Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Happy Darwin and Lincoln Day 2019

 

Today we celebrate two 210th birthdays. Both stood up to right wing religious fanatics and were attacked for it. One was assassinated.

The first birthday boy is Abraham Lincoln, who might have been the most famous aggressively pro-civil rights, do gooder, Social Justice Warrior president – except that secession began before Lincoln even took office. The slave states were so afraid of what Lincoln might do that they didn’t even wait to find out. They didn’t use any valid legal means to try to win their case, but essentially stated, We’re leaving and we’re taking these parts of America, because we believe they belong to us and secession is 9/10ths of the law. We double dog dare you to enforce the law – and just to comply with the wording of the Constitution of the United States, we are going to open fire on the United States Army. The hurt themselves and the rest of America by promoting secessionists’ devotion to enslaving those not white and the secessionists’ adamant opposition to states’ rights. Yes, the secessionists’ claimed to be fighting for states’ rights, but liars lie.
 

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.[1]

 

Ironically, those who seceded were Democrats, but the parties have flipped and the Republicans are now the anti-civil rights party.

The following statement is from Sen. Barry Goldwater, who was the 1964 Republican and Conservative candidate for president, but now would be rejected by the Conservatives and the Republicans.
 

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.[2]

 

Modern America has moved so far to the right, that Goldwater would probably be accused of being a socialist and a communist by various members of the right wing media. Sen. Goldwater also opposed government intrusion into the personal lives of LGBT people, because he was opposed to the big government that much of the right wing wants to use to force their lifestyle on everyone.

At that time, the right wing media being condemned by Sen. Goldwater was just beginning a resurgence. The ironically named Moral Majority was preaching its Christian sharia law to gather a lot of followers. Jerry Falwell, Sr. was their leader and Barry Goldwater condemned that earlier, less powerful, Falwell. His son, Jerry Falwell, Jr. seems to be able to tell our current president what to do, but a lot of people manipulate the president.
 

I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.[3]

 

Since the Civil War, the propaganda machine of the secessionists has been more successful. They have been able to place statues of the traitors throughout the states they led in treason to show everyone that the secessionists still maintain power in spite of being defeated on the battlefield. Why don’t we have statues of Benedict Arnold?

We could celebrate Robert E. Lee for his opposition to secessionists after the war and for Lee’s unintentional(?) destruction of his cavalry at Gettysburg. Pickett’s Charge may have been the final straw for the Army Promoting Expansion of Slavery.

The second 210th birthday boy is Charles Darwin, who is remembered for explaining the diversity of life on Earth. Evolution explains the evidence showing the progression from the simplest life form to the current diversity of life – a diversity which appears to be decreasing due to our failure to value our children above our politics. Extinction is a part of that explanation. Extinction was once thought to be an argument against evolution, because it would violate God’s perfect plan, but eventually, extinction became undeniable, too. Oddly, people still deny biology. Evolution is so essential to biology, that Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote a paper titled, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution.[4]

It is interesting that the science denial that affects biology, Creationism, is promoted most aggressively in the same slave states Bible Belt that fought against the United States of America in favor of treating diversity as a justification for violence.

It was science that helped the liberal Christians to convince the rest of America that slavery is wrong – something that much of the often less Christian rest of world already understood.
 

Book that Changed America - cover 1
 

As I wrote in 2017:

Darwin provided scientific evidence for a common origin, which gave a scientific argument to those criticizing slavery. How is it moral to enslave other humans? Well, the Bible repeatedly endorses slavery and Jesus never criticized slavery. Jesus actually used slavery as an analogy for belief in God, with believers as slaves and the slave owners as God.

Contrariwise, those who focused on the good parts of the Bible and avoided the bad parts, used Darwin’s book as the basis for advocating for a more moral approach to our fellow humans. Those who read the Bible differently from the advocates of slavery saw that they were not along. Science also opposed the moral abyss of slavery.

Not to spoil the ending, but the abolitionists were not successful at reasoning with those in the Bible Belt to end slavery in America. We ended up with over 600,000 Americans dead over different interpretations of the Bible on how to treat humans.[5]

The anti-science of Young Earth Creationism, the most basic form of Creationism, is the belief that the particular version of the God of that sect of believers literally just poofed itself into existence, then created life in its current diversity and that mutation can never produce a beneficial outcome.

For some bizarre reason, this God has organs of evolution. A true only one of its kind creature would not be male, nor would it be female, but the plot holes are numerous and demonstrate the impossibility of the story, when promoted as accurate. What other creature(s) God need sexual organs for? How did this God evolve them? Most Christians seem to view the two contradictory Creation stories in Genesis (Genesis 1 vs. Genesis 2) as metaphorical. How else do you defend something that dramatically changes when you turn to the next page? Hallucinogens? Hypoxia? Dementia? Metaphor – it is poetic, rather than literal. At least, that is the only reasonable approach.

Some Creationists take a shot at creating a middle approach. These not-so-literalists claim that microevolution is real, but macroevolution is impossible. These are real terms, but not the way the not-so-literalist Creationists use them.

These Creationists see that microevolution is undeniable, so they try to move the goalposts to try to protect their belief in Separate Creation.

Here is a further irony. These not-so-literalist Creationists claim that while they cannot deny that evolution happens on a small scale, they absolutely refuse to accept that it continues. Evolution is required to stop. Although they cannot provide any kind of evidence to support their claim and scientists provide plenty of evidence that evolution is not stopped, they continue to make this claim.

The irony gets even greater, because when you are dealing with apologists, the excuses will differ, thus the increasing disagreements among the dozens/hundreds/thousands of flavors of Creationism. Some of these micro yes, macro no Creationists claim that the restriction on evolution prevents the development of any new species, because they just can’t seem to understand that a lot of change can produce a dramatic difference. Other micro yes, macro no Creationists claim that this restriction prevents the evolution of any new genus. They claim that the story of the Ark saving 8 people from the murderous God of the Bible is the reason. This story is borrowed from the Babylonians, who taught the Israelites to write during the Babylonian captivity.[6]

Anyway, the story of the Ark mentions 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.[7] This is a justification for being able to put billions of creatures on one supposedly seaworthy vessel. Not everything had evolved at the time, some evolved after their kinds after they disembarked. Two contradictions attacked with one excuse. Brilliant!

Some of the not-so-literalist Creationists accept that evolution is possible, as long as it does not produce a new species, because that would be too much. They insist that there must be an artificial limit on evolution.

Other not-so-literalist Creationists accept that evolution is possible, as long as it does not produce a new genus, because that would be too much. They insist that there must be an artificial limit on evolution.

Still other not-so-literalist Creationists accept that evolution is possible, as long as it does not produce a new family, because that would be too much. They insist that there must be an artificial limit on evolution.
 


Taxonomic Rank, from Wikipedia page
 

No matter what they have to invoke, all flavors of Creationist insist that there is some sort of artificial limit on evolution. Some Creationists insist that all evolution is prevented, while others accept varying amounts of evolution, rather than try to reject the overwhelming evidence.

We flawed humans must be explained, but their ambiguous creator must just be believed in all of its million different interpretations, and with all of its impossible contradictions – and all of the other Gods are just made up by people.

Footnotes:

[1] Constitution
Article III, Section 3
The Legal Information Institute
Article III

[2] Barry Goldwater
Wikiquote
 

Said in November 1994, as quoted in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience (2006).

 

[3] Barry Goldwater
Wikiquote
 

Said in July 1981 in response to Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell’s opposition to the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court, of which Falwell had said, “Every good Christian should be concerned.” as quoted in Ed Magnuson, “The Brethren’s First Sister,” Time Magazine, (July 20, 1981).
According to John Dean, Goldwater actually suggested that good Christians ought to kick Falwell in the “nuts”, but the news media “changed the anatomical reference.”
Dean, John (2008). Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches. Penguin Group. “I know because I was there when he said it.”(2006).

 

A further irony is that there is nothing in the Bible that is even slightly critical of abortion, but the Bible thumpers lie about this. If you claim that Thou shalt not kill applies to abortion, you have to find someplace – any place where the Bible refers to abortion as killing. The Bible does not make that claim. The Christian sharia promoters make far more judgmental claims (judge not, lest ye be judged), because irony knows no bounds among fundamentalists.

The Bible states that life begins with the first breath. Genesis 2:7 and Job 33:4 and that a fetus is not a person Exodus 21:22. The Biblical literalists need to reinterpret the words to massage the meaning to be able to come up with something that allows them to claim their interpretation of their God agrees with them.

There is condemnation of divorce, by Jesus, but the religious right has chosen to vote for divorced leaders in order to get the political power that they want. Almost everything Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is a condemnation of the goals of the religious right in America today, but that is not the only place where Jesus condemns the religious right in America today.

Why do so many right wing Christians hate Jesus so much that they blaspheme Jesus?

If you want more information than provided above, read these:

The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal
February 18, 2012
Fred Clark
Article
 

In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal.

Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at conception.

 

and

The Not-So-Lofty Origins of the Evangelical Pro-Life Movement
February 5, 2013
Jonathan Dudley
Religion Dispatches
Article
 

Although evangelicals were mostly silent on abortion after Roe v. Wade, they were not silent on other political issues. Paul Weyrich, one of the evangelical right’s most influential founders, recalls that the movement initially emerged to defend racially segregated Christian schools from government intrusion:

 

Abortion was chosen as the rallying cry, because the religious right were losing ground defending segregation. Now abortion is the headline, while the religious right still work for segregation by more politically correct means.

[4] Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution
Theodosius Dobzhansky
The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Mar., 1973)
Article in PDF format
 

I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God’s, or Nature’s method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way.

 

Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts. As pointed out above, the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness.

 

[5] The Book That Changed America: How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation
Randall Fuller

Read ‘The Book That Changed America’ for Darwin Day 2017
Sun, 12 Feb 2017
Rogue Medic
Article

and

Kirkus Review

and

January 24, 2017
Randy Dotinga
Christian Science Monitor
Review

[6] The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood
Irving Finkel

Kirkus Review

and

How the ark changed shape
13 February, 2014
Will Gore
Catholic Herald
Article/Interview

Here is part of that interview with Irving Finkel from Catholic Herald:
 

We also discuss the negative reaction that his theories might provoke in some Christian quarters. He admits that those who tend towards a literalist reading of the Bible will never be persuaded of its links to the Babylonian era.

He hopes, though, that he is handling the topic sensitively. He is at pains to point out, for example, that, despite what some headlines have suggested, he is not claiming the Bible story to be wrong and that Noah’s Ark should be round. He has, he says, simply traced the origins of the story found in Genesis.

Finkel has resolved to make sure he maintains a sense of humour when dealing with critics. He’s obviously very content with the conclusions he has drawn. Behind that big beard it’s not hard to detect a smile as he says: “I can’t imagine somebody will find something that proves my ideas wrong, so if people reject them it doesn’t matter. People often reject things they don’t like and not necessarily on logical grounds. If I give a lecture and people throw vegetables, then so be it.”

 

Here is a video of a presentation by Irving Finkel.
 


 

[7] Genesis 8:19
King James Version
Verse at BibleHub in all versions

.

Happy Darwin Day 2018

 
Why do some people reject science? Evolution is just one aspect of science that some people claim, almost always without any scientific experience, is not real. The rest of the scientific community generally ignores these fringe dwellers, but politicians and the media love them.

The science deniers claim that scientists are arrogant, but science requires scientists to be transparent in their methods. Science requires scientists to invite criticism.

If you think that you can provide valid evidence to show that a scientific theory is wrong, you can expect to become rich and famous. Go ahead. Show the world that you know more than those arrogant scientists. I am sure that you will straighten those scientists out.
 


 

Science deniers are almost never open to criticism. Some even call for attacks on their critics. Mike Adams is one of the recent examples of these, but someone will probably do something more extreme before the decade is out.[1]

Flat Earthers, Creationists, anti-vaxers, climate change deniers, medicine deniers (alternative medicine quacks), anti-GMO activists, et cetera. They all lack credibility among scientists, because they all lack valid evidence. The same is true of Holocaust deniers, 9/11 Truthers, and others promoting revision of history without any valid evidence.

The most famous example of a victim of science deniers is probably Galileo, who was threatened with torture by the Inquisition (known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1983), in order to coerce a recantation from Galileo for teaching the heretical idea of Nicolaus Copernicus that the Earth revolves around the Sun (helicentrism).
 

The proposition that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scripture.[2]

 

In 1615, Galileo had been ordered to give up the said doctrine and not to teach it to others, not to defend it, nor even to discuss it;[2]

Don’t even discuss your ideas.

This time he was sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life. His books, and other books on heliocentrism were prohibited by the Inquisition.

Ironically, many of the science deniers claim to be modern versions of Galileo, persecuted for their ideas. The reality is that they are ignored, because they do not produce valid evidence. Galileo was far from perfect, but he did produce valid evidence. Some of the evidence was misinterpreted by Galileo, but removing that evidence did not invalidate heliocentrism.

The scientific community does not prevent science deniers from publishing valid evidence.

The research presented by the science deniers has to meet the same standards as the rest of the research published in science journals.

The problem with the science deniers is that their research either does not meet the standards of publication in a science journal, does not contradict the existing research, or both.

What scientific evidence is there that Creationism is true?

Nothing.

The promotion of a claim as scientific, without any scientific evidence, is an excellent example of arrogance.

What scientific evidence is there that evolution is true?

Some people claim that evolution is anti-Christian, but this is not true. Most Christians accept that evolution is real. This is from BioLogos, a Christian science organization.

What does the fossil record show? [3]

The Smithsonian also has a lot of information specifically about human evolution.

Human Evolution Research [4]

DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid) demonstrates how closely related any two living creatures are. You can see that we are related to other apes, as well as bananas and bacteria. Wikipedia’s primary rule for entries is that the information has to be supported by verifiable evidence. Here is the Wikipedia page on genetics, the science of examining DNA –

Genetics – Wikipedia [5]

Science is objective and has rules to eliminate, as much as possible, the role of prejudice.

As if that is not enough, science also takes all of its results and challenges people to find any flaws in the work.

Is there a problem with the way the evidence was obtained?

Is there a problem with the way the data were calculated?

Are there other valid interpretations that have not been considered (interpretations that are not ruled out by the evidence)?

DNA had not even been discovered at the time Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

DNA is probably most objective tool available for showing that all life on Earth has evolved from the same original species.

Footnotes:

[1] Mike Adams, Monsanto, Nazis, and a Very Disturbing Article
Discover Magazine
By Keith Kloor
July 22, 2014 5:05 pm
Article

[2] Papal Condemnation (Sentence) of Galileo
June 22, 1633
Trial of Galileo (1633)
Famous Trials
Professor Douglas O. Linder
Translation of Papal Condemnation

But whereas it was desired at that time to deal leniently with you, it was decreed at the Holy Congregation held before His Holiness on the twenty-fifth of February, 1616, that his Eminence the Lord Cardinal Bellarmine should order you to abandon altogether the said false doctrine and, in the event of your refusal, that an injunction should be imposed upon you by the Commissary of the Holy Office to give up the said doctrine and not to teach it to others, not to defend it, nor even to discuss it; and your failing your acquiescence in this injunction, that you should be imprisoned.

[3] What does the fossil record show?
BioLogos
Article

[4] Human Evolution Research
Smithsonian
Human Origins
Web page

[5] Genetics
Wikipedia
Web page

.

Read ‘The Book That Changed America’ for Darwin Day 2017

Book that Changed America - cover 1
 

Arriving just before the Civil War, On the Origin of Species was a godsend for abolitionists in America. Charles Darwin provided evidence that we are all the same in the eyes of science. Given that we are equals, should we treat other humans as less than ? This is part of what Randall Fuller writes about in the recently published The Book That Changed America: How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation.

Darwin provided scientific evidence for a common origin, which gave a scientific argument to those criticizing slavery. How is it moral to enslave other humans? Well, the Bible repeatedly endorses slavery and Jesus never criticized slavery. Jesus actually used slavery as an analogy for belief in God, with believers as slaves and the slave owners as God.

Contrariwise, those who focused on the good parts of the Bible and avoided the bad parts, used Darwin’s book as the basis for advocating for a more moral approach to our fellow humans. Those who read the Bible differently from the advocates of slavery saw that they were not along. Science also opposed the moral abyss of slavery.

Not to spoil the ending, but the abolitionists were not successful at reasoning with those in the Bible Belt to end slavery in America. We ended up with over 600,000 Americans dead over different interpretations of the Bible on how to treat humans.

Upton Sinclair wrote about a similar, and perpetual, problem. It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

While science is not the best at providing us with morality, science is great at exposing the dishonesty of the excuses made in defense of immorality. And science keeps improving.

Suppose that I think that I am better than they are. Who are they? They are any group that is being selected for second class, or third class, treatment. It doesn’t matter what the group is, this kind of justification is not supported by science.

Picking on the weak is unlikely to be popular in the long term. Blaming this bad behavior on my personal interpretation of the desires of my God (who just happens to think like me) is eventually going to expose my immorality. The contradiction of promoting immoral actions, while blaming God, eventually exposes itself.

Read The Book That Changed America: How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation to see why abolitionists recognized On the Origin of Species as a godsend.

.

Happy Darwin Day 2015

 

Charles Darwin is one of the greatest scientists of all time. We should celebrate the tremendous work that he has done, but it is considered politically incorrect to point out that evolution is real and that we use science to learn about reality.

To celebrate Darwin Day, Ken Ham has decided to do even more to embarrass himself. You remember him. He is the guy who debated Bill Nye.
 


 

What would it take to change your mind?
Bill Nye – Evidence.
Ken Ham – Nothing.

Nothing? If God were to tell Ken Ham that evolution is true, that would not change Ken Ham’s mind, because his mind is made up? Or is Ken Ham telling us that he does not believe that God exists?
 

Ken Ham claims to understand science, but the scientists he employs are required to sign a statement that what Ken Ham believes sets a limit their science. Ken Ham is celebrating today as Darwin was wrong Day.[1]
 

The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches. Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science.[2]

 

Ken Ham tells us that only his interpretation of the Bible is the truth. Science encourages us to look everywhere for the truth.

If you do not sign a Statement of Faith, you cannot work for Ken Ham. You only have to read the Bible to see that even the description of Creation has irreconcilable contradictions if Genesis is to be interpreted as science, rather than metaphor.
 

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after [ag]their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after [ah]their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after [ai]their kind, and the cattle after [aj]their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [ak]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.[3]

 
 

God made Adam and Eve after making the animals.
 
 

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper [a]suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the [b]sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.[4]

 
 

God made Adam and Eve before making the animals.
 
 

It doesn’t matter which came first, if this is a metaphor, but if this is supposed to be literally true and accurate, then it does matter which came first.

Is your God incapable of telling the difference between before and after? Ken Ham’s God can’t seem to tell the difference. Ken Ham seems to prefer to mock his God.

Is your God limited by the restrictions Ken Ham arrogantly places on God?

Is your God capable of using metaphors?

Are there other places where your God uses metaphors in the Bible?
 


 

Footnotes:

[1] #DarwinWasWrongDay
AiG (Answers in Genesis)
Ken Ham’s Twitter hashtag encouraging rejection of evolution
Page at AiG

[2] Statement of Faith
AiG (Answers in Genesis)
Section 2: Basics
Updated: December 12, 2012
Accessed on February 12, 2015
Page at AiG

[3] Genesis 1:24-27
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Bible Gateway (a Christian site)
Passage

Pick up a printed Bible. Look at whatever version of the Bible you like. You can look up one verse at a time to compare among versions.

[4] Genesis 2:18-19
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Bible Gateway (a Christian site)
Passage

.

Creationism and the Politics of Ignoring Reality – Part 1

 

National Review Online has an odd apologist for Creationism claiming that without the secular left, Creationism would not be a problem.

Of course, he does not appear to think that Creationism is a problem, only that criticism of Creationism is a problem.
 


Image credit. Click on images to make them laerger.
 

No one thinks about creationism more than the secular Left.[1]

 

There is an outbreak of Ebola virus in Guinea.

While Creationists will tell us that since humans and monkeys are not related, they cannot have the same diseases. However, Ebola virus comes to humans from monkeys. Monkey DNA and human DNA are almost identical. We have small genetic differences that make a big difference in genetic expression, but these are terms that have to do with science and Creationism is about rejecting science that makes the Creationists uncomfortable about their beliefs in their Gods.
 


 

Ebola will probably not make it to the US, this time, but it is expanding its range. We cannot make Ebola go away with prayer. We need medicine, which is based on valid science. The fewer people we have who understand biology, the longer it will take to find effective treatments.
 

To be sure, a small number of Christians fiercely and zealously defend the young-earth position, but their influence is vastly overstated by secular journalists who need them more than the church does.[1]

 

Journalists are creating a push to teach Creationism religion in science classrooms?

Apparently, it is only a small number, when David French is defending something by trying to get people to ignore it.

Why is a political writer so opposed to keeping non-science out of science education?

Science is not easy to understand and he appears to be upset that this version of Cosmos seems to explain science as well as the last version. For example, the eye is commonly used as an example of irreducible complexity, the Creationist way of saying, I don’t understand, therefore it is impossible.

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the evolution of the eye pretty well in about 8 minutes below (I apologize for the advertising) –

Try an explanation from Richard Dawkins and Randolph Nesse.
 


 

At every stage of its development, the evolving eye functioned well enough to provide a selective advantage for survival and among animals alive today, we find eyes at all these stages of development – and all of them function.

The complexity of the human eye poses no challenge to evolution by natural selection. In fact the eye, and all of biology, makes no sense without evolution.[2]

 

There are no gaps in the evolution of the eye. We can see the various degrees of evolution of the eye in different species, including species with much better eyesight than our eyesight. So why do we assume that the claims of evolutionary gaps, from people who do not understand evolution, are true?

Do we ask the person who has trouble with a paper airplane to explain the theory of flight?

Do we ask the person who does not understand gravity to explain relativity?

The failure of Creationism may not even be because scientists do a better job of explaining science, but because of the ethical failures of those trying to discredit science. I will explain in Part 2.

Footnotes:

[1] The Left’s Strange Obsession With Evangelical Creationism
By David French
April 1, 2014 2:19 PM
National Review Online
Article

[2] Some of the Things That Molecules Do
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Season 1, Episode 2
Fox
28:48
Video at Hulu.com

.

Comment on Bill Nye and Most Christians vs. Ken Ham and Creationism – Part I

 

In reply to Bill Nye and Most Christians vs. Ken Ham and Creationism – Part I is the following from Jon –
 

Part of the issue is that we are making science square off against religion.

 

We?

Don’t blame science for this problem with religion.

Some religious preachers are claiming that evolution denialism Creationism should be taught as science.

Promotion of bad science is justifiably opposed by scientists.

Preachers should not promote bad science.
 


Original Creationist ‘watch as proof of design’ image credit.
 

The superficial appearance of design in living things is not proof that evolution is wrong and is not proof of intelligent design Creationism.

Science is not satisfied with the superficial.

Creationism is contradicted by almost all of science and is not even supported by most religious people.
 

The Inquisition threatened Galileo (a very religious scientist) with torture, forced Galileo to shut up, and placed Galileo under house arrest for the rest of his life.

Why?

Galileo showed that the real world ignores the Biblical literalists.

Science eventually prevailed, but the Biblical literalists were able to hold back science for years decades centuries.

The Bible did not change, but many literal interpretations of the Bible evolved.

 


Image credit.
 

Should we change the Bible to match science?

Should we change science to match the Bible?

Should we just keep scientifically illiterate preachers out of science classrooms, so that they are less likely to embarrass themselves?

Science does not care what is revealed about the world, as long as it is true, but Creationists only care about the end justifying their interpretations of the Bible.
 

If Genesis said, “And God caused there to be something from nothing, and this something went “kaplowie”, and God caused the things from the kaplowie to start swirling and condensing into globs of matter, and those globs of matter hardened, and on one of those globs came forth water and land, and a microbe developed into an animal and a plant, and reproduced, and evolved into myriad forms” would that be acceptable to those that hold fast to evolution?

 

Changing the Bible does not change reality.

What if the Bible said, The Earth is not the center of everything?

Would Galileo’s prosecution by Biblical literalists go away?

Eventually, Biblical literalists will also admit the error of their ways about evolution.

For our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, . . ., let’s hope the Biblical literalists repent more quickly this time.
 

Finally, let’s say that those that understand Scripture’s “six days of creation” are mistaken, . . . .

 

Science makes it clear that preachers of Scripture’s “six days of creation” are mistaken.

Most people believe in God and ignore these literal interpretations of the Bible advocated by some preachers.

There is no valid evidence to support Creationism.

This is only a controversy among religious sects.

This is not a controversy among scientists.

.

Bill Nye and Most Christians vs. Ken Ham and Creationism – Part II

 

Continuing, on Darwin Day, from Part I about the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham about whether Creationism should be taught in science classrooms.

Ken Ham’s Creationism is a religious belief that humans were placed on the Earth in their current form by Ken Ham’s interpretation of a Christian God about 6,000 years ago.

At the end of Part I, I wrote that I would review the science that supports Creationism here.

Here is the valid science to support Creationism.

Nothing. 😳

In stead of science, we get excuses for ignoring valid science. We get misrepresentations of mathematics used to make evolution seem impossible.

Preachers will tell you that evolution is a form of atheism, but that is a lie.

Most religious people are not Creationists, so are most religious people lying about what they believe?

Even Pat Robertson rejects Ken Han’s Creationism.
 

“We have skeletons of dinosaurs that go back 65 million years,” Robertson said. “To say it all dates back to 6,000 years is just nonsense, and I think [it’s] time we come off of that stuff, and say this isn’t possible.”

“Let’s be real; let’s not make a joke of ourselves,” he said.[1]

 


Pew Researh Center poll.[2]
 

Are Creationist preachers being honest about what others believe?

Do Creationist preachers make a lot of unsupportable assumptions?
 

One of the scientists Ken Ham used as an example of Creationism and science being compatible is Andrew Fabich, Ph.D., who had to learn evolution to get his PhD, but rejects evolution and teaches for a Creationist school. He claims that the LTEE (Long Term Evolution Experiment – evolution demonstrated in the laboratory) is just an example of a simple gene being turned on and not an example of evolution.

Real scientists immediately saw the nonsense in the claim of Andrew Fabich, Ph.D. that this was just turning on a switch and not evolution, but this Creation scientist is still making the same debunked claim. Does misunderstanding become understanding when it is repeated enough? No.
 

Of course, if it were so easy as a single, simple mutation, then we would have seen that capability evolve in many or all of the populations. But after almost 60,000 generations to date, only one population has evolved that ability.[3]

 

If 12 computers required over 60,000 clicks of a mouse before just one computer would produce an effect they were designed to produce, would anyone call that an Intelligent Design?

Andrew Fabich, Ph.D. is supposed to be an example of a Creationist being able to be successful as a scientist. A similar example would be that Michael Phelps was caught smoking from a bong and he won more Olympic gold medals than anyone else. Bong hits and Olympic gold are compatible!

Unlike Creationists, Michael Phelps has apologized for his bad judgment.[4]
 


 

The most famous Creationist scientist is Michael Behe, Ph.D. He was an expert witness at the trial that examined whether Intelligent Design is science.

The case for the Creationists ID (Intelligent Design) proponents was to try to show that ID is science and not religion.
 

Q But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory, correct?

A Yes, that’s correct.[5]

 

Astrology is not science, but astrology is the same kind of science as Creationism Intelligent Design.

That is from the best scientist they could find to present their case. ID is as good as astrology.
 


 

Footnotes:

[1] Pat Robertson rejects ‘young earth’ creationism. ‘Nonsense,’ he says. (+video)
By Harry Bruinius, Staff writer
February 6, 2014
Christian Science Monitor
Article

[2] Public’s Views on Human Evolution
Pew Research Center
December 30, 2013
Article.

Free Full Text in PDF format from Pew Research Center.

[3] Zachary Blount on “Ham on Nye” Debate, Follow-up #3
February 7, 2014
Zachary Blount
Telliamed Revisited
Article

[4] Phelps: Photo with marijuana pipe real
Updated: February 2, 2009, 7:40 AM ET
Associated Press
ESPN
Article

[5] Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District – Trial transcript: Day 11 (October 18), PM Session, Part 1
Talk Origins
Transcript

.

Bill Nye – Ken Ham ‘Debate’ Review

 


Skip to 13:00 for the beginning of the debate.
 

Is it impossible to be a scientist and a Young Earth Creationist? No, but good science did not come from the Lysenkoists[1] of the Soviet Union, who also opposed evolution. Lysenkoists were still successful scientists – in the Soviet Union.

Ken Ham (multimillionaire CEO of a corporation that exists to sell Creationism with the home field advantage of a Creationist-packed crowd at the Creation museum) suggests that the ability of a few Creationists to become successful scientists is proof that you do not need to understand evolution to be a successful scientist.

This is misleading, which is a common Ken Ham tactic. It is much more difficult to become a successful scientist with a major misunderstanding of science. A tall person to become a gymnast, or a jockey, but that is not proof that being tall is not an obstacle to success in both fields.

There are doctors who are claim that AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is not caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus),[2] historians who claim that the Holocaust is a myth,[3] and pediatricians who claim that vaccines are the root of all evil,[4] but these flaws in their understanding are obstacles that they have to overcome. Some will make their misunderstanding their source of income.

These conspiracy theorists claim to know the truth, while the rest of us are deceived. They claim to be misunderstood geniuses, just like Galileo.

However, Galileo’s opposition was from a political faction within the Catholic Church. This faction claimed that Aristotle’s ideas were not to be challenged, even though Galileo could demonstrate that Aristotle was wrong about some things, he could not demonstrate this for everything.

According to Ken Ham, Galileo was wrong, since the experimental conditions could not be produced to demonstrate that Galileo was right.

Galileo could not watch objects falling in a vacuum, but that did not mean that the rate of acceleration due to gravity was different for feathers and hammers.

Just because we cannot watch evolution happening quickly, does not mean that evolution is not happening, no matter how much Ken Ham wishes it were true.
 


 

The Catholic Church learned a lot about science in the hundreds of years since locking up Galileo. The Catholic Church accepts that evolution is real.

The Catholic Church has not eliminated Genesis from the Bible, but still rejects Ken Ham’s literal misinterpretation of Genesis.
 

Stuart Burgess, PhD states (at 30:55) –
 

I find that many of my colleagues in academia are sympathetic to the Creationist viewpoint, including biologists, however they are often afraid to speak out because of the criticisms they would get from the media and atheist lobby.

 

Maybe the biologists are just being polite to the Creationist. Maybe they are just sick of repeatedly trying to explain to an engineer (someone who is expected to see design in things) that not everything is designed.

Some of us will patronize (or ignore) a misguided colleague, rather than trying to reason with the obtuse, when we could be accomplishing something useful.

Where does this myth that scientists fear criticism by the media or the atheist lobby come from?

If scientists are more worried about the media than about evidence, then they are really just politicians.
 

Ken Ham claims that the laws of nature, laws of logic, and the uniformity of nature are evidence of Creationism.

Do nature and logic work differently in places that are not Christian?

Ken Ham asked where the laws of nature, laws of logic, and uniformity of nature came from?

Logic and uniformity?
 


 

Ken Ham is a literalist, but does not understand that a literal interpretation of the Bible does not support logic and uniformity.

Why argue with logic that is so illogical?
 

At 34:00, Ken Ham states –
 

When I was at the Goddard Space Center, I met Creationists and evolutionists who were both working on the Hubble Telescope. They agreed on how to build the Hubble Telescope. You know what they disagreed on? Well, they disagreed on how to interpret the data the telescope obtained in regard to the age of the universe.

 

What does evolution have to do with the age of the universe?

The age of the universe is determined by other fields of science.

However, Ken Ham’s science book does not define the length of a day and is not specific about what is intended by the word begat. This literalism seems to be an obstacle to understanding any meaning of generation.

The term Founding Fathers will baffle these literalists, if they approach it the same way they approach the Bible.
 

At 47:00 Ken Ham claims that the Bible does not support any view of different races, such as might be used to support slavery, or a chosen people.

OK, Ken Ham did not mention that a literal interpretation of the Bible actually does support slavery of other races and does spend a lot of time on the chosen people, but this is Ken Ham, so he is only literal when it suits him. 😳
 

I am less than an hour in, but this is more than enough to show that Ken Ham does not understand science.
 

The evidence just for human evolution is extensive (1,950 papers – over 100 papers each year since 2006) and well reviewed by scientists.
 


PubMed search for “human evolution.”
 

The evidence for Creation science is insignificant (only 19 papers) – and most of these papers are critical of this oxymoron.
 


PubMed search for “creation science.”
 

Evolution is a branch of science.

Creation science is a form of religion.

The debate is between religious people who understand science and religious people who do not understand science.

Footnotes:

[1] Lysenkoism
Wikipedia
Article

[2] Denial, conspiracies, and misconceptions
HIV/AIDS
Wikipedia
Article

[3] Holocaust denial
Wikipedia
Article

[4] Vaccine controversies
Wikipedia
Article

.