Now this is how to critique Ken Ham’s creation “museum”

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This video is one of the most effective criticisms of Ham's horrible little monument to ignorance in Kentucky — it's a geological tour of the rocks the “museum” is built upon. It seems the creationists chose to build on some beautifully fossil-rich Ordovician layers.

It convinces me that if I were in the Cincinnati area I'd rather kick around in the hills around the area than to waste my time in a pile of bunk.

41 Comments

Nice video. Unfortunately he says, referring to the Ordovician: “Some of the very earliest life forms on Earth.” That should make IDers if not YECs happy, because that’s like saying that 1988 was one of the earliest years of the 1900s.

Class PZ.

One of the things I learned in geology at school was that there are no trilobite fossils anywhere on the island of Ireland at all.

Don’t know how the YEC’s can explain that one since, in a global flood scenario there should at least be some.

heh, I like the irony in the statement that it is the organization of the fossils from the sea communities that proves they were built up over time, while a flood deposit would’ve been randomized.

but i thought randomness was evolution and organization proved ID. Hopefully a few ID brains go into loopback over that.

There’s random and then there’s random. A good description of the difference is in a New Republic book review by Jerry Coyne titled ‘The Great Mutator’, a review of Behe’s ‘The Edge of Evolution’ at http://tinyurl.com/2bmmq7

“ON THE BASIS of much evidence, scientists have concluded that mutations occur randomly. The term “random” here has a specific meaning that is often misunderstood, even by biologists. What we mean is that mutations occur irrespective of whether they would be useful to the organism. Mutations are simply errors in DNA replication. Most of them are harmful or neutral, but a few of them can turn out to be useful. And there is no known biological mechanism for jacking up the probability that a mutation will meet the current adaptive needs of the organism. Bears adapting to snowy terrain will not enjoy a higher probability of getting mutations producing lighter coats than will bears inhabiting non-snowy terrain.

What we do not mean by “random” is that all genes are equally likely to mutate (some are more mutable than others) or that all mutations are equally likely (some types of DNA change are more common than others). It is more accurate, then, to call mutations “indifferent” rather than “random”: the chance of a mutation happening is indifferent to whether it would be helpful or harmful. Evolution by selection, then, is a combination of two steps: a “random” (or indifferent) step–mutation–that generates a panoply of genetic variants, both good and bad (in our example, a variety of new coat colors); and then a deterministic step–natural selection–that orders this variation, keeping the good and winnowing the bad (the retention of light-color genes at the expense of dark-color ones).

It is important to clarify these two steps because of the widespread misconception, promoted by creationists, that in evolution “everything happens by chance.” Creationists equate the chance that evolution could produce a complex organism to the infinitesimal chance that a hurricane could sweep through a junkyard and randomly assemble the junk into a Boeing 747. But this analogy is specious. Evolution is manifestly not a chance process because of the order produced by natural selection–order that can, over vast periods of time, result in complex organisms looking as if they were designed to fit their environment. Humans, the product of non-random natural selection, are the biological equivalent of a 747, and in some ways they are even more complex. The explanation of seeming design by solely materialistic processes was Darwin’s greatest achievement, and a major source of discomfort for those holding the view that nature was designed by God.”

Superb. Thank you. It’s a breath of fresh air to see kids out in the field, learning stuff that isn’t garbage. Has anyone ever seen a creationist looking for fossils?

someone should set up a minibus (staffed by clown geologists, for the kiddies) outside Ham’s museum, offering to drive people around the local fossil sites explaining the way the “idiot” scientists see things

One of the things I learned in geology at school was that there are no trilobite fossils anywhere on the island of Ireland at all.

Well, obviously St. Patrick drove them all out.

Bob

I´ll be in my bunk.

What we do not mean by “random” is that all genes are equally likely to mutate (some are more mutable than others) or that all mutations are equally likely (some types of DNA change are more common than others). It is more accurate, then, to call mutations “indifferent” rather than “random”: the chance of a mutation happening is indifferent to whether it would be helpful or harmful.

Or to put it in a more rigorous terminology, they are independent of the human-perceived “needs” or “desires” of the parent organism. (However, not independent of one another - some mutations may predispose to other mutations.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statis[…]independence

As for 747’s, if you see one, here are three ways that it may have come into existence -

1) It may have been gradually assembled from natural parts in a natural way that we can understand and explain if we bother to learn about it. This would be roughly analagous to how the theory of evolution explains the diversity of modern life.

2) It may have been magically poofed into existence by the Designer.

3) It may have resulted from a tornado blowing through a junkyard.

I don’t find “2)” convincing in the context of either modern life or 747’s.

As for “3)”, it’s an irrelevant straw man created by dishonest people who couldn’t argue with “1)”.

Peter Henderson Wrote:

One of the things I learned in geology at school was that there are no trilobite fossils anywhere on the island of Ireland at all.

Are you sure this is correct? I did a google for ‘trilobites in Ireland’ and got quite a few hits that look legit. An example is here.

-DU-

The 747 in a junkyard argument is actually perfectly congruous with evolution. We know that the tornado did not assemble the 747 because we know how 747’s are assembled. The design does not imply a mysterious designer. Rather, the pattern fits with what we know. In the natural world, we ask the question “how could this come to be.” We study it, discover multiple natural processes that produce the organism (or rock formation, or fairy ring, or moon craters). So now we see a bacterial flagellum, and we say it is a product of “natural selection” acting on a flexible, variable biological system, not a tornado. The design folks just can’t seem to grasp the idea that their own example is counter to their model (or at the least irrelevant). Well, actually some of them probably do, but their goal is religious proselytizing, not science.

Maybe there needs to be some sort of permanent display just outside the museum asking Ken to come out and show us the millions of bunny rabbits and teleostean fish and snakes and lizards and dinosaurs and dolphins and oysters and lobsters and.….that mysteriously aren’t present in the Ordovician sediments.

This is all very interesting, but it’s all human reason. Sounds very compelling but half of the Creation Museum’s exhibits argue that if human reason is contrary to the Bible, then human reason is wrong. End of story.

You can’t argue effectively against blind faith. Even when it appears to be foolish.

Father Wolf wrote:

“Sounds very compelling but half of the Creation Museum’s exhibits argue that if human reason is contrary to the Bible, then human reason is wrong.”

Fine, so give people a choice. You can trust your senses, the evidence and your (supposedly God given) ability to reason. Or you can go with something contrary to all evidence and all reason. Just ask yourself, which approach has proven to be more successful in every aspect of human existence? Besides, if you condemn human reason, how can you reason that you are correct about anything?

then human reason is wrong. End of story.

Human reason has taken us from the stone age to the space age. Life spans have gone up from USA, 1900=47 to 77. All sorts of neat stuff has happened lately as well, microwaves, cars, computers etc..We are the dominant species on the planet. So what is wrong with human reason?

Ham’s advice to jettison human reasoning is flat out cult nonsense. Human reasoning was given to us by god or chance and necessity. It is what makes us human, not just another animal living and then dying.

it is true that arguing against blind faith is pointless. But in the long run, blind faith and being wrong gets you nowhere.

Very cool. I used to live in Columbus, OH, and one day in my yard I found a rock that had a similar fossilized “seashell” as to what is shown in the video. I’m no geologist, but the rock I found looked more like sandstone than limestone to me. However, that can be caused by different sediments. Can anyone tell me if the ancient aquatic life in the present-day Cincinnati area was similar to the ancient aquatic life in the present-day Columbus area?

harold Wrote:

Or to put it in a more rigorous terminology, they are independent

At least as a first order theory. Evolving evolvability, if such a beast exists, would mostly concern adjusting mutation rates AFAIU. (Right, PvM?) And this layman can’t come up with a sensible example of anything more that could become selection dependent.

Which is probably luckily, because I imagine that evolution could then easily become stuck in a rut due to not sampling more of the solution space. As an example, say that adjusting body size is the only evolved response. Then a faster predator (because it has larger legs) may push a prey to become larger in response. But if food supply is limiting, the best response would have been just longer legs, instead of starvation to extinction.

Which is ironic, because planned response (“the design”) is a creationist wishful thought. Beware of your wishes…

Laser — Try web trawling on the search term

Bedrock Geologic Map of Ohio.

david stanton wrote:

Just ask yourself, which approach has proven to be more successful in every aspect of human existence?

Just to be clear, I was being ironic about human reason and religious faith.

Human existence (in Europe) began to improve about the time that thinkers and doers began to value human reason and observation over religious revelation and faith.

Nevertheless, there are right-wing Christians who think that the Enlightenment was the greatest disaster in recent history, and who are proud to be counted as “Fools for Christ”. No wonder, since the New Testament is sprinkled with references to the futility of human wisdom.

Of course, you just can’t reason with these people. The come inoculated against reason. All the evidence in the world won’t convince them.

(BTW - I grew up just north of Columbus, OH. Our limestone church building had a stone that prominently displayed fossils similar to the ones shown in the video. No one in this anti-evolution church ever mentioned them.)

raven wrote:

Ham’s advice to jettison human reasoning is flat out cult nonsense

I couldn’t agree more. See the post above.

In Europe, technology – and all the rest of human existence – was stagnant as long as society was in the grip of official religion.

mplavcan Wrote:

The 747 in a junkyard argument is actually perfectly congruous with evolution.

To us, but not to those who find the sound bite appealing. For the ~90% of the public that would never not believe that a designer is responsible, the best approach would be to avoid saying how biology shows signs of no designer (or an incompetent designer) but rather to note how the 747 was a result of decades of evolution of airplane design, not designed from scratch, as YEC and OEC assert, and ID implies for “higher” organisms. Of course, once they appreciate that evolution, including common descent and a ~4-billion year timeline, is the only reasonable conclusion of how/when the biological designs are actuated, then they should also appreciate that the analogy as used by anti-evolutionists is not really a good one, because it deliberately conflates abiogenesis and evolution.

Father Wolf

You can’t argue effectively against blind faith. Even when it appears to be foolish.

I don’t perceive active creationism of the Ken Ham/Bill Dembski variety as blind faith in a simple sense, but as an ideology that is grounded at least as much, if not more, in pragmatic, authoritarian social and political goals (eg promote legal discrimination against homosexuals), as in faith. The “literal” interpretation of the Bible that they promote is very cherry-picked indeed, and always “coincidentally” comes down in favor or harsh authoritarian rule by an elite.

Torbjörn Larsson -

I’m answering off the top of my head, but…

Of course, relative mutation rates within genes and parts of genes, can and will be selected for, within given environments.

Mutations in regulatory elements, such a DNA repair genes to use an extreme example, will greatly impact on the forward rate of mutation across many genes, one way or the other.

Tight or loose regulation or stability of individual genetic elements, at a very local level, can probably be selected for too, in some circumstances.

I meant to cover all of that with this statement -

However, not independent of one another - some mutations may predispose to other mutations.

However, at the time of an individual mutation, under no conceivable circumstances that I can think of can the DNA strand “know” that it “should” employ some kind of mystical force to mutate in a certain way, based on an evaluation of the instantaneous “needs” or “wants” of the cell or organism it is part of.

Past natural selection may have set the stage with constraints, such that the some mutations or mutation rates are much more likely than others, but the actual mutation that occurs, relative to “no mutation” or “a different mutation”, (at that site during that time period), is independent of the “needs” of the organism.

(I guess in this sense each individual mutation is random, strictly speaking, as well, with the constraints imposed by prior events merely setting up the distribution from which it is sampled. A prior mutation in a DNA repair gene merely changes the probability distribution that any given mutation will occur in any given time frame. Subsequent mutations are random events, but not independent, necessarily, of prior mutations. But still, the independence from the human-perceived “needs” of the organisms remains the fascinating part.)

This is a subtle distinction, but a key one, in my mind.

I haven’t dealt with “exactly simultaneous mutations”, of course, strictly speaking.

Thanks, David–very intersting!

Torbjörn and harold regarding evolved evolvability – There has been a lot of interesting research on this recently, particularly in microbes. You may remember that back in the mid- to late-90s, Cairns et.al. published some stuff suggesting that something like what harold described was happening. Their results indicated that somehow the bacteria were coming up with directed, adaptive mutations to solve the specific environmental stress they were experiencing. Of course, this would seem to require some improbable type of “knowledge” on the part of the bacteria or the environment or something to be able to understand the needs of the organisms and then alter their genes appropriately.

It later turned out that the bacteria were not so tightly directing their mutations to the gene(s) that would solve the problem. Instead, a subpopulation of cells within the colony increase their overall mutation rates during times of stress. The resulting mutations are blind in the neo-Darwinian sense, but by generating lots of extra diversity, the chances are raised that some hypermutating cells will hit upon a good solution before the colony dies out due to the stress. Thus, this seems to be an evolved response that increases the rate of evolution of the bacterial strain. Evolved evolvability.

There are also some examples of genes that can be turned on / off via regulated frameshift mutations. If I remember correctly, some parasitic microbes do this for the genes that produce their surface proteins. In so doing, they can keep dodging the host’s immune system. This may not quite be the sort of evolved evolvability you are talking about, but it is an example of how an organism can change its nucleotide sequence in an adaptive way in response to its environment.

Raven wrote:

“But in the long run, blind faith and being wrong gets you nowhere.”

Maybe, but in the short term it can make some people very powerful and wealthy.

Harold Wrote:

I don’t perceive active creationism of the Ken Ham/Bill Dembski variety as blind faith in a simple sense, but as an ideology that is grounded at least as much, if not more, in pragmatic, authoritarian social and political goals (eg promote legal discrimination against homosexuals), as in faith. The “literal” interpretation of the Bible that they promote is very cherry-picked indeed, and always “coincidentally” comes down in favor or harsh authoritarian rule by an elite.

The first sentence hits the nail on the head, but the second needs clarification. Classic creationists like Ham (YEC) and Hugh Ross (OEC) cherry-pick evidence to support their mutually contradictory “literal” interpretations, but Dembski does not directly promote any interpretation, but rather “cherry picks” evidence, definitions and quotes only to instill unreasonable doubt about evolution. Dembski has clearly indicated personal belief in at least OEC, has not challenged Michael Behe’s acceptance of common descent, yet has expressed greatest political sympathies toward YEC. IDers like Dembski don’t care what their audiences believe in terms of “literal” interpretations, only that they behave properly. If one privately accepts any more of evolution than Behe, one must not admit it. And whatever one believes, discussing any scientific weaknesses in, and inconsistencies among, “literal” interpretations, is discouraged.

Mike Z -

That is extremely interesting stuff.

I’ve often sort of blandly agreed when people say that “mutations are not random”.

Actually, that isn’t strictly true. They are random, from the human perspective, to the degree that anything can be random.

What people mean to say is that different mutations may have very different probabilities of occurring, within different environmental contexts.

In some well-studied cell lineages, under controlled conditions, we can probably even assign a probability, based on observation, of some individual mutation event occurring at least once, per unit of time or per DNA replication cycle.

But it’s a bit like knowing the frequency with which to expect a roll of “four” when you roll a six-sided die. It tells you how often four will come up in the long run, but it doesn’t tell you which individual future rolls will be four. And we can’t predict exactly where mutations can occur.

But the relative frequency of any type of mutation at any particular site may be greatly impacted by the effects of future mutations and interaction of the phenotype with the environment. However, that amounts to the equivalent of changing the number of fours printed on the die, or rolling multiple dice looking for at least one four. It changes the frequency distribution, but it doesn’t make the event any less random.

From a human perspective, though, the most counterintuitive yet elegant thing is that individual mutations are effectively independent of the human-perceived needs of the organism. That’s even true if the organism has, through prior mutation and natural selection, evolved a tendency to experience certain types of mutations more frequently in certain conditions.

But together with natural selection, random mutations independent of human perception of the parent organism’s “needs” (but certainly not independent of the genetic history of the organism’s lineage, nor of some elements of the interaction of its phenotype with the environment) leads to the emergence of highly adapted life.

In fact, it’s possible that evolvability is far more common than we realize.

About evolvability:

Because changes in the lengths of repeats can change the strength of promoters or shift the reading frame of genes, each of the genes associated with these repeats will have a range of activities within a population descended from essentially any individual with any one combination of repeat lengths (6, 118). For example, in Neisseria meningitidis, individuals with spacers of 11, 10, or 9 Gs between the ¡35 and ¡10 consensus motifs in its promoter have high, medium, or no detectable levels of expression of porA (119). Changes in the length of a repeat also may change how sensitive a gene is to being regulated by specific molecules in the environment. For example, in E. coli, as a tract of Ts that begins eight nucleotides from the promoter ¡10 region is shortened from seven to three, pyrimidine-mediated regulation of uracil phosphoribosyltransferase expression is reduced and then becomes undetectable (21).

Lynn Helena Caporale 2003. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 2003. 57:467—85 NATURAL SELECTION AND THE EMERGENCE OF A MUTATION PHENOTYPE: An Update of the Evolutionary Synthesis Considering Mechanisms that Affect Genome Variation

That’s just one paragraph with a particularly easy example from a paper full of more.

harold:

harold Wrote:

I meant to cover all of that with this statement -

However, not independent of one another - some mutations may predispose to other mutations.

[Grumpily] It does - when you know what to read into it. [/Grumpily]

Hmm. Maybe PvM will describe his idea of “evolving evolvability” one day. By the here quoted description of yours, which seems both powerful and accurate, the mechanisms are a subset of a regular mechanism and not an independent addition. (Not that it makes them less valuable.)

harold Wrote:

Subsequent mutations are random events, but not independent, necessarily, of prior mutations. But still, the independence from the human-perceived “needs” of the organisms remains the fascinating part.

Indeed. (Note that I wrote “planned response” in a comment, when I obviously meant and planned to write ““planned” response”. Alas, a seemingly “planned” slip of mind occured… :-)

It is perhaps akin to the problems to understand when QM similarly sets up correlations, so that when a measurement occurs properties of another part of the same QM system immediately is known though it could be light years away. Not unlike the classical system really, but the random outcome of the measurement makes it conceptually difficult anyway.

And in evolution the correlations occur over time to add even more conceptual problems.

Mike:

The bacteria group thingie was fascinating. “Sacrificial lambs” (though with some probability for success) for the good of the community.

Of course, slime molds do something similar when some of them offers up to become a stalk to allow the others sexual reproduction to be more successful. But the general mechanism gets me every time. Anthropomorphizing again…

Mike Wrote:

This may not quite be the sort of evolved evolvability you are talking about,

Yes, at some point it would be difficult to demarcate evolution “constrained by history” and “evolving evolvability”, wouldn’t it?

HEY. I AM NOT SURE WHERE TO POST THIS. CHECK THE LINK W. DEMBSKI HAS IN HIS LATEST POST IN UD.

TL Wrote:

Not unlike the classical system really, but the random outcome of the measurement makes it conceptually difficult anyway.

Perhaps a little bit cryptic.

I meant that it is easy to think, due to the random outcome, that there is “a (faster-than-light) signal” sent to the other part of the system, when it is really only a correlation.

And that is much the same mistake as when correlations and constraints produced by variation and selection seems to make a “planned and/or constructed response, i.e. design”.

[Now, I don’t want to credit creationists with trying to make sense of the QM situation. And most of them are willfully embracing the strawman for ‘biological mechanism’ anyway.

I think I’m just saying that on a more reasonable plane there is a confusing factor. But creationists haven’t got to a reasonable place yet…]

Ernie Wrote:

LINK

Don’t shout when you have an audience.

Well, it is bad that two newspapers put in op-eds from creationists on science instead of religion, though it seems to be old news.

And you don’t have to go longer than to Dembski’s post to get the explanation for the op-eds. Creationists confuse untested theories (such as string theory) with tested theories (such as evolution).

Even Dembski admits that evolution has been tested successfully - but he thinks the theory makes a separation between microevolution and the strawman for macroevolution creationists babbles about. It doesn’t.

Besides, for 29+ Evidences for biological (not creationist) Macroevolution, go here. The fossil record is one easy evidence, and the successful prediction of the transitional characters as embodied in Tiktaalik, its age, and its location in the geological record is an easy test to understand. (The test itself happens to coincide with the creationist ‘definition’ of macroevolution, btw.)

When creationists explain why they refuse to look at the evidence for the theories they criticize, even more find evidence that supports an alternative theory, now that would be real news.

In Europe, technology — and all the rest of human existence — was stagnant as long as society was in the grip of official religion.

“There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.” Richard Lederer, “Anguished English”

Frank J -

Dembski does not directly promote any interpretation, but rather “cherry picks” evidence, definitions and quotes only to instill unreasonable doubt about evolution. Dembski has clearly indicated personal belief in at least OEC, has not challenged Michael Behe’s acceptance of common descent, yet has expressed greatest political sympathies toward YEC

You’re absolutely right that Dembski would make claims not to be a YEC Biblical literalist (unless he were speaking in front of a crowd of YEC Biblical literalists).

The thing is, as long time posters here know, “ID” is mainly just a (failed) scheme to court-proof creationism in public schools.

The DI is largely if not entirely funded by Christian reconstructionists and others who overtly support authoritarian brutality justified by “religion”, half the “fellows” are outright YEC (although they may try to hide that fact in weasely ways), and the widely circulated Wedge Document expresses radical and authoritarian political and social goals that are compatible with a Taliban-like regime.

I’ve repeatedly posted the fact that almost all proponents of ID are authoritarian right wing “Christian Conservatives” who favor the death penalty for homosexuality and the like, and challenged any “liberal” or “moderate” creationists or ID advocates to speak up. No-one ever does, and no-one will this time.

Note that people who accept science have diverse religious and political beliefs, but ID/creationists are remarkably invariant. Since creationism and ID (unlike most other religion-related claims) can be demonstrated to be false, but preference for harsh, authoritarian, somewhat sex-obsessed political and social systems is a subjective judgment, I assume that the latter, which is incompatible with my personal ethical system but not with logic, strictly speaking, is driving the claim of belief in the former.

Whether it’s blathering, dissembling pseudo-philosophy and pseudo-science, or the cherry-picked harshest phrases or most scientifically impossible legends (probably not taken literally when written down 3000 years ago) from a translation of a translation of a translation of an incomplete compendium of ancient books presented as a “literal interpretation”, they barely believe themselves (I’m sure many of them aren’t consciously lying - some are - but the cognitive dissonance is probably pretty strong).

My impression is that the underlying motivation is the commitment to being part of an authoritarian movement.

Of course, this begs a deeper question. It’s clear why a person with an authoritarian agenda would be predisposed to claim (and to some degree, to consciously believe) that the Bible justifies his otherwise unpopular agenda. Why human beings support dystopian authoritarian regimes at all is a question I cannot answer.

I merely note that the evidence suggests that this is the primary root cause of the ID/creationism claims.

I grew up fossil hunting in those very rocks with my father and my brother. Literally walking on that rich history still gets me excited whenever I go home. Thanks so much for this video. It sparked some great memories.

Brother Harold unable to conclude “[w]hy human beings support dystopian authoritarian regimes at all is a question I cannot answer,” appears somewhat agitated.

However

earlier Shenda offered the following suggestion in response to a different observation which may be applicable: “Maybe, but in the short term it can make some people very powerful and wealthy.”

Perhaps there is some advantage to promoting these authoritarian regimes. To paraphrase Mel Brooks “it’s good to be the King”. The only drawback in a naturalistic system to Get the stuff, promote your stuff, make everyone want your stuff is it comes down to try and keep your stuff. But with a supernatural aspect the part that can be handed out doesn’t cost anything.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

harold Wrote:

The thing is, as long time posters here know, “ID” is mainly just a (failed) scheme to court-proof creationism in public schools.

Yes, but the reason for omitting what the designer did, when and how, as opposed to omitting the designer’s identity, is *not* because teaching creationism was banned, but because creationists were facing insurmountable scientific problems, both in terms of supporting any of the common alternative accounts (YEC, several OECs) and from the fact that they themselves couldn’t agree which was the best account. Not to mention competition from non-Biblical “ultra old human” creationisms creeping into the picture.

The new generation of ID-based activists must surely know that at least Behe, if not his “theistic evolutionist” critics, are correct on the details (whats, whens, hows). But admitting so much would alienate the very audience they are trying to placate. IDers may not take Genesis literally, but as you say, they do interpret the Bible’s “thou shalts” as literally as classic creationists, and they fear that the “masses” would not follow the “thou shalts” unless their particular interpretation of Genesis is validated, even if only by what they infer from the arguments against “Darwinism.”

Think of it this way: If there were the slightest evidence to support an independent origin (abiogenesis) of species, the activists would jump at the chance at supporting it on its own merits, and just leave out the design language, as is done in the purely negative (& misleading) “teach the controversy” scam. That would be a real “court-proof creationism.” And if the years before Henry Morris are any indication, few people would have had a problem if it were old-Earth, as long as they could be assured that they didn’t “come from a monkey.”

Sorry to keep repeating my same old line for years. It’s not even my original idea, but sadly, I seem to be the only one who emphasizes it.

In reply to comment #186505.…

“heh, I like the irony in the statement that it is the organization of the fossils from the sea communities that proves they were built up over time, while a flood deposit would’ve been randomized.

but i thought randomness was evolution and organization proved ID. Hopefully a few ID brains go into loopback over that.”

Not exactly. Evolution is natural selection, which is anything -but- random. Natural selection weeds out the bad morphologies and allows only for the survival of the good morphologies. Add to that the fact that different species only exist in certain spans of time, such as dinosaurs in the mesozoic, or trilobites in the paleozoic. What the person in the video is referencing is the fact that this is observable within these rocks, whereas were they all either deposited by the biblical flood or had they all been living together with organisms thought to be more recent, we would see them preserved with these recent specimens.

Frank J Wrote:

Classic creationists like Ham (YEC) and Hugh Ross (OEC) cherry-pick evidence to support their mutually contradictory “literal” interpretations, but Dembski does not directly promote any interpretation, but rather “cherry picks” evidence, definitions and quotes only to instill unreasonable doubt about evolution.

[Hmm… hmm…la…laaa…] … A one … A two … A one, two, … “I’mma eat that plum, pop that cherry, lick chocolate from your banana split” … [/End lyrics. Artist makes quick stage exit before pelted with lots and lots of over-ripe picked cherries. …

Unfortunately he trips and falls down a dark shaft into a deep creationist quote mine. …

A lighted candle shines dimly in the distance to the right. From the left comes what sounds like inane jabberings. …

Could it be … anything untestable, easily bypassing the useless Dembski filter trap carelessly left on the cave floor? Or … the noise of a flapping irreducible flagellum on a Behe malaria parasite, created by a cavernous creationist mind and unleashed on a hapless humanity because it is the moral thing to do? Or … the slithering slime mould formerly known as John West? Or … the gruesome flesh of a zombie Ham that slipped the dungeon and now haunts the dark and primitive domains of the common creationist cave dweller?

Only time will tell. This story won’t.]

The new generation of ID-based activists must surely know that at least Behe, if not his “theistic evolutionist” critics, are correct on the details (whats, whens, hows). But admitting so much would alienate the very audience they are trying to placate.

I should add that, by never endorsing YEC directly and occasionally admitting at least OEC, IDers do alienate most YEC leaders, but that’s a small price to pay for reaching a wider audience.

I know this story has been posted for a while now, but I have to get my $0.02 in…

My family and I have just returned from Caesar Creek State Park, north of Cincinnati, where we specifically visited to go fossil hunting. We found some excellent examples of Brachiopods, Bryozoans, and even a Crinoid that was laying by itself. We saw a Criniod that appeared to have tunneled through a Brachiopod shell, but we were prevented by the rules of the park from removing it (you can’t take anything that won’t fit in your palm).

It’s amazing, and more than a little humbling, to walk less than 100 meters from the road, look down, and see literally thousands of fossils that are millions of years old. It is a trip that our 6 year old will keep with her forever. I know my wife and I will.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on July 7, 2007 5:33 PM.

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