One of my favorite corners of the alternate universe that is creationism is where creationists get to talking about (denying) horse evolution. The fossil record for horses and their relatives (rhinos, tapirs and some extinct groups) is so well documented it is amusing seeing how creationists rationalize their way around the evidence and when I find something about horses on a creationist site I often take a look to see what sort of silliness they’ve gotten up to.
Case in point: Answers in Genesis put up a short piece on their site recently titled “Not Just Horsin’ Around” which directs their readers to a site called “eQuest 4 Truth.com”. They report that the owner of the website (Rebekah Holt) started it to “… steer young people away from the incorrect information that they receive in many public school textbooks and encyclopedias” and that the site “…helps refute the claim that the modern horse evolved from a much smaller, non-horse ancestor.”
On the site is a page titled “Horse Evolution – Fact or Horse Manure?” written by creationist Arthur Biele, who, judging by a Google search on his name, has been pestering people with nonsense in various internet discussion forums for years. His article here attacking the evidence for horse evolution is a barely readable hodgepodge of unsupported assertions, factual errors and standard quotes from “The Creationist Joke Book™”.
Given that there is so much creationist nonsense out there on the web I normally wouldn’t have taken as much time as I did to dissect it but since Answers in Genesis put their seal of approval on it I figured it would be worth the time.
Sorry for the lack of new posts but I am working on about three different things right now (and remember I have a day job ;) ). One is a big post on fossil horses, another post has to do with ICR and tunicates and lastly I am supposed to be helping on a rewrite of the Talk Origins Archive FAQ on the Lewis Overthrust (hi John).
The horse piece is dragging on a bit as it involves an ongoing correspondence with people from two major museums and a major university, and I’ve had to make two trips to the local UC library to pick up relevant papers.
So please bear with me, and hopefully it will all be worth the wait.
L.G.More than 700 scientists have signed this statement!
A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism
“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” (p.12)
To which I responded: “Yes they have a list of scientists, and many of them are the usual creationist suspects. Still others are scientists whose field of study is not particularly relevant to the subject of evolutionary theory. More importantly they constitute a tiny fraction of the global scientific community.”
With the movie Expelled resurrecting the shopworn creationist guilt by association argument that since Nazis and other racists have used [perversions of] evolutionary theory to rationalize their racism, then there must be something inherently wrong with evolution, I thought it might be enlightening to take a look at some of America’s home grown haters, like the Ku Klux Klan.
Given the ‘irrefutable evidence’ linking evolutionary theory to racism and antisemitism surely Klan groups must inevitably be hotbeds of evolutionists right? Well, let’s take a look at what one prominent Klan group, “The Knights Party” has to say about the subject on their web site:
When we barred the school house door to God, traditional Christian teaching, prayer and Bible reading, and opened the school house door to sexual perversion, condoms, evolution, and abortion counseling, we robbed our kids of their moral foundation.
[…]Now within the last hundred and fifty years a very dangerous idea began circulating in the Church – again brought on by Jewish fables which said that the Black race was the children of Ham who was cursed. I am sure you have heard this; that the whole world was under a flood and only 8 people survived. This causes problems because the church must then explain how all of the other races came into being. So they latch on to the idea that the three sons carried the genes from Adam and Eve which all of a sudden caused the three sons’ offspring to become the different races. We see the church teaching evolution again.
Yep, a bunch of materialistic “Darwinists” right there. How is it that we didn’t hear about this group in Expelled?
…If you’ve got a burning question or two about the Expelled controversies. Darwin-to-Hitler, doesn’t Sternberg still have his Smithsonian position, the Pepperdine students were extras, the cell animation is plagiarized, Dawkins and P.Z. Myers and all the rest were tricked into granting interviews, Darwin’s Descent of Man was quote-mined, why didn’t Ben Stein just use Google Maps to find the Discovery Institute, ID is religious ’cause Expelled admits it, Yoko Ono is suing…whatevah.
Bring Your Questions for Profs. John Bloom, Mike Keas and Paul Nelson
This is from a piece on 60 Minutes last Sunday and it is both depressing and frightening as hell:
The mind boggles that a member of the SCOTUS can, with a straight face, argue that the use of torture by government agents would not be prohibited by the Eighth Amendment’s proscription against cruel and unusual punishment as long as it is done to someone before they are convicted of anything. Well if the 8th doesn’t cover it how about due process your Honor?
I dare you to find anyone (anyone not wearing a tin-foil hat to keep the aliens from reading his thoughts, that is) who can look at the U.S. Constitution and come to the conclusions this man has about the original intents of the Founders.
Oh sure, the Founders thought that there should not be “unreasonable searches and seizures”, that people shouldn’t be compelled to be a witness against themselves, and that there shouldn’t be excessive bail, but if the govt. wants to hook a car battery up to your genitals for a few hours that would be just fine as long as it is only to get information out of you and not as a punishment for a crime.