Creationists Baffled: Why do their “Facts” Get Shot Down in Forums?

If you’ve never visited the Answers in Genesis website, don’t worry. You’ve missed little.

But this little gem caught my eye. Apparently, a creation believer wrote in to their feedback asking a rational question: why is it whenever I repeat one of the “facts” I learn in creationist literature in internet forums do I get my ass handed to me.

Okay. I’m paraphrasing a bit. But the question is basically saying just that. The person writing in to AiG was specifically concerned with the creationist claim that mutations are not beneficial and do not add information to an organism. The person was also upset that his/her son wrote a paper for school, which was criticized by the son’s geology teacher as “full of inaccuracies.” And the answer provided by this creationist nut site is very telling. Their response was to say the following:

1) people interpret evidence based on presuppositions
2) historical sciences cannot be tested or shown to be repeatable
3) the sciences that give us MRIs, planes, and vaccines are “here and now” sciences
4) historical sciences are laden with “presuppositions” but not “here and now” sciences
5) natural selection provides no new information
6) thus, evolution, is not supported by science

Here’s my comments to these points:

1) The first point is interesting. AiG concedes that bias and preconceived conclusions cloud rational thought and the ability to evaluate evidence. The difference between creationists and those that embrace science over superstition is that they’re open to being swayed by evidence. Creationists are concerned only with that evidence that supports their conclusions. After all, the Bible says its true, and the Bible is right because it’s God’s word, which we know because the Bible says it’s so. Therefore, any evidence obtained through observation and testable hypotheses must be mis-interpreted by mere mortals who call themselves scientists. Indeed, the superstitious will simply toss out such evidence, dismissing it out of hand. And this isn’t a trait found only among creationists. Superstitious people the world over exhibit the same type of behavior whether they be the Fulani of West Africa or the pitcher of a major league baseball team.

2) And this brings us to the second point that evolution cannot be tested or repeatable. In fact, it’s no unimportant fact that AiG specifically mentiones “historical science” as being without any testable or repeatable properties. This, by default, would include their own “creation science,” which is, by their definition, “historical.” Creationists consistently use this fallacy but I think its due to ignorance more than deceit. They simply have a low grasp of how science works and have already separated so-called “historical sciences” from the rest of science.

Geologists, archaeologists, paleontologists, biologists, chemists, geneticists and so on all work with scientific principles and methods and they are each sciences that explore evolution. The most obvious historical science among them is, perhaps, archaeology and it is replete with testable and repeatable science. If not, much of what we know about ancient cultures would be non-existant. Luckily, there are more questions than answers in every science (otherwise science would be boring), but no scientist is sure he has all the answers. The superstitious, however, begin their day with a belief that they already have an answer and if science comes along and challenges that belief then it obviously must be wrong. Testing evolution happens all the time and a simple example is the prediction that reptile arms when seriated in the fossil record shows a steady progression from arm-like to wing-like. Which is what we see. Moreover, the prediction can be made that we will not find wings where they shouldn’t be (potential falsification) such as on oysters or horses. Nor would you see arms where they shouldn’t be, such as a bird with both wings and arms. And these predictions (tests) are reproducible time and again (repeatable).

3) While there are some different methods utilized by different sciences (archaeology might employ different methods of science than astronomy), in general, they are all performing science -that is to say, they all value rational observation of the natural world and do not entertain superstitious and supernatural explanations. So the MRIs, planes and vaccines that creationists are so fond of were developed by the same sort of science used in biology, geology, chemistry, and astronomy. Indeed, some of the exact same principles are involved.

4) Therefore, “historical sciences” are no more subject to “presuppositions” than any other science if the scientist is willing to accept evidence, test hypotheses, and accept that falsification is possible. The “presuppositions” (a.k.a. preconceived conclusions) exist nearly exclusively with the superstitious who aren’t willing to re-evaluate their beliefs in the face of evidence. Mountains upon mountains of it.

5) This completely unfounded and unscientific claim has been busted time and again. So much that there simply isn’t reason to do more than provide a few links:
Apolipoprotein AI Mutations and Information
The Nylon Bug
Are Mutations Harmful?

6) Evolution is almost entirely comprised of science. To say otherwise is to reveal ignorance, a failed education, deceit, or a fear of learning the truth.

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69 Responses

  1. [...] takes apart the rest of her response much more [...]

  2. A good analogy made by someone somewhere (wish I could give proper credit) was a murder trial. The prosecution does not have to actually recreate a murder in the courtroom to convict the defendant. They have to show convincing evidence for a past event.

    Similarly, science is not about reproducing past events. The *experiments* must be reproducible, not necessarily the past event the experiment is meant to explain. In the case of evolution, the process has left tons of evidence in the structure of existing life as well as in the fossil record. It is the analysis of this evidence that must be repeatable, not the process of evolution itself (although it can also be simulated in lab conditions to some degree).

  3. What makes evolution more trustworthy to you?

  4. I think, for the most part, AiG (with its founder Ken Ham) wants nothing to do with actual scientists. They can’t compete with actual evidence and reason.

    Their material is directed at those who don’t fully understand the scientific method (and possibly the fence-sitters), and their ultimate goal is to exploit that lack of understanding… to lie and deceive for Jesus.

    That’s what makes Ken Ham a douche bag. Any time they claim to want to debate scientists in any way, shape or form… it’s to get people who don’t understand science to pay attention, to stand behind the guy with the “good Christian values.” To make science out to be the “bad guy.” The devil.

  5. Your post touches on one of my favorite arguments: cognitive dissonance; the refusal to accept or even listen to evidence that clearly points in the opposite direction of your beliefs.

    This, to me at least, is very sad. The human mind has evolved the tremendous desire to learn. To do otherwise is to willingly shut the mind down. The brain, like a muscle, has to be exercised or it will atrophy. Unfortunately, some people are happy existing like this.

  6. ‘What makes evolution more trustworthy to you?”

    Mountains of empirical, independently verifiable evidence.

  7. So now the “theory” has turned into the “Law” of evolution. When did that happen?

    • You don’t understand what the word “theory” means, do you? I suppose we should just ditch the “theory of gravity” as well? Or is that too inconvenient for you?

  8. Clint:

    Here is the Wikipedia for theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory

    And here is the one for Law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_law

    As you can see from the articles, evolution is a theory because “In science, the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature that is supported by many facts gathered over time. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena.”

    No one here is suggesting that Evolution is a law, a high degree of certainty about a scientific explanation is still regarded as a theory.

    Hope that helps!

  9. So now the “theory” has turned into the “Law” of evolution. When did that happen?

    A ctrl+f of this page reveals that you are the only person here who’s used the word “law.”

  10. “Mountains of empirical evidence…”

    Like the mountains of transitional fossils?

  11. I never understood why Christians insist on a ‘transitional’ fossil. What, do you want a fish head on a giraffe? How about an elephant trunk on a polar bear?

  12. all fossils are transitional fossils.

    But, if your demanding a fossil that shows an animal in between species, this if unreasonable. Imagine I took a picture of you everyday between birth and adulthood. At what point in that picture set would be the ‘transitional’ picture between child you and adult you?

    Obviously no such day exists. Should we therefore conclude that you did not ‘evolve’ from your younger self? Obviously not.

    However, I’m not sure why I’m typing this. Clint doesn’t seem like he’s actually interested in hearing well-defended opposing opinions.

  13. Kerry,

    Is it illogical to say that birds came from reptiles and then ask where the fossils are that show that process of drastic transformation (wing nubbies and such)?

    I also didn’t change into a completely new species since I was 5. Though that illustration sounds cool at first glance, it doesn’t really make sense.

  14. Fetal development seems to show transitional development as cells specialize. It’s not fossils, but I mean, heck, we humans still have the coccyx but no tails…

    The one thing Clint’s mentioned that’s accurate enough is the Law of Evolution. Why not? We consider gravity a law, no? Evolution has been corroborated by enough evidence that arguing against it is a bit like the Church arguing against Galileo.

  15. creationists never seem to understand the idea of law vs. theory. bill bryson’s book “a short history of nearly everything” touched on the common misunderstanding that its some sort of hierarchy. things that are referred to as laws are generally things that are very concise or have a mathematical formula, while many well-supported theories (such as cell theory, germ theory, relativity, etc) are much more in-depth explanations. the word “theory” on the end doesnt make them any less correct though.

  16. Ah, that old chestnut – the ‘lack of a transitional fossil’ argument.

    This at first puzzling observation reflects the fact that evolution occurs most often not through gradual genetic drift but through rapid evolutionary jumps in smaller populations developed as a result of geographical isolation, such as islands (think ‘island’ on all conceivable scales from individual Galapagos to Australia – the former has subtle differences between similar species, whilst the latter has a completely unique and distinctive fauna).

    This process is called allopatric speciation and the separated environments are called peripheral isolates.

    It might sound complex, but it’s very simple in operation. An analogy of sorts to the processes involved might be envisaged in the development of language, where mountainous countries show an abundance of dialects reflecting the separation of communities over the winter. Likewise, geographical separation over time has led to the steady and increasing divergence of American, British and Australian English, only recently halted by the equalising effects of global communications.

    Here’s a geologist’s view, then, of how evolution works.

  17. By the way, here’s some discussion of the difference in science between theories and laws.

    The ‘theory’ of evolution is a massive understatement in the popular usage of the word ‘theory’.

    The fossil record is fact, and it provides clear and indisputable evidence that evolution has occurred.

    The level of this evidence is such that to argue that evolution does not occur is effectively an equivalent statement to arguing that the world is flat – i.e. some people might hold that belief, but it’s disproved by all the evidence.

  18. [...] Creationists Baffled: Why do their “Facts” Get Shot Down in Forums? If you’ve never visited the Answers in Genesis website, don’t worry. You’ve missed little. But this [...] [...]

  19. I just have one question to your post.

    If you can accept that all “this” was just always here, why is it so difficult to accept that God was just always here and put all “this” here?

    Logic dictates that if you accept the former that you have to at the minimum accept the posisibility of the latter.

    b

  20. This argument, when occurring in the wake of ego, is bland, boring, and incredibly (read “stupidly”) cyclic.

    Talk about freedom of education, and go from there. Anything else is just stubborn banter.

  21. Oops, how’d that emoticon get there! It totally ruins my comment, heheh.

  22. Bikerbirnie

    It is possible that God just always was and put all “this” here. It cannot be either proved or disproved, and therefore is not a useful possibility.

  23. I don’t think any part of the post mentioned all of ‘this’ (I assume you mean ‘the Universe’) always existing (in its current state, anyway).

    Clint:

    Yes, there are mountains of transitional fossils. Look it up sometime.

  24. Fantastic post, fantastic blog! I love how you point out that the religious camp immovably hold the belief that their faith in god is based on irrefutable “fact” (yeah – fact being the “word of god” which was, as Hitchens put it, written by some pretty unspectacular humans), whereas the scienctific process begins as a question.

  25. I rather enjoy the idea that there is such a thing as stubborn banter. While I totally agree that creationism is a total farce, used by a select few who are highly adept at cherry picking scientific information and bending it into a disreputable pseudo-science in order to garner attention to their cause, that is not what bothers me about it.

    The entire idea that there are a group of people who decide to go against the grain of thousands of years of scientific growth, innovation and research, flying directly in the face of common sense and reason, and basically undermining the entire basis of the human condition (that is to explore and grow) gnaws at my underside like a rabid badger.

    Humans are a fairly simple species, if we can dig in the ground, peer at the sky or solve it with math, it makes sense and we accept it (as we rightly should). That being said, as such simple creatures there is no basis for us to look at the evidence laid before us, rigorously researched and tested and fully supported with hard, identifiable science, and say “meh, it’s a bunch of hooey, because this ONE book says so.”

    It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I fully support their right to think this stuff, and to tell their relatives about it, but for them to suppose that they can force this nonsensical, ignorant farce on the schoolchildren of today is a travesty of educational priorities if I have ever heard one.

  26. I’ve just today joined wordpress, and this is the first article and comments I’ve read through. This thread seems to have taken a turn.

    Having attended the funeral of an 8-year old this morning, I very much am aware that none of us knows how long this life will last.

    In the end, is whether the earth and all on it was created in seven 24-hour days or evolved over a longer period of time all that important? Perhaps “Is there an eternity? What will happen to me if there is?” are the questions we should mull.

  27. I have never quite understood why there is such a conflict between science and faith. Well maybe I do, the whole Galileo vs. the Church and the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee are just examples of people choosing to fight out their beliefs because they think they are right above everyone else.

    Now the little knowledge of the renaissance that I have leads me to believe that it is Christian culture that opened up society and freed people to use their minds in new ways to explore how the world works. I think it turned when these new conclusions about how the world works threatened existing theology and essentially the source of power that fallible humans in the church wielded.

    For me there is not such a conflict between faith and science. Science illuminates my faith. It shows me the absolute finest detail to which God tuned the human body and it also shows the magnificent “largeness”, for the lack of a better word, of God and His universe.

  28. bethiemae “In the end, is whether the earth and all on it was created in seven 24-hour days or evolved over a longer period of time all that important?”
    It’s only important if evidence-based truth is more important to you than biblical-literalist Truth (capital T. Always with a capital T for some reason).

    Personally, I would rather live with the fantastic (in the “marvelous” sense) truth that the universe is some 14 billion years old and the Earth is some 4.5 billion years old than the fantastic (in the “imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality” sense) Truth (again, capital T) that man was made from dirt in 4004BC.

    A reality-based reality, while occasionally uncomfortable (did you know that you’re going to die? From what I understand the only things that you can be sure of is that and taxes), is more real than a fantasy-based fantasy.

    In that, Paul’s 1Cor13:11 is dead on. Unfortunately his platitude argues for the opposite of what he thought it did. Ironic, really.

    “Perhaps “Is there an eternity? What will happen to me if there is?” are the questions we should mull. “
    Oh noes! My Pascal’s Wager detector just went off!
    What if there is an eternity (I presume that you mean an afterlife), and the god that you choose is the wrong one, which makes the right one angry? (Spoiler alert: It’s Barry, from accounting)

    Perhaps the most important question is (or should be) “How can I (and we) make the world a better place?” Worrying about a possible future should be less of a concern than helping to fix a definite present.

  29. I call creationists the YDH-crew….

    “Yesterday didn’t happen”.
    ;-)

  30. its amzing how religious types know there is a god .

    … as amzing as how the atheist peeps know there is no god .

    kinda funny how the human ego works … we’re 2 seconds old and already we knows everything !

  31. randomstupid “…as amzing as how the atheist peeps know there is no god .”
    I don’t know there is no god/s/. From what I’ve seen so far, I believe that there isn’t. To know that there isn’t X, one would have to know everything. While this would come in handy for Trivial Pursuit, it would make one’s conversation at parties insufferable. Pending evidence to the contrary, I deny that that are any gods, because the evidence thus far indicates that there are none (as such, the difference between hard and soft atheism seems like quibbling over semantics to me). All I see are naturalistic things happening in naturalistic ways, intermixed with the occasional person who credits such things to one or more supernatural beings that are widely considered among such folk to go beyond such things, but never seem to do so when a skeptic is watching and when they do do so they seem statistically incapable of doing any better than an anecdotal placebo, as with prayer or Lourdes). While the lack of evidence for something technically doesn’t indicate evidence for the lack of that thing, it does indicate a piss poor reason for believing in it. At best it points toward agnosticism, but agnosticism isn’t tax exempt and, as such, isn’t all that popular among theologians. Also, agnostic bake sales suck. There, I said it. They do. Agnostics make terrible muffins.
    I am, however, pre-big bang agnostic, which is a weird thing to say as there is no pre-big bang. “Pre-” implies time, but before the big bang there was no time, apparently. It’s a trip, man, trying to use human language and thought (which leans on causality) for a subject that isn’t causal. This means that nothing “set off” the big bang, as before the big bang there was no time for a “something” to do anything. It means, in essence, that the universe just “is”, which is profoundly unsatisfying to a species that loves to solve problems* and, in this case, gets to the start of a problem (why something rather than nothing?) and discovers that there is no problem there to solve (and that the answer is kind of zen, man. “It just is.”).
    No wonder quantum theorists all look a bit unhinged. Imagine basing a career around something that’s probabilistic rather than causal. But I digress.

    *That species is us, by the way. I wouldn’t want you to run off and interrogate your cat or something.

  32. Perhaps we should all stop arguing about what happened in the distant past and start paying attention to the near future. The quantum foam states that if something is/was/will be physically possible then it is real somewhere. Therefore, all of you are correct because by having an opinion you have created reality out of probability. Your observations are creation.

    The Bitter Hinterlands says relax and have a refreshing adult beverage. Everything looks better with a buzz.

  33. Well, even if evolution is true and proven by the entire fossil record, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Christian doctrine of God creating everything perfect AND designed it Intelligently.

    The Sin Theory of Evolution – Reconciling Evolution, Creationism and Intelligent Design

  34. Science and faith should go hand in hand. Why do people force them to be different?

  35. I beg to differ, I make damn good muffins!

  36. Great post!

  37. “Science and faith should go hand in hand.” No, no, a thousand times no. Science is based on this thing called the scientific method. Religion is based on this thing called faith. They will never be compatible.

  38. ltuae; clearly, you aren’t a True Agnostic. No True Agnostic would make good muffins.

  39. [...] Comments ylooshi on Failure of Religion: Pastor…Modusoperandi on Creationists Baffled: Why do t…abcd on Failure of Religion: Pastor…the chaplain on The Undercover Atheist, John [...]

  40. ““Science and faith should go hand in hand.” No, no, a thousand times no. Science is based on this thing called the scientific method. Religion is based on this thing called faith. They will never be compatible.”

    I disagree. If Einstein believed in some conception of God, I doubt science and faith can be mutually exclusive. Moreover, coming as I do from a background in both the natural sciences and theology, I’m inclined to point out that certain tenets of quantum physics and biology only corroborate the existence of something one might call “God” for lack of a better word. Not necessarily an Intelligent Designer; if God does exist, words like “intelligent” can’t really be applied, because it’s a human attribution of a completely non-human incarnation (I tend to think most language breaks down, in fact). Einstein said he would not believe in a God of theology who punished evil and rewarded good, but he also said he disbelieved God played dice with the universe; I think he was right on both counts.

    Nietzsche, on the other hand, refused to believe in a God who would not dance, which is neither here nor there but at least demonstrated Freddy was fun at parties.

  41. Will Entrekin; the problem is, most theists’ God isn’t Einstein’s (or Spinoza’s, or the Deists’). More people follow Ray Comfort’s or Jerry Falwell’s version of God, or any number of other power mad or vicious versions therein. If people followed Alister McGrath’s God or that fuzzy version of Lovin’-Jesus that’s popular among those who haven’t been spooked over to Gun Lovin’-Jesus, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
    If more of Jesus’ followers were more like Jesus, science vs religion simply wouldn’t come up…unless they take Jesus’ words, like Luke16:31 and Matt5:18, to lead to biblical literalism (and with it, a rejection of higher criticism) and theonomy, respectively…then we’d be having the same conflict that we have now. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I guess.

  42. Robin

    I think it is more appropriate to say that we believe that “your interpretation of yesterday didn’t happen.”

    Life from non-life, order from chaos, something from nothing. When you can prove that happens then you guys might have a decent argument.

    One time I saw a tsunami create a Victorian mansion.

  43. Clint “Life from non-life…”
    the various competing hypotheses of abiogenesis are a start. They’re far from perfect. It’s tough to figure out how something happened when it left behind little to no evidence. In an event, it doesn’t have the simple poetry of Gen1.

    “…order from chaos…”
    The Big Bang, you mean? Read up on it. The Big Bang is awesome. It’s more and more of a mindf*ck the farther and farther you go back, especially before the Planck epock. No time. No causality.

    “…something from nothing…”
    Okay, now you’re just repeating yourself. Is this disparaging the Big Bang, or is it smearing Abiogenesis? Or, if you prefer the Ben Stein mold of anti-intellectualism, is it attacking everything we know that doesn’t explicitly credit the LORD and a literal interpretation of Genesis?

    “One time I saw a tsunami create a Victorian mansion”
    OMG, the junkyard-747 argument! That’s more appropriate for creationism than it is for (I assume you meant) evolution. Abiogenesis and evolution are baby steps over somewhere around 3-4 billion years. Both weed out those proto-747s that don’t work. And it’s not a 747 (or, in this case, a mansion); it’s a series of fractional, minor changes (see the abiogenesis link and the timeline of evolution). Again, neither are perfect. The farther back you go, the less evidence remains. The ToE is on much more solid ground than abiogenesis. Both, however, are on a better foundation than the evidence-free Genesis Episode I: The Phantom Designer.

  44. Who performed the experiment that passed an electrical current through a solution of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and some fourth element to produce either amino acids or proteins? Because I remember reading it.

    I’m sorry, though; it was in freshman year bio. Which Clint appears never to have taken.

  45. Will; The Miller-Urey experiments.. There are more recent ones, including a bottle that one of them kept below freezing for several decades and only recently exhumed. It had life’s precursors in it, too.

  46. Clint “Life from non-life…”
    the various competing hypotheses of abiogenesis are a start. They’re far from perfect. It’s tough to figure out how something happened when it left behind little to no evidence. In an event, it doesn’t have the simple poetry of Gen1.

    “…order from chaos…”
    The Big Bang, you mean? Read up on it. The Big Bang is awesome. It’s more and more of a trip to weirdsville the farther and farther you go back, especially before the Planck epock. No time. No causality.

    “…something from nothing…”
    Okay, now you’re just repeating yourself. Is this disparaging the Big Bang, or is it smearing Abiogenesis? Or, if you prefer the Ben Stein mold of anti-intellectualism, is it attacking everything we know that doesn’t explicitly credit the LORD and a literal interpretation of Genesis?

    “One time I saw a tsunami create a Victorian mansion”
    OMG, the junkyard-747 argument! That’s more appropriate for creationism than it is for (I assume you meant) evolution. Abiogenesis and evolution are baby steps over somewhere around 3-4 billion years. Both weed out those proto-747s that don’t work. And it’s not a 747 (or, in this case, a mansion); it’s a series of fractional, minor changes (see the abiogenesis link and the timeline of evolution). Again, neither are perfect. The farther back you go, the less evidence remains. The ToE is on much more solid ground than abiogenesis. Both, however, are on a better foundation than the evidence-free Genesis Episode I: The Phantom Designer.

  47. I posted a long, meandering reply to nothing in particular a while ago, but it didn’t appear. I tried it again, and it still didn’t appear.
    Do posts with multiple links get stuck in approval limbo, or am I there, instead?

  48. Comments with multiple links do, indeed, get caught in a moderation queue. In this case, however, it looks like Akismet trapped them both as spam. I ‘despammed’ them and will delete the duplicate later.

    Good post, though…

  49. ylooshi “Good post, though…”
    Oh. Are you sure it’s mine?

  50. Is it illogical to say that birds came from reptiles and then ask where the fossils are that show that process of drastic transformation (wing nubbies and such)?

    What is irrational is to ask to see the fossils, and when they are produced, documented, and found to be abundant, then to deny that they exist at all.

    Fossils of transitionals from dinosaur to proto-bird are abundant; fossils of the transitionals from proto-bird to bird are also well known.

    Have you looked? Check out the British Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Berkeley “Evolution Gateway” website.

  51. “The farther you go back the less evidence remains”…

    How convenient. Slap another inconceivable amount of time on the age of the earth/universe and you can rationalize anything from irreligious belief to ethical approach to anything.

  52. And for all of those who keep making potshots about my lack of intelligence…I agree with you–I’m not smart.

    Insults have yet to prove your theory. If you were really confident about it then you wouldn’t need to resort to insults.

  53. Ed, I’m going to rely on you to tell me. So these transitional fossils have wing nubbies or are they in full functional form?

  54. Clint “How convenient.”
    Unfortunate, yes. Uncomfortable (for some), yes. Convenient, no. The history of the universe and the history of life on Earth are incomplete puzzles. Beautiful, fascinating, complex puzzles. Slapping “In the beginning…” on it and pretending they’re solved does not solve anything.

    “Slap another inconceivable amount of time on the age of the earth/universe…”
    14 billion years for the universe and 4.5 billion years for the Earth (dates subject to change pending new evidence) are not inconceivable. They’re merely really big. Really, really big.

    “…and you can rationalize anything from irreligious belief to ethical approach to anything.”
    Slap Genesis on the age of the earth/universe and you have to rationalize everything.

    “And for all of those who keep making potshots about my lack of intelligence…” & “Insults have yet to prove your theory.”
    A quick scan of this page shows precious little along that line. If you want people to insult you, may I recommend Gods4suckers? Your mild Creationist tropes thus far, like “theory” and “transitional fossils” would be like throwing meat to the wolves there. Here, we’re more civilized. I, for one, have a monocle and a tophat and everything. Later, we’ll be ballroom dancing, sniffing ether, and talking about the Crimean war.

    “Ed, I’m going to rely on you to tell me.”
    Admittedly, I’m not Ed (I know this because Ed has better hair than me), but if you’re looking for transitional fossils the line for whales is fascinating. Plus, it’s fairly complete (moreso than dinosaurs to birds, IMO) and, interestingly, most of what we know has only been found in the last twenty years or so (land mammals-to-whales used to be one of the evolution-denier’s favourite tropes. They’ll still be using it twenty years from now, probably. They stopped paying attention to new discoveries just after the Snopes trial, I think, and prefer repetition as a form of argument, no matter how badly the argument failed). Fish to amphibians is even cooler (with new finds like Tiktallik).

    But you’re not looking, are you? You want us to find for you the things that you would be looking for yourself if you really wanted to know, right? Try the library, if you really want to learn. Not just “hear”, but “learn”. They’re full of books on such things, if memory serves (some, it must be mentioned, will be out of date. Scientific discovery is like that, you know, what with the adapting to and incorporating new data and all). I don’t go there myself, as the librarians were always shushing me. “No! Shush you!” I would reply wittily, but they were quite insistent on me not cheering every time I flipped a page.

    For a start, read Your Inner Fish. It’s a bit lite, IMO, but insightful and amusing. It’s just like me, except that I’ve got eyebrows. Well, I’ve only got the one, but it does go all the way across. I’m classy like that.

  55. I just left another long, link-bound reply. Again, it appears to have not done so. Appear, I mean.

    A spam detector that things Wikipedia and Amazon are spam isn’t much of a spam detector, y’know? It’s a bit like a speedometer that only functions when the parking brake is not. Granted, that’s a terrible analogy, but I majored in terrible analogies (with a minor in rambling) in University and rarely get to use them out in the real world. Talk about a useless diploma…

  56. Also, you guys need a preview button, if only to save me the embarrassment of putting “not” where “on” should be and, on occasion, failing to close a tag.

  57. Ed, I’m going to rely on you to tell me. So these transitional fossils have wing nubbies or are they in full functional form?

    You know better, don’t you? Birds don’t start out as snakes with no ancestors, and then have to “grow” everything. Evolution theory doesn’t predict that, evolution theory doesn’t require that, and that’s not at all what the fossils show. So, I’m curious, and my question remains: Have you looked to see how birds evolved?

    Birds evolved from creatures that had fully developed forelimbs. A key question is how and why feathers came along, and there are two serious schools on the origin of flight. The fossil evidence shows feathers developed first, probably providing the advantage of insulation to keep the little beasties warm. The different of opinion is over whether a climbing, tree-dwelling or tree-hunting creature then learned to glide — the method that flight developed among squirrels, for example — or whether feathers on the forelimbs grew elongated, selected for some other purpose (catching prey?), and then proved useful for producing lift.

    You’ll note, of course, that in neither of these scenarios are there “nubs” of wings. Your use of that old canard suggests to me that you are not a serious student of science, and I’m interested to hear whether you’re genuinely curious and ill-informed, or trolling for testimony.

    Dr. Gary Ritchison at Eastern Kentucky U has an upper-level ornithology course that deals with these issues, and his class website details the two chief theories of the evolution of flight, and from which lizard-like branch. You can see it here:

    http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/554notes1.html

    I gather the spam filter is nervous about links. I’ll leave this post at one, to try to make sure it gets through.

  58. Clint, look at these charts, too:

    http://www.geol.umd.edu/%7Etholtz/G104/10424arch.htm

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, assuming you’re just under-informed, these sources should provide you with enough grist and material to point to other sources. There have been dozens of exciting finds in the past 20 years that fill in the picture of bird evolution, even if they leave open the question of just how flight evolved and in which line, or whether flight in birds might have evolved more than once.

    Is this the only point that troubles you about evolution? You can get a great background at the Berkeley gateway to evolution site, or at the PBS site for the series “Evolution.”

  59. Here’s a link to the Berkeley site on evolution of Aves:

    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/birdfr.html

  60. Shoulda been “difference of opinion” of course.

  61. “And for all of those who keep making potshots about my lack of intelligence…I agree with you–I’m not smart.

    Insults have yet to prove your theory. If you were really confident about it then you wouldn’t need to resort to insults.”

    It’s not insulting you. It’s merely pointing out that you lack the conceptual and theoretical foundation to truly understand the processes we’re talking about.

    Creationism is, at its heart, an ignorant belief, whereas one does not believe in evolution so much as understand it. Every experiment by every biologist, chemist, and physicist concerning every theoretical underpinning has borne it out, time and time again. People who ask for demonstrations of “wing nubbins,” on the other hand, don’t actually understand what they’re asking for. Anyone who asks for a “transitional fossil” doesn’t actually understand how evolution works.

    Go to college, study some science, come back when you’ve learned something.

  62. All this talk about things, stuff, and whatnot is making me hungry. I don’t know about you guys and gals, but I sure could go for a basket of wing nubbins right now.

  63. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Fondue.

  64. 6) Evolution is almost entirely comprised of science. To say otherwise is to reveal ignorance, a failed education, deceit, or a fear of learning the truth.

    OK, it is late and I like this one in particular so if I get more time I will also try to address the others.

    The problem with this one is it is a loaded answer. Yes, Evolution is almost entirely comprised of science. To say otherwise is to reveal ignorance, a failed education, deceit, or a fear of learning the truth.

    Almost entirely? Jumbo Shrimp? Giant midget? Completely wiped out most of them?

    All very telling.

    There is no ignorance in exposing missing or erroneous information. Yes, there are problems with creation, but one would have to admit the revealing of ignorance, a failed education, deceit, or a fear of learning the truth if one will not admit the holes in evolution doctrine.

    Science, or almost entirely comprised of science has its faults like if evolution were true then explain why there are so many gaps in the evolutionary chain. That is to ask where are the evolutionary chains between monkey and man? One has to accept the fact that the next evolutionary step after monkey had to be superior to monkey and subordinate to man, why did that life form(s) disappear and monkeys remain? It is a very perplexing question to be sure but there must have been many beings between monkey and man yet none of them exist today, why? Again keep in mind that these being were superior to monkey and should have had the survival advantage. So why did the not? Get use to it folks, neither have solid answers so until they do neither can be fully accepted nor discredited.

    bb

  65. There is no ignorance in exposing missing or erroneous information.

    No ignorance at all. of course, neither is there any “missing or erroneous information” ever found by creationists. Creationism is anti-science. The methods of creationism cannot lead to finding any areas of ignorance, only hiding the facts.

    Science, or almost entirely comprised of science has its faults like if evolution were true then explain why there are so many gaps in the evolutionary chain. That is to ask where are the evolutionary chains between monkey and man? One has to accept the fact that the next evolutionary step after monkey had to be superior to monkey and subordinate to man, why did that life form(s) disappear and monkeys remain? It is a very perplexing question to be sure but there must have been many beings between monkey and man yet none of them exist today, why? Again keep in mind that these being were superior to monkey and should have had the survival advantage. So why did the not? Get use to it folks, neither have solid answers so until they do neither can be fully accepted nor discredited.

    See what I mean? There is more ignorance used as smokescreen in that paragraph than there is actual information.

    Why did the author not bother to search to see whether there are any gaps left in the “monkey to man” chain? Had he done so, he’d have realized that no one has ever claimed humans came from monkeys. Ooops.

    Humans share a common ancestor with the other great apes. Our line split from theirs about 7 million years ago. In the “gap” of that seven million years we have no fewer than 20 species of ape and hominid between our common ancestor and modern humans. How can the author of the post above possibly have missed 20 species?

    Get used to it folks: Creationists smash into solid answers in all their running about. They smash into the truth, then pick themselves up and rush off, pretending nothing happened.

    Sheesh!

    See here:

    http://www.becominghuman.org/

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/evolution/

    http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/biology/humanevolution/

  66. Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was
    wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for
    my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

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