Typical Creationist Ignorance

Posted: May 3, 2009 in Atheism, Evolution, Religion, Science
Tags: , , , , ,

Homer and his BrainCreationists, generally speaking, are an incredibly ignorant lot of people.  Certainly there are one or two who can articulate their beliefs quite well (which is amazing in itself since they have yet to present any sort of credible evidence) but for the most part creationists seem far more on the level of bloggers like Mike Tamillow – and it is an entry by him that I will use as an example.

Evolution isn’t science. It definitely shouldn’t be taught in school. And anyone who thinks Darwinism is proven is greatly mistaken.

Baseless claims, for sure, and one which pretty much the entire scientific community completely disagrees with.  The author brings forth no evidence or reasoning for his statements but tries to present them as fact.

The simple concept of Darwinism has been around for millennia. The concept behind Darwinism is progress and natural selection. In genetic terms, we refer to progress as evolution.

Most of what he says here could be considered correct, which is somewhat surprising except for one thing; the use of the term ‘progress’.  The Theory of Evolution does not deal with progress, it deals with diversity.

And so follows social Darwinism.

And this is the point where you know the author has no idea what he is actually talking about, that chances are he has done no independent research into the topic and instead is most likely just regurgitating something he read somewhere else.

For those who are not quite on the same page yet, the big clue I can give you is that the concept of social darwinism (even if it was not known by that name at the time) vastly pre-dates the Theory of Evolution.  Thomas Malthus, a Christian minister, was all for it while the Spartans certainly practised a form of it.

Accompanying social Darwinism is every other kind of progress and natural selection theory that has ever developed. Why do we do things this way and not another? We already tried another and clearly it didn’t last. The classics? ohhh… the classics. Well, by definition, the classics are those works that survived natural selection and are the epitome of progress even over thousands of years. Everything else is less then perfect, which is why it failed to last. This can all be proven by the theory of evolution.

The author is going completely off the rails at this point, the faults with his text are many indeed.  Just to pick a couple of quick things;

A) Misapplication of the Theory of Evolution.  Why is the author trying to apply it to classic music/plays/theatre/etc? The Theory of Evolution deals with nothing else but diversification of species.  It seems to be something akin to applying Atom Theory to interior decoration.

B) The use of the term ‘perfection’.  The Theory of Evolution does, in no way, predict or state that any organism is or ever will be perfect.  The use of this term indicates a fundamental ignorance/misunderstanding of the content of the theory by the author.

The beauty of Darwinism is it assumes now is better then the past by the mere fact that the past already happened. Since it already happened, if it was better, it would have lasted. The problem with this view is that it is blatantly untrue with a bias towards the present and future. There is no proof that the species right now are any more capable then the species in the past.

It seems very strange that the author earlier was talking about progress and perfection and then makes this argument.  In a way it almost seems self contradictory, it almost certainly should have made him realise that his own understanding of the Theory of Evolution is wrong.  With Evolution there is no overall better, there is only different.  Now those differences may suit a specific set of circumstances but usually makes things worse for that organism in other circumstances.

There is no proof that the world the way it is now, is more developed and progressive than it used to be. There is no proof that natural selection is natural at all, that it is not completely random and unscientific, or the exact opposite, completely predictable and guaranteed by God.

There is actually proof that life is more developed than it used to be.  You just have to look at the difference in complexity and overall capability of organisms that exist now and that existed when life first started.  But, once again, the Theory of Evolution does not say life will progress to be better and better towards some silly notion of perfection – all it states is that environmental conditions will lead to biological change over large periods of time.

Oh I forgot, there is one piece of proof: The world we have now is not the world we had before.  This isn’t proof. It’s speculation.

I do not see how this is speculation as there is a great deal of evidence to support the notion.  Ice core samples, for example, are an excellent source of evidence for the climate changes the Earth has experienced over geological periods of time.  Geological and palaeoecological  samples show mass extinctions of life at certain points in history and huge clues towards the causes – usually environment changes initiated by one thing or another.

Using this speculation, millions and millions of theories have been developed as to why we have what we do. How the use of tools evolved into more and more advanced tools; how the religious views of people started with primitive gods of war and turned into a single god of love, controlling everything; and why we, humans, rule planet earth instead of, say, four legged fish with giant heads and eight eyes. Of course those fish could never rule the world because they would be ill suited for interacting with their world. This we know because they don’t rule the world. The proof is used to create the theory, the theory is created to explain its proof. A cycle of Tamillogic. Beautiful and meaningless.

Again, no evidence is brought forth to support the notion.  On the other hand, all those theories he derides have a great deal of evidence to back them up.  The different eras of human religion are extremely well recorded; from the figures of power of the Aboriginal Dream-time to the Egyptian Pantheon, Roman Pantheon and Norse Pantheon, etc etc.

The last part of that paragraph is extremely telling when you read it carefully, as it seems the author has no actual idea how science works.  Science makes observations and examines the evidence upon which it constructs a hypothesis to explain said evidence.  They test the evidence and, after quite some time, if the hypothesis stands up and makes tested predictions … then it might becomes a recognised scientific theory.

Let me explain how humans evolved so perfectly from the one fact I know: we are currently the prevalent species on the globe. Therefore, considering the theory of evolution, we must be perfect.

Gross misunderstanding/ignorance of the Theory of Evolution.  The simplest grasp of biology, for example, will tell you that the human body contains a huge number of design flaws.  Therefore, by very definition, the human body is not perfect.  Humans, on the other hand, are well adapted to the environment we find ourselves in – we are the most social creature on the planet and the ones with the best developed brain and those two things are what has led to the expansion of the human species.

Working backwards I can explain all the developments that took place and advanced us in this way. Technically, it doesn’t matter what I say, since it’s all just speculation. It might be true, which is good enough for most people.

Not for science, it’s not.  Why not? Because there has been no evidence presented for the author’s statements.

This is Darwinism. There is no proof we are advanced, only arrogant.

There is plenty of evidence humanity is a relatively advanced form of life.  The first is comparison to other known forms of life, from the simplest of microbes to even distantly related primates.  Our brain structure is a lot more complex and capable of much more than any other brain type on the planet.

There is no proof that the way the world has turned out is anything but random (or not random at all).

The fossil record, as just one of many sources of evidence, would demonstrate otherwise.

Perhaps a greater species came along and stumbled on some loose rocks and slipped over the edge of a cliff before it had the chance of reproducing. The environment is changing all the time, and random unpredictable things occur far too often in this world.

The chances of such are astronomically unlikely but, technically, it is possible.  This line of argument, however, once again demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of the science (including evidence) which powers the Theory of Evolution.

Taking one fact and creating a scientific theory, when the number of confounding variables approaches infinity, is foolish. Claiming superiority by evolution is ridiculous. Interpreting evolution as science is ignorant.

Taking one fact is amazingly absurd.  Taking in a great number of facts from right across the globe, examining the evidence and forming a scientific theory on that is what science has done across all it’s innumerable fields of study for centuries … and so far that system has worked out pretty well.

  1. Mike Tamillow says:

    Well put. Never once did I support any theory of creationism. I wouldn’t try to do that. I tagged creationism because I thought it would get attention. The theory of evolution as you described it is correct. It is a theory of change, it is not progressive. However, there is no need for a theory of change like that. The changes are similar to the changing of fads or the differing of cultures across ages. Or even the chaging of climates and astronomical changes. Things are going to change, semipredictable but also largely randomly.

    But the way the theory of evolution is generally taught is as a theory of change moving forward. And this is the way it is generally understood. And thus people come up with explanations to justify why the successful are successful. It’s the halo effect applied to species. You say probability favors us, for the time being. I would agree. Where there are missing links in the theory of evulation, missing reasons why, people tend to theorize far more than science has offered.

  2. Matt says:

    However, there is no need for a theory of change like that.

    Why ever not? Science is all about describing/quantifying reality and evolution is part of reality as we know it.

    But the way the theory of evolution is generally taught is as a theory of change moving forward.

    Then that is the fault of people who are ignorant of the actual science, not of the theory.

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