how to fail in publicly defending creationism

June 11, 2012

When it comes to amazingly lazy rebuttals to scientific findings, casual creationists should win some sort of a dubious award for their complete lack of effort. After all, when a talking point has been debunked so often, an accurate tally of how many times it’s been refuted would require scientific notation to express, only those with absolutely no incentive to step out of their tiny little world would barrel ahead and repeat it yet again. Many woo faithful also follow a regurgitate talking point-ignore contrary evidence-rinse-repeat debate format but they will at least put in slightly more effort than citing turn of the previous century arguments, taking some care to dress up their fallacies or misinformation as being somehow scientific. Professional creationists will even go on an extended quote mining trip through scientific journals, hacking up quotes in peer-reviewed works to conjure a pro-creationist position out of the most typical paper on evolutionary mechanisms. Casual creationists simply regurgitate uninspired talking points they must treat with great care since they’re basically antique…

There are about 6 billion human beings on the earth and evolutionists have observed mankind for several hundred years. In all those human beings that are alive or have lived, can you show me one beneficial mutation that has ‘improved’ the human race? I think evolution was a way to get rid of our accountability to God… We didn’t want there to be a God… the unproven over-generalization of evolution allowed us to dismiss him from our world-view.

Nowadays, there are about 7 billion human beings on Earth and they were only really being observed with the purpose of determining their evolutionary history and direction for under a century. Nevertheless, we do see a number of beneficial mutations in our history with the most recent example being more efficient blood cells of Tibetan natives who live at elevations of over 13,000 feet and who coped with the thin mountain air with a favorably selected mutation. Likewise, as the same discovery pointed out, their counterparts in the Andes just create more red blood cells to carry more oxygen. This is exactly the kind of finding you would expect to see in the evolutionary framework. Two widely separated populations faced with the same problem evolve two ways to cope with the same challenge. They could have developed the same mutations, but since the process is a pseudo-random one, we had much higher odds to find two separate adaptations than a similar one. And the funny part here is that this finding was trumpeted all over the web as an example of natural selection playing out in humans. So not only does one have to be utterly ignorant not to know that humans can and do undergo beneficial mutations at an accelerating pace, but he also has to actively ignore the news to stay that way.

Of course the second part of this tired, worn, scarred old chestnut is the accountability to a deity with which an inordinate number of creationists seem obsessed. Why are they in such a rush to bow down and why does a simple thing like mutations that affect a creature’s survivability in a certain environment have to interfere with a nebulous notion like moral accountability? After all, basic ethics exist in the wild and humans seem to have the urge to cooperate and try to get along from birth, which makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint if you consider that the roots of ethics are pre-wired in social creatures which would survive in greater numbers were they to have some sort of mechanism to evaluate fairness, cooperate, and punish rule-breakers. If your drive for accountability is so strong, why not try to be accountable to your fellow human beings? Unless you’re not really worried about accountability as much as you’re concerned with imposing your will by using a god to justify your edicts, and the desire to feel like the special mollycoddled creation of a deity who placed you here as a learning experience to train you for another life, and an eternal one at that. After all, having to listen to the rest of humanity and accepting the uncertainty of a pseudo-random, complicated world with few rules can be pretty scary. Too scary for someone who wants both power and gentle guidance he can follow.

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  • Dar Norris

    I’ve come to see creationist as really bad ventriloquist. Their dummy is invisible and you can see their lips move. Complete with operaters manual.

  • Russ Toelke

    I kinda miss my creationist (ex) co-worker. He was basically a good guy, but also always a source for wayward woo.

    When I answered his similarly-worded question from your inset above with “wisdom teeth- there are populations on the planet being born without them” he scoffed. And what about the appendix?

    Found a list at Listverse: http://listverse.com/2009/01/05/top-10-signs-of-evolution-in-modern-man/