Jun 19 2014

New Creationist Documentary – Same Old Nonsense

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51 Responses to “New Creationist Documentary – Same Old Nonsense”

  1. BillyJoe7on 19 Jun 2014 at 9:48 am

    “The fossils are physical objects that exist, you can go to the museum and see them for yourself”

    The above quote reminded me of this video of Richard Dawkins interviewing creationist Wendy Wrong:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFjoEgYOgRo

  2. nybgruson 19 Jun 2014 at 10:45 am

    You know what is funny BJ? All I had to read was “video of Richard Dawkins” and I knew exactly what you would be referring to.

    Anyways… PandasThumb has an excellent series (4 parts so far) called “Understanding creationism:
    An insider’s guide by a former young-Earth creationist” by David MacMillan. It is actually very insightful and telling and provides additional specific reasons why and how creationists go on with the discredited tropes they so love. And it is actually not because they stick their fingers in their ears and scream “la la la la la la!” at the top of their lungs.

    If you haven’t already I think you would find it an interesting read Dr. Novella, including specific answers to the “no transitional fossils” thing (not terribly long, even for all 4 parts).

    Part I
    Part II
    Part III
    Part IV

  3. DanDanNoodleson 19 Jun 2014 at 10:48 am

    The original trailer is chock full of more howlers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9TCtmoyBaI

    At about 2:15, one of the “15 Ph.Ds” (wow, that many?) discusses the “moral implications” of evolution, saying if evolution is true that we are “bags of rearranged pond scum” — and while he is saying this, ominous music plays, and they pan over a grainy picture of bodies in a mass grave presided over by armed men. Yes, Godwin’s Law is alive and well. He then goes on to claim that evolution implies that murder is meaningless.

    I laughed out loud several times during the trailer — most particularly, during the CGI rendition of Noah’s Ark, which at first I mistook for a floating coffin — but using the Holocaust photo was really beyond the pale.

  4. SteveAon 19 Jun 2014 at 12:38 pm

    “They just never let go of an argument, no matter how often it is obliterated.”

    Proving they have nothing new to say. Tired old dusty ideas gradually withering away…

    If you think how far the ‘Superpower’ of religion has fallen in the last three hundred years, I’d guess that the few remaining creationists will be in Amish territory within another fifty. Marginalised and irrelevant. We just have to keep plugging away and challenge their nonsense wherever it pops up. Even rubber duckies don’t last forever.

  5. steve12on 19 Jun 2014 at 12:43 pm

    “In order to maintain their level of ignorance, however, would require a profound level of intellectual laziness and/or sloppiness, and this is where the motivated reasoning comes in.”

    To wit – one of the 15 PhD’s bio:
    http://creation.com/dr-robert-carter

    The first sentence is the best:
    “Dr Carter was converted to Christ at an early age, but did not know what to do with the theory of evolution. He always knew what he wanted to believe, but had no way to express what he was thinking and no evidence to support his views. “

  6. steve12on 19 Jun 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Most of their 15 PhD’s work for Creation Ministries International, i.e., the maker of the film.

  7. The Other John Mcon 19 Jun 2014 at 1:51 pm

    nybrus, thanks so much for those links — that is super-interesting

  8. GrgLstron 19 Jun 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Oh great, more Steves agreeing with Eviloution.

    More power to you, Dr. Novella for being able to watch that entire trailer (let alone dissect it). Its cringingly awful.

  9. Willyon 19 Jun 2014 at 3:57 pm

    The following appeared as a letter to the editor in our local paper. It as, I think, a reaction to a letter of mine in which, rather than point out errors in a previous letter, I chose instead to demonstrate that the Bible was not inerrant. My example was the conflict in the resurrection stories at the end of the “gospels”. I do hope local creationists listen to the below writer and stop sending in letters attacking evolution. Anyway, enjoy the thoughts of a true believer:

    I subscribe to the paper primarily to see what events are happening around town, particularly in the community of faith, so that I might attend and worship Jesus Christ that we can exalt His name together.
    Over the years, I have noticed many letters in the “out of your mind” column wherein various writers try to malign the Lord and His inerrant Holy Word through the foolish rantings and ravings of their so called “enlightened minds.”
    God is certainly not interested in how intelligent these folks think they are because wisdom only comes from God and those who consider themselves to be their own god through their vain and proud boastings are people of perdition who have no place in heaven. Let us not be concerned with the “raging of the heathen and their vain babblings whereby the attempt to justify their own sinfulness through their darkened and unenlightened minds, setting themselves up as their own god.”
    Rather, let us take a page from our sisters in the faith and love the Lord with all of our being, and our neighbor as ourselves. Have you ever noticed that the women of faith in our community don’t concern themselves with arguing with pagans. I can’t recall ever seeing a letter in the Herald from a Christian woman feeling a need to defend the faith against the foolish and hardened hearts of those destined for perdition; instead they go on in steadfast love of the Lord and for our neighbors through intercessory prayer and good works. This is the wise choice.
    “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” so I urge my brothers in the faith to not argue with fools; God can take care of these nay-sayers without our help. Instead, let us go forth with joy and thanksgiving in grateful humility for all that Jesus Christ has done for us while we glorify Him as we allow His love to flow through us to help and encourage those whose hearts are not hardened against God.

  10. jsterritton 19 Jun 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I think it’s willful laziness, pure and simple. Errors, misstatements, and outright lies don’t have to sound plausible to convince the already convinced. Just make it loud and familiar and self-righteous (what Paul Ginnetty called, “the potent narcotic of reassuring simplicity”). The stultifying incuriosity of the anti-evolution crowd is what allows these same absurd tropes to appear perennially, as if they were fresh, new “gotcha” revelations. The pot gets stirred, the media gets a sideshow, hackles go up, the base gets riled, the money rushes in, and another “documentary” gets made. Media and politicians help gin up controversy where there is none — a victory for the goofballs every time. Sigh.

  11. Willyon 19 Jun 2014 at 4:41 pm

    BiilyJoe7–Thanks for the Wendy Wright clip. I was unaware of it. Astonishing display of…???

  12. Sylakon 19 Jun 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Wow, this is not much better than that geocentrism movies trailer we saw not so long ago.

    Why do they have so much difficulty accepting facts? They could still believe in god: god could have made the big bang happen, or god could have being create at the same time as the universe. Why do they obsess with following the bible to the letters. It was written by human being, They them self say we are not perfect.
    I’m a atheist, so I don’t know, but How hard it is, you don’t have to become atheist, In fact the universe is vast, complex, fascinating and maybe infinite, if a god create a universe, I’m pretty sure that’s the way he would have done it.

  13. tmac57on 19 Jun 2014 at 7:51 pm

    jsterritt-

    (what Paul Ginnetty called, “the potent narcotic of reassuring simplicity”).

    A very pithy quote,and right on the mark. Never heard that one before,so thanks!

  14. tmac57on 19 Jun 2014 at 8:17 pm

    BillyJoe7- Well,I got through part 1,but my head was about to explode,so I guess I need to wait a day to try to watch part 2.
    Why does my mind keep flashing back to scenes from ‘The Stepford Wives’?

  15. Willyon 19 Jun 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I couldn’t finish the Wendy clip, either. Made about 20 minutes. Maybe in the days to come.

    Dawkins: What about homo habilis, homo…
    Wendy: Show me physical proof, not drawings in a book…
    D: Homo…are physical proof.
    W: Show me physical proof…And besides, Darwin is to blame for Hitler, eugenics, …

    I just wish we could point to some strife, somewhere, at some time in history resulting from religious discord…:«)

    Drivel. Dawkins deserves sainthood, er, something, for not strangling her. Same vapid smile as Michele Bachman.

  16. JRockon 19 Jun 2014 at 11:08 pm

    dr. steve,

    you do an excellent impression of a 7th grade biology text.

    following their reasoning was like watching a meandering toddler who keeps bumping into things. it will go on… if you let it.

    but at least they had the decency to use the most up to date information on the subject.

    speaking of, Watson and crick are releasing a new study sometime later this year.

  17. grabulaon 20 Jun 2014 at 2:13 am

    I swear I heard Wendy Wright say ” the ad hominid attacks…” in the first 6 minutes of that interview lol.

  18. mumadaddon 20 Jun 2014 at 6:04 am

    Wendy Wright is a buffoon of the highest order.

    It seems creationism is now getting a foot in the door in the UK too. It’s a direct US import – an American private organisation called ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) are now running schools where creationism is taught in science classes. It’s the exact same schtick as some of the US bible belt school boards have pulled – ‘teach the controversy/evolution is just a theory, here’s the other theory’, except that there’s no legal recourse against this as they are privately funded. They’ve even gone as far as to replace the standard secondary education certification (GCSEs, equivalent to GED) with their own qualification.

    It’s absurd to bastardise science like this. What is the scientific theory of creation? Where is the scientific evidence for this theory?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Christian_Education

  19. Willyon 20 Jun 2014 at 11:56 am

    Another “remarkable” piece from my local paper:

    (Letter Writer X…) shows deception and ignorance of scriptures especially concerning the great flood. Only land, air-breathing animals perished. That left plenty of seafood (Genesis 7:11). Most of the water came not from rain but from underground fountains (Genesis 7:11). The mountains were pushed up during and after the flood as evidenced by sea fossils on top of the highest mountains today. God was not displeased with the creation but with man and his wicked heart which is still a problem today. God does not make mistakes.

    Now, tell me, what can one do to have a conversation with people like that?

  20. Jimboon 20 Jun 2014 at 2:05 pm

    BillyJoe7: or this one, from a much more notable source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTOla3TyfqQ Dawkin’s.. pish!

  21. BruceTon 20 Jun 2014 at 3:01 pm

    What I don’t understand in this article is the tone. Are we just talking to ourselves (skeptic community, or like minded) about how “dumb” the other side is? Yes, scientific evidence tends to support evolution. However, scientific proof is not possible, so we are all discussing the most likely explanation. I don’t think it’s helpful to deride those that disagree for disagreeing. If their foundations are flawed, point it out, and get on with it. Putting down the opposing side does not make your side more correct.

    Do we want to advance the best possible information, or do we want to just make fun of those that disagree. For those that want to do the latter, please just go back to 6th grade, and leave scientific discussion to the adults. Until you can disagree with someone, and still talk respectfully to them, you cannot communicate with them. Or is this meant to just be the science branch of FOX news – echochamber where the other side is berated rather than informed…

  22. a_haworthrobertson 20 Jun 2014 at 7:11 pm

    My latest two posts here may be of interest (the first was written before the above blog post appeared):
    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2970&start=750

  23. Willyon 20 Jun 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I made it through the entire Wendy Wright–I deserve a prize! :-)

    She did say “ad hominid” and, I’m pretty sure, “critical factories” (thinking processes).

    How she conducted herself and how she responded is key to why we will never be able to communicate with creationists. In addition to Wendy’s comments, reread the two letters to the editor that I posted earlier (above). They all KNOW that god did it–the bible says so–AND they KNOW that we have evil motives. It isn’t about facts, it’s about their perception that we are, I think literally in their minds, the devil trying to destroy “god’s work”..

    If you get to children young enough, you can convince many of them to believe almost anything.

    To quote our dear Wendy, there are “hard core evolutionists”. I guess that implies hard core gravitationalists. It’s hopeless.

  24. JRockon 21 Jun 2014 at 12:50 am

    you know what I think I’m into? just rolling up on someone in a position of esteem right in the middle of their new age, woo pedaling and tearing their carefully practiced, official looking dialogue into tiny little bits. yeah… then replacing every part of it with actual information. maybe pointing out every logical fallacy in order… and you know what makes me feel like a real badass? not using a single citation. citations are for real people. awww and then just standing there in the glorious ashes of it all. breathe it in! and I don’t care if anyone learns anything from it or even gives it a passing glance. I just want the blood lust! AWWWWWWWW!!!!! WOO SHALL NOT PASS!

    oooo you want an explanation don’t ya….. why’d he do it? no damn reason at all. I like it and I’m good at it… that’s right.. tears.

  25. Romanon 21 Jun 2014 at 8:46 am

    WilliamLawrenceUtridge in one of these medical blogs once recommended a book, Monkey Girl (http://www.amazon.com/Monkey-Girl-Edward-Humes-ebook/dp/B000OYEWJM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1403352568&sr=1-1&keywords=monkey+girl), which I read with interest. It is a superlative account of the 2005 version of the Scopes monkey trial, this time set in Dover, PA. This latter trial was a slam-dunk resounding victory for science and education. Not that it makes any difference to the True Believer crowd: invincible ignorance will eternally be with us.

  26. grabulaon 21 Jun 2014 at 9:26 pm

    “How she conducted herself and how she responded is key to why we will never be able to communicate with creationists. ”

    Her smug giggling was too much. I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from slapping it out of her.

  27. Steven Novellaon 22 Jun 2014 at 7:37 am

    Jrock – you want to get specific? Ironically, you don’t mention any details, so I have no way of assessing the point you are trying to make. You honestly think they are using more up-to-date information than I did? Please defend that position.

    Bruce – I have to disagree. First, I never called anyone dumb. The closest I came to a personal attack was pointing out that being in a documentary in which one denies a major scientific discipline is embarrassing and betrays scientific illiteracy. Otherwise I simply deconstructed their poor logic and factual distortions.

    But no, this is not a respectful discussion. That would be giving the creationists far too much credit. They are not interested in a respectful scientific discussion. This documentary is a shameless piece of propaganda in which thy put forward arguments that have been demolished years or even decades ago. The intellectual dishonesty / laziness is profound and deserves to be ridiculed and marginalized.

  28. BillyJoe7on 22 Jun 2014 at 9:24 am

    Steven,

    I think Jrock amd BruceT want you to show respect to those who don’t deserve any respect. They want you to teach people who have shown that they are unable to be taught. They think they have the solution when there isn’t a solution to the wilful ignorance of creationists.
    Sarcastic humour is definitely the order of the day here.

    Jrock amd BruceT,

    There is no evidence that your strategy is a successful one in these circumstances, so you are talking out of your respective proverbials. I challenge both of you to spend an hour with Wendy Wright and prove your case. Should be hilarious.
    Oh, and sorry for the “tone”.

  29. Willyon 22 Jun 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Another example from our local newspaper this morning. It’s a letter to the editor again-e’re on a roll, I guess. Enjoy today’s lesson in creation science:

    More bad news for evolutionists. Radiometric dating of the geologic column is unreliable. In fact, it is so conflicting in its results, that, out of hundreds of thousands of tests,—only three test results have agreed sufficiently with evolutionary theory to be uses as “norm”. Each of these, of course, could only to a single stratum. Out of tens of thousands of test only three radioactive samples have been found to be near enough to rock strata age theories to be useable, –and two of them are just interpolated guesses based on “strata thickness.” Is this science or what? Why is radiometric dating so unreliable? In order for a radioactive clock to be usable, it has to run without variation. But careful research of radiohalos do not show constant decay rates. Just one major catastrophe–such as a worldwide flood–would have ruined the usefulness of all our radiodating clocks. This would result from contamination, radioactive and magnetic changes, and reversals of earth’s magnetic core. The millions and billions of fossils buried in layers and layers of strata worldwide give ample evidence of the Great Flood. Animals only become fossils when after they are buried by water and mud. For more information go to evolution-facts.org.

  30. Çağrı Yalgınon 22 Jun 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Just recently Michael Cox Lab showed very convincingly that Escherischia coli can gain resistance to even ionizing radiation, with only three mutations in their DNA repair genes. And we still get the same nonsense about the effects of mutations.

    (Here is the paper: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01322, and I covered it in Turkish here: http://www.acikbilim.com/2014/05/guncel/bir-radyoaktivite-kalkani-kolay-evriliyor.html)

  31. M_Morganon 22 Jun 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Dr Novella, you still haven’t read my free work at http://sdrv.ms/1a4HBbk or you would realize how ignorant your post is. I am not a spiritualist at all, but you are failing to grasp legitimate problems with Natural selection. First, consider what DNA is constructing in the first place after it has mutated, and then whether it can survive in an environment, which it must inevitably do to grow and live to reproduce. You are completely ignorant of the initial steps by which DNA can construct anything in an environment – which is by using the environmental chemicals in the immediate proximity of its cellular membrane. Biologists are completely tied up in the mechanisms of DNA linked to protein production and ignore the cells constructed by DNA using its mechanisms and proteins. What are those cells? They are embodiments of non-living chemical capacities in the environment surrounding the membrane!

    See, Dr Novella, while you and the various vultures here supporting you like to pick over the bones of extremist spiritualist nonsense, the shocking ignorance of science goes unchecked. Fred Hoyle is no fool, and the statistics for “random” mutation of a specific 3 billion human genome sequence, even if tested in each generation for survival in the environment, and even after 3 billion years, is a big problem. 30 point mutations per person per generation, including the deleterious, to create a “random” sequence (even though selected in each generation). Do the math. Mutation is unlikely to be random, and if you see what DNA is constructing using environmental chemicals – gasses (lungs), liquids (heart), solids (gut), ions (nervous system), and so on, and you can see exactly what DNA uses to construct cells and how it uses those capacities for a well-structured anatomy on earth’s surface. Do some reading on Epigenetics.

    Dr Novella, your stubbornness impedes your ability to usefully progress. Selection is a narrative about what has survived in an environment, making obvious connections to what enables it to grow and reproduce. Look instead to what DNA CAN construct in the first place using environmental chemicals, and THEN its continuation by growth and reproduction in an environment supporting it. You are back to front Dr Novella, as is evolution theory generally. You might then find, if you get around to reading my work, that our chemical structure LITERALY embodies the range of non-living chemical capacities on earth that DNA uses for construction. Mutation is unlikely to be “random” according to recent Epigenetic thinking. Instead DNA branches out to use more and different environmental chemicals as it mutates, and quite possibly in knowable Convergent patterns – marsupial and placental with the same dog, cat, bear, and rat structures, for example. You need all the help you can get Dr Novella, as you are not cut out for the task of discovery judging by your tendency to be mired refuting spiritualist nonsense.

  32. bgoudieon 22 Jun 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I’m kind of in awe at the dada-esque word dump of that post M-Morgan. You may have missed your calling in life.

  33. Ekkoon 23 Jun 2014 at 12:49 am

    Yep – some classic M_Morgan there. When you try to break through the weeds of dense verbosity though all you get is some kind of argument from incredulity to do with mutation being random.

  34. BillyJoe7on 23 Jun 2014 at 1:10 am

    Morgan,

    The problem is that you still don’t know what evolutionary biologists mean by the word “random” in relation to mutation. I tried to help you last time by asking if you knew what they mean, after which I was going to correct you as an educational experience. Unfortunately, you fobbed me off and, as a result, you remain as ignorant as ever about the meaning of that word.

    Oh well….

  35. JRockon 23 Jun 2014 at 1:18 am

    @steve novella

    “Jrock – you want to get specific? Ironically, you don’t mention any details, so I have no way of assessing the point you are trying to make. You honestly think they are using more up-to-date information than I did? Please defend that position.”

    steve,

    I was implying the answers to their questions about dna and evolution can be easily addressed by current scholastic literature and that you do a good job of representing it. also that the information their attacking is older and may not contain all the nuance of our current understandings of it.

    I was presenting the character of a psychopath on the hunt for victims because damn it, the proper way to refute these guys gets in the way of all the fun. sometimes just doing a random “drive by” on pages like “the mind unleashed” is satisfying and not worth the total effort of a serious attempt to debunk them. forgive me, I find the notion of a dangerous vigilante of skepticism romantic.

  36. jsterritton 23 Jun 2014 at 1:25 am

    Wow. M_Morgan has indeed written a book (of sorts) that authoritatively explains everything. I mean: EVERYTHING. It’s crazy and very much worth a look. He writes with a scary authority, like his is a definitive text — or like it was handed down from the mountaintop. It’s full of nonsense. There’s a kind of anti-gravity that he calls “levity” that, along with gravity — reconciled entirely with the weak, strong, and electromagnetic forces — informs everything from the interactions of elemental particles to the formation of complex systems like atoms and cells and solar systems and life. By insisting on an awful lot of givens, like the existence of gravitons and a kind of electrogravity-strong force, Morgan diagrams a reductionist caricature of Newton’s clockwork universe that also somehow explains (Darwin-demolishing) evolution of life on ours, and probably other, planets. Morgan’s rules of order apply to the planck scale (elementary particles), the microscopic (atoms), the macroscopic (biology), and the telescopic (the cosmos) equally. And equally, they seem informed by the scientific observation that Cheerios float in milk, all according to “the Design” of his book’s title.

    Morgan’s credentials are less than impressive: “The author’s scientific experience is in product liability litigation, but his scientific interests are extensive.” Priceless. Morgan remarks of his work: “The book is entirely original, and yet it fits nicely within a context of theories by Darwin, Einstein, Newton, and Kant.” Kant?! He then manfully concedes that: “The book might be a missing manual for the organization of the facts of science.” No library is complete without it.

    I’ve stumbled across some staggering works of pseudoscience by zealous authors who had a “eureka” moment and felt they had to share (see “Particles of the Universe,” by Jeff Yee), but this takes the cake. The icing on that cake is the tone he dares to take with Dr Novella, and the rest of us, for not knowing what he knows. I mean…it’s so simple.

  37. JRockon 23 Jun 2014 at 2:29 am

    # BillyJoe7

    “Jrock amd BruceT,

    There is no evidence that your strategy is a successful one in these circumstances, so you are talking out of your respective proverbials. I challenge both of you to spend an hour with Wendy Wright and prove your case. Should be hilarious.
    Oh, and sorry for the “tone”.”

    sorry I realize this should have part of my previous post to reduce the number of comments.

    ohhhhhhh I’ve spent a few with miss wendy cringeworth mclipschitz. my tactic is not supposed to work. it supposed to feed the insatiable need to victimize in a serial killer. I mean uh… it just gets me so… excited…

  38. Mathiason 23 Jun 2014 at 5:39 am

    We should mind our own language. Even people who fully accept Darwinian evolution as a fact, sometimes use terms like “higher/further/more/less evolved than” when talking about different species. What they’re presumably talking about, are specific characteristics of organisms that are somewhat quantifiable, and comparing them in hindsight. Like for instance how energy efficient certain types of locomotion are in a given environment.
    The phrasing is unfortunate though, because it enforces the misconception of directionality in evolution. Homo sapiens as a species is not “more evolved” than homo erectus. This misunderstanding appears about as widespread as it is deep. Lots of people assume that on any habitable world, sooner or later a tool-using socially intelligent species will emerge. No… not necessarily. Like Dawkins pointed out: if only that one particular dinosaur didn’t have to sneeze, right when it was about to catch the little furry thing – we all wouldn’t be here today. The misconception of directionality in evolution opens a door for creationist BS, like “mutations degrade information” etc. We better avoid this type of language when talking about differences between species.

  39. BillyJoe7on 23 Jun 2014 at 7:13 am

    JRock,

    It seems I misunderstood your intent.
    Thanks for clarifying.
    But, unless you’re role playing here, I hope to never meet you in a blind alley.

  40. mumadaddon 23 Jun 2014 at 8:25 am

    Mathias,

    Homo sapiens as a species is not “more evolved” than homo erectus.

    I’m going to be pedantic here (if I didn’t do it, somebody else would): technically, as homo erectus is extinct and homo erectus is extant, homo erectus is more evolved as the species has a longer line of evolutionary history behind it. But I agree with your general point – all extant species are equivalently evolved, and this kind of language can create a false impression.

  41. mumadaddon 23 Jun 2014 at 8:28 am

    technically, as homo erectus is extinct and homo erectus is extant, homo erectus is more evolved as the species has a longer line of evolutionary history behind it.

    Balls – homo sapiens is extant. That’ll teach me to be pedantic.

  42. BillyJoe7on 23 Jun 2014 at 8:48 am

    To be more pedantic still, the correct nomencalture is “Homo sapiens” and “Homo erectus”.

    (And “Homo eratticus” for Jethro tull fans,
    http://jethrotull.com/homo-erraticus-the-new-studio-album-from-ian-anderson/)

  43. mumadaddon 23 Jun 2014 at 9:00 am

    Sod it, fully corrected below:

    Mathias,

    Homo sapiens as a species is not “more evolved” than homo erectus.

    I’m going to be pedantic here (if I didn’t do it, somebody else would): technically, as Homo erectus is extinct and Homo sapiens is extant, homo sapiens is more evolved as the species has a longer line of evolutionary history behind it. But I agree with your general point – all extant species are equivalently evolved, and this kind of language can create a false impression.

    —-

    Actually, having thought about it, this kind of language could cause confusion above and beyond just implying a direction. Would it be fairer to say that a species that has undergone more change is more evolved? One with a higher number of genetic mutations over time? Or one that is better suited to it’s environment? More reproductively successful? Better to just avoid ‘more’ or ‘less’ evolved altogether.

  44. Willyon 23 Jun 2014 at 9:52 am

    My sincere apologies for my thoughtless rant last night. You were 100% correct to remove it. Thank you.

  45. Mathiason 23 Jun 2014 at 10:23 am

    “Would it be fairer to say that a species that has undergone more change is more evolved? One with a higher number of genetic mutations over time?”

    mumadadd,
    yeah, I think so… if you’re making clear what “more evolved” refers to exactly, then this might even be a good way to confront people with their false notions about direction in evolution.
    Let’s say a chimp’s genome has undergone more mutations in the last 7 million years or so, compared to the human genome (I’m not sure if this is actually the case). Then you could point out that, with regard to mutation rate and our last common ancestor, chimps are more evolved than humans. But I’m afraid that just saying “more evolved” without providing this kind of context will give people the wrong idea.

  46. grabulaon 23 Jun 2014 at 8:54 pm

    @M_Morgan

    “M_Morgans shocking ignorance of science goes unchecked.”

    There Morgan, I fixed that comment for you.

  47. grabulaon 23 Jun 2014 at 9:00 pm

    @Jsteritt

    “There’s a kind of anti-gravity that he calls “levity””

    I believe that’s the same levity that attracts penises to vaginas to some such nonsense. Either way Morgan has some history here. Typically he does quick drive by’s, he might be bothered to drop in a second time to spout more mumbo jumbo at us ‘vultures’.

    Keep in mind he claims to be a lawyer who’s specialty is translating techno babble to the people…even though we can’t get him to make any sense in his posts.

    Finally he admits to operating in a vacuum when it comes to science. He’s done all the footwork himself, with no help. As someone has pointed out (BJ7?) Morgan is our resident, bonafide crank.

  48. jsterritton 24 Jun 2014 at 9:58 am

    @grabula

    He’s pretty awesome.

  49. andHarryon 24 Aug 2014 at 5:29 pm

    A PhD who does not feature(I think) in this documentary writes – ‘The Primary Axiom is actually an extremely vulnerable theory. In fact it is essentially indefensible. It’s apparent invincibility derives largely from bluster, smoke, and mirrors. A large part of what keeps the Axiom standing is an almost mystical faith that the “true-believers” have in the omnipotence of natural selection. Furthermore, I began to see that this deep-seated faith in natural selection is typically coupled with a degree of ideological commitment which can only be described as religious. I started to realise (again with trepidation) that I might be offending the religion of a great number of people!‏’
    Read john Sanford’s brilliant book, ‘Genetic Entropy, and the mystery of the genome’ for an insight into why evolution fails. We are falling apart as mutations increase.

  50. InquiringThinkeron 19 Oct 2014 at 7:59 am

    A review of the 2 minute trailer isn’t really helpful. Why not review the content of the arguments in the book? Engaging the arguments not just soundbites is necessary, since many of us are trying to understand them ourselves. The content is already available.

    Let’s start with one of their arguments, which they term “Origin of Life”, which is not really evolutionary itself, since evolution begins with a self replicating cell. But part of their argument is that Origin of Life is required to have evolution. “How did the first self-replicating cell arise?” What do you think is a response to this?

  51. InquiringThinkeron 19 Oct 2014 at 8:05 am

    A lot of conclusions drawn in this comments section based on a pretty tiny amount of data. That is poor induction. Their soundbites are clearly intended to not give the full picture, because they want you to check the whole 96 min video out for themselves.

    Can anyone actually comment on the content of their arguments (not the one’s from the past, and not the soundbites of now).

    I really am not finding it easy to find strong responses on this!

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