Turnabout is fair play

| 125 Comments

Phil Senter has published the most deviously underhanded, sneaky, subtle undermining of the creationist position I've ever seen, and I applaud him for it. What he did was to take them seriously, something I could never do, and treat their various publications that ape the form of the scientific literature as if they actually were real science papers, and apply their methods consistently to an analysis of taxonomy. So on the one hand, it's bizarre and disturbing to see the like of Ken Ham, Jerry Bergman, and Henry Morris get actual scientific citations, but on the other hand, seeing their claims refuted using their own touted methods is peculiarly satisfying.

Senter has published a paper in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology that takes their claims at face value and analyzes dinosaur morphology using their own methods. 'Baraminologists' have published a set of taxonomic tools that use as input a matrix of morphological characters for an array of animals, and then spits out numbers that tell whether they were similar enough to be related. You can guess what the motivation for that is: they want to claim that Noah didn't have to carry representatives of every dinosaur species on the Ark, but only representatives of each 'kind', which then diversified rapidly after the big boat landed to generate all the different species found in the fossil record.

The problem for them is that Senter found that it works far too well. Using creationist techniques, all of the Dinosauria reduce to…eight kinds. That makes the boat haulage problem relatively even easier.

Here is the summary diagram, illustrating the derived creationist tree of common descent. Oops.

creationisttree.jpeg
Summary of results of taxon correlation analyses across Dinosauria. Each boxed group of silhouettes indicates a group for which taxon correlation found within-group morphological continuity; for silhouette groups in different boxes, taxon correlation found morphological discontinuity between the groups. Dotted lines represent uncertainty as to whether morphological discontinuity is truly present. On the cladogram, triangles indicate paraphyletic groups.

At first, the results of the taxon correlation analyses appear to imply good news for the creationist world view, on several fronts. First, seven major dinosaurian groups (birdlike coelurosaurs, Tazoudasaurus + Eusauropoda, Stegosauria, Ankylosauridae, Neoceratopsia, Hadrosauridae and basal Hadrosauriformes) are separated from the rest of Dinosauria by morphological gaps (Fig. 15). Creationist inferences that variety within Eusauropoda (Morris, 1999) and Ceratopsidae (Ham, 2009) represent diversification within separately created kinds are congruent with these results. Second, each morphologically continuous group found by taxon correlation includes at least some herbivores. This is congruent with the creationist assertion that all carnivorous animals are descendants of originally herbivorous ancestors (Unfred, 1990; Gish, 1992; Ham, 1998, 2006, 2009; Larsen, 2001; McIntosh & Hodge, 2006). Third, although creationists have answered the problem of room on Noah's ark for multiple pairs of gigantic dinosaurs by asserting that only about 50 'created kinds' of dinosaurs existed (Ham, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2009; Morris, 1999), the problem is solved even better by the results of this study, in which only eight dinosaur 'kinds' are found.

Awww. I guess I'm going to have to become a creationist, now that the evidence shows that dinosaurs are related by common descent…oh, hey, wait. Isn't that what evolution says? And isn't that easier to accommodate within the idea that they did this over millions of years, rather than the freakishly unrealistic hyper-speciation within a few thousand years that the creationists insist on?

However, a second look reveals that these results are at odds with the creationist view. Whether there were eight dinosaur 'kinds' or 50, the diversity within each 'kind' is enormous. Acceptance that such diversity arose by natural means in only a few thousand years therefore stretches the imagination. The largest dinosaurian baramin recovered by this study includes Euparkeria, basal ornithodirans (Silesaurus and Marasuchus), basal saurischians, basal ornithischians, basal sauropodomorphs, basal thyreophorans, nodosaurid ankylosaurs, pachycephalosaurs, basal ceratopsians, basal ornithopods and all but the most birdlike theropods in an unbroken spectrum of morphological continuity. The creationist viewpoint allows for diversification within baramins, but the diversity within this morphologically continuous group is extreme. Also, the inclusion of the Middle Triassic non-dinosaurs Euparkeria and Marasuchus within the group is at odds with the creationist claim that fossil representatives of the predinosaurian, ancestral stock from which dinosaurs arose have never been found (DeYoung, 2000; Ham, 2006; Bergman, 2009).

So, effectively, these results, made using the creationists own tools, demonstrate a genetic relationship between a diverse group of animals that evolution predicted, and confronts young earth creationists with the problem of a kind of frantically prolific speciation that is unimaginably rapid. If species are that fluid and can change that rapidly, their own claims of fixity of species are patently wrong.

The final word:

The results of this study indicate that transitional fossils linking at least four major dinosaurian groups to the rest of Dinosauria are yet to be found. Possibly, some creationist authors will hail this finding as evidence of special creation for those four groups. However, such enthusiasm should be tempered by the finding here that the rest of Dinosauria--including basal members of all major lineages--are joined in a continuous morphological spectrum. This confirms the genetic relatedness of a very broad taxonomic collection of animals, as evolutionary theory predicts, ironically by means of a measure endorsed and used by creation science.

This is so wonderfully, evilly devious. Superficially, it seems to support creationist methods—but what it actually is is a grand reductio ad absurdam. Laugh wickedly at it now, but laugh even harder when you see creationists citing this paper in the future, as you know they will.


Senter P (2011) Using creation science to demonstrate evolution 2: morphological continuity within Dinosauria. J Evol Biol. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02349.x.

125 Comments

Haha! Only 8 kinds. They could ALL fit on the ark in pairs. Then God would just put them into the Transmorgifier when they get off and PRESTO!! Variant Species.

Does this new paper from Senter cite and respond to Todd Wood’s critique of his previous one? Of course it’s paywalled, so I don’t know. It will be interesting to see Wood’s response.

The paper explicitly cites Wood’s reply, and counters it.

I concluded that the study demonstrated the evolutionary relatedness of these groups with each other and with basal birds in such a way as could not be countered by creation science. However, baraminologist Todd Wood subsequently pointed out that I had mistaken a mere visualization technique (CMDS) for a technique that a baraminologist would accept as a test of genetic related- ness. Taxon correlation is a method that a baraminologist would accept as a test of genetic relatedness. Wood (2011) restudied the Coelurosauria matrix using taxon correla- tion and found morphological discontinuity between three coelurosaurian groups: Oviraptorosauria, basal birds + Deinonychusauria and a group consisting of the remaining coelurosaurs. A baraminologist could therefore infer that three baramins had been identified.

Since then, the phylogenetic data matrix used in those studies (Senter, 2010; Wood, 2011) has been enormously improved by an overhaul that included a vast number of corrections and updates, detailed later. Most of the changes resulted from examination of a large number of specimens that I had not previously had the chance to study, at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) during a 2010 trip to Beijing. Enough changes were made to justify a new phyloge- netic analysis and a new taxon correlation study with the matrix, to see whether the technique would now identify greater morphological continuity through Coelurosauria.

The rate of speciation changes required after the ark landed have some species changing with each generation, and in some cases one generation would have to change species several times in its lifetime for the required number of different species to all exist. But this can all be accounted for by miracles - which equal science in the creationist worldview.

For those unfamiliar with baraminology, see http://www.conservapedia.com/Baraminology - and when you have your respiratory and heart rate back back to normal, see http://www.conservapedia.com/Kangaroo#Origins

Somehow the massive rates of speciation from the point of origin at the Ark remind me of YEC notions of variable radioactive decay rates. “Do you realize that such rates of radioactive decay would have reduced the Earth to a molten ball of lava?”

As crazy as creationists sound sniping at evolution, it’s not remotely as crazy as they sound when they’re trying to refute radioactive dating. They could just as well be trying to refute gravity (“Intelligent Falling” indeed).

It gets just as bad with the flood waters during “The Flood.” Where did they come from?

Whether they came from a “canopy” surrounding the Earth or came up from underground, the change in potential energy in that short period of time is enough energy to fry everything on the planet.

It changes the angular momentum of the Earth by a very significant amount, and the water accumulation would not be like a placid pond. No ship - especially that crappy design that is claimed for the wooden ark - would survive.

The dimensions of the ark are ridiculously small to house animals the size of dinosaurs.

It appears that ID/creationists never plug in numbers to see if anything makes sense. Even their PhD mathematicians can’t do math.

And they want to teach that crap in public schools.

Mike Elzinga said: It gets just as bad with the flood waters during “The Flood.” Where did they come from?

Yes, but I have explained where they went: “You know sponges grow on the bottom of the ocean … “

mrg said:

Mike Elzinga said: It gets just as bad with the flood waters during “The Flood.” Where did they come from?

Yes, but I have explained where they went: “You know sponges grow on the bottom of the ocean … “

And God said to the sponges, “Get thee suddenly to Death Valley and all the isolated lowlands on the Earth and sop up every last vestige of water in those places so that there be deserts in those places.” And then God said, “Then slosh thee unseen overland and back into the greatest depths of the oceans so that thee not be discovered.”

There is such a thing as belaboring a joke, you know.

Before that they were working stiffs.

That sounds kinky, but I won’t elaborate.

Argghh! Under the new registration system, if you type a comment and then register, the comment disappears.

Let me very briefly recap what I tried to say, which is now lost. First, thanks PZ for the pdf.

Second, the biggest problem with baraminology (aside from the creationist assumption) is that they make not even an attempt to justify their methods, empirically or theoretically. Why do discontinuities distinguish baramins? We don’t know. Why discontinuities of a particular size, when even baraminology would imply discontinuities within baramins? We don’t know. I take this as a clue that deep down, even the best of them, e.g. Todd Wood, suspect that they are just going through the motions in imitation of science. Maybe Phil Senter might consider these questions if he wants to try it again.

Third, what’s the value of Senter’s exercise? It won’t convince even a comparatively rational creationist like Todd Wood. The public will ignore it. And scientists don’t need convincing. At best I see the potential for some propaganda value for use with the uncommitted: See? Even creationists don’t follow their own declared methods. Though in fact I find the entertainment value alone to warrant publication.

John Harshman said:

Argghh! Under the new registration system, if you type a comment and then register, the comment disappears.

Let me very briefly recap what I tried to say,

When I tried to make my first comment under the new system, I had the same experience. But I found that if I hit the Back button of my browser I could get back to the not-yet-registered page where I had written the comment, and then I could Copy the text out and come back to the already-registered page and paste it into the empty comment box. In fact I use this all the time when I forget to sign in before commenting. (In fact, I just did it for this comment).

Second, the biggest problem with baraminology (aside from the creationist assumption) is that they make not even an attempt to justify their methods, empirically or theoretically. Why do discontinuities distinguish baramins? We don’t know. Why discontinuities of a particular size, when even baraminology would imply discontinuities within baramins? We don’t know. I take this as a clue that deep down, even the best of them, e.g. Todd Wood, suspect that they are just going through the motions in imitation of science. Maybe Phil Senter might consider these questions if he wants to try it again.

I think baraminology should be supported, if (and only if) they use as their criterion for gaps that when there is any real evidence for two groups being related, they are not separated by a gap. For then, the baramins will gradualy get bigger and bigger, and fewer and fewer. Finally Noah would only need an ark big enough for a bacterium and everything else would evolve from that. Onward and upward, baraminologists! There are lots of groups out there waiting to be connected.

The problem is hitting the reply button before you sign in. The comment box is not supposed to show up before you log in. It is on my list of things to fix.

Obviously there is plenty of money to be made with this “scientific” creationism shtick.

I was just looking at AiG’s announcement of a 5 day “mega” conference.

Ham estimated the attendance at last year’s conference to be about 3,000.

If one takes the average cost of admission to be about $100, that brings in about $300,000 for 5 day’s of work. If 13 speakers divvied up the loot evenly (you know Ham will get most of it), that would be about $23,000 apiece.

But Ham’s organization alone is running many conferences every year. All this in addition to selling books, CD’s and other creationist crap.

This is just one ID/creationist organization pulling in money by peddling fairy tales.

So all one has to do to make a living at this is to generate a couple of speeches, make them into books and CD’s, and deliver them in multiple venues to rubes who will pay to lap it up.

In this “Land of Opportunists,” one can get rich by being bizarre and by peddling sectarian dogma. Bizarre attracts the news media (and therefore money), and peddling dogma sucks money out of those who probably cannot afford it.

If it pays well, who cares what rational people think?

Mike Elzinga -

The role of money is crucial to recognize.

The other day, for unrelated reasons, I happened to see the Wikipedia article on Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater/Xe corporation. It’s actually unclear how profitable Blackwater/Xe was, and it was apparently bought by a group of investors for “only” 200M a bit over a year ago; Erik Prince is still in the “security” business but not officially the CEO of Xe.

But it doesn’t really matter how much money Erik made or didn’t make, because the family billions come from Edgar Prince, Erik’s father, who started as a relatively humble engineer and became a billionaire. Somewhat ironically, the family fortune was anchored in the car parts business in the Detroit area.

Edgar, who has been deceased for quite a while, doesn’t even get a Wikipedia page of his own, or even a very good online biography, but here’s something of interest from Erik’s biography -

Prince’s father co-founded the Family Research Council with Gary Bauer.[26] Prince is the brother of Betsy DeVos, a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and wife of former Alticor (Amway) president and Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos,[18] son of Richard DeVos, Sr. (listed by Forbes in 2009 as one of the world’s richest men, with a net worth of $4.2 billion).[27] “[The Princes] are conservative Christians, and they have very strong views on the sanctity of human life and the defense of marriage and the role of faith in the public square,” according to Bauer.[28]

Some readers here may have known this.

And this is how money and moneyed religion affect politics. It’s true that at the national level or in big states, it’s a high risk to overtly use your own money to get yourself directly into a position of political power. That has worked at times, but even Teevee news notices that.

However, when you shovel money into “not for profit organizations” and into other peoples’ campaigns, you get tremendous influence, without high visibility or controversy (if it isn’t reported, it isn’t controversial). The Koch brothers somehow got on some radars recently, but they’ve been doing the same thing for years. (Full disclosure - the Kochs are more or less “libertarians”, not associated with creationism, and I actually agree with some of their non-economic, non-environmental positions - but my point here is the way big money can silently drive politics.)

Obviously, small donations and materials sales can add up too.

A lot of sales of “popular” right wing books are bulk sales to “think tanks” - just socialist redistribution of the wingnut welfare to make it look as if the books are more popular with the general public than they really are (I wonder what percentage of the population has actually read an entire Anne Coulter book). But a guy like Ham has the power to pull in large numbers of small donations from suckers.

Obviously, if your side can dominate in the big donation world, and also challenge the other guys for the small donation pool, that’s a good situation.

Finally, I will note that it is common knowledge in New York that deep-pocketed financiers who typically donate Republican essentially tipped the scales by convincing upstate Republicans to support the law http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/06[…]ge-campaign/. I’ll take positive change any way it can be achieved, but it is, ironically, another illustration of the trend.

harold said:

Edgar, who has been deceased for quite a while, doesn’t even get a Wikipedia page of his own, or even a very good online biography, but here’s something of interest from Erik’s biography -

Prince’s father co-founded the Family Research Council with Gary Bauer.[26] Prince is the brother of Betsy DeVos, a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and wife of former Alticor (Amway) president and Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos,[18] son of Richard DeVos, Sr. (listed by Forbes in 2009 as one of the world’s richest men, with a net worth of $4.2 billion).[27] “[The Princes] are conservative Christians, and they have very strong views on the sanctity of human life and the defense of marriage and the role of faith in the public square,” according to Bauer.[28]

Some readers here may have known this.

The Amway Corporation began as a well-known pyramid scheme in Michigan. And the DeVos politics are also very influential by way of the Mackinac Center.

There is still a lot of back room scheming about ID/creationism in Michigan. They have primarily gone underground for now; but the fact that Ken Ham’s organization has been here recently, and the fact that Duane Gish’s original supporting congregations are still here in my community means they will surface from time to time when political winds seem to favor them.

Here is evidence that the Mackinac Center supports things like ID/creationism.

This article was written back in 2005 when there was an incident in one of our local schools.

Methinks there might be more going on here. Creationist lumping is making sense.

I don’t agree there are such groups as dinosaurs. i see them as kinds that simply have related features. Yet not related biologically. I understand the old idea of cold blooded reptiles has finally ended. Indeed they were never reptiles. One could futher this idea and dimish most creatures into more basic kinds. I say bears, dogs, seals, etc are all from a kind. i am suspecting rhinos and horses are from a kind. relatives of both in the fossil record look very alike. In fact one might, I say might, reduce these “dinos’ to kinds including later “mammal” types. I often note they segregate on minor points about ear bones or teeth. Possibly some dinos are misidentified from their mammal cousins.

yes diversity is a issue to deal with but it could only be before or after the flood that there is another mechanism to allow sudden massive diversity within biology. All that is found is diversity. time and intermediates are not found. only presumed because imagination is not employed more liberally.

Have creationists ever explained why angiosperms (flowering plants), which the Bible says were created on the same day of Creation Week as the gymnosperms (conifers, cycads, etc) don’t appear in the fossil record until the Cretaceous? If the fossil record is an accurate representation of the Post-Flood settling, shouldn’t both groups appear together from the beginning?

mrg said:

There is such a thing as belaboring a joke, you know.

Not until you work in “sponge worthy.”

Robert Byers said: Methinks…

No…

I say bears, dogs, seals, etc are all from a kind.

Say, Byers, how many different species of beetles (including all the wood-eating species) were on Noah’s Ark? Or was there just one “kind” of beetle and speciation to today’s varieties took place after the Ark landed?

For that matter, how different species of termites were on that wooden boat, and what did they eat?

Robert Byers said:

… One could futher this idea and dimish most creatures into more basic kinds. I say bears, dogs, seals, etc are all from a kind. …

Sure, say whatever you want. But on that basis I say humans, gorillas and chimpanzees etc are all from a kind and I’ll raise you a monkey, man.

So, effectively, these results, made using the creationists own tools, demonstrate a genetic relationship between a diverse group of animals that evolution predicted

Let me rephrase: everything that is indented three or less times on the cladogram in figure falls in a baramin, everything else in others. Moreover, the more the levels of indentation (diversity) is present on a certain branch, the wider the resulting baramin.

I agree with you: this is all very cool. An independent confirmation of descent with modification.

Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me that the reasoning could be pushed still a little bit further. The set of characteristics used to build this measure cut the cladogram at a depth of 3 nodes: one could explore what set of characteristics are needed to cut at different depths and, eventually, try to correlate the differences among the sets with the passing of time. One could even try to detect trends and turn it into a predictive tool, trying to guess which characteristics would change in which group: checking that prediction against the fossil record would be quite strong a test. For evolution, that is!

Aaargh… “the more the levels of indentation (diversity) are present”

John Harshman said: Third, what’s the value of Senter’s exercise?

I think it sends a warning shot across the bow. As in: do not think that we scientists are unprepared to discuss your ideas. If you bring baraminology up in schools, in debate, in the literature, basically anywhere, you can expect us to quickly and easily point out why it’s crap.

You’re right that the public will ignore it…if creationists don’t bring up baraminology. But if they do, this article can be cited. It can be shown on slide shows. When some student at a private bible High School does a web search on baraminology, I hope this pops up (and I really hope it isn’t behind a paywall!). And to the extent that this (PT) community has any control over such things, we should be working to make sure it’s the first google reference to pop up for baraminology.

Dave Wisker said:

Have creationists ever explained why angiosperms (flowering plants), which the Bible says were created on the same day of Creation Week as the gymnosperms (conifers, cycads, etc) don’t appear in the fossil record until the Cretaceous? If the fossil record is an accurate representation of the Post-Flood settling, shouldn’t both groups appear together from the beginning?

That’s an inconvenient detail, Dave, and even a loon like Byers might concede that (I hope.).

eric said:

John Harshman said: Third, what’s the value of Senter’s exercise?

I think it sends a warning shot across the bow. As in: do not think that we scientists are unprepared to discuss your ideas. If you bring baraminology up in schools, in debate, in the literature, basically anywhere, you can expect us to quickly and easily point out why it’s crap.

You’re right that the public will ignore it…if creationists don’t bring up baraminology. But if they do, this article can be cited. It can be shown on slide shows. When some student at a private bible High School does a web search on baraminology, I hope this pops up (and I really hope it isn’t behind a paywall!). And to the extent that this (PT) community has any control over such things, we should be working to make sure it’s the first google reference to pop up for baraminology.

It’s more than a warning shot, eric. I concur with Myers’s assessment of this. If so-called “scientific” creationists like Todd Wood and Kurt Wise insist on teaching this crap at their respective “institutions of higher learning”, then legitimate scientists like Senter have every right to demonstrate how fraudulent baraminology is. As an aside, I put quotation marks around the word “scientific” simply because true scientific creationists like 19th Century British scientists like William Buckland and Adam Sedgwick (who was Darwin’s geology professor at Cambridge) would have disagreed vehemently with a view of creationism that required strict adherence to Biblical teachings; their version of creationism was more closely aligned with the scientific method than with the pseudoscientific crap espoused by Wood, Wise, and others of their ilk.

Who’s this “Byers” person people keep talking about? Is this some sort of bizarre joke? Sounds like “Harvey”, but instead of an imaginary friend, “Byers” is am imaginary nuisance.

Can you imagine the genetic bottleneck coming out of the 8 dinosaurian kinds? Not to mention how much more severe the problem turns to be with the break neck speed of speciation after landing the ark on that mountain… Does anyone creationist care to answer how many pairs of each dino kind was in the ark?

I understand, Henry, that “American” means “a person lawfully born in America, or naturalised as such”. There are therefore no ‘unborn Americans’.

And how many American lives have abortions saved? How many Americans have been rescued from poverty and misery by termination of an unwanted pregnancy? Or don’t they count, because they’re women, Henry?

Dave Luckett said:

I understand, Henry, that “American” means “a person lawfully born in America, or naturalised as such”. There are therefore no ‘unborn Americans’.

And how many American lives have abortions saved? How many Americans have been rescued from poverty and misery by termination of an unwanted pregnancy? Or don’t they count, because they’re women, Henry?

More importantly, what does the evils of abortion have to do with the hypocritical ridiculousness of Creationists invoking magical hyperevolution to fit animals into the Ark?

Henry said:

I was mistaken. It was Matt Young, not Mike. My apologies to Mike.

Matt Young | November 13, 2010 12:30 PM

… please explain the error in Hermann J. Muller’s 1918 paper …

Muller’s paper is very interesting indeed; in fact Paul Strode and I quote the same passage in our book on evolution and creation. I do not know enough to know whether Behe should have known about the Muller paper, but we conclude,

Behe thinks incorrectly that evolution adds parts, one by one, as if organelles were made out of whole cloth. Muller recognized that parts were gradually modified to perform new functions, until eventually one or more parts became crucial. In 1939, he coined the term “interlocking complexity,” and thus anticipated Behe’s “discovery” by nearly 60 years.

So that would be a no, you can’t explain the error in the paper. You haven’t even figured out what he was talking about, probably because you never bothered to read the paper. And yes, it proves that Behe was ignorant and wrong. Why don’t you actually read the paper and get back to us when you have some point to make, besides whining and moaning about abortions, many of which were probably performed on people who were counting on god to stop them from getting pregnant.

Once again, the questions Henry is too much of a worthless coward to even dare look at. Well, SOME such questions, the full list of questions Henry is too cowardly to face would probably crash the Internet.

Just Bob said:

And one has to wonder why God would have Noah go to the (tremendous) trouble of saving representatives of all “kinds” of critters, if many of those “kinds” were slated for quick extinction, whether or not they hyper-evolved into all pre-deluge species. Didn’t God know that their preservation was ultimately going to be a failure?

And Henry, did Noah save plant species too? All species or just “kinds”? If he did, why isn’t that mentioned in Genesis? Survival of plants is MORE critical to the biosphere of Earth than animals. We need plants–they don’t need us! If Noah didn’t save all “kinds” of plants, do you really think they all could have survived immersed in salt or brackish water for a year or so? Or did God save or re-create them magically? If He did that, then why didn’t He do that with animals?

And hey, why did He even NEED a flood and ark? He’s GOD. He could kill precisely the people that needed killing without wrecking the whole planet, couldn’t He?

And Henry, how about answering these things WITHOUT going to the ICR, AIG or similar websites to find out what you’re SUPPOSED to believe. Or does your belief system consist of “whatever ICR tells me I have to believe”?

Henry said:

phantomreader42 said:

Henry said:

Just Bob said:

Henry said:

Just Bob said:

And which of Noah’s sons (and the son’s wife, presumably) had the clap?

Maybe none. At least from written European history, STDs haven’t been around until 1494.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual[…]tted_disease

No, fool, the maladies in question weren’t identified as separate diseases, or recognized as being sexually transmitted until then. Among all the filth, fleas, lice and other vermin that infested our lovely Christian ancestors during the Middle Ages, who would have noticed that specifically gonorrheal infections only resulted from sex with a carrier? Especially when some carriers can be asymptomatic.

You try not bathing all year, wearing the same clothes every day, and sleeping in a filthy hovel with several other folks with similar hygiene habits and some livestock. Throw in a bad diet. See if you don’t break out with an infection or two “down there,” even without any contact with a gonorrhea carrier. How would anyone know the difference, or even suspect that THOSE blisters are an STD, but THESE are just infected flea bites?

Hell, some STDs were not recognized as “ST” until a few years ago.

If it’s true that during the Middle Ages people didn’t know how STDs were transmitted, what excuses do 21st century Americans have?

Your cult has been lying about the cause of disease for centuries, claiming it’s due to demons. How many millions have died in agony due to such idiocy? How many billions more will you murder with your lies?

Since Roe v wade, abortions have taken the lives of 50+ million unborn Americans. Did you take that into your considerations?

Ah, throwing out an irrelevancy to hide from your lies. Just what I’d expect from a traitorous, cowardly, dishonest fetus-fetishist like you.

It’s telling that you can’t muster up the slightest empathy for the suffering of actual living breathing people, nor are you capable of even acknowledging the existence of pregnant women, or lifting a finger to help children once they’ve been born. No, you can only see yourself in things without brains.

If you REALLY gave a flying fuck about “unborn Americans”, you’d support better sex education and contraception, so there wouldn’t be as many unwanted pregnancies. You’d support better access to prenatal care, to prevent birth defects or catch them when they’re treatable. Instead of terrorism against doctors and defunding medical treatment, you’d work to make sure children have homes and food and medicine and education. But you don’t support these things. You’d rather die. You want the government to enslave women and force them to stay pregnant, but not to help them survive the pregnancy, or care for the resulting child. Because the truth is, you don’t really see a fetus as human, except in the sense of a human shield. Something you can hide behind.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on July 6, 2011 8:23 AM.

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