In USA Today, of all places:
The campaign to eliminate God from the public forum has been going on for decades, having accelerated greatly since the Supreme Court’s ill-advised decision in 1963 to eliminate prayer from public schools. And I believe those fighting against the teaching of intelligent design in schools have an ulterior motive to eliminate references to God from the entire public forum.
The argument over classroom discussion of evolution vs. divine design is just the latest attack on everything that would mention a belief in God. If you talk against Darwinian evolution in the classroom, you immediately incur the rage of those who don’t want God discussed in any way, shape or form.
These vehement critics claim that there are mountains of scientific proof that man evolved from some lower species also related to apes. But in this tremendous effort to support Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, in all these “mountains of information,” there has not been any scientific fossil evidence linking apes to man.
The trouble with the “missing link” is that it is still missing! In fact, the whole fossil chain that could link apes to man is also missing! The theory of evolution, which states that man evolved from some other species, has more holes in it than a crocheted bathtub.
PZ Myers is going to have a damned stroke when he sees this. Best of all, this is from our good buddy Utah State Senator Chis Buttars (R- West Jordan), wing-nut extraordinaire. You remember him, don’t you:
State Senator Chris Buttars (R-West Jordan) has agreed to take the lead in pushing new legislation on the teaching of divine design, also known as intelligent design, in conjunction with evolution in schools.
Buttars is supported by a strong conservative lobby, headed by the Eagle Forum, which has previously sought the inclusion of divine design in the public school science curriculum.
School officials argue that any laws requiring the teaching of divine design could be found in violation of the separation of church and state under the First Amendment…
Buttars doesn’t disregard evolution completely, rather he believes God is the creator, but His creations have evolved within their own species.
“We get different types of dogs and different types of cats, but you have never seen a ‘dat,’ ‘’ he said.
Why the hell was this crap even in USA Today? It is utter specious bullshit, and has been debunked so many times it gets silly. First, the fact that it is extremely amazing that fossils even exist at all, given the conditions required for them to be formed:
Fossilisation is the process of forming a fossil. Fossilisation of a whole plant or animal is very rare. Often only the hard parts of plants, such as seeds and wood, and the bones and teeth of animals become fossilised. Most animals and plants that become fossilised had either lived in water or were washed into it after they died. After this, the following process takes place:
1.) the soft parts of the plant or animal rot away, leaving the woody parts or bones, teeth or shell
2.) the hard parts are buried under layers of sediment, sand, mud or lime, usually in a lake, swamp or cave
3.) the sand, mud or lime that covered the plants and animals is turned into sandstone, shale or limestone
4.) over millions of years, the sandstone, shale or limestone is buried very deep and is compressed by the layers above, becoming hard rock
5.) eventually the parts of the plant or animal which survive, become soaked with minerals and undergo a chemical change which creates fossils.
It is simply amazing that fossils exist. Period. Asking for a complete record is absurd, and even if a complete record did exist, the creationist nuts would just claim that the differences in the fossil records were not examples of evolution, but just different God-made animals. Or something like that. But, one more time, although I have a feeling I am preaching to the choir:
Q: If evolution is true, then why are there so many gaps in the fossil record? Shouldn’t there be more transitional fossils?
A: Due to the rarity of preservation and the likelihood that speciation occurs in small populations during geologically short periods of time, transitions between species are uncommon in the fossil record. Transitions at higher taxonomic levels, however, are abundant. See the Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ, the Fossil Hominids FAQ, 29 Evidences for Macroevolution: Intermediate and Transitional Forms, the Punctuated Equilibria FAQ, and the February 1998 Post of the Month Missing links still missing!?.
Q: No one has ever directly observed evolution happening, so how do you know it’s true?
A: Evolution has been observed, both directly and indirectly. It is true. See the Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution FAQ: Evolution Has Never Been Observed and 29 Evidences for Macroevolution.
That is a mountain of evidence that would silence normal people. But let’s revisit the op-ed one more time:
The trouble with the “missing link” is that it is still missing! In fact, the whole fossil chain that could link apes to man is also missing!
A wry observer might look at this nearly ten year old debunking of those claims titled the Missing links still missing!? and think that creationists, divine designers, and their cohorts all over the country are impervious to fact,and simply bring up the same stupid damned arguments every time they get a microphone or a column inch.
Via Kevin Drum, who has some questions of his own.
And this article on Intelligent Design in Tech Central Station is just an absolute disgrace.
DC Media Girl says this is par for the course from USA Today. And, of course, I shamefully forgot my blog etiquette and did not point out that Chris Mooney is the one who noticed this first.
“We get different types of dogs and different types of cats, but you have never seen a ‘dat,’ ‘’ he said.
Obviously not a Pittsburgher, if he’s never seen ‘at.
Not so. I have a cat that chases a ball, picks it up, and drops it back in my lap …. over and over, for an hour at a time.
You just can’t go a day without putting out your big ‘I’m a heathen pagan’ sign, can you John?
Why do you hate G-d so much?
…or a pandering president…
Have you stopped beating your wife?
Notice that this question is not one you can answer, because it implies that you already beat your wife.
Your question to Mr. Cole implies that he hates God. This does a great disservice to the many millions of Christians who have no problem with evolution, an indeed see it as God’s method for creating humankind.
Stop trying to project your own faith onto them and Mr. Cole.
JonBuck- Defense Guy was kidding.
Isn’t divine design a decorating show on HGTV???
The right is masterful at exploiting the lazy, he said/she said mentality of the librul media. It’s like every crackpot theory now gets equal time in the interest of fairness. Some say the earth is a sphere. Other disagree.
Yes he was. A persons belief on the subject of G-d are his alone. Even if it is a paganistic belief that is bound to have the demon spawn of satan scraping the flesh from your bones for all of eternity. Not that I would judge, mind you.
After seeing the likes of DougJ and others. After seeing what serious creationists say… It’s really hard to tell. Nothing surprises me any more. And it’s even harder for sarcasm or humor to work in a textual medium.
I’m just sick and tired of this whole issue.
That is not to say that once I have perfected the science of projecting my faith on to others, I won’t use it to beat you into submission, because I will. Then you will be sorry for not believing.
This is evidence of the complete idiocy of the press. USA Today apparently thinks there is some serious controversy here, so decided it needed to be “balanced.”
Someone should grab them by the throat and explain that they have an obligation not to publish utter stupidity.
Well, to be fair, it is an editorial, not a “news” story. I will keep my finger off the panic button until this kind of idiocy appears on page one.
Third time’s the charm?
I’ve never seen a mankey before either, but I nominiate Mr. Buttars for the honor of most likely to resemble one.
Never seen a dat, Senator?
Here’s where you’ll find everything descended from the dat.
Well, I’ve seen a “cog” before. Does that disprove his bullshit argument?
I love how creationists insist that because there are gaps in evolutionary science, it’s somehow all wrong. But a set of stories handed down from one group of nomads to another over several thousand years, well, that’s just like we had God speaking to a stenographer.
I’m really looking forward to my old age, when my doctors will tell me they have two possible treatments for my broken hip — saying the rosary, or a good-old fashioned leeching.
Shall we say that no one has ever been wrong before on the subject of the missing link. Hell, until very recently it was accepted science that Neandrethal (sic?) was in the line of human evolution. Now? well, we are not so sure as there is good evidence that both existed at the same time.
First, heathens and pagans aren’t the same. I am a pagan, but don’t live on a heath.
Pagans have a right to their political and social concepts as well as anyone.
We don’t hate Jahweh; he is just another of many sons of Goddess.
Love to you all. Thanks for all the good info on this and everything.
No matter how hard you look, one thing you will never find on any creationist site: DNA
Seriously. As much as they try to muddy the waters, they never call into question the evidence DNA has provided to back up evolution. It is as if DNA doesn’t exist.
Is there somehting in your religion that doesn’t allow you to even utter or type the word “God” in a comment? Why on earth is the word so divine that it requires to be masked with a dash?
Please be informed.
The missing link is on extended vacation in Crawford.
Not that I can reasonable expect either side to even be respectful of the others position anymore. Allow that the other position may have some merit, F**k that! It is time to mock and belittle anyone who does not believe as I do. Soon, if we are lucky, we can talk ourselves into using actual violence to ‘prove’ our points are the correct ones.
Does one really have to completely reject God to just look at a higher primate and man and find a connection completely obvious? It’s common fucking sense. Not to disrespect anyone’s belief here—merely to flip the argument—have Rep. Buttarsbrain get back to me when he finds fossil evidence of a higher power… until then, the preponderance of evidence is on MY side.
If Buttars and other others are only going to be convinced by finding the missing link…[“grunt,” dragging…into…discussion…] I think it can be found down in Crawford.
dat shit be crazy
Thanks for clearing it up. However, your failure to use mocking or condecending tones has left me unconvinced. Have you no sense of self importance?
God. However if he asks, I’m saying you forced me. Now don’t you feel better that your scorn brought me into submission with what you feel is acceptable?
Do penance and tossing halibut to your pet seals, after offending them by criticizing their “Atrios” deity?
What does Buttars have against Digital Audio Tapes anyway? Maybe he doesn’t like the copy protection
Facts? Why argue with facts? They don’t bother using facts, so throw their crap back in their face.
State Senator Chis Buttars is a fool, a liar, and hates families. He is actively trying to export American jobs by keeping our workforce uneducated while catering to neo-Taliban extremists who hate freedom.
Now THAT’s an argument. Facts are SO 1998.
While I’m 100% in step with you on this issue, John, I have to say my first reaction is “Um… it’s USA TODAY, dude.”
Sounds like a real prick. Any chance we can try him as a witch?
Well, to be fair, it is an editorial, not a “news” story.
Yes. But so what? The problem is that USA Today is acting as if there is a legitimate controversy here, so it is being “responsible” and “balanced.”
The fact is that there is no legitimate controversy. By running this editorial the paper is telling its readers, falsely, that there is.
It is as if DNA doesn’t exist.
That’s it! The O.J. jurors were all
creationists. . . err, intelligent des. . . err, divine designists!
You ever notice that in politics, the people who often raise the most vigorous attacks against a particular position (e.g., intrepid White House reporters) are the very ones hiding something themselves?
I can’t help but think that Mr. Buttars is feeling this is hitting too close to home… I wonder if he has to wax his back daily.
The trouble with the “missing link” is that it is still missing! In fact, the whole fossil chain that could link apes to man is also missing!
The ability of ‘believers’ to readily and wantonly insert god into any scientific hole they may find is, well, I think it’s kind of perverted and vulgar.
Re-reading my point makes no sense to me now (My God! Could I have possibly evolved in the past 2 minutes?!).
If true, then the DailyKos contributors are all really ultra-conservatives at heart… who knows? Only a million years and another ice age will tell…
I’ve been told orthodox Jewish folks write G-d, because they are not allowed to destroy (throw away) anything that has God written on it.
TCS is still shilling I see. Someone should tell them the gig was up several years ago.
If the question is, Which do I have more FAITH in Creationism or the Empiricism of Science? Well, since FAITH is a gift from God he didn’t give me any. So I believe my senses, He gave me a few of those. My senses feed my intellect and together they tell me that there is more evidence for Evolution than Creationism. So Thank You Lord for giving me the tools to solve this mystery. What a piece of work is man!!!
Dude… it was just a question about why you were using dashes. (Also, you forgot to capitalize “he” to “He” when referring to God. Keep on sinnin’!) Last time I checked my Bible study, allowing a devil to “force” you to sin is still you’re own fault.
And my scorn did it? For a guy using a nic like “Defense Guy” you crumbled like a pussy.
It’s going to be the seventh circle of Hell for you, buddy.
Thanks for rubbing it in. I have adopted the jewish tradition regarding the spelling. For me, it is meant as a sign of respect and a way to deliniate my words from those that have been purported to be divine.
My fiancee calls me superstitous, but when we are in hell we will see who has the last laugh.
I thought we were all there now. At least, until 2009.
Defense Guy Writes:
“Shall we say that no one has ever been wrong before on the subject of the missing link. Hell, until very recently it was accepted science that Neandrethal (sic?) was in the line of human evolution. Now? well, we are not so sure as there is good evidence that both existed at the same time.”
And that’s what makes science science, as opposed to shaminism pretending to be science. It had a falsifiable theory regarding the descent of Homo sapiens from Homo neanderthalensis. In ID it’s just “God Did It” and men rode dinosaurs. ( http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/15 )
And, while I grant that I’m speaking outside my expertise, my understanding is that evolutionary biologists don’t believe in the “missing link” as the half-assed major jump in speciation concieved by most people. Modern evolutionary biologists are not looking for some sort of half-man/half-ape fossile that might look a lot like the Piltdown man hoax.
Yet, they’re still routinely attacked by critics who are complaining about a “missing link,” who are, IMO, pandering to an obsolete, Victorian concept of evolution. These people that are whining about evolution are way, way behind the concepts of modern evolution and whining from ignorance.
Believe this guy Buttars testified at the Scopes Monkey Trial, no? The missing link? Jeeeez.
Remember, the church used to kill people who said the Earth was round and rotated around the Sun. They never have much liked science, right Gallileo?
Guess you can’t believe in DNA, photosynthesis or any of that life science bullshit because, you know, those scientists have an agenda.
Are you implying that ID ‘scientists’ and anti-evolution analysists don’t actually know much about evolution? That’s unpossible. Surely, surely they must all have degrees in biology and genetics. And, um… stuff.
Hey, RINOs and liberals, check out these poll results
Read ’em and weep: 54% of Americans REJECT the evolutionist idea that man evolved from an earlier species.
Why don’t you all move to Massachussets and send your kids to Montesori schools there where they’ll be sure to teach evolution for the piddling 25% of the population that believes in it?
Learn how to read a poll. It is obvious that you only like to use the statistics that bolster your notions, but the other information contained in the page you linked to indicates that a majority of people believe in having a combination of evolution and creationism taught.
And this is precisely how things are now, and should remain. Evolution (a scientific theory) is taught in school science class while creation (a religious theory) is taught either at home or a place of worship.
Despite your shrill cries that the system is broken, the polls you cite suggest that there is nothing to fix.
And incidentally, only 23% of polled respondents thought only creation should be taught. So much for your ‘majority’ viewpoint.
So academic curricula should be based on public opinion, rather than, you know research and study? Boy that would have made my education easier.
Scientific advancement does not procede by democratic vote.
I wonder if USA Today would print my editorial, which begins much like the one above: “The campaign to eliminate Zeus from the public forum has been going on for millenia, having accelerated greatly with so-called scientific explanations for thunder and lightning.”
This cannot be said strongly enough or often enough. Science has not one single iota to do with your beliefs, your concept of “balance of opinion,” or any of this other mealy-mouthed bullshit creationists keep trying to use in order to force the teaching of non-science in science class. You can believe any crazy-ass thing you want. But it doesn’t have anything to do with science.
The simple facts: Evolution has not only withstood a century and a half of nonstop scientific inquiry, it has been bolstered by said inquiry. Creationism doesn’t withstand even a rudimentary scientific examination. Ergo, evolution belongs in science class; creationism does not. You want to learn creationism, go to fucking Sunday School, halfwit.
This is evidence of the complete idiocy of the press. USA Today apparently thinks there is some serious controversy here, so decided it needed to be “balanced.”
This is also evidence of the complete idiocy of the press. From today:
I wasn’t clear in my post – I embrace the Theory of Evolution as fact.
It’s just nuts to have current – same day – news that directly contradicts these rebranded Creationists…
Oscar Wilde Says:
Please be informed.
The missing link is on extended vacation in Crawford.
August 9th, 2005 at 4:17 pm
Best. Post. Ever.
Next time you are sick, why don’t you go to a Creationist, or just stay home and pray? Me, I’m going to a doctor who was trained in science. Preferably, a young one whose parents sent her to Montessori school.
FAO Rusty Shackleford.
Has it ever been confirmed that G.H is truly G.W’s Daddy?
I would like to hear to the contrary, confirmation in the affirmative plays havoc with my “Spore Theory”
(Stolen from Robbin Williams, can’t remember the movie)
I don’t understand a thing about physics. Therefore I don’t understand that whole lightning and thunder explanation. Therefore I reject science and believe thunder is due to the gods bowling up in the heavens. ‘Cuz I’ve been bowling and thunder sounds like like a really big ball hitting really big pins.
OK, the above was sarcasm. But that seems to be the kind of “logic” these ID’ers use. So science can’t explain everything? Or, I don’t understand DNA, etc? Therefore I reject it all, and credit a supernatural being instead.
Frankly, I wish these people would use the brains that God gave them and realize that the Bible was written by and for people thousands of years ago, for their level of understanding, and based on the creation stories of the time. These ID’ers are just embarrassing.
Hannah, Christian *and* student of science, and no, they’re not contradictory
and LOL about the missing link being in Crawford
We could, but then the ignorant folks left in your part of the country, after a few generations of inbreeding (sounds like one or two more in your neighborhood would suffice) would be clamoring at the gates looking for SSI and directions on how to clean yourselves.
I demand equal time for the Flying Spaghetti Monsterism theory of Intelligent Design!!!
“Read ‘em and weep: 54% of Americans REJECT the evolutionist idea that man evolved from an earlier species”.
ANd your point is what, DougJ? That most Americans are ignorant fucks?
Guess you’re right as a majority of Amricans re-elected PReznit Miserable Lying Failure to a second term…..
Hear the truth and be blessed by his noodly appendage.
So, 54% in one poll reject the idea that man evolved from an earlier species. This doesn’t say much for the past and present state of science education in our schools, does it? Could it be that public school teachers are afraid to teach evolution as it ought to be taught because some wimpy school administrator or school board is afraid it might raise a, God forbid, CONTROVERSY!?
Incidentally, has anyone read Time magazine’s current issue? Talk about “balance”! And I used to think Time was a step up from USA Today. Live and learn.
RE that thing in TCS, I was going to use the bit about watches (note they seldom bring up the eye anymore, guess after 150 years of debunking it finally dawned that it is not all that good an example) but this –
“An Audi and a Ford each have four wheels, a transmission, an engine, a gas tank, fuel injection systems … but no one would claim that they both naturally evolved from a common ancestor.”
will do just fine.
How am I supposed to take seriously someone who believes a Prius® or M1A1 Main Battle Tank sprang into being with no ancestry? An ancestry going back at least to an ox-cart, if not a travois. I could not build a power lawn mower if I were given the tools and a pile of iron ore – does that mean it cannot be done? We’ve all heard of water-wheels: did you know there were at least forty designs, encompassing almost seven hundred examples, at various places on the Seine River in the twelfth century CE? Hardly seems like there is only one way to accomplish a task, even for mere humans.
OK, I may believe a creator at least kicked things off (Big Bang), but why couldn’t such have used a sort of automation – ie evolution – rather than requiring a miracle every time an isotope comes of another isotope?
or, going to the eye thing, why does a squid have a better designed (no “blind spot”) eye than mankind?
Darwin held off publishing because, as a religious man, he feared his fellow religionists would misinterpret his work as being contrary to their beliefs. Prescient.
Einstein used to deride Quantum Mechanics by exclaiming “God does not play dice with the universe!” Bohr eventually got tired (OK, OK, bored) of hearing this and responded “Albert, stop telling God what to do.” Which is my response to creationism and its step-daughter ID.
Like St.Peter, ID denies the Lord thrice (actually considerably more than thrice).
Why do Christians give it the time of day?
DC Media Girl is on-target. Really, USA Today is not a very good newspaper; why do you grant it such credibility?
JC – given this drivel, which you rightly deride, how on earth can you have supported the Republicans at the last election?
As I recall, you even repeatedly claimed that the theocon element of the GOP was overstated/ exaggerated by the opposition. Now Bush is overtly supporting this insanity. It’s not like you weren’t warned.
‘fiscally conservative’ ‘southpark’ republicans are like dirt behind the fridge – unnoticed, tolerated, ignored, but swept away when the time comes. GOP is the party of jesus.
Perhaps someone should point out the Cheetah to the ‘good’ Senator.
It is the only Cat in the world that can’t retract it’s claws. It evolved fixed claws, most likely, to aid in traction while running at over 50 MPH. It’s digestive tract is also different from other cats. The feces of a Cheetah is very similar to the feces of a dog and dissimilar to that of other cats.
Hmn. A Dat!! I’ve found one!!
What an idiot.
When we get this evolution debate solved I’d like to move on to other baffling things. Like, where is heaven? I always thought it was in the sky, you know, when God calls you you ride a chariot up there. But it seems like no astronauts or pilots have seen it. Maybe it’s way out there past Pluto.
Also, what about this walking on water thing? Has this been proven by Christian scientists? There have been a couple of times during my life when walking on water would have come in handy.
Also, why is it that the farther back in time you go the more likely the miracles? People nowadays who are directed to impose moral codes told to them by, say, a burning bush, are medicated to not hear the voices. But that’s a recent development in pharmacology. Hasn’t God wanted to talk to people at least once since the time of the disciples? There’s something very fishy about these stories.
Bob – before you look for heaven you’ve got to find the firmament. That’s the solid object god placed at the top of the sky. The shuttle would hit that first.
The only rational explanation is that NASA are lying to us.. the shuttle must just fly around in a circle under the firmament and come back.
Just like all the scientists – paleontologists, astrophysicists, geologists, chemists etc etc are lying about how old the earth is.
That’s why I hate the Mainstreammedia. Join me. Remember – everyone is lying to you except me.
I have read enough at this site to know that tolerance of religious (particularly Christian) folk is sparse, but I’ll throw my hat in for a couple of points, nonetheless.
I don’t understand the appeal of ID to Christians. I am a strict Creationist (yes, 6 real days), and don’t really care to enter into a lengthy debate about it (primarily because my belief in a supernatural creation isn’t “scientifically” debatable, and neither I nor any evolutionist here would benefit from the debate). I would, however, caution Christians that when trying to reconcile the Bible to Science in the arena of ID, they’re rejecting one of the two basic foundations of their faith–the miracle of creation. The other foundation–the miracle of the resurrection–is no more “scientifically” impossible than is creation. Also, rather than getting caught up in attempting to scientifically “prove” the existence of God, as Christians are routinely challenged, place the burden upon science to legitimately “disprove” His existence, instead. Religion is the arena of presuppositions, science is not.
That said, there are three distinct areas that I think science has yet to reconcile regarding evolution. The first is the incomprehensible rarity of beneficial mutation. When DNA changes significantly (as would be required for a mutation to be inheritable), the results are nearly always catastrophic. Second, adaptation could potentially give rise to species differentiation within a genus, but it is an inadequate explanation for the drastic differences between genera. Lastly, the presence and resurfacing of recessive traits seems to completely obliterate the concept of natural selection. The white alligator, for example, still exists, despite the fact that millennia of evolution would have erased this trait from the gene pool, as they are almost always eaten by predators in infancy when they are born in the wild (probably not the best example, but good enough to state my point).
I sincerely appreciate scientific study and advancement, but again, science must not be bound to presuppositions (such as the absence of a Divine being, or a supernatural power). Evolution has the distinction of being defended as a perfected theory, despite its ongoing history of revision. In essence, we have too many Christians treating their beliefs like science, and too many scientists treating their beliefs like religion.
What’s most sad is that the vehemence of evolutionists for what they belive and that of creationists for what they believe generally precludes civilized dialogue.
Ah, the phony “poor victmized Christian” refrain has made its appearance.
When did Christianity turn into maudlin self-hatred?
the reason there is no civilised dialogue is that the majority of creationists absolutely do not accept what you admit, ie, that creationism is the abdication of the demand for an explanation.
Darwinian evolution gives an explanation of organised complexity: it is the result of cumulative heritable variation.
Crationism says that the organised complexity that we can see is the result of organised complexity which we can’t see. The organised complexity that we can’t see is posited as being (almost?) infinitely more complex than what we can.
Then the creationists say that the ‘contending theories’ deserve to be debated against one another. This merits an unequivocal response.
maybe you should go read http://www.pandasthumb.com
Mutation isn’t always beneficial, but its not “catastophic” as you so readily assume. I notice you deliver absolutely no basis for your “facts”, and it sounds like its all come from some of these travelling Christian anti-evolution conference tours that those at Panda’s Thumb have eagerly visited and made the humorous findings available to us.
Then again, I’m sure that your capabilities in analyzing the vast boundaries of the millenia are vastly superior to all of the scientists and physicists that are working on theories of origins. You should volunteer to help them, I’m sure you could save them a lot of time.
And if you didn’t want a debate, then don’t bring up such hokey damn crap and then run.
Science has nothing to say one way or the other about God. God is, by definition, outside the realm of science. (And who, exactly, is “routinely” challenging Christians to scientifically prove the existence of God?)
This is a good argument for keeping ID/Creationism out of science classes, frankly. You don’t want science inserted into religion; I don’t want faith inserted into science.
Really, it’s pretty simple – science asks “how?”, religion asks “why?” They each have their place; let’s just let them occupy their own spaces and stop trying to force square pegs into round holes.
You ask about the problem of the relative rarity of beneficial mutations. I think I may be able to help you think about this in a different way:
Recently we’ve heard a lot about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki mass killings. In many of the reports, survivors give their testimony. Some of them were extremely close to the blast sites.
This could be seen as very suprising, statistically. Perhaps it is not correct that a high proportion of people nearby died. Otherwise, why don’t we hear their testimony as often as that of those who survived?
Of course, this is totally daft. We don’t expect to hear the testimony of the dead. They can’t speak. The relatively high profile of the survivors doesn’t tell us anything about the proportion of survivors to victims except that SOME survived. We don’t interpret their high profile as evidence that atomic bombs are ‘fairly safe’. Nor does Darwinian Evolution require that beneficial mutation be common.
Very excellent argument.
Alas, trying to get the Cro Magnans … I mean, croationists … I mean, creationists … to see a concept like that is like trying to teach a dog to write C++. Even if the student is enthusiastic, he’s not really going to get it.
And these students are not enthusiastic.
In order of appearance:
ppGaz: I’m no “poor victimized Christian” by any stretch. I was acknowledging that most here who don’t to the line of science-ism are regularly ridiculed and dismissed. Thanks so much for proving my point.
ape: thanks for disagreeing without being disagreeable. I really appreciate someone taking time to read and understand what I type. You also got my central point: that trying to bring two absolutely irreconcilible views into a debate is an exercise in futility. There’s simply no way for someone who insists that they will only be convinced by seeing something for themselves to believe in either evolution or God. As to your reference to the atomic blasts, I don’t know if the few that survived were able to do so because of a genetic trait that rendered them less vulnerable (I think that’s what you’re presenting), but that would certainly be a fascinating area for scientific study, perhaps giving us a window into the genetic links for some diseases, as well (cancer comes to mind immediately).
Binkyboy: I made no claim to be gifted in “analyzing the vast boundaries of the millenia,” and for those who have even a small grasp of the English language, the fact that I appreciate scientific research, so long as it isn’t clouded by religion-like presuppositions, would have been quite obvious. Your condescension, trite arrogance, and schoolyard-quality insults, however, have blown apart one of my critiques of evolution: that the unique human capacity for reason and higher thinking sets us completely apart from the animal kingdom.
tBone: You, too, get my point. Creationism (and all things theological) transcends science, and therefore doesn’t belong in the science classroom, regardless of its name. Instead, teach the tangible findings in the fossil record and what scientists have extrapolated from these findings. In other words, teach “evolution” in the direction of evidence to theory, not vice-versa, as is usually the custom.
typo–first paragraph should read “toe the line”
(reminding self to proofread more carefully next time)
You aren’t? You sure sound like one.
Actually, it’s the ideas that are ridiculed and dismissed. If “christians” want more friendly treatment, maybe they should get themselves some better ideas.
ape, I realize I missed the point you were trying to make regarding the atomic bomb blasts. I understand what you’re saying, though, and still appreciate the sentiment. I think you’re pointing in a way to the “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” axiom. It’s truly valid, and I reassert my stand that genuine science willingly admits its limitations, even if, in so doing, it offers a reasoned explanation of what lies beyond those limitations.
I simply ask that the explanation is presented as an extrapolation (or interpolation, depending upon the area), not a measured, proven fact. In the scientific arena, semantics are crucial at times.
As with most creationists, you seem obsessed with evolution trail to the Origins of Man and/or Species. That is one of the areas of evolution, but its not the reason that evolution is taught in science. The natural world around us proves the basic theory of evolution on a daily basis, from our own disease tolerance to the evolution of insects that are resistant to common pesticides. Attempting to dismiss evolution from a religious standpoint is akin to ignoring the elephant in your living room. The attacks made on evolution are coming from those that don’t want the Origins of Man to be explored through any other means other than Creationism, yet in bringing the attack, they encourage the validation and the search for such Origins.
While there are inconsistencies in the theories on the Origin of Man throughout recent history (Neanderthal Man vs. Cro-Magnon vs. XXXX) it only means that the science itself is evolving to changing evidence, because all of the evidence is not available at this time, nor may 100% of the evidence be available.
So what I originally attempted to question was your motive in even posting. Your attempt to shed uncertainty on random mutation to create new species is a common attack that has little to do with science and more to do with a Young Earth mentality that ignores the reality of the sheer span of time that has occurred to bring about species specialization and diversity.
I also notice that if a non-sequitor attack isn’t made during a post, it routinely gets ignored and passed on for the more inflammatory posts, so consider my previous post an exploration and ham-handed attempt to create a virtual loudspeaker.
Science is all about disciplined, testable extrapolation.
Otherwise, what would be the point of science?
Otherwise, let’s go to the time machine, and enter the room where Gallileo is in front of the priests:
“Well, you’re right about this solar system thing. Nice job. Now, back to our regular dogma. Have a nice day, Gallileo. You da man.”
“Thanks, guys. I’m done. We’ve learned everything there is to learn. Pizza?”
Looks like Kansas is the first state that will begin to formally question evolution in its public school curricula. Those who chuckle at the religious right as they polish their Republican party membership card must soon realize that we are entering a dark period.
I’m not sure you have followed what i was trying to say with the Atomic Bomb Survivors metaphor.
This was a mental exercise designed to focus specifically on your concerns about the ‘incomprehensible rarity’ of beneficial mutations. Simply put, I was trying to make that rarity, or rather, the apparent contrast with its prevalence, more comprehensible.
Here’s a more direct example: Imagine filming yourself rolling a hundred-sided dice (they use them in D&D i think) for many weeks. Then you take the film, and edit it, so that only the ’27’s appear on the film, perhaps with one or two other results.
The dice roll was random, the film isn’t. This is an aspect of Darwinian Evolution that people have a genuine difficulty picturing. Darwinian Evolution does NOT posit a random process, but a mechanism by which a random process is edited (‘selection’). And it does not require the invisible hand of a conscious editor.
Too right. To such people: You are the dirt behind the fridge.
Perhaps a logic course is in order. You do realize that you can’t prove something doesn’t exist, right?
One of the crux of your argument is that it’s up to science to prove God doesn’t exist. Science can NEVER prove that God doesn’t exist. This is why belief in God is belief in the Supernatural.. why it is a matter of theology and NOT a matter of science.
People at this site enjoy denigrating the ludicrous ID theories and pointing out the obvious flaws in the scientific understanding of the proponents. However, no matter how far-fetched these grasping theories become, they do not further “disprove” the existence of God.
Some commentators and even some of Mr. Cole’s links utilize obviously flawed evolutionary science. Pesticide-resistant insects are not evidence of evolution. It merely shows that it is possible to force “genetic drift”. Actual evolution would require a “speciation” event. For example, all of the German cockroaches in America may now be resistant to Raid. However, if I get a German cockroach from Europe and it is capable of breeding and having viable offspring with the local cockroaches, then no “evolution” has transpired.
Likewise, humans have been breeding dogs for 3,000? years. Except for the difficulties with mechanics, a Yorkshire Terrier can still mate with a Great Dane and produce dogs. Many years of unnatural selection pressures have still failed to produce a speciation event. This is approaching the 5,000 year time frame proposed by Stephen J. Gould for punctuated equilibrium speciation events.
Evolutionary theory contains many problems we cannot answer. These “holes” in the theory do not prove an intelligent designer as the ID folks postulate. Likewise, the function of DNA in passing our genes to our progeny does nothing to disprove the existence of God.
So because you havn’t personally witnesses a portion of the theory of evolution, speciation, evolution is questionable?
Written history has been happening for only a brief second, yet you discount speciality by saying it hasn’t happened recently.
So to carry your thoughts of the German cockroach further, would you say that the new cockroach produced by the reproduction of a non-tolerant cockroach and the tolerant one will produce one with a different genetic code than either of the forebearers? And might this one not reproduce with another mutation, making even more adaptable and specific to its environment for a length of time that, when compared to the original non-tolerant German Cockroach, would have no resemblence?
Besides, reproductive capabilities arn’t evidence of non-speciality. Jackasses and horses can mate and create offspring, yet are considered different species.
And your dog example is lacking. Dogs have been bred to different breeds during those 5000 years to produce new strains and beneficial/desireable traits. Their environments, all being somewhat similar, havn’t created new species through extinction of non-specialized traits. Not everything is evolving to make new species, a branch occurs because certain environmental conditions force it.
BinkyBoy: From your last paragraph, thanks–I think (hahaha).
I do wholeheartedly concur that “evolution” encompasses far more territory than the origins of man and other species, and perhaps the reason I’m “picking on” that particular aspect is because it is routinely presented as the pinnacle of evolution science. Again, back to an issue of semantics, “adaptation” is undeniable, and the extrapolation of that readily observable phenomenon would point to it as a potential mechanism by which diversification of life occurs. “Evolution,” however, is a term that encompasses everything from ambiogenesis to diversity to adaptation, and should be neither attacked nor defended as a comprehensive bundle, in my opinion.
Something I would be intensely interested in would be an analysis of statistics and probability that took into account the following: 1)frequency of “positive” mutation and inheritance of that mutation; 2)theoretical number of said positive, inheritable mutations necessary to bridge from one species to the other most genetically similar; 3)approximately how many generations & years would need to pass before the new species arose as dominant. Given that analysis, the question would need to be answered whether the earth is old enough to support the theory of development and differentiation from a common ancestor.
I do hope that I’ve presented myself in contrast to the Creationists who rail blindly against anything that is percieved as threatening to their faith. I just wish there weren’t a similar number of evolutionists who rail blindly against anyone who doubts their reasoning or conclusions. There is room for civil, thoughtful dialogue, but the positions aren’t resonably debatable head-to-head. We can debate whether the conclusions offered by evolutionists are correct, but if I present the belief (again, with a nod towards semantics, I didn’t say “theory”) that less than 10,000 years ago, God created an “old” world, there’s no room for true scientific debate. I recognize that, so I don’t bring that belief into a “debate.”
ape: A couple of posts up, I realized my error and addressed it. The “dice and film” example is very interesting, because it presents one of the problems with evolution. If someone found the film you mention, then watched it, he or she would certainly come to the conclusion that either some editing had taken place, or there was something about the dice or their environment that wasn’t readily obvious. What Darwinian Evolution presents is an idea that an enormous amount of “randomness” (for lack of a better word), coupled with an equally great number of tangible (if not conventionally measurable) forces and pressures come together in a way that presents an appearance of intelligence in the process. Would that explanation suffice to explain the oddities observed in the film of the dice rolls, or would a nod towards some intelligent input make more sense? Certainly, study directed at gaining knowledge about the origin of life is akin to watching a magic show. A whole bunch of hard thought about “How’d he do that?” (or, more appropriately in the area of evolution, “How’d that happen?”) goes with the territory, and I’m convinced that anything that requires that level of reasoning is healthy for the mind. The danger lies in the “tunnel vision” that sometimes accompanies being consumed in the quest for a definitive answer.
Steven Bandyk: My statement regarding a burden of proof was to illustrate that science and theology were two things that cannot be reconciled, and an (admittedly feeble) attempt to get Christians to stop trying to “prove” God to science. It’s an impossible, and ultimately unnecessary, task.
and, one more nod to ppGaz: Anyone who reads your comments knows that you attack people, not just their ideas or beliefs. What would your word be for someone who denies “solid facts” with “blind denials?” Furthermore, it’s interesting to note that the idea of an Earth-centered universe, though held dogmatically by the Church of Galileo’s time, isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. Flawed human traditions don’t discredit relgious texts. I could actually draw a parallel between believers blindly following prominent Church leaders and evolutionists blindly following prominent evolution scientists. Both sides need to step back and do a little reading, observing, and thinking of their own.
Actually, many of the church at the time took the stopping of the heavens as evidence that the Earth was the center of the Universe. So technically, you are correct, however those dictating and generating the dialog were projecting their analysis on a populace that were incapable of reading and therefore incapable of making the decision for themselves.
Since the bible is a creation of the church, in the mind of most scientists and literary experts, the analysis and belief of those following the bible, as owners and readers, make them responsible for the public belief.
I’m sure you could, and you’d be as wrong about that as you are about everything else you’ve said here. Dead, one hundred and eighty degrees wrong.
Science is about science, which is a process for discovery. The church you refer to was about doctrine and control. Your comparison is beyond inapt, it’s laughable.
You know, we’ve induced evolution on contained populations of some species of flies that reproduces very quickly. Not good enough? We observe it naturally all the time in strains of bacteria and viruses. The only reasons we don’t see it actively in people are: 1. We reproduce at an extraordinarily slow rate compared to bacteria. 2. Typically, a generation dies before one with noticeably different traits arises.
But then again, you know that the experiments with the flies and the creation of evil bad bacteria is just the work of the Devil and the anti-Christ. They put it there to lead us away from God and make us believe in this horseshit evolution! Or perhaps it’s just God’s way of testing our faith!
All you have to do nowadays is have an opposite position and the media will report it no matter how ridiculous or wrong that position is. They present both sides in a faux display of even reporting. There is no actual investigation. So, if you say it they print it and it becomes part of the discussion no matter how inane or silly it may be.
The conversation simply cannot be had in honest terms anymore. I could state that creationism only deal with the origin of life until I am blue in the face and some will continue to stretch the meaning of the proven part of evolution to compete with my statement. Why? Because Darwin was a smart guy who took it a step too far perhaps, and to some Darwin IS G-d.
It’s nuts and it is small wonder that people get angry.
um, no. Creation of the universe from a quantum fluctuation is much more plausible than is the resurrection of a dead person.
Again, no, The burden of proof is on the expositor not the denier. Otherwise you should have to prove evolution doesn’t exist. Instead we ask that you prove an intelligent designer exists. And pointing to gaps in knowledge is not proof.
LOL “incomprehensible” to who? You? Go back to school!
ALL changes to DNA are inheritable, significant or not.
Not true, many have no effect on the living organism’s abilty to live to breeding age, many others are a detriment to survival. I t would be hard to quantify the amounts. You’re asserting something unknown.
Actually it is quite adequate, the changes giving rise to genera ocurred farther back in time, is all.
Albinism, which is what I assume you are referring to, can arise spontaneously in an idividual organism and is not neccesarily an inherited trait. All it takes is a slight change in the gene that produces pigmented skin to make it not work properly.
Science is not “bound by presuppositions”. It’s goal is to use ‘presuppositions’ (hypotheses) as a guide to research. These hypotheses are changed or discarded as new data are collected to confirm or deny them. This is the essence of science. Clearly you have a sad lack of knowledge in the scientific endeavor, and evolution particularly.
No, what is sad is the religionists’ total lack of knowledge of what science is. They should have paid more attention in school or lacking that, accept the fact that they are ignorant of the matter and leave it alone or study up now. And I don’t mean reading up on Creationist websites/books and spewing the same old tired already refuted arguments. Your arguments are based upon incredulity and lack of knowledge.
Ok, pseudolus, I’ll bite . . . but in the name of brevity, I’ll only hit the “high points.”
Allright! An opening shot that’s no more than a blatant twisting of my words. My actual statement is that a Christian who believes in the resurrection should have no problem with a six-day creation. Such a masterful debator you are!
I don’t think you’ll find me presenting “gaps in knowledge” as evidence of a creator. I’ve stated at least three times in my comments that theology and science can’t be logically debated.
There are a number of mutations that occur during zygotic mitosis that are not inheritable.
Something too “hard to quanitify” to enter into scientific research? Wouldn’t a quantification of just how frequently beneficial mutation occurs be considered fairly central to the theory? As you state it, science sounds timid to measure things that are measurable quantifiable, but quite bold in areas which are not. That’s not my perception of science.
And you accuse me of asserting something unknown?
Where to start, where to start…First, it’s ironic that this statement comes from the same person who claimed ALL changes in DNA are inheritable. Secondly, have you any exposure whatsoever to genetics? Recessive genes such as albinism are inherited, but don’t arise until two people who both carry the trait reproduce. The idea I was presenting is that as the offspring of those parents were reduced by natural selection (their condition is directly related to decreased survival), the trait would, over time, disappear.
The fact remains that evolution science collects data, then fits it into the mold necessary to further the theory. This practice has resulted in more than one embarassment to the scientific community. Science should never be about presuppositions, but rather formulate hypotheses through extrapolation or interpolation from known data or facts.
And yours are based upon pride and arrogance, as evidenced by that last paragraph. You stand as a shining example of why there is so much animosity between the scientific and religious communities. In my comments today, I have encountered at least two staunch supporters of evolution today who have engaged me in even-handed and respectful dialogue, the type of conversation that is conducive to easing tensions between the two sides of this debate. You chose, however, to be insulting and condescending instead of civil. There are true gentlemen on both sides of this issue, but you, sir, are not one of them.
Here are a few “Dat” animals that this moron has never heard of (presumably because he has never read anything but that wealth of scientific information, the fucking bible)
A LIGER – (male lion female tiger) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liger
A TIGON – (male tiger and a female lion) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tigon
A MULE – (male donkey and a female horse) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule
A Hinny – (male horse and a female donkey) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinny
Overall Hybrid article which includes among others a A “Zeedonk”, a zebra/donkey hybrid; a Wolphin, a fertile but very rare cross between a False Killer Whale and a Bottlenose Dolphin; and a Beefalo/cattalo, a cross of an American Bison and a domestic cow :
This is a completely dishonest set of assertions.
First of all, your statement about the animosity in this subject is wrong. Scientists are not forming think tanks and political action groups for the purpose of forcing Sunday schools to teach science and evolution. But creationists, whose beliefs rest entirely on superstition, are trying to do exactly that to science classes. Kevin Drum, who is eminently soft spoken a pundit as you can find on any side of any issue, puts it clearly: There is no compromise position here. ID and creationism are not science, period. Therefore, for that very important reason, and for only that reason, they should not be taught in science classes.
Your continued insistence on the importance of something like “true gentlemanliness” is only a deflection from the sinister and dishonest nature of the campaign to put superstition into science classes. The people doing this are liars, and manipulators who will stoop to any obfuscation and twisting of words to accomplish their purpose. Do not preach about civility while propping up an assault on proper education, which seeks to employ the government to advance religious views at taxpayer expense. It’s thievery.
How many times would you like me to say that I do not, in any shape, form or fashion, advocate teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design in the science classroom because (for about the fourth time), I don’t consider them scientific!!!
I further think that evolution should be taught, from the first attempts at explaining the origins of life and the diversification of species, to the first findings that led to Darwinian evolution, through the evidence collected that seems to support the theory from the birth of that theory to the present. There is a fine line between presenting a fairly solid theory and presenting a firmly established fact. I personally think that evolution has crossed that line, and needs to back down a bit. I do not, however, advocate bringing in other ideas or beliefs, except perhaps in a context of what gave way to the theory of evolution in popular thinking. Even that, however, isn’t particularly necessary, though it would be in line with the way other things (atomic structure, for example) are taught: presenting ideas that, in the past, were the “leading” explanations for an observed phenomenon.
Now, go back and re-read the comments here. Tell me animosity doesn’t exist between proponents of the two sides. Further, tell me what in my comments indicate that I’m “propping up an assault on proper education” or that I think that the government has any place teaching theology of any flavor. Misrepresentation and transparent lies do not a more sound argument make.
Of course animosity exists. Ergo, the title of the thread.
As for your position, if I mistook it for supporting the ID position, my apologies. I tend to respond to posts and not to posters. So I’m guessing you were making some sort of devils-advocate argument. Or taking a middle-of-road position, or something.
That said, I do not agree with you that proponents of pure science “need to back down a bit.” I think that the opposite is true …. for the reasons stated. The thing being discussed here is a dishonest assault on science, and science should fight back aggressively.
Science is not about beliefs. It’s about disciplined discovery. Any decent scientist can explain that, but no creationist can.
I almost completely agree with you here. I can go along with you up to the point that “no creationist can.” I do consider myself a “creationist,” but perhaps that designation for me is nominal, because I don’t side with those who attempt to pass it off as science.
I couldn’t agree with you more. I think I’ve expressed the same sentiment, and the only area of science of which I’m critical is when presuppositions enter into the analysis of findings.
Within that lies the basis for my “back down a bit” statement. I feel that too often evolution is presented as a perfected theory, not the “work in progress” that it actually is. I make this statement not from Creationist “talking points,” but from my own experiences in science classes through high school and college, classes in both life sciences (botany, zoology, genetics, A&P, etc.) and physical sciences (environmental, physical, and organic chemistry, physics, geology, ecology, etc.). Throughout that experience, from the mouths of numerous professors with numerous degrees, evolution was never presented as anything but a complete, solidly proven fact. Certainly there are concrete facts that support the theory, but to fail to both acknowledge significant gaps in knowledge, and to recognize the potential for drastic changes in the theory in light of future discovery serves to catapult science into the realm of belief and theology.
Again, semantics play a key role in this discussion, because a “presupposition” is far more binding than are the interpolations and extrapolations that are inherent to logical and scientific thought (said another way, suppositions are good, presuppositions are not) Thus, I did not say, nor did I infer, that proponents of “pure science” need to back down. Pure science must remain outside the area of presuppositions.
I am not, nor will I ever be, one to read the latest Creationist tracts or websites in an effort to glean a “new argument” against evolution. I do, however read as many articles, texts, and websites I can get my hands on with regard to evolution science, and analyze the deductions presented. Sometimes they seem quite sound, sometimes I see flaws in logic. As I’ve said before, I believe deep, analytical thinking (particularly in areas outside one’s “comfort zone”) to be good for the brain. Many “problem areas” I present are out of a desire to better understand the theory, but often they’re met with either the same brand of stock talking points as Creationists are prone to use in their challenges, or even worse, with insults.
Well, I think if you sat down for beer nuts and brew with a scientist, he’d tell you that all of science is a work in progress …. which is the whole point of science. The last discovery leads to new questions, and on it goes.
I am a little uneasy with the “too often” part of your statement. I’ll say two things about it, one tending toward your view, and one toward mine:
1) It’s hard for me to fathom that “christians” would be so insecure about their religion that they would be terrified of insisting that science be kept science, and religion kept religion. It makes the ID’ers look as though they are driven by the secret knowledge that they have to constantly be waving their arms and stamping their feet lest anyone find out — gasp! — that their belief system might need revision. While I sympathize, I have to say, it’s their problem, not mine. And not science’s. Science is under no obligation to protect the turf of theocracy.
2) There are two “classes” of student here. One is the general student who will not become a scientist, and may not even have any interest in science. The other is the geeky kid who will grow up to discover the cure for cancer or invent the car that runs on dirt. How do you dumb this stuff down for the first group, without driving away the second group? There is a price to be paid for turning your back on science. On the other hand (this is where I stand up for your view, I think) …. by not telling the kids that all science is a work in progress, both groups are injured.
However, there is a difference between saying that it’s a work in progress, and saying that the work already done is irrelevant or can be summarily dismissed in favor of superstition, which endures mainly because it is unexamined.
Please replace “theocracy” with “theology” in my previous post.
Ok, this is the third fourth re-write of my response, because I kept veering off into an essay on the problems with modern Christianity. I’ll try one more time to limit myself to the current area of dialogue.
Most Christians are just that terrified of anything that challenges their faith, probably because they don’t know, beyond what someone else has told them, exactly what it is that they believe. I believe that man, created with a capacity to both believe and think, is only serving God if he uses both capacities.
I personally see a necessary separation between my religious beliefs and the scientific knowledge I may gain. The miraculous happenings foundational to my faith can never be proven (or disproven, for that matter) by science, but I also recognize that science can never be proven or disproven by my beliefs. In short, neither should be held to the others’ standards. Believe what you will, learn all you can, and try to somehow be at peace with both.
Now I’ll step back out of my “theological zone” for a moment to say that you’re absolutely correct in stating that what has been discovered shouldn’t be dismissed in favor of religion. For Creationists (or ID’ers) to choose this battle for equal exposure as a “stand or fall” point is both foolish and futile.