Friday, March 21, 2008

How to be an evolutionist without knowing it.

A reader named Masterpiece of God (MOG) left the following comment in my essay entitled Does Evil Come From God?

Your examples successfully prove that [1] bacteria can develop immunities, and that [2] moths that are adaptable and/or more suitable to certain environments tend to flourish, while those that aren't, tend to diminish in numbers (they might even become extinct eventually). They, however, do not prove the Theory of Evolution.

Ask any sane Christian and he/she will agree that people can develop immunities and that some animals become extinct (and even more will be so, unless global efforts of wildlife preservation is more aggressively pushed). Evolution is just one of a number of theories than seek to explain the origin of man (and, perhaps, of the universe as well). Different people have different people why they believe or disbelieve certain theories. Personally, I do not believe in Evolution, but not because "the professor has no brain." I believe in the Creation theory, and I have my rational, logical reasons for doing so.

Refuting the Christian explanation by dissecting selected and isolated anecdotes is tantamount to no less than a straw man argument.

Obviously, this Masterpiece of God misunderstands the Theory of Evolution. The theory of evolution essentially says that

  • Living organisms evolve and that
  • The driver of this evolution is natural selection.

Note that the theory of evolution applies only to living organisms. It does not apply to non-living things. Questions about the origin of the universe is not covered by the theory of evolution but is instead covered by the subject of cosmology and the theory of the Big Bang. (Curiously, fundamentalist christians believe in the theory of the Big Bang --- a theory whose observational support is imperceptible --- while dueling with the much more visible theory of evolution.)

The second point of the theory of evolution says that nature selects for survival the specie which has evolved to adapt to its environment. A brutish term for natural selection is survival of the fittest.

Masterpiece-of-god essentially agrees that bacteria and moths evolve. Evolve and evolution are both derived from the same Latin root evolutio. He also agrees that organisms other than bacteria and moths evolve and that they adapt to their environments. Masterpiece of God therefore agrees with the two salient points of the theory of evolution. He supports the theory of evolution without being aware of it.

He further says that if you ask any sane christian, they will agree with the salient points above. And why should they not? It is very obvious. Assuming that Adam and Eve are the parents of the entire human race one is then faced with the question as to why one person can look like Kobe Bryant while another can look like Britney Spears. Shouldn't all human beings look alike? Like peas in a pod? We are siblings, after all.

It is obvious to even these christians that the Kobe Bryants of the world evolved to adapt to their environment (hot and tropical Africa) while the Britney Spears and the Paris Hiltons of the world evolved to adapt to theirs (cold Northern Europe). There is no other sane explanation.

So why does Masterpiece of God and his christian ilk adamantly refuse to believe in evolution while essentially agreeing to all its tenets? In other words, why are they prime examples of theoidiots?

Well, the reason has to do with the consequences of the theory rather than its principles!

If bacteria, birds and bees evolve, is it possible that humans evolved also? The theory of evolution, as part of its consequence, says YES! The theory of evolution applies to all living organisms and since man is a living organism it stands to reason that man is ruled by the theory of evolution also.

This is the conclusion that theoidiots are unwilling to accept. They have hidebound biblical reasons for this:

  • If man is ruled by the same rules that apply to all organism in the planet then there is nothing special about man. This contradicts what the bible says about man being the masterpiece of God and man being special among all living things.
  • Since God created man in his image, then God must look like an ape because man evolved from ape-like creatures!

No sane christian would agree to a god that looks like a gorilla and so, contradicting what their eyes and minds tell them, they refuse to believe the truth. This is another reason why excessive bible reading is anathema to the proper functioning of reason and logic. Bible reading is the origin of theoidiocy!

Unfortunately for these superstitious christians, the conclusions of science are subjected to much much more stringent ordeals than the conclusions of religion. Having survived this ordeal, the conclusions of science are imbued with more truth than the stories of the bible. (I will have more to say about this (I hope) in a later discussion when I compare religion and science.)

For now it suffices to say that Mister MOG believes in creation theory for the simple reason that he has, he claims, rational, logical reasons for doing so.

Logical? Maybe MOG meant to say emotional or maybe the theoidiotic definition of logical is different from the rest of the thinking world. Far from being rational, religion is ruled by the same touchy-feely tests of truth which leads to conclusions such as god loves the world because he loves to subject it to tests and punishments! All it takes to make a conclusion right by religion is that it feels right and that it touches the soul in the right way. (And like most theoidiotic precepts, don't ask them how they know that the feeling is right and that their soul is touched. Like a dictionary that defines happy to be gay and gay to be happy, the touch-feely definition is an exercise in circular reasoning.)

In science, one does not use the word prove because that word has connotations exclusively reserved for mathematics. When scientists say that one cannot prove anything about the conclusions of science they are using this term in its mathematical sense. Instead, scientists prefer the more modest term support as in The available evidence supports the conclusion that man evolved from lower animals.

Digression: This refusal to use the term prove in science is construed by theoidiots to mean that scientific theories are unprovable unlike the talking donkeys and snakes with legs of the bible. It is unfortunate indeed that scientific modesty is used as an alibi by theoidiots to undermine science.

Paleoanthropologists have found numerous support for the evolution of humans. The lineage of humans has already been traced to as far back as 7 million years ago to an ape called Sahelanthropus tchadensis. This ape is the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. Unfortunately for the members of the cult of Yahweh, genetics have also lent support to the common ancestry of apes and humans through genetic analysis. It turns out that humans and chimpanzees share as much as 99% of their genes.

In other words, only a little over 1 percent of our genes distinguish us from the chimpanzee. I find this conclusion awe-inspiring. Far from demeaning humans, it makes us more special by emphasizing just how far our lineage has gone and, since evolution is continuing process, it is exciting to think how much more we can be.

Being reminded of their common ancestry with the apes will be hard to swallow for the religious. As our knowledge of human origins and of science expands, they will have much much more unpalatable truths to swallow. Mr MOG and his ilk have nothing to worry about however, they are used to it. Their kind have been swallowing vasefuls of this kind of truth for than 2000 years.


Anonymous StickerBuddy said...

Here's a trivia for you!

Norman Ernest Borlaug is an American agronomist, humanitarian, Nobel laureate, and has been called the father of the Green Revolution. Borlaug is one of five people in history to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Borlaugh saved over a billion people from starvation by introducing modern agriculture and production techniques to high population and starving nations. He advocated the use of biotechnology to decrease world famine.

He was featured in Penn & Teller's Bullshit episode, "Eat this!" The man is a living saint. This guy is who we should be worshiping because he is striving for a future where famine is nonexistent. This might not happen but there are more people living today with access to food because of him and he is still circling the globe working towards this goal. He is the most important man on earth.

What does he get for thanks? You've got yuppies and ignorant god-fearing men crying "frankenfood!" and that we shouldn't be messing "with genes!" You don't want to be eating mutant tomatoes that are self-aware and cry when you bite into them! Oh no!

These are the same people who teach abstinence, hinder stem cell research, and believe in creationism. They don't realize the consequences that their nonsense holes are spewing.

5:50 PM  
Blogger HellCat said...

When opponents of genetic manipulation coddle their favorite dogs and cats, or eat their bread and rice, they don't realize they are coddling or eating a product of genetic manipulation.

Some people are so narrow minded they are stupid. Maybe the bible has something to do with this because it teaches about god creating those living things as-is and forgets mentioning evolution and selective breeding.

8:09 AM  

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