29
Jul
09

Creation or Evolution

The Good News Magazine has this lovely little piece of emetic tripe. I will be using a great deal of the material from the original paper just to drive home what points are blatantly false. Spoiler: every line is filled with some error. (now you don’t have to read it)

Right out of the gun, within the first section, is the first statement which I would like to draw attention to. It states:

Only a few generations ago laws prevented the  teaching of the theory of evolution in some communities and regions  in the United States. The Bible was commonly accepted as true and as a reliable account of our origins.

Of course, what it doesn’t say is that those same laws were put in place by individuals motivated by religion, not by science or reality. At this point, it dives headfirst into fallacies:

At the same time, criticism of the  theory of evolution is at times  ruthlessly suppressed in academic and scientific circles.

Evolutionary criticisms are suppressed? Interesting, do you have a legitimate criticism? I would certainly like to hear it. Contrary to the angle you’re pushing, most scientists are curious to a fault. Please, is it a legitimate criticism? The first claim these individuals put forth is the fallacy of nomenclature. By simply claiming something a “creation,” there must be a “creator.” Before I rip this argument apart, let’s see what evidence for the universe being a “creation” they have. I see a quote from Wernher Von Braun, who better to talk about the validity of evolutionary biology than a dead guy who has little background in biology, right? He may, in fact, have said these things, but even IF this is true, it is not a valid argument. In any event, I see no reproduction of this letter anywhere other than various Christian ministries, creationist books, and other liars for jeebus. Moving along:

Many educated people accept the theory of evolution. But is it true? Curiously enough, our existence as human beings is one of the best arguments against it. According to evolutionary theory, the traits that offer the greatest advantage for survival are passed from generation to generation. Yet human reproduction itself argues powerfully against this fundamental premise of evolution.

I think this is what one would call a false premise: “the traits that offer…passed from generation to generation.” Not all traits which survive are beneficial, some are neutral, others are selectively beneficial. It’s not an “all or nothing” but a gradient dependent upon MANY external factors. Let’s see if they answer the question this paragraph begs, “how does human reproduction argue against this straw man?”

If human beings are the pinnacle of the evolutionary process,

Great Chain of Being!

how is it that we have the disadvantage of requiring a member of the opposite sex to reproduce

It isn’t a disadvantage… higher genetic diversity increases survival rates per organism. Sexual reproduction ensures this.

when lower forms of life—such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa—are sexless and far more prolific? If they can reproduce by far simpler methods, why can’t we? If evolution is true, what went wrong?

Humans are K-selected, bacteria and protozoans are r-selected. Nothing went wrong, in our history, our lineage exploited different niches than did the single-celled organisms. Also, some bacteria and protozoans DO reproduce sexually. But it gets even more silly

Let’s take it a step further. If human beings are the result of evolution continually reinforcing characteristics that offer a survival advantage while eliminating those that hinder perpetuation, how can we explain a human infant?

What about the human infant? Why it affected you as it did when you were dropped on your head at this stage? It is part of basic development of all vertebrates; the juvenile stages continue development beyond the embryological.

Among thousands of species the newly born (or newly hatched) are capable of survival within a matter of days or, in some cases, only minutes. Many never even see their parents.

Are you familiar with marsupials? What about the other apes? Most primates, in fact? Birds? The duration of care of an offspring is proportional to the total number produced over a lifetime. More offspring means less care per individual. Higher investments of care lead to higher survival of individuals. Look at the orangutan, females care for their offspring up to 7 years. You are basing your arguments on what you see as “better” when historically, other selective pressures were acting upon the populations.

Yet a human infant is utterly helpless—not for days but for up to several years after birth.

Same with orangutans, chimpanzees, and many other primates. The same is also true of Orcas, many species of bears, etc.

A human baby is reliant on adults for the nourishment, shelter and care he or she needs to survive. Meanwhile, caring for that helpless infant is a distinct survival disadvantage for adults, since giving of their time and energy lessens their own prospects for survival.

It’s funny how this criticism of evolution sounds more like a criticism of nature in general and can be applied regardless of its source; your god is a tard who didn’t design organisms to “be fruitful and multiply” at an optimized rate. Your criticism is based upon a poor background in biology and a poor understanding of the implications of your own arguments.

If evolution is true and humanity is the pinnacle of the evolutionary process, why does a process as basic as human reproduction fly in the face of everything that evolution holds true?

Does it? You just demonstrated that you think organisms that exist could be more efficient, not that they are not the result of evolution. You didn’t put forth ANY way in which human reproduction goes against the modern evolutionary synthesis. Your next point, oh great liars for jeebus, are as follows:

Even Charles Darwin, whose theories about evolution took the world by storm, seems to have had second thoughts in some respects. According to one report, in his later years he reflected on what he had started this way: “I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them”

Oh, yea, that’s from the Lady Hope quotation that he had a deathbed return to Christianity, I’ll let wiki summarize that bit. It’s false, even Answers in Genesis says it’s false; it’s false.

Now, almost a century and a half after the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, we can see where his thinking has led. In Europe in particular, belief in a personal God has plummeted.

So? Correlation is not causation; it could just be that belief in a personal God is untenable with what we know about reality in general. How is this a bad thing? Europe also has better education, standard of living, health care, life expectancy, etc. Only Ireland and Portugal have life expectancies close to the United States, coincidentally, both also have the highest belief in a personal God. Cool, huh?

In the United States, court decisions have interpreted constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion as freedom from religion—effectively banning public expression of religious beliefs and denying the country’s rich religious heritage

I lack a religion, but if I had any religion, I would be thoroughly pissed to have someone shove his or her own notion of a deity down my throat. In short, it guarantees freedom of religion, this means that governmental activities must be free of religious influences as religious ideas are so wide ranging. Were I to be a pantheist or deist, claiming everyone agrees with your notion of a personal god would be offensive. Being an antitheist, I STILL find it offensive. It is only not offensive if you believe exactly the vomit which is being peddled.

Meanwhile, the world languishes in the sorrow and suffering that results from rejecting absolute moral standards. With no absolute standards, we have no reason to care about what happens to our fellow man. We might as well seek only our personal gain regardless of the cost to others—acting exactly as evolutionary theory expects.

Ahh, yes, the “atheists have no morals and are bad people!” argument. Interesting how you make that leap. Ironically, this still isn’t an argument about evolution, it might be an effect, but that’s not what evolutionary theory predicts in highly social organisms. (humans, chimpanzees, dolphins, etc.) We understand how group and kin selection can play a role in the development of altruism (delayed reciprocity, kin altruism, indirect reciprocity, and general altruism) in humans. This argument is a straw man requiring poor knowledge of natural history AND evolutionary biology.

Could man create a religion with no god? The widespread acceptance of evolution shows that we have done just that. The Bible teaches us that God created man. Evolution teaches us that man created God.

So everything in your book is absolutely true? Pi=3… And about the “having no gawd is a religion!” Yea, like bald is a hair color, moving on. All of this is a straw man addressing the slippery slope you perceive as consequences to evolution, not criticisms of the theory, but criticisms of a slippery slope resulting from a straw man. How about some substance? More misquotes

Now we’re at page 7, and it’s titled “Science, the Bible and Wrong Assumptions.” I’m not joking, that’s the title, note the lack of the Oxford comma?

The theory of evolution, long taught in schools and assumed to be true by many in the scientific community, is increasingly questioned by scientists and university professors in various fields.

Really, by whom? What are their criticisms? What are their reasons for such?

Why do questions arise? It is because as scientific knowledge has increased, researchers have not been able to confirm basic assumptions of the evolutionary theory—and, in fact, some have been outright refuted.

Yep, more allegations of things being refuted, what are they?

As more scientists and educators become aware of flaws in the theory, they are more carefully assessing it.

What are they? Get to the point.

In the United States some states’ educational boards have become aware of the mounting scientific evidence against evolution and have begun to insist the theory be emphasized less or treated more evenhandedly in the classroom.
Yet there is a powerful insistence by many in the scientific community that the theory not be questioned, for much is at stake.

What is this magical scientific evidence against evolution? All I see is incredulity. Reading more…

Phillip Johnson, law professor at the University of California at Berkeley…

Phillip Johnson, as in Phillip E. Johnson, Discovery Institute founder, Phillip “liar for jeebus” Johnson? I could have guessed.  I’m going to ignore the quotes from this tard.

How did an unproven theory gain such wide acceptance?

Unproven? Fossil evidence, ERVs, phylogenetic evidence, morphological homology, need I go on? These are just the TYPES of evidence which exist, there are literally COUNTLESS pieces of evidence which point towards evolution. We can even LOOK AT IT HAPPENING with ring species. I still haven’t forgotten your claim about evidence against evolutionary theory…I’m waiting…

How did alternate theories come to be summarily dismissed without a hearing?

Which theories? I’m sure there are reasons, but you can’t  be this vague to support an argument. It doesn’t work…still waiting on that mysterious evidence against evolutionary theory…

Well, I only made it to page 8, so far, I’m going to switch tactics and go line by line for the most part.

It is a shame that scientists and religious figures alike have perpetuated many myths about creation and nature.

Really, what myth? That the universe, life, and everything was created as is in 6 days? (Genesis 1) The myth that there were “days” before there was a sun? That there was light before anything to create light (sun and stars) were made? What myth?

In the past few centuries, science has refuted some religious notions about nature and the universe that religious leaders mistakenly attributed to the Bible.

Really? Which ones?

Sadly, this has caused some religious leaders and institutions to take unnecessarily dogmatic stands that were only harmful in the long run.

That Earth is the center of the universe? Which ones?

At the same time, misunderstandings about what the Bible does and does not say have led some on all sides of the debate to accept wrong conclusions.

What does it say? What doesn’t it say? Specifics, seriously…

For example, in late 1996 Pope John Paul II shocked both Catholics and non-Catholics when he mused that the theory of evolution seemed valid for the physical evolution of man and other species through natural selection and hereditary adaptations.

Took over 100 years….

How did this startling declaration come about?

Right? It sure took long enough…

What factors led to this far-reaching conclusion? Time magazine commented on the pope’s statement: “[Pope] Pius [in 1950] was skeptical of evolution but tolerated study and discussion of it; the statement by John Paul reflects the church’s acceptance of evolution. He did not, however, diverge at all from Pius on the question of the origin of man’s soul: that comes from God, even if ‘the human body is sought in living material which existed before it.’

“The statement is unlikely to influence the curriculum of Catholic schools, where students have studied evolution since the 1950s. Indeed, taking the Bible literally has not been a hallmark among Catholics through much of the 20th century. Asked about the pope’s statement, Peter Stravinskas, editor of the 1991 Catholic Encyclopedia, said: ‘It’s essentially what Augustine was writing. He tells us that we should not interpret Genesis literally, and that it is poetic and theological language’” (Nov. 4, 1996, p. 59).

So?

Little did Augustine realize he was doing his followers a grave disservice by viewing parts of the Bible as allegorical while simultaneously incorporating into his teaching the views of the Greek philosophers.

As opposed to? Literal reading of the Bible?

For the next 1,300 years, covering roughly the medieval age, the view of those pagan philosophers became the standard for the Roman church’s explanation of the universe. Furthermore, ecclesiastical leaders adopted the earth-centered view of the universe held by Ptolemy, an Egyptian-born astronomer of the second century. “It was . . . from the work of previous [Greek] astronomers,” says The Encyclopaedia Britannica, “that Ptolemy evolved his detailed description of an Earth-centered (geocentric) universe, a revolutionary but erroneous idea that governed astronomical thinking for over 1,300 years…

Well, geocentrism is also supported by the Torah/Old Testament, your point? I’m still confused as to what evidence there is against evolutionary theory?

Thus it was not the biblical perspective but the Greek view of the cosmos—in which everything revolved around a stationary earth— that was to guide man’s concept of the universe for many centuries. The Roman Catholic Church made the mistake of tying its concept of the universe to that of earlier pagan philosophers and astronomers, then enforced that erroneous view.

See my previous link? Yea, no reason to think that your holy book thinks the “The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.” (1 Chronicles 16:30). Moving on.

Although the Greeks thought the god Atlas held up first the heavens and later the earth, and the Hindus believed the earth rested atop four gigantic elephants, the Bible long revealed the true explanation. We read in Job 26:7 an astonishingly modern scientific concept, that God “hangs the earth on nothing.”

Cherry picking much? What about 1 Chronicles?

Science has demonstrated that this “nothing” is the invisible force of gravity that holds the planet in its orbit. Centuries passed before Nicolaus Copernicus in the 1500s calculated that the earth was not the center of the universe. However, he was cautious about challenging the Roman church on this belief. In the 1600s, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed through a telescope the moons orbiting Jupiter—clear evidence against the idea that the heavenly bodies all revolve around the earth.

Hey, what does this have to do with evolution?

After further observation of the planets, he came to agree with Copernicus’ view that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa. Catholic authorities considered this idea heretical, and Galileo was threatened with death if he did not recant. Finally he did, although legend has it that, as he left the presence of the pope, he muttered under his breath regarding the earth, “And yet it moves.”

In reference to 1 Chronicles, perhaps?

“When the Roman church attacked Copernicus and Galileo,” says Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer, “it was not because their teaching actually contained anything contrary to the Bible.”

Except, of course, 1 Chronicles 16:30, Job 9:6, Job 38:4-6, Isaiah 40:22, Deuteronomy 33:17, etc. All of these contained something like the earth was flat, had ends, and didn’t move. Will we get to something about evolution?

The church authorities thought it did, but that was because Aristotelian elements had become part of church orthodoxy, and Galileo’s notions clearly conflicted with them. In fact, Galileo defended the compatibility of Copernicus and the Bible, and this was one of the factors which brought about his trial” (How Should We Then Live? 1976, p. 131).
Ironically, these first battles between scientists and the Bible pitted scientists against biblical misinterpretations, not against what the Bible actually says.

Got quotes? Specific passages which were misinterpreted? Assume I know nothing about your book. How was it interpreted, why is that wrong? Lots of questions raised, none answered, no evidence, no specific arguments, just vague accusations with no substantiation. I’m noticing a pattern.

Several centuries later, a better biblical understanding actually furthered scientific advancements and achievements. The English scholar Robert Merton maintains that the values promoted by puritanism in 17th-century England encouraged scientific endeavors. A Christian was to glorify God and serve Him through participating in activities of practical value to his community. He wasn’t to withdraw into the contemplative life of monasteries and convents.

Please, explain this further, it makes no sense. Many monks made contributions to knowledge of the natural world even though they were “withdrawn” into contemplative life. This is still another red herring, what’s your argument against the modern evolutionary synthesis?

As this more biblically based science expanded, ecclesiastical leaders had to admit that some long-held positions were wrong. With the esteemed position that the earth was at the center of the universe proven false, the church lost both prestige and credibility to emerging science.

Yea, lots of the things in the Bible were wrong as well; spoiler: they still are. Continuing to say “it’s based on the Greek, it’s not Christian, LA LA LA, I can’t hear you!” isn’t proving your point. I cited chapter and verse, see how that works?

I’m also not making straw men, I’m showing EXACTLY what was said in this pamphlet, find it for yourself. Next point:

Some of the reasons for the acceptance of Darwin’s theory involved conditions of the time. The 19th century was an era of social and religious unrest. Science was riding a crest of popularity. Impressive discoveries and inventions appeared constantly. This climate was conducive to people embracing revolutionary concepts. Furthermore, Darwin himself had an impeccable reputation as a dedicated naturalist. And though his theory contained many obvious weaknesses, these were hidden by the length and tediousness of his book. (He described his book as “one long argument.”)

So, length of the book means it’s wrong? Or is it just too complicated to read? What weaknesses? PLEASE, tell me, I’m waiting on this magical evidence, but I still see none, just accusations that it exists. Where does it exist, what is it? Be specific so I can take you to task for how wrong you are. I can’t argue with vague insinuations. get to the point.

At the same time, the Roman church was being affected by its own cumulative mistakes about science as well as the critics’ onslaughts against its teachings and the Bible. The church itself began to accept supposedly scientific explanations over divine ones.

Because they are based in reality? They can be measured, tested, and observed? Does that make sense to you?

A bias against the supernatural slowly crept in. The momentum grew in the 20th century until many Protestants and Catholics turned to theistic evolution. This is the belief that God occasionally intervenes in a largely evolutionary process through such steps as creating the first cell and then permitting the whole process of evolution to take place or by simply waiting for the first man to appear from the gradual chain of life and then providing him with a soul.

Do you have any evidence that humans have souls? Any evidence that your deity wants to manipulate some DNA from time to time? Any evidence that your fairy tale character did, in fact, create the first life? ANY evidence for your argument, or any evidence against evolutionary theory? Disproving evolution STILL wouldn’t prove your case, but you haven’t even done that.

“Darwinian evolution to them,” says Dr. Hayward, “is merely the method by which God, keeping discreetly in the background, created every living thing . . . The majority of theistic evolutionists have a somewhat liberal view of the Bible, and often regard the early chapters of Genesis as a collection of Hebrew myths” (p. 8).

Yea, Ken Miller comes to mind… What’s your point? You move on to the next section without any point? I was making better arguments in third grade.  The next thing they cover is supposed to be “Darwinism and morality.” Something I’ve recently been reading quite a bit about. I’ve been reading all this fluffy crap from various Christians concerned with evolution and morality. Let’s see what these people have to say…

“The implications for the trustworthiness of the Bible are enormous.

Yes, and?

Is it the inspired and infallible Word of God, or are parts of it merely well-intentioned myths?

All of it is myth, how much of it is well-intentioned is subject to debate. But if it is infallible, why does it contradict itself so frequently?

Are sections of it simply inaccurate and unreliable?

I already addressed this; yes.

Were Jesus Christ and the apostles wrong when they affirmed that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, created directly by God (Matthew 19:4; 1 Corinthians 15:45)?

Yea, sorry…

Was Christ mistaken, and did He mislead others?

Did he exist? Why is the Christian Bible the only reference to his existence, and it’s not even a contemporary source.

Is 2 Timothy 3:16 true in stating that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine [teaching] . . .”?

Does it matter? Many parts are incorrect, if it’s true, your God is a liar. If it isn’t correct, then some parts are inaccurate, get on with it.

Clearly, the implications for Christian faith and teaching are profound (see “The Testimony of the New Testament” on page 9).

No, I won’t buy your book…

Perhaps the effects of his theory on Darwin’s own faith can illustrate the damage it can do to religious convictions.

Reality tends to do that, but what does this have to do with the validity of evolution? Hint: NOTHING, it doesn’t matter what the effects are, if it is an accurate model of reality, it is an accurate model of reality. How much of these effects actually come from understanding of evolution instead of careful study of this book

There is great danger in following in Darwin’s footsteps. We should remember the old saying: If you teach a child that he is only an animal, don’t complain when he behaves like one.

Any evidence to the contrary? Didn’t think so…

Can we not lay part of the blame for rampant immorality and crime on society’s prevalent values and beliefs—derived to a great extent from evolutionary theory?

How, from whence hath these values come? I certainly hope they haven’t come from your bible, owning slaves is expected, we’re even told in there how much they should cost. Have you even read your book? Mark 4:11-12 plainly explains why Jesus speaks in parables–to confuse people so they burn in hell. How’s that for a kind and merciful god? We’re supposed to behave like that? Is that why this paper is written like a three year old’s thought processes? It’s a rant, not an essay. It’s a purely rhetorical argument as vacuous of substance as your silly book.

Without the belief in a just God who will judge the actions of men, isn’t it easier for people to do as they please?

Interesting, how about society? We are, after all, social animals, society judges us, condemns us, punishes us, praises us, rewards us. Not only is it far more forceful than empty threats of “punishment in the afterlife,” but they don’t require belief in anything after tangible reality. What part of us goes on living? How do you know that part exists? Where did this part originate, do you have any evidence for it? Come to think of it, where’s that evidence against evolutionary theory? So far, I’ve heard a straw man, a slippery slope, red herrings, and a few non sequitur arguments thrown in for good measure. When do we get to evidence? Will we, in fact, get to any evidence? Will that evidence be even remotely CLOSE to accurate?

[…] Let’s carefully weigh the evidence.

Finally! Fifteen pages of fluff and folly, let’s see what you’ve got.

Can the theory of evolution be proven? After all, it is called the theory of evolution in acknowledgment of the fact that it is not a confirmed scientific law.

Oh fuck, it’s only a theory! OH NO!!! Seriously, a law is a very specific predictive device under very specific circumstances. We have no laws in biology because the exact same situation is never going to repeat. That’s how life works. Let’s see, there’s the Theory of Electromagnetism, General Relativity Theory, Atomic Theory, Germ Theory of Disease, Cell Theory, and, of course, Evolutionary Theory. Theories are models which explain a wide range of observations, laws are highly specific and concise statements which explain what happens under very specific conditions. See why science education is important?

Where can we find evidence supporting evolution as an explanation for the teeming variety of life on earth?

The data are in the strata, and in genomes, and in morphology, and… ok, this crap is disgusting

Sarcasm time, let’s see how much contempt I can pack into this one…

Since evolutionists claim that the transition from one species to a new one takes place in tiny, incremental changes over millions of years, they acknowledge that we cannot observe the process taking place today. Our lifespans simply are too short to directly observe such a change. Instead, they say, we have to look at the past—the fossil record that shows the many life-forms that have existed over earth’s history— to find transitions from one species to another.

Depends on what changes you’re looking for. Allelic extinction has been observed, as has allelic drift, and so forth. We also have these cool things called ring species which demonstrate evolution actually HAPPENING.  We don’t have to look at the fossil record, we can look at the genome. Seriously, phylogenies works wonders to illustrate the relationships of organisms. We can use various molecular techniques to predict some of the fossils we may find, what they will look like, and where they will probably be. I’m sorry of if you don’t understand this, it is rather beyond a fifth grade education.

When Charles Darwin proposed his theory in the mid-19th century, he was confident that fossil discoveries would provide clear and convincing evidence that his conjectures were correct. His theory predicted that countless transitional forms must have existed, all gradually blending almost imperceptibly from one tiny step to the next, as species progressively evolved to higher, better-adapted forms.

AHHH!!! The Great Chain of Being red herring again! Didn’t you do ANY research for this crap?

Indeed that would have to be the case. Well in excess of a million species are alive today. For all those to have evolved from common ancestors, we should be able to find millions, if not hundreds of millions, of intermediate forms gradually evolving into other species.

Yea, because every organism that’s ever existed becomes a fossil. Do you even know how fossils form? Do you know how rare that is?

It was not only fossils of transitional species between apes and human beings that would have to be discovered to prove Darwin’s theory. The gaps were enormous.

God lives in the gaps, right?

Science writer Richard Milton notes that the missing links “included every part of the animal kingdom: from whelks to whales and from bacteria to bactrian camels. Darwin and his successors envisaged a process that would begin with simple marine organisms living in ancient seas, progressing through fishes, to amphibians—living partly in the sea and partly on land—and hence on to reptiles, mammals, and eventually the primates, including humans” (Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, 1997, p. 253).

Richard Milton is a science writer? Wow, that’s good. Anyway, transitional fossils, right.  And no, that’s the story, the truth is much more complex and twisted than that. It’s a straw man of the very short story book version of the history of life on Earth, I know it, and I certainly would expect someone as intelligent as yourself to know it. Moving on.

However, even Darwin himself struggled with the fact that the fossil record failed to support his conclusions. “Why,” he asked, “if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? . . . Why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?” (The Origin of Species, 1859, Masterpieces of Science edition, 1958, pp. 136-137)

Do you know Darwin was notorious for the rhetorical question? He goes on to tell you EXACTLY why you don’t see innumerable transitional forms AND why we don’t find them, read all of chaper 6, go on, it’s available for free here. Note: that quote is on page 171 in this version, which is, of course, the one from 1859. Use the original text, it works better.

More Darwin quote mining without finishing the quotes or explaining the context, liars for jeebus sure are sneeky.

“The explanation lies, I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record,” he wrote

Yes, and? It makes sense considering fossil formation requires rapid burial, little or no exposure to predation, and fairly undisturbed burial until after the sediment layer has solidified. I’m sorry if you don’t understand formation of sedimentary rocks nor the formation of fossils.

He was convinced that later explorations and discoveries would fill in the abundant gaps where the transitional species on which his theory was based were missing. But now, a century and a half later, after literally hundreds of thousands of fossil plants and animals have been discovered and cataloged and with few corners of the globe unexplored, what does the fossil record show?

It shows lots of things, remember my link?

David Raup is a firm believer in evolution and a respected paleontologist (a scientist who studies fossils) at the University of Chicago and the Field Museum. However, he admits that the fossil record has been misinterpreted if not outright mischaracterized, stating: “A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level textbooks, semi-popular articles, and so on.

And? What’s the point of this quote? Where was he going with this? The fact that you’re trying to exploit this oversimplification to your own ends? Would you like the whole story? Do you have a few centuries to listen? We have to summarize. The fossil record can have more gaps than your arguments, we still have overwhelming evidence for evolution with molecular and morphological evidence. Couple that with the morphology of fossils, and you get a pretty rock solid case. Every bit of contrary “evidence” has already been debunked. Look around online a bit; it’s all the same crap. I can’t go on, my stomach hurts, both from laughing and wanting to vomit, if you want the whole thing, I’m linking to it now. It’s a wonderful emetic.

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7 Responses to “Creation or Evolution”


  1. 1 Christophe Thill
    October 16, 2009 at 10:42 am

    “If you teach a child that he is only an animal, don’t complain when he behaves like one.”

    Anyone who lives with a dog or a cat knows that animals are capable of love. On the other hand, there’s a certain number of things they don’t do. Animals don’t murder others, and they certainly don’t plan a murder. Animals don’t torture others (and they certainlky don’t invent excuses justifying their doing so). And white cats don’t lynch black cats. Don’t you think we should “behave like animals” more often?

    So, geocentrism is blamed on Greek philosophers? Hmmm… where does the Bible say that God installed his beloved mankind on some tiny, unimportant planet lost in a corner of the galaxy, among countless thousands of other celestial bodies? I don’t remember reading this…

    A little reference now: “English scholar Merton” is American sociologist Robert K. Merton. He actually wrote a study on “Puritanism, pietism and science”. The summary given here is not wrong. What crazy Bible guy doesn’t say is that Merton talks about the creation of the Royal Society, a group of truly great scientists, who have absolutely nothing in common with such clowns as the ICR, Answers in Genesis or the Discovery Institute. They believed in reality, and if their discoveries contradicted religious dogma, well, all the worse for religion…

  2. 2 KmA
    October 16, 2009 at 11:20 am

    “I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire.”

    When Charles Darwin proposed his theory in the mid-19th century, he was confident that fossil discoveries would provide clear and convincing evidence that his conjectures were correct.

    The fundie capacity for doublethink never ceases to amaze.

  3. 3 jaredcormier
    October 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I still want new arguments, I welcome anyone finding a new argument for creationism/ID or against the modern evolutionary synthesis to send it along.

  4. October 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    [Caution: The following comment will be a long rant. I’ll take no offense if you don’t have time to read it and ignore it; I just feel the need to write this down.]

    The tract says:

    “There is great danger in following in Darwin’s footsteps. We should remember the old saying: If you teach a child that he is only an animal, don’t complain when he behaves like one.”
    and
    “Can we not lay part of the blame for rampant immorality and crime on society’s prevalent values and beliefs—derived to a great extent from evolutionary theory?”

    While I totally agree with the points you raised in response to these statements, I just have to say something that I always want to say to these people when they say things like that: Stop being so U.S.-centric!

    The views quoted above are certainly common among creationists. For instance, Answers in Genesis are infamous for having several cartoons on their website where they link school shootings and other school violence to teachers telling them that they are “just animals.” These people seem to genuinely believe that if everyone would accept evolution it would lead to the downfall of society, violence and barbarity. But believing that only works if they refuse to look at the rest of the world.

    I’m sure people here have seen the graph of acceptance of evolution in some 30+ different countries. A bunch of European countries and Japan are at the top with around 80% acceptance, while the U.S. is above only Turkey with around 40%. The countries at the top of the graph (northern and western European countries plus Japan) do -not- have higher levels of school shootings or other violent crime. In fact, violent crime rates are generally much lower there than in the U.S.

    Now I know that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. But a complete lack of correlation doesn’t say much good for their argument of “accepting evolution leads to violence!”

    Of course they continue with the old “Without the belief in a just God who will judge the actions of men, isn’t it easier for people to do as they please?” – which is just another reiteration of “If people don’t believe in God our country will go to hell!”

    And naturally the exact same kind of response is appropriate here. If they have lived their whole life in the U.S. they have not necessarily seen a country where non-belief is common, so they might think that it is reasonable to think that less religious belief automatically means more violence and other bad things. But of course there is no clear evidence of that if you actually look at other countries.

    In the U.S. something like 80% of the population believe in a personal God. I live in Sweden, where somewhere around 60-90% (depending on which poll you choose to listen to) do not hold any religious belief. We do not, in my opinion, live in hell on earth because of this.

    Compared to the U.S. we have a lot lower murder rates, and lower rates of most other kinds of violent crime, higher Human Development Index, a few years higher life expectancy, lower rates of teen pregnancies (and consequently lower rates of teen abortions) and lower child mortality.

    None of these things unequivocally say that Sweden is somehow a “better” country than the U.S. – both countries have their strength and weaknesses – and of course we can again draw no direct causal links between any of that data and belief or lack of belief. I think that most of the things I mentioned are because of completely different factors – things like lower population density, no wars in recent history, different health care practices et cetera. I certainly don’t claim that our lack of religion has caused the things that I think are good about my country (at least not all of them).

    But my point is still that they argue for a “Lack of religion always means violence, depravity and misery!”-worldview, while even a cursory glance at less religious countries should tell them that this doesn’t seem to be the case.

    I apologize again for the length of this comment, it’s just something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, after listening too much to certain areas of American political discourse. The exact same kind of narrow view is often prevalent there, among certain people.

    For instance, many claim that universal health care could never work and will lead the government to killing people, or that stricter laws concerning private gun ownership will mean that criminals will take over the country, or that lack of capital punishment will make crime rise to extreme levels, or that comprehensive sex education will lead to promiscuity and an extreme number of unwanted teen pregnancies, legal gay marriage will destroy straight marriage et cetera…

    People who say things like that, claiming that Thing X will always and undeniably lead to Thing Y, have often forgotten to look at other places. They’ve failed to see that all of the things they have nightmares about are already present and working in other countries (and in most cases also in other U.S. states) – sometimes all of them at one time – without noticeable ill effects. This behavior just feels exactly like the creationists who do not realize that most of the world already accepts evolution and that their nightmare scenarios about what will happen when people “believe” in evolution seem totally unfounded.

  5. 5 jaredcormier
    October 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Oh, that’s nothing for a long rant, you should check out Asylum Seeker

  6. October 19, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Hey, I resemble that remark.

  7. 7 jaredcormier
    October 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    very closely, in fact 😛


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