Isn’t this fun…I got email from a creationist today; it was also sent to a lot of other people. Joe Hannon wants Mike Pence to outlaw the teaching of evolution.
Howdie. I thought you might be interested to read a fresh online petition which is directed at VP-elect Mike Pence calling on the incoming Trump Adminstration to impose an immediate,unconditional and indefinite nationwide moratorium on the teaching of evolution in public schools, including the threat of crippling financial sanctions on those schools that do not fully comply with this proposed executive action: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/moratorium-teaching-evolution
However, the real business will begin when Congress reconvenes on Jan 3rd. We will be speaking with Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) who heads the House Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. We will be asking for his subcommittee to approve a similar measure as an amendment to a House bill on education in 2017. Hopefully, the incoming Trump-Pence Administration will let high school students learn actual biology without the flawed narrative of evolutionism forced down their throats.
Merry Christmas to y’all,
Republicans Abroad (Make America Great Again)
He has a petition! It has two signatories so far: Joe Hannon and Uriah Wanker. That’s how serious this is. He has the backing of Wankers.
Well, let’s take a look at this petition. He has three primary arguments that he believes invalidate evolutionary theory.
1. The demise of the genetic blueprint: The majority of high school textbooks, along with the popular media, refer to DNA as a “blueprint” for building a living organism. This is taught because the Neo-Darwinian paradigm insists that the diversity of form in the biosphere is due to variations in DNA among species. However, this assumption has been shown in recent years to be essentially false, and that there is no blueprint in the genome governing the shape and complexity of the organism. Two researchers, Monteiro and Podlaha, admit that,“the genetic origin of new and complex traits is probably still one of the most pertinent and fundamental unanswered questions in evolution today.” Harvard professor, Peter Park, goes even further to proclaim that,“it’s become very clear that DNA sequences are just a building block. They don’t explain higher-order complexity.” Obviously, if organisms are more than just the epiphenomena of their genes, then the gene-centric Neo-Darwinian paradigm cannot at all explain the diversity of form and so fails utterly.
The “genetic blueprint” is a metaphor. The metaphor doesn’t work. The failure of a metaphor is not the failure of the fact of evolution.
Monteiro and Podlaha will be surprised to learn that their work is being cited as evidence of the collapse of Darwinism (actually, I think all scientists would be surprised to be told that the existence of unanswered questions means science has failed.) I don’t think Hannon understood the paper, if he read it all. The authors were setting up a specific question:
This work is difficult and time consuming, but the question at its core—the genetic origin of new and complex traits—is probably still one of the most pertinent and fundamental unanswered questions in evolution today. At stake is the possibility of testing whether novel complex traits arise from a gradual building of novel developmental networks, gene by gene, or whether pre-existent modules of interacting genes are recruited together to play novel roles in novel parts of the organism.
Hannon left out the part where they explain that they are asking whether novel traits evolve by incremental construction of new gene networks, or whether they evolve by cooption of an existing network for a new purpose. Whether a god magicked them into existence isn’t one of the choices.
2. The demise of cumulative selectionism: The core premise of Darwin’s theory of evolution is that biological features have been produced by the cumulative selection of innumerable slight successive modifications. But as renown biologist Dr. Michael Denton has noted, the theory of evolution has been in crisis for the past 30 years because of the abject failure to show that there is a functional continuum in biology that allows for a gradual change leading to complex new features. In his view,“Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth.”
Quite wrong. Critics have been predicting the imminent death of Darwinism since the day Darwin published it. Like their biblical prophecies, it never seems to come true.
As for the absence of a functional continuum — look to transitional fossils. There are plenty of examples.
3. The demise of the LUCA: The Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) is the hypothetical organism, that lived 4 billion years ago, for which there is no actual physical evidence of at all. It is only inferred because all life shares essentially the same genetic code. Recent scientific research indicates there is no reason to believe that it ever existed. As Professor Ford Doolittle states, “We do doubt that there ever was a single universal common ancestor.” Indeed, the idea that all living organisms are descended from a single ancestor is as preposterous as the discredited hypothesis that all human languages are descended from a prototypical tongue.
Correct. There was no single universal common ancestor. Again, all you have to do is read the original source to see that Joe is selectively editing and lying about the context of the quote.
We (some of us) do doubt that there ever was a single universal common ancestor (a last universal common ancestor or LUCA), if by that is meant a single cell whose genome harboured predecessors of all the genes to be found in all the genomes of all cells alive today. But this does not mean that life lacks ‘universal common ancestry’—no more than the fact that mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome phylogenies do not trace back to a single conjugal couple named Eve and Adam whose loins bore all the genes we humans share today means that members of Homo sapiens lack common ancestry.
So, bottom line: his case is a concatenation of lies, ignorance, and quote-mining. Standard creationist crap, in other words. Mike Pence will eat it up. Uriah Wanker will also find it copacetic.