Archive for the ‘creationism’ tag
Two hundred four years ago today, Charles Darwin, the man who would go on to introduce the concept of evolution by natural selection (although he didn’t call it that at the time), was born. Of course, here in the year 2013 when we know that evolution is the process on which everything else we know about biology is based.
As such, it’s a sad and pathetic travesty that the parties of God, the Republican Party and some within the Democratic camp will probably prevent the nation from formally celebrating his contributions to, not just science, but one of the largest questions of life, that is, how did human life develop from less to more complex forms.
Ken Ham, for example, is not just a very enterprising young Earth creationist who raised more than $25 million to build the monstrosity known as the Creation Museum in Kentucky, is also also a danger to lovers of truth and to truth itself.
In his recent article for Slate, Mark Joseph Stern took one for the team and analyzed some of Ham’s books, which as he noted,
fall into two categories: colorful picture books designed to indoctrinate children, and pseudoscientific tracts aimed at persuading adults.
In one of Ham’s books for adults, “The Lie,” he claims that evolution is a “belief” — It’s not. It’s a scientific theory, or in other words, a fact as concrete as gravity — and is not backed by proof, or in his words, “All the evidence a scientist has exists only in the present.” That, of course, is simply not true.
Here is Stern:
This means we should disregard isotope dating, fossil records, genetic sequencing, geologic time, developmental biology, plate tectonics, disease resistance, and the rest of modern science because who can really know if they’re accurate?
“The Bible’s account of origins,” on the other hand, was written by “the Creator God” and contains all the “history we need to know to understand the present world.”
And that’s pretty much all Ham has. Blind faith in the Bible is superior to belief in evolution, because the former was written by God, while the latter is a myth perpetuated by sinful atheists. Science is a myth simply because it cannot be allowed to contradict the Bible. That’s Ham’s starting and ending point, his premise and his conclusion. Such unquestioning trust and circular logic pervades the pages of the book, presented with smug satisfaction.
There is hope that a formal Darwin Day may be established in the future, just not much of one. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) proposed a resolution to name Feb. 12 Darwin Day, but it’ll most likely die on the vine. As Phil Plaits with Slate notes with some disappointment:
I have more than a suspicion he has an uphill battle ahead of him on this. Far too many members of Congress think the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, with far too many of them sitting on the House Science Committee. Of course, to be fair, having even one is one too many.
All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.
Yes, this guy sits on a science committee in Washington. I’m not making this up. In my view, a person capable of uttering such idiotic nonsense is ill-equipped to lead anyone, much less represent us on a science panel. Then again, maybe this country doesn’t deserve to wave Darwin’s banner when so few people realize the importance of his contributions, cling to creation myths and worse, don’t even attempt to understand or learn about how our world works. I would laugh if not for the equal portions of frustration, anger, and yes, pity.
[Credit: Artwork by gremz, Deviant Art user]
churchgoers who are in denial about the descent of man:
Doesn’t this stubborn bacteria know that evolution is false, and all species, including microscopic ones, were created in their present forms by God 6,000 years ago?
E. coli bacteria growing in a flask in a lab for nearly 25 years have learned to do something no E. coli has done since the Miocene epoch: eat a chemical called citrate in the presence of oxygen. Evolutionary biologists Zachary Blount and Richard Lenski of Michigan State University in East Lansing and their colleagues describe the molecular steps leading to the feat online September 19 in Nature.
The work demonstrates that although new traits seem to emerge in the blink of an eye evolutionarily speaking, those traits are actually the product of thousands of generations of genetic tweaks.
“The ability to be able to not just talk about how genes evolve, but to see it in action is just awesome,” says Bruce Levin, a population and evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “This is really getting at the nitty-gritty of evolution.”
Check out this simple evolution simulation.
Around and around:
Here is an article on the what makes the contemporary church “experience” so attractive to many people, at least the ones who can get past the ugly doctrines of original sin, blood sacrifice and the well, looming separation of the wheat from the chaff.
The pop and/or rock music, combined with sensory stimulation on projectors, uplifted hands and closed eyes all contribute to the impression that something more than just a meeting of like-minded individuals is taking place. To many, of course, the “feelings” or perceptions or thoughts that one gets while participating in these services comes from none other than the Holy Spirit, who, quite conveniently, is much less conspicuous on every other day of the week … ahh … until the believer gets into his car and once again turns on Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin or some other contemporary singer. I, of course, was witness to this phenomenon for years and couldn’t grasp as a believer why, whenever I left church, I could never quite capture the same experience on my own until I learned that there was a very good reason for that.
Here is the classic, “Something-exists-rather-than-nothing, so-it-must-be-God” argument:
No wonder comments were disabled.
Fossil by fossil, scientists over the last 40 years have suspected that their models for the more immediate human family tree — the single trunk, straight as a Ponderosa pine, up from Homo habilis to Homo erectus to Homo sapiens — were oversimplified. The day for that serious revision may be at hand.
The discovery of three new fossil specimens, announced Wednesday, is the most compelling evidence yet for multiple lines of evolution in our own genus, Homo, scientists said. The fossils showed that there were at least two contemporary Homo species, in addition to Homo erectus, living in East Africa as early as two million years ago.
Uncovered from sandstone at Koobi Fora, badlands near Lake Turkana in Kenya, the specimens included a well-preserved skull of a late juvenile with a relatively large braincase and a long, flat face, which has been designated KNM-ER 62000 (62000 for short). It bears a striking resemblance to the enigmatic cranium known as 1470, the center of debate over multiple lineages since its discovery in the same area in 1972.
If the 62000 skull showed that 1470 was not a single odd individual, the other two specimens seemed to provide a vital piece of evidence that had been missing. The specimen 1470 had no mandible, or lower jaw. The new finds included an almost complete lower jaw (60000) — considered to be the most complete mandible of an early Homo yet found — and a part of another lower jaw (62000).
The fossils were collected between 2007 and 2009 by a team led by Meave and Louise Leakey, the mother-and-daughter paleoanthropologists of the Koobi Fora Research Project and members of the famous African fossil-hunting family. Dr. Meave Leakey is the wife of Richard Leakey, a son of Louis and Mary Leakey, who produced the early evidence supporting Africa’s central place in early human origins. Mr. Leakey divides his time between Stony Brook University on Long Island, where he is a professor of anthropology, and the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya.
After looking “long and hard” for fossils to confirm the intriguing features of 1470’s face and show what its teeth and lower jaw were like, Dr. Meave Leakey said this week, “At last we have some answers.”