Evolution explained simply


What I would love to do is sit down with a confirmed creationist and watch these videos together — they’re very clear and simple and well-illustrated, with specific evidence cited. I really wonder how they would deal with it all.

Comments

  1. Paul Rinzler says

    That’s a great video, but I can hear the retort of creationists and religionists, and would love it for someone to offer a substantive answer to this retort:

    “All organisms may be related – structurally, genetically, etc. – but that could just as easily show that the Creator modified a given structure/function to produce variety. Homology doesn’t necessarily imply a common ancestor.”

    Perhaps the video should include the answer to that retort, I hope I didn’t miss it.

  2. Nemo says

    I don’t think there’s any rational response to “God chose to do it that way.” The closest I can think of is to point out how sub-optimal the results often are. That doesn’t prove God isn’t the designer, but it at least makes him a poor one.

  3. echidna says

    It is a really lovely video. Simple enough for even for young children, and enjoyable for anyone.

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t think there’s any rational response to “God chose to do it that way.”

    Yes there is, “What god? There is no evidence for one.”

  5. Azuma Hazuki says

    PZ, these people don’t have a science problem. They have a philosophy problem, specifically an epistemology problem. As Xaurreaux said at #5, they refuse to understand.

    I came to this conclusion as a result of spending years and years and years dealing with the most intractable Christian apologists on the face of the earth, the Presuppositionalists, after the school of Cornelius van Til (It can be argued that Clark’s version of PA isn’t really presuppositionalism in the same sense…).

    Most fundamentalists aren’t formally Presuppositionalists, but if you push them hard enough they will eventually spit out van Til in vernacular, as it were. It really catches people off guard with its combination of sheer brass-ballsiness and complete disregard for the hierachical structure of nature.

    PA is related to Reformed Epistemology (but oh SO much worse…), which I think you’re more familiar with since I’ve seen you do blog entries on Alvin Plantinga before. Its entire basis is “Yahweh grounds all knowledge; by even debating with me, you’ve lost, as you are parasitizing on my worldview.”

    THIS is the reason why they will not change their minds no matter what anyone tells them, with a side of “choose wrong and you burn in hellfire for eternity” to rein in the curious ones. I’m not sure how to reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into…

  6. says

    @1: The point is that evolution specifically *predicts* things like a pattern of genetic similarities and differences, homologies, etc. An omnipotent Creator, OTOH, can presumably do anything he/she/they/it wants, for its own inscrutable reasons. As far as we can know, it could just as easily have created biology that showed no pattern, and scientists would be left scratching their heads. Your hypothetical creationist’s response is basically an attempt to dismiss evidence as not being evidence.

  7. Paul Rinzler says

    Eamon, thanks for your response, that’s what I was looking for. The other way to say it is the point that Richard Carrier made several times in “Why I Am Not a Christian,” which is that saying that the Creator chose variations on a theme, making homologous structures, is an ad hoc explanation. There’s nothing in Christianity, for instance, that would predict homologous structures.

  8. Anri says

    Paul Rinzler @ 1:

    That’s a great video, but I can hear the retort of creationists and religionists, and would love it for someone to offer a substantive answer to this retort:

    “All organisms may be related – structurally, genetically, etc. – but that could just as easily show that the Creator modified a given structure/function to produce variety. Homology doesn’t necessarily imply a common ancestor.”

    Perhaps the video should include the answer to that retort, I hope I didn’t miss it.

    You say to them: evolution is at odds with what the bible actually says.
    Genesis doesn’t say that god created one living creature, or a few, and then let the rest develop from there. It says that god created all of the plants on one day, and all of the animals on another day or two. All of ’em.

    The bible also doesn’t say that humans developed from, or were crafted from, apes. It says that the first human came from the dust, and the second came from a part of the first. That’s nothing like evolutionary theory.

    If they counter with “Well, it’s just a folk story” or “the Genesis creation story isn’t meant to be taken literally”, ask them where the bibles says that. Ask them to quote you the verse saying that not everything in the bible should be believed, or isn’t actually the revealed word of god.
    Really (but not necessarily rudely) try to pin them down on this – ask directly if they think Genesis is right or wrong.

    That would be my take on the matter. (And I am assuming Christianity here – I suspect the same essential technique would work for whatever religion you happened to be up against at the moment.)

  9. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    I really wonder how they would deal with it all.

    Denial, intellectual dishonesty, or with a persecution complex. Or some combination of the three.

  10. tororosoba says

    Very good video, just like the other statedclearly products.

    ” I really wonder how they would deal with it all”
    For a representative answer, just read the Youtube comments.

  11. tsig says

    Eviloution is the doctrine of Satan.

    All are dammed who learn it

    All are dammed who teach it

    All are dammed who believe it

    Eviloution let me be!

    /fundie off

  12. says

    #9-10
    I think a simple, practical explanation of that point might be handy. Sometimes, it’s best to use a separate example to explain a point and then refer back to the subject being discussed. It helps to avoid making people defensive. I’ve been thinking about something like this:

    Let’s say we have two decks of cards. One is a normal deck, the other is composed of 52 copies of the ace of hearts. We’ll shuffle both decks thoroughly and then I’ll place the decks out of your view. From one of the decks, I’ll draw the top card and show it to you. It’s the ace of hearts.
    Now, which deck did I draw from, the normal deck or the trick deck? Which is more likely? If you were to put money on it, which deck would you choose?

  13. bondjamesbond says

    I think you guys are too easily impressed with nothing of substance,,,

    Investigating Evolution: Homology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgXT9sU6y18

    “But if it is true that through the genetic code, genes code for enzymnes that synthesize proteins which are responsible (in a manner still unknown in embryology) for the differentiation of the various parts in their normal manner, what mechanism can it be that results in the production of homologous organs, the same ‘patterns’, in spite of their not being controlled by the same genes? I asked this question in 1938, and it (still) has not been answered.”
    Embryologist Sir Gavin deBeer, Homology, An Unsolved Problem, Oxford Biology Reader, 1971

    Homology — do common structures imply common ancestor? (14:17 minute mark – Different Genes involved in generating similar structures) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ydajcf2SBw&feature=player_detailpage#t=862

    “The facts of comparative anatomy provide no support for evolution in the way conceived by Darwin and research at the molecular level has not demonstrated a correspondence between the structure of the gene and the structural and physical homology.”
    Professor Norman Nevin hailed in one obituary as “a pioneer in the science of genetics”.
    Should Christians Embrace Evolution? p137, (IVP 2009),

    Whale Evolution vs. The Actual Evidence – video – fraudulent fossils revealed

    Now It’s Whale Hips: Another Icon of Darwinian Evolution, Vestigial Organs, Takes a Hit – September 15, 2014
    Excerpt: Under selection pressure from reality, Darwinists have already had to back away from Darwin’s own understanding of what it means for a structure to be vestigial. Rather than serving no purpose, writes Jerry Coyne in Why Evolution Is True, now being vestigial can mean serving a different purpose than in one’s distant ancestors.,,,
    You see the problem. Whale hips are “vestigial” yet still extremely important. Comments our colleague Michael Behe, “So doesn’t that make everything a vestigial structure from a Darwinian viewpoint? And if so, of what use is the word?”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/09/whales_hips_ano089811.html

    Revisiting Those Early Developmental Stages: A Response to PZ Myers – Jonathan M. June 22, 2011
    Excerpt: Let’s take an illustrative example. Anurans and urodeles are both modern amphibian groups which we would consider to be closely related. However, there is significant difference in the source of their primordial germ cells. For instance, in urodeles, they arise from unspecific ectodermal cells at the blastula stage; whereas, in anurans, they arise from specific cells of endodermal origin, the cells possessing cytoplasmic granules that originated in the unfertilized egg. Now, here’s the conundrum. The difference relates to organs of extreme importance — i.e. the germ cells. The difference is not only substantial, but it occurs extremely early in development.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/revisiting_those_early_develop047571.html

    A Piece from the Developmental Symphony – February 2012
    Excerpt: Embryonic development is an astounding process that seems to happen “automatically.”,,, The timing of each step is too precise and the complexity is too intricate to assume that these processes are the mere accumulation by happenstance of changes to regulatory genes. Each gene plays its role at a certain time, and like a symphony, each is activated and silenced in turn such that the final result is a grand performance of orchestrated effort that could only have occurred through design.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/a_piece_from_th055921.html

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think you guys are too easily impressed with nothing of substance,,,

    Still waiting for the conclusive physical evidence your imaginary designer exists, evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Talk about nothing of substance….

  15. Nick Gotts says

    bondjamesbond@17

    I think

    No, you don’t. You just spew creationist garbage.

    I asked this question in 1938, and it (still) has not been answered.”
    Embryologist Sir Gavin deBeer, Homology, An Unsolved Problem, Oxford Biology Reader, 1971

    1971. That’s 43 years ago. And you think it worth quoting as demonstrating an unsolved problem.

    Under selection pressure from reality, Darwinists have already had to back away from Darwin’s own understanding of what it means for a structure to be vestigial.

    A barefaced lie. The following is from the wikipedia article on “Vestigiality”:

    Charles Darwin was familiar with the concept of vestigial structures, though the term for them did not yet exist. He listed a number of them in The Descent of Man, including the muscles of the ear, wisdom teeth, the appendix, the tail bone, body hair, and the semilunar fold in the corner of the eye. Darwin also noted, in On the Origin of Species, that a vestigial structure could be useless for its primary function, but still retain secondary anatomical roles: “An organ serving for two purposes, may become rudimentary or utterly aborted for one, even the more important purpose, and remain perfectly efficient for the other…. [A]n organ may become rudimentary for its proper purpose, and be used for a distinct object.”

    Norman Nevin is not, as pretended, an impartial authority: he was a medical geneticist who believed, in the face of overwhelming mountains of evidence, that the earth is only 6,000 years old. His claims about evolution derive not from any scientific evidence, but from religious conviction.

    With regard to Jonathan M.’s claim, there is no reason at all why evolutionary changes should not occur in which tissues give rise to germ cells. All Jonathan M. has shown is that he does not understand evolutionary theory. (Why is he so coy about his identity, anyway?)

    The last paragrahh is just the tedious – and of course, invalid – argument from personal incredulity.

    Poor work, 2/10, rewrite and resubmit.

  16. bondjamesbond says

    So your disbelief in God is your proof for evolution? But why should you rely on (bad) Theology to try make your ‘scientific’ case for Darwinian evolution? Shouldn’t you be able to point to observational evidence to make your ‘scientific’ case?

    Charles Darwin’s use of theology in the Origin of Species – STEPHEN DILLEY
    Abstract
    This essay examines Darwin’s positiva (or positive) use of theology in the first edition of the Origin of Species in three steps. First, the essay analyses the Origin’s theological language about God’s accessibility, honesty, methods of creating, relationship to natural laws and lack of responsibility for natural suffering; the essay contends that Darwin utilized positiva theology in order to help justify (and inform) descent with modification and to attack special creation. Second, the essay offers critical analysis of this theology, drawing in part on Darwin’s mature ruminations to suggest that, from an epistemic point of view, the Origin’s positiva theology manifests several internal tensions. Finally, the essay reflects on the relative epistemic importance of positiva theology in the Origin’s overall case for evolution. The essay concludes that this theology served as a handmaiden and accomplice to Darwin’s science.
    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=376799F09F9D3CC8C2E7500BACBFC75F.journals?aid=8499239&fileId=S000708741100032X

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms. – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=159282

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? – Dilley S. – 2013
    Abstract
    This essay analyzes Theodosius Dobzhansky’s famous article, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution,” in which he presents some of his best arguments for evolution. I contend that all of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon sectarian claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. Moreover, Dobzhansky’s theology manifests several tensions, both in the epistemic justification of his theological claims and in their collective coherence. I note that other prominent biologists–such as Mayr, Dawkins, Eldredge, Ayala, de Beer, Futuyma, and Gould–also use theology-laden arguments. I recommend increased analysis of the justification, complexity, and coherence of this theology.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23890740

  17. bondjamesbond says

    “I think”

    funny, only one of us believes that we have a mind so as to be able to ‘think’:

    “Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All (Stephen) Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules.
    Hawking needs God in order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter – quote and picture
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10344804_736790473055959_5027794313726938258_n.png?oh=32dcc64a81815fd8fbf5884ea44490ed&oe=548E8745&__gda__=1418537725_911886dd89430d275c0e393a46afdb55

  18. bondjamesbond says

    As to the word ‘vestigial’, since according to you, my arms use to be the front legs of a four footed creature, does that now make my arms vestigial legs?

  19. says

    bondjamesbond #17
    As far as I can tell, your point is that anatomical comparisons isn’t the whole story. Well, we already know that. That’s the whole point with multiple, independent lines of evidence. I guess you missed that bit. The fact that you can hunt down an occasional anomaly doesn’t undermine evolution.

    On the contrary, we would expect that different genes be recruited to fill the same role in different organisms, or for the same gene to be re-purposed for a new role. This is a prediction of evolution. It’s exactly what happens where there isn’t an intelligent designer; a slap-dash, whatever-will-do-the-job approach.

    If you’d like to discuss this subject, I suggest you stop slinging around quotes and instead make a specific, organized argument. State what you’re trying to prove and your evidence for it. If you’re hoping to disprove evolution, please give a brief description of your understanding of the theory. There’s no point in getting into a long discussion if the disagreement relies on a misconception.

  20. says

    And by the way, nobody gives a shit about Darwin. He’s effectively irrelevant for modern evolutionary biology. Any argument that relies on what Darwin said is simply a waste of time.

  21. bondjamesbond says

    so evolution predicts gene homology and dis-homology at the same time? How convenient!

  22. Snoof says

    bondjamesbond @21

    funny, only one of us believes that we have a mind so as to be able to ‘think’:

    “Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All (Stephen) Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules .– Cornelius Hunter

    “Cornelius Hunter is an ignorant clown who doesn’t know anything about atheism, minds, understanding, truth or molecules.” — Me

  23. bondjamesbond says

    And by the way, nobody gives a shit about Darwin,,,

    I certainly don’t, but as with all things Darwinian, there is a lack of consensus as to his irrelevance

    “If you told him that he thought he should be as eminent as Darwin, Dawkins would just laugh at you, for he regards Darwin as the greatest biologist of the last two centuries, if not of all time.”
    Jerry Coyne

  24. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So your disbelief in God is your proof for evolution?

    Nope. Your lack of evidence for your imaginary deity is proof you are a delusional fool, believing in phantasms.

    make your ‘scientific’ case for Darwinian evolution?

    Why is Darwin always mentioned by delusional fools believing in phantasms? Modern synthesis is the theory of evolution, not the writing of Darwin, who proposed the idea with the evidence lacking that came later. Still no evidence for your phantasm.

    As to the word ‘vestigial’, since according to you, my arms use to be the front legs of a four footed creature, does that now make my arms vestigial legs?

    Non-sequitur argument from someone who think quotes is better than citing full scientific papers. And there are a million or so scientific papers in the peer reviewed scientific literature backing evolution both directly and indirectly, and no unrefuted papers for your phantasm.

    I certainly don’t, but as with all things Darwinian, there is a lack of consensus as to his irrelevance

    Scientists see his exact relevance, but he was not a god, and his book wasn’t the bible of evolution. There is no bible of evolution.
    Still no evidence for you phantasm….

  25. says

    so evolution predicts gene homology and dis-homology at the same time? How convenient!

    No. Evolution predicts that closely related organisms will have genes that are more similar than those of distantly related organisms. It also predicts that organisms that live under similar conditions will have similar form, whether related or not.

    So, two points to understand:
    1) The same gene may be used for different purposes in different organisms. Evolution rarely comes up with something from scratch. Rather, existing systems are recruited to serve a new function. Therefore, gene sequence, rather than function, is the best predictor of ancestry.

    2) Distantly related organisms, especially those living under similar conditions, may develop generally similar solutions for the same problems, but through entirely different means. Genes with no particular sequence similarity can produce proteins that are almost identical in function.

    Often, organisms will share both genetic and anatomical similarity, but occasionally we might see some weird results because it’s just not as simple as saying that something is either similar or different. The circumstances, such as the niche of the organism, have to be taken into account.
    That’s why we need multiple lines of evidence. Any one line may be misleading, because it only gives part of the picture. Please pay attention to this point.

    As for Darwin, he obviously matters as a historical person. My point is that he has no relevance for modern biological science. For fuck’s sake, they didn’t even know about DNA back then. The theory stands on its own merits. When you make argument focusing on Darwin, it tells me that you don’t understand how science works.

  26. Snoof says

    bondjamesbond@ 27
    So you’re quoting one person describing another person’s attitude towards a third person? You couldn’t, I dunno, actually source a more direct reference? Or are you just cribbing “clobber quotes” from a shoddily-organised list of talking points without thinking about whether or not they actually fit?

    (Also: “greatness” is not the same thing as “relevance”. Newton was an amazing physicist, but he’s only relevant to modern physics as a historical footnote.)

  27. bondjamesbond says

    As to the “Modern synthesis is the theory of evolution”

    If the “Modern synthesis is the theory of evolution” then the theory of evolution is false!

    Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False – Denis Nobel President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/10395212

    Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology – Denis Noble – 17 MAY 2013
    Excerpt: The ‘Modern Synthesis’ (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-20th century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection.,,, We now know that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual.,,,
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/expphysiol.2012.071134/abstract

    Die, selfish gene, die – The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong – Dec. 2013
    Excerpt: But 15 years after Hamilton and Williams kited [introduced] this idea, it was embraced and polished into gleaming form by one of the best communicators science has ever produced: the biologist Richard Dawkins. In his magnificent book The Selfish Gene (1976), Dawkins gathered all the threads of the modern synthesis — Mendel, Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Watson, Crick, Hamilton, and Williams — into a single shimmering magic carpet (called the selfish gene).
    Unfortunately, say Wray, West-Eberhard and others, it’s wrong.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/darwinism/epigenetics-dawkins-selfish-gene-discredited-by-still-more-scientists-you-should-have-heard-of/

    Nature Admits Scientists Suppress Criticisms of Neo-Darwinism to Avoid Lending Support to Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin October 8, 2014
    Excerpt: “The number of biologists calling for change in how evolution is conceptualized is growing rapidly. Strong support comes from allied disciplines, particularly developmental biology, but also genomics, epigenetics, ecology and social science. We contend that evolutionary biology needs revision if it is to benefit fully from these other disciplines. The data supporting our position gets stronger every day.
    Yet the mere mention of the EES often evokes an emotional, even hostile, reaction among evolutionary biologists. Too often, vital discussions descend into acrimony, with accusations of muddle or misrepresentation. Perhaps haunted by the spectre of intelligent design, evolutionary biologists wish to show a united front to those hostile to science. Some might fear that they will receive less funding and recognition if outsiders — such as physiologists or developmental biologists — flood into their field.”
    (Kevin Laland, Tobias Uller, Marc Feldman, Kim Sterelny, Gerd B. Müller, Armin Moczek, Eva Jablonka, and John Odling-Smee, “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink? Yes, urgently,” Nature, Vol. 514:161-164 (October 9, 2014) )
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/10/nature_admits_s090321.html

    etc.. etc…

  28. Nick Gotts says

    bondjamesbond,

    So your disbelief in God is your proof for evolution?

    No one, of course, has said anything of the kind. Dishonesty, as ever, is shown to be the core of creationism. The proof of evolution is contained in literally millions of peer-reviewed papers punlished over the past century and a half.

    None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another.

    Another barefaced lie from you. See also here; and here. Moreover, Young Earth Creationism itself depends on far faster evolution of huge numbers of new species than anything science recognises.

    funny, only one of us believes that we have a mind so as to be able to ‘think

    And yet another barefaced lie. Of course we have minds. It’s just that yours is of a very inferior grade. If there really was a creator, you’d be well-advised to demand a replacement.

    As to the word ‘vestigial’, since according to you, my arms use to be the front legs of a four footed creature, does that now make my arms vestigial legs?

    Yes.

    And by the way, nobody gives a shit about Darwin

    I certainly don’t

    And yet another barefaced lie: you’ve already referred to him several times. The point you are completely unable to grasp – because you don’t think, just parrot authorities – is that while Darwin certainly was a great scientist, evolutionary biology today has gone far beyond his ideas and discoveries, and it would make not the slightest difference to its scientific status if he were proved to be a serial killer whose scientific work was fraudulent from beginning to end.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If the “Modern synthesis is the theory of evolution” then the theory of evolution is false!

    Then you should have no problem citing peer reviewed scientific literature to show that is the case. Yet you continue to link to presuppositional religious web sites that presuppose the existence of a phantasm to make you case, instead of the only way science is refuted. By more science, which ignores your phantasm.
    If you phantasm doesn’t exist, your idea is utterly and totally bogus.
    Evidence for the existence of your phantasm, including how it came to exist, or shut the fuck up about it….

  30. bondjamesbond says

    Often, organisms will share both genetic and anatomical similarity, but ‘occasionally’ we might see some weird results,,,

    such weird results as say man being more anatomically similar to pigs than chimps???,,,

    Human hybrids: a closer look at the theory and evidence – July 25, 2013
    Excerpt: There was considerable fallout, both positive and negative, from our first story covering the radical pig-chimp hybrid theory put forth by Dr. Eugene McCarthy,,,By and large, those coming out against the theory had surprisingly little science to offer in their sometimes personal attacks against McCarthy.
    ,,,Under the alternative hypothesis (humans are not pig-chimp hybrids), the assumption is that humans and chimpanzees are equally distant from pigs. You would therefore expect chimp traits not seen in humans to be present in pigs at about the same rate as are human traits not found in chimps. However, when he searched the literature for traits that distinguish humans and chimps, and compiled a lengthy list of such traits, he found that it was always humans who were similar to pigs with respect to these traits. This finding is inconsistent with the possibility that humans are not pig-chimp hybrids, that is, it rejects that hypothesis.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-human-hybrids-closer-theory-evidence.html

    Gene McCarthy claims that the evidence points to humans as actually hybrids of chimps and pigs. Here is a partial list of differences that he provides:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/genetics/at-last-a-proposed-answer-re-98-human-chimpanzee-similarity-claim/#comment-510021

  31. Snoof says

    bondjamesbond @ 32 Would you care to demonstrate your understanding of the material presented in those links by presenting a brief summary? If you’re just going to copy and paste links, I’m going to copy and paste responses.

  32. says

    If the “Modern synthesis is the theory of evolution” then the theory of evolution is false!

    You really don’t understand a thing do you? The article you link to doesn’t show that evolution is false. It simply argues that certain processes have been left out of evolutionary thinking and will have to be included. It says that current evolutionary theory is incomplete, not wrong. It doesn’t change the conclusion that life on earth evolved from a common ancestor, over millions of years, according to natural processes.

    The article simply doesn’t say what you want it to say, and just reading the full abstract would make that clear. You’re like a person who upon finding evidence that the planetary orbits aren’t perfectly circular, proclaims that the entire model of the solar system is wrong and we should return to a flat earth concept.

  33. Snoof says

    LykeX @37
    At this stage I’m pretty sure Agent 007* here is just firing links at us from a website somewhere. There’s no actual intellectual engagement occurring; a bot could do it, and probably be less annoying.

    * Age? IQ? Shoe size? All of the above?

  34. Nick Gotts says

    bondjamesbond@32,

    This comment is a fine example of the dishonesty of creationists: their much-used tactic of misrepresenting normal scientiifc controversy over the precise mechanisms of evolutionary change as casting doubt on the fact of evolution. They do this because they have no scientific case for their claims with regard to the latter, do no useful research, and so have nothing better to do than spend their time combing through the literature for snippets they can present to their gullible followers as presaging the demise of evolutionary theory – something they have been unsuccessfully predicting for a century and a half.

  35. bondjamesbond says

    It is not merely the ignorant creationists who find the modern synthesis to be inadequate:

    Darwin’s Doubt (Part 9) by Paul Giem – video – The Post Darwinian World and Self Organization
    Chapter 15 and 16 of Darwin’s Doubt in which 6 alternative models to neo-Darwinism, that have been proposed by evolutionists (such as those of the Altenberg 16) to ‘make up’ for the inadequacy in neo-Darwinism, are discussed and the failings of each model is exposed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iREO1h4h-GU&index=10&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUaMy2xdaup5ROw3u0_mK8t

    Scientists stunned by the public’s doubt of Darwin – April 22, 2014
    Excerpt: (Stephen) Meyer said that view under-represents the real facts being discovered in evolutionary biology.
    “Very few leading evolutionary biologists today think that natural selection and random mutation are sufficient to produce the new forms of life we see arising in the history of life,” Meyer said. “And then when the public is catching wind of the scientific doubts of Darwinian evolution and expresses them in a poll like this, these self-appointed spokesmen for science say that the public is ignorant. But actually, the public is more in line with what’s going on in science than these spokesmen for science.”
    http://www.worldmag.com/2014/04/scientists_stunned_by_the_public_s_doubt_of_darwin

  36. Nick Gotts says

    bondjamesbond@35,

    OK, you’ve given it away now – you’re just trolling us, and don’t believe the crap you’re spouting any more than we do! For anyone still taking you seriously, the “Monkey fucked a pig” hypothesis is comprehensively dismantled here.

  37. Nick Gotts says

    bondjamesbond@40,

    Back to the favourite dishonest tactics: presenting scientific arguments about the mechanisms of evolution as casting doubts on the fact of it, and quoting creationists as though they were scientific authorities.

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It is not merely the ignorant creationists who find the modern synthesis to be inadequate:

    Your quote isn’t how scientific discussions are done. Full papers are cited. So your response is dismissed as fuckwittery.
    Still no evidence for your phantasm. It isn’t a default. Either it exists or doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, your religious idea is dead in the water….

  39. Syd Carton says

    Excellent resource. Between ‘Stated Clearly’ and that new ‘Evolution Talk’ podcast I’ve been listening to I’m ready to sit down with any creationist to set them straight.

  40. bondjamesbond says

    I certainly don’t believe that man came from a pig any more than I believe man came from a chimp, but the fact that we are anatomically more similar to pigs should, if you were reasonable, at least cause you question your claims on homology being as strong as you think it is. But apparently you are more interested in defending a dogma than looking for the truth.

  41. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but the fact that we are anatomically more similar to pigs should, if you were reasonable, at least cause you question your claims on homology being as strong as you think it is. But apparently you are more interested in defending a dogma than looking for the truth.

    Ah, what about the truth that your designer only exists as a delusion in your mind, since there is no evidence for one, and the science says there is no designer. All explained by science. Open your mind to the possibility your deity is imaginary. Or, shut the fuck up about dogma and truth, as you have neither, just presuppositions.

  42. says

    I see that the moron is still ignoring the point about multiple line of evidence. Nobody ever claimed that homologous structures alone could prove evolution. It’s one line of evidence among many.

    Then again, since he doesn’t even seem to understand his own arguments, it’s a bit much to ask him to understand ours.

  43. bondjamesbond says

    Actually science is not possible without God,,, but leaving the epistemological failure inherent in naturalism aside for a moment (Boltzmann’s Brain, Plantinga’s Evolutionary argument against naturalism),,, as to evidence, let’s do a comparison of philosophy and see which comes out on top scientifically speaking shall we?

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space energy-matter always existed. Whereas Theism predicted time-space energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is a ‘emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. –

    4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) –

    5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).-

    6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe (Gonzalez). –

    7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geo-chemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photo-synthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. –

    8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) –

    9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. –

    10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. –

    11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. (Tattersall; Luskin)–

    12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. –

    13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) –

    14. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe. Embedded to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans before humans become aware of the morally troubling situation and even prior to the event even happening.

    15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that we are merely our material bodies with no transcendent component to our being, and that we die when our material bodies die. Theism predicted that we have minds/souls that are transcendent of our bodies that live past the death of our material bodies. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale.

  44. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Actually science is not possible without God,

    Since your imaginary deity appears nowhere in science, BWAHAAHAHAHAHAAHA. What a fuckwitted idjit.

    but leaving the epistemological failure inherent in naturalism aside for a moment (Boltzmann’s Brain, Plantinga’s

    Plantinga is presuppositionalist who ignores facts to make inane, stupid, and factually unsupported conclusions. Anything beyond this point is sophistry, and is refuted by a minimum of evidence. Bad philosophy is the refuge of the theist, who can’t show with evidence their phantasm exists.
    Thanks for admitting you have nothing but bullshit….

  45. says

    Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11).

    As always, the devil is in the detail. The development of life on this planet very notably doesn’t fit the account in genesis. All forms of life didn’t just suddenly spring into existence at the same time. Even if you take a day-age approach, the order is all wrong. E.g. genesis thinks that birds were created before land animals. We know that’s not true.

    Anyway, since you’ve now apparently decided to branch out into subject unrelated to the thread, maybe you should just take it to the dome. That’s the proper place for incoherent ramblings.

  46. says

    Also, try to actually write some of your own words on occasion. You never know, you might even learn how to think an original thought.

  47. Snoof says

    Actually science is not possible without God

    Sez you.

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space energy-matter always existed.

    No it doesn’t.

    2.Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    No they don’t.

    3. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality.

    No it doesn’t.

    4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe.

    No it didn’t.

    5. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for life like human life.

    No it isn’t.

    6. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe.

    No it doesn’t.

    7. Geo-chemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photo-synthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth.

    No it doesn’t.

    8. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort.

    No it isn’t.

    9. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas.

    No it doesn’t.

    10. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils.

    There’s more an “a few dozen” and they’re only contested by people who are ignorant or lying.

    11. Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record

    No it isn’t.

    12. ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”

    Most of which is non-coding, i.e. “junk”.

    13. [Mutation is] Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    No it isn’t.

    14. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe.

    No it isn’t.

    15. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale.

    No it isn’t.

    (I have put exactly as much thought into this comment as you have into yours. Either you’ve been spamming the same list for at least four years, or you’ve plagiarised bornagain77. Either way, you’ve learned nothing.)

  48. Nick Gotts says

    but the fact that we are anatomically more similar to pigs should, if you were reasonable, at least cause you question your claims on homology being as strong as you think it is. – bondjamesbond

    1) We are not anatomically more similar to pigs than to chimpanzees.
    2) What similarities there are which are not shared by all three are readily explained as the result of convergent evolution.

    Plantinga’s Evolutionary argument against naturalism

    This has the distinction of being probably the most stupid “argument” put forward by a professional philosopher in the course of the last century. It relies on the claim that (for example) believing that a tiger running at you just wanted to play and running away in order to take part in the game would have the same survival value as believing it intended to eat you and running away in fear.

    I notice that you have not disputed that any of your cliams that I have called lies are, indeed, lies. Why don’t you stop lying?

  49. says

    @46: Plantinga, ho-hum — it’s a silly argument that demonstrates only that Plantinga is a sloppy thinker. As for the rest, I think @52 and the linked material is an adequate response.

    Does anyone know anything about bondjamesbond? His style is reminiscent of David Buckna or David Ford (old talk.origins ref).

  50. says

    Oh yes, BTW: those of us who pay attention to such things are aware that there is criticism of the Modern Synthesis — go read Larry Moran, among others. None of which is of any comfort to creationists, unless they’re either illiterates who cannot understand what’s being said or dishonest propagandists who don’t want to (but then I’ve just described every prominent creationist spokesperson, haven’t I?).

  51. davem says

    Given that God sat twiddling his thumbs for an infinite amount of time (apparently), it’s remarkable that when, finally, he got around to creating life, that he ran out of ideas so quickly, and made so many creatures so similar. What was he thinking of, all that time?

  52. consciousness razor says

    Actually science is not possible without God,,, but leaving the epistemological failure inherent in naturalism aside for a moment (Boltzmann’s Brain, Plantinga’s Evolutionary argument against naturalism),,, as to evidence, let’s do a comparison of philosophy and see which comes out on top scientifically speaking shall we?

    Boltzmann Brains (not his brain, the hypothetical brains named after him, you fuckwit) are not an epistemological problem for anybody. If you had believed you were a BB, you would not have had reason to believe your memories of learning about thermodynamics* were veridical, so it’s self-undermining or “cognitively unstable” as some folks like David Albert put it. This is exactly why it is not a problem, for naturalism or supernaturalism. But hold on, maybe this does point to a problem for your flavor of fuckwittery: will you tell us next that you don’t believe entropy increases … because Jesus says so??

    *Assuming you ever did learn such a thing, which is supremely charitable in your case. If you hadn’t, then just shut the fuck up about things you don’t understand. That apparently includes everything.

    Fuck, fifteen more ludicrous arguments, all filled with lies … I wasted too much of my time just reading that shit. You make baby Jebus cry, theist. I have not seen the light.

  53. opposablethumbs says

    Hmm, I notice that all of bondjamesbond’s 15 assertions are based on … deliberate misrepresentation or downright ignorant failure to grasp what the science actually says in each case.

    Xe also fails to grasp the qualities that make the scientific approach genuinely robust: that it uses observations of what is actually going on, and that it constantly refines and corrects itself in relation to reality. And yet in hir 15 points xe tries to claim that refining and correcting is … somehow a flaw. As opposed to sticking blindly to the fairytales of a long-dead civilisation, with your eyes and ears tight shut, muttering goddidit goddidit goddidit to every single question or avenue of exploration :-\

    Your god is not a null hypothesis, bjb, and nor are any other of humankind’s thousands of gods – let’s be having a little evidence for their existence, eh?

  54. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn still no evidence for your imaginary deity BJB. Pitiful arguing….

  55. says

    In addition to the fact that posting a music video in lieu of arguments obviously represents a complete surrender to idiocy, it’s not even good for the low standard of a music video. It plays into common misconceptions about evolution, such as cells popping into existence with no precursors for no reason, or a single organism changing shape within its own lifetime, rather than change being the result of many passing generations. This is particularly disappointing, since with the animation medium, you could easily have produced something a lot more in tune with what evolution actually is.

    If you don’t understand what evolutionary theory says, how are you going to criticize it? If you can’t put up even the pretense of a scientific understanding, how can you expect to be taken seriously? It’s like you’re not even trying.

  56. opposablethumbs says

    Come on, bjb, you can do better than that, can’t you? You’re going to bring out your actual evidence of your actually really honest-to-goodness really real god any moment now … aren’t you?

  57. zmidponk says

    Love it. PZ asks ‘I really wonder how they would deal with it all’, and along comes some half-wit, in the form of ‘bondjamesbond’, to give us all an object example – spouting long debunked arguments, parroting stuff from websites and people that don’t understand the science they’re using, and flat-out ignoring it when they’re corrected.

  58. Amphiox says

    so evolution predicts gene homology and dis-homology at the same time? How convenient!

    No. Evolution predicts that both gene homology and dis-homology can exist, and specifically predicts in what kinds of circumstances we would expect to find gene homology, and in what OTHER types of circumstances we would expect to find dis-homology.

    And lo and behold, when we examine the details, we find homologies precisely where evolution theory predicts they should be found, and dishomologies precisely where evolution theory predicts where they should be found.

    Creationist “theories” on the other hand, failed to even predict that things like gene homologies and gene dis-homologies, or even genes themselves, existed at all, until evolutionary biologists discovered those things first.

  59. Amphiox says

    Plantinga’s Evolutionary argument against naturalism

    Is wrong. And known to be wrong now for a very long time already.

  60. Amphiox says

    The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas.

    Not completely unique, as plausible precursors to many have now been found in Ediacaran and Vendian strata.

    Short “geologic resolution time” is 40-60 million years. For comparison, the time between T. rex and H. sapeins in 65 million years.

  61. Amphiox says

    The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort.

    If true, then this is an argument AGAINST design and FOR evolution.

  62. Amphiox says

    Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for life like human life.

    Tell you what. Let’s take 40 quadrillion clones of you and transport them to 40 quadrillion random locations in the universe, for 5 seconds each, and then transport them back.

    We’ll let the ones who are still alive tell us just how “fine-tuned” this universe is for life like human life.

  63. Lee1 says

    Oh my word your 15 points in 48 are breathtakingly ignorant, bondjamesbond (if that is your real name – heh…). Just a few of my favorite examples:

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geo-chemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photo-synthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth.

    This is factually just complete bullshit. First, based on the empirical evidence photosynthesis probably evolved around 3 billion years ago, 1.6 billion years after the earth was formed and well over a billion years after there was substantial water on the planet. Most people would consider that a “very long time.” And even ignoring photosynthesis specifically, the oldest known rocks on the earth’s crust are roughly 4 billion years old (dating of the earth to 4.6 BYA comes from dating of moon rocks, among other sources) and the earliest fossil evidence of life is maybe 3.7 billion years old. So again, that’s close to a billion years after the formation of the planet and many hundreds of millions of years after water was present. The idea that complex photosynthetic life suddenly showed up with water is pure fantasy.

    The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort.

    Actually, the simplest life found on earth, as evidenced by the very early fossil record, is in fact quite simple. But since it’s fossilized there’s absolutely know basis for anyone claiming they know how complex it is at the biochemical level compared to extant life. If “Michael Denton PhD” actually claimed that, then “Michael Denton PhD” is a hack. To say nothing of the fact that these earliest fossils certainly do not represent the earliest forms of life on earth, based on some very straightforward testable claims about what types of organic material are amenable to fossilization.

    The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas.

    The Cambrian Explosion represents 20 million years of the fossil record at a minimum (actually considerably longer based on some pre-Cambrian fossils). How does that fit in with your notion of all animal life being created in a day? (Hint: it doesn’t.)

    Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record

    The only people who “consistently characterize” the fossil record as describing sudden appearances of a “group/kind” (whatever that means – it’s a commonly used mealy-mouth phrase from creationists, but they tend not to be inclined to define it in objective scientific terms) are liars and ignorant hacks. Related to that,

    Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils.

    If by “few dozen” you meant “few hundred” (actually many more) fossils recognized as transitional, you would actually have a coherent statement about the fossil record. And the only people who contest them as true transitions are, again, liars and ignorant hacks. The fact that some twit at AiG contests whether Archaeopteryx represents a transition between theropod dinosaurs and modern birds doesn’t make it actually seriously contested within the legitimate scientific community.

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record.

    1. There is absolutely nothing in “naturalism/materialism” (this bizarre category term you keep using) that predicts speciation should happen at a “somewhat constant” rate. In fact there are clear predictions that speciation rates should be dramatically higher at certain times, such as after mass extinctions, and this is what we see in the fossil record.
    2. This controversial distinction between “modern homo” and “early homo” exists only in the heads of you and your ilk.
    3. Man did not “suddenly appear” in the fossil record; you are profoundly ignorant of the extent of the hominin fossil record.
    4. We’re still finding fossils, including fossils representing new species and genera, that are younger than hominin fossils.

    Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth.

    (Based on the rest of this point I assume here you’re actually talking about the proportion of mutations that are beneficial, and not the overall mutation rate; there’s actually been some interesting work done on the evolution of the mutation rate in different lineages, but I’m afraid it’s well over your head.) More pure bullshit – no such prediction arises from “naturalism/materialism”.

    The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    Actually, most mutations are selectively neutral, or nearly so. It’s certainly true that most mutations with a selective effect are harmful, but only a complete hack like Behe would question whether there are any beneficial mutations – they’ve been documented repeatedly, including directly in lab settings and in natural populations.

  64. Lee1 says

    Well, that ended up being a lot longer than I’d planned, and now I feel kind of dirty. I think I’ll avoid doing that in the future….

  65. says

    bondjamesbond is a notorious creationist known as bornagain77, aka Philip Cunningham. He’s a persistent pest everywhere he goes, and I’m tempted to just ban him for idiocy…but you all seem to be having fun with him, so I’ll let him dangle a little longer.

  66. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    IMO a creationist chew toy is a pleasant diversion from the usual parade of rape apologists and otherwise bigoted and horrible people.

  67. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but you all seem to be having fun with him, so I’ll let him dangle a little longer.

    *descales titanium fang*

  68. opposablethumbs says

    Actually science is not possible without God,,,

    Which one? Show your work.

    Tony!, thank you for putting this in a nutshell. Just five words, bjb’s answer to which I’d really love to see.

    And the best thing? I actually made popcorn this evening for rlz :-))))) (I made it for watching a programme after supper, but there’s plenty left :-) )

  69. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    BJB,
    If I was going to introduce the concept of ID as a scientific alternative, the last thing I would do is to carp about evolution. It is utterly and totally irrelevant to my argument.
    First, I would show conclusive physical evidence for my imaginary designer. That evidence isn’t what science can’t explain about evolution, but rather direct physical evidence, like an eternally burning bush, or a “species poofer”, where new species are poofed into existence.
    Second, you should show that how the designer was designed or evolved. No it poofing into existence out of nothing, and no “eternal” bullshit of religious presuppositional bullshit.
    Third. Cite five papers from the peer reviewed scientific journals, journals not found at web sites or publishers that require “biblical inerrancy”, or a declaration of faith, or is attached to the Disinformation Instituted, of known liars and bullshitters for religion.
    At this point, you might have something to offer to the world.
    I sincerely doubt you can get to that point.
    All you have is presupposition and faith. Nothing else.

  70. says

    I see Agent 006-and-a-half has pasted a few links (what’s a creationist rant without a link-bomb? Pretty short. Boom tish.) from Evolution News & Views, a Discovery Institute website.

    Now, everyone here would know that the DI is behind Intelligent Design “Theory”, which is (or at least was) supposed to be a non-religious alternate explanation(ish) of biodiversity.

    We also know that this is of course the purest bollocks, as the DI was founded by fundamentalists in lab coats and ID was invented by a fundamentalist lawyer to circumvent the legal prohibition of evangelising public school students. Though superficially scientific and non-religious, ID was famously revealed by both the DI’s own words in the form of the Wedge Strategy document, and later judged by a court of law, to be the exact opposite: creationism in an embarrassing disguise.

    I find it interesting, then, whenever an explicitly religious creationist stooge like copypastecopy invokes ID or cites the DI in defence of their six-day Genesis model. Does this mean the creationist understands that ID is in fact Christian creationism? If so, what then of the ID-boosters who still insist that it isn’t religious? Or does the creationist actually accept the scientific facade of ID – which appears to accept, among other things, a universe far older than the 6000 years Ussher’s chronology permits? Does a fundie approve of the DI/ID’s tacit acceptance of an old(er) universe? Or are they just seizing on any opportunity to harp on evolution regardless of any apparent contradictions (probably the most plausible as their own origin story contains enough contradictions to sink a metaphor)?

    To boot, trollgodtroll also pasted (of course) a quote from Stephen Meyer, I.D. O.G., from an article in overt God-bothering and gay-hating (but I repeat myself) mouthpiece WorldMag, which nicely illustrates the marriage of convenience between fundies and allegedly-scientific ID. Clearly ID boosters are happy to have the support of religious fanatics in general (because that’s what they themselves basically are), but their official position remains “a designer, totally not God, did it.” Likewise creationists loathe science because its discoveries (actual ones) destroy their entire everything ever, but are happy to support ID’s “science” (aka the bits that can be winkled out of real science and/or distorted, or the stuff they just make up) because it supports their religion. It’s a hard sell to someone on the outside, Cunningham, but I guess if you’ve been in the Big Creationist Revival Tent long enough you wouldn’t even notice the contradictions, dishonesty and hypocrisy (which, in all fairness, are the cornerstones of fundamentalism anyway).

    As for the rest of your pasted content, Bond, old chap: better go and see Q for some new gadgets. We’ve seen all of these before.

  71. Amphiox says

    bondjamesbond is a notorious creationist known as bornagain77, aka Philip Cunningham.

    Every point he’s made we’ve seen a hundred times already.

    All thoroughly debunked multiple times.

    It’s like they can’t think of anything new.

    They don’t *ahem* “evolve”.

  72. says

    Fundamentalist religion is fundamental dishonesty. If you are committed to anything to the point where you’ll deny the very existence of evidence that purports to contradict it (much less the specific content of the evidence itself), you can safely be dismissed as dishonest – at least as far as the subject of your commitment goes. Many creationist .orgs proudly display such commitment in their statements of faith or other creeds: [paraphrased] “We believe God did everything and nothing that can be produced will ever dissuade us from that belief.” Many creationists say as much personally and even if they don’t verbalise those sentiments, their actions display it clearly. For over 150 years creationists have been assaulting Darwin and those who built on his theory to make it more complete and robust than almost any other theory in the history of science – and for 150 years creationists have been shown to be either or a combination of wrong or flat-out lying. Even the hoaxes they invoke, such as Piltdown or Nebraska Man, were uncovered by scientists and not creationists. Creationists and creationist attempts at aping science have produced nothing save embarrassment; likewise their attempts at circumventing the law have proved similarly fruitless and humiliating. Everyone knows how they operate, knows their sources and arguments, knows their habits of mining quotes and distorting science or ignoring it to suit sectarian agendas.

    Lastly, everyone knows that while creationists have endlessly carped and harped about the limits of “materialism” and especially the weaknesses of evolution, scientists have been improving health, extending lifespans, creating the modern world via technological improvements of all kinds and greatly expanding knowledge of the universe in general based on the very knowledge that creationists would have us believe isn’t even there.

    Given all that, Mr Cunningham, why should anyone here take your copy-paste assault any more seriously than any other of the hundreds of creationist passers-by that have come here (and to every other science-friendly website ever), done exactly as you have done and then left without a single soul won for their cause?

    Just answer me this: why, despite all your efforts, do you people never manage to convince anyone who isn’t already convinced?

  73. Kevin Kehres says

    Whenever I get my dog a squeaky chew toy, he plays with it until he can chew all of the squeakers out of the thing…then he gets bored.

    “bond” is a squeakless chew toy. Tired, shopworn, well-refuted “arguments” (more like evidenceless assertions) are not even worth my time.

  74. Kevin Kehres says

    Nebraska man wasn’t a hoax…it was a report made by a popular magazine well in advance of the peer-review process. Scientists knew instantly that it wasn’t human once the tooth was submitted for formal review and analysis.

    Piltdown was a deliberate hoax…but again, it was science that ferreted it out. If not for science, the DI dodos would be unable to separate it from the true fossil record.

    One other thing for what it’s worth. It’s useless to talk about “transitional” fossils. For one thing, every fossil is “transitional” in some way from what came before and what happened after. But to a creationist, finding a clearly transitional fossil like “Lucy” only creates two more gaps. Each new observation, therefore, is used against the very science that discovered it.

  75. Saad says

    bondjamesbond, #48

    Actually science is not possible without God

    Oh, you tease us so!

    I’m getting tired of the foreplay. Start quoting from the Bible already!

  76. Azuma Hazuki says

    Agent double-oh-nothing there lost the last shred of respect I had for him when he cited Plantinga’s rancid EAAN. Of all the stupid arguments Alvin Plantinga has made, and boy howdy has he made a lot of stupid fucking arguments, the EAAN is the worst.

    And, something very common among apologists, he is using arguments that can only get you to Deism to argue for his particular, bizarre brand of Abrahamic theism. I wish people would call apologists out on this more often; even van Til’s beloved Presuppositionalist method actually works better for Deism than Christianity, because when your Bible is nature itself, there are no troubling contradictions in it.

    Again, these peoples’ problem is a philosophical (epistemological) one, not a scientific one. They’ve already made up their minds about the kind of lens they’ll view the world through, as evidenced by his attacks on “naturalism;” hence why one of the most popular Presup blogs is “Choosing Hats.” They think we operate like them.

  77. Amphiox says

    Piltdown was a deliberate hoax…but again, it was science that ferreted it out. If not for science, the DI dodos would be unable to separate it from the true fossil record.

    One of the reasons that hoax lasted as long as it did was because some people really, really, really wanted to believe in a European rather than African ancestry for modern humans.

    In other words, its a classic example of people ignoring, selectively picking, and distorting evidence in order to conform to a preconceived notion.

    Just like fundamentalist religion.

  78. says

    True Kevin @86, Nebraska wasn’t a hoax – nonetheless I still see it trotted out (ha!) by creationists as some kind of gross failure of science (and therefore weakness in evolution), when it in fact is the precise opposite. IIRC Hovind the Younger has even mentioned it in one of his call & response “science” lectures.

  79. Anri says

    Odd, how in #48, all of the more recent revelations cited were… scientific discoveries, rather than theistic ones.

    Just to give a few examples:

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space energy-matter always existed. Whereas Theism predicted time-space energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago.

    The bolded bit? Science, not theology.
    Scientific consensus changed due to scientific evidence. To verify, examine the number of cosmological theories describing the expansionary universe that quantify god’s input into the process. Spoiler Alert: it will be a very small number.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    See that bit there? Science. Correct or incorrect, the formulas for quantum mechanics did not come from any holy book.

    You’re repeatedly stating that science is wrong because science opposes theology, and theology is right because it agrees with science.
    See if you can figure out on your own why that’s a deeply stupid argument.

  80. Nick Gotts says

    It’s useless to talk about “transitional” fossils. – Kevin Kehres@86

    I disagree – as long as you are careful to specify what you mean.
    1) I believe there are some cases, among marine molluscs, where it is claimed that the fossil record is so good that the transition between two recognised paleospecies can be followed. If the two paleospecies each existed without apparent change for a considerably longer period than the intermediates, it seems reasonable to call them “transitional fossils”.
    2) There are major anatomical discontinuities between taxonomic groups of extant species such as birds and reptiles, mammals and reptiles, fish and tetrapods*. The lack of intermediates bridging these discontinuities (“gaps”) was a major creationist talking point for many decades. Remarkably, given that we now have fine series of intermediates for most of these gaps, it still is, because they can almost never bring themselves to abandon even the most definitively refuted argument. But now we can point to the intermediates, why would we not do so? The creationists could say “now there are two gaps”, but in fact, I’ve never seen one do so – because this would involve admitting that yes, the intermediate is an intermediate. Instead, if they deal with the counterexamples to their claim at all, they try to shoehorn them into one of the groups being bridged – although they are notoriously unable to agree, say, whether Archaeopteryx is a bird or a “reptile”.

    *I’m aware that in each case, I’m naming what is now recognised as a paraphyletic taxon. But these groups acquired names precisely because of the anatomical discontinuities mentioned.

  81. Owlmirror says

    Nick Gotts @92:

    I believe there are some cases, among marine molluscs, where it is claimed that the fossil record is so good that the transition between two recognised paleospecies can be followed. If the two paleospecies each existed without apparent change for a considerably longer period than the intermediates, it seems reasonable to call them “transitional fossils”.

    I am not sure if this is the same thing, but what I recall reading is that the ocean core drilling project has resulted in an actual millions-of-years continuous record of accumulated foraminafera shells, meaning that transitions between species (often due to changing climate or other environmental changes) can be seen directly.

    The articles that I keep pointing to as references for transitional fossils among vertebrates — that is, what palaeontologists mean by the term in the sense of fossil organisms having transitional characters — are these:

    http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/use_and_abuse_of_the_fossil_record_defining_terms

    http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/use_and_abuse_of_the_fossil_record_the_case_of_the_fish-ibian

    (David Marjanović nitpicked some of the palaeontological details, but the larger points that the author discusses remain useful)