Severe pain + 2mg of Morphine = severe pain.

- Rogue Medic

Happy Darwin Day

Opposition to evolution may be the gateway drug of conspiracy theorists. Maybe other conspiracy theories have evolved from Creationism. Only some religions claim that evolution conflicts with their religion. Their problem is that there is no objective evidence to support their claim, but they claim that their world does not require evidence, only belief.

Why do they not have a problem with gravity? They do not see any conflict with their beliefs. But the better question is – How do they explain obvious examples of confirmation of evolution?

What do they have in common?

A desire for an explanation that ignores facts, but relies on belief in things that not only cannot be demonstrated, but can be demonstrated to be not true. A need to attribute coincidences to some sort of conspiracy (Intelligent Design).

1859 – Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is published. This transforms how we look at medicine.

1869 – Friedrich Miescher identifies DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid). This continues to confirm the work of Darwin, which while not perfect, has been as revolutionary as the science of Newton in explaining how the world works.

1963 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy is assassinated. Conspiracy theorists claim that there must be a large conspiracy (Intelligent Design) behind this murder. Exaggerations of the difficulty of things happening as they did with just a lone gunman are important parts of this theory. Sounds that might be gunshots that are too close together for just one rifle, but is there a good reason to assume that they are all gunshots; a shooter of average ability could not make this almost impossible shot, but the reality is that it is a very easy shot; the pristine bullet could not have passed through 2 bodies without damage, but the bullet is not undamaged and test firing into cadavers produces bullets with similar damage; and on and on with the claims of things that conspiracy theorists could only have been explained by a conspiracy (an Intelligent Design) – except that they are not proof of anything except the desperation of conspiracy theorists.

1969 – Apollo 11 lands on the Moon and 2 people get out and walk on the surface of the Moon. Conspiracy theorists claim that this is faked based on a belief that something they believe must be true. Mythbusters does a better job of deconstructing these myths than I do –

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What about 9/11?

The most perfectly coordinated demolition ever? Twice? And miraculously, none of the explosives were affected by the impact of the planes. What about the collapse of the undamaged (pristine?) Building 7?

Or just the result of an itty-bitty airliner flying into a building, weakening the building, burning the building, and eventually causing so much damage that it collapses?

Obviously, President Bush was behind 9/11!


Image credit.

The History Channel covered the debunking done by Popular Mechanics.

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Part 9


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What about all of the evidence for Intelligent Design?

Almost all of the species that have existed are extinct. This is not an example of Intelligent Design.

The evidence for Intelligent Design requires ignoring evidence that does not support Intelligent Design and claiming that there is more evidence for Intelligent Design than against. This is not honest. There are thousands of research papers on evolution published each year. The research is done by people all over the world. The researchers do not find evidence that evolution does not work, but they provide more information about how evolution does work.


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When we limit ourselves to looking at only what confirms our beliefs, we limit our understanding.

This cannot be good science, cannot be good reasoning, and cannot be good religion.

How do so many people come to such different conclusions about what is written in the same book? By listening to different preachers.

Sacramento-area churches participate in Evolution Weekend

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Comments

  1. Intelligent design is an interesting concept. Depending on whose point of view you look at it assumes a Supreme Being ultimately had something to do with our being here. That said, science undermines and contradicts ID because of the evidence that says what was here prior to us and how long it was here for.

    “The Origin of Species” is an interesting read. It changed the way we What is especially interesting, though, is that Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace were on the same page, and if Wallace had published his research first, we wouldn’t be talking about Darwin – we’d be talking about Wallace instead. And Miescher’s work with the identification of DNA was replicated by Albrecht Kossel – in Mieschler’s lifetime. Another interesting thing about Miescher: he was the scientist who identified Carbon Dioxide and its function in the respiratory process. I didn’t know that until I researched him.

    The one thing that neither Darwin nor Wallace did was accept quantitative reasoning in doing their work. That was actually done by Mendel when he was working on what are now basic underpinnings in Genetics (with pea plants) and the research associated with it. What is most ironic is that Mendel was an Augustinian monk. Go figure…

  2. I was trying to say that “The Origin of Species” changed the way we view not just how life evolved but how various species were, for lack of better wording, streamlined. The problem with just being able to type with two hands again (clumsily but I can do it now) is that I don’t have total control of some of the editing. It’s a work in progress until I get total control of my fingers back…

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