Earlier this month, the American Humanist Association (AHA) worked with congressmen to introduce a resolution establishing February 12, 2015 as Darwin Day. This of course is Charles Darwin’s birthday, and the resolution is intended to establish “a national day to recognize the accomplishments of naturalist Charles Darwin and celebrate the contributions of science to education and humanity.” Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Who could possibly oppose acknowledging someone’s contributions to the sciences?
I’m sure that the title of this piece has already answered that question.
Ken Ham, the Australian guy in Kentucky building a replica of Noah’s ark, has a big problem with Darwin Day. According to the Hamster, AHA is trying to convince the American government to toss away the first amendment and establish a national religion of atheism/naturalism. Nevermind the facts that atheism isn’t a religion and millions, if not billions, of theists and deists worldwide understand and accept evolution as the likely explanation for biodiversity, it’s an absurd stretch to say this is anything other than a day of remembrance.
There’s just a couple of flaws in Hambo’s line of, and I use this term ever so loosely, reasoning. I don’t expect him or any other strident young-earther to acknowledge the possibility of their wrongness, but it never hurts to try. Here goes.
For starters, Christmas is a federal holiday in the US. It’s been that way since 1870 when Ulysses Grant declared it so. Does this mean that the US has established Christianity as the state religion? Of course not. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. are all still as free to celebrate and worship whatever or whomever they like. In Ham Sandwich’s world though, the establishment of this holiday demands that we strip all non-Christians of their religious rights. Hyperbolic? Yes. But this is what he implies in his dimwitted argument.
Another problem with Hammerhead’s ridiculous complaint is that neither he nor any of his dominionist pals have complained about the days of the weeks or months or the fact that New Year’s Day is derived from an ancient Roman celebration of the god Janus. I’m writing this on a Tuesday, and since I call the third day of the week Tuesday, that must mean I’m worshipping the Norse god of combat, Týr. Oh no! Damn you for stripping away my first amendment rights, guy who decided what to call the days of the week! God damn you all to hell!
The biggest beef I have with Ham is this little bit of nonsense: “[P]roposing such a resolution symbolizes the effect of groups like the AHA and those members of Congress who support them. They want the government of America to establish a religion in this nation (against the First Amendment)—the religion of naturalism or atheism.” We all know why he’d say something so totally false like this. It’s the same reason Fox News likes to stir up xenophobic sentiments.
Fear of the other. It’s a powerful motivator. “They” want to oppress us. “They” want to destroy us. The reality, of course, is no one cares what anyone else believes as long as it stays out of our laws. “Don’t intrude on my life” when translated from English to fundamentalist becomes “I’m going to wipe out all religions by jailing or killing all theists.” The religious right relishes in the self-fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:12. Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. The irony being that their idea of persecution is not being allowed to persecute others. This is all while Christians in other parts of the world are being executed and jailed for being the wrong religion. I’m not trying to pull a “Dear Muslima.” I’m saying that Christians in the US are not being persecuted. They’re spoiled little children whining that some other kid is playing with their toy.
Not content to just whine about Darwin Day even being considered, Hammertoes had go ahead and declare Darwin Was Wrong Day because that’s what adults do. As a result of this declaration, one of Pressed Ham’s
minions writers, Avery Foley, took the time to explain why Darwin was wrong despite her lack of qualifications. Let’s take a look.
The Charles Darwin Day statement from the Delaware governor calls evolution “the foundation of modern biology, an essential tool in understanding the development of life on earth.” But, in reality, biological evolution goes directly against what we know from studying observational science.
This isn’t so. I major in biology and zoology. Everything I/we know about life is based upon the fact of evolution. One can literally watch new traits spread throughout a population. Lenski’s famous experiments come to mind, but there’s also species (tuco-tuco, anole lizards, three-toed skinks) that we observe evolving in nature.
Yes. I said observe. There’s also a classic creationist misdirection hidden in that barrel of wrong – observational science. This isn’t a thing. Answers in Genesis likes to piss all over the scientific method and create their own bullshit terms in order to confuse their marks and obfuscate any attempts at criticizing their assertions. Using their own idiocy, I could argue that gravity is woo since it can’t be observed. We can only see its effects, therefore it’s not scientific to assert that a force called gravity exists. That would be incredibly stupid, no?
One of HamBeens® hobbies appears to be declaring all sciences he doesn’t like as historical and not observational, so he can create a false equivalency between unsupported assertion and evidence-based inferences. It’s his new way of saying “Were you there?” without sounding so much like a shitty little kid, but instead it just makes him sound like a shitty little kid who makes up new rules that keep him from losing a game. It’s really petulance taken to a new level.
The Law of Biogenesis states that life only comes from other life; life never arises from non-life. There are no known exceptions to this law.
Wait… What? First of all, biogenesis has nothing to do the evolutionary model. Evolution is change, not genesis. It’s the origin of species, not life. How do species originate? By means of natural selection. How did life originate? Who the hell knows? I don’t and neither do the professional liars at AIG.
Second, this law debunks creationism in it’s entirety. Pasteur’s revelation is related only to spontaneous generation. This is the very old and very unscientific idea that animals would arise fully-formed from inanimate objects. It was believed that maggots formed from rancid meat or mice from dirty rags. This isn’t a far cry from men being made from dirt and women from ribs. Yet somehow, Pasteur’s experiments showing that inanimate objects don’t spontaneously transform into fully-formed organisms is supposed to be evidence of the creationist belief that fully-formed organisms arise from the spontaneous transformation of inanimate objects. I know. It’s stupid as hell, but creationism requires that rational thought be abandoned.
Yet, according to evolution, the law of biogenesis had to have been broken at least once when the first single-celled life emerged from non-living matter.
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what a scientific law is. It’s a very common mistake to assume that laws are proscriptive when in reality they’re just descriptions of what’s expected to happen based on what’s been observed. This is just like the misconception of what a theory is. “Just a theory” is the bane of my existence. It’s always represented as some wild shot in the dark. The easiest way I’ve found to explain these two terms is to say, “Law is the what; theory is the how.”
And non-living matter? There’s 118 elements on the periodic table and several different kinds of fermions. Not a single one of these has ever been classified as living matter. Non-living matter is more nonsense from creationists intended to dazzle their intended audience of children and ignorant adults.
While the Law of Biogenesis is inconsistent with naturalistic evolutionary ideas about the origin of life, it is perfectly consistent with a biblical model of origins. There never was a time when life arose from non-life because life came directly from the Life-giver, our Creator God, just as it says in Genesis. And that’s what observational science confirms!
It’s perfectly consistent as we’ve already established. Biogenesis is in direct contradiction to what the bible says happened. No one ever saw those events happen. How the fuck is it observational science, then?
There is no known mechanism that can change one kind of animal into a totally different kind.
Holy shit. No know mechanism? Mutations. Natural selection. Gene flow. Genetic drift. There’s four.
What’s the mechanism proposed by creationists that prevents changes from accumulating? What the hell is a kind? These things are never defined. Goal posts are hard to move when they’ve been cemented in place.
Yes, different species can form within a kind—but that is not biological evolution.
That’s exactly what biological evolution is.
Such changes only reflect the incredible amount of information in the genes of each kind that result in considerable variability.
The fuck does this mean? I think they’re trying and failing to use epigenetics here, but information is another one of those weasel words that has no definition within the context of creationist drivel. I’ve asked hundreds of times for an example of information and gotten nothing but redirection or silence. Go ahead, ask a creationist to define any of their buzzwords. It’s hilariously maddening watching them squirm.
Evolution is supposed to largely be driven by natural selection and mutations coupled with lots and lots (and lots!) of time. But evolution requires the addition of new information into the DNA of a living organism that adds new traits.
Requires? Since information has never been defined by the dinosaur wranglers, we can’t quantify it meaning we can’t determine what an addition would be. It’s false anyway to suggest that additions are a requirement. Deletions lead to changes. Changes in expression cause evolution. Duplications… still evolution. This is common knowledge. Why don’t the “scientists” as AIG know about these things? Could they be hiding such information from the gullible rubes who are scared of burning in hell for believing what those evil evolutionists say? Surely, they wouldn’t lie. Right?
For example, you can’t change an amoeba into a hummingbird without adding a lot of new information to produce new features!
Darwin’s proposed mechanism for evolution, natural selection, can’t add new information for new traits into the genome. Rather, what is called “natural selection” works on existing information. It’s actually the exact opposite of evolution.
This is literally the stupidest thing I’ve ever read with regards to evolutionary mechanics. Of course natural selection on selects what’s there. It’s in the fucking name! This is like saying a spark plug is the opposite of internal combustion because a spark plug can’t add fuel to a car.
While biological evolution requires an addition of new information and traits, natural selection usually results in a loss of genetic information. As organisms become more adapted to their environments, they lose genetic variability.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
[M]ost mutations are negative or neutral to the organism. A few mutations have been known to provide a positive benefit to the organism in certain conditions, but these do not result in an increase of new information and traits. Usually these beneficial mutations result in the loss of information and the loss of a trait (such as eyes in cave fish). So mutations cannot add new information resulting in new traits required for molecules-to-man evolution either!
A mutation adds a beneficial trait but this isn’t an addition of information. It’s a loss even though the trait didn’t exist before and is newly gained. I take back what I said earlier. This is the stupidest thing I’ve read with regards to evolution.
God created the original kinds in Genesis and placed within each one the genetic information needed to survive in a changing environment.
Brilliant! Organisms can’t gain new genetic information because ALL information already exists within their genomes. I guess that’s why no animal has ever gone extinct ever.
God knew that the Fall and the earth-changing global Flood of Noah’s day would come and, in His wisdom, He designed organisms with the genetic variability to be able to survive in different environments.
God is so wise he created a world that he knew would fail, so he designed life to evolve but not too much because reasons. Got it.
Far from being the “foundation of modern biology,” evolution has actually held back scientific discoveries.
How do they keep saying dumber things than before?
Evolution predicts that the human body should be filled with vestigial organs. These are supposed to be largely useless leftovers from our evolutionary past that have either lost their function or have reduced functionality.
Or vestigial means an organ has gained a new function. Lies by omission are still lies.
The DNA of living organisms used to be considered full of “junk” DNA. Human DNA was thought to consist of 98% useless DNA that was the cumulative leftover from our evolutionary ancestors. For years these massive portions of DNA were neglected in study because they did not have an obvious function, and evolution predicts junk DNA. But more research is quickly coming to light that shows that likely 80% of our DNA is functional, and many researchers suspect that number will rise to 100%.
Jesus. The lies flow like water with these people. 98% of the human genome is noncoding. That means it doesn’t create proteins. What it doesn’t mean is that noncoding DNA is useless.
As far as that 80%, this is a misrepresentation of what ENCODE wrongly claimed in the first place. ENCODE asserted that 80% of DNA was essential to cell processes. This has been viciously refuted. AIG is talking out of its ass, and I hate everything they do.
In both of these cases, evolutionary presuppositions held back scientific research. While the data did not match evolutionary predictions, it does match what is to be expected from the biblical creation model.
While it is true to a degree that the term junk DNA turned off a lot of scientists, this means absolutely dick because it’s never creationists who research these things that their bible totally predicts. Why weren’t they researching this “useless” DNA? Strange how their a-ha! moments only come when other researchers discover something. Hmmm…
The rest of the article is a rant against “atheistic naturalism” and those evil secular universities that won’t teach magic as an alternative in the science labs. There’s the usual threats of hell for using the scientific method without injecting some cult’s bias. Roman’s 1 is mentioned as per usual. It’s the typical closing argument found in any creationist diatribe. “Believe me or die!”
So what have we learned here? Creationists, specifically of the young earth variety, come to the discussion armed with lies and the whiny disposition of a spoiled child.
“We can’t have Darwin Day because it offends our cult! Now shut down the whole country because it’s Christmas.”
“You can’t call that science because I changed what science means when you weren’t looking.”
“The way you say evolution happens can’t happen because God already came up with his own way to make animals
evolve change adapt.”
In other word, nana nana booboo stick your head in doodoo!