Complete list of evidence against biological evolution

| 134 Comments

RationalWiki has posted an exhaustive list of evidence that evolution is a hoax.

Thanks to Mike Klymkowsky for the tip.

134 Comments

Exactly - tumbleweeds are irreducibly complex, full of CSI, and could not possibly have evolved!

So tumbleweeds are the visual equivalent of crickets?

Rather more terse than the “creationist claims” list over on talk.origins. Wait to see what Denyse O’Luskin has to say about THIS!

“Listening to a creationist arguing science is like watching a dog chasing a car. There’s a lot of running and barking, but if he catches it, he has absolutely no idea of how to drive.”

WATERLOO!!111!!!eleven!!!one!!!!

I’m glad that they could manage a truly comprehensive list.

All of it should be taught in biology classes.

Glen Davidson

And I emphatically agree with every single item on the list and DEMAND that every evolutionist acknowledge their absolute truth!!

And I demand that every biology teacher in every high school, charter school, private school, home school and every advisor to the Texas Board of Education teach every single one of these arguments!

Wait. Didn’t somebody prove that if you leave a jar of peanut butter, it won’t turn into a living creature? Plus, if we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys around? Why aren’t they on that list, darn it? Didn’t Darwin deny evolution on his death bed?

I always knew it was a hoax. And the tumbleweed is still a tumbleweed. It didn’t evolve into a water buffalo as I watched it.

Karen S. said:

I always knew it was a hoax. And the tumbleweed is still a tumbleweed. It didn’t evolve into a water buffalo as I watched it.

And why is it we never see a true transitional form, such as a tumbleuffalo?

The lone cowboy stared at the haze of dust rising on the horizon. As his horse nickered nervously, he spat contemptuously in the dirt, knowing full well that the drift fence he’d just repaired would contain the oncoming thundering herd of tumbleweeds. “Them city slickers don’t know whut they’re missin’,” he thought,”payin’ over a hunnert dollars for a fancified green Christmas tree when they could have their very own real ‘Merkan tumbleweed.”

He sighed at the memories of the gaudily-bedecked tumbleweeds from holidays past, spat the last of his chew, and cantered out to guide the stragglers back to the herd. Yep, life was good.

Nice story, but there’s also the amusement that tumbleweeds are an invasive species from the Ukraine. They were unknown in the USA until after the Civil War.

True Facts!

That audio of the preacher linked to by Cheryl’s name is still the standard shtick containing the typical straw man arguments that ID/creationists still believe are their “slam dunk” arguments that will embarrass every teacher and professor of science.

Creationists flaunt their ignorance forever, no matter how many times they have been debunked.

This is one very bad preacher who rails in smug arrogance against things about which he knows absolutely nothing. He just makes up crap as he goes. He can’t even read the high school level books in front of him.

Children should not be preachers.

Mike Elzinga said:

Children should not be preachers.

Many people who believe that God created the universe and everything in it make the mistake of equating evolution with naturalism and so, rant against evolution.

Many people who believe that life is the result of evolution make the mistake of equating evolution with naturalism and so, rant against super-naturalism.

There is much room for thinking on both sides of the aisle.

0112358 said:

Mike Elzinga said:

Children should not be preachers.

Many people who believe that God created the universe and everything in it make the mistake of equating evolution with naturalism and so, rant against evolution.

Many people who believe that life is the result of evolution make the mistake of equating evolution with naturalism and so, rant against super-naturalism.

There is much room for thinking on both sides of the aisle.

I have been following ID/creationist “thinking” since the 1970s, beginning with Henry Morris’s and Duane Gish’s constant mischaracterizations of science that still continue to this very day on the ICR, AiG, and DI websites.

The only “thinking” that has ever taken place among ID/creationists has been political strategizing to get around the courts and for taunting scientists into debates in order to get a free ride on the coattails of legitimate scientists. Not one ID/creationist has ever done any research that demonstrates ID/creationism has any purchase in the real world.

There is not one, I repeat, not one ID/creationist that understands or can articulate any scientific concept.

That preacher hit every wrong note. That makes him not only irresponsible, but dishonest as well.

Children should not be preachers.

Fibber said:

Many people who believe that life is the result of evolution make the mistake of equating evolution with naturalism and so, rant against super-naturalism.

People rant against super-naturalism because of a total lack of credible evidence for super-naturalism. Evolution has noting to do with it.

Most of us who criticise the supernaturalism in creationism also criticise supernaturalism in ghost-chasing, fortune telling, clairvoyance, demonic possession, magic (er, I mean magick), and so on. What’s more, we also tend to criticise pseudonaturalism (that is, supernaturalism dressed up to look like natural science) like ID, quantum healing, homeopathy, etc.

One thing I do agree on: material naturalists like myself can learn a lot from supernatural theories. For one thing, we’ll never run out of logical fallacies to study. One day, when neuroscience is more advanced, I’d love to watch the development of the field of neurofallacious theory, which would in principle be a comprehensive theory of the structure of fallacious arguments and the neurological feedback loops that make them so persistent even in the face of overwhelming fail.

I am reminded of some old country song with the line “drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.”

Many people who believe that God created the universe and everything in it make the mistake of equating evolution with naturalism and so, rant against evolution.

Many, but by no means all, religious people, do indeed rant illogically against evolution. I also hear people ranting against “naturalism”, although without bothering to clarify exactly what they mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism.

Many people who believe that life is the result of evolution

The theory of evolution explains the diversity and relatedness of life on earth, but not the origin of life on earth.

make the mistake of equating evolution with naturalism and so, rant against super-naturalism.

I haven’t encountered this.

I’ve encountered many people who object to teaching religious dogma as “science” in public schools. I’ve encountered many people who are not religious. I’ve encountered many people who reject logically false arguments in favor of religion. I’ve encountered many people (both religious and not religious) who take supernatural or unscientific claims with healthy skepticism.

Of course, maybe you think that people should uncritically accept things like “the number 13 brings bad luck”, and that failing to do so is a “rant against supernaturalism”.

There is much room for thinking on both sides of the aisle.

I suppose this is trivially true.

However, I certainly object to the implied false equivalence between creationists and rational people who happen not to be religious.

This is one very bad preacher who rails in smug arrogance against things about which he knows absolutely nothing. He just makes up crap as he goes. He can’t even read the high school level books in front of him.

I got exactly as far as the “if the first sentence is false it must all be false” bullshit at the beginning.

1) That’s so trivially false that any honest person can see the logical error. Some parts of a book can be true while other parts are false. In fact, the Bible contains internal contradictions, parts that advise against following other parts, and also, however, many parts that almost anyone would accept as “true”. (If it were logically valid, it would be an obvious argument that nothing in the Bible is “true”, since insects don’t have four legs, pi doesn’t equal three, and so on, but it’s logically absurd.)

2) It’s also obnoxious, creepy, emotional blackmail.

3) Remember that this line of “reasoning” has nothing to do with sincere theological inquiry (whatever one may think of theological inquiry). He’s just winding up to start demanding a harsh, sadistic, authoritarian social system, with, by some coincidence, himself as one of the privileged authorities. Since that won’t be popular, he’ll argue that you have to take it, and like it too, because “God commands it”. But since that claim about God will be disputed by plenty of religious people, he’ll pull out the false arguments that “the entire Bible has to be literally true”, and then, in a display or pure self-serving hypocrisy, proceed to cherry pick a few obscure harsh or blatantly mythological passages to be “literally true”, while acting completely in conflict with far more important passages.

Reminds me of the opening scene of The Big Lebowski. Also reminds me of the Compendium of Jewish Professional Athletes and the Complete Collection of Irish Erotic Literature.

Cool images of the Flying Spaghetti Monster noodling from left to right.

Compendium of Jewish Professional Athletes

Although you are possibly Jewish yourself if you made that joke, and I am not, still, in the interest of combating stereotypes…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o[…]sportspeople

harold said:

Compendium of Jewish Professional Athletes

Although you are possibly Jewish yourself if you made that joke, and I am not, still, in the interest of combating stereotypes…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o[…]sportspeople

Books with titles similar to these actually exist, and I’m guessing that their authors were Jewish and Irish respectively (the ex-girlfriends who showed them to me were). Just like with the Michael Scott character in The Office, I’m making fun OF stereotypes, not making fun THROUGH stereotypes. And why did someone put that Wikipedia page together in the first place? Is there some connection between sports and religion I don’t know about? Blacks are underrepresented in golf - is there a Wikipedia page for them too?

Matt G. -

My comment was actually not intended to be critical.

I was completely non-offended by your comment, and by the Wikipedia page, which I found interesting. I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world, but I do follow some sports, and know some people who grew up with one of the people mentioned on the page.

I don’t know who put the page up, I can’t think of any argument against it being there, and anyone who wants to can put up a web site or Wiki article about the African-American experience in golf, any time.

A bit off topic but nothing on Tennessee?

harold said:

Matt G. -

My comment was actually not intended to be critical.

I was completely non-offended by your comment,

Harold - I didn’t think you were being critical, and hope I didn’t come across as defensive. (Off off topic: There’s an interesting discussion over at Pharyngula about acceptance of interracial (etc.) marriage).

“Remember that this line of “reasoning” has nothing to do with sincere theological inquiry”

hahahahhahahhhhhoooooooohuihuihui…serious theology…like serious inquiry into the existence of hobbits in england, eh?

As there is no evidence except the brainfart products of various tribes and societies, mythologies codified without any reference to any objective observable phenomenon, how can theology anything but ridiculous. I let it pass to analyze the various not so holy books with the tools of litarary criticism - but THEOLOGY, that is like taking Fafnir serious as an actual entity.

Theology is as much a con as any religion it “studies”. Clouds of fluff upon clouds of fluff with the angels dancing on the head of a pin.

peter said: Theology is as much a con as any religion it “studies”.

Theologians observe the unobservable, define the undefinable, know the unknowable, rationalize the irrational - and want you to give them money for doing it.

Just Bob said:

Mike E.,

Please don’t see this as some sort of smart-aleck challenge or gotcha. I REALLY admire your work here and the time you devote to it.

Lately you’ve taken to making the entirely defensible statement that creationists are unable to articulate a concept in science. I think I know what you mean by that, but I would like an example. Would you articulate a scientific concept? That way I, and maybe some others, will have a more concrete idea of what you mean when you use that phrase.

Thanks, Just Bob

Oops; sorry I missed your question, Bob. I’ve been away from the computer for a while.

And no; I do not see your question as a smart-aleck challenge. In fact it is an important part of an instructor’s obligation as well as a tool to get students to start becoming more precise in their understanding of concepts. One gets at that by asking a student to articulate a concept rather than simply recite a definition or an equation.

I’ll grab a couple of examples where I have tried to articulate specific concepts to laypersons here on Panda’s Thumb. These are stripped of the most of the more precise mathematical specifications for a very good reason. Anyone can write down a formula; but the point is to explain what is behind the formula.

There are a number of such examples on this thread dealing thermodynamics.

There are some more examples in one of my talks and PowerPoint presentations at a Science Café here.

Here is a common one that can be addressed at several levels of conceptual ability.

“Explain why things fall.”

An answer one can expect from conceptual levels common in pre-adolescents and middle schoolers:

“Because of gravity.”

Q: “But what is gravity?”

A: “Gravity makes things fall.”

An answer one can expect from many high school students and beginning college students:

“Because of the Universal Law of Gravitation which, according to Newton, says that bodies attract with a force that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.”

Q: “But what is mass?”

A: “Mass is what makes them attract and gives them inertia.”

Q: “Why do masses attract?”

A: “Because of the Law of Gravitation?”

An answer one might start seeing from upper level college student in physics:

It is an experimental fact. For example, two spherical bodies placed in space will accelerate toward each other. The acceleration tells us that these bodies attract because forces cause accelerations.”

An answer one might expect to see from an upper level or beginning graduate student:

“Masses move on the geodesics in space-time. Mass bends space-time which then produces the geodesics along which the masses move.”

One can continue on up the ladder in this and start delving into the connections between mass and energy and space-time; but at this level, one must rely on the mathematics.

There are a number of things to look for in explanations, depending on the level one aims them and what cognitive skills one can expect from the student.

At the lower levels of cognitive skills, we see explanations given in terms of definitions and authorities. As cognitive levels begin to develop, we start to see what is referred to as the early stages of “reductionist” kinds of thinking. Here we see the probing for more basic or fundamental concepts on which the observations rest (atoms, forces, distance, time, mass, kinematics and dynamics).

Moving up a little further, we get into phenomenological types of explanations that rely on only what is experimentally and objectively observable. You may have heard of “logical positivism.” But here the general idea is that one is not to speculate on things that cannot be directly observed in principle.

Climbing higher, we start getting into postulated models from which experimental and objectively observable consequences can be quantitatively specified. Those models may contain “unobservables” in the sense of technological limitations which, in principle can be overcome. Unobservables “in principle” start crossing the line into the supernatural. However, if some clever individual actually finds a way - using natural, experimentally verifiable methods – to observe that “unobservable” that unobservable leaves the realm of the supernatural. Neutrinos come close to an example of this, but now neutrinos are used routinely in making observations.

I can go on; but in just explaining these examples, I am articulating a set of concepts.

There have been a lot of studies on just what kinds of concepts can be understood and explained at various ages of normal growth in cognitive ability. And there are also techniques teachers can use to start students along the paths that can enhance that development.

A bit of a long answer; hope it helps. There is so much more.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

Thanks, Mike.

And I can congratulate myself for being at the grad student level of gravity concepts. As soon as you mentioned it, my thoughts were “Einstein: mass warping space-time.”

Could your statement that creationists can’t articulate scientific concepts be a bit of hyperbole? Surely some could explain some concepts, at least at lower levels. True, they rarely, if ever, do when they’re in creationist mode, but in an area where their bible-blather doesn’t immediately kick in, I imagine they could articulate a few reasonably well.

As a general statement, though, I think you’re right on.

Just Bob said:

Thanks, Mike.

And I can congratulate myself for being at the grad student level of gravity concepts. As soon as you mentioned it, my thoughts were “Einstein: mass warping space-time.”

Could your statement that creationists can’t articulate scientific concepts be a bit of hyperbole? Surely some could explain some concepts, at least at lower levels. True, they rarely, if ever, do when they’re in creationist mode, but in an area where their bible-blather doesn’t immediately kick in, I imagine they could articulate a few reasonably well.

As a general statement, though, I think you’re right on.

At 4:30 am I had to shut down and get to bed. I didn’t even get into the cognitive abilities of dealing with analogy, metaphor, and allegory.

In the case of the trolls who typically show up here, and also in the cases of creationists I know personally, I seriously doubt that what I am saying about what I am observing is hyperbole.

In every case I know of directly, the creationists refer to authority and definitions; e.g., what the sentence on page blah blah of the book says, what so-and-so says, what the dictionary says, what their bible says, what the preacher says, etc.

Those that I have known who are teachers use a really horrible testing technique of lifting sentences from a textbook and then turning them into true/false questions by inserting double, triple, quadruple negatives into the sentence or by adding other words to the sentence. Students who rightfully protest this trick are scolded with, “So you admit that you didn’t read the book. I should flunk you.”

Once they are in “bible mode,” they pretty much revert to exegesis, hermeneutics, etymology, definitions, and citing accepted “biblical authorities” to justify their interpretations. But those habits carry over to reading “secularist writings.”

In every fundamentalist creationist I have known and interacted with, the abilities for using analogy, metaphor, and allegory to move to more abstract and general knowledge are severely compromised or shut down. And universally the most obvious cause is fear.

Fear that any other interpretation of scripture, any transition to another level of understanding, any influence by “unapproved authority” is evidence of Satan messing with your mind. And that must be resisted at all costs.

I have been fortunate enough to have encountered only one or two hostile fundamentalist parents; but their wrath has been memorable. And their poor children a mess.

I completely agree with you about metaphor. I’ve seen that here and in other places, including face-to-face.

And I can testify to how messed-up fundy-raised kids can be (even ones with decent native intelligence). I taught in a science/math/engineering public magnet high school. We tended to get many students from local Christian “academies,” attending public school for the first time. Bright 10th grade girl: “But sir, doesn’t the space shuttle run into all those planets, comets, and stars and things up there?” True story–and she objected to reading *The Lives of a Cell* since it was by an “evolutionist.”

Another student, in making notes and commentary on Sagan’s *Cosmos*, responded to item after item with “I don’t believe that” and “the Bible says.…” After she insisted that the speed of light had changed radically and that red shift was not a Doppler effect showing recession and universal expansion, I (sarcastically, yeah, but on paper, not in front of others) suggested that she should consider a career in cosmology and astrophysics, since she clearly was smarter than all those astronomers. She thought I was serious.

I knew many like that. And their parents weren’t much in favor of “academic freedom” for public school teachers when our English department required them to read *Brave New World*.

Just Bob said: I knew many like that. And their parents weren’t much in favor of “academic freedom” for public school teachers when our English department required them to read *Brave New World*.

Or about a hundred other books.

That’s Academic Freedomfor me, but not for thee.

Mike E and Bob -

I assume this thread is pretty much over, but anyway, I notice that certain very basic cognitive issues are incredibly common.

There is a widespread inability to get past concrete, arbitrary statements, derived from authority (often the implied authority of group identification), into any level of critical thinking. This is especially true when a pre-existing bias interferes, but often seems to be independent of that.

For example -

1) The New York City area gained more residents than any other urban area in the nation except San Antonio, during the the census period 2000-2010. It is also suggested that the census undercounted the NYC gain. Be that as it may, it was widely reported that the NYC area grew very “slowly”, with results given in percentage terms. The logical flaw is glaring. New York City is already so large that it logically cannot have a high percentage of population growth except under extreme circumstances. The NYC metropolitan area is conservatively estimated at a bit more than 19M people (some estimates are larger due to including more geographical areas), so for a 10% growth rate, almost two million new residents, more than the population of many large cities or states, would have had to have arrived. Yet not only was the claim that the NYC area population “grew slowly” widespread, but interviews with New Yorkers were broadcast, and they almost all showed New Yorkers either expressing dismay that the area was failing attract new residents, or insisting (correctly) that something was “wrong” with the analysis, yet not being able to state what the problem was. Similar logic is often used to claim that initially very small areas that gained a few thousand people due to some one time event are “the fastest growing area in America”. What’s interesting is that there is a bias at work in the initial presentation of the data (journalists always want to claim that “conservative” things are on the upswing, and “liberal” things are being crushed), few people are able to see the obviously illogic.

2) In another forum, I pointed out that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is no worse ideologically than the other primary candidates, merely more blunt and buffoonish than most. It should be obvious that this is no statement of support for Trump, but merely a neutral observation that Gingrich, Palin, Huckabee, etc, aren’t actually any less ideologically extreme. It was also obvious from the context that I strongly oppose Trump’s political views. Nevertheless, the comment generated outrage from other Trump opponents for “saying something good about Donald Trump”.

3) I had a similar experience in a high level finance class. A group I was in did a project comparing the exchange rates of the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso to the US dollar during a certain time period. The Canadian dollar tracked the US dollar much more closely. However, as the time period we were studying was familiar to me as a period during which the US dollar had changed value rapidly relative to the euro (and this had been constantly reported in the media), I happened to casually point out the neutral fact that, looking at exchange rate relative to the euro, the Mexican peso had been relatively stable during the same period, and the US and Canadian dollars, by that standard, volatile. A group member of Indian South African descent immediately got what I was saying, but a male American group member became angry and belligerent and told me that he “didn’t agree with me”.

Clearly, unconscious bias plays a role, but the failure to grasp very simple abstractions is often striking.

I honestly wonder how people would do on these types of problems if pre-existing social biases were removed. Suppose a web site presented scale pictures of a baseball, a volleyball, and a basketball, and Americans were asked to categorize them as “large” or “small”. At least two would have to be one or the other. Then what would happen if they were asked something like “of the two you chose as ‘big’, which is the smaller?”. I strongly suspect that a surprisingly high percentage would react with anger that one of the “big” balls was being called “small”.

harold said:

There is a widespread inability to get past concrete, arbitrary statements, derived from authority (often the implied authority of group identification), into any level of critical thinking. This is especially true when a pre-existing bias interferes, but often seems to be independent of that.

I’m sure you are familiar with the book How to Lie With Statistics written by Darrel Huff way back in 1954. It is still a good read.

We dealt with many of these kinds of issues in the statistics courses I have taught. And in my work with those bright high school students at the math/science center, I was finding that even 9th and 10th graders could grasp these issues and have fun with them. There were many humorous exchanges over such issues during class.

One of the topics of philosophical conversation among a number of members of the instructional staff, as well as with members of the professional community who were also involved in the mentorship of these students, was about just how early these kinds of abilities would develop in children and adolescents in the general population if our educational system and parenting abilities could be vastly improved over what they are.

Many of us suspect that such abilities and growth are very quickly killed off by the socio/political norms of our society. The mental and emotional development that takes place before adolescence is much more rapid than we apparently know because most adults derive attitudes from their surrounding society about how to raise kids; and most of these methods are sub-optimal.

In fact, I suspect that you are correct in your observation that there is a widespread inability to get beyond the level of concrete thinking and being stalled in most of the forms of pre-adolescent cognitive abilities. Most people compensate; but the stunted development remains. Authoritarianism seems to be one of the culprits. Fear also plays a large roll.

Some of the members in one of our local churches formed a team of retired school teachers to become involved in targeted mentoring of disadvantaged children in the community. The results of their work were stunning; but it could not be sustained over the period from elementary school through to high school graduation. There were too many intervening socio/political and economic interferences that didn’t allow these teachers to follow through. The program was eventually abandoned as these retired teachers died or became too old to continue.

But the experiment pointed to some possibilities that even children caught in the trap of severe socio/economic disadvantage had the potential to grow much faster than they typically do.

But then there are also those children who have already been brain damaged before birth because of what kinds of things their mothers were doing when they were pregnant.

It’s a huge problem; and the majority of our politicians are too immature and ignorant to address it. Politics has become a battleground dominated by nasty, cognitively stunted children.

Lamarckism has never been taught as a “big lie,” it’s been taught as a disproven hypothesis.

Furthermore, epigenetics is actually very different from Lamarckism. Epigenetics is modification of RNA after translation. Lamarckism is giraffes inheriting long necks from straining, and blacksmiths’ sons inheriting massive arms from their fathers’ labors.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

Is anyone able to figure out what this guy is saying? And why?

Dave Luckett said:

Is anyone able to figure out what this guy is saying? And why?

:-)

Mammoth ego gibberish.

Timecube emulator.

Pros: A smaller touchscreen revision of Apple’s mid-priced flash RAM media player, available in seven colors. New user interface mimics the iOS operating system of the iPhone and ipod touch, using swipe and tap gestures for most of the device’s controls, while using album art and wallpapers to nicely fill the screen with color. Integrated FM radio, pedometer, and accelerometer components carry over from the prior-generation iPod nano, along with sufficient 8GB and 16GB storage capacities. Includes an integrated clip that renders it instantly wearable. Superior audio battery life and volume to predecessors; remains compatible with Dock Connector accessories, including the Nike + iPod Sport Kit.

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