Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The possible ultimate in “my dumb is better than your smart.” At least that I've run across recently. And believe me I haven’t been looking. I've been strolling through Irving Stone’s bio novel of Charles Darwin, The Origin. Which led me to look up the Origin of Species on Amazon which led me to the one star reviews (I do love those in a strange, twisted, you gotta be kidding way) which led me to this “review” by someone who has apparently
  • Not read the book
  • Has no understanding of how science works, much less evolution
  • Seems to believe that the Bible is a science text book
  • Either lies through his/her teeth or is credulous to the point of illiteracy.

 “Here is an interesting experiment: Empty your garage of every piece of metal, wood, paint, rubber, and plastic. Make sure there is nothing there. Nothing. Then wait for ten years and see if a Mercedes evolves. If it doesn't appear, leave it for 20 years. If that doesn't work, try it for 100 years. Then try leaving it for 10,000 years.Here's what will produce the necessary blind faith to make the evolutionary process believable: leave it for 250 million years.

Self explanatory. Cars are not living things, they can’t self assemble, they don’t adapt and they don’t evolve.  I think the writer might be, might be referring to abiogenesis or spontaneous generation. Which is kind of weird since cars aren’t alive, even if they do manage to self assemble in an empty garage. Shrug.

“The Book of Genesis tells us that everything was created by God--nothing "evolved." Every creature was given the ability to reproduce after its own kind as is stated ten times in Genesis. Dogs do not produce cats. Neither do cats and dogs have a common ancestry. Dogs began as dogs and are still dogs. They vary in species from Chihuahuas to Saint Bernards, but you will not find a "dat" or a "cog" (part cat/dog) throughout God's creation. Frogs don't reproduce oysters, cows don't have lambs, and pregnant pigs don't give birth to rabbits. God made monkeys as monkeys, and man as man.”

I was very surprised to learn that Chihuahuas and Saint Bernards were species. Oy. At least learn the difference between a species and a breed. You can cross a Saint Bernard with a Chihuahua and get fertile offspring. I’m not sure why you’d want to but the results might be interesting in a weird sort of way and I’d want the pups carried by a Saint Bernard. Dogs are considered as subspecies of wolves, the offspring are fertile. And coyotes while classed as a separate species can also be crossed with dogs and the pups are fertile.  The rest of the tirade is barely worth considering. Especially since oysters and frogs are not only different species but belong to totally different families. Say invertebrate/vertebrate three times really, really fast.

”Each creature brings forth after its own kind. That's no theory; that's a fact. Why then should we believe that man comes from another species? If evolution is true, then it is proof that the Bible is false. However, the whole of creation stands in contradiction to the theory of evolution.”

I’m not touching this with a ten foot pole. Upstairs I have a book titled The Third Chimpanzee. That’s us folks in the opinion of the author. To be honest, and as a layperson, I’m not so sure we are. A quick check on the net provides no evidence of anyone trying to cross say chimps and gorillas in the lab. And the ethics of trying this with humans are beyond the pale. For myself I believe there are enough differences to make humans a separate species.

It appears Homo was bipedal from the beginning. That means we can carry more than one item at a time. Invaluable for hunting, gathering, rescuing the kids from the local leopard population and stealing a haunch of antelope from the lions that snagged the meal in the first place.

We have that lovely opposable thumb which no other critter on the planet has. Thank heaven.

Chimps and gorillas can learn and use sign language or abstract symbolic computer languages and they can create new words. They do not have the physical structures that allow human style spoken language.

Tool use has been observed in apes both in the wild and the lab. From a quick read it seems mainly to be modifying a stick or branch for use or using rocks to break open nuts. So far man seems to be the only critter knocked rocks together to create a sharp edge to use to butcher that stolen antelope haunch. And later to create breath taking stone tools and weapons by attaching the points to bases of wood, bone or antler. Jacob Bronofsky used a recreation of stone point/antler scythe to harvest wild grain on the Ascent of Man.

Fire. To my knowledge no other creature on the planet has learned to make and control fire.

”In the Foreword to Origin of Species (100th edition), Sir Arthur Keith admitted, "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable."”

Not sure why the commenter chose this particular English Anthropologist to “quote.” The quote used appears to be apocryphal. There’s no record of Sir Arthur ever saying this. He couldn’t have written the forward to one hundred year anniversary issue because he died before it came out. Apparently he did write a forward to the seventy fifth anniversary edition but that quote wasn’t part of it. To make life even more interesting Keith is tied to the Piltdown Man hoax combining the fragments of a skull of a modern human with the fragments of a jaw of an orangutan and what appear to the filed teeth of a chimp. All treated with solution of iron and chromic acid to make them look older than they were. Well, they couldn’t let the French and Germans have all the fun now could they. And this was well before any kind of dating beyond “this is on top of that so it must be younger than the first one.”

”Dr. Kent Hovind of Florida has a standing offer of $250,000 to "anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution." Evolution-- true science fiction. His website is [...]”

Reputable scientists consider the offer a hoax for more reasons than I want to go into here. If you’re curious here’s a link to the Wickipedia article. That said, he’s a diploma mill “doctor” with wallpaper degrees from unaccredited “Bible” colleges. He’s got conspiracy theories up the pipe and to make life even more interesting he’s currently serving a ten year stint in prison for tax evasion. You might want to find a different "expert" next time. 

Have fun. And know that this is out of my system. At least until something else really outrageous comes along. 

1 comment:

JACKIE said...

I don't even want to imagine when, where, or how this person got their exposure to the science of biology or any other science. Sure as hell didn't go to Oakridge Senior High. For a little logging town in Oregon we had damn fine teachers, an excellent program and a really good school as well as public library.