeem himself by refusing to indulge anymore in that previous kind of nastiness (even if he doesn’t perform the “apologize” or “make amends” steps). I mean, I’d like to think that all humans, even the creepiest christians, could somehow become decent people before they die. That’s my secular humanistic faith!

    Time will tell, right?

  21. Sam:

    [keiths said:]
    Caroline Crocker lies through her teeth, as I discovered in 2008:

    I especially like the gratuitous appeal to false authority in her quoting (supposedly) “Werner von Braun (rocket scientist)”.

    I do wonder why the slide did not say “Werner von Braun (Nazi party member, used slave labor to make rockets that targeted civilians)”…

    Good catch!

    ID hack-writers must have a delicate relationship with Nazi Germany. On the one hand, they want to use the lie about Hitler’s love of Darwinism as a stick with which to beat evolutionists — because of course anything that Hitler loved must be bad, by definition. But on the other hand, they want to claim the glories of modern science as their own; they want that facade of respectability (exactly as the cigarette manufacturers wanted the white-coated doctor in ads to give their deadly product a facade of health).

    Obviously, they can’t show one of Hitler’s scientists supporting their ID claims. By their own logic, if Hitler agreeing with evolution automatically makes it bad, then having a Hitler-scientist agreeing with ID would automatically make ID bad. What to do, what to do? Oh, don’t worry, IDiots, simply don’t mention your Hitler-warcrimes-enabler connection when you name-drop your German scientist, and no one will ever notice! Well, ID advertisers, you’re partly right: ID supporters are certainly too dumb to notice.

    I’m glad someone on our side was smart enough.

  22. hotshoe_:
    No coincidence that douchebag Crocker is best buds with the Discovery Institute, the promoters of the Wedge.I don’t know her; she may be a decent human in many ways and she may not be allied with the DI out of money-grubbing vanity.(However, being on their lecture circuit sure pays a lot better than being an untenured professor, even at a major university).She may not personally be the venial hack that she appears to be.But her choice of allies certainly makes it clear that she is tainted and untrustworthy.

    You may already be aware – not long after her martyrdom was all the rage, she set out to write a book on – get this – integrity in science. Not sure if it ever came out or not. She of all people… Amazing how little self-reflection these people engage in.

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