A little in-joke…
A little in-joke…
Or rather it has been up since the 1st of December… [sigh] Yes, I am that pathetic. However, I couldn’t let another month go by with my failing to fulfill my CoE obligation especially given that this edition of the Carnival is being hosted by my friend and colleague the inestimable John Wilkins over at Evolving Thoughts (which you should be reading regularly anyway).
Another selling point for this CoE is, as the presence of the TARDIS (over there on the left of this post) indicates, the Carnival of Evolution is yet again going under a Doctor Who theme. This time it is The Day of the Doctor..of Evolution! Lots of evolutionary goodness, so go and check it out!
Besides, if you don’t the Cybermen will win!
Though I have been neglectful of my participation in the Carnival of Evolution you can still find all the previous installments at this link. Go and read!
PCwP has recently received comments from a couple of antievolutionists and this has roused me to action (having some time off work for the holidays doesn’t hurt either). The first was a collection of insult ridden rants left at miscellaneous posts by someone going by the handle “Rylore” —those I will deal with, at length in a separate article.
The second was a single, more civil comment, left at my first article about Dinny the Dinosaur (and how it has been taken over by creationists) by a Allyssa Korzeniewski. I will address her comments here.
Ms. Korzeniewski appears to be involved in a couple of blogs, Faith With Love and Creation Artist. According information given on those blogs she seems to have been influenced by the likes of Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research and both “Dr.” Kent Hovind (currently serving time for tax evasion) and his son Eric Hovind, all proponents of young Earth creationism.
So without further ado, Ms. Korzeniewski:
Alyssa Korzeniewski: Sad, that this is your take on life. What hope do you have? I was an evolutionist like you once, I had no hope, no comfort.
I don’t see that I gave a “take on life” in the article you commented on but regardless, Ms. Korzeniewski, please try to understand that from my point of view you might as well asked what hope I have given that I accept the atomic theory of matter, the germ theory of disease, or the theory of relativity. The question is nonsensical; it is like asking if mathematics tastes good or what color philosophy is.
This is because scientific theories, the theory of evolution included, are not intended to give one either hope or comfort (whatever that might mean) rather they are intended to be testable explanatory frameworks for what we observe (facts) in the natural world around us. Moreover, the explanations they offer are tested in an ongoing basis by making further observations of the natural world, not by how well they conform to our philosophical, political or religious predilections. Nor are they to be judged by subjective emotional responses they might evoke in us as individuals, be it the warm fuzzies or nihilistic despair.
So if you are judging the findings of science on how it makes you feel, I would say you are making a categorical mistake.
On the other hand, doing the opposite and letting the findings of science inform your politics or religion etc. is perfectly reasonable. If that means abandoning some cherished beliefs, well, them’s the breaks.
Oh, and no offense (well maybe just a little), but I sincerely doubt that you were ever an evolutionist like me. Those of us that defend evolution against its detractors hear such comments on a regular basis; however, the people making them invariably show themselves to be largely ignorant of evolutionary theory and often science in general. For example, the fact that you seem to think that personal emotional responses are somehow relevant to the veracity of evolutionary theory is a big red flag indicating that you were never like me.
Alyssa Korzeniewski: I looked at the creation info and was willing to humble myself and be saved, it’s very sad that you have not been willing to look at the truth.
Red flag (with fireworks) number two is the fact that you apparently put credence in “the creation info” of not only the ICR and AiG but in Kent Hovind, who even other creationists have taken to task over his willingness to use “fallacious arguments and incorrect information” (talk about the pot calling the kettle black).
I am sorry but these people are an absolute fount of misinformation, half-truths and lies. If you take some time to read some of the article on my blog you can see where I have documented this many, many times. Please understand, I am not simply talking about their not accepting evolution or any scientific theory, I am talking about the fact that they regularly and systematically get straightforward verifiable facts completely wrong.
That you apparently do not see this is a huge sign that you were never anything like me.
As for my being willing to “look at the truth” as you see it, I can only laugh. I have dedicated much of my free time (and money) over the last twenty years to studying creationism, collecting creationist literature, reading their web sites and going to their lectures & debates.
I have nearly four hundred books and pamphlets espousing creationist “truth”, how many books on evolutionary biology do you have Ms. Korzeniewski? How many lectures on evolution have you attended? How much of the Talk Origins Archive have you read?
However, please condescend to me some more about how unwilling I have been to look at your supposed truth, I really cannot get enough.
Alyssa Korzeniewski: How are you even able to tell right from wrong without God?
The philosophical question about where we derive our morals and ethics from is not one I am particularly interested in debating. Not that it is not an interesting and important topic, it just not my thing. However, suffice to say I do not find divine command “theory” particularly compelling.
To start you might want to read up on the Euthyphro dilemma.
Alyssa Korzeniewski: “2Ti_4:4 they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Ms. Korzeniewski, if you assume, as you seem to have done, that I am an unbeliever in the Christian religion what possible effect did you think quoting Christian scripture would have on me? If someone does not believe the Bible is the word of God, you might just as well quote something from The Lord of the Rings or The Wizard of Oz at them.
Worse, the quote you used practically begs the unbeliever to turn it back on to you. For example:
“Turned unto fables”? You mean fables like the one about the garden with magic fruit trees and a talking snake? Or the fable about the old guy who built a giant boat and took two of every sort of animal on it to escape a global flood?
I mean it practically screams projection.
Now Ms. Korzeniewski, if you would like to discuss the scientific merits of creationism I am certainly willing. Perhaps you would like to present what you think the single best scientific evidence supportive of creationism might be? Remember though, arguments against evolution do not count.
Thank you for your comments.
After my friend Don gave me a microscope he had rescued from being throw away I wrote in a post about it and mentioned there about how I would like to also have a dissecting microscope (something more suitable for examining fossils & macroscopic critters etc.). Well upon reading this Gary Hurd, a long time colleague in the Creation/Evolution conflict, contacted me via Facebook and told me that if I really wanted a dissecting scope he had one I could have if I just came and got it.
So I went and got it…
It is a Bausch & Lomb 0.7x – 3x with, from what Gary tells me, a storied history of archaeology fieldwork. The base was pretty rusted (which I imagine was due to Gary’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean) but some steel-wool and some WD40 took care of most of that (as you can see).
There is however one tiny little problem with the scope (for which Gary apologized profusely) and this is where the “eventually” comes in, it lacks eye-pieces! Unfortunately the eye-pieces apparently got misplaced, so until I have some extra cash (who knows when that will happen) it will remain a very cool looking (and very heavy) paper-weight in the corner of my office.
Anyway, regardless of the missing bits, a big thank you to Gary Hurd for the microscope!
Soon I will have the makings of a genuine science laboratory! Bwahahahaha!!!
Also, Gary blogs over at Stones and Bones, give it a gander.
Yes, exactly! A significant percentage of the population (cough, creationists, cough) doesn’t understand that the evolutionary relationships between species is a lot like that between extended family members; just over a much longer time scale. Phylogeny is primarily a branching (family) tree-like pattern, not a single file, ladder-like, progression (cladogenesis vs. anagenesis).
Addendum: It has been pointed out to me that the cartoons depiction of a family “tree” superimposed on a cladogram is somewhat inapt and I absolutely agree that the cartoon is by no means a perfect analogy (comparing speciation, species giving rise to new species, with two parents coming together and bearing children). However, I think it gets the idea across much better than the linear iconography that has become so entrenched in peoples minds. Especially, I think, concerning the relationships between fairly closely related species like between chimps and humans. People incorrectly tend to think of humans as somehow being directly descended from chimps rather than our being “cousins” descended from a common “grandparent” (that was probably somewhat chimp-like in appearance).
Once you grok this fact you will understand what is fundamentally wrongheaded about questions like: “If humans evolved from [share a common ancestor with] apes why are there still apes?”
This sort of question is, except for the timescale involved, just like asking: “If you and your cousin share a common ancestor (grandmother), how can you both exist at the same time?”
Understanding this also answers the common creationist objection against many transitional fossil series based on species overlapping in time. For example:
“Early” horses have been preserved in strata from the same evolutionary age as several ‘”later” horses
Hyracotherium/Eohippus and Orohippus do for instance appear in the fossil record at the same time as Epihippus. Mesohippus and Miohippus appear together with Merychippus and Parahippus. Almost all other horses (with a possible exception of one or two)—Parahippus, Merychippus, Pliohippus, Equus and possibly also Miohippus—are represented at the same time during much of the period when they have been found as fossils.16 (But especially in the newer evolutionary schemes, different names have been given to very similar animals, giving the appearence of evolution as well as providing fame to their discoverers; see examples in Froehlich 20029 and MacFadden 20054). Fossils of Hyracotherium (sic) have also been found very high up in the strata (Pliocene), but these findings have been rejected as reworked (i.e. eroded and deposited at a later strata) in spite of the fact that the geological observations do not show any signs of disturbance.17 Thus, the fact that most of the horses lived almost at the same time undermines their proposed evolution. (Molén, 2009, emphasis mine)
Buzzzt, sorry but that is incorrect, thank you for playing, here is a home version of our game as a consolation prize.*
The coexistence of two genera of horses does nothing to undermine their evolutionary relationship any more than your grandparent or cousin coexisting with you undermines your familial relationship.
Evolution does not require that a parent species become extinct after a speciation event (after it gives “birth” to a new daughter species) nor does it require that once two lineages split apart that both will change at the same rate or in the same direction.
Fossil species A could be directly ancestral to species B, persisting relatively unchanged after the two lineages have split. Or species A could be a cousin to species B that only strongly resembles an as yet undiscovered common grandparent species. Such distinction are very difficult to make in fossil organisms.
[* Note: This is not even close to a comprehensive dissection of the problems with quoted article or even this paragraph.]
Molén, Mats (2009) “The evolution of the horse“, Journal of Creation 23(2):59–63 (downloaded on 9-14-2013)