"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Sep 8, 2008

Creationism fails at even basic biology

Doing my usual round of the creationist vs evolutionary theory blogs and articles I came across an excellent short post on the "For Knowledge" blog. There the author makes the point that evolutionary theory is the least of the problems that creationism has.

The author points out that creationism has problems even with basic biology as it was understood long before the theory of evolution was developed and, in particular he shows how it is challenged by taxonomy and by the work of Carl Linnaeus, who laid the foundations of taxonomy.

Belief in a mankind made "in the image" of God has to be reconciled to the undeniable similarity between humans and the great apes in their bodily structure and form and in their behaviour both individually and in groups.( See this recent example). Even if Evolutionary theory was dismissed, this glaring inconsistency must be explained away by Bible literalists. Did God make mankind in his image and the great apes "almost" in his image? This cannot be squared with Bible accounts without a great deal of wriggling.

I have made the point before and made the same comment in the "For Knowledge" blog that we should be challenging Creationism and IDiocy not just on their fallacies in respect of Evolution but also on their other challenges to modern scientific understanding.

In another post on another blog, the "ParisTampaBlog" the author eloquently makes essentially the same point. As rationalists, we need to be taking the fight to the Creationists and IDiots and showing how their "explanations" are contradictory not only to modern Evolutionary science but also how they are refuted by a vast range of evidence across a number of scientific disciplines.


Looney said...

This does remind me of a friend of mine who elected not to continue a graduate degree in zoology. The group he was working with was focused on spiders. They would study spiders and document the behavior thoroughly. When this was done, they would concoct a story about how it fit into evolution theory. Any story would do and the more imagination, the better, as long as evolution got the credit in the end. Since he wouldn't play the game, he couldn't complete his degree. Looks like nothing has changed in the science of evolution! ;-)

Bunc said...

Actually Looney your story sort of misses the point of my post which was not actually about evolution per se.

The point is that, even without positing evolutionary connectedness between say Man and great Apes, the form, structure and behaviour of Man and great ape species when compared is so similar that it poses a problem for Bible literalists.

The Bible speaks about Man being made in the image of God and it has nothing to say about Apes being "quite a bit in his image" also.

The more that is found about eg Ape behaviour ( as illustrated by that one link - I could give you dozens more) the clearer it is that there is a strong similarity between Ape behaviour and the behaviour of Homo Sapiens.

This proves our connectedness to the natural world as an animal and begins to weaken arguments which are based on our special place in the order of things in some way distinct from animal origins.

The Bible has nothing to say about us being related to other animals - whether this happened through evolution or through some moment of creation 6,000 years ago.

This proves that the authorS of the Bible knew nothing of these things and reinforces the logical conclusion that the Bible was written by MEN writing in a particular cultural and historical context.

It demolishes the argument that the Bible is somehow the word of a God because an all knowing God would surely know of this and have included it.

No doubt you will find some obscure passage in the Bible which with a bit of twisting you can use to explain this away. I am sure however that anyone willing to step aside from their religious brainwashing can see the point here and that its actually nothing to do with Evolution - it is about a fundamental challenge to the alleged authority of the Bible as a complete explanation of the place of man in this world.

It sounds as though your friend failed his degree in Zoology which I find hardly surprising as the theory of Evolution as an explanation for the connectedness of living things is what underpins the whole of modern biology.

Its like complaining that someone was failed for their degree in physics because they refused to "concoct" and explanation for gravity using space time.

Sure if he was some genius that had a new theory which explained all the currently known facts he might have some cause for complaint.

Otherwise he is just another dumb religious hick who let his religious beliefs get in the way of a proper eductation.

As you can tell I have little sympathy for this particular story.

Looney said...

Well, whether my friend was up to a zoology degree or not, I don't know, but the point is that the relationship between animals per evolutionary theory in zoology is pure fantasy - so evolution really isn't any king of scientific alternative. Fantasy can explain anything.

Certainly the biological similarities are there between various critters and humans, but I always take this as evidence of a common creator. "Created in the image of God" is a phrase with a lot of ambiguity and probably meaning a lot of things.

Now perhaps this is just a competition between 3,000 year old fantasies and modern fantasies by ivory tower dimwits. Can you really make a mathematically robust deduction from that?

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