Evolutionists Don't Care About Pandas! A New ID Meme

Charles Colson's website, Breakpoint, is a good source for novel ID arguments. Their latest one involves the giant panda. The poor creature has been slowly going extinct for some time now. Their limited diet and leisurely reproductive rate, coupled with rampant habitat encroachment, do not bode well.

The connection with evolution? Well it seems that evolutionists are supposed to be stiff-upper-lip-types who don't get fazed by extinction.

For example, here's how Breakpoint columnist Roberto Rivera puts it:

For those who take their Darwinism, as Thelonious Monk might've put it, straight, no chaser, the logical response to the plight of the Giant Panda is “tough.” Evolution is, if nothing else, unsentimental. It rewards adaptability and punishes, in the medium-to-long term, overspecialization.

By that logic, if you take your gravitation straight there's no reason to lament a plane crash.

Paleontologists, it seems, are especially cold-hearted in this regard:

Do you think that the American Bison feels bad that it is, among late- Pleistocene megafauna like the Columbian mammoth and the giant ground sloth, the only survivor? Or that the first modern humans to enter Europe felt regret about the eventual demise of the “indigenous population,” a.k.a., the Neanderthals? More to the point: I've never heard a modern paleontologist express such regret about such previous extinctions. As we've been told over and over, extinction is natural.

I'm thinking the number of paleontologists with whom Rivera has discussed this issue is big-O of zero.

You can find the whole column here. It appeared on April 21. But just in case you missed the point the first time around, Colson devoted his commentary of April 23 to the same subject. Here's how he put it:

In other words, if the giant panda survives, it will only be because human beings made its survival a priority. Human beings will refrain from activities that hurt the panda's chances of survival and will take active measures, like breeding programs, to perpetuate the species.

This is the right thing to do, but it's not the Darwinian thing. It wouldn't be happening if human beings were, as Darwinists like Richard Dawkins tell us, “just another animal.” If we took Dawkins's worldview seriously, the giant panda would merely be another species that was out-competed into extinction by a more adaptable contender. There would be no more reason to regret the panda's demise than there is to lament that there are no wooly mammoths in downtown Denver.

The real reasons for wanting to protect the panda are supposed to have something to do with good stewardship and humans being unique among animals for pondering moral questions.

I've commented further on both columns over at EvolutionBlog. Consult my entries of April 25 and May 2.