My Understanding of Evolution

A long time ago I promised @wizexel22 and @Airborne_Muse that I would clarify my understanding of evolution in order to expand on an earlier post condemning a religious person for being blatantly stupid about the evidence he’d require to “believe” it. Since I’ve migrated my blog over to my own WordPress site I figured I’d post the link here and hope they see it. This post on The Wayward Willis sums up my thoughts on some very common misconceptions about evolution and what it means.

Oh, and feel free to subscribe to and “Like” my WordPress site.

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Good Enough For Me, Part II

Inn a previous post I discussed the “good enough” mentality that most Christians have regarding their faith and the infallibility of the scriptures.  That post aimed broadly at the Christian faith overall but there’s a sinister implementation of this mentality I’d like to address now.  This post pertains to the “good enough” mentality regarding the Theory of Evolution.

Christian Descent of Man
"If any monkey pick up his cross and follow me..."

Above is a Christian parody of the Descent of Man illustration from a fairly well-written Revelife article on the Christian misunderstandings of evolution.  You may want to take a minute and read it.  This post will still be here when you get back.

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Rampant Misunderstanding of Evolution

Look, I’m no scientist. I don’t even claim to be smarter than a lot of people. But when some Internet creationist retard comes up with a line like this, it only serves to make me feel like I’m at least smarter than one more person on the planet.

Very simple. Since you “scientists” claim that evolution is a continual, gradual process, where are the ‘tweeners?

Chimps that can talk (besides you)?
Gorillas that have built split-level ranch houses?
Monkeys that can fashion and use a bow-and-arrow?

Show me any of these, and you will have convinced me….


Evulooshin

Talk about impressive ignorance wrapped up into one tidy little package! What makes me mad is that people like this – and there are a lot of them – don’t even care enough to know what the claims of evolution are, let alone whether these would be valid. To them, the statement above represents wholesale their complete understanding of the Theory of Evolution, period. We came from monkeys. My response:

Evolution does not, in any way, make the claim that humans are the pinnacle of the evolutionary process. Therefore, it’s stupid to assume that the next step for chimps would be building condos or talking on cell phones. It’s also stupid because you seem to still be under the misguided impression that humans came from apes. They didn’t, and evolution will never tell you they did.


I’m sorry, this is just funny.

I’m really tired of dealing with stupid bastards and their “my beliefs are right no matter what and I’m not going to listen to you if you say otherwise” attitude! These are the same people pushing for efforts to keep all of our nation’s school children as stupid as they are by voting in creotards to office. Like this guy who, after posting a huge, blinding wall of text, posted this:

ill apologize for my grammar ahead of all the dumb “your grammar sucks” jokes. it was most certainly not my best subject in school and quite boring.

Well, duh! In addition, since it’s clear grammar was too taxing on your ignorant little brain there’s no hope on my part that you would ever come to even the most rudimentary understanding of how anything in the world works, let alone evolution! No, we wouldn’t want to pay attention in school now, would we? We might actually start to…gasp…THINK! And, look, I don’t like to talk about politics so I usually don’t but does it surprise anyone that these morons proclaim from the mountaintops that they’re proud Conservative Republicans and worship Ronald Reagan? I mean, really. Does it?

Wake up, you ridiculous imbeciles! Stop making our country so damned stupid!

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Complexity Does Not Equal Intelligence

Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist, but I did once stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

Intelligent Design (ID) or as I prefer to call it, Incompetent Design, advocates have stated that the universe, the Earth, and the human body are so complex they couldn’t possibly have “just happened” or evolved. The Irreducible Complexity argument fails to take into account a very elementary concept: fewer moving parts mean fewer points of failure.

It’s representative of a very basic and fundamental flaw in reasoning that a person could look at the human body and think it’s been designed by some being of incredible intelligence outside of space and time as we know it. Had the human body been designed (by a being more intelligent than a high-schooler), we should expect to see the fewest possible parts serving the maximum possible purpose. We should not expect to see vestigial or redundant organs and bone structures or organs that are inferior to other examples in nature that serve the same purpose.

When you then attribute this work to a god who is said to be perfect and all-knowing then you have huge hurdles to overcome. If this god knows everything and doesn’t make mistakes, then why does it appear that the human body has undergone major overhauls and gone “back to the drawing board” several times? The design of the human body certainly doesn’t indicate any kind of special creation over any other animals on the planet as we have much the same structures and mechanisms that every other living being has except some of ours don’t work as well. We’re susceptible to all sorts of diseases and conditions that make our bodies frail and lead to devastating failure. This isn’t the mark of an expert craftsman.

This is a ridiculous argument for IDers to make and I don’t know why they continue to do it. I’m talking to you, Demski and Craig. Quit it!

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“You Weren’t There!”

When did “you weren’t there” become a valid argument against something for which there’s ample evidence? Why are religious people still using this worn-out, ridiculous meme to try and disprove the Big Bang, abiogenesis or evolution? Let me break down why I, personally, think it’s (I’m not going to mince words) stupid.

Your Grandparents
You weren’t there when your grandparents were born, yet you accept it as fact because your very existence testifies to the event necessarily occurring at some point. This, of course, isn’t direct and verifiable evidence because all you have is (possibly) a paper trail and word-of-mouth testimony.

Your Parents
You weren’t there when your parents were born, yet you accept it as fact for the same reasons as above. You accept that there’s sufficient evidence to produce a working explanation of your descent through your parents and grandparents and you really don’t feel the need to question it a whole lot. You’d never really consider arguing with your parents about these things, using the “you weren’t there” rebuttal, would you?

What would happen if you found evidence that shook the foundations of your knowledge as to your origin? What if you were adopted or conceived via artificial insemination? In this case you’d be mistaken that your parents are actually your parents. Would you re-evaluate the evidence and adjust your understanding/beliefs to fit the facts as you know them? Would you do more research to understand why you were originally mistaken? It makes sense that you would.

Conclusion
Having used the “you weren’t there” argument against scientific concept x, why are you doggedly arguing for a god’s creation of the universe, or the Great Flood, or the crucifixion or Armageddon? You realize that you weren’t there, right? You further realize that the authors of the Bible weren’t there either, right? How is it that your rebuttal “works” against science but not against your own unfounded beliefs? Seriously, what’s the deal with that?

Since your creation myths and outlandish tales of huge, supernatural miracles that left no trace behind seem so implausible — and you’ve been given massive amounts of evidence to explain how these things have come about (just do a search and see for yourself!) — why would you not re-evaluate your beliefs and adjust accordingly? I’m not saying you have to blindly accept whatever some scientist(s) says, but you can’t declare yourself informed while ignoring everything that contradicts what you believe. And you certainly can’t justify using “you weren’t there” to refute scientific theories that have withstood harsh scrutiny from the global scientific community and a barrage of purposely ignorant fundies.

Educate yourself! Learn something! Open your eyes to facts!

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