Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Evolution Just the facts Pt. 3

Hey all,

Sorry I didn't do anything last night, I was a tad busy... but I have time tonight to continue my rebuttal of Conservapedia's Evolution page... so where we left off:

Implausible Explanations and the Evolutionary Position:

Individuals who are against the evolutionary position assert that evolutionary scientists employ extremely implausible "just so stories" to support their position and have done this since at least the time of Charles Darwin.

- That's because they haven't done the research themselves... if they did they would understand that evolution has been upheld over and over.

A well known example of a "just so story" is when Darwin, in his Origin of the Species, wrote a chapter entitled "Difficulties on Theory" in which he stated:
"In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale."

- and this is a true story, do I have to provide the link to the documentary again? Well here it is enjoy.

Even the prominent evolutionist and geneticist Professor Richard Lewontin admitted the following:
"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." - Richard Lewontin, ‘Billions and billions of demons’, The New York Review, January 9, 1997, p. 31

- I find this quote very suspect... not because I could not find the actual source, but their other citation is from creation.com/refuting-evolution-chapter-1... I dunno, but I think this website might have a bias.

Dr. Sarfati wrote regarding the theory of evolution the following:
The same logic applies to the dinosaur-bird debate. It is perfectly in order for creationists to cite Feduccia’s devastating criticism against the idea that birds evolved ‘ground up’ from running dinosaurs (the cursorial theory). But the dino-to-bird advocates counter with equally powerful arguments against Feduccia’s ‘trees-down’ (arboreal) theory. The evidence indicates that the critics are both right — birds did not evolve either from running dinos or from tree-living mini-crocodiles. In fact, birds did not evolve from non-birds at all!

- another quote from creation.com, but the interesting thing about this quote is that it put's Feduccia's comments into their proper context, something which is ignored by conservapedia when they incorporated this quote I'm sure. However, Dr. Sarfati is a known creationist, and chemist... so he wouldn't be expected to know much about biology, now would he? Don't believe me? well conservapedia doesn't have a bio of him on their website, surprise, but google his name and you'll see, or does google have a bias to?

Opponents to the theory of evolution commonly point to the following in nature as being implausibly created through evolutionary processes:

- Oh this should be fun.

various symbiotic relationships found in nature.

- I'm leaving the link so you know what symbiotic relationships they mean.
- 1. Mutualism - Both organisms benefit from the relationship. - this developed because both organisms need something, such as a flower and bee. The bee pollinates the flowers as they search for nectar, which they require to survive. It's really that simple, and it is an example of co-evolution as well as an example of energy conservation, why do it all yourself when there are other creatures out there to do it for you?
- 2. parasitism - One organism benefits at the expense of another, though the example they use is mosquitoes which is alright, but there are better examples out there. Basically it is a host-parasite relationship, and a better example would be viruses and bacteria. With our advancement of antibiotics we have bacteria becoming resistant, and we create different antibiotics... and the cycle continues... this is parasitism in a nutshell.
- 3. commensalism - one organism benefits with no affect on the other. This doesn't seem to hard to grasp to me... if there is something which is beneficial take advantage of it, and if you don't have an affect on the other organism you can keep doing it, and become better at it over time.

bacterial flagellum

- This one is the irreducible complexity argument, which states that something is too complex to have evolved. Basically the bacterial flagellum is the tail of a bacteria, and the argument is that all of the components which create the bacterial flagellum could not have evolved independently, and the short answer to this is that they didn't. Chances are they began with very short tails, figured out this was useful and kept producing it. I'm over simplifying of course, you can see how this happened here.


- How do animals find their way home? Well I don't know the mechanisms involved for every animal, insects use sent markers, birds might use visual cues, but the important question to ask is why might this be useful? This is a very important survival technique, especially when they have offspring to feed and protect. How else can you expect a species to survive if they can't find their way back to their young?

the origin of flight in the animal kingdom

- Flight has actually originated independently in several different classes, reptile (flying dinosaurs), aves (birds) and mammals (bats). Rather than go through the very lengthy explanation I'm going to provide a video which explains, in detail, how flight originated. Origin's of Flight

human brain

- Alright, finally one I can sink my teeth into. The human brain evolved gradually starting at about the size of a chimpanzee, which can be seen in the brain cases of australopthicus, gradually getting bigger as hominids grew more intelligent, which can be seen via tool making and use (stone tools primarily), eventually homo sapien evolved with the large brain and intelligence we have now.  Learn more here.


- So leaving an area, if you have the means to, when it changes beyond your ability to survive in it and returning later doesn't make sense to you? Things like food sources, and breeding patterns for survival don't make any sense to you? Really, I'm beginning to worry about you Conservapedia. Let's put it this way... why are snow birds, snow birds? They want to get away from the cold, and have the ability to do it.. it's really that simple.

the whale

- We've already talked about this. Here's another question then... how do creationists rationalize God creating an animal with a pelvis, when it has no need for one? What does that say about God?

the Venus flytrap

- Alright, I'm not an expert on plant life... but here is what I could find out about the evolution of the Venus Fly Trap: The Venus Flytrap's evolution was the product of a "Hobson's Choice" in which plants that did not evolve nutrient-capturing abilities in nitrogen and phosphorous-poor environments would not have survived. Their carnivorous traps were evolutionarily selected for to allow these organisms to survive their harsh environments.citation ... makes sense to me.

the Bombardier beetle

- Not an entomologist... so bugs aren't my thing. Here is some information I was able to find: Duane Gish and some other creationists claim that the various components needed to make the system work could not have evolved, because they believe the components provide no benefit in themselves and therefore the entire system would have to have been created at once. Others, such as intelligent-design creationist Michael Behe and Answers in Genesis, accept much of the scientific view but contend that "complexity" suggests an origin by design. Contrary to these creationist views, all necessary intermediate stages have been found in extant (still living) beetles within or closely related to the bombardier beetle family, with each intermediate giving a definite advantage to the organism citation. Again, this works for me.

the woodpecker

- Because of the woodpecker's diet of choice it evolved a strong beak to get to the grubs within the tree trunks... it really is that simple.

Lastly, biochemist Michael Behe wrote the following:
"Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature—in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or book—that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred. There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations. Since no one knows molecular evolution by direct experience, and since there is no authority on which to base claims of knowledge, it can truly be said that—like the contention that the Eagles will win the Super Bowl this year—the assertion of Darwinian molecular evolution is merely bluster." - Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box (New York: The Free Press, 1996), p. 186

- Alright... if you want to test his statement yourself go to scholar.google.com and type in molecular evolution... then see how many results you get... I did this and found 2,360,000 results... so it appears he lied.

Ok that is all for tonight, next time I tackle the "statements of design".

Until next time,

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