Mangling the Evolution Arguments



I’m a recovering atheist, and I occasionally have flashbacks. I’m still an atheist, but I’m a recovering one too.

Usually it’s due to a creationist, but lately the worst regressions come from people who should know better. As a wicked smart and logical person, Rob Graham is one of those people.

Let me just take these as bullets rather than in-line like I did with my response to his Security and Obscurity piece.

  • Darwinism isn’t a tangible thing anymore. What we teach is the theory of evolution through natural selection.

  • Natural selection isn’t a religion, and it’s not taught as such. It’s a working model of how the world works based on evidence, also know as a theory. When you find overwhelming evidence against a theory, the theory dies. That doesn’t happen with religion.

  • The reason few kids understand “Darwinism” is similar to the reason few kids know why we entered World War II, or how to articulate an opinion as an essay. It’s bad education, and it has nothing to do with natural selection.

  • Evolution has holes in it the way your online picture albums have holes in them. Why is January 2003 to August 2004 missing? Why are there no pictures from then? Should we infer that you didn’t exist during those times? Or that all the other pictures of you looking older or younger should be discarded?

  • Evolution doesn’t have holes so much as gaps. They’re different. Holes are flaws in the theory. They’re contradictions. They’re signs that it may be incorrect. Gaps are areas where we don’t yet understand or where we lack data. These are very different things.

  • Science actually has plenty to say about how cells evolved. It’s not anywhere near complete of course, but I think his information is simply out of date.

And here’s the worst one:

I can point to radio isotope dating and fossil finds to prove dinosaurs existed 250,000 million to 60 million years ago, thus disproving your crazy theory of a 10,000 year-old Earth. But I can’t point to anything that disagrees with your view that a deity created the original cellular organisms. I don’t agree with that theory, but I can’t disprove it, either.

My god man.

You can’t point to anything that disagrees with it? With the claim that an all-powerful and invisible being created the universe?

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How about my claim, which I’ll make right now, that we’re all inside a Mormon VMware instance running out of Salt Lake in the year 2247? What does the fossil record tell you about that theory?

Claims and theories are not the same thing.

A theory is when you have millions of pieces of evidence for natural selection, both in the fossil record and in our DNA that all validate descent with modification, and we’ve yet to find an exception. It’s a dual-nested hierarchy.

That’s a theory.

Saying an invisible god created the parts of science we don’t yet understand is a claim. You’re not helping anyone by raising religion to the level of theory, or lowering natural selection to the level of claim.

As one of the good guys, you should know the difference.

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